|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Tales of the Klondyke by Jack London:
plucky sight better than those pick-me-up-and-carry-me kind of
women. She's the stock that carried you and me, Tommy, and you've
got to make allowance for the spirit. Takes a woman to breed a
man. You can't suck manhood from the dugs of a creature whose
only claim to womanhood is her petticoats. Takes a she-cat, not a
cow, to mother a tiger."
"And when they're unreasonable we've got to put up with it, eh?"
"The proposition. A sharp sheath-knife cuts deeper on a slip than
a dull one; but that's no reason for to hack the edge off over a
"All right, if you say so, but when it comes to woman, I guess
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson:
from the river, had gone upstairs to bed about eleven. Although a
fog rolled over the city in the small hours, the early part of the
night was cloudless, and the lane, which the maid's window
overlooked, was brilliantly lit by the full moon. It seems she
was romantically given, for she sat down upon her box, which stood
immediately under the window, and fell into a dream of musing.
Never (she used to say, with streaming tears, when she narrated
that experience), never had she felt more at peace with all men
or thought more kindly of the world. And as she so sat she became
aware of an aged beautiful gentleman with white hair, drawing near
along the lane; and advancing to meet him, another and very small
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Figure in the Carpet by Henry James:
It wasn't a bit true I had ceased to care for knowledge; little by
little my curiosity not only had begun to ache again, but had
become the familiar torment of my days and my nights. There are
doubtless people to whom torments of such an order appear hardly
more natural than the contortions of disease; but I don't after all
know why I should in this connexion so much as mention them. For
the few persons, at any rate, abnormal or not, with whom my
anecdote is concerned, literature was a game of skill, and skill
meant courage, and courage meant honour, and honour meant passion,
meant life. The stake on the table was of a special substance and
our roulette the revolving mind, but we sat round the green board
|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 Within the Tides by Joseph Conrad:
"George had no children. Married a couple of years; looked forward
to a kid or two very much. Feels more upset than ever. Talks
about an honest man for father, and so on. Cloete grins: You be
quick before they come, and they'll have a rich man for father, and
no one the worse for it. That's the beauty of the thing.
"George nearly cries. I believe he did cry at odd times. This
went on for weeks. He couldn't quarrel with Cloete. Couldn't pay
off his few hundreds; and besides, he was used to have him about.
Weak fellow, George. Cloete generous, too. . . Don't think of my
little pile, says he. Of course it's gone when we have to shut up.
But I don't care, he says. . . And then there was George's new
Within the Tides