|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Laches by Plato:
SOCRATES: Tell him then, Nicias, what you mean by this wisdom; for you
surely do not mean the wisdom which plays the flute?
NICIAS: Certainly not.
SOCRATES: Nor the wisdom which plays the lyre?
SOCRATES: But what is this knowledge then, and of what?
LACHES: I think that you put the question to him very well, Socrates; and
I would like him to say what is the nature of this knowledge or wisdom.
NICIAS: I mean to say, Laches, that courage is the knowledge of that which
inspires fear or confidence in war, or in anything.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Aesop's Fables by Aesop:
again the Fly tormented him, but this time the Man was wiser and
"You will only injure yourself if you
take notice of despicable enemies."
The Fox and the Stork
At one time the Fox and the Stork were on visiting terms and
seemed very good friends. So the Fox invited the Stork to dinner,
and for a joke put nothing before her but some soup in a very
shallow dish. This the Fox could easily lap up, but the Stork
could only wet the end of her long bill in it, and left the meal
as hungry as when she began. "I am sorry," said the Fox, "the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Three Taverns by Edwin Arlington Robinson:
At such a false and florid and far drawn
Confusion of odd nonsense, I connive
No longer, though I may have led you on.
So much is told and heard and told again,
So many with his legend are engrossed,
That I, more sorry now than I was then,
May live on to be sorry for his ghost.
You knew him, and you must have known his eyes, --
How deep they were, and what a velvet light
Came out of them when anger or surprise,
Or laughter, or Francesca, made them bright.
|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 Under the Andes by Rex Stout:
unreality--I know not what; it comes to my memory as some
indistinct and haunting nightmare.
Suddenly, as I sat gazing dully into the semidarkness of the
cavern, I saw that which drove the apathy from my brain with a
sudden shock, at the same time paralyzing my senses. I strained my
eyes ahead; there could be no doubt of it; that black, slowly
moving line was a band of Incas creeping toward us silently, on
their knees, through the darkness. Glancing to either side I saw
that the line extended completely around us, to the right and left.
The sight seemed to paralyze me. I tried to call to Harry--no
sound came from my eager lips. I tried to put out my hand to rouse