The 12 signs of the Zodiac are separated into 4 elements: Fire, Earth, Air and Water. By examining the different planets in these signs astrologers can draw an in-depth profile analysis of a subject. Each of the elements are referred to as the triplicities in astrology as each three star signs are attached to each of the four elements making twelve in all. For instance, Aries is the first fire sign, followed by Taurus the first earth sign, Gemini the first air sign and Cancer the first water sign. Then the cycle begins again with Leo as the second fire sign and so on.
Signs and the Elements
Fire: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
Earth: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
Air: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Water: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
THE THREE MODALITIES
Each sign is connected to one of three modalities; cardinal (sometimes referred to as movable), fixed, and mutable. There are four quadrants following the order of the zodiac signs, with three signs in each. Each quadrant describes a season, beginning with a cardinal sign, continuing to a fixed sign, and ending with a mutable sign.
- Mutable signs are related to adaptability, resourcefulness and holism. They are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces.
- Fixed signs are related to determination, focus and individuality. They are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius.
- Cardinal signs are related to creativity and initiation. They are Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn.
Aries, Leo, Sagittarius.
People with fire signs can be energetic and sometimes need to be aware of the impact that their explosive and occasionally volatile natures have on those around them. Often leaders, inventors and adventurers.
Those with fire in their chart, are very energetic and put a lot of effort and energy into what they do. Sometimes it is difficult for them to be as empathetic as they might be seeing others as separate individuals that they do not need to take into consideration.
Their weaknesses are a tendency to work to their extremes and burning out. An excess of fire can lead to inconsiderate behaviour which is a little self-centred. Those with an excessive fire element may be full of ideas and get-rich or creative schemes but might not always be able to follow through.
A lack of fire can mean that they struggle to express themselves and be assertive finding themselves looking to others for motivation and inspiration. They might feel detached and uninvolved, a particular challenge if you are an affectionate person in relationship with someone who has a lack of the fire element.
The Fire attributes are best to be counterbalanced by Earth signs. A strong positioning of Mars in a chart may mitigate a lack of fire by increasing the desire to express things related to the fire element.
Fire Keywords: Leader, arrogant, self-centred, enthusiastic, dominating, fast-paced, impulsive, spontaneous, self-motivated, confident, independent, optimistic.
Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
With earth in your chart you like to be surrounded by possessions. You like to avoid rocking the boat and have a strong sense of duty. Your tendency is towards that which is tangible and building solid foundations, sometimes a little over concerned with concrete details. You are sensitive to your body and attuned to your immediate environment. Sensory comforts and pleasure are important to you.
A lack of earth suggests that you may flit from job to job and possibly have skills that have no practical application. Money organisation is a challenge but you do like a rigid routine. Feeling secure is important and jobs and relationships are long lasting, possibly to long and past their use-by date.
Saturn in a strong position can mitigate a lack of earth element in your sign.
Earth Keywords: Materialistic, greedy, responsible, reliable, practical, possessive, cautious, sensual, down to earth, security minded, realistic, orderly, productive, methodical, patient, persistent, enduring.
Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Air signs have a notable ability for intellectual activity, thought and philosophy and are good planners.
Air is concerned with communication and ideas. A rational energy, freedom of thought is important whilst a lot of air in a chart suggests an over-active mind, meditation before sleep is recommended to assist quietening that busy mind.
A lack of air suggests you tend to distrust the intellect and learn from life experience. You sometimes feel misunderstood and out of contact with those around you not quite picking-up on the current vibe. There could be some difficulty in remaining objective, but you have a strength in that you gain understanding of yourself by listening to and receiving feedback from others.
Without Air signs, subjects may have difficulty in communication, and be weak in artistic inclination. The excess of planets in Air signs are best to be counterbalanced by planets in the Water signs.
Mercury in a strong position can mitigate a lack of air.
Air Keywords: Intellectual, curious, observant, detached, unrealistic, talkative, cooperative, indecisive, flighty
Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces.
These are emotional signs and water signs are intuitive, sensitive and feel more intensely than the rest. Actions are based on instinct and intuition, rather than logic or intellect. You may lose yourself in your feelings or the feelings of others. Learning how to shield your energetic anatomy a useful skill to acquire as being in a crowd or intense relationship moments can drain you. Boundaries between you and others can be challenging to work out, where others end and you begin often a mystery. Being sensitive you may have an inclination to withdraw into yourself often. People with a lot of water in their sign may have psychic abilities, or, the ability to develop then should they so chose.
The planets in Water sign moderate the practicality of Earth, the ideas of Air, the careless energy of Fire. In astrological interpretation, the element analysis is the most traditional.
A lack of water may mean that you find it hard to express your feelings and may end up forming relationships with overly emotional people. Possibly you struggle to find meaning in your life. There is a tendency to need to prove your sensitivity by doing things for others and acting overly concerned, sometimes to the point of being theatrical to emphasis “that you really care” .
The Moon in a strong position can mitigate a lack of water.
Water Keywords: Emotional, nurturing, compassionate, moody, understanding, sensitive, vulnerable, sentimental, responsive, dependent, secretive, imaginative.