What Astrological Element Am I? The Meaning and Signs of All Four Elements

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In western astrology, the universe is formed by the four elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. These are the outward manifestations of the true elements. Each of the four elements contains its own unique properties, which work simultaneously to create one united universe. None of the elements are inherently good or bad, however, each has both positive and negative qualities.

Whether you’re loud or quiet, timid, outgoing, impetuous, or logical, your personality is filled with complexity. It can be difficult to self-evaluate to gain insight into our base emotions and desires. That’s why finding your element can help. As you read over the qualities associated with each of the four elements of nature, you might have your “aha!” moment, or you might feel as though you don’t relate to certain aspects.

This variation is because every person is an utterly unique combination of elements. By finding your dominant element, you’ll be able to better appreciate your own strengths and weaknesses. This understanding will help you to build better, stronger relationships with those around you. Let your element be a guide to a more intuitive self.

Unlock this full-length episode about the Four Elements

What Are the Four Elements? Earth, Air, Fire, Water

The philosophy behind the four elements originates from the ancient Greeks who believed all matter consisted of a combination of these fundamental constituents. The purest form of these elements was impossible to attain and said to not exist on Earth; rather everything we perceive on Earth consists of some combination of the elements. We know now that there are many more elements than these four, however, they do correlate with the four states of matter accepted by modern science: solid, liquid, gas, and plasma.

When it comes to astrology, these elements have been ascribed to different characteristics that correspond with their nature.

Celestial Elements

What Element is Your Sign?

The Earth Element: Signs and Personality

TAURUS (April 20-May 20), VIRGO (August 23-September 22), CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19)

The Earth is stable and reliable, yet constantly working and moving. Those with the Earth element share these traits. You are practical and logical and stand firm in your convictions. You learn through experience, which is never difficult for a curious person like yourself. You aren’t interested in unrealistic dreams, but rather you believe in setting achievable goals that are attained through hard work.

You are an artist and love to create. Your home is welcoming and warm and always open to friends and family, which is fitting considering you’re a bit of a homebody. While you are always friendly, you do not let people into the inner circle easily. However, once you do, you are loyal to a fault. On the opposite side of this, you can sometimes be overprotective.

As it is impossible to stop the world from turning, it is also impossible to change your mind once it has been made up. You are stubborn and bull-headed and will often stick to your position for no other reason than it is your position. In relationships, you are empathetic and nurturing and don’t mind waiting out a few rough patches. But be careful, this also makes it easy for others to walk all over you.

Strengths:

  • Stable and consistent
  • Hard-working
  • Loyal
  • Nurturing
  • Logical
  • Empathetic

Weaknesses:

  • Lazy
  • Scornful
  • Overly cautious
  • Stubborn to the point of impractical
  • Rigid

The Air Element: Logical

GEMINI (May 21-June 21), LIBRA ( September 23-October 22), AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18)

Air is constantly in motion, even when you can’t see it. This is the same for the mind of a person with the Air element. Of the four elements, Air is the most concentrated on thought. You think through every decision thoroughly and often find clever solutions to difficult problems. You are studious and scholarly and often see “the big picture” when others cannot.

However, as changeable as the direction of the wind, Air people can also vary quite drastically. While some are outgoing, rational and clever, others are scattered, eccentric, and cold. You excel at multi-tasking, however, be careful as you are also easily distracted. You have the ability to multi-task but you are strongest when focused on one problem at a time.

Air is also what gives humans the ability for speech. Because of this you are witty and entertaining and are a welcomed guest at any party. Be aware that while you have charm, you sometimes lack social graces. Your focus is placed so often on logic, that you often overlook feelings. Commitment doesn’t come naturally to you.

Couple this with your sometimes insensitive nature and it makes relationships very difficult. You are not rooted in tradition. You go with what makes sense and don’t believe in doing something because “it’s how it has always been done.” This propensity for what others see as “radical thinking” and your quick mind makes you a natural born puppet master. While Fire may be the face of the uprising, you are the brains behind it.

