|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from One Basket by Edna Ferber:
preferred that you go out of her shop hatless rather than with an
unbecoming hat. But whether you bought or not you took with you
out of Sophy Decker's shop something more precious than any
hatbox ever contained. Just to hear her admonishing a customer,
her good-natured face all aglow:
"My dear, always put on your hat before you get into your dress.
I do. You can get your arms above your head, and set it right.
I put on my hat and veil as soon's I get my hair combed."
In your mind's eye you saw her, a stout, well-stayed figure in
tight brassiere and scant slip, bare-armed and bare-bosomed, in
smart hat and veil, attired as though for the street from the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Barlaam and Ioasaph by St. John of Damascus:
past and gone. I charged thee not to try to attain to the
unattainable, and thou triest to catch me, though thou canst not
attain to my path. Besides which, I bade thee never believe a
word past belief, and behold thou hast believed that I had inside
me a pearl exceeding the measure of my size, and hadst not the
sense to see that my whole body doth not attain to the bulk of
ostrich eggs. How then could I contain such a pearl?"'
"Thus senseless, then, are also they that trust in idols: for
these be their handiwork, and they worship that which their
fingers made, saying, `These be our creators.' How then deem
they their creators those which have been formed and fashioned by
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Democracy In America, Volume 2 by Alexis de Toqueville:
subordination to which they have subjected themselves, and from
which they derive actual profit. They consent to serve, and they
blush to obey; they like the advantages of service, but not the
master; or rather, they are not sure that they ought not
themselves to be masters, and they are inclined to consider him
who orders them as an unjust usurper of their own rights. Then
it is that the dwelling of every citizen offers a spectacle
somewhat analogous to the gloomy aspect of political society. A
secret and intestine warfare is going on there between powers,
ever rivals and suspicious of one another: the master is
ill-natured and weak, the servant ill-natured and intractable;
|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 Herodias by Gustave Flaubert:
The guests found the second delay longer than the first. It seemed
tedious to every one.
Presently a sound of footsteps was heard in the corridor without; then
silence fell again. The suspense was becoming intolerable.
Suddenly the door was flung open and Mannaeus entered, holding at
arm's length, grasping it by the hair, the head of Iaokanann. His
appearance was greeted with a burst of applause, which filled him with
pride and revived his courage.
He placed the head upon a charger and offered it to Salome, who had
descended the steps to receive it. She remounted to the balcony, with
a light step; and in another moment the charger was carried about from