|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Marie by H. Rider Haggard:
in all probability we could buy grain.
What finally decided us to adopt this route, however, was that here in
these warm, low-lying lands there would be grass for the oxen. Indeed,
now, at the beginning of spring, in this part of Africa it was already
pushing. Even if it were not, the beasts could live upon what herbage
remained over from last summer and on the leaves of trees, neither of
which in this winter veld ever become quite lifeless, whereas on the
sere and fire-swept plains beyond the mountains they might find nothing
at all. So we determined to risk the savages and the lions which
followed the game into these hot districts, especially as it was not yet
the fever season or that of the heavy rains, so that the rivers would be
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Herodias by Gustave Flaubert:
Aulus on the right, the tetrarch occupying the middle couch.
Antipas wore a heavy black mantle, the texture of which was almost
hidden by coloured embroideries and glittering decorations; his beard
was spread out like a fan; blue powder had been scattered over his
hair, and on his head rested a diadem covered with precious stones.
Vitellius still wore the purple band, the emblem of his rank, crossed
diagonally over a linen toga.
Aulus had tied behind his back the sleeves of his violet robe,
embroidered with silver. His clustering curls were laid in carefully
arranged rows; a necklace of sapphires gleamed against his throat,
plump and white as that of a woman. Crouched upon a rug near him, with
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Chronicles of the Canongate by Walter Scott:
painful recollections of early faults and follies--some touch of
displeasure with living mankind--inclined me rather to a study of
antiquities, and particularly those of my own country. The
reader, if I can prevail on myself to continue the present work,
will probably be able to judge in the course of it whether I have
made any useful progress in the study of the olden times.
I owed this turn of study, in part, to the conversation of my
kind man of business, Mr. Fairscribe, whom I mentioned as having
seconded the efforts of my invaluable friend in bringing the
cause on which my liberty and the remnant of my property depended
to a favourable decision. He had given me a most kind reception
|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 God The Invisible King by H. G. Wells:
him, though we think but lightly of the men whose hands or voices he
sometimes uses. And we may think of him as having moods and
aspects--as a man has--and a consistency we call his character.
These are theorisings about God. These are statements to convey
this modern idea of God. This, we say, is the nature of the person
whose will and thoughts we serve. No one, however, who understands
the religious life seeks conversion by argument. First one must
feel the need of God, then one must form or receive an acceptable
idea of God. That much is no more than turning one's face to the
east to see the coming of the sun. One may still doubt if that
direction is the east or whether the sun will rise. The real coming