The 4 Zodiac Elements Of Astrology And What Each Means

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zodiac element symbols over image of planet mars

Every zodiac sign in astrology is associated with one of four elements.

Ancient alchemists believe that these elements formed the basis of all life, and when connected with your zodiac element, you can better understand the way you experience yourself and the world around you.

Zodiac Elements Explained

Zodiac signs are grouped among the elements within what's known as triplicity rulerships, meaning the 12 zodiac signs are divided among four groups of three.

Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius are fire signs. Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn are Earth signs. Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius are air signs. Finally, Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces are water signs.

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During each zodiac sign’s elemental season, they tend to have a better sense of self. This energy also impacts the other zodiac signs with different elements.

For example, Fire signs are associated with summer, when the weather is hot and dry. This is true even though the dates of their zodiac seasons may occur outside of the summer.

Each triplicity carries the same seasonal qualities, albeit with some important differences between the signs.

Fire signs

  • Aries
  • Leo
  • Sagittarius

Season: Fire signs are associated with summer when the weather is hot and dry.

Fire sign traits: The fire element represents action, passion, creativity, and drive. Fire signs have a distinct spark about their nature. Whenever you come across a Fire sign, you often see them putting on their best show to display for the world.

These signs are independent and don’t like to sit still. However, they must be wary about burning out from so much activity. If Aries, Leo, or Sagittarius run amok and don’t take a moment to relax, they immediately feel their own heat of exhaustion.

How to connect with the Fire element: One way to connect with the Fire element is by meditating near a source of heat or flame. Light a candle the next time you want to reflect; right away, you should feel a calming presence. You can also spend time outside soaking up the Sun.

Earth signs

  • Taurus
  • Virgo
  • Capricorn

Season: Earth signs are associated with autumn or fall when the weather is cool and dry.

Earth sign traits: Earth represents substance, practicality, reason, and realist thinking. Earth signs are practical; when it’s time to get to work, they will do whatever it takes to accomplish their assignments. They are wise and love to serve others in times of need.

But Capricorn, Taurus, and Virgo need to be careful about being overly logical. If they think too deeply about something, their mind creates an entirely different version of the situation.

How to connect with the Earth element: One way to connect with your Earth element is by spending time in nature. Whether you’re planting a garden or walking along the grass barefoot, you will feel grounded and relieved. Earth signs can also benefit greatly from houseplants to practice grounding energy.

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Air signs

  • Gemini
  • Libra
  • Aquarius

Season: Air signs are associated with spring when the weather is warm and wet.

Air sign traits: Air represents duality, intellect, openness, and ethereal thinking. Air signs are everywhere and nowhere at once. They don’t like to be in one place all the time because their curious nature doesn’t permit this.

There’s a whole world out there to discover and explore, and Air signs will make sure to do just that. Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius need to be wary of their innate commitment issues. If they can learn how to stick with one thing at a time, they’ll feel more accomplished.

How to connect with the Air element: One of the best ways to connect with the Air element's energy is by lighting incense (or using an essential oil diffuser) and watching the smoke fill the air. Another way to connect is by making a wish on a dandelion, and as the seeds fly away, watch them drift while you breathe.

Water signs

  • Cancer
  • Scorpio
  • Pisces

Season: Water signs are associated with winter when the weather is cold and wet.

Water sign traits: Water represents emotions, intuition, and sensitivity. Water signs are deeply in touch with their intuition, as well as the emotions of those around them. They have an enormous amount of feelings and have a gift for reading between every thin line, allowing them to fully understand a situation or person.

Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces must be careful in worrying about other people too much. If they allow themselves to feed into someone else’s problems, they will feel those same emotions, ending with destructive behavior.

How to connect with the Water element: One way to connect with Water is to be physically near a body of water. You can meditate while taking a bath or while swimming in the ocean, in an effort to connect to yourself.

How to Tell Which Element is Dominant in Your Natal Chart

When analyzing a chart, your Sun sign and its corresponding element aren't the only aspects to consider when determining your dominant element. Instead, taking into account the placement of the other planets in your natal chart determines your dominant element.

If there are five or more planets in one element, it’s dominant; however, an element is “weak” if there are one or no planets in a sign.

For example, if your Sun sign is Taurus, an Earth sign, but your Mercury, Venus, Rising, Mars, and Moon signs are all in Pisces, a Water sign, your dominant element would be Water, not Earth.

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Destiny Duprey is a writer and student whose work focuses primarily on astrology, pop culture, and relationship topics. Follow her on Twitter for more.