|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Altar of the Dead by Henry James:
irritation proved perhaps the greatest misfortune that had ever
overtaken him. There had been nothing yet that made him so much
want to give up. He had of course by this time well reached the
age of renouncement; but it had not hitherto been vivid to him that
it was time to give up everything.
Practically, at the end of six months, he had renounced the
friendship once so charming and comforting. His privation had two
faces, and the face it had turned to him on the occasion of his
last attempt to cultivate that friendship was the one he could look
at least. This was the privation he inflicted; the other was the
privation he bore. The conditions she never phrased he used to
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Rewards and Fairies by Rudyard Kipling:
quite half an hour. Padda shuffled off his ox-hide, hunched
himself on his flippers before him, and listened with his head
thrown back. Yes - yess! A rather funny sight! Meon tried not to
laugh, and asked Eddi if he were satisfied.
'It takes some time to get an idea out of my good Eddi's head.
He looked at me.
'"Do you want to sprinkle him with holy water, and see if he
flies up the chimney? Why not baptize him?" said Meon.
'Eddi was really shocked. I thought it was bad taste myself.
'"That's not fair," said Meon. "You call him a demon and a
familiar spirit because he loves his master and likes music, and
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne:
throughout a grand drama--Sir, a simple, single, silly affair of that kind-
-is quite lost in five acts--but that is neither here nor there.
After a series of attacks and repulses in a course of nine months on my
uncle Toby's quarter, a most minute account of every particular of which
shall be given in its proper place, my uncle Toby, honest man! found it
necessary to draw off his forces and raise the siege somewhat indignantly.
Corporal Trim, as I said, had made no such bargain either with himself--or
with any one else--the fidelity however of his heart not suffering him to
go into a house which his master had forsaken with disgust--he contented
himself with turning his part of the siege into a blockade;--that is, he
kept others off;--for though he never after went to the house, yet he never
|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 Republic by Plato:
the sake of rewards and of reputation, but in themselves are disagreeable
and rather to be avoided.
I know, I said, that this is their manner of thinking, and that this was
the thesis which Thrasymachus was maintaining just now, when he censured
justice and praised injustice. But I am too stupid to be convinced by him.
I wish, he said, that you would hear me as well as him, and then I shall
see whether you and I agree. For Thrasymachus seems to me, like a snake,
to have been charmed by your voice sooner than he ought to have been; but
to my mind the nature of justice and injustice have not yet been made
clear. Setting aside their rewards and results, I want to know what they
are in themselves, and how they inwardly work in the soul. If you, please,