|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:
"Oh, set me free! I am glued to the tree like its own bark!
Cut me loose!" moaned the prisoner.
A young woman, carrying on her strong back a bundle of tightly
bound willow sticks, passed near by the lonely teepee. She heard
the wailing man's voice. She paused to listen to the sad words.
Looking around she saw nowhere a human creature. "It may be a
spirit," thought she.
"Oh! cut me loose! set me free! Iktomi has played me false!
He has made me bark of his tree!" cried the voice again.
The young woman dropped her pack of firewood to the ground.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Princess by Alfred Tennyson:
But something made to suit with Time and place,
A Gothic ruin and a Grecian house,
A talk of college and of ladies' rights,
A feudal knight in silken masquerade,
And, yonder, shrieks and strange experiments
For which the good Sir Ralph had burnt them all--
This ~were~ a medley! we should have him back
Who told the "Winter's tale" to do it for us.
No matter: we will say whatever comes.
And let the ladies sing us, if they will,
From time to time, some ballad or a song
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Democracy In America, Volume 1 by Alexis de Toqueville:
What influence could they possess over such men as we have
described? The Indian could live without wants, suffer without
complaint, and pour out his death-song at the stake. *j Like all
the other members of the great human family, these savages
believed in the existence of a better world, and adored under
different names, God, the creator of the universe. Their notions
on the great intellectual truths were in general simple and
[Footnote i: We learn from President Jefferson's "Notes upon
Virginia," p. 148, that among the Iroquois, when attacked by a
superior force, aged men refused to fly or to survive the
|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 Pupil by Henry James:
As soon as he comes back you shall have it out with him."
This was so frank and friendly that the young man could only reply,
laughing as his hostess laughed: "Oh I don't imagine we shall have
much of a battle."
"They'll give you anything you like," the boy remarked
unexpectedly, returning from the window. "We don't mind what
anything costs - we live awfully well."
"My darling, you're too quaint!" his mother exclaimed, putting out
to caress him a practised but ineffectual hand. He slipped out of
it, but looked with intelligent innocent eyes at Pemberton, who had
already had time to notice that from one moment to the other his