|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy:
"It's a long time since we met," he said. "Thanks for coming. I'll
just finish dealing, and then Ilyushka will come with his chorus."
"I called once or twice at your house," said Rostov, reddening.
Dolokhov made no reply.
"You may punt," he said.
Rostov recalled at that moment a strange conversation he had once
had with Dolokhov. "None but fools trust to luck in play," Dolokhov
had then said.
"Or are you afraid to play with me?" Dolokhov now asked as if
guessing Rostov's thought.
Beneath his smile Rostov saw in him the mood he had shown at the
War and Peace
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Awakening & Selected Short Stories by Kate Chopin:
She stood watching the fair woman walk down the long line of
galleries with the grace and majesty which queens are sometimes
supposed to possess. Her little ones ran to meet her. Two of them
clung about her white skirts, the third she took from its nurse and
with a thousand endearments bore it along in her own fond,
encircling arms. Though, as everybody well knew, the doctor had
forbidden her to lift so much as a pin!
"Are you going bathing?" asked Robert of Mrs. Pontellier. It
was not so much a question as a reminder.
"Oh, no," she answered, with a tone of indecision. "I'm
tired; I think not." Her glance wandered from his face away toward
Awakening & Selected Short Stories
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Within the Tides by Joseph Conrad:
"You want Miss Moorsom to give it up?" The professor turned to the
young man dismally.
"Heaven only knows what I want."
Renouard leaning his back against the balustrade folded his arms on
his breast, appeared to meditate profoundly. His face, shaded
softly by the broad brim of a planter's Panama hat, with the
straight line of the nose level with the forehead, the eyes lost in
the depth of the setting, and the chin well forward, had such a
profile as may be seen amongst the bronzes of classical museums,
pure under a crested helmet - recalled vaguely a Minerva's head.
"This is the most troublesome time I ever had in my life,"
Within the Tides
|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 Droll Stories, V. 1 by Honore de Balzac:
the cursed beast whose love was burning, who was wild with passion,
and growing more amorous every moment, to the great danger of the
mare. His family, horrified at the danger, did not go to open the
stable door, fearing the strange embrace and the kicks of the
iron-shod lover. At last, Cochegrue's wife went, but just as the good
mare was half way through the door, the cursed stallion seized her,
squeezed her, gave her a wild greeting, with his two legs gripped her,
pinched her and held her tight, and at the same time so kneaded and
knocked about Cochegrue that there was only found of him a shapeless
mass, crushed like a nut after the oil has been distilled from it. It
was shocking to see him squashed alive and mingling his cries with the
Droll Stories, V. 1