The twelve Zodiac signs can be divided several ways, grouping signs that share common characteristics. Astrology recognizes four elements in the physical world -- fire, earth, air and water. Called the triplicities, this grouping puts three signs in each of the four categories. The signs in each category view life from a similar perspective and agree on what's effective and important in managing it.
The Fire Signs
Aries, Leo and Sagittarius are the Fire Signs. If you're one of these, you're a Fire Sign personality. Fire Signs are warm, passionate and lively. They burn hot and live in the moment. Fire Sign people feature a lot of pure personality. They know how to light up a gathering (or a relationship) and how to turn up the heat.
In their element, the excitement and glow of their presence is contagious. They are likeable, fun and bracing to be around. Their energy spreads out and naturally fuels others. But when they're unhappy Fire Signs are offensive, rude, belligerent and tactless. This is how they burn off their own negative energy ... which is not good for anyone else.
The Earth Signs
Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn are the Earth Signs. If you're one of these, you're an Earth Sign personality. Earth Signs are grounded, industrious and practical. They are masters of the material realm. Earth Signs bring structure and organization to the spaces they inhabit. Without them, chaos would reign. You can count on them to be level-headed and sensible.
They know how to support the projects and people they deem important. They are solid, resourceful ... and "bottom line basic." Earth Signs keep life going, because they know how to survive. When stressed, Earth signs are stubborn, critical and distant. They hoard their energy and lay siege to the opposition. Their "starve the b**rds" tactic works. Don't try their patience.
The Air Signs
Gemini, Libra and Aquarius are the Air Signs. If you're one of these, you're an Air Sign personality. Air Signs are the social signs, bright-and-breezy and quite intellectual. They communicate well. They love to gather information and share it. They have interesting things to say and new ideas worth hearing. Their conversations are always fun and educational.
They live in their heads -- and excel at solving problems, but they can be too abstract and theoretical. They love to read, write, talk, learn, do research and "get the word out." But they avoid emotions and feelings ... and people or subjects that need those. Their escape strategy is to simply disappear. Out of sight, out of mind works for them.
The Water Signs
Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces are the Water Signs. If you're one of these, you're a Water Sign personality. Water Signs are the feelers-and-healers, the mystics and artists of the Zodiac. They are sensitive, intuitive and empathic. They understand depths and dimensions to everything more than the other signs will ever know.
They live in their imagination. They connect on a soul level with the people and passions who inhabit their world. Their true language is often unspoken. They work with symbols, dreams, abstractions and distill experience down to essential meaning. Their self-expression is often multi-layered. They thrive in seclusion, immerse themselves in spiritual experiences and let their silence speak for them.
The Elements in Astrology -- Articles Index
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The Elements in Astrology
* The Elements in Astrology -- Fire, Earth, Air and Water ---> There are four elements in astrology ... and in the other mystical / metaphysical traditions. These are fire, earth, air and water. They are the elements of physical existence ... the primary elements of life itself. We all need these things to exist in the material world. ---> Fire is the spark of life ... and in astrology, the motivating energy that animates form and substance. Earth is the very ground we stand on ... and the elemental principle that gives us form and substance.
* Elements and Gender in Astrology -- Different Ways of Engaging the World ---> The Triplicities ---> To an astrologer, Fire, Earth, Air, and Water are called the Elements or Triplicities - as each contains three signs of the Zodiac. Traditionally, members of the same triplicity tend to get along well with one another. (There are also the Qualities ... or the Quadruplicities: Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable ... whose members tend to have "problems" with one another. But that's the subject of a future article.)
* Earth, Wind and Fire ... and Water -- Compatibility in the Zodiac ---> An Introduction ---> Every astrologer hears the question: What signs am I compatible with? The person asking wants a list of three or four answers they can count on ... often to solve problems much larger than just a cluster of incompatible associates. Some of the misapplications of astrology suggest there are such lists ... and easy answers. There aren't. In astrology, as in life, broad categories and generalizations ... may not be worth much. Also, a lot depends on what you want ... what "compatible" means to you.
