|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Paradise Lost by John Milton:
But him the gentle Angel by the hand
Soon raised, and his attention thus recalled.
Adam, now ope thine eyes; and first behold
The effects, which thy original crime hath wrought
In some to spring from thee; who never touched
The excepted tree; nor with the snake conspired;
Nor sinned thy sin; yet from that sin derive
Corruption, to bring forth more violent deeds.
His eyes he opened, and beheld a field,
Part arable and tilth, whereon were sheaves
New reaped; the other part sheep-walks and folds;
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Herodias by Gustave Flaubert:
deep black shadow; Hebron, in the background, was round-topped like a
dome; Eschol had her pomegranates, Sorek her vineyards, Carmel her
fields of sesame; and the tower of Antonia, with its enormous cube,
dominated Jerusalem. The tetrarch turned his gaze from it to
contemplate the palms of Jericho on his right; and his thoughts dwelt
upon other cities of his beloved Galilee,--Capernaum, Endor, Nazareth,
Tiberias--whither it might be he would never return.
The Jordan wound its way through the arid plains that met his gaze;
white and glittering under the clear sky, it dazzled the eye like snow
in the rays of the sun.
The Dead Sea now looked like a sheet of lapis-lazuli; and at its
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Divine Comedy (translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow) by Dante Alighieri:
"O Capaneus, in that is not extinguished
Thine arrogance, thou punished art the more;
Not any torment, saving thine own rage,
Would be unto thy fury pain complete."
Then he turned round to me with better lip,
Saying: "One of the Seven Kings was he
Who Thebes besieged, and held, and seems to hold
God in disdain, and little seems to prize him;
But, as I said to him, his own despites
Are for his breast the fittest ornaments.
Now follow me, and mind thou do not place
The Divine Comedy (translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
|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 Red Inn by Honore de Balzac:
upon the threshold of his door.
"By heavens! gentlemen," he cried, "a little later and you'd have had
to sleep beneath the stars, like a good many more of your compatriots
who are bivouacking on the other side of Andernach. Here every room is
occupied. If you want to sleep in a good bed I have only my own room
to offer you. As for your horses I can litter them down in a corner of
the courtyard. The stable is full of people. Do these gentlemen come
from France?" he added after a slight pause.
"From Bonn," cried Prosper, "and we have eaten nothing since morning."
"Oh! as to provisions," said the innkeeper, nodding his head, "people
come to the Red Inn for their wedding feast from thirty miles round.