What are the elements in Astrology?

You may have heard people referring to the elements of Fire, Air, Earth and Water in Astrology. But why are they so important?

elements in astrology

All Zodiac signs are ruled by certain elements in astrology

The elements are a way of classifying the zodiac and represent personality tendencies. 

What each element in Astrology means

Each element in Astrology is considered either Masculine (or Yang) or Feminine (Yin) in energy and certain Zodiac signs have been classified as belonging to each element as you’ll see in the chart below.

The Personality of each Element in Astrology

Each element has certain personality traits and you’ll see these play out differently depending on the specific zodiac sign e.g. the way fire is expressed in Aries is different from how it is expressed in Leo or Sagittarius. Aries is aggressive and impulsive, Leo is enthusiastic and showy and Sagittarius is visionary and adventurous.

Fire signs are passionate, leaders, impulsive, fiery, confident and courageous

Earth signs are grounded and down to earth, slow and steady, hardworking, responsible & practical, loyal and stable, conservative and balanced

Air signs are In their heads, they are intellectual thinkers, communicators, curious, inventive and freedom seekers

Water signs are emotional & intuitive, sensitive & moody, empathetic and typically private.

How we find our elemental distribution in our natal chart

We can look at our sun sign for a primary element classification but it is more effective to look at our overall elemental distribution.

In a natal chart, we have a table of elements that looks at the elemental and quality distribution of planetary placements.

anatomy of a natal chart

In my chart below you’ll see that I have quite an even distribution of the planets and angles in the elements.

Using a scoring system I’ll introduce below I have a score of 4 in Fire, 4 in Air, 4 in Earth and 5 in Water. 

What it means to have a missing element

Below is the element chart of a good friend of mine, if you take a look you’ll see that she only has one planet in Air – Pluto. In this chart, we would consider Air as a “missing element” and something she’ll have to work harder to overcome.  She’ll likely find it harder to be objective and rational because her desire to respond emotionally is stronger.

What it means to have a predominant or primary element

My friend is also predominant in Earth and Water and this will be a strength for her. If we total up her planets in each element using a method I’ll show you below you’ll see that she has scores of 6 in the Element of Water and 5 in the Element of Earth compared to only 3 in Fire and 1 in Air.

When you have a predominant element it means that you have a natural ability, propensity or talent to harness this energy. It won’t be difficult for you to express these personality expressions.

Elemental Distribution Scoring System

Grab your chart and a piece of paper and create a table like the below with the 4 elements, a place to note down the planets, luminaries, North Node (ignore south node) and AC and MC in each element and then use the scoring system below:

2 Points: Sun, Moon, AC 

1 Point: Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto, Uranus, Neptune, North Node, MC

ElementPlanets, Luminaries & MC/ACCount





Analysing your elemental distribution

Once you have done your scoring you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is your highest scoring element?
  • Would you consider any elements predominant compared to others? If you have an element that is very strong (or excessive) look to the opposite element and take action to develop that element.
  • Do you have a missing or weak element? Take note of any elements that are particularly weak for you as you will need to consciously develop these aspects. 
  • Are your elements quite balanced?

Would you like to learn more about Astrology?

Scroll to Top