Posted by: Donna Cunningham | March 28, 2011

Creativity and Element Imbalances in the Chart

©March 2011 by guest blogger Fabienne Lopez

Many of the concepts here are based on Stephen Arroyo’s book “Astrology, Psychology and the Four Elements” and Richard Idemon’s book “The Magic Thread”.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a series about the intersection of creativity and the 4 astrological elements (fire, earth, air, and water) on my blog, Astrology Unboxed. Many of my readers confirmed my observations, but they also inquired about how to deal with the imbalances in their chart. They wanted to learn about the impact of a missing or weak element and what they could do about it.

To answer their questions, I decided to write a new series on creativity and element imbalances in the chart  This 5 part series will start with a look at the energy imbalances in general and proceed to dive into more specifics with an analysis for each element and how to deal with the element imbalance from a creative standpoint.

The lack of an element in your chart

A missing element in the chart is likely to exert a powerful and unconscious influence over it. The manifestation of this missing element generally shows in one of the five following ways:

  • DenialI am going to deny it exists
  • Repression – I acknowledge its existence but I am not doing anything about it
  • ProjectionI will let somebody else carry the missing element for me
  • Sublimation – I will direct the energy where I want it to go, not where it wants to go
  • Compensation – I will master the qualities of this missing element to compensate for its lack thereof.

Missing Fire: No passion

When you don’t have the Fire element in your chart, you lack passion, hope, enthusiasm, and joie-de-vivre, both of which make us feel connected with the Universe.

There is a distinct lack of energy when fire is missing. People without fire often feel depressed, helpless in the face of the world, melancholic and even withdrawn.

To compensate for their lack of fire, these people often come out as aggressive and full of rage. They also will be drawn to fiery people with whom they can have a passionate relationship, where they can feel alive and energetic and have such confidence in themselves that they seem to burst at the seams.

Missing Earth: Never Enough

Often times, people with a missing earth function have a difficult relationship with their body. They might become body obsessed (plastic surgery, bodybuilding, exercise fanatics, etc….) or develop food disorders such as anorexia or bulimia. At the heart, there is an inherent dislike of body functions because they never know when it is enough. They seem incapable of grounding themselves.

Missing Water: I don’t know what I feel

People with no water in their chart have a difficulty knowing what they are feeling or expressing it. They may not understand pain or be able to feel it.  On the other hand, they might become addicted to it.

People with no water might compensate this lack by becoming super sensitive, compassionate, and empathetic. They might also become lost into fantasy, illusion and the imagination as a result of their lack of boundaries.

Missing Air: I am dumb belief

The missing air quality is evident with the inability to stand back, analyze, detach, and be objective. More often than not, they go into extremes, becoming specialized in one area of knowledge while being incapable of functioning in others. They are the super-intellectuals, the geniuses, and the student with multiple doctorates who is always apologizing for his “stupid” questions.

The element imbalance and creativity

The lack of an element in a chart is often the place where there is the most opportunity to learn about oneself and grow. The difficulties and the accompanying pain can act as creative catalysts. Something, I can attest too.

Personally, the lowest element in my chart is earth.  Not missing, but I have an emphasis in fire and water to the detriment of air and earth.

I am always compensating for these two elements. With earth lows, I cook a lot and tackle culinary difficulties such as making bread, French macaroons, and homemade marshmallows after going through a phase of learning how to saw and knit. My best friends are mostly earthy types.

I have difficulties expressing my thoughts either in my speech or in my writing, considering them unintelligible or too common sense to be interesting. For a very long time, I would often apologize for my dumb question. Over the years, I have pushed myself hard to write in a clear and concise way, to be easily understood.

How about you? What is your weak or missing element?  Does it interfere with y0ur creative expression, or how have you dealt with the lack of that element? Share your story in the comment section.

Note from Donna –the elements in your chart may be stronger than you think, as more than just the signs can contribute. For instance, a strong Uranus or Mercury adds  to the air element.  A strong Neptune or Pluto may add to the water element, and so on. Here are my tests for measuring the strength of the elements:

Articles about  the elements on Skywriter: Bringing Balance to the Elements–a Useful Collection of Articles

Here are links to Fabienne’s excellent series about the elements, creativity, and art on her blog, Astrology Unboxed:

The Missing Element Series:

The Creativity and the 4 Elements Series:  

About the Author: I consider astrology a practical, spiritual and psychological tool; a science; an intuitive art; a gift; a friend; a path of personal growth and knowledge; and now, a means of personal contribution to others. I often meditate on the Archetypical symbolism of the planets. I’m frequently found with my nose buried in astrology books, an ephemeris by my side, studying charts. Writings by Liz Greene, Richard Idemon, and Howard Sasportas have had a tremendous influence on my astrological views and practice. Today I live and work in San Francisco, and work with clients from around the world.


