How to Use Elements of Astrology to Better Understand People

Do you know which zodiac sign you are? Probably, but do you know which element dominates your personality? What about the personality of your partner, or a friend?

Elements can help us understand others more, help us balance our own personality quirks, and even give us insights on how to manage our expectations of others. Let’s dive into this interesting topic!

What Type of Element is Each Zodiac Sign?

By now you’re probably wondering: what type of element is each zodiac sign?

There are four astrological elements:

Air Signs

  • The playful Geminis
  • The optimistic Libras
  • The humanitarian Aquarius

Water Signs

  • The loving Cancers
  • The secretive Scorpios
  • The artsy Pisces

Fire Signs

  • The exuberant Leos
  • The adventurous Sagittarius
  • The fast-moving Aries

Earth Signs

  • The loyal Capricorns
  • The stubborn Taurus
  • The nurturing Virgos

Here is an inside look at each astrology element, some of their common traits, and how you can use this information to better understand the people in your life. From communication styles to hobby choices, the elements affect quite a bit of who we are as people.

Of course, each unique person differs in their overall personality traits even if they might share the same element with someone else! Getting a full birth chart is the key to understandingeach person fully.

All About Earth Signs

Earth sign traits can be very comforting. They are loyal, organized and practical. They may not be your best friend right off the bat but if you impress them, they are your friend for life.

This element is seen in people who are good at interior design, owning a business or overseeing projects that take a long time and require attention to details. Often they will have a calming energy and actually feel down to earth.

Sometimes their slow moving nature may make them seem lazy, but they are about quality over quantity. Earth signs are like turtles: slow and steady.


  • They always finish what they start
  • They plan things out
  • They value security and savings
  • They take good care of their things to make them last
  • They are protective
  • They stick to their word

When an Earth sign wants to take their time to make a decision, this is because they want to weigh all their options. They are smart planners, so don’t be turned off by them taking a bit of extra time to get back to you about something.


  • Take the safe route and avoid risks
  • Might not like adventure or trying new things
  • Try to control most aspects of their life

If you want an Earth sign to change quickly, or be spontaneous, it most likely won’t happen right away. They have their own speed which is careful, methodical, and planned. In order to get along with them, you need to accept what makes them comfortable, and what doesn’t.

Relationship Style

  • They don’t rush into things
  • They want someone who can keep their word
  • They look for people who are stable
  • They want a life partner

If you are dating an Earth sign, you can bet that they will schedule a date well in advance. They like to test you to see if you can follow through. Show up on time and you’ll impress them even more!

What They Love

  • Honesty
  • Family
  • Commitment
  • Organization

Earth signs often enjoy activities or gifts having to do with home renovation, tools, cars, gardening, and boats. They like long-term projects that allow them to use their attention to detail; these are great things to think about when trying to connect with them.

What They Hate

  • Rushing
  • Liars
  • Impulsive spending
  • Drama
  • Public speaking

Earth signs are like elephants: they do not forget easily. Once you break their trust, it’s hard to regain it. The best way to communicate with them is to take your time, and really think about what you say.

Don’t be turned off if they don’t want to talk about their feelings right away; try and work up to conversations about this particular topic.

Read this next: Your Guide to Earth Signs: Deep Roots

All About Water Signs

Water signs are strongly affected by the Moon phases, because the Moon affects the water in our bodies. This means that their emotions can often be quite strong! They are often considered the most intuitive of the zodiac signs.

If they seem to talk about their emotions a lot, it’s because they are also picking up on the emotions around them, (and big sweeping psychological shifts happening from planetary movements) whether they know it or not.


  • They will make you feel heard and seen
  • They are very nurturing and known to be “bleeding hearts”
  • They make great healers, nurses, and parents
  • They are good listeners
  • Often know you better than you think

You can count on a Water sign to help you when you’re having a rough day! Water signs will work hard to connect emotionally with you, so being open with them is a great way to build a strong relationship.

Don’t hesitate to call them, or simply just talk to them about your day. They enjoy “being there” for others, so make sure you are there for them too.


  • Can get attached to people too quickly
  • Sometimes dump their emotions on others
  • Get obsessed with taking care of others, neglecting themselves

Water signs often let their emotions pull on their energy levels. They might become overwhelmed easily, but it’s only because they care so much.

Take that extra time to check in on your Water sign friends to get to the root of what they might be dealing with.

Relationship Style

  • They fall in love at first sight
  • They struggle with jealousy
  • They like to spend lots of time with their partner
  • They want to talk about feelings
  • They know what their partner is thinking

Water signs are the people that you feel like you have known a long time because like a chameleon, they mirror your emotions and energy. They love getting to know others through feelings and emotions.

They can be sensitive though, so be careful about saying things too harshly around them. It might cut them deeper than others, compared to other signs who might not mind as much.

What They Love

  • Cuddling
  • Animals
  • Helping others
  • Spiritual topics
  • Art

If you want to show them you care, always opt for sentimental gifts or home-cooked meals. Putting your love into something for them will impress them more than a high price tag.

What They Hate

  • Stress
  • Big crowds
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Being shut out

Water signs naturally enjoy being around close friends often. If you need a break, just let them know in an open and honest way, and they will understand.

Read this next: Your Guide to Water Signs: Ride the Waves

All About Air Signs

Air signs are often leaders in our society because their energy is very intellectually oriented. They also like to communicate, which makes them very social people. They tend to be rational and analytical, but can also handle abstract thinking.

