Archive for the ‘The Four Elements’ Category

Why Do Zodiac Signs Hate Their Neighbors?

Friday, May 30th, 2014

That sounds like a funny question, doesn’t it?  But have you ever noticed that your sign doesn’t really get along with the two signs next to it?  In fact, they may seem to be about as opposite as possible.  This may seem like an odd way to have the zodiac work, but it’s true and actually, it’s part of the design.

So let’s think about this for a minute.  If you’re a Cancer, aren’t you secretly repelled by all those superficial Geminis out there?  It’s ironic, because you could have a little Gemini in you if you are a Cancer, but the pure, watery nature of Cancer itself is very uncomfortable with Gemini logic and Cancer’s intuition feels that it’s beyond that.  Similarly, after Cancer we come to Leo, the star of the show, who deplores Cancer’s introversion.  Why hide behind Mama’s skirts when you can shine?  And Virgo, the next sign, looks at Leo with annoyance, “why can’t Leo tone it down a little?”  Earthy Virgo takes pride in delivering substance, not just fiery bluff and bluster.  All of the signs have attitude about the sign just before them and the sign after them is, well, beyond them.  So each zodiac sign is as different as possible in its basic nature from its neighbors.  But why should that be?

It’s because the zodiac is not just a collection of disconnected signs, but a holistic rhythm.  This may seem obvious to you if you’ve been reading astrology books for ages, but I remember when I was first starting to study astrology, and I encountered the writings of Dane Rudhyar (a great astrological thinker), who was the first to put forth this idea around the turn of the 1900s, and it was a new idea then.  The zodiac is a rhythm.  For a rhythm to flow, it needs to pulse.  It needs to incorporate contrast, differentness and complementarity.  For every up there is a down; for every “this” there is a “that.”  So we have blustery, excitable Fire always followed by staid, solid Earth, which is always followed by cerebral, theoretical Air, followed by emotional, intuitive Water, followed by blustery, excitable Fire again.  And this is how the signs are arranged, so the result is, the zodiac pulses, kind of like a heartbeat.  It has rhythm through the contrasting traits of signs as different as possible following each other.

There’s another nice side-effect to this rhythmic arrangement, which is that it allows human beings to be quite complex.  That happens because Mercury and Venus can always be found just a sign or two away from the Sun.  Astronomically, that’s because they orbit the Sun more closely than the Earth does.  So you’ll never find Mercury in opposition to the Sun in a birth chart.  And this means that Mercury and Venus may be in signs with natures very different from the Sun sign, adding complex layers to a person’s personality.

So the zodiac signs hate their neighbors.  And that benefits us, because we human beings are vast.  We get to encompass strong contrast inside a single human personality.  We get the opportunity to integrate greatly differing traits inside ourselves.  This makes us, and our lives, very, very interesting.

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Keys to Human Temperament: The Elements, Qualities and Signature Sign

Saturday, January 11th, 2014

If you want to really understand people, you have to understand temperament.  Understanding temperament means understanding the building blocks of personality we are all made up of.  And that would be the four elements and the three qualities.

Knowing a person’s strongest element (Fire, Earth, Air or Water) can have you really “get” them and once you know how the people in your life work, you can predict how they’ll respond to things around them and what they’ll prioritize according to their values.  Then you can trust them to be who they are and you can relax in your relationships.  Knowing a person’s strongest quality (Cardinal, Fixed or Mutable) can make it easy to synergize with them in a team effort.  Their quality tells you their style of action and how they can be more effective in projects whether at work or at home.

A person’s signature sign is the combination of their strengths—their strongest quality and strongest element—and it’s just as important and significant a part of who they are as their Sun, Moon and Rising signs are.  Sometimes more significant.  The only reason most people know their Sun sign is that it’s easy to figure out.  The only reason most people don’t know their signature sign is that it needs to be figured out by an astrologer.  But this is not really hard to learn how to do and it can improve your relationships with everyone in your life.

