In astrology, each element correlates to an aspect of human nature and experience. The element of air corresponds to thought, communication, and knowledge. The element of earth corresponds to the material world, finances, and productivity. The element of fire corresponds to action, exploration, and creativity. And the element of water corresponds to emotions, imagination, and dreams. The elements are also assigned to the astronomical bodies and calculated points that make up an astrology chart; the Sun is a fire point; the Moon is a water point, Mercury is both air and earth, and so on. Each house has an element; the first house is a fire house, the second an earth house, and so on. The elements are extremely important to the makeup of astrological knowledge.
|Mercury||Air and Earth|
|Venus**||Earth and Air|
|Mars||Fire and Water*|
|Jupiter||Fire and Water*|
|Saturn||Earth and Air*|
* Before the discovery of the outer planets (Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto), Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn did “double duty” like Mercury and Venus, so they once managed two elements.
** Chiron is slowly being considered the ruler for Virgo, making it an earth point that may eventually remove Venus from its “double duty” with air and earth.
Rulership describes the “natural” alignment of the house, sign, point, and element. Below is the chart putting all alignments together, including the classical (pre-Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and Chiron assignments).
Zodiac elements in astrology correspond with each Sun sign, which influences their properties or attributes. They energize the personality, character, and relationships of the individual based on whether or not that person has his or her Sun in an air, earth, fire, or water sign.
Thus, the astrology chart of a person is a complex mix of intersecting elements connected by Aspects, which is the term used to describe certain angular relationships between points. If someone’s Sun opposes their Moon in a chart, then the Sun and Moon are in opposite elements, either fire is opposing air or water is opposing earth. If this is the case, then the person must find a way to balance those elements in terms of their Life Path (Sun) and Soul Path (Moon).
The Elements and the Points in Astrology
In order to understand the four elements in astrology, we need to know how the elements function in a Natal Chart. In a fully cast natal chart, most people have at least one point in every element. It is possible, but very rare, to have no points in an element, but much more likely to have no points in a particular sign or house. In either case, that missing element, or sign, or house activity, will make the individual keenly aware of people who come into their lives that do possess those elements or points in the signs that will trigger them. This dynamic is one reason why some people really “activate” us and others do not.
Air correlates with thought, communication, ideas, information, and wisdom. When this element is dominant in a chart, the individuals will be cerebral, quick thinking, and inquisitive. The Air signs – Libra, Aquarius, and Gemini – exhibit the energy in certain ways.
Keynotes and Metaphors for the Air Signs
- Keynote: The Life Path manifests through analysis, negotiation, harmony, balance, and relationships.
- Metaphor: A weaver intertwines multi-colored threads and uses them to produce a rich and luxurious quilt for a couple about to be married.
- Keynote: The Life Path manifests through inventiveness, originality, community, idealism, and revolution.
- Metaphor: A cell phone monitors your heart rate, calorie intake, and amount of exercise, sending current data to your doctor for routine evaluation.
- Keynote: The Life Path manifests through knowledge, communication, curiosity, networking, and friendships.
- Metaphor: A college student signs up for extra classes each semester, engaging in many studies across diverse disciplines.
Fire correlates with action, spirituality, energy, creativity, competition, and play. When this element is dominant in a chart, the individuals will be maverick, adventurous, and active. The Fire signs – Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius – exhibit the energy in certain ways.
Keynotes and Metaphors for the Fire Signs
- Keynote: The Life Path manifests through going first, taking leaps of faith, fighting for what is right, and individuality.
- Metaphor: A child and puppy rush towards each other with glee!
- Keynote: The Life Path manifests through performance, leadership, romance, and playfulness.
- Metaphor: A street performer finishes playing a popular melody, earning applause and donations from the large crowd.
- Keynote: The Life Path manifests through strong beliefs, scholarship, travel, exploration, and wisdom.
- Metaphor: A distinguished professor gets invited to lecture and publish at a prestigious foreign university as the new chair of the department.
Water correlates with emotions, family, intimacy, vulnerability, and sensitivity. When this element is dominant in a chart, the individuals will be nurturing, caring, and empathic. The Water signs – Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces – exhibit the energy in certain ways.
Keynotes and Metaphors for the Water Signs
- Keynote: The Life Path manifests through family, healing work, caretaking, and nurturing.
- Metaphor: A mother bear protects her cub from a pack of wolves.
- Keynote: The Life Path manifests through sexuality, transformation, power issues, and crisis.
- Metaphor: A hurricane batters the coast for several hours ahead of a spectacular sunset.
- Keynote: The Life Path manifests through empathy, spiritual love, divine purpose, and destiny.
- Metaphor: A swimmer stops fighting the current and makes it safely to shore miles from home, needing a ride back from a good Samaritan.
Earth correlates with money, finances, work, the material world, and health. When this element is dominant in a chart, the individuals will be practical, productive, and physical. The Earth signs – Capricorn, Taurus, and Virgo – exhibit the energy in certain ways.
Keynotes and Metaphors for the Earth Signs
- Keynote: The Life Path manifests through career, organizations, providing, and producing.
- Metaphor: A driven high school student works hard to become the Valedictorian.
- Keynote: The Life Path manifests through consistency, reliability, building a legacy, and hard work.
- Metaphor: A farmer sells his prize-winning vegetables to local restaurants each season.
- Keynote: The Life Path manifests through problem-solving, meticulousness, nutrition, and practicality.
- Metaphor: A Food and Drug Administration inspector makes a surprise visit to a meat-packing plant to make sure it is following safety guidelines.