|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Phaedrus by Plato:
when she is unable to follow, and fails to behold the truth, and through
some ill-hap sinks beneath the double load of forgetfulness and vice, and
her wings fall from her and she drops to the ground, then the law ordains
that this soul shall at her first birth pass, not into any other animal,
but only into man; and the soul which has seen most of truth shall come to
the birth as a philosopher, or artist, or some musical and loving nature;
that which has seen truth in the second degree shall be some righteous king
or warrior chief; the soul which is of the third class shall be a
politician, or economist, or trader; the fourth shall be a lover of
gymnastic toils, or a physician; the fifth shall lead the life of a prophet
or hierophant; to the sixth the character of poet or some other imitative
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Yates Pride by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman:
stay at the inn lately?"
"No," replied Eudora, calmly. "Why, dear?"
"Nothing, only, Eudora, a dear and old friend of yours, of ours,
is there, so I hear."
Eudora did not inquire who the old friend might be. "Really?"
she remarked. Then she said, "Goodby, Amelia dear," and resumed
her progress with the baby-carriage.
"She never even asked who it was," Amelia reported to her
sisters, when she had returned to the house. "Because she knew,"
replied Sophia, sagely; "there has never been any old friend but
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Kwaidan by Lafcadio Hearn:
"We shall allow you to frighten us as much as you please -- after you are
dead. But it is difficult to believe that you mean what you say. Will you
try to give us some sign of your great resentment -- after your head has
been cut off?"
"Assuredly I will," answered the man.
"Very well," said the samurai, drawing his long sword; -- "I am now going
to cut off your head. Directly in front of you there is a stepping-stone.
After your head has been cut off, try to bite the stepping-stone. If your
angry ghost can help you to do that, some of us may be frightened... Will
you try to bite the stone?"
"I will bite it!" cried the man, in great anger,-- "I will bite it! -- I
|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 The Reign of King Edward the Third by William Shakespeare:
I am, my liege, a Northern Esquire indeed,
But neither proud nor insolent, I trust.
What moved thee, then, to be so obstinate
To contradict our royal Queen's desire?
No wilful disobedience, mighty Lord,
But my desert and public law at arms:
I took the king my self in single fight,
And, like a soldiers, would be loath to lose