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The Fundamentals of Astrology Elements

Fire  |  Earth  |  Air† |  Water

Fire: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
We refer to the element of fire as th e force of Spirit. This means that through the fiery triplicity, the primal forces of creative expression are manifested. Fire is the desire for life, the will to be, and, especially in the case of Aries, the act of individualizing the self from the rest of Mankind. It is the element of fire in a horoscope which serves as the animating force behind an individualís self-assertions.

Positive natural tendency

Helpful and kind

Simulates creative expression

Active life force

Ardent and strong

Courageous and self-assertive

Idealistic and visionary

Misuse or amplification of characteristic

Ruthless and self-imposing

Zealot or fanatic

Imposes own authority at all times

Destroys the efforts of others

Dissipates life force through sensual exercises

Self-indulgent and loud

Earth: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
We refer to the earthly element as the force of Form (or Body). Manís strongest instinct is the will to be and the first manifestation of that desire is to create something out of matter to prove his existence. Earthly people do this through the gathering of material possessions and the actual building of the physical aspects of Man: his industries, his homes, and his physical body. It is the element of earth in a horoscope behind the needs to be practical, cautious, and very understanding of Manís ambitions toward material security and physical pleasures.

Positive natural tendency

Deep emotional understanding

Good sense of timing

Aware of potentiality

Delicate and refined

Bestower of opportunities

Provides necessities

Misuse or exaggeration of characteristic

Seeks control over others

Lack of true empathy

Manipulation through secrecy


Coarse and base

Hoards resources


Air: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius:
We refer to the air element as the force of the Mind. People who are strongly influenced by the airy signs can be calm and refreshing as a cool breeze. But if their temper is raised, they react with galelike force, shattering the tranquility of the world around them. Air is necessary to convey the words which one person uses to speak to another. It is in its aspect as a communicating and collectivizing agent that air has its most important function in astrology. Through air, Man can reach for ideas in the intuitive mind, and apply them in the realm of human experience. Mind is manís most important tool.

Positive natural tendency

Intelligent, quick, and alert

Objective and humane

Full of balanced ideas

Cooperative and gregarious

Inventive and inspirational

Misuse or embellishment of characteristic

Superficial and loquacious

Imitative and repetitious

Hyperactive, runabout, and nervous

Aloof and cool

Walks on thin air


Water: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces:
We refer to the water element as the force of Soul or Emotion. Soul is, in part, the element of human nature which provides understanding and compassion for the feelings of others. People who are extremely influenced by the water element are extremely sensitive to human sentiment and artistic expression. They can seep into the subconscious of others and instinctually, if not intellectually, understand the motives behind other peopleís actions.

Positive natural tendency

Compassionate and understanding


Sensitive and impressionable

Artistic and aesthetic


Seeks to help others


Misuse or embellishment of characteristic

Prone to hallucinations

Paranoiac and hysterical

Sensualist and self-indulgent

Can live in fantasy world

Seeks to gain control over others

Exaggerates all feelings out of proper proportions

Easily put upon by others

The Mixing of †Different Elements
Elements†| Tendency

Fire and Earth

The elements can conflict. However, Earth can provide boundaries for Fire, and Fire can provide inspiration for Earth.

Fire and Air

These elements are basically compatible. Fire needs Air, but too much Air can cause a Fire to get out of control or blow Fire out.

Fire and Water

These elements are antithetical as Fire turns Water to steam and Water puts out Fire.

Fire and Fire

This combination can give all impulse but no direction. Too much fire can give too much self-expression without due consideration for other peopleís feelings or ideas.

Earth and Air

Air tends to stimulate Earth. Earth must be fully oxygenated for fruit to grow. Air, however, cannot penetrate the true depths of Earth, and tends to give only a superficial contact.

Earth and Water

These two elements are very compatible, as earth needs water in order to be fertilized for growth of its fruits. The proportions are important. Too much water results in mud, and too much Earth will completely absorb the Water, giving it no life of its own. On the other hand, too little water will result in a desert, i.e., a dry and unfeeling individual.

Earth and Earth

This is not the best combination, for it does not supply the stimulus which the earth needs in order to manifest its latent fruitfulness and creativity. Too much Earth in any one horoscope will cause too much suspicion, inertia, and materialism.

Air and Water

Air can only touch the surface of the sea. Yet Water must be filled with the gaseous properties of Air in order for it to remain fresh. Water can feel unfulfilled by Airís lack of understanding of its emotional nature. The two elements do manage to balance each other and are necessary to each otherís primary function. In human nature, the intellect of air will service to modify the oversensitivity of water while the latter will tend to broaden the sympathies of the more intellectual air signs.

Air and Air

Too much activity with too little direction can be the result of an abundance of Air. Without the stability of Earth or the emotionality of Water, this combination can turn into a whirlpool of ideas without a practical release into the realm of human experience.

Water and Water

Although this combination may give added depth and increased sensitivity, the likelihood of cross-currents is very prevalent. Feelings can be easily hurt, indolence can alternate with whirlpools f stirred-up emotions. In short, too much water leads to instability and a lack of cohesive and realistic focus on affairs of living.