People come to me asking about their relationships a lot and in my 20+ years of practice as an astrologer, I’ve learned that these questions aren’t always about romance or marriage.  People care about how they relate with everybody in their life—spouse, parents, children, co-workers and friends.  And the elements and qualities have a lot of answers, including:

  • what kinds of people are easiest for you to get along with
  • how do you spot those people? how does it feel to be around them?
  • what kinds of people are you drawn to and why?
  • how do you, by “filling in your missing place,” unintentionally end up drawing the very people it’s hardest for you to get along with?
  • how can you (with a little positive attention) figure out how to get along with them anyway?
  • what’s your operational style and how can you use it to be more effective in all your projects (both at work and at home)?
  • how does your operational style impact your co-workers?
  • how can you work with people who are different from you—with a sense of respect for their styles?
  • how can you get the best work out of people you manage (by knowing their styles) and feel most appreciated by those who manage you?
  • and how can you, by living in the way that’s best for your signature sign, access a deep sense of purpose and meaning in your life?

All this is incredibly useful stuff that a client can recognize in themselves and put to use right away.  I consider the signature important enough to include it in almost every reading I do and it’s usually the first thing I interpret.

Describing the elements and qualities first thing in a client’s first session serves several purposes at once.  First, it gives them golden information and insights about how to optimize their personality traits for both effectiveness and happiness. Secondly, it gives the client ways to organize things they already know about human nature into comprehensible personality traits they recognize in the people around them—and thus affects all those relationships in a good way.  So it gives them a modular personality-type system they can see at work in their life—without ever having to consult an astrologer again if they don’t want to (because I believe in teaching the client to fish, rather than spoon-feeding them fish).

Thirdly, it establishes rapport between me and the client, as the client begins to feel “gotten” and “seen” and even validated in ways that really matter.  Fourthly, it lays the foundation for our continued conversation about the client’s chart as we venture forward into further details of their personality.  Having our shared understanding of the elements and qualities to refer back to allows us to have useful conversations about anything in the chart in a short amount of time, so we can cover more ground faster.

If you want to understand the signature sign in your chart
or the chart of someone you care about
contact Jamie for a reading.

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Strike Now If You Want It To Be Easy–The Water Grand Trine of 2013

Friday, June 28th, 2013

This year going with the flow brings success and fun:
Astrologers are very good at making dire predictions—but what use is that unless they can also tell you when is the BEST time to pursue new ventures?  I’m just the astrologer to let you know that this year, from June of 2013 to June of 2014 is a great time to start a new business or any project you want to go really smoothly.  And that’s because there is a very auspicious alignment of planets building up in the sky.  I’m telling you about it because it’s approaching its peak and I want you to be able to take full advantage of it before it ends.

The alignment is a set of harmonious aspects among five planets:  Saturn, Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter and Pluto.  Each of these planets has at least two harmonious connections going on right now with others of the batch.  This piles goodness upon goodness so that the summer and fall of 2013 is a very lucky and auspicious time for new enterprises of all kinds, and that goodness flows right into the spring of next year.  Most of this harmonious activity is happening in Water signs, with Pluto in an Earth sign connecting nicely with those Water signs and adding some dynamic tension too.

What these planets are up to. . .
Neptune is in Pisces
, a sign it loves to be in, bringing a tremendous sense of flow to this dynamic.  Because Neptune is involved, we have access to oceanic feelings of communion and connection, and our imaginations are fueled.  Our powers of manifestation and “dreaming things real” is at a peak.

Pluto is in Capricorn and Saturn is in Scorpio.  This combination is called a “mutual reception,” as each planet is in the sign the other rules, making them “mutually receptive” to each other’s agendas.  This alignment is all about power, purging corruption, doing the hard work of vulnerable leadership, and living each moment as if it was your last.  I’ve written more about it here.

Chiron the Wounded Healer is in Pisces, bridging the gap between material and spiritual worlds, carrying information from the physical to the metaphysical planes and back again.  You can take advantage of this through prayer, manifestation and other practices that get you into alignment with your spiritual guidance.

