The 12 signs of the zodiac are broken up into a number of different categories - by polarity (positive or negative), by quality/modality (cardinal, fixed, or mutable), and, as we’ll discuss here, by element. Earth, Air, Fire, and Water are essential to creating and sustaining life on this planet, and none of these elements are more or less important than any other.
But how do those elements affect the personality traits of the signs that fall into them? And what are those qualities? Dig deeper into the world of the zodiac elements with Birthdate Co.
The Earth Element
The first of the four zodiac elements that we’re going to focus on is the element of Earth. Of the 12 astrological signs, Taurus (April 20th to May 20th), Virgo (August 23rd to September 22nd), and Capricorn (December 22nd to January 19th) fall into this category.
Earth signs are known for being grounded, just like the element they are named after. They are down-to-earth, solid, loyal, and stable. If you think of the ground under your feet, that’s probably the way you feel about the Earth signs in your life. You don’t question whether it's going to be there, you don’t worry that you’re going to wake up one day and have it be different. You can be secure in the fact that the Earth is always there for you, to the point that you may even take it for granted).
That doesn’t mean that Earth signs are boring, though. They find a lot of excitement and pleasure in the material world, especially the finer things in life like wine and beautifully prepared food. To these signs, going out to a nice dinner or indulging in a fancy dessert is the ultimate reward. If you want to do something nice for your Earth sign, this is a great place to start.
However, just like Earth is full of positives, there is a downside to everything. Earth signs can turn that loyalty and stability into sheer stubbornness. They know how they want things to go and are unwilling to let them go any other way. Going head to head with them is a losing battle, whether they are right or wrong, because they will fight to the death rather than change their opinion.
The Air Element
Next up in the zodiac elements list are the Air elements. Gemini (May 21st to June 20th), Libra (September 23rd to October 22nd), and Aquarius (January 20th to February 18th) are in this category.
Think about how it feels driving with the windows down, the air whipping through your hair. There’s a certain freedom in that, right? That’s the spirit that Air signs bring into your life, that sense of excitement and comfort at the same time. Air signs are also known for their intelligence. Air signs are sharp and rational, choosing rationality over emotionality in most things (especially regarding how they approach arguments).
The flip side of all that rationality is that they can come across as cold and aloof. The Air signs will often do anything that they can to avoid arguments, which can lead them to shut down quickly, mainly in an attempt to protect themselves.
However, they are also likely to shut down and not be able to open back up, leading them to ghost people or move on quickly. When Air signs leave, they often take the oxygen in the room with them.
The Fire Element
The third of the zodiac elements is Fire, which encompasses Aries (March 21st to April 19th), Leo (July 23rd to August 22nd), and Sagittarius (November 22nd to December 21st). Fire signs are some of the most consistently misunderstood signs in the zodiac.
Much like the element they fall into, fire signs are very passionate about everything that they do. They are also incredibly confident people, almost coming across as overly confident and braggadocious. That intensity serves them well, though, as people tend to be unconsciously attracted to them, creating quite the following. It’s a lot like a moth to a flame.
As you may expect, all of that attention and intensity can lead to a bit of selfishness. Fire signs can be vain, especially if surrounded by people who constantly tell them how wonderful they are.
That fiery nature can also show itself as a quick temper and impulsivity, even toward people that love and support them. It can be a difficult nature to get under control, but it’s important to also note that fire signs are very sensitive on the inside. Often, all of that bravado is a defense mechanism that protects them from getting hurt.
We’re extra partial to fire signs because what good are candles without a flame? Although our candle holders are so lovely that they can also be reused as pencil holders or containers for makeup brushes, so you can keep using them even after the flame has died out.
The Water Element
And finally, no conversation about zodiac elements would be complete without discussing Water. The final three signs fall into this category - Cancer (June 21st to July 22nd), Scorpio (October 23rd to November 21st), and Pisces (February 19th to March 20th).
Even among elements, water is unique. It can be found in all three of its states on Earth (solid, liquid, and gas). Water signs are like that too. They can be deep in ways that often make them seem very mysterious and unpredictable, and that’s just how they like it.
Water signs are also very sensitive, both to outside influences and unspoken ones. They are the first ones in the room to pick up on “bad vibes,” so much so that it can deeply impact the way that they feel, too. This is part of why they are seen as so compassionate toward everyone around them; they can genuinely empathize with people because they know how they feel.
Unfortunately, that sensitivity can really cut both ways. What makes them compassionate, understanding, and loyal people can also get them hurt easily. It’s hard not to take things personally when you feel everything so intensely, even when you know it wasn’t directed at you. That can translate into moodiness and generally feeling wary of people whose intentions they aren’t sure of.
Zodiac Element Compatibility
Wondering how the elements react to each other? While it’s a lot more accurate to look at your specific sign’s compatibility with another sign, there is still a lot that you can learn in a more general way about the zodiac elements' relationships to each other. And if you’re looking to learn more about your own personal horoscope and sign, the Birthdate Book is a beautiful, unique opportunity for you to do so.
- Fire and Fire - Can you say combustion? Two Fire signs together is a lot of intensity in one place. But it can work, as the intensity also breeds passion.
- Fire and Earth - Fire and Earth can be an odd pairing, but it can work. Both are very creative, even though they move at very different paces.
- Fire and Air - This is a hot and cold partnership in the best of situations. Fire needs Air to grow, but Air can also put Fire out if it blows too hard. If they can work together, this can be a harmonious blending. If not, one (or both) people will be frequently frustrated.
- Fire and Water - Fire and Water go together like… Fire and Water. Water can put a damper on Fire’s sense of excitement, and Fire will likely resent them for being able to express their emotions so well. This can be a tough partnership to make work.
- Earth and Air - Earth and Air can be good together if both are willing to respect the other’s natures. Air may want Earth to speed up a little, and Earth may want Air to calm down a bit. However, opposites can attract.
- Earth and Earth - If both Earth signs are comfortable without a lot of excitement and spontaneity in their relationship, this is a great pairing. It’s a calm, supportive, loving relationship where both people can enjoy each other’s company without all the fireworks.
- Earth and Water - Earth and Water make great partners. Earth needs Water to soften and nourish them, and Water needs the Earth sign to give them a little structure and guidance. It’s a perfect partnership.
- Water and Water - Water signs tend to be compatible with other Water signs, as long as both are open to communicating honestly about their feelings. If they are too emotional, or one person in the relationship is prone to overreaction, this may be overwhelming for both.
- Water and Air - Both Water and Air enjoy deep, stimulating conversations, but Air can easily upset and overwhelm Water. Think of the waves on the ocean and the effect that the wind has. These signs are just on different wavelengths a lot of the time.
- Air and Air - Two Air signs together can start fantastically with deep, intellectual conversations and enjoyment of the finer things in life. But, over time, the divide caused by having two people in a relationship that are not necessarily comfortable with their emotions can take a toll.
Reading the Signs
It isn’t just the placement of the moon or where the sun is when you were born that plays a role in your personality. Other factors, like the zodiac element that rules your sign, also determine many things about your basic temperament and how you react and relate to the things and people around you. If you want to know more about astrology, numerology, and the zodiac, stick with us here at Birthdate Co.
Facts About Water | United States Geological Survey
TransWeb.org | University of Michigan
Zodiac's Air Signs: Aquarius, Gemini, Libra Traits, Explained | Women’s Health Mag
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