|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Phoenix and the Turtle by William Shakespeare:
With the breath thou giv'st and tak'st,
'Mongst our mourners shalt thou go.
Here the anthem doth commence:
Love and constancy is dead;
Phoenix and the turtle fled
In a mutual flame from hence.
So they lov'd, as love in twain
Had the essence but in one;
Two distincts, division none:
Number there in love was slain.
Hearts remote, yet not asunder;
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Wyoming by William MacLeod Raine:
was leading that the sheepman's interest was aroused. For on the
frontier it takes a strong, competent miscreant to be a bad man
and survive. Ineffectives and weaklings are quickly weeded out to
their graves or the penitentiaries.
The boy was manifestly under great fear of his chief, but the
curly haired young Hermes who kept watch with him had a very
winning smile and a charming manner when he cared to exert it.
Almost in spite of himself the youngster was led to talk. It
seemed that he had but lately joined the Teton-Shoshones outfit
of desperadoes, and between the lines Bannister easily read that
his cousin's masterful compulsion had coerced the young fellow.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Barlaam and Ioasaph by St. John of Damascus:
his presence, the being deprived of that glory which baffleth
description, the being made a spectacle unto the whole creation,
and the being put to shame, and shame that hath no ending. For,
after the passing of that terrible sentence, all things shall
abide immutable and unchangeable. The blissful life of the
righteous shall have no close, neither shall the misery and
punishment of sinners find an end: because, after him, there is
no higher Judge, and no defence by after-works, no time for
amendment, no other way for them that are punished, their
vengeance being co-eternal with them.
"Seeing that this is so, what manner of persons ought we to be in
|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 Walden by Henry David Thoreau:
lungs are sound, his spirits never flag. Even the sailor on the
Atlantic and Pacific is awakened by his voice; but its shrill sound
never roused me from my slumbers. I kept neither dog, cat, cow,
pig, nor hens, so that you would have said there was a deficiency of
domestic sounds; neither the churn, nor the spinning-wheel, nor even
the singing of the kettle, nor the hissing of the urn, nor children
crying, to comfort one. An old-fashioned man would have lost his
senses or died of ennui before this. Not even rats in the wall, for
they were starved out, or rather were never baited in -- only
squirrels on the roof and under the floor, a whip-poor-will on the
ridge-pole, a blue jay screaming beneath the window, a hare or