  1. Great topic!
    I am not missing elements, per se, but my chart has an over-abundance of Water, especially Cardinal Water. My Sun is Fire but it is hooked as tight as a tick to Pluto = Watery influence again!
    My Ascendant is Air but once again, Neptune Ascends – fog galore.
    My two planets in Earth are bound up in 12th, which is a Water House.
    My Fire planets are in Air Houses.
    So I don’t lack anything, per se, but water dominates and air follows behind. Old Fire and Earth kinda just hang there.
    I find I can get all worked up over an idea (I am VERY creative, especially in the visual arts and I am VERY psychic) but lots of times lack follow though. Lots of UFOs (unfinished objects) around my place.
    I am good with self-expression and can be very forth-right, however, I lack self-confidence in promoting my own talents. I am great when promoting others but fall down on the job when promoting myself.
    I have Saturn 12. I feel I must have really peed on someone else’s Wheaties in a past life!
    Add to this my general confusion about goals and you have a hot mess.
    My best traits: creativity, art and design sense, enthusiasm, a spiritual and humanitarian bent, a willingness to learn, open-mindedness, a sense of humor.
    My less flattering traits: vagueness, confusion, lack of self-confidence, procrastination, lack of knowledge of financial matters.
    I have found, though, that after my second Saturn Return and its travel over my Ascendant, that I am getting better at dealing constructively with the more negative stuff and utilizing the positives. Water can moan and mope, wallow in the past and sleep it off when down in the dumps and I have to actively fight those tendencies.

    • Hi Mel810:

      Wow! I don’t think there is much I can add to your description. It seems like you really have a good grasp on how all the elements in your chart play out in real life, including the Saturn as a big factor on how to deal with the weaknesses of our elements.

  2. A thorough and sound analysis, Melo.

    Fabienne, I wanted to say thanks so much for a thought-provoking analysis of creativity in your extensive series. My nearly-missing element is earth, while fire, water, and air are strong. However, Neptune in Virgo is in the 3rd house, the house most associated with a writing career, with Virgo on the cusp, so I compensate by conscious attention to the need of my readership for grounded, practical advice.

    The lack of earth is compensated for in the totality of my life through my friends who have good, strong placements in earth, especially in their Moon signs. Likewise, over the course of my writing career, I’ve also had the finest editors with solid earth in their charts, especially Virgo rising or Virgo strong in other ways.

    Although they aren’t with me any more, I still hear them in my head, reminding me of what the readers would want or need. I’ve been blessed that way. Embrace your editors, writers, and they’ll help you develop into the best use of your talent. Donna

    • Thanks, Donna. My good old Mercury/Saturn In Virgo in 12 and Mars in Scorp in 1 do impart a bit of analytical ability and make me a good in-depth researcher, to boot. The only problem there is it also makes me prone to excessive navel gazing and a virulent case of the coulda, shoulda, wouldas. LOL!

    • Thanks Donna for your kind words and for this opportunity. Also thank four for sharing your own element distribution. I must say that your efforts to compensate for your low earth shine through. I remember and still use all the practical advice you gave the students of your writing class. It did help me understand how I could achieve writing regularly. It also helped that my progressed sun had moved into Gemini and my 3rd house.
      I also use your questions on chart reading – what’s the problem, what’s your contribution to the problem and what can be done about it – to organize my sessions with my own clients. That’s good, solid, practical advice that makes my life coaching training so much easier to use.
      Likewise, I am low on earth with a high score of water and fire, followed by air. I have to know how I feel about what I am going to write before I can actually start writing my article. An emotional connection is indispensable. I also write intuitively, not always knowing where my writing is going to take me. However, I always keep in mind that my writing has to be useful and helpful to my readers.
      The earth part comes more with the editing where I can use my strong Saturn in Capricorn to make sense of what I wrote, in addition to a French education who puts a premium on logic and Cartesianism and where I had to organize my essay from a very early age. Introduction, arguments in favor and against, summary and conclusion.
      My earth function is also carried out with strong friendships with Capricornian women who forced me to aim for clarity, concision in my communication. Also my writing coach was a Gemini with strong earth placements including her rising sign.

