|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Under the Red Robe by Stanley Weyman:
credentials or guards among the wild desperadoes who swarmed in
war-time in the Asturian passes might consider himself fortunate
if an easy death fell to his lot. In my case I could make a
shrewd guess what would happen. A single nod of meaning, one
muttered word, dropped among the savage men with whom I should be
left, and the diamonds hidden in my boot would go neither to the
Cardinal nor back to Mademoiselle--nor would it matter to me
whither they went.
So while the others talked in their taciturn fashion, or
sometimes grinned at my gloomy face, I looked out over the brown
woods with eyes that saw yet did not see. The red squirrel
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Enchanted Island of Yew by L. Frank Baum:
instead the girl stood upright and pressed Marvel's hand, looking
gratefully into his face.
"You are a fairy!" she whispered, so low that no one else heard her
voice. "I knew that you would save me."
"Keep my secret," whispered the prince in return, and still holding
her hand he led her back to her former place.
King Terribus was almost wild with rage and disappointment, and his
elephant nose twisted and squirmed horribly.
"So you dare to thwart my commands, do you!" he cried, excitedly.
"Well, we shall soon see which of us is the more powerful. I have
decreed your death--and die you shall!"
The Enchanted Island of Yew
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Maggie: A Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane:
Maggie had returned. She stood shivering beneath the torrent
of her mother's wrath.
"Well, I'm damned," said Jimmie in greeting.
His mother, tottering about the room, pointed a quivering
"Lookut her, Jimmie, lookut her. Dere's yer sister, boy.
Dere's yer sister. Lookut her! Lookut her!"
She screamed in scoffing laughter.
The girl stood in the middle of the room. She edged about as
if unable to find a place on the floor to put her feet.
"Ha, ha, ha," bellowed the mother. "Dere she stands! Ain'
Maggie: A Girl of the Streets
|The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from Essays of Travel by Robert Louis Stevenson:
and the top thus forms a continuous table running round the wall.
Above are prints, a large map of the neighbourhood, a Corot and a
Claude or two. The room is very spacious, and the five tables and
two chairs are but as islands. One table is for actual work, one
close by for references in use; one, very large, for MSS. or proofs
that wait their turn; one kept clear for an occasion; and the fifth
is the map table, groaning under a collection of large-scale maps and
charts. Of all books these are the least wearisome to read and the
richest in matter; the course of roads and rivers, the contour lines
and the forests in the maps - the reefs, soundings, anchors, sailing
marks and little pilot-pictures in the charts - and, in both, the