Strengths:

  • Thoughtful
  • Witty
  • Charming
  • Carefree
  • Independent
  • Flexible

Weaknesses:

  • Inconsistent
  • Insensitive
  • Selfish
  • Flaky
  • Dishonest

Earth, Water, Air, Fire—the four elements

The Fire Element: Forceful

ARIES (March 21-April 19), LEO (July 23-August 22), & SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21)

Fire provides heat and light, but it cannot exist on its own. The same is true for people born to the Fire element. You are passionate, warm and light up every room. You are the life of the party and your natural intensity that compels others to take notice makes you a natural-born leader. You follow your gut instinct and become fully committed to what you believe. Of the four elements, Fire is by far the most entertaining, drawing, and dynamic. You have the power of transformation and can convert any negative situation into a positive one.

However, be wary. You can also easily turn a positive into a negative. Your passion turns to anger quickly and blinds you when hurting those close. When not contained, Fire spreads to anything nearby and so do you. You are often unfaithful and will follow any lead to serve your own self-interest. Fire needs other elements to survive.

While Air will make it grow, Earth will keep it burning steadily. The same is true for you. Your loved ones are what motivate you and keep you stable. Without them, your passion turns to obsession and you quickly exhaust yourself.

Strengths:

  • Passionate
  • Bright
  • Charismatic
  • Focused
  • Decisive
  • Daring

Weaknesses:

  • Prone to anger and rage
  • Obsessive
  • Unfaithful
  • Jealous
  • Easily irritated
  • Vindictive

The Water Element: Emotional

CANCER (June 22-July 22), SCORPIO (OCTOBER 23-November 21), PISCES February 19-March 20)

Water is constantly flowing, with much of its activity happening below the surface. Water people, while your outside may seem calm and collected, inside your emotions are in constant turmoil. You are compassionate and caring and can relate easily to others. You connect with people whole-heartedly, which can sometimes make you overly trusting.

When spread too thin you are ineffectual, but when collected and focused you are a force to be reckoned with. You see life as a journey and every movement you make is part of a definite path (though sometimes an unexpected one).

However, your ability to connect so deeply also makes you prone to carrying other people’s burdens. This compassion for others leaves your own needs neglected. Too many built-up negative emotions can lead to depression and often addiction. Your emotions ebb and flow, making you sometimes volatile and irrational.

You often feel the need to bring up deep topics during lighthearted situations, much to the annoyance of others. You must find balance in learning to help others and learning to help yourself in order to find harmony.

Strengths:

  • Understanding
  • Trusting
  • Devoted
  • Forgiving
  • Flexible

Weaknesses:

  • Unstable
  • Prone to depression
  • Irrational
  • Gullible
  • Lack of self

How to Balance Your Element

Balancing your element is important, just like anything in life. Too much of any one thing can lead to burnout, overindulgence, laziness, aloofness, or insecurity. By knowing which elements dominate your personality and what traits or habits are tied to those elements you can recognize when your over-extending yourself on one or another.

For instance, if you’re a fire sign, it’s important to remember the traits you naturally express, such as energy, elevated emotion, and passion. Practicing mindfulness, paying attention to the moments when you’re particularly fired up and correcting for this with calm and level-headedness will set you up for success and prevent confrontation.



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The History of Astrology

Little did I know 30 years ago when I mistakenly purchased an Astrology book, believing it to be a novel, I had just opened the door to an ancient system of insight and divination. A system as it turns out that would profoundly change my life. Like Alice through the Looking Glass, I fell into a world of signs and symbols representing some of humankind’s earliest observations and collective wisdom dating back almost 5,000 years.

In the Beginning

Today astrology and astronomy are distinct and separate disciplines. This wasn’t always so. Approximately 2000 B. C. our ancestors watched, studied, and mapped the movement of constellations of stars and planets as these celestial bodies appeared to rise over the Eastern horizon, and move on their appointed course across the sky. What at first must have seemed like random occurrences or chaos began to appear as purposeful patterns.

