|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain:
TOM was a glittering hero once more -- the
pet of the old, the envy of the young.
His name even went into immortal print,
for the village paper magnified him.
There were some that believed he would
be President, yet, if he escaped hanging.
As usual, the fickle, unreasoning world took Muff
Potter to its bosom and fondled him as lavishly as it
had abused him before. But that sort of conduct is
to the world's credit; therefore it is not well to find
fault with it.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Barlaam and Ioasaph by St. John of Damascus:
thou, a poor man, shouldest give alms to the rich? The rich
always help the poor, not the needy the wealthy. And the least
of all my comrades is incomparably richer than thou. But I trust
in the mercies of God that thou too shalt soon be passing rich as
never afore: and then thou wilt not be ready to distribute."
Ioasaph said unto him, "Make plain to me this saying; how the
least of all thy companions surpasseth me in riches -- thou
saidest but now that they lived in utter penury, and were pinched
by extreme poverty and why thou callest me a poor man, but sayest
that, when I shall be passing rich, I, who am ready to
distribute, shall be ready to distribute no more."
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Herodias by Gustave Flaubert:
Through a drapery of filmy blue gauze that veiled her head and throat,
her arched eyebrows, tiny ears, and ivory-white skin could be
distinguished. A scarf of shot-silk fell from her shoulders, and was
caught up at the waist by a girdle of fretted silver. Her full
trousers, of black silk, were embroidered in a pattern of silver
mandragoras, and as she moved forward with indolent grace, her little
feet were seen to be shod with slippers made of the feathers of
When she arrived in front of the pavilion she removed her veil.
Behold! she seemed to be Herodias herself, as she had appeared in the
days of her blooming youth.
|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 Passionate Pilgrim by William Shakespeare:
If music and sweet poetry agree,
As they must needs, the sister and the brother,
Then must the love be great 'twixt thee and me,
Because thou lovest the one, and I the other.
Dowland to thee is dear, whose heavenly touch
Upon the lute doth ravish human sense;
Spenser to me, whose deep conceit is such
As, passing all conceit, needs no defence.
Thou lovest to bear the sweet melodious sound
That Phoebus' lute, the queen of music, makes;