|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle:
But the stranger turned the blow right deftly and in return gave
one as stout, which Robin also turned as the stranger had done.
So they stood, each in his place, neither moving a finger's-breadth back,
for one good hour, and many blows were given and received by each in
that time, till here and there were sore bones and bumps, yet neither
thought of crying "Enough," nor seemed likely to fall from off the bridge.
Now and then they stopped to rest, and each thought that he never
had seen in all his life before such a hand at quarterstaff.
At last Robin gave the stranger a blow upon the ribs that made his jacket
smoke like a damp straw thatch in the sun. So shrewd was the stroke
that the stranger came within a hair's-breadth of falling off the bridge,
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Chessmen of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
The Gate of Enemies toward the palace of O-Tar. A gorgeous,
barbaric procession of painted warriors in jewel-studded harness
and waving feathers; vicious, squealing thoats caparisoned in
rich trappings; far above their heads the long lances of their
riders bore fluttering pennons; foot-soldiers swinging easily
along the stone pavement, their sandals of zitidar hide giving
forth no sound; and at the rear of each utan a train of painted
chariots, drawn by mammoth zitidars, carrying the equipment of
the company to which they were attached. Utan after utan entered
through the great gate, and even when the head of the column
reached the palace of O-Tar they were not all within the city.
The Chessmen of Mars
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling:
to keep the sun off Brahm as he slept. Look, and be afraid!"
He spread out his hood more than ever, and Rikki-tikki saw the
spectacle-mark on the back of it that looks exactly like the eye
part of a hook-and-eye fastening. He was afraid for the minute,
but it is impossible for a mongoose to stay frightened for any
length of time, and though Rikki-tikki had never met a live cobra
before, his mother had fed him on dead ones, and he knew that all
a grown mongoose's business in life was to fight and eat snakes.
Nag knew that too and, at the bottom of his cold heart, he was
"Well," said Rikki-tikki, and his tail began to fluff up
The Jungle Book
|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 Madame Firmiani by Honore de Balzac:
learn; the Observers remarked that her hands were white, her feet
small, her movements a trifle too undulating. But, nevertheless,
individuals of all species envied or disputed Octave's happiness,
agreeing, for once in a way, that Madame Firmiani was the most
aristocratically beautiful woman in Paris.
Still young, rich, a perfect musician, intelligent, witty, refined,
and received (as a Cadignan) by the Princesse de Blamont-Chauvry, that
oracle of the noble faubourg, loved by her rivals the Duchesse de
Maufrigneuse her cousin, the Marquise d'Espard, and Madame de Macumer,
--Madame Firmiani gratified all the vanities which feed or excite
love. She was therefore sought by too many men not to fall a victim to