Water signs are gullible.
Read on for all other elements’ challenges and talents.
As always, if I’m bringing you Astrology content, it’s an opinion piece. I’m speaking from experience, not just theory. If you’re looking for conventional knowledge, look elsewhere, you won’t find that in my blog.
Here’s a second warning, always worth including: if you can’t tell the difference between “criticism” and “hate”, you’re not welcome here either.
On to the article:
Nobody is perfect. If perfection existed, life wouldn’t be any fun.
This is a gentle reminder, in case you’re one of those overly sensitive commenters whose mind always goes straight to “worst case scenario” when you read something less than flattering about your zodiac sign on the Internet. For starters, Astrology is not a science. It’s based on religious beliefs (no, I won’t take kindly to “disagreements” here because I’m not stating an opinion. I’m stating a FACT. Every Astrological system is based on a mythological system. Is that not religion? How? Look into my eyes and tell me it’s not religion. I dare you). So it’s a matter of belief. Period. You’re under no obligation whatsoever to agree with it or believe it. And therefore, you’re not stupid if you don’t know what I’m talking about here. You’re intelligent. You deserve to feel empowered. Don’t listen to the fanatic morons.
Secondly, even if you’re a fierce believer in Astrology, you have to admit there are pros and cons to everything. Ya know your own zodiac sign? Yup, there are pros AND cons to it. Ya know your favourite sign / the sign you wish you were? Guess what, it has pros and cons too. Ya know everything you hold dear to your heart? Pros and cons. Nothing is 100% ideal or 100% bad. The faster you get that idea out of your mind, the happier you’ll be.
“Oh but Meron I don’t trust you because you wrote a provocative title”
Sweetheart, if that’s you, hear me out: human beings are fascinated by negative things. We’re always on the lookout for them. If I had used a totally wholesome, sugar-and-spice-and-all-things-nice title, would you even click? But even if you would, here’s the deal: you’d read the wholesome title, read the wholesome intro, AND STILL LOOK FOR NEGATIVES somewhere in the article anyway. Why? Because we have morbid curiosity for negativity. We can’t help it. That’s a human survival instinct. And if you think about it, it’s not that bad: we’re all hard-wired to look for negatives BECAUSE we all have this wonderful talent for fixing what we perceive as wrong. That’s why we have an intellect. That’s why we’re able to invent new things, improve existing systems, evolve as a society. All other animals still behave the way they did in Prehistory. Would you like to be like them? Yeah, I didn’t think so either.
So, deal with that. I’ll repeat: there are pros and cons to everything. Everything. Nothing comes for free, honey. I know it sucks, but we must acknowledge that.
With anxiety (hopefully) out of the way, let’s look into the 4 elements in astrology:
Earth signs are elitistic.
I’ll make a caveat: not every sign with earth qualities is archetypally “earth”. (As in: we all know there are officially 3 earth signs — Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo. I’m saying actually there are 3 and a half, because there’s a sign in another element which kiiiind of acquires earth qualities). I know it sounds a bit weird, but perhaps it will make more sense if you think of ruling planets. Each sign has its own ruling planet, but sometimes the same planet can rule 2 signs. Saturn, for instance, is heavily associated with the earth element in Astrological mythology. It rules Capricorn… but also Aquarius. And Aquarius is officially “air” — but for all intents and purposes here, it’s also “a wee bit earth”, if you know what I mean. I’m essentially saying Aquarius relates to 2 elements. More so to air, but somewhat to earth. Its name and mythology also fits in with my theory: Aquarius is the “water bearer”, just like, ya know, earth is usually what holds water in place.
I know some people will say they perceive earth as conservative, but I beg to disagree. Conservatism is actually a water quality — it goes hand in hand with the law of minimum effort (ie, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”) and comfort zone that are staples of the phlegmatic temperament (aka water). Perhaps earth signs can act conservative when provoked, since they all have a water shadow side due to complimentary oppositions. But they won’t always be conservative, they only act that way if they’re mad at you. In fact, if an earth sign is healthy, they’re some of the most open-minded people you’ll ever meet.
Earth open-mindedness is especially easy to notice if you look at their main challenge: elitism. All earth signs are guilty of being a bit “stuck up”, or secretly desiring to be superior and more refined than everyone else. For that, they need a great deal of open-mindedness. They stay open to chances of ascending socially or intellectually, and lecturing the “peasants” from a high horse. They don’t judge themselves perfect, instead they pursue perfection during life — and for that, you need to be open to learning and perfecting yourself. Unlike water signs, an earth sign won’t settle for “what is”; they’re always wondering what could be, or how can I make it so. That’s why, I’ll repeat, they’re not conservative. That’s also why they’re the opposite of water [in Astrology].
