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Fire, Earth, Air & Water Signs: The Elements of Astrology

The 4 Elements of the Zodiac in Astrology

by The AstroTwins

The twelve zodiac signs are grouped into four elements—fire, earth, air and water. Each of these elementary groups has distinct traits. Together, they form the natural world, so each is in some way dependent on the other.

Fire Signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius 
Earth Signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
Air Signs: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Water Signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

The Fire Signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius

Like fire itself, fire signs tend to be passionate, dynamic, and temperamental. Fire can keep you warm, or it can do great destruction. While fire burns out quickly without fuel to keep it going, it can also regenerate its power from the ashes. A single spark can set off a forest fire. As a result, fire signs need to be nurtured and managed carefully.

The Air Signs: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius

Air signs are all about action, ideas, and motion—they are the “winds of change.” When a strong gust hits you, you can’t help but move. While some within their ranks may be true-life “airheads,” others are as powerful as a gravity-defying G-force. Air signs bring everyone a breath of fresh air when things start to get stale. Like the breeze, you can’t quite catch them, and you never know where they’ll drop you once they sweep you up. It will almost always been an adventure, though.

The Earth Signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

Earth signs keep it real. They are the “grounded” people on the planet, the ones who bring us down to earth and remind us to start with a solid foundation. Slow and steady, these “builders” are loyal and stable, and stick by their people through hard times. On good days, they’re practical; at worst, they can be materialistic or too focused on the surface of things to dig into the depths.

The Water Signs: Cancer, Scorpio Pisces

Intuitive, emotional and ultra-sensitive, water signs can be as mysterious as the ocean itself. Like water, they can be refreshing, or they can drown you in their depths. These signs often have intense dreams and borderline-psychic intuition. Security is important to them—after all, water needs a container, or it dries up and disappears.

Image via WeHeartIt.


A Guide to Air Signs: Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius

If you're trying to get into astrology, a good place to start is with the four elements: air, fire, water, and earth. While each of the 12 zodiac signs has their own M.O., signs that fall under the same element share similar perspectives and mirror one another in terms of what they value and how they move through the world. Knowing which element rules your sign can give you insight into your own personality and desires — and help you figure out which signs you'll be most compatible with. 

RELATED: What Is Astrology? A Beginners' Guide to the Language of the Sky

So, let's start with air signs. From your extremely personable BFF who throws the best parties to that intellectually stimulating date who was only up for an open situationship, your world wouldn't be nearly as interesting without air signs. People who have air sign placements tend to be among the most curious, super-social, and humanitarian in the zodiac. 

Here, a primer on what it means to be an air sign and what you need to know about each.

What You Need to Know About the Elements

The 12 zodiac signs are broken down into four elements: air, fire, water, and earth. There are three signs per element. In the air bunch, those three are: 

  • Gemini, symbolized by the Twins. 
  • Libra, symbolized by the Scales.
  • Aquarius, symbolized by the Water Bearer. 

Another layer to consider: Within each element, there's one of each quality, or quadruplicity: cardinal, fixed, and mutable. The quality that a sign falls under speaks to the sign's basic energy. Cardinal signs are the initiators of the zodiac (but can struggle with follow-through), fixed signs tend to be the most resolute (but also stubborn), and mutable signs are the most adaptable (but also wishy-washy).

Air Sign Traits

While water signs are very much in their feelings, earth signs are the pragmatists of the zodiac, and fire signs are action-oriented, air signs are generally focused on interpersonal and intellectual pursuits.

At times idiosyncratic and changeable, air signs can't help but be connectors. Their social networks tend to be vast, and they're innately driven to gather and share information. Research-savvy and personable, they often find success through articulating and sharing their ideas — which are often futuristic, humanitarian, and progressive — in an engaging, mentally-charged way. But because all their cerebral activity and airiness can impinge on being grounded, they'll usually get the best results if they have a specific endgame to pour their mental energy into.

