Why am I falling in love with the four elements? Because they fell in love with me long ago (and I didn’t even know it). The best news is this: the four elements are clamoring after you, too. Doesn’t it feel great to be wanted?
The four elements have been at work and at play with humanity before I was here and will surely continue after we leave. The elements are steeped in our worlds: in our heartbreaks, in our rhythms of the day, in all of our relationships. They do not require our understanding—the elements show up anyways, everywhere, all the time.
They show up with far more power when I am aware of them and choose to navigate with them in my day-to-day life: from when I sip my tea in the morning (WATER) to when I read a book before bed (AIR). Water. Air. Earth. Fire. Nothing can survive without them. Every soul on the planet, no matter how long or how brief their stay here—moments or decades—cannot exist without the magic of their alchemy and the dance of the elements in their life.
The four elements are as old as time. Creation began with water, air, earth and fire. While so many of the New Age topics are just emerging—the elements are not new, they remain constant.
The elements guide the seasons, the days, our life span.
We each grow in the womb (WATER) and after we’re born we enter our existence with a breath (AIR), then we spend the next 18 years studying and adding to that breath and then comes adulthood where we go off to work and make money (EARTH) finally leaving the later part of our lives for fun and reflection (FIRE) where we are supposed to grow into maturity with wisdom celebrating what was created as a result of a long life of work.
What are the Four Elements and Why Care?
Water. Air. Earth. Fire. They permeate all creation. We will delve into each element in future posts but for now, let’s fly the helicopter really high and distill each one so it is the most accessible and so you can get it, grasp them, know the basics.
(And as a major PS: if you want to dig really deep—we’re talking core-earth deep—and understand the four elements as well as you know your own name, read The Missing Element or better yet, become a master and join the course Applied Astrology.)
Fluid. Liquid. Movement. Power. Feelings. We all begin in water—the amniotic sacks inside our mother’s. The planet’s surface is made up of over 70% water. The average adult body is comprised of 50-60% water. Water is a diverse element existing as vapor in the air, wending in rivers and lakes as a liquid and frozen in glaciers and icecaps as a solid. The human species cannot live but three days without water. Three. Water is critical for survival. We need it. We are it.
From an astrological perspective water as one of the four elements, is all about feelings.
If You are WATER, You Are:
- All about feelings.
- A person who cares about memories and history and genealogy.
- One who is comfortable in meditation and being still.
- Someone who forgives.
- A healer.
If You are WATER, You Need:
- To know that while you can function powerfully as a solitary being you need people.
- To learn to ask for help.
- To know surrender.
- To forgive.
Clean, whole, unadulterated, soothing water is the source of life. It gives and directs life. Deepest wisdom comes with allowing the healing power of water to guide asking for and offering forgiveness.
Light. Airy. Breath. Wind. Words. Air is what we breathe as a sign of aliveness—straight from the womb. Breathing is, of course, elemental to survival. A healthy adult can hold their breath for about two minutes. Two. Breathing is critical to survival. But of course you know this. The air element is concerned with giving language to feelings. The one who expresses emotions is a person with air as their dominant element.
From an astrological perspective air as one of the four elements, is all about creating with words.
If You are AIR, You Are:
- Prone to talking, reading and writing.
- Called to freedom.
- Good at details.
- A person who loves to hear stories
If You are AIR, You Need:
- To be clear about how talking can disrupt doing.
- To learn how to share yourself with others.
- To be watchful about becoming co-dependent.
- To be in relationship or you’ll suffer loneliness.
Fresh, clean, clear air helps our bodies thrive and grow. We breathe in air and it nourishes all our organs. Like the air element in astrology, a strong air sign takes in surroundings and has the ability to nourish the world with powerful language and life-giving words.
Solid. Deep. Work. Service. We all live on it and depend on it for holding us. The earth is home to all beings and plants and animals. Earth is the only planet in our solar system that contains complex life. It is the ideal distance from the sun to maintain life—if it were closer, we’d burn…if it were farther, we’d freeze. But the earth itself will live on whether we hurt it or help it.
From an astrological perspective earth as one of the four elements, is all about creation.
If You are EARTH, You Are:
- Here to fix things.
- A healer.
- The ultimate provider.
- The protector of your loved ones.
If You are EARTH, You Need:
- To learn forgiveness.
- To check your opinions.
- To think of yourself, too.
- To know how to rest.
A well-managed, solid, healthy earth is the perfect foundation for life. It upholds life. The earth element at work in a person manifests as someone who is kind-hearted and loyal.
Hot. Intense. Light. Energy. Fire is the result of chemicals crashing into each other and the result: heat and light. Fire can feel like a consuming beast but the truth is fires are needy. To continue burning fire needs fuel. Fires destroy and fires stimulate growth. Humans need the energy and heat and light fire offers us.
From an astrological perspective fire as one of the four elements, is all about indulgence.
If You are FIRE, You Are:
If You are FIRE, You Need:
- To learn awareness of how you affect people.
- To care.
- To understand the tools of sarcasm.
- To be clear about your power to create and your power to destroy.
Distinct, controlled fire is a boon to many. It can break down the old and make way for the new. Those with a strong fire element take on the world and all the difficulty and hard truths knowing there is goodness on the other side of the pain.
Isn’t it thrilling? These four elements can be so instructive when known.
It is like the best kind of gift…a present within a present within a present…and so on. You unwrap something and discover a shadow or a beacon or a roadblock or a new piece of your own puzzle (and the puzzles of the ones around you as well). This helicopter is so very high that we just covered a basic look…there is so much (so much!) more to unveil about the work of water, air, earth and fire.
Like I said you can tickle your fancy about how the four elements work in Debra Silverman’s book The Missing Element or sign up for her Applied Astrology course to make the kinds of connections to this ancient art that is working to transform the world.