Introduction to the Elements

“Elements are indeed the very foundation of the Zodiac, and therefore all of Astrology.” – Stephen Arroyo

Once you understand the four elements you’ll have a huge leg up in understanding the Zodiac signs, the suits in a Tarot deck, and the four primary ways of cleansing and releasing in spells.

I follow the Astrological order of the signs (fire, earth, air, water) when teaching but they are of course each valuable on their own as well!

🔥  Fire

Keywords: destruction, new beginnings, untamed, wild, spontaneous, impulsive, soul, passion, life force, sexual energy, creativity, anger, drive, vitality, survival, ego, sense of self, bright, warm, honest

  • Fire signs in Astrology: Aries (cardinal fire), Leo (fixed fire), Sagittarius (mutable fire)
  • Tarot suit associated with fire: Wands – the journey of the wands is all about determination, strength, intuition, creativity, and spirituality
  • Energy: yang/masculine – active, externally focused
  • Season: Summer (Northern Hemisphere)
  • Time of day: Midday when the sun is highest
  • Direction: South (Northern Hemisphere)
  • Relates to our soul, energy, passions, creativity

🌿  Earth

Keywords: nature, growth, fertility, health, abundance, money, work, physical property, sturdy, stable, responsible, deliberate, comfort, patience, hard work, tangible

  • Earth signs in Astrology: Capricorn (cardinal earth), Taurus (fixed earth), Virgo (mutable earth)
  • Tarot suit associated with fire: Pentacles – the journey of the pentacles is all about work, property, money, manifestation, abundance, and health
  • Energy: yin/feminine – receptive, internally focused
  • Season: Autumn (Northern Hemisphere)
  • Time of day: Night
  • Direction: North (Northern Hemisphere)
  • Relates to our tangible world – our bodies, home, money, career

☁️  Air

Keywords: intellect, mind, thoughts, ideas, focus, perception, truth, logic, learning, social connections, light, curious, sense of humor, teaching, writing

  • Air signs in Astrology: Libra (cardinal air), Aquarius (fixed air), Gemini (mutable air)
  • Tarot suit associated with fire: Swords – the journey of the swords is all about our thoughts, fears, and the way we perceive the world
  • Energy: yang/masculine – active, externally focused
  • Season: Spring (Northern Hemisphere)
  • Time of day: Morning
  • Direction: East
  • Relates to our mind, thoughts, and ideas

🌊  Water

Keywords: peace, depth, emotions, feelings, love, relationships, cycles, the moon, sensitivity, cleansing, healing, fluid, adaptable, intuitive, compassion, empathy

  • Water signs in Astrology: Cancer (cardinal water), Scorpio (fixed water), Pisces (mutable water)
  • Tarot suit associated with fire: Cups – the journey of the cups is all about relationships, emotions, intuition, healing, and finding balance
  • Energy: yin/feminine – receptive, internally focused
  • Season: Winter (Northern Hemisphere)
  • Time of day: Evening
  • Direction: West
  • Relates to our feelings, emotions, and relationships


  • Go through each of the elements and write your associations and what emotions come up for you when you consider each one
  • Write which one you’re most drawn to and think about what it says about your personality and preferences

Further Reading

Astrology and the classical elements

Tarot and the elements

The four directions in magic

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