RELATED: If You're Nothing Like Your Zodiac Sign, You Need to Unpack the Rest Of Your Birth Chart

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

Symbol: The Twins
Ruling House: Third House of Communication
Ruling Planet: Mercury, the planet of communication, transportation, and technology

The first air sign of the zodiac (and third sign overall), Geminis are buzzy, information-gathering sprites-in-human-form who generally bring the most excitable air energy to the table. The Twins are perpetually curious, enthusiastic, clever, quick-witted, inquisitive, and friendly. And as the mutable air sign, they're also flexible and free-spirited — but might have a bit of trouble with commitment and making up their minds. They're known for their ability to initiate and engage in animated, lively conversation, jet off on impromptu trips near and far, and bring the fun-loving vibes — whether they're at a party or a meeting. 

Given Mercury's influence, expressive Gemini can't help but adore data, research, and trending social media topics. They have a near insatiable appetite for discussing it all with anyone and everyone up for engaging. But, in general, topics and areas of life they're particularly interested in involve the Third House, which covers all the ways we connect with others, language, technology, early environment and childhood, sibling bonds, community, and short-distance travel. So it'd be no surprise to meet a Gemini who's a reporter, an English or preschool teacher, or who works in IT. 

RELATED: How the Quick-Witted Twins Match With Each Sign 

Compatibility: Gemini often hits it off with a similarly social, flirtatious Libra, people-loving Aquarius, or dynamic Leo.

More on Gemini here

Libra (September 23-October 22)

Symbol: The Scales
Ruling House: Seventh House of Partnership
Ruling Planet: Venus, the planet of love, beauty, and money

The second air sign of the zodiac (and seventh sign overall), Libras are harmony-seeking social butterflies whose hearts are drawn to art, music, dance, and connecting with others. They're the cardinal sign of the air bunch, so they tend to dream up and get the ball rolling on big, sweeping, wide-ranging visions. They're especially drawn to pursuits of justice and bringing more beauty and equity into any situation. In fact, they tend to be on a lifelong mission to make life more romantic, conflict-free, and fair. 

Fueled by Venus, the planet of love and beauty, Libras are the designers, the party planners, the couples therapists, and lawmakers of the zodiac, eager to take any blank space or messy situation and make it more aesthetically appealing and — yep, you guessed it — balanced. They're also go-to mediators who have a knack for tackling and smoothing over tension in relationships. And while they're undoubtedly people people and hosts with the most, one-on-one relationships are truly Libra's forte, given that the Seventh House oversees your one-on-one relationships — mostly with a long-term partner or spouse, but also with friends, business partners, and loved ones with whom you often connect and cooperate. 

RELATED: The Most Compatible — and Most Problematic — Zodiac Signs for a Libra

Compatibility: Libra often connects best with flirty Gemini, people-loving, intellectual Aquarius, or fun-loving Leo.

More on Libra here

Aquarius (January 20-February 18)

Symbol: TheWater Bearer
Ruling House: Eleventh House of Networking
Ruling Planet: Uranus, the planet of rebellion

The third air sign of the zodiac — and eleventh sign overall — Aquarians are free-spirited, eccentric, and deeply committed to working toward what's best for the greater good as opposed to the individual. They're science- and future-minded, independent, and personable — especially adept at appealing to and maintaining a diverse network of connections. Informed by their ruler, electrifying Uranus, they're masters of coming up with innovative, and at times quirky, ideas and stunning breakthroughs. 

The fixed air sign, who often makes a wonderful scientist, community organizer, activist, or nonprofit founder, is committed to questioning and perhaps outright rejecting the status quo. Their appetite for community is also inspiring, as is their tendency to question, think, mull, explore, and experiment. Their desire to prioritize communal needs over self and to be super-comfortable and magnetic in a large group of friends or colleagues goes hand-in-hand with their rulership of the Eleventh House, which covers groups of all kinds — those you form with friends, colleagues, neighbors, other members of your political party. It also speaks to wishes, destiny, and hope, and the aspirations covered here are often those you'll achieve through collaboration. 

