|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Call of the Canyon by Zane Grey:
The day happened to be Sunday, and therefore the workmen were absent.
Carley had the place to herself. How the half-completed house mocked her I
She could not bear to look at it. What use could she make of it now? Flo
Hutter had become the working comrade of Glenn Kilbourne, the mistress of
his cabin. She was his wife and she would be the mother of his children.
That thought gave birth to the darkest hour of Carley Burch's life. She
became possessed as by a thousand devils. She became merely a female robbed
of her mate. Reason was not in her, nor charity, nor justice. All that was
abnormal in human nature seemed coalesced in her, dominant, passionate,
savage, terrible. She hated with an incredible and insane ferocity. In the
seclusion of her tent, crouched on her bed, silent, locked, motionless, she
The Call of the Canyon
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from American Notes by Rudyard Kipling:
board-faced men into it. The women wore hideous garments, and
the men appeared to be tied up with strings.
They would market all that afternoon, and on Sunday go to the
praying-place. I tried to talk to a few of them, but they spoke
strange tongues, and stared and behaved like cows. Yet one
woman, and not an altogether ugly one, confided to me that she
hated the idea of Salt Lake City being turned into a show-place
for the amusement of the Gentiles.
"If we 'have our own institutions, that ain't no reason why
people should come 'ere and stare at us, his it?"
The dropped "h" betrayed her.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Exiles by Honore de Balzac:
stones were strewn with clean straw, on which several of his disciples
knelt on one knee, writing on the other, to enable them to take notes
from the Master's improvised discourse, in the shorthand abbreviations
which are the despair of modern decipherers.
The hall was full, not of students only, but of the most distinguished
men belonging to the clergy, the court, and the legal faculty. There
were some learned foreigners, too--soldiers and rich citizens. The
broad faces were there, with prominent brows and venerable beards,
which fill us with a sort of pious respect for our ancestors when we
see their portraits from the Middle Ages. Lean faces, too, with
burning, sunken eyes, under bald heads yellow from the labors of
|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 Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad:
thin masts. In the empty immensity of earth, sky, and water,
there she was, incomprehensible, firing into a continent.
Pop, would go one of the six-inch guns; a small flame would
dart and vanish, a little white smoke would disappear, a tiny
projectile would give a feeble screech--and nothing happened.
Nothing could happen. There was a touch of insanity in
the proceeding, a sense of lugubrious drollery in the sight;
and it was not dissipated by somebody on board assuring me
earnestly there was a camp of natives--he called them enemies!--
hidden out of sight somewhere.
"We gave her her letters (I heard the men in that lonely ship
Heart of Darkness