|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Tattine by Ruth Ogden [Mrs. Charles W. Ide]:
could "higher it," as Tattine said, or lower it, or swing it clear of the fire
on either side. At the end of the branch away from the fire hung a chain, with
a few blocks tied into it, for a weight, so that you lifted the weight with
one hand when you wished to change the position of the branch with the other,
and then let it rest on the ground again at the spot where you wanted the pole
to stay. You see, the great advantage of this was that, when you wished to see
how things were going on inside of the kettle, or to stop its boiling
instantly--you could just swing it away from the fire in no time, and not run
the risk of burning face or hands, or petticoats, if you belong to the
"Now," panted Tattine, for it was her turn to be breathless with running,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Reef by Edith Wharton:
by the hypnotic effect of the fresh air; and Effie,
kneeling, on the hearth, softly but insistently sought to
implant in her terrier's mind some notion of the relation
between a vertical attitude and sugar.
Darrow took a chair behind the little girl, so that he might
look across at her mother. It was almost a necessity for
him, at the moment, to let his eyes rest on Anna's face, and
to meet, now and then, the proud shyness of her gaze.
Madame de Chantelle presently enquired what had become of
Owen, and a moment later the window behind her opened, and
her grandson, gun in hand, came in from the terrace. As he
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Lesser Hippias by Plato:
SOCRATES: Then the good man will voluntarily do wrong, and the bad man
involuntarily, if the good man is he who has the good soul?
HIPPIAS: Which he certainly has.
SOCRATES: Then, Hippias, he who voluntarily does wrong and disgraceful
things, if there be such a man, will be the good man?
HIPPIAS: There I cannot agree with you.
SOCRATES: Nor can I agree with myself, Hippias; and yet that seems to be
the conclusion which, as far as we can see at present, must follow from our
argument. As I was saying before, I am all abroad, and being in perplexity
am always changing my opinion. Now, that I or any ordinary man should
wander in perplexity is not surprising; but if you wise men also wander,
|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 Happy Prince and Other Tales by Oscar Wilde:
a desk covered with papers, and in a tumbler by his side there is a
bunch of withered violets. His hair is brown and crisp, and his
lips are red as a pomegranate, and he has large and dreamy eyes.
He is trying to finish a play for the Director of the Theatre, but
he is too cold to write any more. There is no fire in the grate,
and hunger has made him faint."
"I will wait with you one night longer," said the Swallow, who
really had a good heart. "Shall I take him another ruby?"
"Alas! I have no ruby now," said the Prince; "my eyes are all that
I have left. They are made of rare sapphires, which were brought
out of India a thousand years ago. Pluck out one of them and take