|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Voyage to Abyssinia by Father Lobo:
handful of it, cried out to me that I was poisoned; I had happily
not swallowed any of it, and throwing out what I had in my mouth, I
returned God thanks for this instance of his protection.
I crossed the Nile the first time in my journey to the kingdom of
Damote; my passage brought into my mind all that I had read either
in ancient or modern writers of this celebrated river; I recollected
the great expenses at which some Emperors had endeavoured to gratify
their curiosity of knowing the sources of this mighty stream, which
nothing but their little acquaintance with the Abyssins made so
difficult to be found. I passed the river within two days' journey
of its head, near a wide plain, which is entirely laid under water
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Symposium by Plato:
possessors of things good or fair?' 'Yes.' 'And you admitted that Love,
because he was in want, desires those good and fair things of which he is
in want?' 'Yes, I did.' 'But how can he be a god who has no portion in
what is either good or fair?' 'Impossible.' 'Then you see that you also
deny the divinity of Love.'
'What then is Love?' I asked; 'Is he mortal?' 'No.' 'What then?' 'As in
the former instance, he is neither mortal nor immortal, but in a mean
between the two.' 'What is he, Diotima?' 'He is a great spirit (daimon),
and like all spirits he is intermediate between the divine and the mortal.'
'And what,' I said, 'is his power?' 'He interprets,' she replied, 'between
gods and men, conveying and taking across to the gods the prayers and