Compatibility: They're most compatible with similarly social, mentally-charged Geminis, host with the most Libras, or free-spirited Sagittarians.

More on Aquarius here

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Gemini Compatibility: How the Quick-Witted Twins Match With Each Sign 

Whether you've heard that Virgos are annoying worrywarts or Pisces are total crybabies, no sign is safe from stereotypes. But Geminis have an especially tough time sidestepping preconceived notions about them. Blame Kanye West — who might very well be the patron saint of Geminihood in the public sphere — but the air sign is often pegged as the one to avoid swiping right on, in great part thanks to their difficulty committing, dualistic nature, tendency to talk (and talk and talk) versus act, and indecisiveness, among other traits that are seen as completely counter to settling down into a monogamous relationship.   

RELATED: Your Gemini Zodiac Sign Guide

But every sign has its weaknesses and strengths — and clicks with some signs more than others. Ruled by messenger Mercury, Geminis might be mood chameleons, but they're also masters of language whose mental energy is always buzzing. They're adaptable super communicators who thrive on socializing, self-expression, conversation, and connection. If you need mental stimulation in your relationships, you're probably going to fare well with a Gemini.  

But given their bad reputation, it's no wonder there's a lot of curiosity around which signs fare best with a Gemini partner. Here, Gemini's compatibility with all 12 signs of the zodiac.

RELATED: Why Does Everyone Hate Geminis So Much?

Gemini and Aries Compatibility

Aries, the first sign of the zodiac and the cardinal fire sign, and Gemini are classically compatible (traditionally, air and fire signs get along well), forming a friendly sextile, which means they're two signs apart. The Ram and the Twins sync up around the fact that they're both fans of doing things speedily, playfully, and in a carefree way. Together, they'll plan spontaneous road trips, see and be seen at their favorite team's game, or throw a party their whole social network will want to be invited to.

Gemini and Taurus Compatibility

Taurus, the second sign of the zodiac and the fixed earth sign, and Gemini might not seem like a natural fit, as the former is slow, steady, and resolute, while the latter is buzzy, fast-paced, and changeable. But there's a lot these two — who are one sign apart, otherwise known as a semisextile — can teach one another, if they really want. It's all about striking the balance between offering one another enough security (Taurus' main goal) and freedom (Gemini's M.O.).

Gemini and Gemini Compatibility

Two Geminis, each with their own dualistic nature and tendency to switch moods at the spur of the moment, might understand one another better than anyone else, but it could also feel like there are four people in the relationship. Nonstop mental stimulation, being able to switch up everything from sex positions to rules around the relationship, and both people feeling like they have free rein to be themselves unconditionally are integral to fireworks in this match-up.

Gemini and Cancer Compatibility

Cancer, the fourth sign of the zodiac and the cardinal water sign, is semisextile, or one sign apart, from Gemini, which can make for awkward energy. The sentimental Crab needs to feel emotionally secure and attached in a relationship and leads with their heart, while Gemini leads with their head, prioritizing individual space to flit from one amusement to the next as well as intellectual stimulation. But if Gemini can slow down, and Cancer can speak up, they'll be able to get on the same page.

Gemini and Leo Compatibility

Leo, the fifth sign of the zodiac and the fixed fire sign, is sextile, or two signs apart, from Gemini, making for a friendly, easygoing pairing. The proud and playful Lion tends to be optimistic, buoyant, sunny, and a lover of life — much like Gemini. They also don't have a problem roaring about their needs and desires which can be music to the ears of the information-loving Twins. While Gemini's analytical brain could occasionally clash with Leo's tendency to want to just take action, they're a naturally adventurous, communicative pair.    

Gemini and Virgo Compatibility — Problematic Pair

Virgo, the sixth sign of the zodiac and the mutable earth sign, is square, or three signs apart, from Gemini, which is generally thought of as a challenging angle. Sharing mutability, both Gemini and Virgo are adaptable but also indecisive, so they can frustrate one another by mirroring that tendency with one another — and Virgo's sensitivity and meticulousness can feel like a buzzkill to free-spirited Gemini. Still, they're also both ruled by mental Mercury, so, at the very least, they'll find it easy to connect on an intellectual, platonic level.

