|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Golden Sayings of Epictetus by Epictetus:
never said that he knew or taught anything. . . . Who amongst you
makes this his aim? Were it indeed so, you would gladly endure
sickness, hunger, aye, death itself.
How are we constituted by Nature? To be free, to be noble,
to be modest (for what other living thing is capable of blushing,
or of feeling the impression of shame?) and to subordinate
pleasure to the ends for which Nature designed us, as a handmaid
and a minister, in order to call forth our activity; in order to
keep us constant to the path prescribed by Nature.
The Golden Sayings of Epictetus
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Tapestried Chamber by Walter Scott:
simply rehearse, as I heard it, a story of supernatural terror.
About the end of the American war, when the officers of Lord
Cornwallis's army, which surrendered at Yorktown, and others, who
had been made prisoners during the impolitic and ill-fated
controversy, were returning to their own country, to relate their
adventures, and repose themselves after their fatigues, there was
amongst them a general officer, to whom Miss S. gave the name of
Browne, but merely, as I understood, to save the inconvenience of
introducing a nameless agent in the narrative. He was an officer
of merit, as well as a gentleman of high consideration for family
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Flower Fables by Louisa May Alcott:
smoothing their bright locks, and wearing fresh garlands of dewy
flowers. At length the Queen came forth, and her subjects gathered
round her, and while the flowers bowed their heads, and the trees
hushed their rustling, the Fairies sang their morning hymn to
the Father of birds and blossoms, who had made the earth so fair a
home for them.
Then they flew away to the gardens, and soon, high up among the
tree-tops, or under the broad leaves, sat the Elves in little groups,
taking their breakfast of fruit and pure fresh dew; while the
bright-winged birds came fearlessly among them, pecking the same
ripe berries, and dipping their little beaks in the same flower-cups,
|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 Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne:
of Iceland. But I assure you there is plenty left."
"Do you think so?" said my uncle, pretending to look very modest, and
trying to hide the curiosity was flashing out of his eyes.
"Oh, yes; how many mountains, glaciers, and volcanoes there are to
study, which are as yet but imperfectly known! Then, without going
any further, that mountain in the horizon. That is Snæfell."
"Ah!" said my uncle, as coolly as he was able, "is that Snæfell?"
"Yes; one of the most curious volcanoes, and the crater of which has
scarcely ever been visited."
"Is it extinct?"
"Oh, yes; more than five hundred years."
Journey to the Center of the Earth