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The Four Elements in Relationships

Barack and Michelle Obama

Understanding Your Relationships Part 2

As I wrote in my first article in this series, astrology offers a marvelous tool when it comes to understanding yourself in relationship with others.  The Zodiac gives a complete view of what constitutes wholeness.  By studying the twelve signs as they evolve from one to the next we get a more comprehensive picture of the components of Yin and Yang which are at the core of all polarities on this planet.

To be whole is a worthy goal.  Learning to relate is a process which can facilitate greater wholeness and astrology lends some amazing insights if we use it to better understand why we’re drawn to some people and why we’re repelled by others. The birth map itself will tell you where your strengths and weaknesses are as you begin your journey through life.  The progressed map will unfold your process of evolution and show where you develop aspects of the whole which were not necessarily inherent in your initial blueprint.  Relationships with significant others will also help round out your repertoire of energetic experiences.

To first simplify this understanding look at your birth map as a picture of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.  There are three signs in each element.  The Fire signs are Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius.  The Earth signs are Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn.  The Air signs are Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius.  Finally, the Water signs are Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces.

If you go around the zodiacal wheel you’ll see the elegance in this system as it’s really about Yin and Yang interchanging back and forth with greater and greater complexity.  Yang is the universal principle of creative energy.  Yang signs are called positive and by nature are more extroverted, outwardly expressive, light, and concerned with the world of ideas, objective observations, and the future.  Yin is the universal principle of receptive energy.  Yin signs are called negative and by nature are more introverted, drawn towards inner, subjective realities and dark interior spaces, connecting with feelings, the sensual perceptions, and concerned with preserving the past and establishing stability in the present.

Starting with Aries, the initial Fire Yang sign, we then move to Taurus, an Earth Yin sign, then to Gemini, a Yang Air sign, and finally to Cancer, a Yin Water sign.  We repeat this orderly cycle two more times going from Yang to Yin.  The cycle starts with Yang and ends with Yin.  Nice, heh?

Now let’s look at your own individual makeup:

How much of each element do you possess innately?  To what degree is one element more dominant, another missing?  A good way to do this is to weight each planet and major angle with a score, and then add up the numbers.  One easy way is to give two points to your Ascendant, Sun, Moon, and Midheaven.  Give just one point to every other planetary symbol.  I usually list the elements in descending order starting with the lightest, Air, and ending with the heaviest, Earth.  Therefore Air and Fire are Yang, while Water and Earth are Yin.  When you’ve tallied your score you can also see how many energies are Yang and how many are Yin in your own make-up.

barack-obama1Let’s use President Barack Obama as an example in how this is done:

Air:  His Ascendant in Aquarius gets 2 points, his Moon in Gemini gets another 2 points, and his Jupiter in Aquarius gets 1 point, for a total of 5 points in Air.

Fire:  His Mercury in Leo gets 1 point, his Sun in Leo gets 2 points, his Uranus in Leo gets 1 point for a total of 4 points in Fire.

Water:  I give his Chiron in Pisces 1 point (you may or may not choose to use this planetoid body in your tally). his Venus in Cancer gets 1 point, his Neptune in Scorpio gets 1 point, and his Midheaven in Scorpio gets 2 points for a total of 5 points in Water.

Earth:  Pluto in Virgo gets 1 point, Mars in Virgo gets 1 point, and Saturn in Capricorn gets 1 point for a total of 3 points in Earth.

What are the results for him?

Air = 5 points

Fire = 4 points                     Yang = 9 points

Water = 5 points

Earth = 3 points                  Yin = 8 points

Not bad.  He’s pretty balanced between Yang and Yin, with a slight edge towards Yang.  Elementally, he’s also pretty balanced.  He would be called an Air/Water type, which is often considered the most sensitive of the combinations.  Air/Water types are often seen in the ‘people professions’ as they can be both objective and empathetic simultaneously.

Earth has the least count, but Saturn in Capricorn is in its own sign, which adds some weight, though Saturn is not positioned strongly by house placement.  Pragmatism is what he needs to create greater wholeness within himself.  He’s good with words and ideas and he sensitively feels his way along.  Just how practical and sensible he is remains to be seen.


Now let’s take a look at his partner, Michelle.  Unfortunately, her birth time still remains an unknown so we are a bit handicapped in getting the full picture of her birth chart.  We are limited to adding up her planets only.

Air = 4 points (Moon, Saturn, and Mars)

Fire = 1 point (Jupiter)                                                   Yang = 5 points

Water = 3 points (Venus, Chiron, and Neptune)

Earth = 5 points (Sun, Mercury, Uranus, and Pluto)  Yin = 8 points

Isn’t that interesting!  She’s the Earth Woman/Mother with all the common sense and stability that Barack Obama probably needs.  She’s got a great sense of humor and appears to be pretty down-to-earth and unpretentious, yet she acts with confidence and skill in organizing and managing their family life and affairs, and now all the other myriad duties expected of her as a President’s wife.

He, in turn, supplies more Fire to their mix with both his Sun and Mercury in Leo.  Of course, we don’t know what her Ascendant or Midheaven are in yet. But her Jupiter is in Aries, so they must have a lot of fun together and share a comraderie.

In my next article I will explain more carefully the meaning of each element and also the different possible combinations of elements and how they mix and match with others in the dance of relationship.  We’ll continue to look at the Obamas as well as other famous couples so that we can better apply what we learn to ourselves and our own relationships.

May 13, 2009  2 Comments
Categories: Astrology | Tags:


1 Lori { 05.16.09 at 5:58 pm }


LOL! This is my 3rd post in a row! Im sure you are going to tire quickly of seeing my name on here–let me apologize in advance!
I didnt realize you had a part 2 on here already. I hope I havent skipped seeing a part 3 just yet–it seems to be “the norm” with me this evening, lol. I think Im not catching it because I am literally looking on the left hand column for something easier to catch like, “Chapter 1, chapter 2″…so on and so forth and you are instead using words to describe the chapters. Ugh…Im being confusing and talking in gibberish now, forgive me, lol.
Anyhow, my comment here was to just say I love the way you are using the four elements to compare, analyze and gather relationship qualities. I have actually bought a book of my own to make birthcharts (Im self-teaching myself just like you did!) and I have done my own already and my signifigant others’ so, I am going to go pull that out of my desk right now and add up our elements, lol! Ill probably be back to leave another comment of my findings!
I absolutely looove your work, lol–just wanted you to know 🙂
Thank you!

2 Genevieve { 05.17.09 at 10:50 am }

Dear Lori,

It’s wonderful to have such an enthusiastic reader willing to share with others who read this blog. That’s what we want! Lots more sharing. 🙂 I’ll be writing about these four elements even more as we go along, and adding in the ‘Modes’ as well. And, yes, it is FUN to explore yourself and others in this way. Astrology can be a playful experience. It’s a pleasure to have you on board.

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