|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Ancient Regime by Charles Kingsley:
Naples--for these last, be it always remembered, began as humane and
enlightened sovereigns, patronising liberal opinions, and labouring
to ameliorate the condition of the poor, till they were driven by
the murder of Marie Antoinette into a paroxysm of rage and terror--
why, above all, Louis XVI., who attempted deeper and wiser reforms
than any other sovereign, failed more disastrously than any--is not
the answer this, that all these reforms would but have cleansed the
outside of the cup and the platter, while they left the inside full
of extortion and excess? It was not merely institutions which
required to be reformed, but men and women. The spirit of "Gil
Blas" had to be cast out. The deadness, selfishness, isolation of
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from De Profundis by Oscar Wilde:
and even then must bleed again, though not in pain.
Where there is sorrow there in holy ground. Some day people will
realise what that means. They will know nothing of life till they
do, - and natures like his can realise it. When I was brought down
from my prison to the Court of Bankruptcy, between two policemen, -
waited in the long dreary corridor that, before the whole crowd,
whom an action so sweet and simple hushed into silence, he might
gravely raise his hat to me, as, handcuffed and with bowed head, I
passed him by. Men have gone to heaven for smaller things than
that. It was in this spirit, and with this mode of love, that the
saints knelt down to wash the feet of the poor, or stooped to kiss
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Shadow Line by Joseph Conrad:
sary. He caught me at my word with great
alacrity. The steamer Melita was leaving for
Bangkok that evening about seven. He would
request her captain officially to give me a passage
and wait for me till ten o'clock.
Then he rose from his office chair, and I got up,
too. My head swam, there was no doubt about it,
and I felt a certain heaviness of limbs as if they
had grown bigger since I had sat down on that
chair. I made my bow.
A subtle change in Captain Ellis' manner became
The Shadow Line
|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 A Drama on the Seashore by Honore de Balzac:
pyramid; but a slender, delicately outlined pyramid, a pyramid so
poetically ornate that the imagination figured in it the earliest ruin
of a great Asiatic city.
We advanced a few steps and sat down upon the portion of a large rock
which was still in the shade. But it was now eleven o'clock, and the
shadow, which ceased at our feet, was disappearing rapidly.
"How beautiful this silence!" she said to me; "and how the depth of it
is deepened by the rhythmic quiver of the wave upon the shore."
"If you will give your understanding to the three immensities which
surround us, the water, the air, and the sands, and listen exclusively
to the repeating sounds of flux and reflux," I answered her, "you will