|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain:
frame on his back, with his wrists and ankles tied to
ropes which led over windlasses at either end. There
was no color in him; his features were contorted and
set, and sweat-drops stood upon his forehead. A
priest bent over him on each side; the executioner
stood by; guards were on duty; smoking torches
stood in sockets along the walls; in a corner crouched
a poor young creature, her face drawn with anguish,
a half-wild and hunted look in her eyes, and in her lap
lay a little child asleep. Just as we stepped across the
threshold the executioner gave his machine a slight
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Charmides and Other Poems by Oscar Wilde:
When pilgrims kneel before the Holy One,
The prisoned shepherd of the Church of God.
Come down, O Christ, and help me! reach Thy hand,
For I am drowning in a stormier sea
Than Simon on Thy lake of Galilee:
The wine of life is spilt upon the sand,
My heart is as some famine-murdered land
Whence all good things have perished utterly,
And well I know my soul in Hell must lie
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Cruise of the Jasper B. by Don Marquis:
which the bridge is swung. But, as he lunged, the toolhouse door
opened, and a policeman, who was coming out wiping his mouth on
the back of his hand, received a jab in the pit of a somewhat
The officer grunted and stepped backward; then he came on,
raising his night-stick.
"Why, it's--it's McCarthy!" exclaimed Cleggett, who had also
sprung back, as the light fell on the other's face.
"Mr. Cleggett, by the powers!" said the officer, pausing and
lowering his lifted club. "Are ye soused, man? Or is it your
way of sayin' good avenin' to your frinds?"
|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 Meno by Plato:
their virtue was not grounded on knowledge.
MENO: That is probably true, Socrates.
SOCRATES: But if not by knowledge, the only alternative which remains is
that statesmen must have guided states by right opinion, which is in
politics what divination is in religion; for diviners and also prophets say
many things truly, but they know not what they say.
MENO: So I believe.
SOCRATES: And may we not, Meno, truly call those men 'divine' who, having
no understanding, yet succeed in many a grand deed and word?
SOCRATES: Then we shall also be right in calling divine those whom we were