      • You’re doing really well at creating the earth element, Fabienne! Donna

  3. I don’t have any air, but my Ascendant in Libra seems to assist in compensating. I am very intellectual, but sometimes come off as a bit unfocused in my thinking and communicating. I attribute this to my Mercury in combustion with my Sun, though, and my Saturn in the 3rd house.

    I do love to read and cannot picture life without books (a Libra activity!).

    • It sounds like you could have more air energy than you think, Jack–Libra Rising, Mercury conjunct Sun. How’s your Uranus. I went back to the article and added the links to my tests for the strength of the elements, so you might want to check it out. Donna

      • I never thought of it that way, Donna, you are right!

    • Hi Jack:

      I would agree with Donna. For someone with no air, you seems to be dealing pretty well if you only come a bit unfocused. Or maybe it is that you use your other elements to compensate for your lack of air. What is the element distribution in your chart? Do you have an excess of something?

      • I have four planets in Earth, four in Fire, two in Water. I think the key to my compensation is that Mercury combust the Sun, as Donna ponted out. But it’s a Taurus Mercury, so that’s a bit of a challenge. It takes me forever to pick up on something new, but when I get it, I get it.

  4. I don’t have any water except my MC point. My wife complains that she has a very hard time relating to me. I’m mostly aloof & cold, and I deal with this mostly by Repression, or doing nothing about it. The abundance of Earth element doesn’t help the Water problem obviously. I guess it’s good that I have some fire, but it’s mostly related to my 11th house, and social ideals are very high on my list. Often I cannot take my mind/actions off from my utopia-related thinking.

    My son has a lack of Earth (except Chiron). Is that the reason that he never has enough of everything, toys, playtime, academic/sport achievement? He has so much air that his mind is constantly spinning and he is quite eloquent for his age. He can find all the little faults in your statements that you don’t care to explain to him.

    By the way,
    Creativity and the 4 Elements – Earth
    is missing from above. You repeated Water twice. I would like to read up on Earth. Thanks.

    • Thanks for pointing out the omission, Nathan. I added the earth article, so go back and see it. Donna

    • Hi Nathan:

      I have noticed 2 things with people who lack earth like your son. First, there is an underlying attitude of hunger in their relation to material possessions, of continuously wanting more. I have seen it show up as gluttony which is basically a form of hunger. And, secondly, having a hard time being in their bodies, of feeling grounded.
      As for your own chart, you seem to be able to understand how the elements operate in your life. However, I don’t entirely agree with your statement that your over abundance of earth does not help with your missing water. I believe we can use the excess of one element to help us boost the lack of another. I am still thinking about this so I do not have good examples, but it is something that I believe could be a good use of the excess of one element to compensate for another. Maybe you have some ideas?

      • Perhaps as readers respond by sharing their own process of coping with missing or weak elements, we’ll see useful examples. That’s what I love about blogging–all the good data that people share helps us all to learn more. Donna

      • I don’t know whether the general statement of gluttony is correct or not mainly because I haven’t seen enough charts. But I do know that for my son specifically because of his Saturn in his 1st house, he is actually kind of slender, and will exert great amount of self-control if needed. I have always associated the “symptoms” of his lack of earth element to his retrograde Jupiter in his second house. There has been a slight gradual change since his progressed Jupiter goes direct, but this change has been subtle and gradual.

        As for coping my missing Water element using the abundance of Earth, I have never found the way. The best that I can do is just being aware of my lack of Water. But whatever Earth stuffs was born to me and naturally to me, while Water behavior is kind of a learned behavior, and needs to be expressed with a conscious directing mind. Obviously, it’s not like I’m less human or less emotional, but I think I have become who I am partially due to the circumstances that I had to face, and I have trained my responses accordingly. I do remember that when I was a child, I was less Earthy. But I did imagine & fear that my late-home-coming parents not coming back home because they might have accidentally entered into 4th dimension, and disappear from my own three-dimensional world somehow. Or ghosts finding me when I passed by deserted empty lot. Actually my other son who only has Uranus in Water has the similar fear with ghosts. But I assure him that there is no ghosts and God & I will always protect him.

