|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The King of the Golden River by John Ruskin:
him and fell thundering across his path; and though he had
repeatedly faced these dangers on the most terrific glaciers and in
the wildest weather, it was with a new and oppressive feeling of
panic terror that he leaped the last chasm and flung himself,
exhausted and shuddering, on the firm turf of the mountain.
He had been compelled to abandon his basket of food, which
became a perilous incumbrance on the glacier, and had now no means
of refreshing himself but by breaking off and eating some of the
pieces of ice. This, however, relieved his thirst; an hour's repose
recruited his hardy frame, and with the indomitable spirit of
avarice he resumed his laborious journey.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Roads of Destiny by O. Henry:
If other grounds were less abundant, Texas should be well up in the
lists of glory as the grateful republic. For both as republic and
state, it has busily heaped honours and solid rewards upon its sons
who rescued it from the wilderness.
Wherefore and therefore, Luke Coonrod Standifer, son of Ezra
Standifer, ex-Terry ranger, simon-pure democrat, and lucky dweller in
an unrepresented portion of the politico-geographical map, was
appointed Commissioner of Insurance, Statistics, and History.
Standifer accepted the honour with some doubt as to the nature of the
office he was to fill and his capacity for filling it--but he
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Barlaam and Ioasaph by St. John of Damascus:
your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil: learn to do
well. Come now, and let us reason together: though your sins be
as scarlet, I will make them white as snow; though they be red
like crimson, I will make them white as wool.' Such therefore
being the promises made by God to them that turn to him, tarry
not, O thou man, nor make delay: but draw nigh to Christ, our
loving God, and be enlightened, and thy face shall not be
ashamed. For as soon as thou goest down into the laver of Holy
Baptism, all the defilement of the old man, and all the burden of
thy many sins, is buried in the water, and passeth into
nothingness, and thou comest up from thence a new man, pure from
|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 Phaedo by Plato:
numbers, has every number even, without being evenness. Do you agree?
Then now mark the point at which I am aiming:--not only do essential
opposites exclude one another, but also concrete things, which, although
not in themselves opposed, contain opposites; these, I say, likewise reject
the idea which is opposed to that which is contained in them, and when it
approaches them they either perish or withdraw. For example; Will not the
number three endure annihilation or anything sooner than be converted into
an even number, while remaining three?
Very true, said Cebes.
And yet, he said, the number two is certainly not opposed to the number