Elements like earth, air, water and fire are essential for our survival as carbon based life-forms in a physical dimensional world. The earth provides a home and a foundation, food and stability, earth is the ground and all that grows from within it. Air is our breath, the dimension in which we are always present, above us and surrounding us, providing a space for the sunlight to come through and the rains to come in. Water is the lifeblood of every living thing, providing cleansing, and nourishment for all life and allowing for growth, creating our atmosphere, and the tides that generate the seasons on which all life cycles depend. Fire is a revolution, it means warmth, it means light, it may consume but can also create fertile ground for new life.
The most ancient science created to explain life and our place amongst the stars is most often diluted and generalized by modern day novices painting themselves as mystics. This has created much skepticism for the validity of this science. Yet, astrology remains one of the most precise and complex systems we have to explain the forces of the universe and their impact on us. This is just as much science as it is spiritual. For thousands and thousands of years, our ancestors looked to the stars to understand the world and themselves. This was not just to predict seasons and promote more efficient farming, this was about understanding the mechanisms of the universe.
Each sign has an element accompanying it and that is why we are here: to explore what that element can tell you about yourself, your compatibility with other signs (elements), and how you can use that to highlight your strengths and be aware of your weaknesses. In this article we will touch on sun signs, their elements, and what that may mean in general for you.
- Fire signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
- Air signs: Aquarius, Gemini, Libra
- Water signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
- Earth signs: Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo
Fire signs are characteristically warm and enthusiastic people who are exciting to be around. [When you are considering the elemental aspect of a sign, just think about the traits of the element itself.] Fire is inviting, passionate even. Fire signs are direct, immediate to react and sometimes intimidating. These are signs used to getting what they want and being the center of attention. Fire signs tend to have many admirers. They are appealing in many ways and they know it. They are outgoing and strong headed, yet charming and charismatic people. There is a kind of magical quality to them. They can also burn those that get too close, or even eat away at certain elements. They are mainly big hearted people who want the best for those around them. They can also be hot-headed and that is no pun.
Weaknesses: stubborn, spontaneous, no filter, needs the spotlight, temperamental
Strengths: fun, enthusiastic, confident, explorer, warm
Air signs are majestic, connected to a higher place. These signs tend to be filled with new ideas, they are sociable and as dynamic as the sky. They deal with relationships and intelligence, though they may have difficulty understanding human emotion in others. They will gravitate towards partnerships. Air signs have a way of encompassing you and accepting you. They may make you feel a sense of freedom and spaciousness in their presence. They are caring and helpful, but also will not hesitate to act in self-preservation. Air signs rely on communication and a constant flow of information. These are powerful and creative individuals who roam as freely as the wind. But be careful: if you get in their way, they just might blow you over!
Weaknesses: flighty, unorganized, detached, analytical, sometimes insecure
Strengths: intelligent, visionaries, social, strong communicators, high standards
Water represents emotion, psychic awareness, consciousness, and is the element most closely related to spirit in physical form. Water people are mysterious, eloquent, and have a great spectrum of experiences to offer. These are soulful people, whose depths run deep. They are reflective and adaptable, they may change forms depending on their environment. When warm, this is a blissful and alluring person to be with. When it is too cold, water can freeze others out, becoming hard as ice. When things get too hot, water may evaporate until things cool down at which point it will return as rain (cleansing/ crying). Water people when pushed too hard, too quickly, will rebound back in equal proportion with in successive waves. Water always seeks equilibrium and balance. These are the ones who are easy to talk to, with great insight to offer. They are intuitive seers and just might understand you better than you understand yourself.
