|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Phaedo by Plato:
understand how, when separated from the other, each of them was one and not
two, and now, when they are brought together, the mere juxtaposition or
meeting of them should be the cause of their becoming two: neither can I
understand how the division of one is the way to make two; for then a
different cause would produce the same effect,--as in the former instance
the addition and juxtaposition of one to one was the cause of two, in this
the separation and subtraction of one from the other would be the cause.
Nor am I any longer satisfied that I understand the reason why one or
anything else is either generated or destroyed or is at all, but I have in
my mind some confused notion of a new method, and can never admit the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass:
gilded splendor; this profusion of luxury; this exemption from
toil; this life of ease; this sea of plenty; aye, what of it all?
Are the pearly gates of happiness and sweet content flung open to
such suitors? _far from it!_ The poor slave, on his hard, pine
plank, but scantily covered with his thin blanket, sleeps more
soundly than the feverish voluptuary who reclines upon his
feather bed and downy pillow. Food, to the indolent lounger, is
poison, not sustenance. Lurking beneath all their dishes, are
invisible spirits of evil, ready to feed the self-deluded
gormandizers <87 DECEPTIVE CHARACTER OF SLAVERY>which aches,
pains, fierce temper, uncontrolled passions, dyspepsia,
My Bondage and My Freedom
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll:
`But you've got a bee-hive--or something like one--fastened to
the saddle,' said Alice.
`Yes, it's a very good bee-hive,' the Knight said in a
discontented tone, `one of the best kind. But not a single bee
has come near it yet. And the other thing is a mouse-trap. I
suppose the mice keep the bees out--or the bees keep the mice
out, I don't know which.'
`I was wondering what the mouse-trap was for,' said Alice. `It
isn't very likely there would be any mice on the horse's back.'
`Not very likely, perhaps,' said the Knight: `but if they DO
come, I don't choose to have them running all about.'
Through the Looking-Glass
|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 Commission in Lunacy by Honore de Balzac:
the door where the printers had left their marks, the dilapidated
window, and the ceiling on which the apprentices had amused themselves
with drawing monstrosities with the smoky flare of their tallow dips,
the piles of paper and litter heaped up in the corners, intentionally
or from sheer neglect--in short, every detail of the picture lying
before his eyes, agreed so well with the facts alleged by the Marquise
that the judge, in spite of his impartiality, could not help believing
"There you are, gentlemen," said the porter's wife; "there is the
manifactor, where the Chinese swallow up enough to feed the whole