The Four Elements in Astrology: Introduction

As I was preparing to write about the astrology elements and signs, I read about how scientists from one of the world’s top universities are studying whether our destiny is pre-programmed in our genes. They argue that it doesn’t matter what you do to try and change yourself – ultimately you become the person nature intended. So, if you’re meant to be an Olympic athlete you will become one. If you’re on a constant diet – it’s because nature intended you to be a more ‘comfortable’ build and if you’re not a genius, no amount of studying is going to add extra power to your brain cells.

For an astrologer that’s hardly big news. We come into the world with an astrological blueprint – and while we are always free to make choices about everything in our lives, those choices fall within the parameters set by fate. However, they way in which your destiny unfolds is always a conscious choice so, it’s up to you whether your life’s journey is the product of conscious awareness or not .

Your natal chart shows your potentials – the gifts and talents at your disposal as you travel on life’s journey. In this article, I’m going to look at how Astrology ElementsEarth, Air, Fire and Water – form the bedrock of your character and give you the foundation you need to build the person you want to become.

Earth Signs In Astrology

When you look at the Earth Signs in AstrologyTaurus, Virgo and Capricorn – the thing that binds them together is right there under your feet. These three signs are, quite simply, where we find the most ‘down to earth’ people. At an individual level they will be stable, practical, hard working, level headed members of society.

Of course, there are many people with other signs who also claim to have such qualities. However, for Earth Signs, being ‘down to earth’ is a fundamental part of who they are. Their element is the foundation on which they are built and they will rarely, if ever, risk undermining that foundation. Earth Signs ensure their own lives are stable and they are often found shoring up our social structures so that wider society benefits from their responsible and pragmatic qualities.

The pillars of our communities are often drawn from the Earth Signs. From PTA fund raisers to town councillors and social organisers of every kind, Earth Signs instinctively know the value of social cohesion. When problems occur – either personal or social – it’s the Earth Signs who will seek and offer practical solutions designed to return life and society to proper working order. Instinctively conservative, they seek to preserve the status quo – and that’s true whether they are a public spirited Capricorn, a meticulously organised Virgo or an environmentally aware Taurus.

Air Signs In Astrology

The Air SignsGemini, Libra and Aquarius – can, at first, seem a diffuse bunch. However, if you stop for a moment and smell the coffee you realise that the people flitting in and out of the coffee bar with their breakfast takeaway, scarcely looking up from their phone while they do so and simultaneously rooting through their bag for a pen and notepad, epitomise the Air Signs.

Phew. It was exhausting just writing that but it sums up our airy friends. Air Signs have daily lives spent blowing like the wind, they are always on the go mentally and often have a packed schedule that can, ironically, leave them physically drained. These are the people who have ideas, communicate, evaluate, write, teach, sell, who constantly draw together apparently disparate strands of information and people and who love to make new connections. Without the Air Signs, we would, quite simply, know less and care less too..

Being driven by what’s in their head, for Air Signs information is paramount. Whether it’s the gossip gathering Gemini, critical thinker Libra or the inventive genius of Aquarius, Air Signs share a fundamental need to disseminate information at a social level. So, from their ranks come salesmen, journalists, bloggers, teachers, coders – the ‘middlemen’ who ensure that not only is information is passed from one party to another but that it also adds to the sum of personal, social and human knowledge. Quite simply, it’s the Air Signs who make sense of our world.

Fire Signs In Astrology

One thing is for certain. You can’t miss a Fire Sign. Whether it’s Aries, Leo or Sagittarius, they command – and sometimes demand – attention like no-one else. Passionate and lively, Fire signs enthuse us into taking action and inspire us with visions and the creative possibilities we would otherwise ignore. Fire signs get up and do. They may not always be the best prepared or realistic but by force of personality they make things happen.

I can almost feel myself thumping my desk while I wrote that and that’s a real Fire Sign thing – to passionately inspire – it’s their raison d’être. Fire Signs excite us – whether its the action packed Aries, passionate and dramatic Leo or adventurous, broad minded Sagittarius, these are the people who push human experience beyond that which has gone before. They are unafraid to explore our emotions, intellectual boundaries and physical limits. Fire Signs go to the places the rest of us fear to tread – and do so in great and optimistic spirits.

They do so because they have a fundamental need to burn brightly. Whether it’s a steady flame, a spark or total conflagration – the need to ignite and shine is always there. Fire Signs can be perfectionists about what they do in life because they expect to be the bravest and best. So, great soldiers, actors, broadcasters, explorers – in short the hero figures we admire, are found in the Fire Signs. They are the the hero figures we find inspirational. Through their actions we internalise the hero and become one ourselves. We cannot make progress without the Fire Signs to light our way through darkness.

Water Signs In Astrology

The Water Signs, Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces seem so different from each other. However, they share an essential trait we are so familiar with. There is an old saying which tells us it’s impossible to hold water in your hands. It’s very true – and its equally impossible to possess a Water Sign person – they seem to be elusive in some way.

The reason for this is they are so mysterious – that is, to anyone other than another Water Sign. Emotionally deep yet often socially reserved, Water Signs crave closeness yet always keep part of themselves in reserve – as if they will need to protect or defend themselves or, in the case of Pisces, simply escape. This apparent lack of engagement isn’t helped by their often indecisive nature or the fact they can often seem so distracted. The great dreamers and daydreamers of this world are found in the realm of Water.

The issue of course is not lack of engagement – it’s the opposite. They feel, see and know too much.Their huge sensitivity, empathy and capacity for overthinking makes them complex creatures but without them we would remain ignorant of our emotional and spiritual needs and the strengths we possess at a deep soul level. In the outer world, we would lack anything that requires creative imagination or analysis of the human condition. Our great artists, poets, creative writers, musicians, psychologists and many people in the caring professions are influenced by Water.

The Elemental Balance

There will be many of you who have read this who respond by saying that you’re a ‘fiery’ Scorpio or a ‘watery’ Leo for example. As ever, it’s not just about your Sun Sign. Things are more complex than that. Your Sun Sign element is, however, the fundamental basis of your character – the true and authentic person you are on the inside.

However, the balance of astrology elements in your Natal Chart – either by house or sign – may make you comfortable with expressing elemental qualities that differ from the element of your Sun Sign. That’s okay – you’re not wrong in doing that. For example, you may have many of your planets in a different element to that of your Sun. That’s fine – you’ll express the other planets in accordance with their elements but that won’t change the person you are inside. Similarly, you may have most of your planets in houses associated with a different element to that of your Sun Sign. Again, this will give you an overlay of a different kind – but it won’t change the person you are at a fundamental level.

I know this may seem fairly basic stuff – and in many ways it is. However, it’s very easy to become side-tracked by inconsequential things – a minor aspect to a distant star perhaps. Sometimes we need the basics to remind us who we are and remain conscious to our true nature – and our true destiny

© Sara Shipman 2019

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