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The four Elements of Astrology


Signs are like colored glass windows through which the planetary energies shine. Each color (sign) emphasizes or inhibits the flame of the planetary energy behind it, but doesn’t fundamentally change it. Thus signs qualify or alter a planet's energy, and show its needs for proper functioning.

The different astrological signs can be grouped together by whether or not they are either harmonious with or discordant to each other. More precisely, since it is not the signs but rather the planets in them that do the relating, signs are grouped by how the planets in them relate. Those signs for which planets in them relate with relative harmony fall into one of four groups called the "triplicities" or the more familiar "elements." Here astrology draws on the ancient Hermetic (of Hermes) tradition that all that exists is constituted of one or a combination of four primal qualities or elements: Fire, Earth, Air and Water. The 12 astrological signs also partake of these attributes, three signs being accorded to each of the four elements.

The concept of the four elements was probably first introduced by the pre-Socratic Sicilian philosopher Empedocles (c. 490-430 BC), who also suggested that powers he referred to as Love and Strife brought about both the separation and mixture of these elements. Empedocles was influenced by Pythagoras' (c. 569-c. 475 BC) teachings, and believed in reincarnation, or metempsychosis, as did Pythagoras, who claimed he could remember four of his previous lives in detail.



The element Fire: Aries, Leo and Sagittarius


Aries astrology glyph Leo astrology glyph Sagittarius astrology glyph






The element Earth: Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn


Taurus astrology glyph Virgo astrology glyph Capricorn astrology glyph





The element Air: Gemini, Libra and Aquarius


Gemini astrology glyph Libra astrology glyph Aquarius astrology glyph





The element Water: Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces:


Cancer astrology glyph Scorpio astrology glyph Pisces astrology glyph







The elements can be further sorted into two more groups: the positive, masculine, or yang in expression, and those that are negative, feminine, or yin. Fire and Air (Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius, and Aquarius) fall into the yang category, whereas Earth and Water (Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, and Pisces) are yin signs.

Other things being equal, two or more planets in different Earth signs, for example, relate harmoniously with each other. The same is true for any two planets that both happen to be in any one of the four elements. Below are links to pages discussing those four elements.

This Four-Elements-of-Astrology page and much of this 600-page website are excerpted from the personalized, fine art astrology book You and the Universe.

To go to each or any of the individual elements, click on its link below.









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Pages 2 and 3 from your Astrology Reading in the Fine Art Book You and the Universe








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The personalized Fine Art Book You and the Universe.











© Carl Woebcke: The Four Elements of Astrology Astrology, 1991-2017. All rights reserved.