|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Protagoras by Plato:
the effect of appearances, and, showing the truth, would fain teach the
soul at last to find rest in the truth, and would thus save our life.
Would not mankind generally acknowledge that the art which accomplishes
this result is the art of measurement?
Yes, he said, the art of measurement.
Suppose, again, the salvation of human life to depend on the choice of odd
and even, and on the knowledge of when a man ought to choose the greater or
less, either in reference to themselves or to each other, and whether near
or at a distance; what would be the saving principle of our lives? Would
not knowledge?--a knowledge of measuring, when the question is one of
excess and defect, and a knowledge of number, when the question is of odd
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf:
chair, with his father standing over her. He began to search among the
infinite series of impressions which time had laid down, leaf upon
leaf, fold upon fold softly, incessantly upon his brain; among scents,
sounds; voices, harsh, hollow, sweet; and lights passing, and brooms
tapping; and the wash and hush of the sea, how a man had marched up and
down and stopped dead, upright, over them. Meanwhile, he noticed, Cam
dabbled her fingers in the water, and stared at the shore and said
nothing. No, she won't give way, he thought; she's different, he
thought. Well, if Cam would not answer him, he would not bother her Mr
Ramsay decided, feeling in his pocket for a book. But she would answer
him; she wished, passionately, to move some obstacle that lay upon her
To the Lighthouse
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Lady Windermere's Fan by Oscar Wilde:
DUMBY. I didn't say it as a matter of conceit. I said it as a
matter of regret. I have been wildly, madly adored. I am sorry I
have. It has been an immense nuisance. I should like to be
allowed a little time to myself now and then.
LORD AUGUSTUS. [Looking round.] Time to educate yourself, I
DUMBY. No, time to forget all I have learned. That is much more
important, dear Tuppy. [LORD AUGUSTUS moves uneasily in his
LORD DARLINGTON. What cynics you fellows are!
CECIL GRAHAM. What is a cynic? [Sitting on the back of the sofa.]
|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 Land that Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
of the purpose of the strange little implement which I was poking
toward him. With a sound that was half human and half the growl
of a wild beast, he sprang toward me. I aimed at his heart and
fired, and as he sprawled headlong to the ground, the others of
his tribe, overcome by fright at the report of the pistol,
scattered toward the cliffs--while Lys, with outstretched arms,
ran toward me.
As I crushed her to me, there rose from the black night behind us
and then to our right and to our left a series of frightful
screams and shrieks, bellowings, roars and growls. It was the
night-life of this jungle world coming into its own--the huge,
The Land that Time Forgot