|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom by William and Ellen Craft:
Friends, and a noble and generous-hearted farmer,
who lived at some distance in the country.
This good Samaritan at once invited us to go and
stop quietly with his family, till my wife could
somewhat recover from the fearful reaction of the
past journey. We most gratefully accepted the
invitation, and at the time appointed we took a
steamer to a place up the Delaware river, where our
new and dear friend met us with his snug little
cart, and took us to his happy home. This was the
first act of great and disinterested kindness we
Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Alcibiades I by Plato:
body? I should reply, the presence of health and the absence of disease.
You would say the same?
SOCRATES: And if you were to ask me the same question about the eyes, I
should reply in the same way, 'the presence of sight and the absence of
blindness;' or about the ears, I should reply, that they were improved and
were in better case, when deafness was absent, and hearing was present in
SOCRATES: And what would you say of a state? What is that by the presence
or absence of which the state is improved and better managed and ordered?
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from An International Episode by Henry James:
for your couturiere?"
"I am getting plenty of ideas," said Bessie, "but I don't know
that my couturiere would appreciate them."
Willie Woodley presently perceived a friend on horseback,
who drove up beside the barrier of the Row and beckoned to him.
He went forward, and the crowd of pedestrians closed about him,
so that for some ten minutes he was hidden from sight.
At last he reappeared, bringing a gentleman with him--a gentleman
whom Bessie at first supposed to be his friend dismounted.
But at a second glance she found herself looking at Lord Lambeth,
who was shaking hands with her sister.
|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 Glaucus/The Wonders of the Shore by Charles Kingsley:
his great poem, the more he learns the awful and yet most
comfortable truth, that they do not belong to him, but to One
greater, wiser, lovelier than he; and as he stands, silent with
awe, amid the pomp of Nature's ever-busy rest, hears, as of old,
"The Word of the Lord God walking among the trees of the garden in
the cool of the day."
One sight more, and we have done. I had something to say, had time
permitted, on the ludicrous element which appears here and there in
nature. There are animals, like monkeys and crabs, which seem made
to be laughed at; by those at least who possess that most
indefinable of faculties, the sense of the ridiculous. As long as