You probably know that all of the astrological zodiac signs belong to one of the four classical elements – fire, earth, air and water. Understanding what the elements helps us to understand the common traits which link some zodiac signs together. Although the elements are only a very small part of astrology, they add another layer to the personality of a birth chart, so it’s useful to think about how each element manifests.
Which Zodiac Signs are Air Signs?
What Does the Air Element Mean in Astrology?
Astrologically, the air element represents communication, intellect, ideas, the mind, analysis, curiosity and invention.
In astrology, we understand the air signs to be talkative, expressive and keen to relate on an intellectual and mental level rather than necessarily an emotional or physical one. Air signs are gregarious and friendly, and they tend to favor logic and reason over emotions or instincts.
The air element in astrology is seen as idealistic, because this is where ideas are formed in quite an abstract way. Sometimes the air signs may appear to be ahead of their time, with brilliant ideas which aren’t very practical or doable, but which nonetheless excite interest and admiration.
To understand elements in astrology, it’s helpful to think about these elements as we know them in the natural world. Of course, we need air to breathe, and as we communicate, we breathe air in and out. Air can manifest as wind too. A gentle breeze can float a kite to the heavens just as an air sign can float an idea into reality. A stronger wind, however, is unpredictable and the rush of air can either cool and refresh us or damage our structures, just as the air signs can tend to blow hot and cold in an unpredictable manner. A hurricane, or course, destroys everything in its path without favor or emotion – and an air sign’s detached, unemotional nature can sometimes seem very hurtful to those around them.
What are the Differences Between the Three Air Signs?
Despite all having the air element at their root, the three air signs are not identical. Why is that? Surely if they’re all based on air, they’ll be very similar, no? Well, it’s true that all of these signs manifest the air element – but they do so in subtly different ways according to the mode the sign belongs to.
Modes are another way of grouping zodiac signs. While there are four elements, there are only three modes. Each of the zodiac signs in an element group belongs to a different mode. For air signs:
Gemini is a mutable air sign.
Libra is a cardinal air sign.
Aquarius is a fixed air sign.
Each of the modes operates differently, which is where the differences between the air signs come from.
Gemini, the first air sign, is a mutable sign. Ever changeable, ever flexible, this is air which rushes first one way and then the other. This air sign can see every side to every story, all at once, and is happy to talk about them all at once too! Gemini people have many varied and often scattered interests, as the air element keeps their minds in constant motion. The need to communicate is perhaps strongest with this air sign above both of the others; Gemini needs to talk, to write and to express. Likely to change their minds as often as the wind changes direction, you can picture Gemini as a child having fun chasing a kite in the breeze.
Libra, on the other hand, is a cardinal air sign. Here is the air element taking charge, taking action and moving in a positive direction rather than randomly. Libra has the strongest leadership qualities among the air signs, as this is where the air element uses reason and logic to shape decisions. Even though Libra has a reputation for being indecisive, you’ll find that once a decision has been made, Libra will pursue it wholeheartedly. The air element embodies communication but in Libra the communication is less about talking and more about listening. This air sign wants to relate to other people and craves close relationships, and the idealism of the air element is often expressed by Libra thinking the best of everyone. Librans lead by understanding balance.
Aquarius, the last air sign, is a fixed air sign. Here the air element is still, which is not a natural state for air. Perhaps the purest expression of air energy, Aquarius is a zodiac sign in which the intellect dominates. Ideas are everything to this sign and it is consequently one of the most principled signs of the zodiac. However, the stillness of the air can lead to dogmatic views and an entrenched mentality. Highly independent and determined to maintain their individuality and freedom, Aquarius people can be emotionally aloof and overly rational in their approach to life. The idealism of the air element, however, comes through in a strong humanitarian trait which makes this air sign very kind, tolerant and willing to work for the greater good.
How to Balance Air Energy in Your Birth Chart
You probably have air energy somewhere in your chart, even if your Sun sign isn’t Gemini, Libra or Aquarius. All of the planets are somewhere in your birth chart and there’s a good chance that at least one of them is in air! However, it is possible to have no air in your chart at all, or to have too little; conversely, it’s also possible to be over-blessed in this department with too much air!
Some signs that you might be lacking in the air element include feeling uninspired, lacking in ideas and perhaps unsociable too, not wanting to communicate.
Hints that you might have too much air include spending too much time socializing and not enough time handling your own emotions.
One way to see at a glance whether you’re likely to have enough air in your astrological chart or not is to make a list of your Sun sign, Ascendant sign, Moon sign and sign of your ruling planet. Take note which element each of those signs belongs to. If none of those points are in an air sign, you may be lacking in air (although not necessarily, because you may still have any number of other planets in air – but these points are the heaviest weighted in the chart).
If you do think you are lacking in air, you could try the following activities to bring the inspiration and reason of air into your life:
· Fly a kite
· Fan yourself
· Go to a windy spot and feel the power of the air
· Listen to your breathing
· Blow bubbles or dandelion clocks
· Make a windchime or spinner for your garden and watch it moving
· Open your windows
· Fly a flag
· Declutter to allow the air to move more freely around your home
· Go hangliding
Alternatively, if you think you have too much air, try some of these activities – these are associated with earth, which is an element which can help tame air:
· Dig in the garden
· Plant something or harvest something
· Walk barefoot on the earth
· Dig for fossils
· Build a sculpture with pebbles or stones
· Collect twigs, fir cones, interesting leaves or other natural items from the earth and create a mini earth altar in your home.
The air element is vital to us, in proper balance with the other astrological elements, because it provides the power of ideas. Innovation and genius are the gifts of the air element, so use them wisely!