|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Barlaam and Ioasaph by St. John of Damascus:
As for the king, when things fortuned thus, he was completely
bewildered, and plainly showed his sore vexation and tumult of
soul. So again he called all his senators together, and
considered what means were still his to deal with his son. Many
men put forward many counsels, but that Araches, of whom we have
spoken, the most famous in his office, and first of his
councillors, spake unto the king, saying, "What was there to be
done with thy son, O king, that we have not done, to induce him
to follow our doctrines and serve our gods? But, as I perceive,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Second Home by Honore de Balzac:
a liking that had grown up with her from childhood, that the deluded
man could not discern which of the two spoke the louder. Are not all
young men ready to trust the promise of a pretty face and to infer
beauty of soul from beauty of feature? An indefinable impulse leads
them to believe that moral perfection must co-exist with physical
perfection. If Angelique had not been at liberty to give vent to her
sentiments, they would soon have dried up in her heart like a plant
watered with some deadly acid. How should a lover be aware of bigotry
so well hidden?
This was the course of young Granville's feelings during that
fortnight, devoured by him like a book of which the end is absorbing.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Alcibiades II by Platonic Imitator:
SOCRATES: And what sort of a state do you think that would be which was
composed of good archers and flute-players and athletes and masters in
other arts, and besides them of those others about whom we spoke, who knew
how to go to war and how to kill, as well as of orators puffed up with
political pride, but in which not one of them all had this knowledge of the
best, and there was no one who could tell when it was better to apply any
of these arts or in regard to whom?
ALCIBIADES: I should call such a state bad, Socrates.
SOCRATES: You certainly would when you saw each of them rivalling the
other and esteeming that of the greatest importance in the state,
'Wherein he himself most excelled.' (Euripides, Antiope.)
|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 Dream Life and Real Life by Olive Schreiner:
hands together, till the jewelled rings almost cut into the fingers. "He
is everything to me; there is nothing else in the world. You, who are so
great, and strong, and clever, and who care only for your work, and for men
as your friends, you cannot understand what it is when one person is
everything to you, when there is nothing else in the world!"
"And what do you want me to do?"
"Oh, I don't know!" She looked up. "A woman knows what she can do. Don't
tell him that I love him." She looked up again. "Just say something to
him. Oh, it's so terrible to be a woman; I can't do anything. You won't
tell him exactly that I love him? That's the thing that makes a man hate a
woman, if you tell it him plainly."