You may have heard someone talking about being a “water sign” but not really understood what this meant. Astrology is a complex system, which is why it’s so powerful.
Not only does this system weave together the powers of the planets and stars, but it is also about the relationship between the celestial plane, once associated with the Divine, and the natural realm here on Earth, associated with practical daily life.
Thus, a little bit of nature is interspersed in the DNA of Astrology. This is what is known as the elements. In the ancient times, most cultures recognized powers attributed to a set of elements, believed to be the building blocks of all life and bridge to the supernatural. Though different cultures used different specific facets of nature in their concept of “elements,” the four elements commonly discussed in Astrology are air, fire, water, and earth.
It’s worth noting that occultists and magicians also recognized the valuable properties of the elements, and the early prototypes of medicine and healing also drew on this system of elements. Centuries later, when Tarot was created, the elemental correspondences from magic and Astrology were incorporated into this system of fortune telling.
So, in this way, the elements create a common language that extends through various systems for understanding the spiritual side of life. When you understand the elements, and specifically, how each element unites certain signs and causes friction with others, you’ll better understand your destiny and life purpose. You’ll also hold a key to making relationships work, even when the conventional thinking is that you’re “not compatible.”
Think of each element as a family unit. Each element has three signs associated with it. This is why it’s called a triplicity. Though signs are linked by an element, the properties of that element will be expressed in unique ways from one specific sign to the next.
The four elements are also broken down into two types of energy: masculine and feminine. This has nothing to do with gender as we think of it now. Rather, masculine and feminine charges have more in common with the way this term is used in electrical work.
Consider that a batter has a + side and a – side. In this case, the + side is called “positive” but it is not because it is happy or upbeat. It’s just because it is the projective part of the battery, the end from which energy is sent out. The – side is called “negative” but it is not bad or cynical, it’s the part of the battery that receives.
So, when it comes to the elements, the positively charged or masculine elements are those which tend to assertively send their energy out into the world, projecting onto others. The elements which are negatively charged or feminine elements will be more likely to absorb, receive or hold space for energy put out by their polar opposites. Thus, harmony is created.
The Air Element
Air is associated with thought, the intellect, inspiration, creativity, and communication. It is also considered a projective/positive/masculine element, just like fire.
Thus, an air sign, the personality is intellectual, studious, and creative. Air sign people, those born with Sun in Gemini, Libra or Aquarius, tend to live in their heads. They’re chatty and love to tinker with electronics, learn new things, and connect with others through ideas.
They can become bored easily if they don’t have constant mental stimulation. They also tend to be flexible and adaptive. It’s as if the physical properties of air are influencing their personalities. They may be swift, witty, and capricious. Your message can be carried like the sound of the wind, influencing others. You may be imaginative – seeing the sky as the limit.
This element shows up in specific ways in each of the three air signs.
You crave conversation and love to absorb information. You are quick-witted, but can also be scattered. You love to connect with friends, especially when you can talk about your favorite collections. Gemini tends to be a messenger so writing, speaking, and teaching are your strong points.
Craves intellectual connection, often with a partner. Even when romance isn’t the hub of the partnership, you believe two people putting their heads together is better than one person working solo. You love art, culture, music, and can be passionate about causes you care about. You are idealistic and romantic; love is important to you. Libra is also concerned with creating beauty and comfort for those they love.
The most misunderstood of the air signs; Aquarius is often associated with water because the symbol is the water-bearer. Aquarius is intense, can be erratic and unpredictable, yet is a humanitarian. Aquarius senses what is on the horizon, and their ideas sometimes don’t seem realistic. Because they’re ahead of their time, it may take years for others to understand what Aquarius could imagine easily.
The Fire Element
Fire is the element of passion, focus, vitality, confidence, and strength. It is the element that helps us take action toward achieving our goals. What we imagine with the air element, we start to intentionally move toward creating with the fire element.
Fire also helps us transform obstacles into opportunities. This is why the fire signs, Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius, are considered to be among the most confident and courageous of the signs. The element of fire will manifest in different ways depending on the specific sign.
In this sign, fire is forceful, sometimes aggressive. Aries is like the warrior of the fire sign family. Impulsive and optimistic, Aries acts first and analyzes their options later. They are known to have a temper when provoked but can also be loyal, protective, and determined to succeed.
Fire gets a makeover in the sign of Leo. Instead of being intense and dominating, in Leo, fire is opulent, eccentric, creative, and feisty. Passions in this sign are harnessed openly. Leos bring out the theatric and inspiring aspects of the fire element. Ruled by the Sun, it’s not just the element of fire that is associated with this sign, but rather the epitome of the source of fire.
In this sign, fire finds its purpose and mission. Sagittarius is independent, philosophical, and driven by morals. Fire in this sign takes on more of an air-like quality, leading Sagittarius to be more intellectual. Yet still a fire sign, Sagittarius are direct, assertive, and always on a quest for truth and honor.
