|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Statesman by Plato:
STRANGER: But he ought not, like the calculator, to regard his functions
as at an end when he has formed a judgment;--he must assign to the
individual workmen their appropriate task until they have completed the
YOUNG SOCRATES: True.
STRANGER: Are not all such sciences, no less than arithmetic and the like,
subjects of pure knowledge; and is not the difference between the two
classes, that the one sort has the power of judging only, and the other of
ruling as well?
YOUNG SOCRATES: That is evident.
STRANGER: May we not very properly say, that of all knowledge, there are
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin:
now inhabiting the provinces in which the caves occur;
and the extinct species are much more numerous than those
now living: there are fossil ant-eaters, armadillos, tapirs,
peccaries, guanacos, opossums, and numerous South American
gnawers and monkeys, and other animals. This wonderful
relationship in the same continent between the dead and
the living, will, I do not doubt, hereafter throw more light
on the appearance of organic beings on our earth, and their
disappearance from it, than any other class of facts.
It is impossible to reflect on the changed state of the
American continent without the deepest astonishment. Formerly
The Voyage of the Beagle
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
It might be, too -- doubtless it was so, although she hid the
secret from herself, and grew pale whenever it struggled out of
her heart, like a serpent from its hole -- it might be that
another feeling kept her within the scene and pathway that had
been so fatal. There dwelt, there trode, the feet of one with
whom she deemed herself connected in a union that, unrecognised
on earth, would bring them together before the bar of final
judgment, and make that their
The Scarlet Letter
|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 In the Cage by Henry James:
trying to take it as she meant it and that he was neither
astonished nor angry. Oh the British tradesman--this gave her an
idea of his resources! Mr. Mudge would be angry only with a person
who, like the drunken soldier in the shop, should have an
unfavourable effect on business. He seemed positively to enter,
for the time and without the faintest flash of irony or ripple of
laughter, into the whimsical grounds of her enjoyment of Cocker's
custom, and instantly to be casting up whatever it might, as Mrs.
Jordan had said, lead to. What he had in mind was not of course
what Mrs. Jordan had had: it was obviously not a source of
speculation with him that his sweetheart might pick up a husband.