There’s also a point to be made for earth open-mindedness in a positive quality they have: their eagerness to find what’s broken, and fix it. They may not be as politically inclined as air signs, but they’re undoubtedly always motivated to try and fix problems — even if these are small everyday problems. And love it or hate it, in order to have that quality, they need a bit of elitism, a bit of grandiosity if you will, so they can always strive for “the best” instead of settling for less-than-ideal situations.
It makes sense to compare these signs to actual earth: how does a seed germinate under the soil and break the surface into the light? Certainly not in a straightforward way. It will slowly contour every piece of rock, dead animals, plastic etc in order to get there. So much so, that if you put a piece of clear glass over it, the plant will start growing sideways. It’s the opposite of what happens to an object coming out of water. Earth signs are, after all, “down-to-earth” — they look at a situation as is, without excessive wishful thinking or rose-tinted glasses, in order to determine how to get out of it.
In its natural state, earth tends to have a very uneven texture. Whether it’s huge mountains created by volcanic activity, or small bumps in the grass because of the rocks and roots in the way, it’s uneven. Unlike water, which always tries to stay even and stagnant; Earth is unafraid of incorporating and showcasing everything you throw at it.
The downside of that is, as I said, earth needs to learn when to stop growing / moving. Earth needs to relax.
Fire signs are selfish.
The caveat here goes to Scorpio, a water sign with fire qualities because it’s ruled by Mars (and this planet is connected to fire in Astrological mythology — pretty much in every system). A scorpion (its symbol) is a creature of the desert and it thrives in places that are both hot and dry… just like fire. Sure that’s archetypal, no creatures actually thrive in fire, but there are some who come really close.
So, fire signs are selfish. What do I mean by that? Well… have you ever seen fire? It burns if you get too close. It doesn’t care about your integrity or well-being. But everything has pros and cons. So, what’s the pro side here? Simple: fire has its own light. Fire is self-sufficient, and won’t outsource the success to what’s around it. You can trust fire to keep burning on its own initiative and it won’t let you down. It’s the opposite of air: reliable, easy to see, constant.
I don’t think it’s completely impossible for fire signs to use their empathy (because we’re talking about human beings. Fire is just an archetype. People under fire signs are still people. Still human. And all humans have capacity for empathy). What I DO think, however, is you can’t force a fire sign to behave like a different element, and expect it to stay healthy. I mean… I understand that fire can be a bit intimidating. Aries and Leo are among the zodiac signs considered “annoying” by a lot of people — and Scorpio also makes the list, despite being a water sign, for the reasons above. Sagittarius not so much, and you can keep reading to find out why. But generally speaking: you can’t expect a fire sign to be “low key”. If that’s a very important value for you, make friends with zodiac signs of other elements instead.
At first sight, that looks very logical: when you’re dealing with fire, you must acknowledge it’s fire. You can’t fool yourself into thinking it can become earth, or water, or air — at least not instantly. I think we all understand that. But when it comes to zodiac archetypes, and especially when it comes to dealing with these fire signs, we somehow forget that fire is a thing, and a valid thing at that. We try to turn it into something else. Why? If you don’t like it, avoid it. Fire can’t help being the way it is.
Maybe a lot of people just feel intimidated by it, and in an attempt to protect their ego, they go into denial about this fear. They fool themselves into thinking they’re being charitable, or doing a good thing, by “putting out” every fire they ever see. They just forget to notice that it’s childish of them to do that. Because as I said, and will keep saying, everything has pros and cons. Maybe you’re just seeing the cons because you’re intimidated. But the pros won’t stop existing nonetheless. What would we do without heat? Heat is fire. How could we even survive without the sun? The sun is fire.
Perhaps I’m after going on a personal tangent here, but I’m fed up to the back teeth with this prejudice people have against the archetype of fire. Yes we can be selfish, that’s our shadow and it’s our job as fire signs to keep it under control, so what? Every other element has shadows too. Do you think it’s fun to deal with earth’s elitism? And yet, we let it exist. We couldn’t survive without it. The world is made of FOUR elements, not three.
