|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Gods of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
until I had gained the rack at the far side of the room. Here
I turned to survey the sleeping men. All were quiet. Their
regular breathing rose and fell in a soothing rhythm that
seemed to me the sweetest music I ever had heard.
Gingerly I drew a long-sword from the rack. The scraping of the
scabbard against its holder as I withdrew it sounded like the
filing of cast iron with a great rasp, and I looked to see
the room immediately filled with alarmed and attacking guardsmen.
But none stirred.
The second sword I withdrew noiselessly, but the third
clanked in its scabbard with a frightful din. I knew that it
The Gods of Mars
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Chita: A Memory of Last Island by Lafcadio Hearn:
shrubs traversing the water toward the distant cypress-swamps.
Before the cheniere all the shell-beach slope was piled with
wreck--uptorn trees with the foliage still fresh upon them,
splintered timbers of mysterious origin, and logs in multitude,
scarred with gashes of the axe. Feliu and his comrades had saved
wood enough to build a little town,--working up to their waists
in the surf, with ropes, poles, and boat-hooks. The whole sea
was full of flotsam. Voto a Cristo!--what a wrecking there must
have been! And to think the Carmencita could not be taken out!
They had seen other luggers making eastward during the
morning--could recognize some by their sails, others by their
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Pathology of Lying, Etc. by William and Mary Healy:
extraordinary methods she has often simulated illnesses which
have demanded hospital treatment. For long she was lost to her
family, traveling about under different names, making her way by
her remarkable abilities and unusual presence.
This case illustrates, again, two points we have often made,
namely, that the difficulty of getting safe data concerning
genetics increases rapidly with age, and that the chance of
altering tendencies after years of character formation vastly
diminishes. These features appear strongly here, yet our long
knowledge of the person and of the many details of her career
gives the history great interest.
|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 Meno by Plato:
they abide with us they are beautiful and fruitful, but they run away out
of the human soul, and do not remain long, and therefore they are not of
much value until they are fastened by the tie of the cause; and this
fastening of them, friend Meno, is recollection, as you and I have agreed
to call it. But when they are bound, in the first place, they have the
nature of knowledge; and, in the second place, they are abiding. And this
is why knowledge is more honourable and excellent than true opinion,
because fastened by a chain.
MENO: What you are saying, Socrates, seems to be very like the truth.
SOCRATES: I too speak rather in ignorance; I only conjecture. And yet
that knowledge differs from true opinion is no matter of conjecture with