|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Elixir of Life by Honore de Balzac:
prove to honest folk that Belvidero did not die in a duel with
stone, as some lithographers would have us believe.
When Don Juan Belvidero reached the age of sixty he settled in
Spain, and there in his old age he married a young and charming
Andalusian wife. But of set purpose he was neither a good husband
nor a good father. He had observed that we are never so tenderly
loved as by women to whom we scarcely give a thought. Dona Elvira
had been devoutly brought up by an old aunt in a castle a few
leagues from San-Lucar in a remote part of Andalusia. She was a
model of devotion and grace. Don Juan foresaw that this would be
a woman who would struggle long against a passion before
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Ancient Regime by Charles Kingsley:
of spirits: and that the first apostle of the new golden
Rosicrucian order, one Schropfer, getting into debt, and fearing
exposure, finished his life in an altogether un-catholic manner at
Leipsic in 1774, by shooting himself;--of Keller and his Urim and
Thummim;--of Wollner (who caught the Crown Prince Frederick William)
with his three names of Chrysophiron, Heliconus, and Ophiron, and
his fourth name of Ormesus Magnus, under which all the brethren were
to offer up for him solemn prayers and intercessions;--of Baron
Heinrich von Ekker and Eckenhofen, gentleman of the bed-chamber and
counsellor of the Duke of Coburg Saalfeld, and his Jewish colleague
Hirschmann, with their Asiatic brethren and order named Ben Bicca,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Charmides and Other Poems by Oscar Wilde:
Nay if thou will'st, back to the beating brine,
Back to the boisterous billow let us go,
And walk all day beneath the hyaline
Huge vault of Neptune's watery portico,
And watch the purple monsters of the deep
Sport in ungainly play, and from his lair keen Xiphias leap.
For if my mistress find me lying here
She will not ruth or gentle pity show,
But lay her boar-spear down, and with austere
Relentless fingers string the cornel bow,
And draw the feathered notch against her breast,
|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 The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf:
Instead of saying, as he meant her to say, that she wished to see them,
she said nothing for some time.
"You see, there they go, rolling off the edge of the hill,"
she said suddenly.
"Rolling, Rachel? What do you see rolling? There's nothing rolling."
"The old woman with the knife," she replied, not speaking to Terence
in particular, and looking past him. As she appeared to be looking
at a vase on the shelf opposite, he rose and took it down.
"Now they can't roll any more," he said cheerfully. Nevertheless she
lay gazing at the same spot, and paid him no further attention
although he spoke to her. He became so profoundly wretched that he