Gemini and Libra Compatibility — Ideal Match 

Libra, the seventh sign of the zodiac and the cardinal air sign, is trine, or four signs apart from Gemini, which is one of the most harmonious angles when it comes to astrological compatibility. Both super-social air signs, Libra innately understands what Gemini needs to feel centered: mentally-stimulating conversation, connecting with others, and sharing vibrant ideas. They're also both style-conscious and lighthearted romantics. This pairing just feels right.

Gemini and Scorpio Compatibility

Scorpio, the eighth sign of the zodiac and the fixed water sign, is quincunx, or five signs apart from Gemini, which is an awkward angle that can lead to, at best, confusion and, at worst, discord. Even when they're head over heels in love, Gemini wants to be free as a bird, while resolute Scorpio is wired to commit mind, body, and spirit in a relationship. Basically, it can be difficult for these two to find common ground in terms of how they identify with and express their emotions, so making it work will be all about loving just how different they are from one another.

Gemini and Sagittarius Compatibility

Sagittarius, the ninth sign of the zodiac and the mutable fire sign, is opposite, or six signs apart from Gemini. We love to say that opposites attract, and they do, especially when it comes to this naturally free-spirited, adventure-loving pair. But they're not without their differences as well. Both lovers of soaking up knowledge, learning, and racking up new experiences, Sag tends to get super-philosophical, political, and worked up on a soapbox while Gemini takes everything a bit more lightly. Respecting one another's unique communication styles will help this match get in sync.

Gemini and Capricorn Compatibility

Capricorn, the tenth sign of the zodiac and the cardinal earth sign, is quincunx, or five signs apart from Gemini, which means these two don't really have all that much in common. Capricorn, ruled by taskmaster Saturn and symbolized by the Goat, is all about boundaries and structures, working slowly and steadily up the mountain they've decided will bring them the recognition they deserve. By comparison, Gemini wants to try and see and do all the things, on a whim, and a concrete plan sounds like a snoozefest to them. But they can make it work if they're able to embrace one another's perspectives and inner worlds.

Gemini and Aquarius Compatibility — Ideal Match

Aquarius, the eleventh sign of the zodiac and the fixed air sign, is trine, or four signs apart from Gemini. This is one of the most natural pairings you can imagine, as both are humanitarian, social, and mentally-charged. Still, despite sharing all that airiness with Gemini, the Water Bearer is the fixed sign of the air crew, so they do tend to dig their heels in on the way they see the world, while Gemini wants to reserve the right to switch things up at a moment's notice. Leaning into their innate tendencies to be open-minded and accepting of one another's eccentricities can keep this airy pair on the same page.    

Gemini and Pisces Compatibility — Problematic Pair

Pisces, the twelfth sign of the zodiac and mutable water sign, is square, or three signs apart from Gemini. Because they're both mutable — and therefore, adaptable and indecisive — the Fish and the Twins might struggle to make up their minds about everything, including their relationship. Pisces also leads with their imagination and deeply empathic heart while Gemini is more rational and intellectually-driven, so they might cross wires when they're attempting to bond or talk through their feelings. But if they're committed to talking and doing the work of a relationship, this can be a curiosity-charged, whimsical match.

RELATED: If You're Nothing Like Your Zodiac Sign, You Need to Unpack the Rest Of Your Birth Chart

Whether you're feeling smug or panicked right now, it helps to know that no matter how compatible — or not — you appear to be with Gemini, sun sign compatibility isn't everything. You'll get the best idea of how well you're matched to a partner by considering your entire natal charts. (Running a synastry report on a site like or doing a reading with a professional astrologer can offer the most accurate, individualized insight.) And if you're ever tempted to pile on Geminis, all it takes is a quick glimpse at your birth chart — which is divided up into 12 houses, each ruled by one of the 12 signs — to realize that everyone has a little bit of notorious Twins energy in them.


Tarot suit ruled: Pentacles

On a good day: Earth signs are grounded, loyal, and good at accumulating wealth. They tend to appreciate the finer things in life, such as good food and wine. They are sensual creatures. Earth signs are patient and practical.

On a bad day: Just as Earth signs can be loyal, they can also be stubborn and inflexible. It's often their way or the highway. Their love for material things can make them overly decadent and at times they can be lazy.

How to win them over: Give them food and wine.

All About the Element of Air

Signs ruled: Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius

Tarot suit ruled: Swords

On a good day: Air is the element of intellect and Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius are sharp as a tack and highly rational. They have terrific social skills and are great communicators. Air signs think logically and rationally rather than emotionally.

On a bad day: Air signs can be fickle, aloof, and cold. They are absolutely the signs most likely to ghost you or get over you quickly.

How to win them over: Talk politics.

All About the Element of Water

Signs ruled: Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces

Tarot suit ruled: Cups

On a good day: Water signs are sensitive, highly intuitive, and deep. Theirs is the element of emotions. Water signs feel everything and can make wonderful artists because they are highly imaginative. They are very loyal and compassionate.

On a bad day: The sensitivity of water signs can make Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces easily hurt and they may take things too personally. They can also be moody and highly suspicious.

How to win them over: Tell them your darkest secret.

Read more stories about astrology:

These are the signs you're most compatible with romantically:

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Sign gemini earth

Understanding the Gemini Air Sign

Astrology has been used to offer a further understanding of people’s personality and attitude towards life for many years. It uses the position of the sun, moon, and earth to analyze people  by assigning them a Zodiac sign based on the date they were born. There are a total of 12 Zodiac Signs. These Zodiac signs are used to determine people’s horoscope, personality and compatibility with others. 

Each Zodiac sign is grouped underneath one of the four elements- earth, air, fire, and water. Each element includes three signs, and they are assigned to that element because their characteristics are similar. 

Gemini is an air sign. Born between May 21st and June 20th, right at the end of spring, they are constantly ready for change. Their symbol is the twins because they have two completely different personalities melded into one being. You should be prepared for anything when it comes to this energetic sign.

In this article, we will learn all things Gemini. That includes:

  • The air element
  • the ruling planet Mercury
  • Characteristics of Gemini
Blue Air symbols image

Let’s Talk About the Air Signs

What Ties Them Together?

As you may know, when it comes to astrology, each sign belongs to one of the four elements, earth, air, fire and water. Each element houses three signs, which are grouped together by personality traits. The air signs, Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius, share specific traits that tie them to this element.  

Known as the leaders of society, they are the doers and logical thinkers. Constantly planning their next steps and analyzing their every move, air signs don’t procrastinate and get things done. They often resort to relying on the facts when making decisions. 

Air signs are strong communicators. They are able to build strong connections with their peers and can relate to others on a personal level. This group also works well in teams because of their communication and leadership skills.

Despite being the logical ones, air signs also know how to have fun. They can be pretty spontaneous and are always up for a last minute adventure. Want to plan a last minute mini vacation? Ask an air sign to join in on the fun.

After the signs are broken down into their elements, they are assigned a quality. Gemini is a mutable sign. This means that they are the last sign of a season. Mutable signs are constantly anticipating change. Gemini’s exist right as spring changes to summer and can’t wait for the sun to shine on their skin. They don’t like things to stay the same and are always ready for new beginnings. 

A glowing image of the planet Mercury.

The Ruling Planet: Mercury

How Does the Planet of Communication Rule the Gemini Air Sign?

Mercury is known as the planet of communication. Mercury teaches these signs to take control of their lives and be brave. Mercury plays a major role for Gemini's perception of people. How the planet aligns with the sign is the basis for Gemini’s opinions. For example, if a Gemini thinks someone is kind and forms an opinion such as that person is helpful and caring, that is Mercury telling that person to think that way.

Here’s a little bit of a background about Mercury. Mercury is the planet that is closest to the sun. For this reason, people believe that it has a very unique role in astrology. Because of its location, Mercury is considered the Messenger of the Gods. It has the strength to relay messages to as far as Pluto. 

Tying everything together, you can see why Geminis have strong communication skills. 

This image hows the Gemini twin symbol on a green background.

Characteristics of Geminis

Learning all about their split personalities

As stated in the beginning, Geminis are air signs. They have strong leadership skills and an adventurous edge. However, their personalities are unique from Libra and Aquarius. Geminis are known to have different personality traits and are assigned the following characteristics:

Geminis are Chatty

Geminis love to talk. They will say whatever comes to mind and are great at keeping the conversation going. They can join in on any conversation no matter the topic and can find ways to change the subject when the conversation begins to lag. However, their chatty personalities can also get them into trouble. Geminis are big gossipers and love to hear whatever tea is going around. While they like digging for the dirt, they also dish it. The sign is known to spread the drama with their friends, which can quickly turn south. It’s hard for them to keep out of other people’s situations. They often find themselves in a position where they have talked too much and thought too little. If you don’t want your secrets getting out, you might not want to share them with a Gemini. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

Geminis are Versatile

Because they have a mutable mode, Geminis easily can adapt to change. As stated earlier, since they are born at the end of spring, they can’t wait for summer to begin. They’re always looking for ways to change up their routine. 

Geminis are Admired

Having fun and being spontaneous is common for your average Gemini. They are always on the hunt to find something exciting to do, and the urge to adventure can come out of nowhere. You know you can always count on them to get the party started. 

Geminis are Funny

You can count on a Gemini to get the crowd to burst into laughter. Finding the perfect situation to crack a joke is something they have mastered. They might as well be comedians for how hilarious they are. 

Geminis are Understanding

Communication is a strong quality for Geminis. They always find ways to relate to other people and understand their feelings. They make everyone in the room feel like they are being heard. Come to a Gemini with your problems. They won’t let you go through it alone. 

Geminis are Moody

After some long days of partying and chatting up a storm, sometimes Geminis just want to be alone and under the covers watching netflix and munching on a bowl of popcorn. You don’t want to bother them while they’re trying to rest. They will not be afraid to tell you how they feel about it. Don’t fret though, once they get over this moody phase, they’re back to being their normal crazy and energetic selves. 

Geminis are Anxious

As you now know, air signs are the thinkers of the bunch. And Geminis are good at working themselves up by overthinking situations. This anxiety can quickly build when they’re under a large amount of stress. If you know any Geminis who sometimes turn into an anxious mess, make sure they are taking care of themselves during those times. Don’t be afraid to remind them to take a deep breath and enjoy the fresh air. They’ll appreciate it in the long run. 

Geminis are Unpredictable

Geminis are busy bees, meaning they make promises they can’t always keep. They don’t do it intentionally, but it’s hard to keep track of everything going on with their schedules. 

So, like any other sign, there are strengths and weaknesses when it comes to this air sign. The one thing that is special about Geminis is their dual personalities. That’s why their sign is the twins. It is often said that you can never truly know them because they have two different sides. Sometimes they can be super fun and full of energy, and other times they can seem so caught up in their own world that they don’t even notice you are standing right in front of them. There’s no way to predict what they’re going to be like at any given moment. 

Whether these characteristics are things you mesh with probably depends on what sign you are. Geminis seem to mesh best with Aries, Libras, and Cancers. These signs tend to understand Gemini humor, unlike other signs who might not always get the joke. Cancers and Geminis just seem to get each other. Geminis often serve as mentors to Cancers by giving them powerful life advice. Geminis don’t get along with every sign, but when they do, the bond can be quite powerful. 

Geminis are probably the hardest sign to fully understand because of their two completely different personalities. However, once you get to know one, you’re in good hands.  

Well, that’s the tea. Hopefully after this, you have a better understanding of this adventurous, fun-loving sign. If you meet a Gemini in the future, we suggest you buckle up and enjoy the ride, it’ll definitely be an out of this world experience. 

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THE 4 ELEMENTS of the Zodiac Signs

A Guide to the Air Signs: Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius

Photo-Illustration: by Preeti Kinha; Photos: Getty Images

There are a few different prisms through which you can initiate yourself into zodiacal wisdom. The most obvious option is through the lens of your own birth chart, learning about planets, aspects, and houses based off your own narcissistic explorations. This is a totally valid pathway. I’ve done it. I’ve done it with myself, my crushes, and my celebrity crushes. When I was 10, I was desperate to find ways in which Gerard Way, lead singer of My Chemical Romance, and I could finally make it work. That romantic desperation was one of the touchstones of my present astrological expertise.

But if I could start over, I would begin with the elements, the most basic basics. In Western astrology, the 12 zodiac signs are divided into four different elements: air, water, fire, and earth. Each has its own traits and associations; the three signs an element rules incorporate those properties in different ways.

By understanding the elements, you’ll have a good grasp of every sign. Doing so will put the entire wheel of the zodiac at your fingertips. From there, imagining the planets in every sign becomes (kind of) easy. Even compatibility, which we’ll get to later, becomes simpler. Earth and water get along, fire and air get along, water snuffs fire, air floats above the earth … It’s like a cosmic game of Pokémon or Rock, Paper, Scissors.

The woman who first introduced me to this clever approach was, of course, an air sign. Air signs are intellectual and communicative. They are experts in the ephemeral, the things of this world that lack physical form, and this is especially true of language and information. The air element is our breath, the most necessary and invisible function of our human body. Air doesn’t exist on the Chinese zodiac as a classical element, but instead, it becomes qi, the ultimate force that resides in everything. On a Wiccan altar, the Air signifies the East, and can be represented by everything from a feather to incense; because there is no concrete material form, even in worship, the Air is untouchable and immaterial.

As air is formless, lacking a concrete body, air signs are especially vulnerable to their own personal projections. Air signs are unlimited by space, and can drift everywhere, from places to people; as such, they’re vulnerable to overindulging in absolute fantasy. They love theory over practice, and can get caught in endlessly thinking or talking something out, instead of doing it.

The three air signs are Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. For now, let’s think of each of them as each representing a different stage of emotional and spiritual growth — of the three, Gemini comes first on the zodiac calendar, and Aquarius comes last, making it the most mature. So we have a baby, naïve variation on air in Gemini; an adolescent who wants to try it all in Libra; and a cranky, old soul in Aquarius.

GEMINI is the twins. I think the areas in which zodiac signs have the worst reputations are really the qualities we tend to resent the most in ourselves, and poor Gemini is a perpetual victim of that unjust slander. In one of my favorite films, Paprika, a supporting character reveals himself as a villain, splitting into twin heads, his seam rupturing with cerulean butterflies. “I never knew this side of you!” shouts the heroine, in utter repulsion. “I have many sides,” replies our doubled antagonist, “and that’s what makes me human!”

All of that nonsense about Geminis being two-faced liars is true, but it’s something that we all do on some level. This is code-switching crystallized. It’s avoiding the discussion of your kinky sex life at the dinner table with your Evangelical grandfather, “turning on” for work, having a “phone voice.” Our identity is ephemeral, in constant flux — Gemini just leans into that inherent duality a little harder and less abashedly than everyone else.

Gemini is a mutable sign, meaning it’s flexible to change, constantly readjusting to new input and output. Gemini is ruled by Mercury, the planet of communication, and Gemini loves gathering and disseminating messages, gossip, and information. Gemini might be different with everyone they meet, but isn’t everybody?

A few famous Gemini Suns (who weren’t former presidents) include Bob Dylan, Marilyn Monroe, Kanye West, Che Guevara, Anne Frank, Josephine Baker, Tupac Shakur, and Angelina Jolie. Not knowing them personally, the most obvious commonalities are the malleability of their identities over time, even in the public consciousness, even in death. Sometimes that duality is terrifying, but more often than not, it’s a beautiful strength and survival skill.