Weaknesses: sensitive, emotional, self-sacrificing, easily taken advantage of, need to be secluded
Strengths: intuitive, empathetic, insightful, psychic, cleansing, nurturer
Earth signs are firmly based in the tangible world: they believe in what they can see, hear, touch, taste and smell. They may be the most practical of signs (usually), and even tend to be more materialistic or even pleasure seeking (or take the opposite approach in rejecting worldly pleasures and belongings.) Earth signs are sensual and tender. They have an ability to make another feel like they are the center of the world. They tend to prefer routine opposed to spontaneity, as big changes can feel like earthquakes and shake them to their core. Those with an earth sign are dependable and loyal, eloquent and complimentary. Organized earth signs can be trusted to take care of the details and get the job done. They don’t mind getting their hands dirty. Though they have a strong sense of who they are, earth signs may tend towards being less mature in dealing with and facing the less concrete world of emotions.
Weaknesses: stubborn, immature, selfish,
Strengths: good with money, successful, stable, patient, hard-working.
Elements that would complement one another in nature, complement one another in real life personalities (in general and there are always exceptions). In a real relationship, nothing should ever be this one sided. No one should ever give of themselves to depletion to enable the other to sustain. Understanding complementary elements can help us create more complementary relationships. Take a look at the primary complimentary elements listed below.
Earth and Water
Earth complements water and water complements earth. This makes sense: earth supports and grounds water just like in real life, without earth water has nowhere to land. Water nourishes earth and enables it to grow. In this way Taurus and Scorpio (as an example) might complement one another. Taurus may help to ground and support Scorpio, while Scorpio would help Taurus understand their own emotions more deeply to nurture growth. These elements are mutually beneficial.
Fire and Air
Fire and Air also mutually benefit one another. In this case air complements fire by providing the oxygen it needs to sustain itself. Fire may provide a lift for the air because heat rises. So in real life, a Sagittarius might lift the spirits of a Gemini and the Gemini may be a good match for free-spirited Sagittarius by allowing them to breathe.
Even complementary elements can be harmful when one overpowers the other. Earth when out of balance can create earthquakes. Water when out of balance can create tidal waves. Air when out of balance can create a hurricane. Fire when overpowering, can cause a wildfire.
Not all elements work well together, just as in nature, some things just don’t mix. Or some may mix when in balance, but be a disaster when too much of one or the other is added. For an example in nature the right conditions in the atmosphere can cause a tornado. For an example in the elements of astrology, look at fire and water.
Fire and Water
Fire and water are total opposites on the elemental spectrum and when equally matched, this combination creates steam. Water can put fire out. Fire can evaporate water. Yet these two elements may be highly attracted to one another (hence the steam). This is something to be conscious of. No match is all bad or all good. In this case water teaches fire to feel more deeply. Fire teaches water to stand up for itself. Water signs can help fire signs put dreams into motion. But sensitive water signs can be easily wounded by fire signs outbursts.
Two like elements can have their ups and downs, just like any other combination. Being conscious of the strengths and potential weaknesses can help create a more loving, productive, and understanding relationship.
Some examples of like element matches are two water signs together: this could look very emotional, with not as much substance or grounding. This could look like lots of deep conversations ending in tears. Two fire signs together could potentially become a war-zone of heated exchanges. Two earth signs could create mountains clashing, or deep valleys. Two air signs may find they have trouble coming back down to earth.
There could also be an amplification of the positive traits the elements share: two water signs together may share a deep unspoken understanding of one another. Two fire signs may enjoy a warm and connected relationship where their individual identities merge. Two air signs may have a great expansive outlook on life and soar to great heights. Two earth signs could create a fantastic garden blooming with life and beauty. Everything, no matter the sign or element, has to come from a place of balance, self-awareness, and wholeness.
There are many deep layers to this and it gets highly complex. That is because we do not only have our sun sign (our astrological birth sign). We also have the sign each planet was in at the time of our birth, ascending and descending signs. All of those may be in other elements. What that may mean is that you could be a water sun sign, but have many other planets fall in earth signs (for example). So instead of being compatible with another earth sign, you are compatible with another water sign. Knowing your full birth chart can tell you an awful lot about your tendencies in life & relationships, challenges, potential strengths and general characteristics.
Being aware of the zodiac compatibility can be as easy as understanding the metaphors of the elements that each sign is associated with. What element are you? What complements your element?
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