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Ken Ward's Astrology Pages

Astrology: Fire, Earth, Air and Water.

clear.gif (807 bytes) This page deals with:

See also: Triplicities_Metaphors

Elements and Signs

All of the signs have the quality of one of the four elements. These are called the triplicities because they are a a group of three signs. For example, Aries, Leo and Sagittarius are a group of three fire signs. The triplicities are the four elements.

The table below shows the Signs and the corresponding elements:

Element Keywords

Signs

Fire Forcefully Aries Leo Sagittarius
Earth Practically Taurus Virgo Capricorn
Air Thoughtfully Gemini Libra Aquarius
Water Emotionally Cancer Scorpio Pisces

The fire signs all share the quality of fire, and the other signs share the qualities of earth, air and water respectively.

Forcefully means with power or influence or authority. It means to cause effects (as opposed to reacting to them.) And implies doing it immediately, without too much thought.

Practical means what is useful and workable. It is concerned with what will create the desired result efficiently.

Thoughtfully means using the mind. It means using arguments, reasons, and logic. It often means using language and meaning, perhaps step-by-step. It can also involve other sequences, like mathematics. Of course, we all use language, but Air People are more concerned with sequences and relationships than, say, Fire People who get bored with the talk and want to do it now. (Think later, perhaps).

Emotionally, means using the emotions or feelings as a basis of action, knowing and deciding. Like Earth People, Water People are more likely to react to situations. They react according to their emotions or feelings. This can be subtle, as when feeling something is true rather than thinking something is true. (Air), or  just doing it (Fire).

Correspondences

The fire signs all have some element of "forcefulness" in them. The Earth signs are "practical and down-to-earth". The Air signs are "thoughtful or intellectual". And the water signs are "emotional".

Element Keywords Jung Hippocrates Plato Paracelsus Knowing
Fire
fire.gif (103 Byte)
Action Intuitive Choleric Imagination Salamander Insights/ Cognitions
Earth
earth.gif (100 Byte)
Practical Sensation Melancholic Demonstration Gnome Opportunities/ Methods
Air
air.gif (101 Byte)
Intellectual Thinking Sanguine Intelligence Sylph Concepts/ Reasoning
Water water.gif (101 Byte) Emotional Feeling Phlegmatic Opinion Undine Feelings

Here are some more correspondences:

Element Directions Physical Sense Mental Spirit Illumination Bodies Density
Fire South Sight Understanding Spiritual Light Animals Light
Earth North Feeling/ Touch The Senses Grounded Dark Stones Heavy
Air East Sound Reason Mind Dark Plants Light
Water West Smell/ Taste Memory Psychic Dark Metals Heavy

The Salamanders, gnomes, sylphs and nymphs are "mythical" creatures that inhabit and maintain the elements. A salamander a being that lives in fire. It also refers to a being that can stand a lot of heat. The word is used for an inhabitant of the element fire who performs world-building tasks related to the element fire.

A gnome is a "mythical" being that lives in the ground in caves. They are reputed to guard buried treasure. Not surprisingly, the word is sometimes applied to international bankers. The word is used to refer to beings of the earth who perform tasks related to the element earth.

Sylphs are creatures of the air, sometimes called nymphs of the air. The word is used to refer to inhabitants of the element air who perform world-building tasks related to the element air.

Undines are creatures of the water, and are said to live beneath the waves.  They are sometimes called water nymphs. The word is used to refer to the inhabitants of the element water who perform tasks related to that element.

The four (or more) elements have a long history in many different cultures.

See also: Triplicities – Metaphors