And finally, Jupiter will move into Cancer on June 25, 2013, and will quickly get into trine with Neptune, Saturn, then Chiron, completing the Water circuit.  Jupiter will also oppose Pluto, and bring just enough tension into the dynamic to spur all that lazy Water to action.  Jupiter in Cancer is in its all-time favorite sign to occupy, bringing a warm, nurturing feel and encouraging growth gently, as a summer rain encourages flowers to bud and open.

How does this affect me?
If you have a lot of Water in your chart, this astrological activity should feel really good, as if the rest of the world is aligning with the flow that is natural to you.  You may find yourself experiencing luck and being noticed in ways that don’t make you feel overexposed.  If you have lazy Water habits (such as living in codependent relationships, overpowering others with your emotions or draining yourself dry to serve and nurture others), these habits may be indulged this year and you could end up with no progress.  But if you decide to live your Watery side in the best way possible (by being conscious of your feelings but not dramatic, and being intuitive without being invasive), you could find yourself at the top of the heap with very little effort.

And the really good news is that if you are starting a business this year, or having a baby, you can look forward to your “project” having oodles of good karma.  Some kinds of businesses are better suited to this than others; you can see me for a consultation if you’re ready to know more.

This time period is especially good for:

  • healers
  • artists
  • nurses and caretakers of all kinds
  • midwives, doulas, ob/gyns and those involved with birthing
  • hospice workers and those who to assist peaceful death
  • any job that requires compassion and human kindness
  • spiritual and psychic helpers
  • anyone who works with children
  • financial analysts and investors, anyone who works with debt but especially those who assist people in trouble with management of their debt, including bankruptcy lawyers
  • therapists, counselors and coaches, psychologists, psychiatrists and psychoanalysts
  • hypnotherapists
  • . . . and the list goes on.

If you want to know how this year’s Water lineup affects you,
contact Jamie for a reading.

 

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Air Men Are Intellectual, Air Women Are Social–But Why?

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

All Air types (people with a strong Gemini, Libra or Aquarius influence in their chart) have some things in common.  They tend to live in their heads and they love abstract thoughts.  They prefer a beautiful theory to a hard reality and they are interested in communication, sharing ideas and networking.  But there are some interesting differences that show up when Air is strong in the chart of a woman as opposed to that of a man.

There’s a marked tendency for Air-type males to be strongly intellectual (leaning toward math and science) and to not develop their social skills, while Air-type females tend to be strongly social and not as math-and-science-oriented as their male equivalents.  Why should this be?  Are men and women really so different physically that the same astrological influences should bear out different results in the bodies of two different natives?  Why do Air-type men grow up to be techies and scientists, while Air-type women grow up to be social mavens?  Why do Air-type women sometimes talk so much and say so little, while Air-type men can be logical to the point of being cold, critical and boring?

It’s not because of biology—it’s that nasty little virus sexism at work again.  Just when we thought we were living in modern times and had evolved into a post-feminist utopia, how uncomfortable to discover that we’re actually still promulgating sexist ideas and limiting our children.

Even today, it’s still ok for men to be smart in ways it’s not ok for women to be.
Boys get rewarded for smarts, while girls get rewarded for social skills.  While both boys and girls are encouraged academically in their younger years, the further the education goes, the less women are encouraged to pursue their studies, especially when it comes to the hard sciences.  This is much, much less true for younger generations, but older generations have a longer view of how far women have come and how far there still is to go.  A potential employer still looks at a woman and thinks, “she’s going to take off and have a family at some point; she’s a flight risk for my company.”

Conversely, women still get taught social skills in a way that men are not.  While mothers explain to daughters the intricacies of social interaction, sons get tossed out into the world to fend for themselves socially, with nothing but their conscience to guide them, and no actual savvy.  This leaves males clueless in many social situations, feeling that women are running circles around them and that every social interaction has layers of meaning that are mysterious and inscrutable.  The result is that an Airy man, who has lots to say, can talk endlessly about his ideas and have no idea that he’s lost his audience.

