|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James:
and without is one of the commonest entries in conversion
records. Jonathan Edwards thus describes it in himself:--
 Above, p. 150.
"After this my sense of divine things gradually increased, and
became more and more lively, and had more of that inward
sweetness. The appearance of everything was altered; there
seemed to be, as it were, a calm, sweet cast, or appearance of
divine glory, in almost everything. God's excellency, his
wisdom, his purity and love, seemed to appear in everything; in
the sun, moon, and stars; in the clouds and blue sky; in the
grass, flowers, and trees; in the water and all nature; which
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce:
on the ground, the barrels inclining slightly backward
against the right shoulder, the hands crossed upon the stock.
A lieutenant stood at the right of the line, the point
of his sword upon the ground, his left hand resting upon his
right. Excepting the group of four at the center of the
bridge, not a man moved. The company faced the bridge,
staring stonily, motionless. The sentinels, facing the
banks of the stream, might have been statues to adorn the
bridge. The captain stood with folded arms, silent,
observing the work of his subordinates, but making no sign.
Death is a dignitary who when he comes announced is to be
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from House of Mirth by Edith Wharton:
for him only she cared to be beautiful.
Selden had given her his arm without speaking. She took it in
silence, and they moved away, not toward the supper-room, but
against the tide which was setting thither. The faces about her
flowed by like the streaming images of sleep: she hardly noticed
where Selden was leading her, till they passed through a glass
doorway at the end of the long suite of rooms and stood suddenly
in the fragrant hush of a garden. Gravel grated beneath their
feet, and about them was the transparent dimness of a midsummer
night. Hanging lights made emerald caverns in the depths of
foliage, and whitened the spray of a fountain falling among
|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 Under the Red Robe by Stanley Weyman:
matter has gone far enough.'
'Too far! M. de Pombal,' I answered bitterly. 'Still, if you
wish to take your friend's place, I shall raise no objection.'
'Chut, man!' he retorted, shrugging his shoulders negligently.
'I know you, and I do not fight with men of your stamp. Nor need
'Undoubtedly,' I replied, bowing low, 'if he prefers to be caned
in the streets.'
That stung the Marquis.
'Have a care! have a care!' he cried hotly. 'You go too far,