|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Hiero by Xenophon:
despotically ruled by him? And to put the whole of them to death or to
imprison them is hardly possible; or who will be his subjects
presently? Not so, but knowing they are his enemies, he must perform
this dexterous feat: he must keep them at arm's length, and yet be
compelled to lean upon them.
 Lit. "he must at one and the same moment guard against them, and
yet be driven also to depend upon them."
But be assured, Simonides, that when a tyrant fears any of his
citizens, he is in a strait; it is ill work to see them living and ill
work to put them to the death. Just as might happen with a horse; a
noble beast, but there is that in him makes one fear he will do some
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Two Brothers by Honore de Balzac:
our skin as well as yours at this moment. Innocent or guilty, we must
protect you against the tumult raised by the murder of Captain Gilet.
And the crowd is not satisfied with suspecting you; they declare, hard
as iron, that you are the murderer. Monsieur Gilet is adored by all
the people, who--look at them!--want to take justice into their own
hands. Ah! didn't we see them, in 1830, dusting the jackets of the
tax-gatherers? whose life isn't a bed of roses, anyway!"
Joseph Bridau grew pale as death, and collected all his strength to
"After all," he said, "I am innocent. Go on!"
Poor artist! he was forced to bear his cross. Amid the hooting and
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Shadow Line by Joseph Conrad:
Not he! His carcass lies a hundred fathom under,
but he's just the same . . . in latitude 8 d 20'
He snorted defiantly. I noted with weary resig-
nation that the breeze had got lighter while he
raved. He was at it again.
"I ought to have thrown the beggar out of the
ship over the rail like a dog. It was only on ac-
count of the men. . . . Fancy having to read the
Burial Service over a brute like that! . . . 'Our
departed brother' . . . I could have laughed.
The Shadow Line
|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 The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot:
Here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks,
The lady of situations. 50
Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,
And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,
Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,
Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find
The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.
I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.
Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone,
Tell her I bring the horoscope myself:
One must be so careful these days.
The Waste Land