|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The King of the Golden River by John Ruskin:
which was not often, for, to do the brothers justice, they were
hardly less sparing upon themselves than upon other people. At
other times he used to clean the shoes, floors, and sometimes the
plates, occasionally getting what was left on them, by way of
encouragement, and a wholesome quantity of dry blows by way of
Things went on in this manner for a long time. At last came
a very wet summer, and everything went wrong in the country round.
The hay had hardly been got in when the haystacks were floated
bodily down to the sea by an inundation; the vines were cut to
pieces with the hail; the corn was all killed by a black blight.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Hermione's Little Group of Serious Thinkers by Don Marquis:
about where they can see us and become corrupted
by our example.
The Best People owe those sacrifices to the
Masses, don't you think?
Of course, the waiters, and people like that,
really belong to the working classes too, I suppose.
But, as Fothergil Finch says, very often one
wouldn't know it. And who could expect a waiter
to be influenced one way or another by anything?
And it's the home life of the working classes that
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Arizona Nights by Stewart Edward White:
Nine, they doubted. On the tenth they gave him up--and he came.
They knew him first by the soft lowing of cattle. Jed Parker,
dazzled by the lamp, peered out from the door, and made him out
dimly turning the animals into the corral. A moment later his
pony's hoofs impacted softly on the baked earth, he dropped from
the saddle and entered the room.
"I'm late," said he briefly, glancing at the clock, which
indicated ten; "but I'm here."
His manner was quick and sharp, almost breathless, as though he
|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 In the South Seas by Robert Louis Stevenson:
plays with wreck and wrack and bottles. As the reflux drew down,
marvels of colour and design streamed between my feet; which I
would grasp at, miss, or seize: now to find them what they
promised, shells to grace a cabinet or be set in gold upon a lady's
finger; now to catch only MAYA of coloured sand, pounded fragments
and pebbles, that, as soon as they were dry, became as dull and
homely as the flints upon a garden path. I have toiled at this
childish pleasure for hours in the strong sun, conscious of my
incurable ignorance; but too keenly pleased to be ashamed.
Meanwhile, the blackbird (or his tropical understudy) would be
fluting in the thickets overhead.