|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Apology by Plato:
Why do I mention this? Because I am going to explain to you why I have
such an evil name. When I heard the answer, I said to myself, What can the
god mean? and what is the interpretation of his riddle? for I know that I
have no wisdom, small or great. What then can he mean when he says that I
am the wisest of men? And yet he is a god, and cannot lie; that would be
against his nature. After long consideration, I thought of a method of
trying the question. I reflected that if I could only find a man wiser
than myself, then I might go to the god with a refutation in my hand. I
should say to him, 'Here is a man who is wiser than I am; but you said that
I was the wisest.' Accordingly I went to one who had the reputation of
wisdom, and observed him--his name I need not mention; he was a politician
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The New Machiavelli by H. G. Wells:
indignant perhaps, but totally unprepared with any ideas whatever in
the matter, face to face with the problem of bringing the British
constitution up-to-date. Anything may happen, provided only that it
is sufficiently absurd. If the King backs the Lords--and I don't
see why he shouldn't--you have no Republican movement whatever to
fall back upon. You lost it during the Era of Good Taste. The
country, I say, is destitute of ideas, and you have no ideas to give
it. I don't see what you will do. . . . For my own part, I mean to
spend a year or so between a window and my writingdesk."
I paused. "I think, gentlemen," began Parvill, "that we hear all
this with very great regret. . . ."
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Collected Articles by Frederick Douglass:
in a sailor named Stuart, a warm-hearted and generous fellow, who, from his
humble home on Centre street, saw me standing on the opposite sidewalk,
near the Tombs prison. As he approached me, I ventured a remark to him
which at once enlisted his interest in me. He took me to his home to spend
the night, and in the morning went with me to Mr. David Ruggles,
the secretary of the New York Vigilance Committee, a co-worker with
Isaac T. Hopper, Lewis and Arthur Tappan, Theodore S. Wright, Samuel Cornish,
Thomas Downing, Philip A. Bell, and other true men of their time.
All these (save Mr. Bell, who still lives, and is editor and publisher of a paper
called the "Elevator," in San Francisco) have finished their work on earth.
Once in the hands of these brave and wise men, I felt comparatively safe.
|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 A Kidnapped Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum:
the first time in many years the reindeer trotted into the Laughing
Valley, on their return, in broad daylight, with the brilliant sun
peeping over the edge of the forest to prove they were far behind
their accustomed hours.
Having put the deer in the stable, the little folk began to wonder how
they might rescue their master; and they realized they must discover,
first of all, what had happened to him and where he was.
So Wisk the Fairy transported himself to the bower of the Fairy Queen,
which was located deep in the heart of the Forest of Burzee; and once
there, it did not take him long to find out all about the naughty
Daemons and how they had kidnapped the good Santa Claus to prevent his
A Kidnapped Santa Claus