|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Tao Teh King by Lao-tze:
the mysterious excellence (of a governor). Deep and far-reaching is
such mysterious excellence, showing indeed its possessor as opposite
to others, but leading them to a great conformity to him.
66. 1. That whereby the rivers and seas are able to receive the homage
and tribute of all the valley streams, is their skill in being lower
than they;--it is thus that they are the kings of them all. So it is
that the sage (ruler), wishing to be above men, puts himself by his
words below them, and, wishing to be before them, places his person
2. In this way though he has his place above them, men do not feel his
weight, nor though he has his place before them, do they feel it an
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Pool in the Desert by Sara Jeanette Duncan:
vividly at one time against the rather empty landscape of life in a
frontier station, that my affection for one of them used to seem
little more, or less, than a variant upon my affection for the
other. That recollection, however, bears examination badly; Judy
was much the better sort, and it is Judy's part in it that draws me
into telling the story. Conveying Judy is what I tremble at: her
part was simple. Looking back--and not so very far--her part has
the relief of high comedy with the proximity of tears; but looking
closely, I find that it is mostly Judy, and what she did is entirely
second, in my untarnished picture, to what she was. Still I do not
think I can dissuade myself from putting it down.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Fantastic Fables by Ambrose Bierce:
reptile, without removing his eyes from those of the Lion.
"Admirably," replied the serpent. "My success is assured; my
victim draws nearer and nearer in spite of her efforts."
"And mine," said the Man, "draws nearer and nearer in spite of
mine. Are you sure it is all right?"
"If you don't think so," the reptile replied as well as he then
could, with his mouth full of bird, "you better give it up."
A half-hour later, the Lion, thoughtfully picking his teeth with
his claws, told the Rattlesnake that he had never in all his varied
experience in being subdued, seen a subduer try so earnestly to
give it up. "But," he added, with a wide, significant smile, "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 Allan Quatermain by H. Rider Haggard:
I had conquered.' Then, giving the body of the Masai a kick,
he ejaculated triumphantly, 'Ah, dog of a black savage, thou
art dead; what victory!'
Thoroughly disgusted, I left Alphonse to look after himself,
which he did by following me like a shadow, and proceeded to
join the others by the large entrance. The first thing that
I saw was Mackenzie, seated on a stone with a handkerchief twisted
round his thigh, from which he was bleeding freely, having, indeed,
received a spear-thrust that passed right through it, and still
holding in his hand his favourite carving knife now bent nearly
double, from which I gathered that he had been successful in