Based on years of watching this cosmic dance, observers created theories. Knowledge of repeating patterns became useful tools to predict seasons and weather conditions. These in turn guided the planting and harvesting of crops, migrations from one geographical area to another, and similar behaviors. In no small way, I am indebted to these early astrologers for painstakingly crafting observations into recommendations. Otherwise, I might be planting my vegetable garden in February instead of May! Hopefully it comes as no surprise that we are the fortunate recipients of our ancestors due diligence in connecting the celestial dots.

From the Egyptians to the Babylonians, to the Greeks, and Romans, the growing body of knowledge known as Astrology spread across the world. Why? Because it works. Success with predicting weather and natural disasters evolved into more sophisticated and complex theories and beliefs. These allowed devotees to take another leap and use the mapping of the celestial bodies to understand and predict events in the lives of human beings.

Soon it was not just farmers who relied on Astrology, but also kings and rulers kept cosmic savvy advisors by their sides. Great philosophers and mathematicians including Ptolemy, Plato, Aristotle, Copernicus and Sir Isaac Newton were among those scientists who experimented with the application of theories of astronomy and astrology. Hippocrates, the famous Greek physician is quoted as saying “A physician without a knowledge of Astrology has no right to call himself a physician.” Historically Astrology has been used to plan important actions ranging from declaring war to celebrating a wedding.

Throughout the history of Astrology, various cultures adopted these principles in one form or another. Systems were revised and adapted. In some cases, cultures developed their own fairly unique versions and interpretations. For example, there are 5 chinese zodiac elements (fire, wood, earth, metal, and water) and 12 animals. Today, Vedic and Western Astrology are probably the most popular and prevalent systems, with Western Astrology also known as Tropical, being the most familiar. (As a Western Astrologer, this article reflects my understanding and experience with this version.)

We Are More Than Our Sun Signs

What first grabbed my attention and made me give Astrology a second look, was realizing the history of astrology provides a rich, complex, but cohesive picture that involves not only the Sun, but all the known planets in our solar system. “What’s your Sun Sign?” is not only an antiquated pick-up line; it’s only the tip of the cosmic iceberg.

Throughout time, astrologers have developed simple yet sophisticated meanings for each of the planets. For example, the Sun represents personal ego and how we think of ourselves. The Moon describes emotional expression and may also be a key to understanding the relationship with our mothers. Mars represents motivation; Saturn is the planet of discipline; and so on. The real practice of astrology is far more complex and interesting than the familiar paragraph predictions based on Sun Sign Astrology. However, these pithy daily, weekly, or monthly horoscopes can be amazingly accurate and helpful!

Comparing Sun Sign Astrology to the usual more comprehensive practice of Astrology feels something like this. It’s the difference between telling you I am a woman; or telling you I am a woman raised by Catholic parents with nine siblings, with a master’s degree in business, a practicing animal communicator, convinced chocolate is one of the major food groups, and has a thing for James Bond movie music. Can you appreciate the richness and depth in the second approach?

Astrology Charts

Getting useful information using Astrology usually begins with the calculation of a chart. Simply, it is a picture of the earth and the surrounding constellations and planets at a specified time. Historically astrologers have recognized 12 star constellations which in turn are associated with the 12 Astrological Signs – Aries, Taurus, Gemini, and Cancer and so on. Most often, Astrology charts are drawn as circles and divided into 12 sections that look like pie wedges. Each of the 12 constellations or signs has its place around the perimeter of the circle of the chart. Each of the pie wedges are referred to as Houses each representing an area of life. For example partnerships, home, parents, siblings, work, career, money, friendships, and health as well as other important components are represented.

