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Learning about the 4 Elements
Fire, Earth, Air and Water
8 minutes of reading
Want to know how this information can affect your life?
We all incorporate the 4 elements in some way in our lives. We are standing on the Earth and derive part of our sustenance from it. The information around us appeals to our intellect, sound and verb, invoking the element of Air. Our actions are governed by the domain of Fire, with its will, initiative and energy, while the emotions triggered by our experiences invoke the Water element, the most fluid. The human being experiences all the elements from his conception: when immersed in the amniotic fluid (water), in the formation of the material body (earth), when turning on the switch of heartbeats and electrical impulses (fire) and asserting his lungs with the first oxygen inaction and sound emission (air).
In another analogy, when you kiss someone, a certain chemistry is involved. The physical contact of the lips (earth), the emotion that runs through the body (water), the thoughts that cross your mind (air) as well as desire, initiative, passion and attraction (fire). Alchemists and astrologers have always strived to achieve the balance of the four elements to transmute imperfect, normal and mundane situations.
Most substances or physical interactions are mixtures of multiple elements that dynamically interact with each other. Let's look at burning wood, for example. It can contain fire (visible through the burning process), air (when it consumes the oxygen that feeds the flame and when we hear the hiss of its burning), water (which will be removed in the process so that the wood turns into charcoal) and earth (the ash left behind when the wood is burned all the way through). Fire and Water are the purest elements. Fire is lighter and goes up, whereas water has a natural tendency to go down.
The Elemental Square
As the elements are defined by two qualities out of a total of four, they form the so-called Elemental Square. Elements that share one of their qualities are considered adjacent to each other, while those that are diagonal to each other in the square are considered opposites.
The opposite qualities, hot and cold, wet and dry, try to move toward each other, but cannot do so directly. The Rotation of the Elements begins with the process of adaptation (Water), continues with expansion (Air), then production (Fire) and finally contraction (Earth). Alchemists used this model to change matter from one element to another. Elemental water cannot be turned into fire without first passing through air.
This concept is reflected in many places in nature: the seasons of spring (adaptation), summer (expansion), autumn (production) and winter (retraction), in the lifetime of human beings (childhood, youth, maturity and old age) and on the journey of plants (seed, sapling, tree, rotten bark).
The contribution of the 4 elements in astrology
We can divide the four elements into two parts: Feminine - Yin (water and earth) and Masculine - Yang (fire and air). It is a mirror of the two greatest human archetypes, the feminine (tenderness, introspection, fertility and practicality) and the masculine (activity, expansion, energy and communication).
This division tells us that, in order to reach a balance close to perfection, we need to understand, honor and improve our personal characteristics, respecting and identifying the strength of the 4 elements in our lives.
The Fire element in astrology represents action, impetus, and creativity, fueling Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. It is considered hot and dry. It has a radiant scope, it symbolizes expansion, heat, light, courage, and the will to fight, dominate and conquer, but it also favors spiritual elevation, extreme lucidity, and purification of the soul. In humans, it represents the superconscious mind. The symbol for the Fire element is a triangle pointing upwards, representing the desire to climb because of its hot and dry qualities.
People with an abundance of the fire element tend to be more optimistic, idealistic, dynamic, ardent, passionate, enthusiastic, direct, spontaneous, naive, and expansive, with more inspiration, motivation, and courage to impose themselves, take risks, and overcome challenges. They usually show energy, determination, ardor, and perseverance and may like to command more than obey. This whole disposition can bring more hustle and impulsiveness. An out-of-control fire, for example, can be very dangerous, as the other side of the energy tends to be somewhat tactless, overly ambitious, violent, angry, authoritarian, and aggressive - physically or verbally. They can be a little insensitive and indifferent, sometimes selfish and arrogant too. In anger, they tend to hurt others, but generally do not hold grudges. Formerly they were called people with Choleric Moods.
Always think of Fire as something more ardent, idealistic, and abstract, an energy that influences creativity, and new ideas, stirs up adventures, and propels action and our artistic side. Warming up, living in the present, turning the page on the situation, showing that life is good and overcoming yourself are themes that are always present in your elemental breakdown.
