|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Father Sergius by Leo Tolstoy:
one. In the morning an important official had arrived and had
had a long conversation with him; after that a lady had come with
her son. This son was a sceptical young professor whom the
mother, an ardent believer and devoted to Father Sergius, had
brought that he might talk to him. The conversation had been
very trying. The young man, evidently not wishing to have a
controversy with a monk, had agreed with him in everything as
with someone who was mentally inferior. Father Sergius saw that
the young man did not believe but yet was satisfied, tranquil,
and at ease, and the memory of that conversation now disquieted
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Inaugural Address by John F. Kennedy:
Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days. . .
nor in the life of this administration, nor even perhaps
in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.
In your hands, my fellow citizens. . .more than mine. . .will rest the
final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded,
each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony
to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered
the call to service surround the globe. Now the trumpet summons us again. . .
not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need. . .not as a call to battle. . .
though embattled we are. . .but a call to bear the burden of a long
twilight struggle. . .year in and year out, rejoicing in hope,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Daughter of Eve by Honore de Balzac:
"You poor fool! Marie is here and is watching you," said one of them,
who was Vandenesse, disguised as a woman.
"If you choose to listen to me I will tell you secrets that Nathan is
hiding from you," said the other woman, who was the countess, to
Nathan had abruptly dropped Florine's arm to follow the count, who
adroitly slipped into the crowd and was out of sight in a moment.
Florine followed the countess, who sat down on a seat close at hand,
to which the count, doubling on Nathan, returned almost immediately to
guard his wife.
|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 Lay Morals by Robert Louis Stevenson:
sneers to himself at the mention of the engineer; and, close
by, the gunner, who had applied the match, passes away with a
smile of triumph, since it was through his hand that the
victorious blow had been dealt. Meanwhile, the cannon claims
the honour over the gunner; the cannon-ball, who actually
goes forth on the dread mission, claims it over the cannon,
who remains idly behind; the powder reminds the cannon-ball
that, but for him, it would still be lying on the arsenal
floor; and the match caps the discussion; powder, cannon-
ball, and cannon would be all equally vain and ineffectual
without fire. Just then there comes on a shower of rain,