|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Water-Babies by Charles Kingsley:
bewitched. But before he could make up his mind, down came the
pole through the water; there was a fearful splash and struggle,
and Tom saw that the poor salmon was speared right through, and was
lifted out of the water.
And then, from behind, there sprang on these three men three other
men; and there were shouts, and blows, and words which Tom
recollected to have heard before; and he shuddered and turned sick
at them now, for he felt somehow that they were strange, and ugly,
and wrong, and horrible. And it all began to come back to him.
They were men; and they were fighting; savage, desperate, up-and-
down fighting, such as Tom had seen too many times before.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Parmenides by Plato:
So it appears.
And the one then, since it is at rest and also in motion, will change to
either, for only in this way can it be in both. And in changing it changes
in a moment, and when it is changing it will be in no time, and will not
then be either in motion or at rest.
It will not.
And it will be in the same case in relation to the other changes, when it
passes from being into cessation of being, or from not-being into becoming
--then it passes between certain states of motion and rest, and neither is
nor is not, nor becomes nor is destroyed.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Ball at Sceaux by Honore de Balzac:
legitimate King, who was not less clever perhaps than his rival, acted
in a contrary direction. The last head of the House of Bourbon was
just as eager to satisfy the third estate and the creations of the
Empire, by curbing the clergy, as the first of the Napoleons had been
to attract the grand old nobility, or to endow the Church. The Privy
Councillor, being in the secret of these royal projects, had
insensibly become one of the most prudent and influential leaders of
that moderate party which most desired a fusion of opinion in the
interests of the nation. He preached the expensive doctrines of
constitutional government, and lent all his weight to encourage the
political see-saw which enabled his master to rule France in the midst
|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 Woman and Labour by Olive Schreiner:
and that the nation which is the first to employ its women so may be placed
at a vast advantage over its fellows in time of war. It is not because of
woman's cowardice, incapacity, nor, above all, because of her general
superior virtue, that she will end war when her voice is fully, finally,
and clearly heard in the governance of states--it is because, on this one
point, and on this point almost alone, the knowledge of woman, simply as
woman, is superior to that of man; she knows the history of human flesh;
she knows its cost; he does not. (It is noteworthy that even Catharine of
Russia, a ruler and statesman of a virile and uncompromising type, and not
usually troubled with moral scruples, yet refused with indignation the
offer of Frederick of Prussia to pay her heavily for a small number of