|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Theaetetus by Plato:
that the reply should only be, right opinion with knowledge of difference
or of anything! And so, Theaetetus, knowledge is neither sensation nor
true opinion, nor yet definition and explanation accompanying and added to
THEAETETUS: I suppose not.
SOCRATES: And are you still in labour and travail, my dear friend, or have
you brought all that you have to say about knowledge to the birth?
THEAETETUS: I am sure, Socrates, that you have elicited from me a good
deal more than ever was in me.
SOCRATES: And does not my art show that you have brought forth wind, and
that the offspring of your brain are not worth bringing up?
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Master of the World by Jules Verne:
At this moment Mr. Ward returned and I interrupted my reading to say,
"There seems as yet no reason to complain of this sea-serpent. It
flees before big ships. It does not pursue little ones. Feeling and
intelligence are not very strong in fishes."
"Yet their emotions exist, Strock, and if strongly aroused--"
"But, Mr. Ward, the beast seems not at all dangerous. One of two
things will happen. Either it will presently quit these coasts, or
finally it will be captured and we shall be able to study it at our
leisure here in the museum of Washington."
"And if it is not a marine animal?" asked Mr. Ward.
"What else can it be?" I protested in surprise.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Reason Discourse by Rene Descartes:
see heads shortly after they have been struck off still move and bite the
earth, although no longer animated; what changes must take place in the
brain to produce waking, sleep, and dreams; how light, sounds, odors,
tastes, heat, and all the other qualities of external objects impress it
with different ideas by means of the senses; how hunger, thirst, and the
other internal affections can likewise impress upon it divers ideas; what
must be understood by the common sense (sensus communis) in which these
ideas are received, by the memory which retains them, by the fantasy which
can change them in various ways, and out of them compose new ideas, and
which, by the same means, distributing the animal spirits through the
muscles, can cause the members of such a body to move in as many different
|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 Caesar's Commentaries in Latin by Julius Caesar:
Ad haec cognoscenda, prius quam periculum faceret, idoneum esse
arbitratus C. Volusenum cum navi longa praemittit. Huic mandat ut
exploratis omnibus rebus ad se quam primum revertatur. Ipse cum omnibus
copiis in Morinos proficiscitur, quod inde erat brevissimus in Britanniam
traiectus. Huc naves undique ex finitimis regionibus et quam superiore
aestate ad Veneticum bellum fecerat classem iubet convenire.
Interim, consilio eius cognito et per mercatores perlato ad Britannos,
a compluribus insulae civitatibus ad eum legati veniunt, qui polliceantur
obsides dare atque imperio populi Romani obtemperare. Quibus auditis,
liberaliter pollicitus hortatusque ut in ea sententia permanerent, eos
domum remittit et cum iis una Commium, quem ipse Atrebatibus superatis