The 12 Zodiacal Signs are usually gathered in different categories: binary group (Masculine and feminine Signs), triple (Cardinal, fixed and mobile Signs) or quaternary.
This group is made according to the elements of the signs, which are Earth, Air, Fire, Water. The origin of this classification, like the other ones, is very antique, and its purposes are deeper than the mere association to four substances we can find in nature. Many centuries ago, Hippocrates, indisputable father of medicine, founded his doctrine using the division of the Man in four basic kinds. According to their morphology, with precise psychological and pathological features. The four tempers are the following: bilious (associated to the Fire element), sanguine (Air), lymphatic (Water) and nervous (Earth).
The first of the four elements is transforming, because the heat dilates changing shapes and is mostly ambivalent: saving element the purifies, regenerates and supplies the so-called "inner fire" but, if it is out of control, is completely destroying and devouring, like passions or violence.
Its staring place, in the quaternary subdivision of the Zodiac (which starts from Aries, a Fire sign), represents the birth, the creation giving new impulse to life. The bilious temper, corresponding to the Fire, denotes an active, dynamic person, with a thousand passions, authoritarian, taking initiative, and cares a lot for his/her independence. If individualism is too strong, it can lead to a true despotism, and the qualities of courage and creativity, if out of control, can degenerate into violence and destruction.
Earth represents the solid element, the shape, the way to canalize, crystallize, and structure powers, and symbolizes solitude and materiality.
Just like the tree rising toward the sky only if its roots are strong, also for the man the contact with the ground is essential for his balance. Its not by chance that A. Lowen, psycho-therapeutic and founder of the "biogenetic", identifies the real difficulty to maintain the contact with the ground as a pathologic feature of the oral character. In patients with this temper feature, in fact, their feet even if bare, have no adherence to the ground. On the contrary, these people tend to stand on tiptoe, or always look for higher place, prefering to seat, for example, on a table instead of a chair. However, the opposite tendency, that is an excessive adherence to the ground, is considered as a pathology as well, structuring in the so-called "rigid feature".
Earth can be light, powdery, heavier
because of the water, comfortable or dry, but is always concrete and measurable.
Air symbolizes the first impulse to dilate, to expand, to prepare, corresponding to the gaseous stage with molecular mobility and dispersion.
It represents the boundary between Earth and Sky, that is the contact point between spirituality and material and, in a wiser view, it indicates the capability to sublimate materialistic impulses.
The air conveys, lifts, dilates; a man who doesnt accept any constriction is said to be "free as the wind".
The corresponding temper is the sanguine one. This is a person who loves contacts, human relationships, exchanging ideas, and usually has a precise role in the social life. Fervour and enthusiasm make these people friendly, warm, and optimistic but, if these values are too strong, susceptibility and vanity grow so to become snobbery.
As far as the physic is concerned, this element is related to the circulatory and respiratory systems.
The water is the primordial element of life, it was present on the Earth even before the man or other species appeared.
It is a non differing substance, with no particular color it reflects the sky instead -, is related to the birth and to the re-birth. It is also dissolvent, because the liquid tends to dissociate, to destroy shapes, and to absorb them.
The Ocean, with its dark depths, symbolizes the unconsciousness, the "dark" and inaccessible side of everyone of us.
The liquid element is sensitive, adaptable water can both solidify or evaporate -, passive.
The corresponding temper is the lymphatic one, whose inclination is toward passivity and calmness. The person with this attitude tends to suffer, to get adapted, is receptive and impressionable up to develop a poetic and utopian attitude.
From the physical point of view lymph and
glands, vegetative and digestive systems are associated to this kind.
Trad. by Carmen Santarpino - All rights reserved