What are the elements?
Since ancient times, there has been fundamental teaching about the primordial elements. This teaching reached us from ancient Greek philosophers as well as from the east, China, India.
From the eternal source, first manifests itself element of aether or space. In the Western tradition, it was called the quintessence, or the fifth element. According to Indian tradition, 3 doshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha – are formed from the aether. Well, whatever we look at, it is obvious that aether is the element, most subtle, hardest to perceive and describe. The aether element becomes denser to form an air element, followed by fire, water, and finally earth.
Characteristics of 5 Elements
Aether is an infinite space, akasha, from which everything unfolds. Aether element’s color is gray, like a mirror, steel. The harmony of this element depends on the relation to space, even perhaps to space-time. The Indian tradition links the aether element to development quality. If the aether element is not harmonious, the person has problems with space: it may be difficult to find their own place to live or their living place is small, etc.
The air is a bit denser element. It deals with the mental level, the thoughts. The air moves fast, it’s light and dynamic. It is associated with movement. That’s the Yang element. If we want clear thinking, good orientation, wisdom, insight, easy communication, the air element should be strengthened and harmonized. The inharmonious element of the air is chaos, superficiality, inability to concentrate, confused thoughts, difficulty in transmitting and receiving information, lack of contact.
Fire is a denser element than the air. It is another Yang element – active, and dynamic. It is associated with heat. Fire gives leadership qualities to the person: courage, self-confidence, activity, joy, optimism. People with strong fire element are generous, creative, energetic. These qualities can be gained from the Sun. If you’re lacking it, you can sit near the fireplace, light the candles. It is especially important for those who lack the will, courage. A disharmonious fire is pride, aggression, uncontrollable anger. It is important to learn how to control these faults, as inharmonious fire can destroy relationships, finances, and health.
Water. As the spirit continues to thicken, it becomes water. The water is still fluid, hard, and it is associated with flowlines. It’s a passive, Yin element. It is cool, more adaptive than formative. It is the opposite and counterweights the fire. All life is born of water. So, the water element also brings fluidity, tenderness, care, inspiration, and imagination. It is related to creation, sensitivity, arts, magic, intuition, a world of feelings. If you have a lack of inspiration, peace of mind, or simply negative feelings, sit by the water, let it wash away all your worries. If the water element in a horoscope is inharmonious, it manifests itself as excessive sentimentality, exaltation, fears, victim’s position, intrigue.
Earth is the stiffest state. So the earth element is associated with solidity, hardness. It provides practicality, the ability to handle material matters, concreteness, resilience, solidity, stability, reliability. If these qualities are lacking, they can be supplemented by walking barefoot, caring about plants and animals, and doing simple, everyday tasks with love. When the earth element in the horoscope is weak, it manifests itself in financial malfunctions, illusions, inability to manage daily affairs. On the other hand, the inharmonious, strong element of the earth manifests itself as greed, finiteness, exaggerated materialism. Then you should look at the other elements to balance it.
Amazing mandalas for meditation on elements you can find here:
Elements and Zodiac Signs
Further on, the 4 elements – air, fire, water, and earth – form the more specific archetypal manifestations associated with the 12 zodiac signs.
Air signs: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius.
Fire signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius.
Water signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces.
Earth signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn.
The air in horoscope expresses mainly a level of mentality.
Fire expresses will, intention.
Water expresses feelings.
Earth expresses matter.
- for the Air signs, the main emphasis will be on the mental level,
- for the Fire signs accent will be in will level,
- for the Water signs accent will be on emotions, imagination,
- and the Earth signs emphasize mostly physical level.
Again, it should be understood that it is a convenient simplification that helps to understand humans nature, the interaction between different levels of self, but each individual is unique and can manifest at different levels.
How to harmonize elements in horoscope?
So if we want to harmonize our zodiac signs and planet realization, firstly it means that we need to harmonize the elements. How to purify the relationship with them, make them our friends?
There are a number of ways to do this:
- communicate with the elements at the material level, fostering it, not polluting it. If you spit on the ground, you are polluting, despising the earthly element. The air element is polluted by cursing, smoking and other forms of smoke, lying, and empty chatter. The water element is polluted by pollution of water, intrigues, incitement of negative emotions, mocking other people’s feelings. The fire element is probably the most difficult to contaminate, but you should not burn garbage while you are resting near the fire. In general, if you want a sacred relationship with fire, you should think about what you throw into it. There are very nice fire rituals, like agnihotra in Hinduist tradition, when rice, honey, oil, and butter are sacrificed to fire, throwing them into it.
- take part in cleaning actions (garbage collection, eco-activities), expressing love to Mother Earth.
- do rituals with elements (you can also create it by yourself or look for it in a spiritual tradition that you feel closest);
- speak or chant mantras, prayers, postulates;
- draw or meditate on element’s yantras, mandalas;
- wear appropriate minerals (they are harmonizing different elements in your life).
Well, the basis of all virtues is consciousness. If we strive to realize the attribute or activity associated with the element in a calm, and balanced manner, it will harmonize the element itself within us. Earth element harmonizes calm, responsible performance of own duties (not too much, not too little – as much as needed), water element harmonizes calm gentleness, compassion (without exaltation, but without squeezing it too), fire element harmonizes quiet courage (not aggression and not cowardice), air element harmonizes calm and friendly communication, a clear message (not sluggish, confused, not chaotic).