|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:
4. Therefore the sage knows (these things) of himself, but does not
parade (his knowledge); loves, but does not (appear to set a) value
on, himself. And thus he puts the latter alternative away and makes
choice of the former.
73. 1. He whose boldness appears in his daring (to do wrong, in
defiance of the laws) is put to death; he whose boldness appears in
his not daring (to do so) lives on. Of these two cases the one
appears to be advantageous, and the other to be injurious. But
When Heaven's anger smites a man,
Who the cause shall truly scan?
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Voyage to Abyssinia by Father Lobo:
sometimes seven or eight leagues without seeing any water, and then
we found it rising out of the ground, at which places we never
failed to drink as much as we could, and fill our bottles.
In our march, there fell out an unlucky accident, which, however,
did not prove of the bad consequence it might have done. The master
of our camels was an old Mohammedan, who had conceived an opinion
that it was an act of merit to do us all the mischief he could; and
in pursuance of his notion, made it his chief employment to steal
everything he could lay hold on; his piety even transported him so
far, that one morning he stole and hid the cords of our tents. The
patriarch who saw him at the work charged him with it, and upon his
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Heroes by Charles Kingsley:
dangerous after nightfall. It is well for you that I met
you, for my whole joy is to find strangers, and to feast them
at my castle, and hear tales from them of foreign lands.
Come up with me, and eat the best of venison, and drink the
rich red wine, and sleep upon my famous bed, of which all
travellers say that they never saw the like. For whatsoever
the stature of my guest, however tall or short, that bed fits
him to a hair, and he sleeps on it as he never slept before.'
And he laid hold on Theseus' hands, and would not let him go.
Theseus wished to go forwards: but he was ashamed to seem
churlish to so hospitable a man; and he was curious to see
|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 Adam Bede by George Eliot:
dropped a thing i' my life for want o' holding it, else I should
never ha' kept the crockery all these 'ears as I bought at my own
wedding. And Hetty, are you mad? Whativer do you mean by coming
down i' that way, and making one think as there's a ghost a-
walking i' th' house?"
A new outbreak of laughter, while Mrs. Poyser was speaking, was
caused, less by her sudden conversion to a fatalistic view of jug-
breaking than by that strange appearance of Hetty, which had
startled her aunt. The little minx had found a black gown of her
aunt's, and pinned it close round her neck to look like Dinah's,
had made her hair as flat as she could, and had tied on one of