|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Old Indian Legends by Zitkala-Sa:
to the stars, howled and yelped most dismally. Even the cry of the
wolves was unheeded by the mice within the lighted buffalo skull.
They were feasting and dancing; they were singing and
laughing--those funny little furry fellows.
All the while across the dark from out the low river bottom
came that pair of fiery eyes.
Now closer and more swift, now fiercer and glaring, the eyes
moved toward the buffalo skull. All unconscious of those fearful
eyes, the happy mice nibbled at dried roots and venison. The
singers had started another song. The drummers beat the time,
turning their heads from side to side in rhythm. In a ring around
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Chinese Boy and Girl by Isaac Taylor Headland:
Here's a turnip for you and me;
Here's a pitcher, we'll go to town;
Oh, what a pity, we've fallen down.
At which point they both sat down back to back, their arms still
locked, and asked and answered the following questions:
What do you see in the heavens bright?
I see the moon and the stars at night.
What do you see in the earth, pray tell?
I see in the earth a deep, deep well.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Symposium by Plato:
and pursuit of the whole is called love. There was a time, I say, when we
were one, but now because of the wickedness of mankind God has dispersed
us, as the Arcadians were dispersed into villages by the Lacedaemonians
(compare Arist. Pol.). And if we are not obedient to the gods, there is a
danger that we shall be split up again and go about in basso-relievo, like
the profile figures having only half a nose which are sculptured on
monuments, and that we shall be like tallies. Wherefore let us exhort all
men to piety, that we may avoid evil, and obtain the good, of which Love is
to us the lord and minister; and let no one oppose him--he is the enemy of
the gods who opposes him. For if we are friends of the God and at peace
with him we shall find our own true loves, which rarely happens in this
|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 Moral Emblems by Robert Louis Stevenson:
The foreman's services were spared.
Thin would not count among his minions
A man of Wesleyan opinions.
'Money is money,' so he said.
'Crescents are crescents, trade is trade.
Pharaohs and emperors in their seasons
Built, I believe, for different reasons -
Charity, glory, piety, pride -
To pay the men, to please a bride,
To use their stone, to spite their neighbours,
Not for a profit on their labours.