|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Golden Sayings of Epictetus by Epictetus:
Eternity, but a human being--a part of the whole, as an hour is
part of the day. I must come like the hour, and like the hour
And now we are sending you to Rome to spy out the land; but
none send a coward as such a spy, that, if he hear but a noise
and see a shadow moving anywhere, loses his wits and comes flying
to say, The enemy are upon us!
So if you go now, and come and tell us: "Everything at Rome
is terrible: Death is terrible, Exile is terrible, Slander is
terrible, Want is terrible; fly, comrades! the enemy are upon
The Golden Sayings of Epictetus
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott:
be kind to you? Why, I was sure she loved you dearly."
"She was kind, but not in the right way, and it's lucky for
her she didn't love me, if I'm the good-for-nothing fellow you
think me. It's her fault though, and you may tell her so."
The hard, bitter look came back again as he said that, and
it troubled Amy, for she did not know what balm to apply.
"I was wrong, I didn't know. I'm very sorry I was so cross,
but I can't help wishing you'd bear it better, Teddy, dear."
"Don't, that's her name for me!" And Laurie put up his
hand with a quick gesture to stop the words spoken in Jo's
half-kind, half-reproachful tone. "Wait till you've tried it
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Across The Plains by Robert Louis Stevenson:
crowning bitterness of the pillory, we all court in essence the
same humiliation. We all profess to be able to delight. And how
few of us are! We all pledge ourselves to be able to continue to
delight. And the day will come to each, and even to the most
admired, when the ardour shall have declined and the cunning shall
be lost, and he shall sit by his deserted booth ashamed. Then
shall he see himself condemned to do work for which he blushes to
take payment. Then (as if his lot were not already cruel) he must
lie exposed to the gibes of the wreckers of the press, who earn a
little bitter bread by the condemnation of trash which they have
not read, and the praise of excellence which they cannot
|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 Soul of the Far East by Percival Lowell:
skill. For in his method there is no emending, no super-position,
no change possible. What he does is done once and for all.
The force of it grows on you as you gaze. Each stroke expresses
surprisingly much, and suggests more. Even omissions are made
significant. In his painting it is visibly true that objects can be
rendered conspicuous by their very absence. You are quite sure you
see what on scrutiny you discover to be only the illusion of
inevitable inference. The Far Oriental artist understands the power
of suggestion well; for imagination always fills in the picture
better than the brush, however perfect be its skill.
Even the neglect of certain general principles which we consider