|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Barlaam and Ioasaph by St. John of Damascus:
an adulterer, one that defileth himself by unnatural lust, a
slayer of his father be a god?
"With Zeus also they represent one Hephaestus as a god, and him
lame, holding hammer and fire-tongs, and working as a copper-
smith for hire. So it appeareth that he is needy. But it is
impossible for one who is lame and wanteth men's aid to be a God.
"After him, they represent as a god Hermes, a lusty fellow, a
thief, and a covetous, a sorcerer, bowlegged, and an interpreter
of speech. It is impossible for such an one to be a God.
"They also exhibit Asklepius as god, a physician, a maker of
medicines, a compounder of plasters for his livelihood (for he is
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Glasses by Henry James:
explaining, especially when I found he had no acquaintance with my
brilliant model; had on the mere evidence of my picture taken, as
he said, a tremendous fancy to her looks. I ought doubtless to
have been humiliated by the simplicity of his judgment of them, a
judgment for which the rendering was lost in the subject, quite
leaving out the element of art. He was like the innocent reader
for whom the story is "really true" and the author a negligible
quantity. He had come to me only because he wanted to purchase,
and I remember being so amused at his attitude, which I had never
seen equally marked in a person of education, that I asked him why,
for the sort of enjoyment he desired, it wouldn't be more to the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Beauty and The Beast by Bayard Taylor:
will you give me time to reach you?" What her eyes replied she
knew not. A mighty influence drew her on, and a mighty doubt and
dread restrained her. One said: "Here is your lover, your
husband, your cherished partner, left by fate below your station,
yet whom you may lift to your side! Shall man, alone, crown the
humble maiden,--stoop to love, and, loving, ennoble? Be you the
queen, and love him by the royal right of womanhood!" But the
other sternly whispered: "How shall your fine and delicate fibres
be knit into this coarse texture? Ignorance, which years cannot
wash away,--low instincts, what do YOU know?--all the servile
side of life, which is turned from you,--what madness to choose
|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 Firm of Nucingen by Honore de Balzac:
mines, but the application must come from the lady.
" 'Poor Nucingen!' said the Baroness. 'What can have become of him?'
" 'He is in Belgium. His wife is petitioning for a separation of her
property; but he had gone to see if he can arrange with some bankers
to see him through.'
" 'Dear me! That reminds me of my poor husband! Dear M. de Rastignac,
how you must feel this, so attached as you are to the house!'
" 'If all the indifferent are covered, his personal friends will be
rewarded later on. He will pull through; he is a clever man.'
" 'An honest man, above all things,' said the Baroness.
"A month later, Nucingen met all his liabilities, with no formalities