|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Shadow Line by Joseph Conrad:
It sounded merely bizarre.
I could imagine no claim that would be stronger
and more absorbing than the claim of that ship, of
these men snared in the river by silly commercial
complications, as if in some poisonous trap.
However, I had nearly fought my way out. Out
to sea. The sea--which was pure, safe, and
friendly. Three days more.
That thought sustained and carried me on my
way back to the ship. In the saloon the doctor's
voice greeted me, and his large form followed his
The Shadow Line
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Golden Threshold by Sarojini Naidu:
Lord of the rainbow, lord of the harvest,
Great and beneficent lord of the main!
Thine is the mercy that cherished our furrows,
Thine is the mercy that fostered our grain.
We bring thee our thanks and our garlands for tribute,
The wealth of our valleys, new-garnered and ripe;
O sender of rain and the dewfall, we hail thee,
We praise thee, Varuna, with cymbal and pipe.
Queen of the gourd-flower, queen of the harvest,
Sweet and omnipotent mother, O Earth!
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from O Pioneers! by Willa Cather:
the office window. "I guess dat place all go to
hell what I work so hard on," he said with a
slow, bitter smile. "I not care a damn." He
stopped and rubbed the palm of his hand over
the light bristles on his head with annoyance.
"I no can t'ink without my hair," he com-
plained. "I forget English. We not talk here,
Alexandra was bewildered. Frank seemed to
have undergone a change of personality. There
|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 Grimm's Fairy Tales by Brothers Grimm:
like to go into this castle and rest myself, for I have money enough
to pay for anything I want'; but the real reason was, that he wanted
to see more of the beautiful lady. Then he went into the house, and
was welcomed kindly; and it was not long before he was so much in love
that he thought of nothing else but looking at the lady's eyes, and
doing everything that she wished. Then the old woman said, 'Now is the
time for getting the bird's heart.' So the lady stole it away, and he
never found any more gold under his pillow, for it lay now under the
young lady's, and the old woman took it away every morning; but he was
so much in love that he never missed his prize.
'Well,' said the old witch, 'we have got the bird's heart, but not the
Grimm's Fairy Tales