The Four Elements & The Alchemy of YOU
You may have heard of the four elements in astrology, but may still be wondering what they mean. The Four Elements describe the four unique personality types associated with the zodiac signs. While it can be difficult to know what the horoscopes of your friends and family will reveal, you can use their zodiac signs to determine which element they are composed of. As you become more familiar with these four elements, you will likely gain a deeper understanding of the personality types that they comprise.
The elements correspond profoundly to basic character traits, behaviour, emotions, thinking and intuition. They are reflected in our relationships, our ambitions or lack thereof, and the unexpected turns and twists that add spice to our lives. Empedocles, a Greek philosopher, scientist and healer who lived in Sicily in the fifth century B.C., believed that all matter comprises the four elements: earth, air, fire and water, and we are no exception. Fire and air are outwardly reaching elements, reaching up and out, whereas earth and water turn inward and downward.
One of the first things I assess in a natal (or birth chart) is the balance of elements based on the placements of planets in signs and houses. This tells me much about how the person operates. How they express themselves and what will accelerate or inhibit their growth. Ancient astrologers knew that the natural elements were intrinsically linked to our bodies, but also to the temperament of our souls.
You would be amazed at just how much impact the elements have on how you behave! Because the main purpose of Astrology is to help us to better focus our energies, gain a better understanding of our positive traits, and deal with the negative ones. We can use this knowledge to realize our full potential and live our best life. We all need air to breathe, water to cleanse us and sustain our growth, fire to prevent us from suffering the consequences of cold and to nourish us, and earth to live on together with all the living things and to grow our food. All the elements are equally important and below is a more specific definition of each.
Astrology: Taurus, Capricorn, Virgo
Feel the Earth under our feet, the soil that sustains all forms of life. Just look at the power and beauty of the mountains, a symbol of stability and solidity of the earth. Every day we experience the physical world, we walk on this earth, enjoy the beauty and bounty of Mother Earth and feel the comfort of being on solid ground.
Associated with the signs Taurus, Capricorn and Virgo, Earth represents the practical, realistic material side of our nature, it seeks to assert a stable, secure and structured environment in which we can function. Feel the earth under your feet, solid and steady as you walk slowly. Earth is patient and reliable. It is solid and strong. To be on solid ground encourages one to seek the practical and most logical answer to a problem.
Earth can be a stabilizing force in a relationship contributing to structure and organization to achieve balance and harmony. Earth sustains growth. Think of the way in which plant life grows, an acorn grows into an oak tree; so too do humans grow from youth to maturity, and as we evolve, we come to realize the immense expansion in every facet of life.
The overexpression of this element can be seen in a stubborn and rigid personality, one that strives to remain in the comfort zone in life, afraid to take risks. It can also be seen by a love of the material side of life, the comforts of material well-being, and forgetting the importance of spiritual and emotional aspects of consciousness. Rigidity in attitude can become an issue as well, causing a person to suffer from self-imposed limitations. Earth Dominant personalities are very reliable, careful and nurturing, they are methodical and they are focused on what can be accomplished over the long term.
Earth Personality Strengths: Organized, methodical, practical, sustaining, reliable, stable, self-sufficient, persistent, nurturing, cautious, results-oriented
Earth Personality Weakness: attachment, stinginess, materialism, resistance to change, too much attention to detail and missing the big picture.
Astrology: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
The element of Air is associated with the signs of Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. It seeks to establish itself in the realm of the intellect. It is through the process of thinking and imagining that we develop ideas and innovations. Through the influence of this element, we are inspired to communicate, sharing ideas through the transmission of words on sound waves that vibrate the air.
In the context of astrological meaning, Air contributes to our inventiveness, originality and versatility, giving us an avenue of expression that opens us to creativity and mental constructs that brings form to that which is formless. It bestows a desire for freedom, and unattachment, reaching beyond the physical world. Instead of emotion, Air urges you to use logic and intellect to navigate through the world. Enjoy that refreshing gentle breeze, allow thoughts to flow freely, and nourish the creative moment. Air is discerning, and critical and asks you to use your ability to intellectualize to appreciate the differences in people and accept different perspectives. Without those differences, there would be a lack of vision and an inability to create fulfilling human interaction.
