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Zodiac sign elements: Understanding fire, earth, air and water

The elements are the life giving source for the twelve signs of the zodiacs, through which a person is defined. The 12 signs are put into four elemental groups namely – fire, earth, air and water, with each element having three signs that are located in trines from each other (120 degrees apart). Each element has a specific attribute. The signs of the houses and planets placed in these signs are used to describe personality, looks, disposition, food habits, nature and compatibility with others based on the nature of the elements. Many factors contribute to the aforesaid traits in a horoscope, but elements are given a lot of importance in astrology. Knowing your element will help you understand yourself better – your strengths, weaknesses, and inclinations etc. Let’s dive deep into zodiac sign elements.

Zodiac sign elements and modalities

Elements represent the basic nature and modalities show the style of expression. The different modality gives different traits to the three signs of each element. The element and modality combine to create a unique character. The zodiac is very well organised with the three modalities repeating in the same order – cardinal, fixed and mutable and elements also repeating them self in the same configuration – fire, earth, air and water.

November horoscope 2022

Fire signs – Aries, Leo and Sagittarius

Traits – Fiery, passionate, aggressive, zesty, spontaneous, impulsive, creative and courageous. They can be arrogant, and self-centered too. They have the ability to take risks. They can convert opportunities in their favour. No one can dominate them. The three fire signs are ruled by different planets, and each is of different modality. Let’s know what the modality of these zodiac sign elements is.

Aries: Cardinal modality – As Mars is the ruling planet, they have all the traits of a fire sign. They want to be number one always and they seldom linger in the past. They are decisive and move on with confidence and courage.

Leo: Fixed modality – Ruled by the sun, they are duty conscious, bold and passionate besides having all the fire sign traits.

Sagittarius: Mutable modality – Owned by Jupiter, Sagittarians have all the qualities of the fire sign but they are more adaptable and determined.

Earth Signs –Tarus, Virgo and Capricorn

Traits – Practical, reliable, logical, giving and grounded. They can find solutions to all problems. They are very responsible and hard working. They are loyal and committed in relationships. At times, they can be dull and materialistic. They differ from each other because of different modalities and rulers.

Taurus: Fixed modality – Ruled by the planet of luxury Venus, they are fond of good food and luxuries. However, they are pragmatic as well and are great planners.

Virgo: Cardinal modality – Ruled by Mercury, they are practical, hardworking, intelligent, dedicated, and committed.

Capricorn: Mutable modality – Saturn rules this earthy sign and that’s what makes them hardworking, cautious and realistic.

Air Signs – Gemini, Libra and Aquarius

Traits – Curious, master communicators, social, attention seekers. People born under air signs are multi taskers, adventurous, like to verify everything and are quite observant. They can be cold and impractical also. Different modalities and rulers make the three air signs different from each other.

Gemini: Mutable modality – Mercury rules Gemini and they are extremely adaptable, adjusting, happy go lucky, very conscious of social status and quite helpful.

Libra: Cardinal modality – This sign is ruled by Venus and hence Librans are fond of good living. They are balanced, action oriented and are very good planners.

Aquarius: Fixed modality – Saturn rules this sign. They are very disciplined, serious and mature. They also have an expertise in handling all situations.

Water Signs – Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

Traits – Extremely emotional, nurturing, cool, calm, very sensitive and sharp. They avoid confrontations. These are the basic traits of the water sign. They differ from each other because of different modalities and different ruling planets.

Cancer: Cardinal modality – Ruled by Moon, Cancerians are family oriented and very caring. They are very methodical and home loving people.

Scorpio: Water modality – Mars is the ruling planet. They are skilled, very determined, understanding and extremely emotional people.

Pisces: Mutable modality – Ruled by Jupiter, Pisceans are extremely sensitive, receptive, compassionate and humanitarian in nature.

In addition, each of the planets is linked to an element (with space as the fifth).

  • Ether: Jupiter
  • Wind (of air): Saturn and Rahu
  • Fire: Sun, Mars, and Ketu
  • Water: Moon and Venus
  • Earth: Mercury

Career by zodiac sign elements

The dominance of certain elements in the horoscope will suggest the type of career that the person will not only succeed in but also be happy doing.

Fire element

Arians do well as entrepreneurs, stock-brokers, and in entertainment business. They make good rescue workers and defence personnel. The job of an Arian should be demanding and challenging, with intellectual involvement.

Leos are good entrepreneurs, do well in entertainment related fields, politics, real estate, travel guidance and public relations. They are indomitable, and have difficulty taking orders. They thrive on appreciation and recognition. They make very good leaders.

Sagittarians make good career in politics, public relations, sales, theology and editing. They can express themselves well. Sagittarians can become entrepreneurs, airline pilot, sportsperson, and police officers. They generally excel in whatever they do.

Earth element

Taureans do well in government sectors, engineering, law, accountancy, administration, and teaching. They are well suited for the corporate world and they should stay away from careers that need quick, instant decisions or involve great financial risks. They can concentrate for hours at length and shine in jobs that might seem tedious and unimaginative to others.

Virgos are perfectionists. Research work, detective work, secretarial jobs, teaching, writing and editing, food preparation, public services, accountancy, engineering, surveying, auditing, agriculture, fishing and graphic designing are just some of the fields where Virgos can excel. They also do well in the field of medicine.

Capricornians are motivated by power and money. Banking, finance, administration, management, IT and computers are well suited to them – they do well in any project they undertake. Capricorns do well in sports as well as mountain climbing.

Air element

Geminis excel in fast-paced jobs such as stock broking, brainstorming and travelling jobs. Journalism, advertising and media are ideal for them. They should avoid routine-based and tedious jobs. They take pride in inventing new approaches of doing a job more efficiently.

Librans do not like to take direct responsibility. They work well with others, they are good listeners, and they can do well in human resources and personnel departments. They make excellent judges and consultants. They can become excellent ambassadors, salesperson, lawyers, customer service executives, mediators, negotiators, architects and travel agents.

Aquarians do well as scientists, inventors, musicians, and designers. They can be good engineers, applications developer, and veterinarians. Conventional jobs are not for them. They love aviation and astronomy. Photography, poetry, animation, electronics, communication, adventure travel, and computer technology are best suited to them.

Water element

Cancerians’ best career options include social work, teaching, human resources, nursing, counselling and therapists. They make good psychologists. They like to have a regular and predictable source of income and hence they prefer a secure job.

Scorpios can become successful surgeons, scientists, educators and physicists. Scorpions are good at coping with routine, demanding, and mundane jobs. However, power is extremely important to Scorpio and politics can be a good field for them.

Pisceans make great artists, counsellors, nurses, astrologers, mystics and physical therapists. They have an ability to think outside the box and do well in military and defence services. They can be good social workers, philanthropists, and they make good teachers. Pisceans do not work for money, but for passion. Materialistic careers like banking, stock broking, or business are not for them.

Compatibility by elements

These four elements represent different temperaments and consequently may be used as a general tool for compatibility. It becomes easier to understand why you get along well with one person and clash with other; you are very fond of someone and dislike someone, the answer lies in different elements influencing your chart.

Air signs will usually get along with other air signs, Earth with earth, water with water, fire with fire. Fire and air signs are compatible together. Water and earth signs are compatible together.  Fire and water signs together can be dramatic.  Earth and air lack emotional bonding.

The fire and air signs are most compatible. Earth signs are compatible to all the others signs. While earth and water elements are very compatible.

Best combinations are:

  • Aries and Libra
  • Taurus and Pisces
  • Gemini and Aquarius
  • Cancer and Capricorn
  • Leo and Sagittarius
  • Virgo and Scorpio
  • Libra and Gemini
  • Scorpio and Cancer
  • Sagittarius and Aries
  • Capricorn and Taurus
  • Aquarius and Leo
  • Pisces and Virgo

The element of sun sign can give you a basic insight about your personality, health, compatibility with other sun signs and guidance about your career options. But there are many other factors which influence your life which includes the moon sign, rising sign, the position and placement of your natal planets in different houses, signs and constellations. In most of the horoscopes, there is an imbalance with a predominance or deficiency of two elements over the other two. The ideal horoscope will have a balance between the four elements.

Hero and Featured Images: Courtesy of Shutterstock

Zodiac sign elements: Understanding fire, earth, air and water

Deepa Kochhar


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