You probably know that there are twelve signs of the zodiac, but did you know that each of the signs belongs to one of four elements: fire, earth, air or water? Understanding what the astrological elements symbolize, and how they link the signs of the zodiac together, is a useful tool in understanding a birth chart as a whole.
Which Zodiac Signs are Earth Signs?
The three earth signs are Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn.
What Does the Earth Element Mean in Astrology?
Astrologically, the earth element represents stability, tenacity, dependability, loyalty, duty, responsibility and sensuality.
In astrology, we consider the earth signs to be generally calm, cautious and grounded personalities. Sensible and practical, they are full of common sense and tend to be risk-averse. Earth signs are the builders of the zodiac – whatever it is that they’re building, be it a career, a relationship or a sense of personal growth, they will take it step by step to an eventual successful conclusion.
The earth element in astrology also has a strong connection to the physical senses, so earth people like to indulge in the finer things of life that they can touch, see, smell or feel. For this reason, these often unassuming zodiac signs are actually the most sensual in the zodiac, making imaginative, thoughtful lovers and very faithful partners.
To understand the astrological elements, it’s sometimes helpful to think of how we experience the element in our daily lives. The earth of course represents the ground beneath out feet and the earth signs do provide a solid foundation of support for others. Earth is heavy to move, though, and earth signs too can be difficult to budge; stubbornness is definitely an earth sign personality trait. The right amount of earth blanketing a seed can nurture and grow that seed into a beautiful bloom, just as earth signs can be creative and tenacious in realizing their dreams. However, too much earth will smother any living thing or trap it in a mudslide – and we can see too how the earth signs sometimes get stuck in a rut and are resistant to change.
What are the Differences Between the Three Earth Signs?
Having learned that Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn are all earth signs, you may be thinking that all three signs are going to be the same. Nothing could be further from the truth! Each zodiac sign is unique; among the sets of elemental signs, one major thing which distinguishes one sign from another is the sign’s mode: cardinal, fixed or mutable.
Each astrological mode operates differently and within each element group of signs, there’s one cardinal, one mutable and one fixed sign. For the earth signs, it’s like this:
Taurus is a fixed earth sign
Virgo is a mutable earth sign
Capricorn is a cardinal earth sign
How does this affect how the signs manifest earth? Let’s have a look.
Taurus, the first earth sign, is a fixed sign. As you can imagine, we’re definitely in mudslide territory here when it comes to getting stuck. It’s no coincidence that Taurus is known as the most stubborn of all zodiac signs. This is the earth element not budging. However, as the earth element of Taurus digs in its heels, it also blesses this sign with incredible determination and staying power. Taurus almost never gives up – not on people either, making this a very loyal earth sign. Taurus can also be very creative in its thinking.
Virgo on the other hand is a mutable earth sign. This is the earth element in its most flexible mode. Virgo people are generally speaking more adaptable than Taurus people, and less resistant to change. To understand this mutable earth sign, think of the healing properties of certain types of mud and clay. They can draw impurities from the skin and so Virgo tries to draw out what it sees as impurities from itself and others – this is where Virgo’s reputation for criticism comes from. Virgo also has a reputation as a master of detail, which comes from the mutable earth element – here Virgo shifts from one grain of sand to the next, analysing each with minute precision. This earth sign seeks perfection in all things and if you’re not perfect, you’ll be nagged until you are. However, Virgo is supremely loyal and tenacious and offers endless support to others.
Capricorn, the final earth sign, is a cardinal earth sign. Here is the earth element seizing control; if the earth can experience earthquakes, Capricorn will be the sign deciding what to do in the aftermath. Capricorn channels the earth element’s energy into ambition, direction and aspiration, making this one of the most determined and focused signs of the zodiac. This cardinal earth sign knows how to control and shape earth, building bricks and steps towards goals with ceaseless perseverance. Because Capricorn harnesses the energy of the moving, shifting earth plane, this sign also carries an air of natural authority, like a mountain emerging from a clash of tectonic plates.
How to Balance Earth Energy in Your Birth Chart
If your Sun sign is not Taurus, Virgo or Capricorn, does that mean you have no earth in your chart? It is possible to have no earth, but it’s unusual. Remember, all of the planets are in your natal chart somewhere, and there’s a good chance that at least one of them is in an earth sign.
Take note of your Sun sign, your Ascendant sign, your Moon sign and your ruling planet’s sign? Make a list of which element each belongs to. Are any of them in earth signs? If so, you’re good. If not, then you may be lacking in earth although your full birth chart will give more of an accurate picture.
If you are short of earth in your natal chart, you’ll probably feel lost, at sea, unable to settle and lacking in direction.
If on the other hand you’ve got a lot of earth – perhaps too much - you may feel bogged down in detail, stuck in a rut or unable to shift your position.
If you think you need more earth in your life, try these easy tips for bringing the stability and security of earth into your life:
· Dig in the garden with your bare hands
· Walk barefoot on the earth
· Build sandcastles or mud pies
· Plant something
· Harvest something
· Choose some stones or pebbles to create a display
· Search for fossils
· Gather some wood
· Craft with wood
· Hug a tree
· Go camping
· Watch insects at ground level
By contrast, if you think you may have a little bit too much earth, try these activities. All of these are designed to invite air into your life, and air is an element which can enliven earth.
· Fly a kite
· Go somewhere windy and enjoy the wind in your face
· Blow bubbles
· Lie on your back and watch the clouds making shapes
· Practice breathing exercises
· Buy or make a windchime or a garden ornament designed to spin in the breeze
The earth element, when it’s working well, provides calmness and stability in our lives. If you can bring this element into proper balance with the other astrological elements, you should feel grounded and at peace.