Thoughts are a continual force in our lives, how you direct them is directly proportionate to the quality of your experiences. When you need more peace and tranquillity in your life, air-dominant people benefit from meditations where deep breathing is used as it is essential to reach that level of stillness, energy, and relaxation required to stave off nervousness. An overexpression of air’s influence can be seen in people who are often living in a dream world with unrealistic goals and flights of fancy. They can often become nervous and suffer insomnia due to overstimulation of the mental body. Air is best expressed when a person communicates mindfully and with intention, being aware of the impact of their words.
Air Personality Strengths: Logic, discernment, practicality, innovation, inventiveness, analytical, critical, and focused.
Air Personality Weaknesses: lack of emotion, depression, lack of connection with the higher self, overactive mind that blocks inner peace and harmony, nervousness, instability
Astrology: Leo, Sagittarius, Aries
The signs Leo, Sagittarius and Aries are associated with the element Fire. It represents the life force glowing within us. This element projects self-expression, creativity, courage and enthusiasm. When we feel the comforting warmth of a fire, or heat when we come in from the cold, we are calmed, put at ease and feel secure.
We need fire to meet the basic need of cooking our food, lighting the dark, heating our homes and even creating utensils to assist in the work of life. Fire provides a sense of security, warmth and inspiration that is shared with those around us. In ancient times people would gather around the communal fire to share stories, make plans and socialize. Fire strengthens self-confidence to tackle problems without hesitation. Without fire, there is no radiance, no conviction, no motivation or pioneering spirit. A spark can light up new ideas, and serve as a beacon to light the way to achieve goals with conviction and enthusiasm. An overexpression of fire can turn assertiveness into aggression, daring into reckless behaviour and so forth. When fire's influence is out of control, it seeks to consume all in its path, scorching and burning indiscriminately. it can lead to conquering, domination and overconsumption of resources leading to depletion. Fire can help us to be bold, but it can also cause brashness and volatility resulting in volcanic eruptions of anger, and even rage.
Fire Personality Strengths: Spirited, pioneering, courageous, boldness, initiating, enthusiastic, ambitious, self-assured, optimistic, bright, generous, warm
Fire Personality Weaknesses: lack of interest, egotistic, excessive self-centeredness, self-importance, arrogant, brash, violent, volatile, instability, inconsistent
Astrology: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
The element of Water is associated with the signs of Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces and is deeply associated with the conscience and the subconscious forces that act in our lives.
Water pours forth from our emotional body and out to others who may wish to be washed in it. It allows you to empathically feel their pain and suffering and offer sincere compassion.
Psychic awareness is also present in the water signs and shows itself from time to time with uncanny accuracy. Water seeks to heal and nurture those around it.
Uncontrolled, this element can send emotions on a turbulent path resulting in moodiness and unpredictable highs and lows, like the crest and trough of a wave. Water signs need serenity and calmness, like a gently flowing river nurturing all in its wake and at the same time leading to the discovery of new paths. When overexpressed, one may tend to be overly emotional, deeply sensitive and subjective. With too much emotion, depression may result.
Weakness can result from being too protective and possessive of their loved ones; a cold attitude and lack of drive may arise.
Water Personality Strengths: Adaptable, intuitive, empathetic, yielding, gentle, responding, psychic, sensitive, dreamer, devoted, romantic, imaginative
Water Personality Weaknesses: Diffuse, extremes, difficulty creating and maintaining boundaries, moody, overly sensitive, impressionable, gullible, extremes, smothering
Being able to interpret the four elements in your birth chart will give you an overall insight into your personal nature. Once you understand how strong each element is in your chart and how you express it you are empowered to work your strengths to your highest advantage. In addition, it will help you understand more about yourself and how you interact with others, making it easier to build lasting and fulfilling relationships!
Thank you for reading! I hope you found this helpful!
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Alysa is a professional mystic, who teaches and works with spiritual seekers from all over the world. Her dynamic personality and passion for the mystic arts are infectious. She loves to bring her wealth of metaphysical knowledge and depth of experience to her clients and students through providing intuitive and spiritual services.
Known for her ability to blend fun with professionalism, Alysa offers nearly three decades of esoteric experience which includes the co-creation of the Sirian Starseed Tarot & the Seekers Oracle.
In her professional practice, Alysa is a master tarot reader & teacher, second-generation traditional western astrologer, numerologist, certified professional past-life regressionist, Reiki Grandmaster Teacher, Certified Life coach, published author, artist, and founder of North Star Mystic Academy which opened in 2019.
Alysa has authored several metaphysical, esoteric and energy healing books.
For a full list of her titles please visit Achillea Fortuna Publishing
Alysa lives and works in Hillsburgh, Ontario