|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Tom Sawyer Abroad by Mark Twain:
lot in a kind of a church, and they called themselves
Whirling Dervishes; and they did whirl, too. I never
see anything like it. They had tall sugar-loaf hats on,
and linen petticoats; and they spun and spun and
spun, round and round like tops, and the petticoats
stood out on a slant, and it was the prettiest thing I
ever see, and made me drunk to look at it. They was
all Moslems, Tom said, and when I asked him what a
Moslem was, he said it was a person that wasn't a
Presbyterian. So there is plenty of them in Missouri,
though I didn't know it before.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Charmides and Other Poems by Oscar Wilde:
Panting in breathless sweet affright, and waited for the day.
On the green bank he lay, and let one hand
Dip in the cool dark eddies listlessly,
And soon the breath of morning came and fanned
His hot flushed cheeks, or lifted wantonly
The tangled curls from off his forehead, while
He on the running water gazed with strange and secret smile.
And soon the shepherd in rough woollen cloak
With his long crook undid the wattled cotes,
And from the stack a thin blue wreath of smoke
Curled through the air across the ripening oats,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Enemies of Books by William Blades:
and over-careful possessors, who, being unable to carry their
treasures into the next world, do all they can to hinder their
usefulness in this. What a difficulty there is to obtain admission
to the curious library of old Samuel Pepys, the well-known diarist.
There it is at Magdalene College, Cambridge, in the identical book-cases
provided for the books by Pepys himself; but no one can gain admission
except in company of two Fellows of the College, and if a single book
be lost, the whole library goes away to a neighbouring college.
However willing and anxious to oblige, it is evident that no one
can use the library at the expense of the time, if not temper,
of two Fellows. Some similar restrictions are in force at
|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 Alcibiades II by Platonic Imitator:
best and does not know what is best?
ALCIBIADES: So I think, at least.
SOCRATES: And both to the person who is ignorant and everybody else?
SOCRATES: Let us take another case. Suppose that you were suddenly to get
into your head that it would be a good thing to kill Pericles, your kinsman
and guardian, and were to seize a sword and, going to the doors of his
house, were to enquire if he were at home, meaning to slay only him and no
one else:--the servants reply, 'Yes': (Mind, I do not mean that you would
really do such a thing; but there is nothing, you think, to prevent a man
who is ignorant of the best, having occasionally the whim that what is