|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Daughter of Eve by Honore de Balzac:
then at the head of the government, who had no consideration whatever
for authors, among whom he did not find what Richelieu called a
consecutive mind, or more correctly, continuity of ideas; he counted
as any minister would have done on the constant embarrassment of
Raoul's business affairs. Sooner or later, necessity would bring him
to accept conditions instead of imposing them.
The real, but carefully concealed character of Raoul Nathan is of a
piece with his public career. He is a comedian in good faith, selfish
as if the State were himself, and a very clever orator. No one knows
better how to play off sentiments, glory in false grandeurs, deck
himself with moral beauty, do honor to his nature in language, and
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Walden by Henry David Thoreau:
ago, when it was dark with surrounding forests, tells me that in
those days he sometimes saw it all alive with ducks and other
water-fowl, and that there were many eagles about it. He came here
a-fishing, and used an old log canoe which he found on the shore.
It was made of two white pine logs dug out and pinned together, and
was cut off square at the ends. It was very clumsy, but lasted a
great many years before it became water-logged and perhaps sank to
the bottom. He did not know whose it was; it belonged to the pond.
He used to make a cable for his anchor of strips of hickory bark
tied together. An old man, a potter, who lived by the pond before
the Revolution, told him once that there was an iron chest at the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Land of Footprints by Stewart Edward White:
is human nature to do the latter. Therefore the native has not
abandoned his old gods; nor has he adopted a new. He still
believes firmly that his way is the best way of doing things, but
he acknowledges the Superman.
To the Superman, with all races, anything is possible. Only our
Superman is an idea, and ideal. The native has his Superman
before him in the actual flesh.
We will suppose that our own Superman has appeared among us,
accomplishing things that apparantly contravene all our
established tenets of skill, of intellect, of possibility. It
will be readily acknowledged that such an individual would at
|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 Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving:
which has furnished materials for many a wild story in that
region of shadows; and the spectre is known at all the country
firesides, by the name of the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow.
It is remarkable that the visionary propensity I have
mentioned is not confined to the native inhabitants of the
valley, but is unconsciously imbibed by every one who resides
there for a time. However wide awake they may have been before
they entered that sleepy region, they are sure, in a little time,
to inhale the witching influence of the air, and begin to grow
imaginative, to dream dreams, and see apparitions.
I mention this peaceful spot with all possible laud for it
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow