The Elements of the Zodiac Signs: Fire, Earth, Air & Water

One method of getting a broad feel for an individual’s psychological make up is to look at the composition of the chart in relation to the elements. Basically each zodiac sign has an element assigned to it as follows:

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

There are various methods used to work out the strength of the elements in a natal chart. From my experience where there is a strong emphasis on one element, there is another one that is not represented very strongly. This can indicate that either the person has difficulty in expressing the attributes associated with that element or becomes very proficient at them over time due to overcompensation. In other words, the individual may feel that they have difficulty in expressing certain traits and work hard at developing them. Because they could be sensitive of this difficulty, they may develop the qualities associated with the particular element more than the average person.

Anyway, let’s have a look at some key words for the elements, what they can mean, and how they can be utilised.


Fire (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) = Vital

People with an emphasis on the fire element tend to be outgoing, inspirational and ‘fiery’. When expressed well these people often are an inspiration to others, are quite moral and can be very creative. If the person has difficulty expressing or experiencing the more enjoyable aspects of the fire element they may become selfish, risk-takers and/or inclined to give in to their passions too easily. A lack of representation of this element can indicate a lack of initiative, inspiration and difficulty in becoming inspired.

Key Words
enthusiastic * optimistic * confident * naive * self-centred * open * egotistical * idealist * confronting * loyal * tactless * overbearing * intuitive * has to feel free * high spirited * impatient * physically active * ingenious * honest * trusting * impersonal * independent * warm * exaggerate * insensitive * extroverted * inspirational * has to feel important *


Earth (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) = Physical

An emphasis on this element indicate a practical, cautious, and pragmatic approach to life. In the majority of cases there is the need to build solid, ‘real’ material success, i.e. car, home, career success. Earthy people may benefit from connecting to the earth element via gardening, pottery, facial mud packs, etc. Long range planning and the determination to succeed are strong traits for this element, as is melancholy, greed and fear if taken too far. A person with a lack of earth may find it difficult to live in the ‘real’ world and to keep themselves grounded. Their expectations in general may be a little unrealistic.

Key Words
cautious * conservative * materialistic * safe/secure * skeptics * suspicious * sensual * solid * purposeful * feel control over physical/material * grounded * practical * organised * dependable * controlled * realistic * introvert * appreciation of food, touch, etc. * efficient * strong survival instinct *


Air (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) = Mental

Airy people are usually natural communicators. On a positive note they are great and conceptual tasks and often tend to ‘have their head in the clouds’! I usually find that people with this element emphasised are extroverted and enjoy being exposed to different ideas, knowledge is quite important to them. On the down side though, they may be so busy living in their head that they lose touch with reality. The lack of air in a birth chart can indicate difficulty in the expression of that person. Communication of ideas and the ability to conceptualise may prove difficult.

Key Words
intellectual * rational * curious * idealistic * unemotional * animated * uninvolved * conceptual * devoid of feeling * very sensitive * needs to communicate * social * objective * impersonal * distant * opinionated * air has least obvious bad qualities * theoretical * abstract * needs to socialise * needs to share ideas *


Water (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) = Emotional

When the water element is emphasised in a person’s natal chart they are usually quite emotional – even if they don’t show it (still waters run deep). Confinement is not something these people deal well with, they are usually quite resourceful. On a positive level watery people are caring, emotional and artistic, but can also tend to exaggerate feelings out of proportion and live in a fantasy world. When a person’s chart lacks water, there is the tendency for them to find it difficult to understand the feeling side of life and to show compassion to those around them.

Key Words
feeling * impressionable * moody * private * soulful * compassionate * subconscious * irrational * introverted * soothing * fragile, but strong/powerful * sensitive * cautious * vulnerable to hurt * intimate * defensive * psychic * past * suffering * suspicious initially * self-contained * picks up impressions * associated with healing *

You might also enjoy our comprehensive horoscopes article >>

Click on the infographic to see it in full size.

Four Elements Infographic

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