Storytime with Earth, Fire, Air & Water: Learning the Elements of Astrology

When I work with my Astrology students, we reach a lot of “Aha!” moments when we learn how the ELEMENTS of the Zodiac combine with the MODALITIES of the Zodiac to express the 12 unique SIGNS of the Zodiac. In our lessons, we learn the stories of the Zodiac to understand their essence and fundamental energies. How do we approach the different elements?

The ELEMENTS are Fire, Earth, Air, and Water. The Fire signs of Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius are the passionate soldiers. Their story roles center on their different approach to creation and leadership. The Earth signs of Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn are the grounded gardeners. They play roles revolving around their contributions to our collective garden. The Air signs of Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius are the news reporters, offering us different kinds of information and insight. And finally, the Water Signs of Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces are the Ocean itself.


When we look at our three Fire signs, we see different representations of the soldier. The Fire energy gives these signs a burning desire to explore and defend.


Aries is the General, preferring to lead through direct action and bold maneuvers. The Aries General is constantly updating their own understanding of a situation so that they can be sure they are using the best strategy. Their confidence derives from their trust in their own tactical problem-solving skills. Aries will be the first to explore new territory. They know how to inspire others to act.

Leo is the King, preferring to lead through earned respect and a magnanimous social style. The Leo King feels a strong connection to their chosen group of people and works hard to earn their respect. They find loyal companions through their inspirational style of connection. Leo will establish the borders of new territory through their creativity. They know how to lead others to their best selves.

Sagittarius is the Scout, preferring to lead through their vision and a search for the truth. Their repository of knowledge and ideas helps them draw good maps of new territory. Sagittarius will light the path for others with their devotion to the Truth and their ability to manifest their goals. They know how to develop an idea into action.


When we examine the Earth signs, we can understand them as playing different roles in a beautiful garden. They cultivate growth in unique ways.


Taurus is the Plowman of the garden, contributing their strength to the fields in a reliable and steady routine. The Plowman ensures the health of the soil and plants the seeds for the coming season. Taurus is oriented toward growth that is built from spiritual nutrition and tried-and-true techniques. They use their determination to sow success.

Virgo is the Garden Tender, offering their devoted service to the happy greenery throughout the season. The Garden Tender weeds, prunes, and maintains the health of their surroundings. Virgo has a careful approach to everything they care about in life, harnessing their attention to detail to ensure that things can grow around them. They use their reason to maintain their success.

Capricorn is the Builder, fulfilling their responsibility to the Garden during the chilly Winter months by constructing a shed for the tools and the seeds. The Builder protects what the Garden needs to survive in the long-term. Capricorn understands the necessity of hard work and planning. They use their willpower to establish their success.


The Air signs represent what we find in the skies, including broadcast waves. Their different styles of communication make them the News Reporters of the Zodiac.

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Gemini is the Weather Reporter, forever keeping the rest of us updated on the most recent trends and hot air… aka gossip. The quick mind of Weather Reporter Gemini is able to analyze new information and deliver it in a way that ensures we pay attention. Gemini’s ability to adapt to new situations helps them learn things that are both interesting and useful. They communicate ideas through humor (think of those Weather puns) and detail.

Libra is the Anchor Person, delivering the most salient stories of the day and maintaining a pleasant, warm, and agreeable face to the world. The Anchor Person Libra understands that messages are best heard when delivered with tact and a respect for the rules of conduct. Libra learns a lot of information through their ability to balance multiple stories against their sense of the truth. They communicate ideas through presenting options and establishing personal connections.

Aquarius is the Live Action Reporter, always on the scene of whatever new and potentially risky situation might arise. The Live Action Reporter Aquarius is there for us to understand the changes and innovations that approach us throughout life. Aquarius has a strong mental framework that helps them build upon their field of knowledge from new ideas with accuracy and precision. They communicate ideas through establishing the truth and finding creative connections to existing ideas.


The Water signs represent one of the great mysteries of life, the Ocean. Their emotional powers are connected to the different properties of the sea.


Cancer is the Surface of the Ocean, reflecting back what others see and feel and where we find the ups-and-downs of the waves. The Cancer Crab floating near the surface of the water is trying to make a home for itself on the beach. Evolved Cancer finds the balance between their strong intuitive impulses and their urge to nurture and protect. They need not calm the surface but are better off when they learn to sail it.

Scorpio is the Bottom of the Ocean, carrying a capacity for intense emotion and lasting memory. The Scorpion has ancestral relatives living at the bottom of the ocean, intutively understanding the value of staying hidden in some situations. Scorpio finds its powerful energy at the bottom of icebergs, containing great potential for important change. Scorpio is comfortable with the uncomfortable depths of life, and is thus an excellent guide for the rest of us through those waters.

Pisces is the Tide of the Ocean, ebbing and flowing under the influence of the Moon. Pisces gives in to the tides of life by exploring their emotions and trusting their intuition to guide them. Though Pisces is often mysterious, they offer us the unlimited compassion and mercy that the cycles of the sea provide. Pisces can teach us all to work with the cycles of nature to enhance our emotional bonds.

Learn Astrology with Storytime