I’ve done a lot of readings for Air-type women and believe me—they know how smart they really are and they know that all the gossiping, chattering and superficial bantering is survival behavior and they are tired of not being taken seriously as an intellectual force.  And readings I’ve done for Air-type men have clued me in that, while they easily identify with their intelligence, that intense focus on the life of the mind can result in a boorish cluelessness that is very off-putting to exactly the people they’d most like to impress.

If you are one of these Airy folks, you might want to ask yourself if you’re living the full potential of your Air nature.  It’s your God-given right to be both intellectual and social, but because of lingering gender roles you may have to fight for that right.  For both genders, the key to Air lies in good questions.  Ask intelligent questions as if you really want to know.  Be curious—both about people and ideas.  In conversation draw people out.  The wonder and curiosity we all had when we were small is the heart of Air intellectual and social skills.  Learn to ask good questions and you’re set.  If you have an Airy person in your life, encourage them to develop both sets of Air skills.  If you have an Air-type child, it’s your duty to counteract these social trends and make sure your boy learns to communicate warmly with others and your girl takes her smarts seriously.

Thank goodness these things are changing, and rapidly.  Today it’s more common to see a proud “geek girl” who worries more about her grades or her research than her hairstyle or the latest gossip.  And it’s more common to meet a boy who is socially adept without seeming too much of a “sensitive New Age guy.”  Perhaps a balance will be struck at last.

Want to know more about your sun sign and your chart?
Contact Jamie to schedule a reading.

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Are You Drowning in Water?

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Solutions for Water-Gone-Wrong

In my recent post Personality Flaws of the Four Elements I described ways the 4 Elements can go wrong, each according to its own nature.

How To Know If You’re Drowning In Water
Water is arguably the hardest element to get right, because in the modern world our capacity to feel is misunderstood, derided and ignored.  Many of us grow up with a poor understanding of our emotions.  Your Water has gone wrong when:

  • People around you call you a “drama queen.”
  • Your sensitivity has you attempting to control everyone around you so you can feel better.
  • You overreact to events around you and cannot separate what actually happened from how you felt about it.
  • You absorb other people’s feelings so easily that you lose yourself.  This may make you prefer to avoid people which is a shame because your powers of empathy are enormous.
  • You are filled with bitterness, resentment and other feelings that have long gone unexpressed.  You habitually repress them because you don’t know how to let go of them.

Solution One:  Balance Water With The Other 3 Elements
If your Water is distorted, the other elements can help restore balance.  Fire’s self-assertion is a wonderful foil for Water’s tendency toward self-sacrifice.  When you’re lost in Watery feelings and can’t get out, try cutting straight through the bullshit.  Fire says, “Things are really not as complicated as they seem.”

You can count on Air to bring in logic, rationality and a factual approach.  Air helps you get out of the feelings and become more dispassionate—which can be very helpful when you realize you’ve become over-involved with somebody who is taking advantage of you.

Earth’s practical concerns form a helpful check-and-balance to Water’s subjectivity.  Earth reminds Water that overwhelming feelings must be balanced by the need to feed, clothe and shelter oneself and one’s family.  Water says, “I care about myself and others,” while Earth adds “. . . and I prove it by making myself useful.”

Solution Two:  Emphasize Healthy Water
Expressing Water in a healthy way can allow negative expressions of Water to fall away naturally, with ease and grace.  You might call this “Water-Fu.”  Here are some ways to try it. . .

  • Notice your intuitions.  Validate them.  Use them.
  • Your feelings are there to connect you with other people.  Get good at noticing what others feel and what you feel.  Develop healthy emotional boundaries and enjoy deep relationships with those you feel sympathy or empathy towards.
  • Find or create places in your life where you can afford to feel fully, to express your feelings and to be as sensitive as you really are.  Hang around people you can be your true self with.
  • Practice healthy self-care, which is not the same as being emotionally armored nor emotionally over-exposed.  When you take care of yourself, others do not seem like a drain.
  • If you are preoccupied with negative feelings, learn to let go of them.  Focus on the positive, uplifting things in your life.  Nurse joy instead of anger.

