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The Four Elements in Astrology
By Bonnie Moss
Empedocles,a Greek philosopher, scientist and
healer who lived in Sicily in the fifth century B.C.,
believed that all matter is comprised of the four
elements of earth, air, fire and water. Fire and
air are outwardly reaching elements, reaching up
and out, whereas earth and water turn inward
In her book, Four Elements in Ancient Greek Philosophy,
Tracy Marks describes a wide-ranging look at earth,
fire, water, and air, and the dynamic twin forces
of Love and Strife. Her book takes one to a journey
from ancient Greece to alchemy to Carl Jung's
association of sense, feeling, thoughts and intuition.
The Four Elements of Air, Fire, Water and Earth
describe the four unique personality types associated
with the zodiac signs. The elements exhibit profound
influence on basic character traits, behaviour, emotions,
thinking and intuition. Detractors consider these traits
too general, but these are reflected in our relationships,
and ambitions or lack thereof, and the unexpected
turns and twists that add spice to our lives.
Astrology aims to help us focus these energies
to the positive aspects, gain a better understanding
of our positive traits and deal with the negative
ones, thus realizing our full potential and give our
best to this life.
To deny these is to deny life and destiny. We all
need air to breathe, water to sustain our growth
and to cleanse us; fire to shelter us from the cold
and nourish us; earth to live on, together with
all the living things on it and to grow our food.
Astrology: Taurus, Capricorn, Virgo
Feel the Earth under our feet, the soil that
sustains all forms of life. Look at the power
and beauty of the mountains, a symbol of stability
and solidity of the earth. Everyday we experience
the physical world, we walk on this earth, enjoy
the beauty and bounty of Mother Earth and
feel the comfort of being on solid ground.
Associated with the signs Taurus, Capricorn and Virgo,
Earth represents the practical, realistic and
material side of our nature. It seeks to assert a
stable, secure and structured environment into which
we can function. Feel the earth under your feet,
solid and steady as you walk slowly.
Earth is patient and reliable. It is solid and strong.
To be on solid ground encourages one to seek
the practical and most logical answer to a problem.
Earth can be a stabilizing force in a relationship,
contributing structure and organization to achieve
Balance and harmony. Earth sustains growth - watch
plant life grow. From an acorn does an oak tree grow;
so does man grow from youth to maturity. Realize
the immense growth in every facet of life.
The over expression of this element can be seen in
a stubborn, rigid personality, one that strives to
remain in the comfort zone in life, afraid to take
risks. It can also manifest as a love of the material
side of life, the comforts of material well-being;
material worth can be over emphasized and this can
lead to a stressful, worrisome situation.
Weakness: attachment, stinginess, materialism,
resists change, too much attention to detail and
missing the big picture.
Astrology: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
The element Air is associated with the signs Gemini,
Libra, and Aquarius. It seeks to establish itself in the
realm of the intellect. It is through the process of
thinking that we develop ideas. It is through the
influence of this element that we learn to communicate.
Through air we gain and share knowledge.
Air contributes inventiveness, originality and
versatility to the personality. It gives that feeling
of freedom and unattachment; it reaches out to the
mental self. Enjoy that refreshing gentle breeze,
allow thoughts to flow freely and nourish the creative
moment. Air expresses love of people, the ability to
intellectualize, to appreciate the differences in
people. Accepting different perspectives, without which, there
would be a lack of vision and human interaction.
Thoughts are a continual force in our lives. Air is
associated with meditation, where deep breathing is
essential to reach that level of stillness, energy,
and relaxation. Air is used for transport, flying
and sailing. Let your thoughts soar to reach your
intellectual pursuits and realize your full potential.
An over expression of air's influence can be seen
as living in a dream world with unrealistic goals
and flights of fancy. Air should seek to maintain
practicality and develop consistency in dealing
with the real world.
Weakness of this element : lack of emotion,
depression, lack of connection with the higher
self, overactive mind that blocks inner peace
Astrology: Leo, Sagittarius, Aries
The signs Leo, Sagittarius, and Aries are associated
with the element Fire. It represents the life force
glowing within us. This element projects self-expression,
creativity, courage and enthusiasm. Feel the comforting
warmth of a fire or heat when you come in from the cold.
We need fire to meet the basic need of cooking our food.
Fire provides a sense of security, warmth and inspiration
that is shared with those around. Fire strengthens
self-confidence to tackle problems without hesitation.
Without fire, there is no radiance, no conviction,
A spark can light up new ideas, serve as a beacon
to light the way to achieve goals with conviction
An over-expression of fire can turn assertiveness
into aggression, daring into reckless behavior and
so forth. When fire's influence is out of control, it
seeks to consume all in its path.
Weakness: lack of interest, egotistic, excessive
Astrology: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
The element Water is associated with the signs of
Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces that influence the conscience
and the subconscious forces that act on our lives.
The element water pours forth to others. It allows
one to feel their pain and suffering and offer sincere
Psychic awareness is also present in the water signs
and shows itself from time to time with uncanny accuracy.
Water seeks to heal and nurture those around it.
Uncontrolled, this element can send emotions on a
turbulent path resulting in moodiness and unpredictable
highs and lows, like the crest and trough of the waves.
Water signs need serenity and calmness, like a gentle
flowing river nurturing all in its wake and at the same
time leading to the discovery of new paths.
Overly expressed, there is tendency to be too
emotional, deeply sensitive, and subjective. With too
much emotion, depression may result.
Weakness can result from being too protective and
possessive of loved ones; cold attitude and lack
of drive may arise.
A Balance of the Elements in Relationships
The best combination of each element type of
personality strives to create a balance of these
elemental aspects of each, thereby resulting in
relationship that thrives on mutual growth and harmony.
The element air in a relationship provides ideas
and dreams that fire can act on and forge into realities.
Water provides sensitivity and nurturing to the
sometimes cold reserved earthly approach to matters,
thereby laying the groundwork for future growth
in the relationship.
Balance can be achieved by realizing that water
can inject needed sensitivity and patience into
the fire sign. At the same time, Fire can add
drive and the courage to act that can at times be
lacking in the water signs.
Fire's initiative and drive can stimulate the sometimes
laid back and reserved nature of earth. At the same
time, earth's practicality and discipline can be
balancing to fire's sometimes impulsive ways.
When two elements of the same type combine, harmony
can be achieved when the needs and traits are the
same for both. However, it hinders growth when both
individuals become too comfortable to a point that the
needed spark for growth may be lacking.
Ideally, we should strive for a balance of the elements.
Other element combinations can also work as long as
both partners respect the other's needs and unique
traits that both bring into the relationship to utilize each others strengths to balance.
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