Just because something isn’t immediately scary or won’t immediately burn you, or be loud and obnoxious… That doesn’t mean it isn’t bad. That’s the entire point of this article. Every element has a shadow side, and all four are equally bad. All four need managing. But all four need to exist to some extent, or else we can’t enjoy the GOOD side of them.
Air signs are unreliable.
…And the fourth sign (apart from Libra, Aquarius, Gemini) that “kind of” almost fits in here is Virgo, ruled by air planet Mercury. Virgo is represented by a young maiden working the harvest, usually wheat. There’s a connection to Persephone (god of spring and also the underworld), deepening the sign’s relationship with things like communication and easy travel between the realms — just like air. But its earth qualities are still pretty strong and undeniable, hence why I’m associating it with two elements.
But wait, am I saying Virgo is unreliable? Isn’t that counterintuitive? Well, yes and no. Virgo just kind of fits here — it’s still earth first and foremost, so of course there is an element of constance to it. As we all know, Virgos love things like routine, organisation, and problem-solving. That’s the earth side. On the other hand, Virgo stands out if compared to Taurus and Capricorn when it comes to ideas and beliefs. It’s mutable, after all. More than open-minded, it’s unreliable in terms of philosophical pursuit. Whereas Taurus people are usually dead-set on their favourite tried-and-tested products and methods etc, and Capricorn don’t really deviate from their aims and goals… Virgos just sort of go with the flow. One day your Virgo is fixating on the “it” product some random influencer endorsed on social media… The next day they moved on to the next big miracle pill, and so on and so forth. They can’t help giving in to Mercury, just like Gemini.
Another air quality of Virgo (now a positive one!) is their self-awareness. If you criticise a Taurus, the reaction will often be “how dare you hurt my pride!”, and for Capricorn, “who do you think you are to comment”. If you criticise a Virgo, they’ll just nod and be like “yeah that makes sense, I already noticed this shortcoming before on *takes out notebook* X day at X hour, etc. Working on it”. Their approach is analytical, emotionally disengaged, and result-oriented. That fits in more with Libra, Gemini and Aquarius if you ask me.
(Of course the above is an archetypal comment. A Virgo with a personality disorder, or depression, or other serious mental health issue won’t be as mature. No zodiac sign is immune to that. Take care of your mental health!)
Similarly, “conventional” air signs have a talent for seeing a situation from above, like eagles in flight, without automatically taking things to heart. I myself have a lot of planets in air signs, so I relate to air somewhat: it’s quite funny how people who are strong in other elements consider air signs “insensitive” — when in fact, every single time, it’s just their reasonable reaction to YOUR excessive neediness or attention-seeking behaviour. If you think air and fire are alike in the selfishness department, you’re mistaken. Fire can very well be self-centered; air is not. They’re opposites. If something is of REAL concern to social harmony, air will listen. Sometimes, though, it’s just a matter of one person’s needy behaviour.
Unlike Aries, a Libra DOES care about your feelings. They’ll go out of their way to ensure you feel seen, comfortable, and included. But if you start demanding that the Libra keep constantly pushing you out of a state of self-loathing, jealousy or comparison with every single word they utter… you’ll irritate them. And yes, that’s usually a problem with water signs. You can’t make an air sign behave like water. Forget that. They care about your well-being, WITHOUT sacrificing THEIR OWN well-being, and the wellbeing OF OTHERS in the vicinity. Everyone is equal in the opinion of an air archetype, and you can’t change their minds about it. They don’t know how to be tribalistic by favouring “their bff” over everyone else like water and fire do. Deal with it.
The thing is, again: fire is self-sufficient. Fire doesn’t seek validation. Fire understands that they can be tribalistic, but if other people don’t wanna, it’s okay. The annoyingly pushy people are water signs in my view. I don’t like them, and won’t hide that. Yes I’m biased. That proves I’m not sanguine.
Anyway. This arguable shadow, the fact air signs are unreliable both in terms of interests (making them seem superficial) and in terms of relationships (making them seem indecisive and on-the-fence without taking sides) can be annoying to other elements, but it’s necessary to some extent. As long as they work on managing that, so that it doesn’t go to an extreme, it can keep existing — as that will allow them to keep offering something very precious to the world: inclusion.
Air is the element that circulates among everything else, and it usually does so avoiding disturbance. It carries the oxygen we all breathe regardless of our differences and conflicts. Air forces us to coexist as much as possible because in the end of the day, no other element will. Every one of the other 3 elements have a tendency to dislike and avoid each other; Air is here to remind us all that there is nowhere to run. We all share this planet. We wouldn’t last outside it, or in isolation from one another.