        Lost in imagination/fantasy is definitely correct for me.

  5. WordPress has an interesting feature at the end of posts where it lists links to possibly related articles, and I’ve learned some very interesting things and met some amazing people by following them.

    There’s a very interesting link at the end of this one. It’s a review of an important book about talent called, The Element: How Finding your Passion Changes Everything.

    It isn’t exactly about the astrological elements, but I have a feeling it is ALL about the astrological elements if an astrology lover read it and read between the lines. Here’s the link: Donna

  6. Hi,

    Thanks for the great article! I have missing earth (except Chiron in Taurus). I am going through Saturn return and general crisis time (really affecting career, and through this, lifestyle). I’ve decided to go back to school and become an acupuncturist/Chinese medicine practitioner, in other words, a healer. Many things in my chart and just regular old, non-astrological self make me think this is a good decision. I’m wondering too though if it will provide balance since I see it as a bit of an “Earth” profession- that missing thing I may have been searching for all this time? Also, it may provide some balance to myself, allowing my creative side to be less stressed (I was a professional musician before, still am, but eggs were all in one basket) Thoughts on this generally, being able to free up creativity once one gets themselves in “balance”? (NB- I admit I’m also have 5 planets in Libra, maybe a little balance obsessed, heh heh)

  7. Dizzy:

    I can see where becoming a “body worker”” through acupuncture and Chinese medicine would be a good channel for a lack of earth.
    As for the balance part, I would say that too much balance and you stop moving. Better, at least in my own opinion, to reach for flow than balance, like a metronome.

    • I’m sure I’ll never REALLY be balanced- the key thing about my 5 libra planets is that they are all square moon/n. node. Anyway I’ve got some fire and water planets in the mix too. I love to play gypsy music and those guys are probably the craziest, definitely will keep it moving!

  8. I have no fire, and have to work very hard to keep my motivation going when I write – I tend to loose focus if I’m not vigilant (like reading astrology when I should be rewriting). I’ve had a lot of editors in my career – not Virgos, I provide that one myself – and the editor I absolutely work best with is a Leo. So compensation for lacking an element can show up in many ways.

    • Hi Natalie:

      Good to see you here. With no fire in your chart, I would be interested in know how the April stellium in Aries is going to affect you? I am wondering if this transit can somehow provide, if only temporally, a dose of fire in a chart who has none. Just curiosity on my part and I don’t have enough data to make a guess. Maybe, Donna might have more insights into this?

      • Hi! So far the only changes is a headache and the beginning of a hayfever. I’m considering doing something energetic … soon. My Aries co-writer, however, is all smiles and happy faces. The moment the Sun entered Aries, he threw off his winter-depression and is in rocket mood. I can only watch with envy and hope it’s contagious.
        VR: more or less, yes. Exept for the mayo – I can’t eat that, but I do cook from scratch. And although I make plans, I usually don’t follow up on them! About the Virgo leap – absolutely, yes! I find self-discipline and beeing very clear on what my goal is, helps to finish things. Was it Dorothy Parker that said I hate writing, I love to have written? I’m there! I love finishing a manuscript, and that helps me focus.

      • Natalie:

        Same thing happened to me. As soon as the sun entered Aries, my Saturn winter depression lift off. Of course, it helped that on the day of the Spring Equinox, Jupiter was conjunct my sun.

