|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift:
by our savages, therefore, one male will be sufficient to serve
four females. That the remaining hundred thousand may, at a year
old, be offered in sale to the persons of quality and fortune,
through the kingdom, always advising the mother to let them suck
plentifully in the last month, so as to render them plump, and
fat for a good table. A child will make two dishes at an
entertainment for friends, and when the family dines alone, the
fore or hind quarter will make a reasonable dish, and seasoned
with a little pepper or salt, will be very good boiled on the
fourth day, especially in winter.
I have reckoned upon a medium, that a child just born will weigh
A Modest Proposal
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Cousin Pons by Honore de Balzac:
immense crowd. Happily, Schmucke was so bewildered by the throng of
idlers and the rows of heads in the windows, that he heard no remarks
and only saw the faces through a mist of tears.
"Oh, it is the nutcracker!" said one, "the musician, you know--"
"Who can the pall-bearers be?"
"I say, just look at poor old Cibot's funeral. There is one worker the
less. What a man! he could never get enough of work!"
"He never went out."
"He never kept Saint Monday."
"How fond he was of his wife!"
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Altar of the Dead by Henry James:
ugly to be at her side that way, abounding himself and yet not able
to overflow - a demonstration that would have been signally a false
note. Even her better situation too seemed only to draw out in a
sense the loneliness of her future. It would merely help her to
live more and more for their small ceremonial, and this at a time
when he himself had begun wearily to feel that, having set it in
motion, he might depart. When they had sat a while in the pale
parlour she got up - "This isn't my room: let us go into mine."
They had only to cross the narrow hall, as he found, to pass quite
into another air. When she had closed the door of the second room,
as she called it, he felt at last in real possession of her. The
|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 Summer by Edith Wharton:
against the wind. They were hardly more than sheds,
built of logs and rough boards, with tin stove-pipes
sticking out of their roofs. The sun was setting, and
dusk had already fallen on the lower world, but a
yellow glare still lay on the lonely hillside and the
crouching houses. The next moment it faded and left
the landscape in dark autumn twilight.
"Over there," Liff called out, stretching his long arm
over Mr. Miles's shoulder. The clergyman turned to the
left, across a bit of bare ground overgrown with docks
and nettles, and stopped before the most ruinous of the