* The Four Elements: The Triplicities in Astrology -- Fire, Earth, Air and Water ---> Basic elements ---> There is a basic way of dividing the signs of the Zodiac into those signs that belong to the same element -- the fire, earth, air, and water signs -- and those signs that share a preference for certain tactics in engaging life's challenges -- the cardinal, fixed, and mutable signs.
Fire Element -- The Fire Signs
Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
* Fire Element -- The Fire Signs ---> The Fire Signs in Astrology ---> The Fire Signs of the Zodiac are Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. There is one Fire Sign for each of the Qualities -- Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable. Aries is Cardinal Fire. Leo is Fixed Fire. Sagittarius is Mutable Fire. ---> Fire Signs are concerned with issues of personality, confidence, vision, and individual achievement. Signs in the Fire element are positive in expression, masculine and motivating. They express themselves through outward, assertive activity.
* The Fire Signs -- Aries, Leo, Sagittarius ---> Fire Signs get things done ---> The Fire Signs: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius represent energy that is directly involved with action, leadership, personal charisma, and self-expression. These signs are self-confident, dramatic, self-promoting, exuberant, vivacious, and captivating. They get things done, motivate themselves and others, provide direction and strategy, and sometimes kick up a ruckus. They are irrepressible, goal-oriented, and concerned with the here-and-now and the immediate future.
Earth Element -- The Earth Signs
Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
* Earth Element -- The Earth Signs ---> The Earth Signs in Astrology ---> The Earth Signs of the Zodiac are Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. There is one Earth Sign for each of the Qualities -- Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable. Taurus is Fixed Earth. Virgo is Mutable Earth. Capricorn is Cardinal Earth. ---> Earth Signs are concerned with supplying, investing, building, or creating the practical substance and support systems to nourish the inspirations and new beginnings produced by Fire Sign energy.
* The Earth Signs -- Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn ---> Earth Signs take care of practicalities ---> The Earth Signs: Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn represent energy that is directly concerned with practical issues, physical substance, financial matters, and the "business" of living. This energy supports, nourishes, stabilizes, and promotes growth -- especially growth on investments. These signs are conservative, solid, pragmatic, constructive, and interested in administering "real circumstances" in the material world.
Air Element -- The Air Signs
Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
* Air Element -- The Air Signs ---> Getting the word out ... ---> The Air Signs of the Zodiac are Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. There is one Air Sign for each of the Qualities -- Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable. Gemini is Mutable Air. Libra is Cardinal Air, and Aquarius is Fixed Air. ---> Air Signs are concerned with issues of communication, information handling, data gathering and management, invention and innovation, and the practical applications of knowledge.
* The Air Signs -- Gemini, Libra, Aquarius ---> Air Signs handle information ---> The Air Signs: Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius represent energy that is directly concerned with ideas, information, intellect, opinions, facts, perspectives and communications skills. They relate to others intellectually, share thoughts and experiences, listen to feedback, and combine information into new ideas and possibilities.
Water Element -- The Water Signs
Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
* Water Element -- The Water Signs ---> The Water Signs of the Zodiac are Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. There is one Water Sign for each of the Qualities -- Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable. Cancer is Cardinal Water. Scorpio is Fixed Water, and Pisces is Mutable Water. ---> Water Signs represent emotional, instinctive, and subconscious energy that is nurturing, healing, and transformative. They are feeling, sensitive, intuitive, responsive, protective, and passionate. It's fair to say Water Sign energy is the last word, the last step in each chapter of the creative process, as the "result" finishes one stage of maturity and moves on to the next.
* The Water Signs -- Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces ---> Water Signs are emotional ---> The Water Signs: Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces represent emotional, instinctive, and subconscious energy that is nurturing, healing, and transformative. They are feeling, sensitive, intuitive, responsive, protective, and passionate. They are often extraordinarily creative in artistic efforts that rely on symbolism and metaphor to carry the message of the work. They have a rich inner life, profound abilities in fantasy and visualization, and are capable of tremendous empathy.