|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Start in Life by Honore de Balzac:
my pockets, when I saw the street crowded with people. Such a crowd!
like that for an execution. It fell upon me; I was seized, garroted,
gagged, and guarded by the police. Ah! you don't know--and I hope you
never may know--what it is to be taken for a murderer by a maddened
populace which stones you and howls after you from end to end of the
principal street of a town, shouting for your death! Ah! those eyes
were so many flames, all mouths were a single curse, while from the
volume of that burning hatred rose the fearful cry: 'To death! to
death! down with the murderer!'"
"So those Dalmatians spoke our language, did they?" said the count. "I
observe you relate the scene as if it happened yesterday."
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Taras Bulba and Other Tales by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol:
three years to satisfy myself, without haste or with the idea of
selling, I shall surpass all, and may become a distinguished artist."
Thus he spoke in solitude, with his good judgment prompting him; but
louder and more distinct sounded another voice within him. As he
glanced once more at the gold, it was not thus that his twenty-two
years and fiery youth reasoned. Now everything was within his power on
which he had hitherto gazed with envious eyes, had viewed from afar
with longing. How his heart beat when he thought of it! To wear a
fashionable coat, to feast after long abstinence, to hire handsome
apartments, to go at once to the theatre, to the confectioner's,
to . . . other places; and seizing his money, he was in the street in
Taras Bulba and Other Tales
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Animal Farm by George Orwell:
first. I do not think, comrades, that I shall be with you for many months
longer, and before I die, I feel it my duty to pass on to you such wisdom
as I have acquired. I have had a long life, I have had much time for
thought as I lay alone in my stall, and I think I may say that I
understand the nature of life on this earth as well as any animal now
living. It is about this that I wish to speak to you.
"Now, comrades, what is the nature of this life of ours? Let us face it:
our lives are miserable, laborious, and short. We are born, we are given
just so much food as will keep the breath in our bodies, and those of us
who are capable of it are forced to work to the last atom of our strength;
and the very instant that our usefulness has come to an end we are
|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 Twilight Land by Howard Pyle:
the sky grew dark overhead. But all was of no avail; into the jar
he must go, and into the jar he went. Then the Wise Man stoppered
the jar and sealed it. He wrote an inscription of warning upon
it, and then he buried it in the ground.
"Now," said Aben Hassen the Wise to the Talisman of Solomon,
"have I done everything that I should?"
"No," said the Talisman, "thou shouldst not have brought the jar
of golden money and the jar of silver money with thee; for that
which is evil in the greatest is evil in the least. Thou fool!
The treasure is cursed! Cast it all from thee while there is yet