|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift:
There is likewise another great advantage in my scheme, that it
will prevent those voluntary abortions, and that horrid practice
of women murdering their bastard children, alas! too frequent
among us, sacrificing the poor innocent babes, I doubt, more to
avoid the expence than the shame, which would move tears and pity
in the most savage and inhuman breast.
The number of souls in this kingdom being usually reckoned one
million and a half, of these I calculate there may be about two
hundred thousand couple whose wives are breeders; from which
number I subtract thirty thousand couple, who are able to
maintain their own children, (although I apprehend there cannot
A Modest Proposal
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia by Samuel Johnson:
harmless. The evil of any pleasure that Nekayah can image is not
in the act itself but in its consequences. Pleasure in itself
harmless may become mischievous by endearing to us a state which we
know to be transient and probatory, and withdrawing our thoughts
from that of which every hour brings us nearer to the beginning,
and of which no length of time will bring us to the end.
Mortification is not virtuous in itself, nor has any other use but
that it disengages us from the allurements of sense. In the state
of future perfection to which we all aspire there will be pleasure
without danger and security without restraint."
The Princess was silent, and Rasselas, turning to the astronomer,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The United States Constitution:
Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or
engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger
as will not admit of delay.
Section 1. The executive Power shall be vested in a President
of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during
the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President
chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct,
a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives
to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or
The United States Constitution
|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 My Antonia by Willa Cather:
I'm reconciled to her being away from me now, but at first I
cried like I was putting her into her coffin.'
We were alone in the kitchen, except for Anna, who was pouring
cream into the churn. She looked up at me. `Yes, she did.
We were just ashamed of mother. She went round crying,
when Martha was so happy, and the rest of us were all glad.
Joe certainly was patient with you, mother.'
Antonia nodded and smiled at herself. `I know it was silly,
but I couldn't help it. I wanted her right here.
She'd never been away from me a night since she was born.
If Anton had made trouble about her when she was a baby, or wanted