|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Mirror of the Sea by Joseph Conrad:
getting under way. She, however, never "casts" her anchor.
To speak with severe technicality, a ship or a fleet is "brought
up" - the complementary words unpronounced and unwritten being, of
course, "to an anchor." Less technically, but not less correctly,
the word "anchored," with its characteristic appearance and
resolute sound, ought to be good enough for the newspapers of the
greatest maritime country in the world. "The fleet anchored at
Spithead": can anyone want a better sentence for brevity and
seamanlike ring? But the "cast-anchor" trick, with its affectation
of being a sea-phrase - for why not write just as well "threw
anchor," "flung anchor," or 'shied anchor"? - is intolerably odious
The Mirror of the Sea
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln:
to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember,
what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.
It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished
work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.
It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining
before us. . .that from these honored dead we take increased devotion
to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. . .
that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. . .
that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. . .
and that government of the people. . .by the people. . .for the people. . .
shall not perish from this earth.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Warlord of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
beneath a bower of purple blooms we saw two who had preceded us--
Thuvia of Ptarth and Carthoris of Helium.
The handsome head of the handsome youth was bent low above the
beautiful face of his companion. I looked at Dejah Thoris,
smiling, and as I drew her close to me I whispered: "Why not?"
Indeed, why not? What matter ages in this world of perpetual youth?
We remained at Kadabra, the guests of Talu, until after his
formal induction into office, and then, upon the great fleet which
The Warlord of Mars
|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 Idylls of the King by Alfred Tennyson:
After the day of darkness, when the dead
Went wandering o'er Moriah--the good saint
Arimathan Joseph, journeying brought
To Glastonbury, where the winter thorn
Blossoms at Christmas, mindful of our Lord.
And there awhile it bode; and if a man
Could touch or see it, he was healed at once,
By faith, of all his ills. But then the times
Grew to such evil that the holy cup
Was caught away to Heaven, and disappeared.'
To whom the monk: `From our old books I know