|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Another Study of Woman by Honore de Balzac:
as you do for those of dancing or of music, your fortune would be
inadequate! There is no second performance of the same flash of wit."
"And are we really so much deteriorated as these gentlemen think?"
said the Princesse de Cadignan, addressing the women with a smile at
once sceptical and ironical. "Because, in these days, under a regime
which makes everything small, you prefer small dishes, small rooms,
small pictures, small articles, small newspapers, small books, does
that prove that women too have grown smaller? Why should the human
heart change because you change your coat? In all ages the passions
remain the same. I know cases of beautiful devotion, of sublime
sufferings, which lack the publicity--the glory, if you choose--which
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table by Oliver Wendell Holmes:
should have gloried to see the stars and stripes in front at the
finish. I love my country, and I love horses. Stubbs's old
mezzotint of Eclipse hangs over my desk, and Herring's portrait of
Plenipotentiary, - whom I saw run at Epsom, - over my fireplace.
Did I not elope from school to see Revenge, and Prospect, and
Little John, and Peacemaker run over the race-course where now yon
suburban village flourishes, in the year eighteen hundred and ever-
so-few? Though I never owned a horse, have I not been the
proprietor of six equine females, of which one was the prettiest
little "Morgin" that ever stepped? Listen, then, to an opinion I
have often expressed long before this venture of ours in England.
The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Gods of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
The other apes turned now upon me, and as I stood facing
them a sullen roar from the audience answered the wild cheers
from the cages. From the tail of my eye I saw a score
of guards rushing across the glistening sand toward me.
Then a figure broke from one of the cages behind them.
It was the youth whose personality so fascinated me.
He paused a moment before the cages, with upraised sword.
"Come, men of the outer world!" he shouted. "Let us
make our deaths worth while, and at the back of this
unknown warrior turn this day's Tribute to Issus into an
orgy of revenge that will echo through the ages and cause
The Gods of Mars
|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 Meno by Plato:
cannot always be given in words. A person may have some skill or latent
experience which he is able to use himself and is yet unable to teach
others, because he has no principles, and is incapable of collecting or
arranging his ideas. He has practice, but not theory; art, but not
science. This is a true fact of psychology, which is recognized by Plato
in this passage. But he is far from saying, as some have imagined, that
inspiration or divine grace is to be regarded as higher than knowledge. He
would not have preferred the poet or man of action to the philosopher, or
the virtue of custom to the virtue based upon ideas.
Also here, as in the Ion and Phaedrus, Plato appears to acknowledge an
unreasoning element in the higher nature of man. The philosopher only has