The Four Elements



A spark comes from somewhere—where, perhaps, is a mystery—initiating action. There is less consciousness as to why this may be happening or which methods it should follow, just that something is going on. Drive. Instinct. Flames rise; the situation heats up. Movement occurs. The state of whatever comes in contact with the fire changes, from this to that, energy expended. The burning spreads quickly, out of control, consuming everything in its path, no end in sight. Or it burns out just as fast as it started, one minute active, the next minute gone. Or we contain its flames, maintain the fire without letting it overwhelm us, use its heat and light to power our efforts.

Fire is the element of spirit and dynamism. Fire signs are Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. Aries is the first springtime flick of the lighter, the leader and pioneer with ample energy and excitement to get things started and move things along (even as someone else might be required to see them to completion). Leo is the warm joyful heat of the summer, proud to shine and eager to give and receive the love and inspiration possessed by everyone and everything under the sun. Sagittarius injects the fire into the journey, synthesizing adventures with people and places into a push to get to the heart of the matter.


The soil is rich in minerals and nutrients, supporting the development of life forms. From the ground sprouts a fabric of vegetation, sparse to lush, upon which feeds a vast array of organisms and animals. Roots grow deep. Fertility. Evolution, incorporating small changes over long periods of time. Upon the earth are built shelters, other structures to hold and protect life and its belongings. Solid footing. Taking practical responsibility for sustenance, making things out of the available materials. Comfort. Sometimes too comfortable, we become set in our ways, until the force of an earthquake overtakes the foundation and shakes us up.

Earth is the element of matter and stability. Earth signs are Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn. Taurus is the strong and steadfast vessel for holding the resources needed for life, dependable and hardy and deriving great pleasure from indulging in the fruits of fertility. Virgo quietly tinkers away, continually making minor adjustments and improvements, keen practical mind at work, until efficient and effective routines for fulfilling duties are attained. Capricorn plans for the future, taking strategic steps to lay certain bricks on top of certain other bricks to ensure maximum success and self-fulfillment, always striving just a little more.


A breeze blows seeds from one location to another, a mode assisting reproduction to unfold. Dissemination. Floating in the sky, no forced immobility, freedom. There is nothing to see or to touch, merely to imagine and to conjure. Ideas to discuss. Through social contact, word of mouth, transmission delivers, communicates, transmutes. Identify self through others; comparisons, relations. Intellect. Speaking what is thought, and hearing what is said. From the highest heights, the view is incredible, though the detail can be limited. A thrill ride, exciting sometimes to the point of turning us dizzy, and we crave a calming touch or place to land.

Air is the element of thinking and sociability. Air signs are Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. Gemini is the quick trip around the block, sampling a bit of this and a bit of that, lending the ability to see multiple perspectives and try on multiple costumes. Libra is the constantly shifting balance between two people, self and other, and the many charming and graceful steps taken to ensure the peace and put things into proper perspective. Aquarius sees how all the pieces fit together into a system, visualizes each actor into the perfect role and acts to mold the future toward this utopic vision.


Covering much of the planet's surface, comprising most of all living beings. Essential combination of molecules. Oceans connect faraway lands, their waves coming and going, ebbing and flowing. Wet. Underwater, a sense of return to the womb, to the source. Nurturing. Everything is everything, all is one, and eludes description past that. Pure. Beyond words or thoughts. Moisture carries weather patterns, changes seasons. Form, just when you've got a handle on it, morphs from solid to liquid to gas and back again, uncontrollable. Riding the flow, we feel a range of emotions, sense the truth deeply and intuitively, though never quite definitively understand.

Water is the element of feeling and psyche. Water signs are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. Cancer is the liquid water, the mother's milk, a source of nourishment flowing through valleys and across long distances with ups and downs and every feeling known to life. Scorpio is the solid water, a compact cube storing the deepest power within its opaque surfaces, well of psychological wisdom and potential for healing. Pisces is the gaseous water, cloud of mist turning day and night into magical worlds, fog seeping across every inch of everything, uniting all in one under blanket, no distinction between this and that.