Many ancient cultures believed that everything around us – including humans – consisted of four basic elements: earth, water, air and fire. Aristotle suggested a fifth element – aether – because he believed the stars and heavens could not be made of the earthly elements. But aren’t we all made from stardust?
These four elements are expressed and connected to other thought and belief systems, such as astrology, the medicine wheel, the seasons and personality or temperament.
Carl Jung believed that the elements also relate to the depth of human emotion, to our psyche, and that each element was expressed both positively and negatively (what we might call our “shadow side”). For instance, a positive expression of the element fire, might be decisiveness, courage and enthusiasm. If deficient in fire, or if expressing the negative aspects, you might see indecision, recklessness and obsession.
The element of personal expression and environment (being grounded, secure and centred). Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo are earth signs in astrology.
The element of feeling and emotion, flow and balance. Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces are water signs.
The element of insight from practicality through to vision, creativity and inspiration. Libra, Aquarius, Gemini are air signs.
The element of energy and vitality, drive… your “inner fire”. Aries, Leo and Sagittarius are fire signs.
Do you feel your elements are in balance? Are there some elements that might be excessive or deficient?
We’ll explore each element in upcoming posts.
NOTE: I love the image of the four elements posted here but have not been able to find the original source, in order to provide credit. Whoever you are, thank you!