Astrology contains 4 elements: Fire, Earth, Air and Water which give a certain flavour to each sign. We need only think of the physical element to grasp its expression.
A quick exercise is to look at your chart and calculate how many planets you have in each element and how many you have in each modality. Then, taking the highest count of element & the highest count of modality, we find a kind of signature for our chart. For example, you may have a dominance of planets in mutable signs & the water element, even though you are not a Pisces Sun, or fixed & earth even though you only have one planet in Taurus.
All elements have the potential to be nourishing and destructive. Noticing that you have a predominance of one element, the laws of homoeopathy can help: like cures like. Watery people need to be near water. Fiery people need warmth and fire. Airy people need space and fresh air inbetween. Earthy people need to feel grounded. Exploring the nature of elements and modalities can tell you a majority of what you need to know about the characteristics of each sign.
Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
Fire is enthusiasm; the spark of life that is contagious. It is representative of the spirit that never dies. Fire nurtures with warmth and burns with insensitivity. It is exuberant and optimistic, and can be irritable and obnoxious at its worst.
Venus in a fire sign seeks connection with those it is inspired by, someone who can run at their pace & err on the positive side of life. It can approach Venusian areas of life with spontaneity, rashness & act on impulse.
Keywords for Fire: Inspiration, optimism, positive, movement, keen, enthusiastic, gregarious, impulsive, action, warms, excitement, appetite for life, exuberant, generous, cheerful, rash, eager, over-excitable, unthoughtful, spirited, vivacious, obnoxious, loud, rowdy, impatient.
Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
Earth signs are characterized by practicality, an innate understanding of rhythms & cycles, & an appreciation of the material world. Phrases such as “down to earth” “put your feet on the ground” “ground yourself” all apply to the expression of this element. Earth is reliable and solid, stable and unwavering, for better or worse, sensual and tactile. A predominance of earth can also express as someone who finds spirituality / magic / ethereal notions hard to grasp or aspire to. It can be stubborn and unmoving, cold and dull.
Venus in an Earth sign seeks connection in a steady, rhythmic manner; using the 5 senses to gain information & inform decisions. They can approach Venusian areas of life with a steady reserve of energy, seeking quality, reliability & longevity. The body receives, stores & processes information so these people are likely very tactile, and prone to feeling coldness in the body when shut off from emotion.The energy they offer is seen as something they invest & grow.
Keywords for Earth: Practical, thorough, material, negative, dry, motionless, stern, functional, building, capable, possessions, dull, narrowness, routine, cold, cycles, timing, solid, physical, tactile, sensual, rhythmic, security oriented, control oriented, methodical, systematic, order.
Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Air signs have a primary baseline need to communicate. Information coming in & going out is what gives these signs fulfillment. Things travel in the air – speech, smells, goods, messages; air is a connector. It does not like to be trapped, nor void of light. It can have the tendency to be too analytical and avoidant of emotion, and can exhaust it self by whipping itself up into a busy-brain storm.
Venus in an air sign seeks connection via sharing ideas & points of view. It’s safer to intellectualize emotions than feel them. There can be a detached approach when dealing with Venusian areas of life, preferring to gain facts & knowledge than feelings & emotions. there is a tendency toward rationale & understanding, communicating and reasoning.
Keywords for Air: Intellectual, cold, verbal, cerebral, explorative, curious, unemotional, positive, visual – mental, light, movement, free, lacks emotion, theories, non-committal, scattered, vague. “head in the clouds” “airy fairy”.
Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
Water governs our emotions, feelings, intuition & the sacred unseen connections that bind us all. It is empathetic, compassionate, sensitive, deep and is also a carrier. Water is the source of all life. It needs Earth to have definition. It takes on the shape of the vessel it fills (it has no shape of its own) & can withstand hot & cold temperatures. It carries memory. It runs above & under ground.
Venus in a water sign seeks connection via the feelings; acting when things feel right, when they intuitively know things. There can be the tendency to fuse into the other, taking on their feelings & blending to not know where one begins & ends. When dealing with Venusian issues in life, water signs need flow & to be guided by their feelings.
Keywords for Water: Emotional, empathy, feelings, negative, pessimistic, intuitive, depth, merge, storm, moody, security oriented, bending, perceptive, illogical, out of consciousness.