|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce:
dimly seen on each side in the growing light. He watched
them with a new interest as first one and then the other
pounced upon the noose at his neck. They tore it away and
thrust it fiercely aside, its undulations resembling those of
a water snake. "Put it back, put it back!" He thought he
shouted these words to his hands, for the undoing of the
noose had been succeeded by the direst pang that he had yet
experienced. His neck ached horribly; his brain was on fire,
his heart, which had been fluttering faintly, gave a great
leap, trying to force itself out at his mouth. His whole
body was racked and wrenched with an insupportable anguish!
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from New Poems by Robert Louis Stevenson:
Now I in turn keep watch and ward
In my red house, in my walled yard
Of sunflowers, sitting here at ease
With friends and my bright canvases.
But hark, and you may hear quite plain
Time's chuckled laughter in the lane.
HAIL, GUEST, AND ENTER FREELY!
HAIL, guest, and enter freely! All you see
Is, for your momentary visit, yours; and we
Who welcome you are but the guests of God,
And know not our departure.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Cromwell by William Shakespeare:
ACT III. SCENE I. The principal bridge at Florence.
[Enter Cromwell and Hodge in their shirts, and
Call ye this seeing of fashions? Marry, would I had
stayed at Putney still. O, Master Thomas, we are
spoiled, we are gone.
Content thee, man, this is but fortune.
|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 Allan Quatermain by H. Rider Haggard:
Quatermain, between you and me, I am well off; it is thirty thousand
pounds I am worth today, and every farthing of it made by honest
trade and savings in the bank at Zanzibar, for living here costs
me next to nothing. So though it will be hard to leave this
place, which I have made to blossom like a rose in the wilderness,
and harder still to leave the people I have taught, I shall go.'
'I congratulate you on your decision,' answered I, 'for two reasons.
The first is, that you owe a duty to your wife and daughter,
and more especially to the latter, who should receive some education
and mix with girls of her own race, otherwise she will grow up
wild, shunning her kind. The other is, that as sure as I am