|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Before Adam by Jack London:
times that afternoon we tried to regain the woods. But
the Tree People were lying in wait, and they drove us
back. Lop-Ear and I slept that night in a dwarf tree,
no larger than a bush. Here was no security, and we
would have been easy prey for any hunting animal that
In the morning, what of our new-gained respect for the
Tree People, we faced into the mountains. That we had
no definite plan, or even idea, I am confident. We
were merely driven on by the danger we had escaped. Of
our wanderings through the mountains I have only misty
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The King of the Golden River by John Ruskin:
so high, and its apples so red, and its grapes so blue, and its wine
so rich, and its honey so sweet, that it was a marvel to everyone
who beheld it and was commonly called the Treasure Valley.
The whole of this little valley belonged to three brothers,
called Schwartz, Hans, and Gluck. Schwartz and Hans, the two elder
brothers, were very ugly men, with overhanging eyebrows and small,
dull eyes which were always half shut, so that you couldn't see into
THEM and always fancied they saw very far into YOU. They lived by
farming the Treasure Valley, and very good farmers they were. They
killed everything that did not pay for its eating. They shot the
blackbirds because they pecked the fruit, and killed the hedgehogs
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Padre Ignacio by Owen Wister:
would be often fixed wistfully upon the harbor, watching for the
barkentine. Sometimes, as to-day, he mistook other sails for hers, but
hers he mistook never. That Pacific Ocean, which, for all its hues and
jeweled mists, he could not learn to love, had, since long before his
day, been furrowed by the keels of Spain. Traders, and adventurers, and
men of God had passed along this coast, planting their colonies and
cloisters; but it was not his ocean. In the year that we, a thin strip of
patriots away over on the Atlantic edge of the continent, declared
ourselves an independent nation, a Spanish ship, in the name of Saint
Francis, was unloading the centuries of her own civilization at the
Golden Gate. San Diego had come earlier. Then, slowly, as mission after
|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 Padre Ignacio by Owen Wister:
makes locks which that key cannot always fit at the first turn. And
coming to know this," said Padre Ignacio, fixing his eyes steadily upon
Gaston, "you will understand how great a privilege it is to help such
people, and how the sense of something accomplished--under God--should
bring Contentment with Renunciation."
"Yes," said Gaston Villere. Then, thinking of himself, "I can understand
it in a man like you."
"Do not speak of me at all!" exclaimed the Padre, almost passionately.
"But pray Heaven that you may find the thing yourself some day--
Contentment with Renunciation--and never let it go."
"Amen!" said Gaston, strangely moved.