The Water Element
The water element is the first of the receptive/feminine elements, joined also by earth. Water is compassionate, emotional, sensitive, intuitive, and concerned with relationships. This can include family, romance, or friendships.
Water signs can be so perceptive that they are psychic. They can also be great healers and nurturers. The water element helps to clear emotions. Water can also carry the messages from the subconscious and is associated with intuition.
The nurturing expression of the water element comes out in this sign. Cancer is family-oriented, maternal, creative, and shrewd in business because they value emotional security.
The detective of the water signs. Scorpio seeks truth and sees through illusions. They are mysterious and prefer to keep their secrets hidden in the depths of their mind. Yet they can easily see right through others’ defenses and into their subconscious desires.
The mystic of the water signs. Pisces is impressionable, compassionate, and wants to create healing through empathy. They can be spiritual and creative. Their psychic senses and imaginations are so strong, sometimes they confuse these to instincts.
The Earth Element
The earth element is associated with manifestation because it is the last step in the process of creating something new. Earth represents the final, tangible fruits of your labor. Earth element signs can be stubborn, patient, determined, and hard-working.
As this element is also associated with the mundane, physical reality, it is also associated with money and health. Abundance in all forms connects to the earth element. Those born under earth signs may be financially comfortable but never quite feel they have enough.
That’s because earth element energy compels people to always want to seek more physical security. They may seem emotionally detached but are quite nurturing. The important thing to realize is that earth signs nurture people in practical ways. For this reason, they may also seem materialistic.
Financially savvy, charming, and sensual, Taurus is the artist of the earth signs. This sign is ruled by Venus, so love, beauty, and all things valuable are important to those born under this sign. It’s hard to gain a Taurus’s trust but when you do, they’re loyal for life.
The humble earth sign, concerned with healing and service. Virgos love nature and science, and are also the more intellectual of the earth signs. They’re always studying new ways to perfect the details of their work and lifestyle.
The businessperson of the earth signs, this sign is concerned with preserving tradition and investing in what will create stability. Capricorn can forego appearance and image, instead favoring bare-bones reliability.
Compatibility Among Elements
The elements, more than anything else, can help determine how signs will get along with each other. In Astrology, similarities work but opposites also attract. So, the basic rule is that each element will get along well with signs of the same element, because they speak a common language and have a shared affinity. There are a few potential exceptions here.
Earth signs may clash with other earth signs if each tries to force the other to conform to their standards because they can be rigid. Fire signs need to work to stay on the same page and not compete with or become jealous of each other.
Yet for the most part, your best match will be someone with a common element. Another way to determine compatibility is through the opposite elements, also known as the complementary element. Air and fire complement each other. Water and earth complement each other as well.
So, if you look at a Zodiac wheel, you’ll see that every air sign has a fire sign across from it and every water sign has an earth sign across from it. These opposing elements (even if it’s not exactly the opposite sign) can work well to help each person grow.
For instance, an Aries man and Gemini woman can complement each other’s gifts. Aries is decisive where Gemini hates committing to one course of action but will be flexible to accommodate others’ decisions. Gemini is open minded, where Aries can be focused on only one course of action.
The key to making complementary elements work is to realize that each element has something the other needs, which compels each to want to harmonize with each other. Compromise is essential in these cases.
If your element is not traditionally compatible with another sign, let’s say an air sign with an earth sign, all is not lost. The key to making things work is to be very mindful of your distinct natures each being valid.
For example, let’s say an air sign woman, Aquarius, is trying to date an earth sign man, a Capricorn. She needs to understand that his love of rules, structure, and tradition is as important to him as her need for space, independence, and innovation is to her.
For his part, he must understand that her creative and unorthodox lifestyle is an essential part of who she is. If he tries to get her to conform to tradition or stifles her in any way, it’s going to take away from her core identity and will not work.
Finding ways to honor the attributes of elements that aren’t easily compatible can be challenging. But it is possible for a relationship to work if the elements aren’t compatible, as long as both partners can truly accept each other and not try to change each other.
Usually, however, it’s easier for people to gravitate to elements that either enhance their own (same element) or complement their own (opposite element). Just like the physical elements in nature, water tends to smother fire, where air encourages it to spread, so air is more compatible. Earth can become more malleable with water, so these elements can work together. However, fire is destructive to earth and air tends to have little impact on earth.
With this new (or reviewed) knowledge of the elements in Astrology, you can now better understand yourself, your partner, and those around you. How we act in love and life can be influenced by these elements, and this knowledge can empower you to move forward and pursue the relationships that you’re after in life.
And if you still feel as though you need more guidance with your romantic and personal relationships, check out my VIP consultation service. There are still a few spots open for a one-on-one consultation where I can clear up any questions or blockages that you may have. Check it out right here.
Wishing you love and light on your journey,