|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad:
of my two officers, the second mate barefooted, the chief
mate in long India-rubber boots, near the break of the poop,
and the steward halfway down the poop ladder talking to them eagerly.
He happened to catch sight of me and dived, the second
ran down on the main-deck shouting some order or other,
and the chief mate came to meet me, touching his cap.
There was a sort of curiosity in his eye that I did not like.
I don't know whether the steward had told them that I was "queer" only,
or downright drunk, but I know the man meant to have a good look at me.
I watched him coming with a smile which, as he got into point-blank range,
took effect and froze his very whiskers. I did not give him time
The Secret Sharer
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Cratylus by Plato:
dialect (aplos = aplous, sincere); thirdly, he is the archer (aei ballon),
always shooting; or again, supposing alpha to mean ama or omou, Apollo
becomes equivalent to ama polon, which points to both his musical and his
heavenly attributes; for there is a 'moving together' alike in music and in
the harmony of the spheres. The second lambda is inserted in order to
avoid the ill-omened sound of destruction. The Muses are so called--apo
tou mosthai. The gentle Leto or Letho is named from her willingness
(ethelemon), or because she is ready to forgive and forget (lethe).
Artemis is so called from her healthy well-balanced nature, dia to artemes,
or as aretes istor; or as a lover of virginity, aroton misesasa. One of
these explanations is probably true,--perhaps all of them. Dionysus is o
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Enoch Arden, &c. by Alfred Tennyson:
The county God--in whose capacious hall,
Hung with a hundred shields, the family tree
Sprang from the midriff of a prostrate king--
Whose blazing wyvern weathercock'd the spire,
Stood from his walls and wing'd his entry-gates
And swang besides on many a windy sign--
Whose eyes from under a pyramidal head
Saw from his windows nothing save his own--
What lovelier of his own had he than her,
His only child, his Edith, whom he loved
As heiress and not heir regretfully?
|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 Disputation of the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences by Dr. Martin Luther:
19.  Tenentur Episcopi et Curati veniarum apostolicarum
Commissarios cum omni reverentia admittere.
20.  Sed magis tenentur omnibus oculis intendere, omnibus
auribus advertere, ne pro commissione Pape sua illi somnia
21.  Contra veniarum apostolicarum veritatem qui loquitur, sit
ille anathema et maledictus.
22.  Qui vero, contra libidinem ac licentiam verborum
Concionatoris veniarum curam agit, sit ille benedictus.
23.  Sicut Papa iuste fulminat eos, qui in fraudem negocii