|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Stories From the Old Attic by Robert Harris:
you with the bloom or with the stem?" he asked the couple.
"What are you talking about?" asked the young woman.
"It is written in the Book of Worn Out Sayings that 'in the rose
garden of life he who plucks thorns for his partner's bed is a fool.'"
"I don't understand," said the young man.
"Those who sell flowers put them in a pan of colored water and the
flowers take on the color of the water," concluded The Wise One. The
couple left confused and without resolving their dispute, but they
did seem to agree that their trip to The Wise One was worthless.
* * *
On one occasion two men came to The Wise One on the same day. The
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Mansfield Park by Jane Austen:
"They will not have much cause of triumph when they
see how infamously I act. But, however, triumph there
certainly will be, and I must brave it. But if I can be
the means of restraining the publicity of the business,
of limiting the exhibition, of concentrating our folly,
I shall be well repaid. As I am now, I have no influence,
I can do nothing: I have offended them, and they will
not hear me; but when I have put them in good-humour
by this concession, I am not without hopes of persuading
them to confine the representation within a much
smaller circle than they are now in the high road for.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Captain Stormfield by Mark Twain:
billions and billions of pure savages that talk a gibberish that
Satan himself couldn't understand. The fact is, where you strike
one man in the English settlements that you can understand, you
wade through awful swarms that talk something you can't make head
nor tail of. You see, every country on earth has been overlaid so
often, in the course of a billion years, with different kinds of
people and different sorts of languages, that this sort of mongrel
business was bound to be the result in heaven."
"Sandy," says I, "did you see a good many of the great people
history tells about?"
"Yes - plenty. I saw kings and all sorts of distinguished people."
|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 Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas:
laying it on the altar:
"I swear," she said, "by these sacred relics that Buckingham
was not my lover."
"What relics are those by which you swear?" asked Mazarin,
smiling. "I am incredulous."
The queen untied from around her throat a small golden key
which hung there, and presented it to the cardinal.
"Open, sir," she said, "and look for yourself."
Mazarin opened the coffer; a knife, covered with rust, and
two letters, one of which was stained with blood, alone met
Twenty Years After