|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from In the South Seas by Robert Louis Stevenson:
unction and exposure to the sun; in the Carolines, upon the
farthest west, it is still cured in the smoke of the family hearth.
Head-hunting, besides, still lives around my doorstep in Samoa.
And not ten years ago, in the Gilberts, the widow must disinter,
cleanse, polish, and thenceforth carry about her, by day and night,
the head of her dead husband. In all these cases we may suppose
the process, whether of cleansing or drying, to have fully
exorcised the aitu.
But the Paumotuan belief is more obscure. Here the man is duly
buried, and he has to be watched. He is duly watched, and the
spirit goes abroad in spite of watches. Indeed, it is not the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from King Henry VI by William Shakespeare:
If Talbot do but thunder, rain will follow.
[The English party whisper together in council. ]
God speed the parliament! who shall be the speaker?
Dare ye come forth and meet us in the field?
Belike your lordship takes us then for fools,
To try if that our own be ours or no.
I speak not to that railing Hecate,
But unto thee, Alencon, and the rest;
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Alcibiades I by Plato:
SOCRATES: Nothing honourable, regarded as honourable, is evil; nor
anything base, regarded as base, good.
ALCIBIADES: Clearly not.
SOCRATES: Look at the matter yet once more in a further light: he who
acts honourably acts well?
SOCRATES: And he who acts well is happy?
ALCIBIADES: Of course.
SOCRATES: And the happy are those who obtain good?
SOCRATES: And they obtain good by acting well and honourably?
|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 The Black Dwarf by Walter Scott:
very truth, the whole race should perish? Wert thou not
"Misery," said Isabella, firmly, "is superior to fear."
"Hast thou not heard it said in thy mortal world, that I have
leagued myself with other powers, deformed to the eye and
malevolent to the human race as myself? Hast thou not heard
this--And dost thou seek my cell at midnight?"
"The Being I worship supports me against such idle fears," said
Isabella; but the increasing agitation of her bosom belied the
affected courage which her words expressed.
"Ho! ho!" said the Dwarf, "thou vauntest thyself a philosopher?