Water signs are gullible.
Sagittarius is probably the fourth sign here, acquiring watery qualities because of its ruling planet Jupiter, which is the same as Pisces. Chiron (the centaur you see in the symbol for Sagittarius) was related by blood to a sea nymph in Greek mythology.
Indeed, Sagittarius is the only fire sign that values relationships to a significant extent. Leo and Aries could as well exist in a vacuum. And this is the key difference that makes Sagittarius kind of “watery”: while Aries could be a spark, and Leo a bonfire… Sagittarius is like an ember, about to extinguish unless some external force gives it more fuel. Even if a Sagittarius is very happy and surrounded by friends (which, in fact, they usually are), they don’t seem to ever quench their thirst for fuel. It’s the least self-sufficient of all fire signs, archetypally speaking. Unlike Aries or Leo, who are happy enough amassing a following of like-minded people, Sagittarius on the other hand is all about trying to convert those who AREN’T naturally in agreement with their views. This can be good or bad depending on the person’s level of maturity. A mature Sagittarius can definitely become a teacher, mentor, coach, or mental health professional taking people out of downward spirals and harmful mindsets. An immature Sagittarius can become a religious fanatic, radical political activist, etc. This talent for influencing others against their will — either for good or for evil — arguably fits into the water archetype.
The problem is, although a Sagittarius won’t admit it, they have a tendency to be quite gullible. And this is a challenge all signs in the water archetype also face. Sometimes you’ll see them fiercely defending an ideology, or opinion, or so-called observation they made… And you realise it’s actually BS (or misguided, or not as black-and-white. Etc). So all the signs included in this category here have to be super careful not to fall for BS just because they’re “following the heart”, or “someone special said it”, or “it came as a revelation in a dream”. Guys, fact-checking is a thing in all areas of life, including spirituality. There’s no way around it. Yes it’s boring, but it will spare you from a lot of headache in the long run, so why not suck it up and do the boring work.
I have to admit (and already admitted above, multiple times, but reiterating here) I struggle A LOT to see the good in water signs. This is, of course, my own cross to bear. As I always say, I can only have one brain and one pair of eyes. I don’t know it all. Don’t take my individual perception as gospel. But if I were to speak in a more personal tone, yes, I dislike water signs. This is not to say I will dislike EVERY person with a very watery chart, because again, there’s more to life than zodiac. But rule of thumb is fire and water don’t mix very well.
I struggle to see the benefit in influencing people against their will. I’m not saying I don’t see it at all (I gave you a positive example for a mature Sagittarius, above — read it again), but I struggle. It comes into conflict with my entire “live and let live” philosophy, because I’m of the belief that we should tolerate diversity. And even when it comes to harmful behaviours, each person learns to do better in their own time. It’s not very ethical, in my view, to try and force someone to change before they’re ready, because there’s always the risk they’ll come to resent the change, or you, or both, and just revert back to the original evil they were up to. Punishment is a thing I endorse; manipulation is not. Ever.
Being the polar opposite of earth, water signs are a bit of a paradox in which they value their own comfort zone very much, but at the same time have no issue with taking OTHER people out of theirs. It’s another thing that makes me side-eye them hard — this tendency for having double standards, and acting as if they’re being super reasonable. But then again, they operate from an emotional point of view. Rational logic, or even basic instinct (like fire) aren’t at the forefront.
Maybe I am just unable to fully endorse the good side of water for personal reasons. So what? The world still needs water. Both sides of it. The agreeable and the disruptive.
And all of that is okay, since we have all four of them in a chart.
Although I’m always talking about predominance — like I have a predominance of fire energy, and some people are more water, and so on — it remains true that we always have access to these 4 elements’ archetype via the birth chart.
If you view your “empty” areas as energies to work on and cultivate, you’ll soon realise you actually DO have access to them. A lack of planets can show irrelevance as easily as it can show lack of obstacles. And in the end of the day, Astrology is not determinism. It gives you the comfort zones — all else you can decide for yourself.
So when I say “earth signs are this”, “water signs are that”, I’m not speaking from a place of permanence. I’m speaking of tendencies. Urges, instincts and tendencies are still within our control to some extent. We all have the urge to shite, and yet we only shite in the toilet. Always keep that in mind.