|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Tales of Unrest by Joseph Conrad:
"You've tried me to the utmost," he said at last; and as soon as he
said these words he lost his moral footing, and felt himself swept
away from his pinnacle by a flood of passionate resentment against the
bungling creature that had come so near to spoiling his life. "Yes;
I've been tried more than any man ought to be," he went on with
righteous bitterness. "It was unfair. What possessed you to? . . .
What possessed you? . . . Write such a . . . After five years of
perfect happiness! 'Pon my word, no one would believe. . . . Didn't
you feel you couldn't? Because you couldn't . . . it was
impossible--you know. Wasn't it? Think. Wasn't it?"
Tales of Unrest
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Horse's Tale by Mark Twain:
have worked me night and day in degraded employments, and beaten
me; they have fed me ill, and some days not at all. And so I am
but bones, now, with a rough and frowsy skin humped and cornered
upon my shrunken body - that skin which was once so glossy, that
skin which she loved to stroke with her hand. I was the pride of
the mountains and the Great Plains; now I am a scarecrow and
despised. These piteous wrecks that are my comrades here say we
have reached the bottom of the scale, the final humiliation; they
say that when a horse is no longer worth the weeds and discarded
rubbish they feed to him, they sell him to the bull-ring for a
glass of brandy, to make sport for the people and perish for their
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Cavalry General by Xenophon:
 So Jason, "Hell." VI. i. 4.
If, on the contrary, he elect to guard the territory outside the
walls with a number just sufficient to keep a look-out on the
enemy, and to withdraw into safe quarters from a distance whatever
needs protection--a small number, be it observed, is just as capable
of vedette duty, as well able, say, to scan the distant horizon, as a
large; and by the same token men with no great confidence in
themselves or in their horses are not ill-qualified to guard, or
withdraw within shelter the property of friends; since fear, as the
proverb has it, makes a shrewd watchman. The proposal, therefore, to
select from these a corps of observation will most likely prove true
|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 Euthyphro by Plato:
is the more extended notion of which piety is only a part. Do you dissent?
EUTHYPHRO: No, I think that you are quite right.
SOCRATES: Then, if piety is a part of justice, I suppose that we should
enquire what part? If you had pursued the enquiry in the previous cases;
for instance, if you had asked me what is an even number, and what part of
number the even is, I should have had no difficulty in replying, a number
which represents a figure having two equal sides. Do you not agree?
EUTHYPHRO: Yes, I quite agree.
SOCRATES: In like manner, I want you to tell me what part of justice is
piety or holiness, that I may be able to tell Meletus not to do me
injustice, or indict me for impiety, as I am now adequately instructed by