    • Hi Natalie! I have lots of fire in my chart, but I can still relate to what you’re saying! If I remember correctly you have a Virgo stellium, and, being the proud owner of a Virgo stellium myself, I think the issues you’re adressing here are 100% Virgo:
      1) I like work. A lot! I’m never more thrilled than when I’ve just come up with a new idea and I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, I can’t function I can’t do anything else but work to give it form in my mind and envision how to go about it.
      2) I strongly believe in planning, and I’m actually very good at it. (To be honest, I’m kinda proud of my machiavellic mind!!) I believe that as long as you can come up with a good plan, anything is possible. (Oh, and if you don’t have a plan, you’re screwed!- God never provides for Virgos!!) I often say that no matter how unrealistic a goal seems, there’s Always a way to achieve it. In that sense, I’m very practical.
      3) I love details. Not all of them, just the meaningful ones. If you ask me, God hides in the details. You can never achieve mastery without paying attention to them. My eyes are always searching for the blueprint behind things, what makes a book a book, or a painting a painting, that sort of thing.
      1) I have no patience with small work /dirty work/ technicalities. I hate running errands, standing in lines, being stuck in traffic etc. I usually end up muttering curses between my teeth and daydreaming about getting rich enough to hire someone to handle the small stuff.
      If a friend wants to move, for instance, I’d be more than happy to help him plan it, or maybe offer some practical advice as to how to negotiate his way out of his contract. But if he just wants me to carry some boxes, I’d be like “Whaa? When? I don’t know if I can make it, let me see what I can do”
      2) Planning is one thing, impementing it is yet another, and quite often I fall into the trap of my own planning. See, I come up with these labyrinthic plans that are too elaborate for humans to follow, which ends up with me wanting to bang my head against a wall.
      3)I’m a junkie for all things fresh and new. While I’m ecstatic in the first couple of months of a project, working day and night like an addict, my enthusaism usually fades after this -awfully short- period of time. And since I’m very capricious when it comes to work (I want to only work b/c I like it), when I no longer like what I’m doing, well, I can’t do it! I get lazy, feel stuck in a rut, I simply can’t follow through. Like you said, no motivation whatsoever!
      4) I think there’s an ‘all or nothing’ quality about all things Virgo. If we can’t do sth perfect, we’d rather not do it all. It’s like standing at the edge of a gap, the ideal version of what we’re trying to do being on the other side, and us standing still there, staring at the abyss, too intimidated to take the leap.
      e.g. When I cook, I make my own mayonnaise. If I don’t have the time or energy to produce the perfect meal, I’d rather feed on chips and candy- which I do, most of the time! *sigh*
      Do you find any of this resonant?

  9. This series on creativity is an excellent one! I have an obsession with creativity (Pluto in the 5th) and love to write (Mercury in the 5th, but no where near Pluto). I burn the candle at both ends with my writing projects (at the expense of not getting the boring stuff done, like cleaning, and bill paying). Earth is my lowest element, can you tell?

    Fortunately I have a family who keeps me “grounded.” They tell me when the cat box needs changing 🙂 My daughter has a bulletin board in the kitchen which keeps track of appointments and things that need to get done. She has 3 planets in Capricorn, with Virgo rising and she is a big help!

  10. My chart is strong in fire and air. I have only one water planet (Neptune in Scorpio) square my 12th house Sun. With these planets in watery houses, I’m drawn to things that enable me to experience and express my missing element.

    Having my progressed Sun in Pisces for the past 30 years (with Venus/Mercury for nearly that long) has also helped! I think I have a lot more empathy and compassion than I would have without such a progression. Imagination, fantasy, illusion and a lack of boundaries all play a very large part in my life.

    It’s easy for me to feel empathy and compassion for people and animals who are suffering, yet on a day-to-day basis, I can sometimes be insensitive to what others are feeling. I can pick up on emotional undercurrents, but often can’t identify exactly what others are feeling unless they tell me.

    I don’t have trouble identifying my own feelings, but I don’t like to dwell on them or discuss them. Having a Saturn/Moon conjunction ensures that I don’t. 😉 I do tend to be over-sensitive and over-emotional, which I think many low-water people are.

    Interestingly, I’ve always seemed to attract (or be drawn to) a lot of Cancerian types, particularly men. My husband is Cancer rising, with a Cancer Moon in the first. He has only one air planet (Neptune in Libra) and he is a walking encyclopedia!

    Missing elements is one of my favorite topics in astrology. From what I’ve seen among friends and the charts I’ve studied, it seems that most people hunger for the missing element, and usually wind up filling that need either through their activities or in relationships.

    • Hi Colleen:

      I could not help but smile at your comment about your attraction to Cancerian types. What a great way to express the low water and earth in your chart! Choose a sign ruled by the Moon (emotions) and who is the opposite sign of Capricorn (earth). We do indeed learn about our low/missing elements from our relationships.

      • Yes! I do have Venus/Mercury in Capricorn, so I feel pretty grounded, but I’ve learned a lot about the water element from relationships.

