|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Collected Articles by Frederick Douglass:
of the heavy beam by which the bellows was inflated and discharged.
It was the pursuit of knowledge under difficulties, and I look back to it now,
after so many years, with some complacency and a little wonder that I could
have been so earnest and persevering in any pursuit other than for my
daily bread. I certainly saw nothing in the conduct of those around
to inspire me with such interest: they were all devoted exclusively
to what their hands found to do. I am glad to be able to say that,
during my engagement in this foundry, no complaint was ever made against
me that I did not do my work, and do it well. The bellows which I worked
by main strength was, after I left, moved by a steam-engine.
Douglass, Frederick. "Reconstruction."
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde:
The woman gave a bitter laugh. "Little more than a boy!" she sneered.
"Why, man, it's nigh on eighteen years since Prince Charming made me what
"You lie!" cried James Vane.
She raised her hand up to heaven. "Before God I am telling the truth,"
"Strike me dumb if it ain't so. He is the worst one that comes here.
They say he has sold himself to the devil for a pretty face. It's nigh
on eighteen years since I met him. He hasn't changed much since then.
I have, though," she added, with a sickly leer.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Euthyphro by Plato:
of attending to the gods, benefit or improve them? Would you say that when
you do a holy act you make any of the gods better?
EUTHYPHRO: No, no; that was certainly not what I meant.
SOCRATES: And I, Euthyphro, never supposed that you did. I asked you the
question about the nature of the attention, because I thought that you did
EUTHYPHRO: You do me justice, Socrates; that is not the sort of attention
which I mean.
SOCRATES: Good: but I must still ask what is this attention to the gods
which is called piety?
EUTHYPHRO: It is such, Socrates, as servants show to their masters.
|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 Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft:
charming creature); and that, in consequence of his treatment,
or something which hung on her mind, she had, during her first
lying-in, lost her senses."
What a subject of meditation--even to the very
confines of madness.
"Woman, fragile flower! why were you suffered to adorn a world
exposed to the inroad of such stormy elements?" thought Maria,
while the poor maniac's strain was still breathing on her ear,
and sinking into her very soul.
Towards the evening, Jemima brought her Rousseau's Heloise;
and she sat reading with eyes and heart, till the return of her