The 12 zodiac signs are grouped into four elements: fire, earth, air and water.
Each of these element groups has distinct traits. Together, the elements form the natural world, so each is in some way dependent on the other.
What are the elements in astrology?
The four elements and their zodiac signs
The Fire Signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
Like fire itself, fire signs tend to be passionate, dynamic, and temperamental. Fire can keep you warm, or it can do great destruction. While fire burns out quickly without fuel to keep it going, it can also regenerate its power from the ashes. A single spark can set off a forest fire. As a result, fire signs need to be nurtured and managed carefully.
Fire is also a yang element, along with air, which is an outwardly focused energy. These people can be impulsive, passionate, and potentially temperamental. Fire signs can become overstimulated and take on too many projects. They may need to be careful not to over schedule themselves.
Fire signs in a relationship are passionate lovers and will go after the object of their affection with intensity. But a flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long. It’s important for these signs to take their time in love so they don’t burn out.
The Air Signs: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Air signs are all about action, ideas, and motion—they are the “winds of change.” When a strong gust hits you, you can’t help but move. While some within their ranks may be true-life “airheads,” others are as powerful as a gravity-defying G-force. Air signs bring everyone a breath of fresh air when things start to get stale. Like the breeze, you can’t quite catch them, and you never know where they’ll drop you once they sweep you up. It will almost always been an adventure with this element, though.
Air signs are mental, cerebral, and communicative, a different manifestation of the yang energy. These signs may come off as “airheads” because they’re a bit “out there,” but they always keep things interesting.
Because these signs are so communicative, they need stimulating conversation, to feel a mental connection or shared sense of humor. They also don’t like to be rushed into decisions and often take a free-spirited approach to relationships.
Air signs can feel scattered at times, so it’s helpful for these signs to get grounded and get out of their heads. They thrive with social interaction and seeking meaningful connections with others.
The Earth Signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
Earth signs keep it realist among the elements. They are the “grounded” people on the planet, the ones who bring us down to earth and remind us to start with a solid foundation. Slow and steady, these “builders” are loyal and stable, and stick by their people through hard times. On good days, they’re practical; at worst, they can be materialistic or too focused on the surface of things to dig into the depths.
Earth energy is very physical, tangible, and sensual. Along with water signs, earth signs exude a receptive, yin energy. They can get cast as uptight or slow, but that’s not necessarily true. They simply like to have a solid foundation and are the steadiest and most grounded bunch of signs.
Earth signs are very dependable lovers, and their attraction is driven by their senses. Physical cues are important to them. They want physical attraction and shared values.
Earth signs have a tendency to get stuck in bad patterns. Routine and structure help these signs, as well as engaging in different activities to avoid stagnation.
The Water Signs: Cancer, Scorpio Pisces
Intuitive, emotional and ultra-sensitive, water signs can be as mysterious as the ocean itself. Like water, they can be refreshing, or they can drown you in their depths. These signs often have intense dreams and borderline-psychic intuition. Security is important to them—after all, water needs a container, or it dries up and disappears.
Water signs are very deep and intuitive and tend to be cued in to unspoken signals. They are also very home- and family-oriented and prefer the company of people who help them to feel safe and comforted.
Water signs fall in love quickly and make very supportive partners. They tend to idealize people and to get attached easily. Superficial connections are NOT their preference. Water signs may feel oversaturated by emotions more than the other elements. Soaking in the tub, tapping (EFT) or other anxiety management techniques and exercises can help.
Many artists, musicians and poets are water signs! It makes sense, since they are so tuned in to the mystical realm. Creativity is deeply cathartic for these signs, giving them an outlet for the powerful emotions flowing through them.