The Four Elements are an incredibly rich vein of astrological knowledge of which this article series only scratches the surface.  Using the elements alone, even a novice can gain tremendous insight into herself and other people.  I hope it inspires you to learn more about the elements, about astrology and about yourself.

The Four Elements are a fascinating part of human temperament.
Find out about yours in a reading with Jamie.
Contact Jamie to learn how.

This has been part 5 of a 5-part series on the 4 elements.  The other parts can be found here:
Personality Flaws of the 4 Elements
Is Fire Burning You Up?
Has Earth Grounded You—Permanently?
Does Air Have You Lost In A Cloud?
Are You Drowning In Water?

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Does Air Have You Lost In A Cloud?

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Solutions for Air-Gone-Wrong

In my recent post Personality Flaws of the Four Elements I described ways the 4 Elements can go wrong, each according to its own nature.

How To Know If Air Has You Lost In A Cloud

Air is the intellectual element and we all know that a mind is a terrible thing to waste—yet it is also possible to use your mind too much, for example in times when your heart or body would serve better.  Your Air has gone wrong when:

  • You retreat to your head so much and get so abstracted that people around you wonder where you’ve gone and call you an “absent-minded professor.”
  • Physical reality annoys you.  You are frustrated at how hard it is to turn a theory into a reality—why can’t things just be the way you think they should?  And so you criticize things and people that don’t live up to your ideals.
  • Your need to appear smart has overreached your ability to actually converse with others, share ideas and be genuinely curious about perspectives that differ from your own.  This alienates you from people, which is a shame because stimulating conversation is exciting to you.
  • Your school success didn’t translate into the world beyond academics and you are still wondering why intelligence and problem-solving abilities aren’t enough to bring recognition and career advancement.
  • People call you cold or unapproachable (even though you have a sparkling wit) because you have little warmth.

Solution One:  Balance Air With The Other 3 Elements
If your Air is distorted, the other elements can help restore balance.  The natural antidote for the coolness and excessive objectivity of Air is the warmth and emotional approachability of Water.  When your Airy side causes you to distance yourself from events around you, draw on your Watery side and involve yourself emotionally in what you are experiencing (even though your Airy side may find this uncomfortable).

Earth helps Air move from the theoretical to the practical.  Earth demands that Air’s ideas be implemented in ways that are useful and pragmatic.  Earth physicalizes Air’s theories, tests them and proves their effectiveness.

Fire brings to Air a much-needed enthusiasm.  There comes a time when thought necessarily leads to action and while Air could sit around the planning table endlessly batting ideas about, Fire will leap in and begin a thing.  This may lead to failure the first or even the hundredth time, but Fire knows the importance of taking action.

Solution Two:  Emphasize Healthy Air
If you emphasize healthy Air and fill your life with ways your Air is positively expressed, there will be no room for unhealthy Air.  This elegant solution gently allows negative Air traits to fall away as a side-effect of your emphasis on positive Air.  You might call this solution “Air -Fu.”  Here are some examples:

  • Be endlessly curious.  Become a reservoir, a roundhouse for information.  Regard all data as potentially useful.
  • Air may not be very warm and fuzzy, but it is very social.  Make friends—lots of them—and bond with them around mutually interesting concepts and theories.
  • Share ideas with absolutely everyone, regardless of how “smart” they are or how well-researched their information is.  Treasure each new nugget you learn.
  • Use your capacity for distancing yourself to help you connect with others, not push them away.  Because intimacy includes appropriate space, you can find the right distance to make you comfortable with intimacy.
  • Meditate.  It gives the brain a much-needed break.

The Four Elements are a fascinating part of human temperament.
Find out about yours in a reading with Jamie:
Contact Jamie
to learn how.

Coming up next:  Are You Drowning In Water?

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Has Earth Grounded You–Permanently?

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Solutions for Earth-Gone-Wrong

In my recent post Personality Flaws of the Four Elements I described ways the 4 Elements can go wrong, each according to its own nature.

