The Elements

    There are four elements: fire, earth, air and water. Elements refer to the vital forces, or energies, that make up the entire creation that is commonly perceived by human beings. The four elements reveal the ability to participate in certain realms of being and to tune in to specific fields of life experience. They each represent a basic kind of energy and consciousness that operates within everyone.

*The fire signs are Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.

General Characteristics of Fire Signs:

    Those with planets in fire signs have a simmering at-the-ready stance, as they hunt for things that light them up.  They’re prone to sudden illuminating flashes of insight and bursts of enthusiasm.  Like fire itself, they can flare up when inspired, making them seem very passionate about life.  They like to live large, and often feel frustrated by mundane chores and duties.

    Fire signs are known to be intuitive, and to rely on gut-level instincts.  Going on faith in their inner guidance gets them far, but they have a tendency to skip crucial steps, or to be unaware of the emotional impact of their actions.

The Fire Element in Astrology:

    When the fire element is present, there’s a warm radiance, a trust in life’s journey and a willingness to take risks.  Any party or celebration is made better with the presence of a fully-charged up fire sign.  They’re great catalysts for play, and liable to unearth the spontaneous side of those around them.  Because they sense a golden thread of destiny and potential running through their own lives, they have a knack for leading others to theirs.

Fire signs act on instinct or “sixth sense,” and that makes them look reckless to more cautious types.  They’re actually following a powerful intuition that keeps them at the leading edge of fresh experiences.

Fire is infused with the divine spark, and this can spread like wildfire to everyone around them. They’ve got a lust for life that is enviable. Those that are weighted down might try to toss a wet blanket on their enthusiasm, so Fire must vigilantly guard its beacon. It’s important for them to have cheerleaders to fan the flames of their interests.

But Fire that thinks only of itself learns the wisdom of the other elements the hard way.  They’ll keep coming up against resistance, until there is willingness to see there are no short cuts.  Each of the other elements has something to offer, and in return, Fire gives off a glow that is as nourishing as the rays of the Sun.

*The Earth Signs are Capricorn, Taurus and Virgo.

General Characteristics of Earth Signs:

    It’s common to hear someone described as “earthy.”  Such a person blends in with their natural habitat.  They’re sensual, meaning they engage with life through the five senses.  It takes time to sense the dense physical world, and earth signs can operate at a slower, more thorough pace than the other elements.

They’re oriented toward what’s real, and often this makes them very productive, able to create tangible results.  But if there are no balancing elements, earth’s extremes could lead to being a work-a-holic, hoarding of possessions, pettiness, getting stuck in the mundane, stubbornness, etc.

The Earth Element in Astrology:

Those with Earth signs often seem to inhabit their physical bodies which can be described in new-age terms as “grounded.”  Whatever their ground is — whether it is a high-rise office building or rural cottage — they’re sending out feelers through the senses.  The physical is the densest plane, and they’re masters at assessing and organizing tangible things.

One expression of Earth sign qualities, and I’m envisioning a hippie chick here, might be someone who is easy-going and languid, aware of the local flora and fauna, often have leaves in their hair or dirt on their hands.  They’re intimately attuned to the dance of nature, and love to spend time outdoors.

But Earth signs can just as easily work their magic in urban places, since they’re often centers of a certain kind of high-level productivity.  The focus on the tasks at hand make them vulnerable to the “all work and no play” cul de sac of life.  They’re more apt to base their reality on what is around them in form, instead of creating personal myths or assigning symbolic meanings to everything.  That’s why too much of a good thing — Earth — can be stifling to things like inspiration, going on faith, a sense of purpose.

Earth signs are here to shape, manifest, cultivate and revel in Earthly delights.  Their gift to others is bringing form to ideas, making them a balancing partner for an idle dreamer with potential.  They tend their own garden, and inspire others to make the most of theirs.

*The Air Signs are Libra, Aquarius and Gemini.

General Characteristics of Air Signs:

Those with planets in air signs use their minds to make sense of their lives.  With Air, there’s more space between the life lived and the observing mind.  This can lead air signs to appear detached, aloof, remote, cool.  Sometimes they’ll try to talk their way through feelings or analyze a situation instead of encountering it’s full emotional weight.

The gift of Air is flexibility, and their ability to experience life through many prisms.  They’re often excellent communicators, storytellers, interpreters and journalists.  They link people together socially, and often have a curiousity that keeps them out and about.

The Air Element in Astrology:

Those with planets in Air signs lead with the head, and those wheels are always turning  to analyze and interpret their world.  These are the “idea people,” who breeze in and offer a fresh perspective on the situation at hand.  As observers, they’re often seeing from a loftier position, and able to offer clarity that others don’t have.

The air signs are social creatures, since their currency is ideas, and they’ll find more stimulation when out mingling.  Some are drawn to words and become professional communicators, while others — especially Aquarius —  have a more conceptual way of thinking.  Air signs are masters at navigating through the collective waters, and therefore are astute commentators of the cultural trends, attitudes, consciousness of the times.

When Air is out of balance, you can encounter a talking head, someone cut off from his own physical self.  Air signs are more vulnerable to the excesses of our mind-body split, and could benefit from yoga and other somatic practices.  A meditation practice helps Air signs calm the static.

When Air is out of balance, you can encounter a talking head, someone cut off from his own physical self. Air signs are more vulnerable to the excesses of our mind-body split, and could benefit from yoga and other somatic practices. A meditation practice helps Air signs calm the static.

In relationships, the distance of Air to their emotions can be refreshing.  They’re great conversationalists because they’re the keepers of so much knowledge, gossip, strange factoids, etc.  Talking with an inspired Air sign can be like skipping through a kind of virtual reality full of detail, specificity and local color.

*The Water Signs are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.

General Characteristics of Water Signs:

Water signs are attuned to waves of emotion, and often seem to have a built-in sonar for reading a mood.  This gives them a special sensitivity in relationships, knowing when to show warmth and when to hold back.  At their best, they are a healing force that brings people together — at their worst, they are psychic vampires, able to manipulate and drain the life force of those closest to them.

Water signs are tuned into the many shades of meaning in relationships, and at times can absorb “vibes” from others.  They have to work harder than other elements to maintain their personal boundaries.

The Water Element in Astrology:

Those with planets in Water signs are often assessing a situation by its undercurrents.  It can give them an air of being aloof or even shy at first, but they’re the warmest of souls when you’ve won their trust.  Going forward in a relationship or situation often means being sure of their emotional ground, a kind of decision-making process that is baffling to others. Their perceptions border on psychic, but these insights get clouded by the intensity of feelings, or are altered by the vivid imagination.

The nuances of feeling experienced by Water signs can lead them into the arts.  Some find release from their own personal dramas when they’re able to express them as universal.  As writers, musicians and actors, they help others make sense of the human experience.  But this also happens in everyday life, since Water signs soften the edges of the mundane by padding it with emotional meaning.

Water is a formless element on its own, and that’s why those with this sign are so quickly shaped by their relationships to others.  They need time alone to remember where they end and others begin.  And to let what’s been stirred up by life find its way to a quiet calm again.  These are people who need people, but also need the restoring space of solitude.



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