Air signs can also have too much to think about all at once! Holding a conversation with an Air sign might be difficult at first, but is always very fulfilling.


  • Very intellectual
  • They are social people
  • Great writers, teachers, and speakers
  • Very compassionate, fun, and humorous
  • Friendly and open-minded

These mentally stimulating signs are smart cookies. They are verbose and love to have dinner with friends so that they can have debates about many topics. They love to dive into social movements, world events, and art in books, classes, and while socializing.

Air signs are certainly interesting people that we can look to learn from as they are walking encyclopedias and store tons of information.


  • Overly idealistic
  • Can be self-critical
  • Struggle with balance

Air signs can get so caught up with the idea of fixing something, that they forget to pace themselves. If you want to help them out, make sure they pause to eat and sleep, because they will work for a cause endlessly.

Don’t be too offended if they forget or cancel plans; Air signs often spread themselves too thin because they have too much on their plates. Make sure to keep communication with them open, and express how this might make you feel.

Relationship Style

  • Unconventional
  • Friends are just as important as lovers
  • Attracted to intellect
  • They value creative people

Be honest with an Air sign about what you need, and be willing to be vulnerable with them. They will often go to great lengths to help you in any way that they can. They enjoy feeling purposeful within their relationships.

What They Love

  • Communication
  • Politics
  • Self-development
  • Art and expression

If you get them a book signed by their favorite author, an Air sign will love you forever. They appreciate great minds and look to writers and thinkers throughout history for inspiration. If you want an idea for something to do with them, look to an art gallery or museum!

What They Hate

  • Narrow-mindedness
  • Being alone
  • Being controlled
  • Boring work

Air signs can get bored easily if their work becomes predicable. They have minds that never seem to slow down, and constantly need stimulation, or something to obsess over.

Rather than taking these feelings they might be having as a negative, try and work with them to spark their creativity again.

Read this next: Up in the Air: Understanding Air Signs in Astrology

All About Fire Signs

Fire signs are the type of people who will always be moving, and will most likely have a type-A personality. A Fire sign is similar to a cheetah or a salsa dancer; they have a warrior-like spirit that is fearless.

Often publishers, public relations professionals and event planners are Fire signs because they thrive on managing a lot at once, and all on a deadline. Never underestimate the way they will overcome obstacles!


  • Known for being highly creative
  • Dynamic with multiple interests or skills
  • Passionate & charismatic
  • Can motivate you with their enthusiasm

It can feel easy to be intimidated by a Fire sign, but don’t fret. They are naturally confident people, and tend to be top performers in what they do. Fire signs often have a great sense of humor, and just want to have fun!

Embrace their powerful energy, and they will embrace you right back.


  • Can be blunt
  • Might “lose their cool”
  • Can be impatient

Words from a Fire sign might come out too quickly at times, and can sting a little bit. Try and take what is said with a grain of salt; ask for clarification and express your feelings. Be aware they might say things bluntly because they don’t like to beat around the bush.

Relationship Style

  • Passionate lovers
  • Will make dramatic, romantic gestures
  • They like people who are bold
  • Tend to date a lot before settling down

The confidence of a Fire sign often helps them date with ease. They want to make sure they find their match and are not ones to settle for less than true love. They are known to rush into things, so pump the breaks if you feel like taking it a bit more slow.

What They Love

  • Dancing
  • Performing
  • Travel
  • Sports and competition

Overall, Fire signs love being out in social environments where they get to have attention. If you catch them feeling “down” it might be because they haven’t had any social activity in a while. Invite them to a social event, and watch them spring back to life.

What They Hate

  • Waiting
  • Admitting they are wrong
  • When people beat around the bush

Talking through something with a Fire sign is the best way to reach an agreement about something. They love being asked questions, and being around positive energy; use this to steer conversations into a good direction.

Read this next: Everything You Need to Know About Fiesty Fire Signs


The element of our Sun sign can act like a colored lens that affects the way we see the world. We have a few of these lenses. Our Moon sign, for example, is another one.

Start to pay attention to the elements of each person close to you based on their Sun sign. Notice how your own element plays out in your interactions. To balance your own personality, journal about any tendencies that you recognize in yourself that you can be more cognizant of and some natural skills you can accentuate.

Focus on the strengths and insights of each element, and notice how a “weakness” can actually be a strength as well.

Related Article: Your Key to Success: Destiny & the 4 Elements

About The Author

Shannon Yrizarry

Shannon Yrizarry has taught metaphysical subjects since 2013 including the deeply esoteric lineage of kundalini yoga. She has worked as a healer, clairvoyant and card reader and been featured as a dream interpreter on Viceland’s Nuts + Bolts show as well as for Mercedes Benz and Refinery29. She has read Tarot for The Zoe Report, done readings for stars and aims to bring the empowering wisdom of astrology mainstream.With a bold voice, she wants to uplift consciousness to help us evolve to a healthier more spiritual society. Her classes can be found online at www.HOI.TV/authors/shannon and you can follow her daily inspirations on Instagram @shannonyrizarry. She also teaches kundalini yoga in Portland, Oregon. What gets her out of bed is helping people align with their soul purpose.Shannon is the author of two books published by Llewellyn Worldwide, Psychic Yoga and Modern Guide to Meditation Beads.
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