Charts are drawn according to mathematical calculations factoring in time, and location. Using the calculations along with ancient charts and graphs, an astrology chart for a specific individual birth or event can be drawn. Thank God for computers and modern astrological software. They make it possible for modern day astrologers to cast charts simply and with great precision. Having started out manually casting charts with blank paper, pencil, calculator and reference books, I have great appreciation for those who preceded me and for those software innovators!

Why Astrology?

The History of Astrology can be fascinating. But let’s face it. What interests me more is what can I do with it now? Why should I bother?

Astrology is used very effectively in the hands of competent practitioners as a tool for choosing the perfect date for a wedding, a root canal, or launching a successful business. However, one of its greatest contributions is in demystifying the human psyche. Astrological interpretation provides the basis for building a psychological profile of an individual or event based on the placement of the planets in Astrological signs and in the 12 chart houses at the time of birth. Along with planets, signs, and houses, astrologers carefully consider the interaction and relationship of each planet to the others. Collectively, we can build an insightful picture.

Astrology charts hold the keys to understanding many of life’s conundrums. They can describe how a person is likely to express their feelings. Do they take their cue from the air element and think them over or talk them out? Maybe they get physical like doing housework, mowing the lawn or chopping wood to work out frustration or anger. We can look at Mercury for clues to how a person thinks, learns or shares information. An Astrology chart also holds information about where we feel wounded, alone, alienated or ineffective. Fortunately they also can tell us about our strengths and greatest personal assets.

Parting Thoughts

Like all tools, Astrology is best left in the hands of experienced and trustworthy practitioners. The good news is there are plenty available. More good news: astrology may seem complicated and you’ll get no argument from me. However, learning this ancient tool can be easy especially when approached like peeling an onion – one layer at a time. Every layer can be rewarding and can enrich our lives many times over.

Astrology remains a controversial science, praised and touted by some, debunked by others. However, history demonstrates its universal appeal.

It’s not just you and I who may keep an astrologer on our speed dial. We are in the company of kings, emperors, philosophers, physicians, notable scientists, rock stars, world leaders, entrepreneurs and many others who are open to using the art of Astrology to inform our choices. The key word in that sentence is “inform”. Astrology like many other disciplines and sciences should never become our only point of reference or source of information and guidance.

How to Get a Great Astrological Reading

  1. Start by finding a great astrologer
  2. Ask friends, family, or co-workers for referrals
  3. Often metaphysical and spiritually-oriented websites, stores, and businesses can provide names
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for references or ask the potential Astrologer for information about their background and their style of reading
  5. Be clear about the purpose or intention for the reading. Are you looking for general information? Are you trying to schedule an important event like a wedding? Are you looking for clarity about your love life or maybe you want direction about changing careers or starting your own business
  6. Most people remember only a small fraction of what they hear. If you are interested in getting a recording of your session, make this arrangement before your appointment
  7. Assume the posture of a student or “beginner’s mind”. If you have a genuine intention of hearing valuable information or gaining insight, chances are you will
  8. Don’t leave your rational mind, intuition or common sense at home. Although you are relying on an expert, no one’s opinion should be more important than your own. As many have stated or paraphrased before, “Don’t be so open minded your brain falls out”
  9. Expect that much of what you hear will confirm what you already know or suspect about yourself, your emotions, your attitudes, beliefs, motivations and personality. That being said, it’s lovely to get confirmation
  10. Resist the temptation to dismiss information without at least considering it. It’s very typical that clients tell me something they initially did not understand or found difficult to accept, later was proven accurate and true. This includes very positive qualities. It is sometimes hard to hear and accept reflections that are positive about ourselves
  11. Run away as fast as you can, if a reading even hints at manipulation or a reader attempts to coerce you into a behavior that is uncomfortable. This includes suggestions that you are under a spell, possessed, or in some way under a black cloud or karmic obligation the Astrologer can release in exchange for something – usually money! I’m embarrassed that I even have to mention this one; but unfortunately, in every profession there are those whose integrity or ethics are suspect

Unless your situation or question is very serious, have fun. And even if your situation is serious, try to enjoy yourself when you explore astrology.

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