|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Gentle Grafter by O. Henry:
"I told Andy that I thought I knew of the exact party. An old friend
of mine, Zeke Trotter, who used to draw soda water and teeth in a tent
show, had made his wife a widow a year before by drinking some
dyspepsia cure of the old doctor's instead of the liniment that he
always got boozed up on. I used to stop at their house often, and I
thought we could get her to work with us.
"'Twas only sixty miles to the little town where she lived, so I
jumped out on the I.C. and finds her in the same cottage with the same
sunflowers and roosters standing on the washtub. Mrs. Trotter fitted
our ad first rate except, maybe for beauty and age and property
valuation. But she looked feasible and praiseworthy to the eye, and it
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Story of an African Farm by Olive Schreiner:
bent backs to keep it from sliding back. From the black ox's nostrils foam
and blood were streaming on to the ground. It turned its head in its
anguish and looked at me with its great starting eyes. It was praying for
help in its agony and weakness, and they took their whips again. The
creature bellowed aloud. If there is a God, it was calling to its Maker
for help. Then a stream of clear blood burst from both nostrils; it fell
on to the ground, and the wagon slipped back. The man walked up to it.
"'You are going to lie down, devil, are you? We'll see you don't take it
"The thing was just dying. He opened his clasp-knife and stooped down over
it. I do not know what I did then. But afterward I know I had him on the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Timaeus by Plato:
own fine expression, 'the thought of God made the God that was to be.' He
means (4) to draw an absolute distinction between the invisible or
unchangeable which is or is the place of mind or being, and the world of
sense or becoming which is visible and changing. He means (5) that the
idea of the world is prior to the world, just as the other ideas are prior
to sensible objects; and like them may be regarded as eternal and self-
existent, and also, like the IDEA of good, may be viewed apart from the
There are several other questions which we might ask and which can receive
no answer, or at least only an answer of the same kind as the preceding.
How can matter be conceived to exist without form? Or, how can the
|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 Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death by Patrick Henry:
our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make
a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power.
The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a
country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy
can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone.
There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will
raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the
strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir,
we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late
to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery!
Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston!