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Yes, Astrology Can Help You Get Along With Family Better — Here's How

Family Spending Time Together on the Couch
Image by Kayla Snell / Stocksy
November 8, 2022
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Astrology has quite a bit to say about how we can all get along with each other better. People everywhere have been using astrology for centuries to address everything from what their optimal careers might be to whom they're most compatible with in love and, of course, for creating more harmony and peace in the home.

The best part? You don't need to be an astro-genius—or even know much more about astrology besides your sun sign—to make some serious headway in this area. One of the best places to begin, as I teach my students in the Sacred Arts Academy, is by understanding your element.

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Looking to the elements of astrology to understand family dynamics.

The elements are found the world over in magic, metaphysical beliefs, and of course, astrology. Though different traditions have various takes on what the elements are, one of the most universal elemental systems comes to us via Ancient Greece by way of ancient Persia (now modern-day Iran).

In this system, which is referenced in many sacred arts materials—from the tarot to astrology to alchemy—there are four primary elements: earth, air, fire, and water, as well as a fifth element, which is often referred to as either spirit or "ether." 

Each sign and planet in astrology is associated with an element. In my book Star Child, I write about how you're more than just your Sun sign, and a great way to see that is to look at an elemental breakdown of your natal chart. You will find that one or two elements are present, while one or two are underrepresented or even totally absent.

Astrologers pay attention to an individual's elemental makeup because it gives us a lot of information quickly. For instance, each element has its own preferred ways of communicating, problem-solving, and showing affection—and when you understand that, creating peace and harmony in your own family and household becomes much easier.

So without further ado, here's a guide to help you do just that.

Earth signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

Communication:

Those with earth-heavy birth charts are less interested in talk and more interested in results. They do not move (or speak) quickly, but they're thorough thinkers, and once they have arrived at a decision, it's usually the final one—as they are not prone to changing their minds. These individuals are often better at nonverbal communication and prefer to actually show you what they are talking about or communicate through tactile contact.

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Problem-solving:

These are grounded, practical individuals who respond best to facts, numbers, and common-sense reasoning. In arguments or conflicts, earth element folks often simmer and stew, refusing to lash out immediately and then saying—or doing—one thing that can be perceived as hurtful.

In other tense situations, earthy individuals may not respond at all, leaving their sparring partner feeling like they just don't care about the issue, even though they probably do. Reason, common sense, and a practical plan that takes into account things like finances are some of the avenues that those with a lot of earth can travel in order to help resolve conflict.

Affection:

Earth element people show their affection through actions and gifts, not words. Often there is a practical bent to the affection. Most importantly, earth signs communicate their feelings through touch and physical contact. This is how they express their deep emotions, and people of other elements (especially flighty air and passionate fire) should take note of this and recognize when the earth element is reaching out from a place of love and tenderness.

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Compatible with:

Those with a prevalence of water in their elemental makeups tend to understand the earth element. Together, these two make mud—the fertile substance that all life springs from. While water is more romantic and sentimental than earth, it can understand and appreciate earth's desire for physical contact, as well as its calm and steady presence.

Tension with:

The elements of air and fire are fast-moving, fast-talking, and sometimes scattered, so their energy tends to jar and disrupt earth's more calm, quiet, and centered approach. From the perspective of air and fire elements, earth can feel stuck, slow, and stubborn.

It's important for earth elements to make an effort to be more verbally communicative when dealing with air and fire people, and it's important for air and fire folks to settle down, take a breath, and give earth folks time and space to share their ideas.

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Air signs: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius

Communication:

Those with a good deal of the air element in their charts are delightful, charming chatterboxes who will happily talk your ear off! They say big things, deep things, profound things, and lots of not-important things in between. Often the air element talks and thinks very quickly. They tend to be highly intelligent, rational, and easily bored. Once you're able to engage them in a real conversation, it can be highly rewarding…but getting them engaged and focused is the tricky part.

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Problem-solving:

As a rule, those with the air element do not like conflict, but they do love to argue. That might sound like a paradox, but to air element folks, it's not. They enjoy looking at a problem from every possible angle and coming up with multiple solutions or approaches.

The challenge is that problem-solving for air elements is kind of like puzzle-solving. It's an abstract, fun thing to do—and they can forget that in certain situations, emotions, hearts, and relationships are on the line.  

Affection:

The air element is great at talking and thinking, but it has a harder time with feeling and especially staying present in one feeling. Air element folks will tell you how much they love you and they care, and then they may go and do something that makes you feel not loved or cared for.

It's almost never personal. It's just that air's attention has been caught by something else at the moment. Air individuals show affection through conversation and attention, and they'll gladly think through the hardest situations with their favorite people.

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Compatible with:

Those with a great deal of fire in their natal charts tend to understand the air element. Fire folks also move fast, and while they prefer being shown visually to being told verbally, they appreciate the air element's ability to think quickly and critically all while not passing judgment.

Tension with:

Those with an abundance of air often find themselves at odds with both the water and earth elements. These elements are slower, sometimes more mature, and often more serious than those with a lot of air. Ideally, air brings their sense of playfulness and inquiry to the table while learning to be a bit more still and patient, so they can benefit from the presence and wisdom of earth and water.

Earth and water folks may see the air element as flighty, but under those colorful wings is usually a razor-sharp mind that's just as thorough as the most ponderous earth element. Air is often the element that gets written off as ditsy, and doing so is almost always a mistake.

Fire signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius

Communication:

Those with the fire element prevalent in their charts are fast-moving and prefer to be shown rather than told—and the showing shouldn't take forever. The fire element gets bored easily, and if it isn't being fed, it will impatiently move on.

Fire element folks often come across as impatient, demanding, and aggressive, and they can be, especially when not in balance. But they are also generous, enthusiastic, and brave, and these qualities are conveyed not only in how they communicate but also in what they like to communicate about.

Problem-solving:

The Fire element is the one that will say the thing everyone is thinking but no one wants to say. They prize honesty above pretty much everything else, and if someone gets hurt along the way, well, that's what happens sometimes.

Those with a great deal of fire tend to be comfortable with conflict and tension in a way other signs are not. They surprise everyone, though, because their anger or passion is likely to burn out just as quickly as it showed up, leaving other elements hurt and fire elements wondering why everyone else hasn't moved on as quickly.

Affection:

Those with predominant fire elements are very affectionate, and they prize physical affection as their favorite way of connecting to those they love. These individuals also usually appreciate public displays of affection and gestures that can be seen by others, because it makes them feel cherished and appreciated.

The fire element is known for its passionate nature, and this passion extends to best friends and family members as well as lovers and partners—so if a fire person loves you, you'll know it.

Compatible with:

Air individuals understand fire individuals and know how to calm them down when they get overly riled up. These two elements move at about the same rate, but where fire is all about passion and feeling, air is more interested in calming reason. Air can be too talkative for fire, and fire can be too emotive for air, but fundamentally, they make beautiful music together.

Tension with:

Earth and water individuals often find fire people stressful. Fire's fast-moving, loud, and often impatient personality can make earth people feel like there's no stable ground to stand on, and water folks feel like they're about to boil over.

Earth and water individuals can appreciate the fire person's honesty and boldness while also setting boundaries so that not everything gets burned up. Likewise, fire individuals can remind themselves to slow down and focus on solutions (not problems) when they deal with earth and water folks.

Water signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

Communication:

Water signs communicate through feelings, music, art, and beauty. They are not as taciturn as earth individuals and will share verbally, but they're also not aerial chatterboxes, nor are they interested in vibrant displays like fire folks are.

Water individuals feel deeply, and like earth people, it can take them a while to know what they're feeling.

Problem-solving:

The water element solves problems by patiently, slowly, and thoroughly wearing them down. Think of how a river's constant flow can smooth out even the roughest of stones, and you'll have a good idea of how the water element handles tension and disagreements.

While this element is rarely the person to start an argument, they may well be the ones to finish it. The water element combines reason with emotion when dealing with difficulties, and while they may not show much on the surface, you can be sure their minds and hearts are busy and active.

Affection:

Given how sensitive and emotional the water element is, it may surprise you to learn these folks are devoted to a small number of people—and can be aloof or detached from everyone else. If a water element loves you, they'll express it through making beautiful things for you (including art, music, or other creative works), as well as being physically affectionate and present.

These folks are sensitive and psychic, so they can read things beneath the surface. Words (or even the grandest of displays of affection) mean nothing to them if they are not sincere.

Compatible with:

The water element works beautifully with the earth element, with these two intuitively understanding each other and residing on the same wavelength.

Tension with:

Water elements have a harder time with air and fire elements. They can often find both air and fire move too fast, and air especially can be overly talkative, while fire's passion for everything is something that can really exhaust water.

Air and fire elements can calm their speeds around water, and water can work to be more accepting of approaches that are different from its own preferred methods.

The takeaway.

This guide is only going off your sun sign, so if you feel like you need to get a bigger picture, start with your "big three" (your sun, moon, and rising signs). Quite often, someone who doesn't resonate with the traditional associations of their sun sign will find that the predominant element in their chart is different from the element of their sun sign, which can explain a lot.

If you want to get even clearer on how you personally work, you may want to explore my sacred arts archetype quiz.

And remember, no matter your astrological element, as we enter this busy, fun, crazy-making time of year, kindness is the element that brings us all together. Be kind to yourself, be kind to your people, and have a wonderful, peaceful holiday season.