|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Charmides by Plato:
idea that they too would give equally useful pieces of advice. Shall I
tell you, Socrates, why I say all this? My object is to leave the previous
discussion (in which I know not whether you or I are more right, but, at
any rate, no clear result was attained), and to raise a new one in which I
will attempt to prove, if you deny, that temperance is self-knowledge.
Yes, I said, Critias; but you come to me as though I professed to know
about the questions which I ask, and as though I could, if I only would,
agree with you. Whereas the fact is that I enquire with you into the truth
of that which is advanced from time to time, just because I do not know;
and when I have enquired, I will say whether I agree with you or not.
Please then to allow me time to reflect.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas:
escape from us!"
Others replied, "A vessel is waiting for him at Schevening,
a French craft. Tyckelaer has seen her."
"Honest Tyckelaer! Hurrah for Tyckelaer!" the mob cried in
"And let us not forget," a voice exclaimed from the crowd,
"that at the same time with Cornelius his brother John, who
is as rascally a traitor as himself, will likewise make his
"And the two rogues will in France make merry with our
money, with the money for our vessels, our arsenals, and our
The Black Tulip
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Royalty Restored/London Under Charles II by J. Fitzgerald Molloy:
excellent but credulous citizens bade him heartily welcome.
He therefore disappeared from their midst one day as suddenly and
unaccountably as he had come amongst them. He did not, however,
take himself afar, but donning a new disguise, retreated to a
more distant part of the city: for an idea had occurred to him
which he determined speedily to put in practice. This was to
assume the character and bearing of a sage astrologer and learned
physician, at once capable of reading the past, and laying bare
the future of all who consulted him; also of healing diseases of
and preventing mishaps to such as visited him. Accordingly,
having taken lodgings in Tower Street, at a goldsmith's house,
|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 Mosses From An Old Manse by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
clustered a dense and bushy under-growth, leaving, however,
barren spaces between the trees, thick strewn with withered
leaves. Whenever the rustling of the branches or the creaking of
the trunks made a sound, as if the forest were waking from
slumber, Reuben instinctively raised the musket that rested on
his arm, and cast a quick, sharp glance on every side; but,
convinced by a partial observation that no animal was near, he
would again give himself up to his thoughts. He was musing on the
strange influence that had led him away from his premeditated
course, and so far into the depths of the wilderness. Unable to
penetrate to the secret place of his soul where his motives lay
Mosses From An Old Manse