|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Personal Record by Joseph Conrad:
Merchant Service I could not have been submitted to a more
microscopic examination. Greatly reassured by his apparent
benevolence, I had been at first very alert in my answers. But
at length the feeling of my brain getting addled crept upon me.
And still the passionless process went on, with a sense of untold
ages having been spent already on mere preliminaries. Then I got
frightened. I was not frightened of being plucked; that
eventuality did not even present itself to my mind. It was
something much more serious and weird. "This ancient person," I
said to myself, terrified, "is so near his grave that he must
have lost all notion of time. He is considering this examination
A Personal Record
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Little Rivers by Henry van Dyke:
waterfalls, with a fine trout lying at the foot of each of them and
rising merrily as the white fly passed over him--surely it was all
very good, and a memory to be grateful for. And when the basket
was full, it was pleasant to put off the heavy wading-shoes and the
long rubber-stockings, and ride homeward in an open carriage
through the fresh night air. That is as near to sybaritic luxury
as a man should care to come.
The lights in the cottages are twinkling like fire-flies, and there
are small groups of people singing and laughing down the road. The
honest fisherman reflects that this world is only a place of
pilgrimage, but after all there is a good deal of cheer on the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Ebb-Tide by Stevenson & Osbourne:
asked me to look in again; but I never let on to you fellows,
so's you'd not be disappointed. Consul tried M'Neil; scared of
smallpox. He tried Capirati, that Corsican and Leblue, or
whatever his name is, wouldn't lay a hand on it; all too fond of
their sweet lives. Last of all, when there wasn't nobody else
left to offer it to, he offers it to me. "Brown, will you ship
captain and take her to Sydney?" says he. "Let me choose my own
mate and another white hand," says I, "for I don't hold with this
Kanaka crew racket; give us all two months' advance to get our
clothes and instruments out of pawn, and I'll take stock tonight,
fill up stores, and get to sea tomorrow before dark!" That's
|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 Laches by Plato:
As to the art of the general, you yourselves will be my witnesses that he
has an excellent foreknowledge of the future, and that he claims to be the
master and not the servant of the soothsayer, because he knows better what
is happening or is likely to happen in war: and accordingly the law places
the soothsayer under the general, and not the general under the soothsayer.
Am I not correct in saying so, Laches?
LACHES: Quite correct.
SOCRATES: And do you, Nicias, also acknowledge that the same science has
understanding of the same things, whether future, present, or past?
NICIAS: Yes, indeed Socrates; that is my opinion.
SOCRATES: And courage, my friend, is, as you say, a knowledge of the