What are the Qualities of the Earth Element?
Earth is the first of the classical elements (earth, air, fire, and water) as most people list them today. It is often perceived of as the most solid and unmoving of the four elements, and is associated with the physical body and the physical world around us. It is important to distinguish between Earth as one of the planets and other celestial bodies in astrology, and the element of earth.
Aristotle described earth as dry and cold, with dryness dominating. “Dry” referred to its property of solidity, of holding its shape on its own. “Cold” referred to the ability of this element to bring different qualities together in a mixture and hold them that way. By contrast, Aristotle saw heat as a force that separated substances into their various components.
Earth is associated with the ground beneath us, with the five physical senses , and with the flora and fauna of Creation. It is thus the element of fertility, prosperity, and physical health. It has come to be seen as the element connected with both monetary wealth and healing.
Symbols of Earth
The symbol of earth in Western mysticism is the downward pointing triangle with a horizontal line going through it. In the East, the Tattva for earth is a yellow square. Plato associated the element of earth with a solid cube, which my gaming friends will recognize as a d6.
The colour often associated with earth is the green of the grass, trees, and the plants that feed us. In the Tarot, earth corresponds to the suit of Pentacles, Coins, or Deniers. In astrology, the earth signs are: Taurus, the Bull; Virgo, the Virgin; Capricorn, the Goat.
Characteristics of the Earth Signs
People born to earth signs are known for being practical, prosaic, and logical. Their temperament was referred to as melancholic, from the Greek name for the black bile Hippocrates associated with the earth element. A melancholy person was described as analytical and quiet.
People who fall under the earth sign influence are both materialistic and reliable. This tends to stoke their ambition to do well in their careers, which ultimately brings them the security and creature comforts they crave.
Because of their dependable nature and their ability to get the job done, they are often well respected and are considered mentors by some. Personal relationships may be somewhat of a challenge, however, as they are not keen on taking risks and don't always know how to share their feelings. They can also be both stubborn and possessive of people they hold dear.
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