|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche:
provisional perspectives, besides being probably made from some
corner, perhaps from below--"frog perspectives," as it were, to
borrow an expression current among painters. In spite of all the
value which may belong to the true, the positive, and the
unselfish, it might be possible that a higher and more
fundamental value for life generally should be assigned to
pretence, to the will to delusion, to selfishness, and cupidity.
It might even be possible that WHAT constitutes the value of
those good and respected things, consists precisely in their
being insidiously related, knotted, and crocheted to these evil
and apparently opposed things--perhaps even in being essentially
Beyond Good and Evil
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Black Beauty by Anna Sewell:
came an oak, torn up by the roots, and it fell right across the road
just before us. I will never say I was not frightened, for I was.
I stopped still, and I believe I trembled; of course I did not turn round
or run away; I was not brought up to that. John jumped out
and was in a moment at my head.
"That was a very near touch," said my master. "What's to be done now?"
"Well, sir, we can't drive over that tree, nor yet get round it;
there will be nothing for it, but to go back to the four crossways,
and that will be a good six miles before we get round
to the wooden bridge again; it will make us late, but the horse is fresh."
So back we went and round by the crossroads, but by the time we got
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Elixir of Life by Honore de Balzac:
hand; and religious excess became a sort of debauch, and a
debauch a religious rite!
The Prince grasped Don Juan's hand affectionately, then when all
faces had simultaneously put on the same grimace--half-gloomy,
half-indifferent--the whole masque disappeared, and left the
chamber of death empty. It was like an allegory of life.
As they went down the staircase, the Prince spoke to Rivabarella:
"Now, who would have taken Don Juan's impiety for a boast? He
loves his father."
"Did you see that black dog?" asked La Brambilla.
"He is enormously rich now," sighed Bianca Cavatolino.
|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 An Old Maid by Honore de Balzac:
her house, for the modest sum of one hundred francs a year. The worthy
gentleman dined out every day, returning only in time to go to bed.
His sole expense therefore was for breakfast, invariably composed of a
cup of chocolate, with bread and butter and fruits in their season. He
made no fire except in the coldest winter, and then only enough to get
up by. Between eleven and four o'clock he walked about, went to read
the papers, and paid visits. From the time of his settling in Alencon
he had nobly admitted his poverty, saying that his whole fortune
consisted in an annuity of six hundred francs a year, the sole remains
of his former opulence,--a property which obliged him to see his man
of business (who held the annuity papers) quarterly. In truth, one of