|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Crowd by Gustave le Bon:
ardour of a religious sentiment, and in its exterior forms would
soon become a cult. The evolution of the small Positivist sect
furnishes us a curious proof in point. What happened to the
Nihilist whose story is related by that profound thinker
Dostoiewsky has quickly happened to the Positivists. Illumined
one day by the light of reason he broke the images of divinities
and saints that adorned the altar of a chapel, extinguished the
candles, and, without losing a moment, replaced the destroyed
objects by the works of atheistic philosophers such as Buchner
and Moleschott, after which he piously relighted the candles.
The object of his religious beliefs had been transformed, but can
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Deputy of Arcis by Honore de Balzac:
society. But there is no more treacherous water, they say, than still
water, just as there was nothing less proper and well-behaved than the
calm and peaceable Rosinante on the occasion referred to.
At any rate, while making the tour of his town according to his
laudable official habit, Beauvisage from the top of the bridge chanced
to catch sight of the fair Parisian who with outstretched arms and
gracefully bent body was pursuing her favorite pastime. A slight
movement, the charming impatience with which the pretty fisher
twitched her line from the water when the fish had not bitten, was
perhaps the electric shock which struck upon the heart of the
magistrate, hitherto irreproachable. No one can say, perhaps, how the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Dreams by Olive Schreiner:
white it is! Therefore I pick my way."
God said, "On what?"
I was silent, and I let my robe fall. I wrapped my mantle about my head.
I went out softly. I was afraid that the angels would see me.
Once more I stood at the gate of Heaven, I and another. We held fast by
one another; we were very tired. We looked up at the great gates; the
angels opened them, and we went in. The mud was on our garments. We
walked across the marble floor, and up to the great throne. Then the
angels divided us. Her, they set upon the top step, but me, upon the
bottom; for, they said, "Last time this woman came here she left red foot-
|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 Four Arthurian Romances by Chretien DeTroyes:
"For God's sake, sire," the damsel said, "tell me now the truth,
if you know whither he went, and where he is." "I don't know,"
he said, "as God sees me here; but to-morrow I will start you on
the road by which he went away from here." "And may God," said
she, "lead me where I may hear true news of him. For if I find
him, I shall be very glad."
(Vv. 4929-4964.) Thus they continued in long converse until at
last they went to bed. When the day dawned, the maid arose,
being in great concern to find the object of her quest. And the
master of the house arose with all his companions, and set her
upon the road which led straight to the spring beneath the pine.