Fire, Earth, Air & Water Signs: The Elements of Astrology

The AstroTwins

September 20, 2023
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Fire, Earth, Air & Water Signs: The Elements of Astrology

by Team Lila

The twelve zodiac signs are grouped into four elements—fire, earth, air and water. Each of these elementary groups has distinct traits. Each one plays a critical role in maintaining our well-being. Together, they form the natural world, so each is in some way dependent on the other.

Fire Signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius                  
Earth Signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
Air Signs: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Water Signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

The Fire Signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius

The Fire signs can be summarized as astrology’s answer to that pressing question. Fire keeps us strong enough to bounce back from defeat, disappointment, and the most grievous losses life can throw at us. By “strong enough,” I do not just mean remaining grimly determined. Fire is not about Stoicism, it is about resilience. It is about how to be sincerely glad to be alive. With Fire, we are talking about your happy inner animal wagging its tail. We are talking about you actually wanting to get out of bed in the morning. We are talking about libido, appetite, and creativity. Life is sweet. But life is also relentless, exhausting, and often haunted by tragedy. We have got to take it one day a time. Simply surviving can seem challenging at times. As we will soon see, that is where the Fire signs show their mettle. People with Fire signs dominant are here to inspire us and remind us to celebrate the human ability to bounce back from life’s difficulties.

Like fire itself, fire signs tend to be passionate, dynamic, and temperamental. Fire can keep you warm, or it can do great destruction. While fire burns out quickly without fuel to keep it going, it can also regenerate its power from the ashes. A single spark can set off a forest fire. As a result, fire signs need to be nurtured and managed carefully.

Negative traits of Fire Signs: We don't believe that any of the signs are negative. They represent the expression of energy. We need fire sign energy to overcome obstacles, but if we are not careful with the fire, it is easy to get burned. It requires skill to utilize our fire sign energies constructively.

The Air Signs: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius

Air is what connects our hearts and our minds to the world around us. Astrologically – but also in plain speech – Air is the linking element, telegraphing an endless stream of information to us, and letting us send a few telegrams in return.  Air connects. It is what allows us to pay attention, and perhaps to create some good reasons for other people to pay attention to us. Saying that the Air element is about “information” and “data” is true, but those words are dry and narrow. They leave out too much of the magic. It would be very much like saying that life was about making money or that sex was about bodies. In Astrology, the Air element – embodied in the signs Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius – is typically described as mental and cognitive. People with Air signs dominant, symbolically, but often quite literally too, provide the bridges that help us link the internal realities of consciousness to the external realities of the objective world. They tend to have a fluency with the words, concepts and ideas that help us make sense of the world around us.

Air signs are all about action, ideas, and motion—they are the “winds of change.” When a strong gust hits you, you can’t help but move. While some within their ranks may be true-life “airheads,” others are as powerful as a gravity-defying G-force. Air signs bring everyone a breath of fresh air when things start to get stale. Like the breeze, you can’t quite catch them, and you never know where they’ll drop you once they sweep you up. It will almost always been an adventure, though.

Negative traits of Air Signs: We don't believe that any of the signs are negative. They represent the expression of energy. We need air sign energy to interact effectively with our environment. The ability gather and exchange information is key to our ability to thrive. But if we are too much in our heads and caught up in the ear changing perceptions, we lose touch with reality and life can become too heady.

The Earth Signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

The Earth signs represent a sacred, spiritual path, every bit as holy as the paths of Fire, Air, and Water. Earth is about making spirit visible. It is about bringing ideals and visions “down to earth.” It is about making them real. People with many planets in Earth signs have come to this planet actually to do something. They have a task. We might call it their mission. And, unlike a monk meditating in a cave, if they succeed, there will be visible evidence of their success. As ideals strive to become realities—as, in other words, the higher realms strive to express themselves through the Earth element—they always meet resistance. They encounter obstacles, people with opposing ideas, budgetary constraints, enemies, and practical limitations. They are compelled to make deals—or to die of their own intransigent idealism. Compromise is no one’s favorite word, and yet without it, nothing ever happens. Welcome to the planet Earth.

Earth signs keep it real. They are the “grounded” people on the planet, the ones who bring us down to earth and remind us to start with a solid foundation. Slow and steady, these “builders” are loyal and stable, and stick by their people through hard times. On good days, they’re practical; at worst, they can be materialistic or too focused on the surface of things to dig into the depths.

Negative traits of Earth Signs: We don't believe that any of the signs are negative. They represent the expression of energy. We need earth sign energy to navigate three-dimensional reality. To survive, we must have food, water, shelter and other basic needs. Earth sign energy provides for the physical basis of reality. Even great works of art of the inspirational works we find in scriptures, required the practical know how and resources to become manifest. But if our practical concerns gain too much power, Earth Signs can become overly cautious, possessive or controlling.

The Water Signs: Cancer, Scorpio Pisces

Ask any astrologer. Water is about emotions. Water feels. That single word – feeling – covers a lot of bases: joy, sorrow, ennui, ecstasy, good moods, bad moods, and every other emotional state in between them. All of them are in Water’s domain. Astrologers who equate the Water element with feelings are correct – Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces do resonate with your emotional body. Without Water, we would all become inhuman, just walking microchips – flat, cold and mechanical, devoid of heart and soul, and probably with no particular reason to live. We read about the link between Water and feeling states everywhere in the literature of our craft. Our argument in these pages will not be that this equation of the Water element and our moods is incorrect, only that it leaves out too much of the magic.

Intuitive, emotional and ultra-sensitive, water signs can be as mysterious as the ocean itself. Like water, they can be refreshing, or they can drown you in their depths. These signs often have intense dreams and borderline-psychic intuition. Security is important to them—after all, water needs a container, or it dries up and disappears.

Negative traits of Water Signs: We don't believe that any of the signs are negative. They represent the expression of energy. We need water sign energy to nurture and heal. The ability to stay connected to our inner lives insure that our Souls are able to grow from our earthly experiences. If we get disconnected the water in life, our lives start to shrivel up. At least that's the way it will feel. If our feelings gain too much power in our lives (usually because we do not tend to them), the we can easily get swept away by our sensitivity to the discord between our inner and outer lives.

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