How to interpret the element journey in your birth chart
Each of the 12 zodiac signs falls in one of four elements: Fire, Earth, Air, and Water. Each of these elements has specific characteristics that influence your personality, how you react, and even what you're here to learn.
Depending where these elements fall in your birth chart, you can discover a lot of insight and self-knowledge to better understand your personal navigation through the world.
We all want to know why we are here! We all want to understand our personal missions and lessons. Unfortunately, the outside world can influence us and groom us in a way that doesn't fit with how we are designed. When we understand ourselves, we give ourselves permission to be how we are. We feel a sense of acceptance and clarity, and this can get us "back on path" for what we are here to learn, through the lens of how we're designed.
What works for me in this life may not work for you, and that's really important to understand. We each have to find "what works for us" as individual people, and once we find that, understand it, and accept it, our lives can really transform.
Understanding the element journey can help you understand what you are here to experience, and where your soul is at on the evolutionary journey of your particular elemental sign.
Most importantly, you are NOT one zodiac sign. I can completely appreciate the taboos or reluctance around astrology, but I think the misconceptions are rooted in people who "read headlines" and not "the entire article". You aren't JUST your sun sign; you're actually a bunch of signs.
Want to learn your birth chart? Calculate it here.
Fire Signs: Aries, Leo and Sagittarius
Earth Signs: Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn
Air Signs: Gemini, Libra and Aquarius
Water Signs: Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces
Drive, ambition, motivation, confidence, pride, boundaries
Fire signs are passionate. They often feel a pressure or "heat" to do something with their careers, relationships, or lives in general. They can light a fire under people/subjects/places, either through motivation, boundary pushing/teasing, or even with sheer force! They've often got a little "spark" about them. They're often ambitious, and if they're not fulfilling whatever their ambition is (work, play, love) they can get a little irritable. Sometimes they can struggle with anger, confidence or even setting healthy boundaries.
Depending where this element falls in your birth chart (sun sign, moon sign, rising sign, etc), it can shed a lot of light on how you react and feel in that specific area.
For example, if you have a fire sign in your sun sign, a part of what you'll be here to learn is how to properly fuel your passionate side. Are you here to push boundaries? Are you here to inspire and achieve? Are you here to lead? If a fire sign falls in your moon sign, you may feel a secret pressure, or you may not show everyone how ambitious you are. You could even be secretly pretty confident (healthy) or insecure (unhealthy), regardless of how you present to the world. And if a fire sign is in your rising sign, you may come off quite bold, loud, fun, or confident, regardless of whether you really are. You could be too intense sometimes, too, burning people whether you mean to or not.
And to take it a little more in depth: if you have a fire sign in your Venus (love), you may be a proud, intense, dramatic, or passionate lover. Maybe even a little idealistic. You may also like to do things your own way!
Comforting, sensual, loyal, stubborn, grounded, perfectionists, masterful
Earth signs are all about creating a solid foundation in their lives. They love their creature comforts, whether that's a slow morning coffee, a good show, keeping their friends close, staying in a reliable job or relationship, or having nice "things" in their home. In fact, they're a lot about "the home" whether that's their physical environment, their job, or even their bodies (they'll usually focus on one of these areas). They can be stubborn, but that's because they "like what they like" and they don't like to be uprooted (or change very much if they're unhealthy). They really just want to feel good, and make others feel good. They can be perfectionists, quite sensual, and deeply loyal.
If you have an earth sign in your sun sign, a part of what you'll be here to learn is how to properly build your foundation, but even more important than that will be to figure out what makes you feel safe and secure. Is it really your job? Is it really your home? Is it really your career? If an earth sign falls in your moon sign, you may be able to make others feel super comfortable, cozy or safe in your presence. Sure, you may be "earthy" but you probably have the slow, even stamina to build the things you want. And if an earth sign is in your rising sign, you may come off secure, "together", warm and comforting.
And to take it a little more in depth: if you have an earth sign in your Mercury (communication, thoughts), you may be practical, even cautious at times, realistic, grounded and calm, especially in the way you communicate with others.
keen, charming, friendly, thoughtful, intelligent, quick-witted, indecisive
Air signs are the thinkers and communicators of the zodiac. Their minds are often running constantly. They're here to question things, ask the hard questions, and to learn how to effectively communicate. They're usually good talkers, or quick thinkers, and their minds are often a complex whirl of thoughts. Their finesse with words usually makes them pretty charming. They may have a knack for studying, love learning, or love expressing themselves in some manner (writing, singing - communicating).
