|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Laches by Plato:
his charge. I should not wish for any one else to be the tutor of
Niceratus. But I observe that when I mention the matter to him he
recommends to me some other tutor and refuses himself. Perhaps he may be
more ready to listen to you, Lysimachus.
LYSIMACHUS: He ought, Nicias: for certainly I would do things for him
which I would not do for many others. What do you say, Socrates--will you
comply? And are you ready to give assistance in the improvement of the
SOCRATES: Indeed, Lysimachus, I should be very wrong in refusing to aid in
the improvement of anybody. And if I had shown in this conversation that I
had a knowledge which Nicias and Laches have not, then I admit that you
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Virginibus Puerisque by Robert Louis Stevenson:
dishonourable to himself, his country, and her Majesty's ship.
Accordingly, he chose the latter, and steered into the Spanish
armament. Several vessels he forced to luff and fall under
his lee; until, about three o'clock of the afternoon, a great
ship of three decks of ordnance took the wind out of his
sails, and immediately boarded. Thence-forward, and all night
long, the REVENGE, held her own single-handed against the
Spaniards. As one ship was beaten off, another took its
place. She endured, according to Raleigh's computation,
"eight hundred shot of great artillery, besides many assaults
and entries." By morning the powder was spent, the pikes all
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Moon-Face and Other Stories by Jack London:
he herded his flock of golden specks so that not one should be lost. At last,
of the pan of dirt nothing remained but his golden herd. He counted it, and
then, after all his labor, sent it flying out of the pan with one final swirl
But his blue eyes were shining with desire as he rose to his feet. "Seven," he
muttered aloud, asserting the sum of the specks for which he had toiled so
hard and which he had so wantonly thrown away. "Seven," he repeated, with the
emphasis of one trying to impress a number on his memory.
He stood still a long while, surveying the hill-side. In his eyes was a
curiosity, new-aroused and burning. There was an exultance about his bearing
and a keenness like that of a hunting animal catching the fresh scent of game.
|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 Altar of the Dead by Henry James:
"I didn't understand before only because I didn't know. Now that I
know, I see what I've been living with for years," Stransom went on
She looked at him with a larger allowance, doing this gentleness
justice. "How can I then, on this new knowledge of my own, ask you
to continue to live with it?"
"I set up my altar, with its multiplied meanings," Stransom began;
but she quietly interrupted him.
"You set up your altar, and when I wanted one most I found it
magnificently ready. I used it with the gratitude I've always
shown you, for I knew it from of old to be dedicated to Death. I