How To Know If Earth Is Grounding You
When your life is carefully measured from achievement to achievement (or failure), it’s easy to forget how to have fun.  Earth is the poster child for “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”  Your Earth has gone wrong when:

  • You’re such a critical perfectionist that your partner calls you a nag.
  • You’re a cynic, only interested in the bottom line and closed to any ideas that don’t have already proven value.
  • You’ve been called “cold” or “calculating.”
  • You’re prone to overindulging in physical pleasures to compensate for how hard you work or how boring your job is.
  • You’ve learned to defer gratification in favor of long-term goals—learned it so well that you can’t let yourself off the hook during a vacation and you despair of enjoying retirement.

Solution One:  Balance Earth With The Other 3 Elements
If your Earth is distorted, the other elements can help restore balance.  When your routines and systems are so effective that even you are bored, it’s time to break up the Earth with a little Fire.  Be spontaneous, take risks, look dopey.  Fling yourself into something, instead of calculating all its details first.

Earth gets dull and blockish without the lightness of Air.  Air encourages brainstorming sessions and crazy ideas—some may sound just like empty theories, but others will, with the time and testing Earth provides, prove useful in the end.  But you have to open your ears and listen first.

Water fertilizes Earth in a wonderful way, bringing warmth, emotion, compassion and sensitivity Earth does not naturally possess.  Too many late nights at the office?  Balance them with cozy family time.  Gotten too controlled or controlling?  Nothing like a nice emotional outburst to break down the walls.  Oh, and don’t forget to be vulnerable.

Solution Two:  Emphasize Healthy Earth
Healthy Earth practices can eliminate the need for compensatory, negative Earth behaviors.  Here are some examples of “Earth-Fu:”

  • Pay close attention to your bodily needs and engage in rigorous physical self-care.
  • Feed yourself delicious, homemade, organic, healthy food on a regular basis.  It tastes best when you cooked it yourself.
  • Organize your home, your office and your projects in ways that allow you to streamline, be effective and stop worrying.  Work smarter, not harder.
  • Fall in love with this physical world:  get out in nature more, breathe clean air and surround yourself with trees.

Set achievable goals and be consistent about rewarding yourself (even if it’s just a mental pat on the back) when you succeed.  When you become preoccupied with your failures, wrench your attention away from them and instead put it on what you’ve done right.

The Four Elements are a fascinating part of human temperament.
Find out about yours in a reading with Jamie:
Contact Jamie
to learn how.

Coming up next:  Does Air Have You Lost In A Cloud?

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Is Fire Burning You Up?

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Solutions For Fire-Gone-Wrong

In my recent post Personality Flaws of the Four Elements I described ways the 4 Elements can go wrong, each according to its own nature.

How To Know If Fire Is Burning You Up
When all you’ve got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  Fire is at best a blunt instrument and when abused it becomes destructive quickly.  Your Fire has gone wrong when:

  • You frequently feel angry, destructive, or aggressive.
  • You always need to have the last word.
  • Your friends say  you habitually squash other people’s self-confidence by dominating them.
  • Some say your ways of being make you feel big and others feel small.
  • You feel restless and can’t settle down into a job or relationship.

Solution One:  Balance Fire With The Other 3 Elements
If your Fire is distorted, the other elements can help restore balance. Some say that anger is a disguise for grief, and for a Fiery individual this can be very true.  Are you masking sadness with your Fiery display?  Take off the armor, sink into your Watery side and let yourself feel sad.  But leave the battle zone first.

Air can also lend a useful perspective.  Draw on your Airy side to access your inner Observer, that part of you that can get healthy distance from yourself.  Step outside your anger and use logic instead.  Debate with yourself before arguing with others.

Earth reminds Fire that dominating others is impractical, because it impedes the very leadership you’re trying to create.  Why would people want to follow someone who blows up easily and loses self-control?  Earth says, have self-discipline and show them that you take practical action on your promises.

