The Elements have to do with your way of Being, with the basic foundations of your life. The distinction is very ancient. Astrologers gave these groupings the names of what at the time were thought to be the four elements: Fire, Earth, Air, and Water. Today we know that Earth and Air are mixtures, Water a compound, and Fire a chemical reaction. Nevertheless, the distinctive traits of the element groupings still hold true. In simplest terms, Fire is inspirational, Earth is practical, Air is intellectual, and Water is emotional.

What is the difference between an Element and a Quality? Qualities show how we Act. In astrology, there are three ways. We can charge right in and solve the immediate problem (the Cardinal Signs, Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn) take our time, consider the long range consequences, and take action based on principle (the Fixed Signs, Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius) or endlessly discuss things and reach a decision based on negotiation and compromise (the Mutable Signs, Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces).

Elements introduce another dimension. For instance, we can act directly (Cardinal) action inspirationally (Fire) emotionally (Water) intellectually (Air) or practically (Earth).

If you have a majority (at least five) planets in any one element, the characteristics of that element will stand out and be clearly recognizable in your life. A word of warning. ALWAYS consider the whole horoscope before jumping to conclusions. While a majority of planets in an element is important, having a planet stand out from the rest by chart shape or by being the only planet in an element, quality, or house type is more important when it comes to describing the well known facts of someone’s life. We will see this with some of the examples below.

Also, before we start, it is important to remember that everybody has every element represented somewhere in their horoscope. Even if there are no planets in one element, the signs of that element and the planets that rule those signs must be placed somewhere on the wheel. That means that the effects will come out somewhere in your life. Knowledge of astrology will tell you the place.

Fire Sign Majority
A majority of planets in Fire Signs (Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius) can make a person more self-centered. On the positive side, this is confidence, inspiration, self-assuredness. On the negative side, this can be a total lack of empathy, the inability to believe that other people are alive and have rights.

A negative example would be Henri Landru, the serial killer who married ten women, got them to take all their money out of the bank, and then made them disappear. He had Eight planets in fire signs. Six of these were in Aries (direct action) in his 12th House (psychological problems).

Now don’t go thinking that everyone with several 12th House placements is a serial killer. Landru had the planet Saturn standing out by chart shape in his 8th House (death). so it focused the chart’s “energy” to that area. He also had Pluto the natural ruler of the 8th House powerfully placed right on his Ascendant. On top of that,  Pluto was his only planet in an Earth Sign (practicality and a concern with material resources). Even with this, there was no “fate” here. “The Stars impel, they do not compel.” Landru became a murderer by choice. Pluto and the 8th House can heal as well as kill. His horoscope also gave him the potential to become a doctor!

Pete Rose is a somewhat more positive example. His chart has five planets in fire signs, and fire gives energy and enthusiasm.  The nickname he had during his playing days was “Charlie Hustle.” Unfortunately, the extra strength these planets gave to his ego made it difficult for him to acknowledge that he had a gambling problem.

Brynn Hartman had five planets in fire signs and no singletons to focus the chart’s “energy.” Little is known of her personal life, but, regrettably, she will be most remembered for two sudden impulsive acts:  shooting her husband and taking her own life.

Marlon Brando has five fire planets. His whole life was fiery, from the wild affairs and stormy marriages to running off to Tahiti. Like many people who are successful in show business, he has Jupiter (expansion, optimism, luck) in aspect to his Mid-Heaven (career).

J. P. Morgan had six fire planets. He built an empire, ruled Wall Street, and personally pulled the economy out of several financial crises. The energy and enthusiasm of his fire sign planets was funneled to accumulation of material resources because his Moon in Virgo was the only placement in an Earth Sign.

Earth Sign Majority
And that’s a good introduction to discussing the meaning of a majority of planets in
Earth Signs (Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn). Earth is practical, solid, slow but steady. Fire signs are inspirational, always wondering what’s on the other side of that mountain. Earth sees the mountain, period. Anything else is, to an earth sign, mere speculation.

Louis Pasteur had eight planets in Earth Signs, six of them in Capricorn. Pasteur was originally a chemist. He was the first to discover that some crystals could be right-handed or left-handed. But inspiration comes from Fire signs. Pluto, planet of extremes (death and rebirth) was his only placement in a Fire sign. It was located in his 5th house (creativity) and it made a close trine aspect (120 degrees) with his Mid-Heaven (career). Of course, Pasteur is best known for his work fighting microbes. Compare the different paths chosen by Pasteur and Henri Landru.

His other Singleton was the Moon in Gemini. It was his only Air sign placement. According to Paul De Kruif in “The Microbe Hunters”, Pasteur would rather have a public debate than discuss research details.

