|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Blix by Frank Norris:
grim word they knew; swarms of artificial flies of every
conceivable shade, brown, gray, black, gray-brown, gray-black,
with here and there a brisk vermilion note; coils of line, from
the thickness of a pencil, spun to hold the sullen plunges of a
jew-fish off the Catalina Islands, down to the sea-green gossamers
that a vigorous fingerling might snap; hooks, snells, guts,
leaders, gaffs, cartridges, shells, and all the entrancing
munitions of the sportsman, that savored of lonely canons, deer-
licks, mountain streams, quail uplands, and the still reaches of
inlet and marsh grounds, gray and cool in the early autumn dawn.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde:
ladies, and the very picture of respectability.
LADY BRACKNELL. It is obviously the same person. May I ask what
position she holds in your household?
CHASUBLE. [Severely.] I am a celibate, madam.
JACK. [Interposing.] Miss Prism, Lady Bracknell, has been for the
last three years Miss Cardew's esteemed governess and valued
LADY BRACKNELL. In spite of what I hear of her, I must see her at
once. Let her be sent for.
CHASUBLE. [Looking off.] She approaches; she is nigh.
[Enter MISS PRISM hurriedly.]
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Walking by Henry David Thoreau:
nascitur, non fit. Some of my townsmen, it is true, can remember
and have described to me some walks which they took ten years
ago, in which they were so blessed as to lose themselves for half
an hour in the woods; but I know very well that they have
confined themselves to the highway ever since, whatever
pretensions they may make to belong to this select class. No
doubt they were elevated for a moment as by the reminiscence of a
previous state of existence, when even they were foresters and
"When he came to grene wode,
In a mery mornynge,
|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 Firm of Nucingen by Honore de Balzac:
" 'But d'Aiglemont, who was here at breakfast with us, has a million
in Nucingen's bank.'
" 'Look here; I do not know whether there will be enough of these
shares to cover it; and besides, I am not his friend, I cannot betray
Nucingen's confidence. You must not speak to d'Aiglemont. If you say a
word, you must answer to me for the consequences.'
"Godefroid stood stock still for ten minutes.
" 'Do you accept? Yes or no!' said the inexorable Rastignac.
"Godefroid took up the pen, wrote at Rastignac's dictation, and signed
" 'My poor cousin!' he cried.