Solution Two:  Emphasize Healthy Fire
If you emphasize healthy Fire and fill your life with positive expressions of Fire, there will be no room for unhealthy Fire.  This elegant solution gently allows negative Fire traits to fall away as a side-effect of your emphasis on positive Fire.  You might call this solution “Fire-Fu.”  Here are some examples:

  • Have a regular athletic routine that allows you to “blow off steam.”  Then you don’t explode unexpectedly.
  • Encourage mental self-talk that builds your confidence, instead of undermining it.  Then you don’t need to dominate others to get your way or express your needs.
  • Enjoy healthy competition with strong people you respect.  Then you’ll find the patience you need to get you through the times when you have to tread delicately with people you wouldn’t choose, but have to relate with.
  • Assert yourself early and often, so you don’t build up a head of steam and blow.
  • Examine the beliefs that make up your philosophy of life—create a world-view that expands (not contracts) you.

The Four Elements are a fascinating part of human temperament.
Find out about yours in a reading with Jamie:
Contact Jamie
to learn how.

Coming in a few days:  Has Earth Grounded You–Permanently?

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Personality Flaws of the 4 Elements

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

Human temperament is made from combinations of the four elements, Fire, Earth, Air and Water.  Everyone has all four, but in different proportions.  Everyone also differs in how well they express each element—whether that element is expressed mostly in a clean and clear way or in a distorted way.

It’s not that some parts of your chart are good and some are bad.  All are good and all are bad—it is in how you use them.  Some will be easier to have as good and you can express those parts well with little effort.  Others are more challenged and prone to distorted expression.  But it still comes down to what you do with it.  You’re in charge.

And so, as a cautionary study, what follows is a look at what happens when each of the 4 elements goes terribly, terribly wrong.

Fire
The Fire side of us is naturally upbeat, cheerful and energetic.  When Fire goes wrong, all that drive and energy still needs someplace to go, so the person tends toward irritation, frustration and anger.  They can also take cheerfulness to the point of being entirely false and being unwilling to admit to having a down day.  When Fire is distorted, a person becomes fierce, a bully, arrogant, entitled, self-centered and even violent.  When you meet a person who can’t take feedback without exploding, who has to have their own way and who must dominate every situation, blame Fire.  Fire is also at work when an individual is hardheadedly self-determined or naïve to the point of clueless because they simply won’t listen to others.  And Fire also brings us the megalomaniac, the self-absorbed, self-centered people for whom it’s “all about me.”  Fire can be very uncaring and insensitive to others.  Oh, and Fire’s known for being an attention-grabber and a drama queen, insistent on blowing things up bigger than they have to be—and always in public.

Earth
Earth’s nature makes it practical, pragmatic, grounded, serious and realistic.  When a person expresses Earth in a distorted way they become cold and calculating, holding others (and sometimes themselves) to harsh, overly demanding standards.  Earth can be judgmental and critical, nit-picky and a perfectionist, setting the bar too high and valuing achievement over a balanced lifestyle.  Earth has also gone wrong when a person is overly security-oriented and abusing food and pleasure for comfort in reaction to excessive restrictions in other times or areas.  Binging and purging are Earthy behaviors.  Earth can also embrace structure too much, becoming extremely regimented, engaging in ritualistic, obsessive routines and finding themselves unable to relax and let life flow.  Earth craves wealth and can become a miserly, money-grubbing, gold-digging Scrooge who is obsessed with the bottom line and cries “show me the money!”  And obviously, Earth’s ambition can go very wrong, resulting in a person who will ruthlessly step on anybody necessary to climb to the top of the heap—and then paradoxically, they will spend their time hyper-vigilantly watching the competition, unable to relax and enjoy the fruits of their achievement.

Air
Air represents the mental side of human nature, so Air types tend to be idea people—intellectual and curious types.  When Air goes wrong, the person is nervous, twitchy, restless and agitated, too full of nervous energy and has too little tendency to work it off physically, as Fire or Earth might do.  Instead, Air will spend time reading or surfing the net or otherwise involved with ideas, theories and virtual things instead of physical reality.  Air tends to be attracted to caffeine and stimulants that make one’s mind sharper or help one focus.  Distorted Air leads to ADD symptoms, Asperger’s Syndrome, autism and other conditions that make it hard to bond emotionally with others, leaving a person cold, unattached and stiff (both emotionally and physically).  An Airy type can be the epitome of a talking head, full of theories and the logical reasons behind why they should work, but disinterested in their application.  That Airy intelligence can lead to a tendency to criticize whatever doesn’t fit the theory.  At its worst, Air is alienated, unfeeling, cut off from others and amoral, because it lacks compassion.

