Page 21 - Talented Astrologer • Volume 1 Number 12 • November/December 2017
P. 21

When the ancient philosophers of the Western world sought to make sense of the universe, they began with  rst principles: the elements. Natural science has demonstrated that the physical world is made up of (currently)
118 chemical elements, but the metaphysical world as de ned by Western philosophy includes only Fire, Earth, Air, and Water.  is model of creation is one of the foundations of astrology.
 e four elements represent the four realms of existence. Fire is the spiritual realm; Water is the emotional realm; Air is the mental realm; and Earth is the material realm. Each realm has its distinct qualities and functions, and yet connections and commonalities exist between
each of the four elements.  e qualities of these connections are contained in the nature of the whole sign aspects.
 e most obvious and harmonious connections, conjunctions and trines,existbetween
signs of the same element. Sextiles occurbetweenFire andAirorEarth
and Water, signs that share the same polarity
(traditionallymasculineor feminine).Butnotevery
connection between these
elements is harmonious: these combinations of elements can also result in oppositions and squares.
When I set out to explore the qualities of the elements, I realized that one axis of polarity is not su cient to de ne four elements. Fire and Air represent the “masculine” polarity while Earth and Water represent the “feminine”
polarity, but there must also be a polarity that connects
the other pairs of elements. I’ve always felt that Fire and Water have a lot in common: both elements are passionate and intense, and both are comfortable exploring extreme
emotionsandfeelings. ismeansthesecondaxismust di erentiate Fire and Water from Air and Earth. FireandWaterarebothpersonalandsubjective.
Air is entirely objective and impersonal, and after some consideration,
I realized that those qualities also apply to the element of
Earth.
Working from
these principles, I set out to de ne the qualities of the
elements. It was rather
like playing Sudoku. Since I was working with polarities, the main task was assigning the pairs of qualities to the appropriate axis. Often, I had to make choices based on what was missing rather than on what was obvious to me. I never felt that Air and Earth had much in common, and yet by the process of elimination, I realized they must share the same
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