The Earth element in astrology stands for substance and practicality, being the hallmark of Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. It is considered a cold, dry element and represents stability and solidity, giving substances their strength and form. In humans, it represents the physical body. The Earth element symbol is a triangle pointing downwards with a line through it. The descending triangle represents that the Earth is wet and seeks to descend, but its dry component blocks its full descent.
People with a lot of earth in their birth chart also tend to be more introspective, passive and endowed with strong empathy, in addition to being calmer, slower and colder. They tend to be more resilient, with a lot of willpower. The element also gives more solidity, stability, persistence, and a concrete nature that can attract anxiety, pessimism or extreme realism. This element is also synonymous with sensuality, earthly pleasures and material or sentimental security, with its main characteristics: producing, maintaining, forming, building, establishing, containing and limiting. Earth signs make use of their elemental characteristic in different ways: Taurus produces, invests, enjoys, and appropriates; Virgo elaborates, perfects, details and scrutinizes things; Capricorn manages, structures, plans and governs. Formerly they were called people with Melancholic Mood.
Always think of Earth as something concrete, detailed, practical, and safe, energy that influences our capacity for solid realization, in addition to a greater affinity with boundaries, with the material world, and the physical senses.
The Air element in astrology corresponds to the mental spectrum, intellect, communication and exchange, being the driving force of the signs of Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. It is considered hot and humid. It is below Fire and above Earth, being pervasive, diffuse, and mobile. In humans, it represents the self-conscious mind. Your element's symbol is an upward-pointing triangle with a horizontal line through it. The ascending triangle represents that it is hot and seeks to ascend, but the humid component blocks its total ascent.
The function of Air is to stimulate reasoning and the exchange of information. As we all breathe the same air, the element also acts as a social component, that is, of all the elements, it is the only one that we are forced to share in a less controlled way. It favors reason and logic much more to the detriment of sensitivity or emotions. Some of its characteristics are: transmitting, agitating, mobilizing, communicating, oxygenating, fomenting, energizing, and purifying.
In this case, Gemini is about communicating, unfolding, and exchanging, Libra is about adjusting, balancing, harmonizing, and socializing and Aquarius is about progressing, revolutionizing, inventing, innovating, and energizing. Like the other elements, Air has its extremes, and it can show up as a light breeze or turn into a devastating hurricane. Of all the elements, it is the most difficult to predict its actions and has a tendency to instability and unpredictability. The same air that blows and cools can also fuel fires and spread toxins. People with great strength in the air element are always focused on improving proposals and ideas, bringing new concepts and favoring inventions. Formerly they were classified as people of Sanguine Mood.
Always think of Air as something volatile and linked to intellect and communication. It is an energy that stimulates the mind and gives strength to our thoughts and the propagation of information.
The Water element in astrology governs emotions, the subconscious mind, sensitivity, feelings and underlines the signs of Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. It is considered a cold and wet element. It rises above Earth, but is below Air, and gives suppleness and nourishment to substances. The symbol for the Water element is a triangle pointing downwards, representing your desire to descend because of your cool and wet qualities.
The strength of this element can make people more patient, compassionate, empathetic, secretive, imaginative, dreamy, selfless, more artistically inclined, intuitive, emotional, and sensitive, those who more easily feel something that may have gone unnoticed by other people. Its elemental characteristics are humidifying, hydrating, purifying, refreshing, toning, cleansing, calming, protecting, and diluting. People with a lot of evidence of the water element tend to be more influential, considered more emotional and sensitive, as well as more adaptable to any environment. However, they may find it more difficult to fully adapt to the confines of the material world, and they may also be a little more lazy, irresolute, vulnerable, or hypersensitive.
Unlike fire, which rises and expands, water is Yin in nature, directed downwards. That's why many people with a predominance of this element have a certain tendency to melancholy, get depressed or become discouraged more easily. Emotions can give the impression of being always overflowing, to the surface, although they can act in a little impulsive way, drowning in their own feelings. They tend to follow the desires of others over their own more easily. They always need to be in good tune with their existence, otherwise, they can dive so deep that returning becomes difficult. Formerly they were classified as people of Phlegmatic Mood.
Always think of Water as something connected to emotions. The water is transparent, making all feelings gain fluidity, nutrition, and strength wherever it passes.