|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Mucker by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
happy to be near the woman he loved.
With the long sword of Oda Yorimoto, Billy Byrne cut
saplings and bamboo and the fronds of fan palms, and with
long tough grasses bound them together into the semblance of
a rude hut. Barbara gathered leaves and grasses with which
she covered the floor.
"Number One, Riverside Drive," said the mucker, with a
grin, when the work was completed; "an' now I'll go down
on de river front an' build de Bowery."
"Oh, are you from New York?" asked the girl.
"Not on yer life," replied Billy Byrne. "I'm from good ol'
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Tao Teh King by Lao-tze:
by the Breath of Vacancy.
2. What men dislike is to be orphans, to have little virtue, to be as
carriages without naves; and yet these are the designations which
kings and princes use for themselves. So it is that some things are
increased by being diminished, and others are diminished by being
3. What other men (thus) teach, I also teach. The violent and strong
do not die their natural death. I will make this the basis of my
43. 1. The softest thing in the world dashes against and overcomes the
hardest; that which has no (substantial) existence enters where there
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Atheist's Mass by Honore de Balzac:
a sou, without a friend, without credit, and forced to work with
his five fingers to live at all! What would he do? Where would he
go to satisfy his hunger?
"Bianchon, if you have sometimes seen me hard and bitter, it was
because I was adding my early sufferings on to the insensibility,
the selfishness of which I have seen thousands of instances in
the highest circles; or, perhaps, I was thinking of the obstacles
which hatred, envy, jealousy, and calumny raised up between me
and success. In Paris, when certain people see you ready to set
your foot in the stirrup, some pull your coat-tails, others
loosen the buckle of the strap that you may fall and crack your
|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 Odyssey by Homer:
getting home again. I was all dismayed. Jove, however, sent the
ship's mast within my reach, which saved my life, for I clung to
it, and drifted before the fury of the gale. Nine days did I
drift but in the darkness of the tenth night a great wave bore
me on to the Thesprotian coast. There Pheidon king of the
Thesprotians entertained me hospitably without charging me
anything at all--for his son found me when I was nearly dead
with cold and fatigue, whereon he raised me by the hand, took me
to his father's house and gave me clothes to wear.
"There it was that I heard news of Ulysses, for the king told me
he had entertained him, and shown him much hospitality while he