Astrological Elements

In Western astrology, each of the twelve signs of the zodiac is associated with one of the four classical elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. There are thus three signs for each element and the members of each group will tend to share common traints.

As always, when determining the elemental make-up of a person’s astrological chart it is important not just to consider the Sun sign. When people talk about “my sign” they are usually referring to the Sun sign – the sign in which the sun was positioned when they were born.

The Sun sign is certainly important, usually the most important sign in the chart. A person’s Sun sign will tell you a lot about them. However there are also all the other planets to consider, all of which will be in signs themselves. These can emphasise, modify or even counter the effect of the Sun sign. In addition, the aspects between the planets will affect exactly how the signs interact. It is therefore overly simplistic to say that, for example, someone who is “a Taurus” will be purely earth-based.

All the elements in astrology have their good points, all have disadvantages if taken to extremes. An “ideal” chart will contain a harmonious balance of all four working together.

Fire Signs

The three fire signs of the zodiac are Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.

Astrological fire signs are associated with energy and power. People with a high level of fire in their chart tend to be good starters, motivators and action-based people. They are likely to take charge and have a “can do” approach.

If unbalanced by the other elements, an over-abundance of fire can result in someone being arrogant and bossy. Sometimes they are so enthusiastic about each new project that they never get round to finishing the previous one.

Earth Signs

The three earth signs of the zodiac are Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn.

Earth people are often, as the name suggests, “down to earth”. They tend to be practical and reliable. Patience and determination are common in earth signs, once they set their mind on something they don’t get distracted.

Taken to extremes, too much earth without balance can result in someone who is dull and unimaginative. They can be stubborn and overly-conventional.

Air Signs

The three air signs of the zodiac are Gemini, Libra and Aquarius.

People with an abundance of astrological air signs are usually talkers and thinkers. Words and ideas are their stock-in-trade, they make great problem solvers. They are good at thinking through situations and seeing all possible outcomes. Flexibility and individualism are important to them.

Too much air without a balance of the other signs can result in someone who is all talk but no action. Air signs can sometimes seem superficial, flitting from one idea to the next without ever actually achieving anything solid. They can over-analyse and sometimes seem cold and unemotional.

Water Signs

The three water signs of the zodiac are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.

Water is the emotional element in astrology. Water people tend to be feeling people – intuitive, sensitive and caring. They have a high degree of empathy and are often more concerned with the needs of others than of themselves.

Taken to an extreme, too much water in a chart can produce someone who is over-emotional, who suffers too much. They experience the whole emotional range from the highest highs to the lowest lows. Sometimes other people find their depth of feeling uncomfortable, even smothering or possessive.