|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Euthyphro by Plato:
of dialectic Socrates is working his way into a deeper region of thought
and feeling. He means to say that the words 'loved of the gods' express an
attribute only, and not the essence of piety.
Then follows the third and last definition, 'Piety is a part of justice.'
Thus far Socrates has proceeded in placing religion on a moral foundation.
He is seeking to realize the harmony of religion and morality, which the
great poets Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Pindar had unconsciously anticipated,
and which is the universal want of all men. To this the soothsayer adds
the ceremonial element, 'attending upon the gods.' When further
interrogated by Socrates as to the nature of this 'attention to the gods,'
he replies, that piety is an affair of business, a science of giving and
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Wheels of Chance by H. G. Wells:
"No trouble. 'Ssure you," said Mr. Hoopdriver, mechanically and
bowing over his saddle as if it was a counter. Somehow he could
not find it in his heart to tell her that the man was beyond
there with a punctured pneumatic. He looked back along the road
and tried to think of something else to say. But the gulf in the
conversation widened rapidly and hopelessly. "There's nothing
further," began Mr. Hoopdriver desperately, recurring to his
stock of cliches.
"Nothing, thank you," she said decisively. And immediately, "This
IS the Ripley road?"
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Lamentable Tragedy of Locrine and Mucedorus by William Shakespeare:
Now Locrine comes, now, Humber, thou must die:
So that for fear and hunger, Humber's mind
Can never rest, but always trembling stands,
O, what Danubius now may quench my thirst?
What Euphrates, what lightfoot Euripus,
May now allay the fury of that heat,
Which, raging in my entrails, eats me up?
You ghastly devils of the ninefold Styx,
You damned ghosts of joyless Acheron,
You mournful souls, vexed in Abyss' vaults,
You coalblack devils of Avernus' pond,
|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 Symposium by Plato:
the birthday of Aphrodite there was a feast of the gods, at which the god
Poros or Plenty, who is the son of Metis or Discretion, was one of the
guests. When the feast was over, Penia or Poverty, as the manner is on
such occasions, came about the doors to beg. Now Plenty who was the worse
for nectar (there was no wine in those days), went into the garden of Zeus
and fell into a heavy sleep, and Poverty considering her own straitened
circumstances, plotted to have a child by him, and accordingly she lay down
at his side and conceived Love, who partly because he is naturally a lover
of the beautiful, and because Aphrodite is herself beautiful, and also
because he was born on her birthday, is her follower and attendant. And as
his parentage is, so also are his fortunes. In the first place he is