William James the philosopher, had six Earth placements. Pluto was his only Fire planet and Neptune was singleton twice over. It was his only Air sign planet and his only planet in a Fixed sign. Unfortunately, since his birth time is not known, we cannot see which areas of his life they were influencing. Nevertheless, the sign positions of the planets remained the same all that day. Six planets in Earth signs. And what philosophy was he famous for? Pragmatism!

Clara Barton had five Earth Sign planets. Four of them were in Capricorn, sign of organization. She founded and organized the Red Cross.

 While the Earth Sign placements made her practical, they did not show the area on which she would focus. That was shown by her Singleton  Pluto (Pluto again!) which was her only planet in a Water Sign, and Venus, her only Air Sign planet. Both of these sSingletons were in her 12th House (restrictions and places of restriction, such as hospitals).

Once again, please note that there is always a choice that has to be made: to be positive or negative. Compare Barton’s life with that of Henri Landru above. Both horoscopes had a strong 12th House and a strong Pluto. One healed. The other killed.

Air Sign Majority
Air Signs (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius) specialize in ideas and communications. Strong emotions (a Water Sign specialty) tend to throw them off balance because emotions can’t be figured out. They are just there.

By way of contrast, Fire Signs work by inspiration (“Let’s go over that mountain; I bet there’s something real interesting on the other side!) Earth Signs by practicality (I’ll believe it when I see it) Water Signs by emotion (I’m not in the mood to over that mountain today). 

An Air Sign would say:
“That’s very interesting. What reasons do you have for thinking that there is something on the mountain’s other side? What are the possibilities here?”

Barbara Walters, has five planets in Air Signs. Three are in Libra, sign of partnership. and she usually works with partners. Her work is pure Air. But how did she get to be a famous reporter and media personality? The sign of Cancer is at the top of her horoscope (her Mid-Heaven, her career) and its ruler, the Moon, is one of those Air Sign placements. It sits in Gemini, the communications sign. Pluto is also strong. It’s her only planet in a Water Sign, so it is singleton. It  focuses her chart’s “energy” to the 10th House (career). And people with a strong Pluto are always interested in getting at hidden secrets, a plus for a reporter.

Gennifer Flowers, another reporter, also has five planets in air signs. However, in one famous case, she became part of the story. Ms. Flowers was the first woman to reveal publicly that she had an affair with Bill Clinton.

Jennifer Jason Leigh has Seven planets in air signs, and they are all in the same sign, Aquarius. She is different, to be sure. We will deal with this very complicated chart in depth in other chapters.

Fanny Brice had five Air Sign planets. Perfect for communications of all sorts, including singing and songwriting. Five planets are also in Fixed Signs. So even though she was a Scorpio Sun sign, she frequently came across as kooky and eccentric, like an Aquarian.

John Belushi had five Air planets. Again, a good setup for communications He did everything from the comedy of Saturday Night Live to singing (The Blues Brothers) to a more serious attempt at drama (Continental Divide).

Swami Vivekananda had five Air Sign planets. He was one of the first to popularize yoga in the west both through lectures and books.

Water Sign Majority
Water Signs  (Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces) emphasize feelings, emotions, and instincts over logical analysis (which is an Air Sign specialty). Marc Edmund Jones was the first to point out that while Fire Signs will ignore anything that they are not interested in at the moment, Water Signs, by contrast, want to embrace everything. What he didn’t mention was that they also don’t want to let go. Ever.

Arthur Miller has five planets in Water Signs. His time of birth is unknown, but that doesn’t change the sign positions of the planets. Even though his Sun Sign is Air (he is a Libra) that Water Sign majority focuses his concern on emotions. His play “The Crucible”, for instance, was about the hysterical outburst of the Salem witch trials. “The View From the Bridge” concerned a man’s subconscious passion for his niece.

William Kunstler  had five Water planets. Mars in was his only Air Sign placement and that directed his horoscope’s “energy” to aggressive speech. But Gemini would just as easily represent a large corporation accused of polluting the environment. Kunstler mostly defended radicals and misfits.

Drew Barrymore has six Water Sign planets. I read once that she didn’t want to take acting classes because they would interfere with her instincts. The negative side of Water Signs emerged early with her. She was in rehab for substance abuse when she was thirteen.



jump_arrow.gif (69 bytes) Back to List of Astrology Lessons ( Site Map)

     
     
 

 
   

 


Google
 

 


 

 

Site Map

   
   

 

   

HomeAbout This Site About Mr.Marks Astrology for Skeptics Charts of the Famous Astrology Lessons Recommended BooksMonthly ForecastReadingsForumsContact Us