Water
Water represents the emotional side of human life:  Water grants us feelings, intuition, instinct, empathy and compassion.  Water-gone-wrong heads in a number of seemingly unconnected directions.  One way is that distorted Water becomes whiny, clingy, weepy, hypersensitive, histrionic and emotionally self-indulgent.  This leads to codependence and being easily manipulated by others.  Other people take distorted Water in a different direction, toward being passive-aggressive, manipulative, controlling and a user, always covertly pushing for one’s way.  Water is moody; it can fall into pits of depression, resulting in spending time being lazy, unmotivated, greasy & unwashed.  You can just feel the creeping entropy.  Even when Water is expressed in a spiritual way, the person can take an attitude of spiritual superiority which is actually not spiritual at all.  Did I mention that Water has a sexual side?  Water can get sleazy, sluttish, creepy and sexually predatory.  And Water can be morbidly sensitive, leading to agoraphobia and misanthropy.

So there they are, the four Elements in all their very worst aspects.  And there but for the grace of God go we all.

In the next few posts, I’ll talk about solutions to these elemental problems:
Is Fire Burning You Up?
Has Earth Grounded You—Permanently?
Does Air Have You Lost In A Cloud?
Are You Drowning In Water?

The Four Elements are a fascinating part of human temperament.
Find out about yours in a reading with Jamie:
Contact Jamie
to learn how.

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The 4 Elements, Caught Squabbling Again

Monday, May 24th, 2010

I just got an interesting question from a Twitter follower.  On Twitter, she writes:

foxyladye @pandoraastro why is water and earth always IN CHARGE! and fire(me-leo) & air except Libra! always gotta follow along

It’s an interesting question, @foxyladye, and since I couldn’t squeeze the answer into a tweet or two, I thought I’d move the question over here, where I can spread out a little.

My first thought is that I’m surprised, because Water and Earth often feel that Fire is overwhelming, overbearing and pushy.  And there’s some truth to that.  Yet, from Fire’s point of view (and yes, Leo is Fire), Fire is just being itself.  To Fire, Earth looks slow, dull, boring and painfully cynical, while Fire people are exciting and uplifting to be around.  It’s hard for Fire types to handle Earthy negativity.  From Earth’s point of view, Fire is all hot air and has no concept of the bottom line.  You see how these two are challenged to get along?

Water has problems with Fire too.  Water can be very sensitive and can feel that Fire comes blustering in with no clue about how they are affecting others.  Water often feels overrun and disrespected by Fire.  From Fire’s point of view, Water is too sensitive and should just get over it.  Fire doesn’t want to have to “hide their light under a bushel” just because water is being a “wet blanket.” (Those common phrases are no accident.)

My suggestion is to be the best Leo/Fire sign you can:  shine your light fully, be big, creative and expressive, but don’t be overbearing.  When your friends push back, it’s possible that you were being pushy first, but just didn’t realize it.  If you let your ego get in the way, you’re living your worst Leo side and it will push you away from your friends.  To be the royalty that you are, foxyladye, you’ve got to be gracious.  Because what use is it being queen if you have no citizens to follow your leadership?

Before I end this, I do want to add that a person’s “sign” is not all they are.  It’s quite possible, in fact it’s extremely likely, that those people you think of as Earth actually have some Fire, Air and Water in them.  Almost no one is all Fire.  And you yourself are a blend of the four elements.  Fire may be your strongest element, but maybe not.  It might be worth getting a reading to find out.  ;-)  If you want that, click on Astrology In Person, in the main page’s right sidebar.

Have a great day,

Jamie

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