|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Jungle by Upton Sinclair:
his corn; and for several days after the operation the fields would
have a strong odor, and the farmer and his wagon and the very horses
that had hauled it would all have it too. In Packingtown the fertilizer
is pure, instead of being a flavoring, and instead of a ton or so
spread out on several acres under the open sky, there are hundreds
and thousands of tons of it in one building, heaped here and there
in haystack piles, covering the floor several inches deep, and filling
the air with a choking dust that becomes a blinding sandstorm when
the wind stirs.
It was to this building that Jurgis came daily, as if dragged by
an unseen hand. The month of May was an exceptionally cool one,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Eugenie Grandet by Honore de Balzac:
to the gateway of a jail. Above the arch was a long bas-relief, in
hard stone, representing the four seasons, the faces already crumbling
away and blackened. This bas-relief was surmounted by a projecting
plinth, upon which a variety of chance growths had sprung up,--yellow
pellitory, bindweed, convolvuli, nettles, plantain, and even a little
cherry-tree, already grown to some height.
The door of the archway was made of solid oak, brown, shrunken, and
split in many places; though frail in appearance, it was firmly held
in place by a system of iron bolts arranged in symmetrical patterns. A
small square grating, with close bars red with rust, filled up the
middle panel and made, as it were, a motive for the knocker, fastened
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians by Martin Luther:
apostles wanted to compel him to circumcise Titus. Paul refused to accede to
their demands. If they had asked it on the plea of brotherly love, Paul would
not have denied them. But because they demanded it on the ground that it was
necessary for salvation, Paul defied them, and prevailed. Titus was not
VERSE 6. But of those who seemed to be somewhat, whatsoever they
were, it maketh no matter to me.
This is a good point in Paul's refutation. Paul disparages the authority and
dignity of the true apostles. He says of them, "Which seemed to be somewhat."
The authority of the apostles was indeed great in all the churches. Paul did
not want to detract from their authority, but he had to speak disparagingly
|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 Old Indian Legends by Zitkala-Sa:
"Oh!" he exclaimed, "how hard to fly! Brightly tinted
feathers are handsome, but I wish they were light enough to fly!"
Just there the elder bird interrupted him. "That is the one
condition. Never try to fly like other birds. Upon the day you
try to fly you shall be changed into your former self."
"Oh, what a shame that bright feathers cannot fly into the
sky!" cried the peacock. Already he grew restless. He longed to
soar through space. He yearned to fly above the trees high upward
to the sun.
"Oh, there I see a flock of birds flying thither! Oh! oh!"