If you have an air sign in your sun sign, a part of what you'll be here to learn is how to effectively gather information, communicate, and how to decide what YOU think about specific subjects, and how to effectively convey that information to others. If an air sign falls in your moon sign, your secret superpower will be your keen ability to think things through, and ask the important questions. You may secretively think all the time, regardless of whether people know your mind is always racing. You may have a special way that you communicate! And if an air sign is in your rising sign, you probably come off super charming, smart, social, and make a lot of people feel like they have a special connection with you.
And to take it a little more in depth: if you have an air sign in your Mars (anger, desire), you may be a someone who bickers intellectually, always talking through disagreements. And since this is your planet of desire or passion, air signs in Mars may show you have many desires and interests or areas of study that interest you.
sensitive, emotional, deep, loving, caring, sexual, cranky, depressive
The water signs are the feelers of the zodiac. They are all about emotion! They're here to understand emotions; how we feel, how others feel, how the world feels - you name it. They're usually quite deep, whether we know this about them or not (depending where the water sign falls in their chart). They are sensitive, sometimes dreamy, maybe a little cranky or emotional when unhealthy, but really amazing healers. Water can drown us, and it can nurture and heal us, and water signs will have both of these potentials. They usually feel things intensely.
If you have a water sign in your sun sign, a part of what you'll be here to understand what you feel (stage 1), understand how your loved ones feel (stage 2), or what others, the world, society feels (stage 3... see below). If a water sign falls in your moon sign, you may be quite deep with your feelings. You feel things intensely whether others know this about you or not, and you may be secretly emotional at times. You may have a lot of love to give, too. And if a water sign is in your rising sign, you may come off emotional, sensitive, dreamy or intense. It will depend if you are presenting in a healthy or unhealthy manner.
And to take it a little more in depth: if you have a water sign in your Venus (love), you may seek out deep connections in love and romance, or go out of your way to make sure your lover feels loved and cared for. They often have emotional relationships/connect on an emotional level.
The signs when they're healthy and unhealthy:
H E A L T H Y
Fire Signs: ambitious, passionate, inspiring, motivational, driven
Earth Signs: comforting, sensual, hardworking, warm
Air Signs: thoughtful, intelligent, quick-witted, charming
Water Signs: sensitive, intimate, sexual, caring, kind, deep
U N H E A L T H Y
Fire Signs: angry, temperamental, overly ambitious, malicious, hurtful
Earth Signs: lazy, obsessive, hoarders, resistant to change, intense
Air Signs: flighty, indecisive, spacey, overly critical, overwhelmed
Water Signs: cranky, overly-emotional, heavy-hearted, depressive
The element journey for each of the 12 zodiac signs
Stage 1: What about ME?
Aries, Taurus, Gemini, and Cancer
These four signs are the very first sign in each of their elements. They are in Stage 1 of their elemental journey. These four signs are the "me" signs; people who have these zodiac signs are here to learn about what is important to them, what their individual needs are, and how to understand themselves. These "me" signs will be learning how to focus on themselves through the lens of their specific element: fire, earth, air or water.
Hmm, what do I want? What do I need to achieve? I really want to do ABC, so please stay out of my way, otherwise I may burn you. I just need to do what I want. Don't try to control me.
What makes me feel comfortable? What do I need? How can I get the things that I need to feel more comfortable? Please don't take my things from me. I know I'm stubborn but I know what I like. My things matter to me.
Wow there is a lot of information out there. What do I think about ABC? How much information do I really need? Once I've got the information I think I need, I can go seek other information about other things. I can just say enough to get by and get what I want. I love talking to people!
Omggggggg how do I feel about ABC? Why am I feeling so much about this? How much can I really give? I feel like people really want a lot from me sometimes. I can't help that I love a lot. I'm a little sensitive.
These signs need to focus on their needs and understanding what they want. They aren't selfish; they are here to understand themselves.
Stage 2: Oh, it's about me AND you.
Leo, Virgo, Libra, and Scorpio
These four signs are the second sign in each of their elements. They are in Stage 2 of their elemental journey. These four signs have learned most of the "me" needs of their elements, and they're more focused on further understanding themselves and also understanding those close to them, or perhaps how they can exist in relation to each other. These signs are designed to consider their needs, and the needs of others almost simultaneously. They are the "we" signs.
Hmm. I guess it's not just about what I want. That rattles me a bit. How do others see me? Am I confident or insecure because of what they think? Should I care what they think? How do I lead effectively so I can get more fire behind my goals? Maybe it's not just about me - maybe we're stronger together.
