The Elements - Fire, Earth, Air and Water

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The elements in Astrology make it easy to understand ALL the Zodiac signs. You'll see that the elements are cyclical, and each solar season of the year has one of each. 

There are four elements in Astrology -- they are Fire, Air, Water and Earth.

It's repetitive to say, but elements are the very elements of life. They are primary energies that all wisdom traditions are aware of, and that makes them foundational. They are a major grouping in Astrology, which has a rhythm and logic as a symbolic language. 

Fire begins the solar year with Aries at the Spring Equinox. Then comes the next cardinal sign which is Water, to begin Summer Solstice. After that, the air sign Libra takes us to the Fall Equnox. The year is rounded out by earth and the Winter Solstice. 

Since long before written history, there's been an understanding of the elemental balance needed to sustain life. Many indigenous traditions honor the sacred circle, formed by the four elements, and seen in the Zodiacal wheel.

In an everyday sense, we know someone is earthy, or very detached (airy). They might be big feelers (water) or restless and inspired (fire). Some really have a dominant element -- do you know someone like this? 

I've noticed that people with very little air struggle to be objective thinkers -- they are often moving forward without a big picture. They rely on trusted friends for feedback, if they're lucky! 

In my chart, I've got a mix, but the earth element is not as prominent. And I find that I can e dreamy or think in an abstract way, and even be inspired, but it's hard for me to find traction. I've become much better with time and experience, to break down goals into the steps to get there. 

You might test youerself and see if you can guess someone's chart make-up. They might be overwrought, sentimental and poetic -- is she mostly water? Most of us though, are a blend of all the elements, and express all of them in some way.

Elements in the Birth Chart

In your own birth chart, the mix of elements shows you what you're working with in this life. Your cosmic blueprint may be heavy on the fire, but lack earth to ground you.

Each element behaves differently, and is one of three qualities -- how these mix in your chart, taking into account the planet and house placement, shines more light on your nature and life lessons.  

When you're missing an element, you'll benefit from consciously cultivating it. Seek out activities that put you right there, in that element's zone. 

The Fire Element - Too Much, Too Little

The Earth Element - Too Much, Too Little

The Air Element - Too Much, Too Little

The Water Element - Too Much, Too Little

The Zodiac signs for each element are similar. 

The signs in a grouping share certain associations:

  • Fire signs: the spirit, inspired, energy, instinctual, outgoing, active
  • Air signs: the mind, intellectual, ideas, detached, social, conceptual
  • Water signs:the emotions, imaginative, nurturing, introverted
  • Earth Signs: the body, practical, sensual, grounded

What are the Fire Signs?:

Aries, Leo and Sagittarius

What are the Air Signs?:

Libra, Gemini and Aquarius

What are the Earth Signs?:

Capricorn, Taurus and Virgo

What are the Water Signs?:

Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces

Elements in Antiquity

In recorded history, Ptolemy is credited with making the association between the four elements and the signs of astrology in the 2nd Century AD. Using longstanding theories of the four elements, he assigned three signs to each element.

That gives us the tidy triplicity (three signs) for each element. Seriously, once you get this, and see the pattern of the signs, you're going to know Astrology. 

The Greek philosophers found the four elements in all of life, and their Zodiacal wheel of cosmic energies reflected that balance. And yet, knowlege of the elements reaches back into the primal past, as the building blocks of ancient Earth.