LIBRA is the scales. Wouldn’t perfect balance be nice? Wouldn’t it be bliss to have it all, in theory? It’s an impossible reality, but that doesn’t stop Libra from seeking that ideal. Libra is the sign of adjustment, of making room for the other outside of the self. Libra “holds space” and takes heed of everyone’s needs in addition to their own.

Libra often leans into superficiality, not necessarily out of a lack of depth, but because superficiality is the easiest place for others to meet. The small talk we engage in on elevator rides and supermarket queues is a strength for Libra, who understands that those brief interactions can alter the course of a day, inspiring optimism and a faith in humanity in even the most casual moments. This ability to accommodate others is just as easily Libra’s weakness. Often, their willingness to meet everyone else’s needs to manifest a sense of equilibrium can be self-abnegating. In an effort to escape tension and conflict, Libra can let go of their own wants and desires entirely. However, Libra is right in that, if nobody ever takes an L and allows others to win, nobody would ever really win.

Libra is a cardinal sign, an initiating energy, and it’s ruled by Venus. Again, this Venusian energy can manifest as a shallow obsession with appearances, but it can also embody a deep understanding of the most grand and abstract measures of beauty — rhythm, poetics, and the golden mean. Libra represents an aspirational beauty, or an inspirational splendor. Libra longs for justice, even in the face of the most unfair, compromised systems.

Famous Libra Suns include Kim Kardashian, John Lennon, Bonnie Parker (of Bonnie and Clyde), Serena Williams, Oscar Wilde, Barbara Walters, and Gandhi. No matter how we remember these stars individually, the foundations of their success were built on teamwork and balance. Their triumphs and scandals would be impossible without the collaboration of others. In our self-absorbed internet era, Libran values grow increasingly important to cultivate, regardless of where the sign lands on your chart.

AQUARIUS is the water bearer. This often confuses people, including Aquarians, into believing it’s a water sign. But Aquarius is most definitely an air sign, probably the most ethereal and abstract of the three. If Gemini relates to self-identity and Libra relates to partnership, Aquarius takes a giant leap into outer space, relating to a universal understanding of air values. Aquarius is concerned with the bigger picture, the large-scale concepts that dreams are made of but can seldom be contained in waking reality. For this reason, Aquarians are just as likely to be involved in larger humanitarian missions as they are to ghost from daily interactions. Their preoccupation with theory often stands in the way of their ability to connect with present, pressing needs.

The phrase “Age of Aquarius” dominates New Age literature and features heavily in the musical Hair. This doesn’t mean that the moon is in the seventh house, or that Jupiter aligns with Mars, or that most of the lyrics in “Let the Sunshine In” stand up to scrutiny. But the overall meaning is there, somewhere. In a hypothetical Aquarian Age, everyone would be interconnected to higher-order concepts and dreamscapes. We would all be ready to reconcile ourselves with the universal instead of being bogged down by the petty, mundane bullshit that distracts us from our greater human connection. Only time will tell if we’ve actually arrived at that Aquarian Age, but until then, we can rely on Aquarian humans as conduits for this energy.

Saturn, the planet of order and discipline, rules Aquarius, making this sign a heavy-hitter and a serious thinker. It’s a fixed sign, meaning that it’s hardened against outside influence. Aquarius is unique and special, not because we aren’t all unique or special, but because they are steadfast in protecting that individuality in the face of distraction and change.

Galileo, Rosa Parks, Bob Marley, Yoko Ono, Oprah, and Paris Hilton are a few of the most famous Aquarius Suns. Their names have become synonymous with symbols, movements, and eras rather than pure reflections of their personal identities. Their impact and their celebrity relates to something far bigger than themselves.

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In addition to being divided into elements, the zodiac signs are also divided into three different modalities: cardinal, mutable, and fixed. The cardinal signs — Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn — fall at the beginning of each season. The fixed signs — Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius — fall in the middle of their seasons, and mutable signs — Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces — bring their seasons to a close.

A Guide to the Air Signs: Gemini, Libra, and AquariusSours:

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