I really like my things, but... you don't like them? Well then, what makes us both/all feel comfortable? What do I need to do to make sure everyone feels comfortable? Am I a little bit of a perfectionist? I really know what works and what feels good, but can I loosen the reigns? I guess I'll have to try harder to make them feel comfortable too. I'm uncomfortable with their discomfort. What works for us?
What do I think about ABC and how can I communicate that to you? How can I verify you understand me, and I understand you? I need to know what you're thinking - do you know what I'm thinking? I'm going to learn how to use my thoughts and my words to effectively connect with you. I need to know how to be in relation to you.
Well shit. I feel A LOT of things. I can really really love a person, but if he/she crosses me, I can definitely cut them out. I can really really dislike a person. Do you love me too? What do you love - because I can do that for you. I want you to feel my love. Just don't push me over the edge because I'm just getting the hang of how I feel. Maybe I won't show my true self to everyone because I need to know that we can connect first.
These signs need to focus on further understanding their needs and figure out how to effectively connect to other people they care about.
Stage 3: Nevermind, I think it's actually about YOU.
Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces
These four signs are the final sign in each of their elements. They are in Stage 3 or the final stage of their elemental journey. These four signs are the "you" signs of the zodiac, and they focus on others around them, the greater collective as a whole, or, society. When they are unhealthy, they can feel burdened by the world or the others they feel a pressure to take care of. When they're healthy, they have a natural understanding of the world (through the lens of their element). These signs usually understand themselves, and even those close to them; they're trying to figure out people further from them - like their friends, relatives, society or the world.
OK how much can I get away with here? What's my boundary with this person? I better push a little to figure out. Oh OK, I got it. That's their line. OK great. I understand them. I understand how I should react to that. OK how can I fan my flames to reach more people?
I am a master of things. I need to provide for my family/loved ones and I need to work hard to make sure they understand that. What is important to me? What do I need to conquer so we can all thrive? What impact can I have on my community or the world?
OK. I know. I know! I know exactly what I think about this. I've always known. I love hearing new information and ideas. I need to figure out how to connect in a community or the world. How many friends can I have? How many people can I connect with? How far can I reach with my thoughts and words?
Sometimes, people can hurt me, but I still love them. Love is all that really matters. I could dream about love all day. But wow. Sometimes? Sometimes I feel so much about this world that is actually gets me down. Why are people so mean sometimes? I just need to keep sending love because I can fall into apathy if it's all too much. I just want to love my people and receive their love.
These signs need to focus their energy on using what they know instinctively (from conquering previous stages) to figure out how to connect on a larger scale, usually in their communities, clubs, networks, society, etc.
I think it's important to note that no sign is better than the other sign! No one is really necessarily "further along" on their journey, because we have all lived many lives in Stage 1, 2 and 3. And of course, it depends where the element falls in your chart.
What's better: a healthy, motivational and inspiring Aries (first sign of the zodiac), or a depressive, aimless, heavy-hearted Pisces (final sign of the zodiac)? The sign doesn't matter. What matters is understanding how to be the best version of it that you can be.
You're not "young" or immature if you're an Aries, Taurus, Gemini or Cancer (Stage 1). You just need to focus on yourself depending where that sign falls in your chart. Your focus is ME. This can be hard to do in our society, because we think it's "good" to be all about others.
The truth is, if these first four signs are living the best version of themselves and exploring what they need to know about themselves on their personal journeys, they will naturally be gracious and helpful toward others; because they're fulfilled.
You are not JUST your sun sign. Your soul isn't "young" just because you have an Aries sun sign. Many people don't look beyond their sun sign, but you're actually a collection of signs. Your Aries sun sign (stage 1) may be paired with Pisces in your Mercury sign (stage 3), Aquarius in your Jupiter sign (stage 3), Capricorn in your moon sign (stage 3), Scorpio in your Venus Sign (stage 2), etc.
The focus of this life - what you're here to learn (sun sign mission) may just be to push and drive that ambition home so you can understand what you want/need to achieve in this life.
Depending on how previous lives went, each spirit may need a time to focus on themselves (stage 1), their relationships (stage 2), or the world around them (stage 3).
For example, once we accept that we are here to learn about ourselves (stage 1 signs), we don't have to feel so bad about not always focusing our attention on our community (stage 3). We are often taught to think about others before ourselves, and some of us just aren't designed that way. And that's OK. We can enact bigger better change on everyone around us if we understand ourselves first.