|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Barlaam and Ioasaph by St. John of Damascus:
gods as these are worthy of death and are ungodly. If the
stories of the gods be myths, then are the gods mere words: but
if the stories be natural, then are they that wrought or endured
such things no longer gods: if the stories be allegorical, then
are the gods myths and nothing else. Therefore it hath been
proven, O king, that all these idols, belonging to many gods, are
works of error and destruction. So it is not meet to call those
gods that are seen, but cannot see: but it is right to worship as
God him who is unseen and is the Maker of all mankind.
"Come we now, O king, to the Jews, that we may see what they also
think concerning God. The Jews are the descendants of Abraham,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Dawn O'Hara, The Girl Who Laughed by Edna Ferber:
uncouth comfort, while the sun dapples down between the
leaves and, like a good fairy godmother, touches their
frayed and wrinkled garments with flickering
figures of golden splendor, while they sleep. They
always seemed so blissfully care-free and at ease--those
sprawling men figures--and I, to whom such simple joys
were forbidden, being a woman, had envied them.
Now I was reveling in that very joy, stretched prone
upon the ground, blinking sleepily up at the sun and the
cobalt sky, feeling my very hair grow, and health
returning in warm, electric waves. I even dared to cross
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry:
are wisest. They are the magi.
End of this Project Gutenberg Etext of THE GIFT OF THE MAGI.
The Gift of the Magi
|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 La Grenadiere by Honore de Balzac:
finding that even loving words were too weak to express his feeling,
"cherie, why are you afraid that you are going to die?"
"I am ill, my poor darling; every day I am losing strength, and there
is no cure for my illness; I know that."
"What is the matter with you?"
"Something that I ought to forget; something that you must never know.
--You must not know what caused my death."
The boy was silent for a while. He stole a glance now and again at his
mother; and she, with her eyes raised to the sky, was watching the
clouds. It was a sad, sweet moment. Louis could not believe that his
mother would die soon, but instinctively he felt trouble which he