|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Damaged Goods by Upton Sinclair:
engagement was announced, and he claimed his first kiss from his
bride-to-be, as he placed a ring upon her finger, he remembered
the first time he had kissed Lizette, and a double blush suffused
his round countenance. When he walked arm and arm with Henriette
in the garden he remembered how he had walked just so with the
other girl, and he was interested to compare the words of the
two. He remembered what a good time had had when he had taken
Lizette and her little family for a picnic upon one of the
excursion steamers which run down the River Seine. Immediately
he decided that he would like to take Henriette on such a picnic,
and he persuaded an aunt of Henriette's to go with her as a
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce:
MALEFACTOR, n. The chief factor in the progress of the human race.
MALTHUSIAN, adj. Pertaining to Malthus and his doctrines. Malthus
believed in artificially limiting population, but found that it could
not be done by talking. One of the most practical exponents of the
Malthusian idea was Herod of Judea, though all the famous soldiers
have been of the same way of thinking.
MAMMALIA, n.pl. A family of vertebrate animals whose females in a
state of nature suckle their young, but when civilized and enlightened
put them out to nurse, or use the bottle.
MAMMON, n. The god of the world's leading religion. The chief temple
is in the holy city of New York.
The Devil's Dictionary
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Tao Teh King by Lao-tze:
nature of each, and are completed according to the circumstances of
their condition. Therefore all things without exception honour the
Tao, and exalt its outflowing operation.
2. This honouring of the Tao and exalting of its operation is not the
result of any ordination, but always a spontaneous tribute.
3. Thus it is that the Tao produces (all things), nourishes them,
brings them to their full growth, nurses them, completes them, matures
them, maintains them, and overspreads them.
4. It produces them and makes no claim to the possession of them; it
carries them through their processes and does not vaunt its ability in
doing so; it brings them to maturity and exercises no control over
|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 Bucolics by Virgil:
From flasks of Ariusian grape will pour
Sweet nectar. Therewithal at my behest
Shall Lyctian Aegon and Damoetas sing,
And Alphesiboeus emulate in dance
The dancing Satyrs. This, thy service due,
Shalt thou lack never, both when we pay the Nymphs
Our yearly vows, and when with lustral rites
The fields we hallow. Long as the wild boar
Shall love the mountain-heights, and fish the streams,
While bees on thyme and crickets feed on dew,
Thy name, thy praise, thine honour, shall endure.