|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Of The Nature of Things by Lucretius:
Body is borne like ship with oars and wind.
Nor yet in these affairs is aught for wonder
That particles so fine can whirl around
So great a body and turn this weight of ours;
For wind, so tenuous with its subtle body,
Yet pushes, driving on the mighty ship
Of mighty bulk; one hand directs the same,
Whatever its momentum, and one helm
Whirls it around, whither ye please; and loads,
Many and huge, are moved and hoisted high
By enginery of pulley-blocks and wheels,
Of The Nature of Things
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Flame and Shadow by Sara Teasdale:
Bending low and tinkling in the sharp thin breeze,
And iridescent crystals fall and crackle on the snow-crust
With the winter sun drawing cold blue shadows from the trees.
Violet now, in veil on veil of evening
The hills across from Cromwell grow dreamy and far;
A wood-thrush is singing soft as a viol
In the heart of the hollow where the dark pools are;
The primrose has opened her pale yellow flowers
And heaven is lighting star after star.
Places I love come back to me like music --
Mid-ocean, midnight, the waves buzz drowsily;
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Aspern Papers by Henry James:
It was not to be supposed that the emotion produced by her aunt's
death had blotted out the recollection that I was interested
in that lady's relics, and I fidgeted afterward as it came
to me that her reticence might very possibly mean simply
that nothing had been found. We separated in the garden
(it was she who said she must go in); now that she was alone
in the rooms I felt that (judged, at any rate, by Venetian ideas)
I was on rather a different footing in regard to visiting her there.
As I shook hands with her for goodnight I asked her if she
had any general plan--had thought over what she had better do.
"Oh, yes, oh, yes, but I haven't settled anything yet,"
|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 Eryxias by Platonic Imitator:
unless we set to work in earnest, and go against them with a great
expedition, will never submit to our rule. The petty injuries which we at
present inflict merely irritate them enough to make them utterly
intractable. And now they have sent ambassadors to Athens, and intend, I
suspect, to play us some trick.--While we were talking, the Syracusan
envoys chanced to go by, and Erasistratus, pointing to one of them, said to
me, That, Socrates, is the richest man in all Italy and Sicily. For who
has larger estates or more land at his disposal to cultivate if he please?
And they are of a quality, too, finer than any other land in Hellas.
Moreover, he has all the things which go to make up wealth, slaves and
horses innumerable, gold and silver without end.