We all love finding out more about our zodiac signs, but there is so much more to astrology than just reading your horoscope for the day. Knowing the ins and outs of your Sun sign is great, but there are lots of reasons why you should pay attention to the
element of each zodiac sign, too — particularly when it comes to better understanding your own personality, as well as the connections between the signs in the zodiac. So before you dive into reading your own birth chart or learning all about your Moon sign, it can be helpful to understand the ways your zodiac sign's element affects your life, as it'll give you a deeper understanding of astrology on the whole.
While there are 12 unique zodiac signs, each with their own qualities and traits, they're broken down into different categories. Firstly, the signs are divided into two polarities (masculine and feminine), and then they're broken down into
three astrological modalities, which are cardinal, fixed, and mutable. Lastly (and perhaps most importantly), they're broken down into four groups of elements in astrology, and those are fire, earth, air, and water.
Leo, Aries, and Sagittarius are the fire signs who carry their passion and drive with them everywhere they go. Meanwhile, air signs Gemini, Aquarius, and Libra propel the world forward using their intellect and mental prowess. Water signs Scorpio, Pisces, and Cancer keep people in touch with their emotions by feeling all of their feelings, all the time. And the earth signs Virgo, Capricorn, and Taurus remind us all to stay grounded and embrace practicality, even when it's difficult. The
signs and their corresponding elements work in perfect synchronicity with each other to teach us these lessons — and you can use the elements as a nice shorthand for grouping these lessons into categories that make astrology less confusing.
Read on to discover some unexpected ways that paying attention to the element of your zodiac sign can benefit you:
1 You'll Gain A Better Understanding Of The Zodiac As A Whole
Learning the ins and outs and ups and downs of your own zodiac sign can be overwhelming at first — so it's even more intense to wrap your head around all 12 zodiac signs' energies. Breaking them down by element can make things so much easier. Remember, the signs are broken down into groupings of three based on the four elements, so it might be easier to understand them if you can narrow them down based on shared traits. Think of the fire signs as passionate and action-oriented; the earth signs as grounded and practical; the air signs as social and intellectual, and the water signs as emotional and sensitive. You'll soon begin to be able to muse over which "element" someone's personality displays when you first meet them, and before you know it, you might be able to guess someone's zodiac sign in real time!
2 You'll Learn More About Your Strengths & Weaknesses
Every element has good and bad qualities — and knowing what your element is prone to can help you gain a better understanding about your own behaviors. Of course, these strengths and weaknesses are vital to the ecosystem that is the zodiac. Just like the real-life elements of nature, the zodiac signs' elements work together to make things work.
So, what are the major strengths and weaknesses of each element? Earth signs are grounded and logical, but can be stuck in their ways or overly stubborn about straying from the beaten path. Fire signs are inspiring and exciting to be around, but can lack tact when it comes to forcing ideas upon people or controlling their impulses. Water signs are deeply sensitive and spiritual, and help others get in touch with their emotions — but can too easily get sucked into other people's feelings and dramas if they're not careful. And air signs remind people to be free-thinking and quick-moving, but can sometimes be detached, flighty, and hard to rely on.
3 You'll Find More Effective Ways To Handle Conflict
Thinking of people's zodiac signs in terms of their element is a key way to see what triggers us — and perhaps how to handle things better — and the element your sign is in may explain a lot of the blind spots and impulses that come up when you get into a troublesome situation. If you take the time to analyze how your ruling element reacts to conflict, you can figure out how to improve the way you deal with it, which is always a good thing. Keep in mind that air signs tend to get caught up in thinking about things too much, while fire signs may run toward conflict too aggressively at times and jump to quick conclusions. Earth signs, on the other hand, can be a little stubborn and overly-pragmatic, while water signs can get too worked up in their emotions and take things personally.
4 You'll Connect With Your Philosophical Instincts
It's not just philosophical Sagittarians who question everything — every zodiac sign is striving to find meaning in this world. That's just human nature! Throughout life, we all have philosophical instincts and belief systems that drive the way we think, act, feel, and perceive things, as well as questions that lead us to new places. For water signs, it will be some version of, "How do I manage feeling so much, when sometimes society doesn't always accept it?" Earth signs think, "How do I choose the logical step that's best for me and doesn't inconvenience others?" Air signs think, "How do I figure out the way to make life for myself and others the easiest?" And fire signs may wonder, "How do I pursue my passion and make the most impact?" These are all important life questions that may help you better define what your interests and values are, based on your sign's element.
5 Zodiac Sign Compatibility Will Make So Much More Sense
There are many different factors that play into the astrological compatibility between two people, but if we want to simplify things, looking at elements can help us make some generalized guesses. Certain elements
complement each other to form a good union, while others can clash and make relationships a little extra challenging. Firstly, if someone's zodiac sign shares an element with yours, you're more likely to be compatible with them. This is because you instinctively understand each other's ways of thinking and motivations, so there's an easy vibe between you. You'll also usually pair well with the element of the sign that's directly across from yours on the zodiac wheel — so that pairs fire signs with air signs, and earth signs with water signs. The reason for this is that there's a naturally give and take between these opposing energies. You work well in symbiosis and bring each other something others can't. Conversely, fire and air signs might struggle more with water and earth signs, and vice versa. This is because their ways of dealing with things could clash, and it's harder to find common ground.
This doesn't mean that you're doomed if you are interested in someone whose zodiac sign's element isn't compatible with your on paper, but it can be interesting to note your love interest's element when assessing why you're more drawn to one person than another who has more elemental similarities!
6 You'll Learn To Be More Tolerant Of Clashing Personalities
Everyone has someone in their life who rubs them the wrong way. Maybe it's someone you work with or who's in the periphery of your friend group — and perhaps it turns out their sign has a different element than yours. Understanding the element that rules over people who you don't get along with so well can help you find common ground and mend the relationships.
Maybe you're an earth sign that doesn't get why that fire sign is so extra, or you're an air sign that wishes water signs would just stop
feeling so much. You could also be a fire sign that judges how detached that air sign is, or a water sign that thinks earth signs can be wet blankets. In any case, there's a lot of possibilities for how differing elements can naturally rub us the wrong way. If you can try to call on the qualities you know are associated with that person's element and try to cater to them next time you interact, you might gain a better understanding of where they're coming from, and even help you develop more compassion for them! 7 You'll Grow As A Person — And Know Yourself Better Than Ever
Self-improvement is hard for any human, no matter what your zodiac sign, but learning more about your sign's element can show you the ways in which you naturally relate to others, interact with the world around you, and what aspects of your personality you might have to worker harder at changing than others. But on an even more interpersonal level, understanding the elements of the zodiac can give you ideas on how to incorporate the other elements' values into your life and connect with other people who have totally different ways of viewing the world. Just like all four elements are part of nature, working in perfect synergy with each other, we can find a blend of the elements' energy in our cosmic profile — and embracing that will help us feel much more whole and balanced.
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This article was originally published on
April 9, 2018