The Four Elements

The ancients, the alchemists and astrologers all believe that there are four main elements that are the critical energies that sustain life. All these energies in various combinations are integral to physical manifestation and matter, and human beings as physical creations, are also governed by these elements. When these elements are out of balance, physical and psychological disharmony occurs.

These four elements are: Fire, Water, Air, and Earth.

Further to this, there are four principal qualities – hot, cold, dry and moist – and it was observed by the Greek philosopher Plato, that everything in the physical world has a combination of these qualities. The combination of dry & hot resulted in Fire, wet & hot gave Air, dry & cold produced Earth, and wet & cold gave rise to Water. Together with the quintessential fifth element ‘aether’ or ‘spirit’ or ‘prana’, these elements, when combined, create life as we know it.

Universally across cultures, great importance was assigned to these four essential elements, and powerful symbolism was derived from them. It forms the basis of alchemy, Ayurvedic teachings, archetypes, astrology, the masculine and feminine, and many more facets of human life.

In astrology, the four elements rule the 12 zodiac signs, and people born under different zodiac signs display various traits which are similar to the element ruling that zodiac.

Fire signs are Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius
Water signs are Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces
Air signs are Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius
Earth signs are Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn

These elements all occur in nature, and by understanding them and connecting with their presence in us, we become aware of our connection to nature, to all living things and our relationship to the Divine.

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