|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Critias by Plato:
Moreover, the land reaped the benefit of the annual rainfall, not as now
losing the water which flows off the bare earth into the sea, but, having
an abundant supply in all places, and receiving it into herself and
treasuring it up in the close clay soil, it let off into the hollows the
streams which it absorbed from the heights, providing everywhere abundant
fountains and rivers, of which there may still be observed sacred memorials
in places where fountains once existed; and this proves the truth of what I
Such was the natural state of the country, which was cultivated, as we may
well believe, by true husbandmen, who made husbandry their business, and
were lovers of honour, and of a noble nature, and had a soil the best in
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe:
fury of the dragon, bethinking himself of the brazen shield, and
of the breaking up of the enchantment which was upon it, removed
the carcass from out of the way before him, and approached
valorously over the silver pavement of the castle to where
the shield was upon the wall; which in sooth tarried not for his
full coming, but fell down at his feet upon the silver floor,
with a mighty great and terrible ringing sound."
No sooner had these syllables passed my lips, than--as if a
shield of brass had indeed, at the moment, fallen heavily upon a
floor of silver--I became aware of a distinct, hollow, metallic,
and clangorous, yet apparently muffled reverberation. Completely
The Fall of the House of Usher
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Woman and Labour by Olive Schreiner:
primitive community, and who would have been valuable even in any simpler
civilisation than our own, as machines of toil; but who, owing to lack of
intellectual or delicate manual training, have now no form of labour to
offer society which it stands really in need of, and who therefore tend to
form our Great Male Unemployed--a body which finds the only powers it
possesses so little needed by its fellows that, in return for its intensest
physical labour, it hardly earns the poorest sustenance. The material
conditions of life have been rapidly modified, and the man has not been
modified with them; machinery has largely filled his place in his old field
of labour, and he has found no new one.
It is from these men, men who, viewed from the broad humanitarian
|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 Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table by Oliver Wendell Holmes:
Before the change appears?
Remember, all their gifts have fled
With those dissolving years!"
Why, yes; for memory would recall
My fond paternal joys;
I could not bear to leave them all;
I'll take - my - girl - and - boys!
The smiling angel dropped his pen, -
"Why this will never do;
The man would be a boy again,
And be a father too!"
The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table