  11. Hi, Fabienne, thank you for the article, and I’ve enjoyed the comments, All.

    Like a lot of astrology, measuring an elemental absence is quick and easy but I’ve always felt its interpretation needs seasoning and sophistication in particular. Mostly because the terminology commonly used – missing, lacks – diminishes the individual to start with (!) and needs to be handled with care – deprogrammed! – in my opinion.

    I ask you all, what if we banished ‘lack’, ‘missing’, and ‘absent’ from our thinking and instead called this a Hidden Element?

    My take is that every planet – every human energy – is in every chart. What is missing here is conveniently posted signage for the journey, that’s all. A condition that may in fact promote high motivation and creativity on that individual’s journer, as Fabienne points out. For more, see Eleanor Buckwalter’s insightful article – presenting. Note she extends an emphasis to a ‘hidden’ modality as well.

    A couple of add-ons to your article examples, Fabienne:

    Hidden Fire (confidence) – F. Scott Fitzgerald, with his Jupiter at 29 Leo 20, is a close call for this category. I’m not sure I would have included him.

    Hidden Earth (security) – Bill Gates, Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey.

    Hidden Air (social expression) – Mark Zuckerberg, Leo Tolstoy.

    Hidden Water (understanding) – Bill Clinton.

    • Hi pdw:

      I agree with you that astrologers need to be careful with the terminology they use, as a client could interpret lack, missing, absent was something bad, shameful. But I believe the words we normally use, alerts to something in our chart that we need to work on. It’s often times, the connotations that are a problem with word associations. What we need to do, at least in my opinion, is to help clients shift their perspective on their own chart. Basically, from this is bad to this is something I need to work on to use my full potential.

      • I’m with you, Fabienne. I am so tired of tiptoing around all these politically correct rules about not referring to any astrological placement in anything but glorifying forms. Some 45 years ago, when I found out about my _______ (fill in the blank) Earth element consisting solely of Neptune in Virgo, it didn’t make me feel bad about myself. It explained some of my difficulties and pointed out what I needed to work on. And work on it I have, consciously and consistently, paying attention to that imbalance. I used it as a motivator and a guidepost. I doubt that I would have been that alert–or that successful in compensating for it–if someone told me I had “hidden earth.” Donna

      • Thank you for the feedback, Ladies, I appreciate it.

        I wholeheartedly agree the goal is to contribute a helpful perspective on a chart to a client, Fabienne.

        Donna, it never occurred to me that I might be getting into dreaded PC territory. 😉 Thanks for the mention, I’ll be thinking on that.

    • I feel that what pdw is trying to express here is that the importance of the element distribution in a chart should not be exeggerated, and, in that sense, I agree with him/her.
      I’m not a big fan of the element theory, I consider it a pre-socratic remnant- you know, from back in the day when philosophers believed that life had been created by putting the 4 e. in a shaker and shaking it real hard till the earth finally popped out, I think that astrology would be better off without it- now that we have the Bing Bang theory, why stick to sth as archaic, that obviously doesn’t apply?
      The inadequacy of this theory-when pushed to its limits- to describe living human beings , instead of making us abandon it, gave rise to all kinds of different theories: singletons, missing things running away with the rest of the chart etc, which to me only sweep the problem under the carpet. Just think of it for a moment, one is hyper-sensitive either b/c of an abundance of water or due to complete lack thereof. I feel like I’m chasing my tail here.
      And can we honestly believe within common sense that a person with no fire will walk through life without ever getting excited about anything, or that a person with no earth will never work towards security, financial or otherwise?
      My mother is a Libra sun-stellium with no earth but Saturn in Virgo, she’s 100 times more materialistic than my Taurus sister. My bff is an Aquarius, again with no earth whatsoever. If I had a dime for every time she’s told me to get real! With all her air and fire, when it comes to groundedness she’s the living proof that Saturn used to be A.’s ruler. Anyone who’s ever lived with a Lion knows how insecure they are deep down, that’s why they’re always in need of a spotlight and an audience- their self-confidence doesn’t come from within. They need no cancer placements to get overwhelmed by insecurity when they feel unloved, and no Virgo placements to become agressive and nasty if you dare to outshine them. The Gaugelin research has proven that writers usually have a prominent Moon- much to airy/mercurial Gemini’s chagrin! And have you ever met an otherwise ‘earthy’ Capricorn that likes to be touched?
      Long story short, I believe that each sign is a whole difference universe that handles all aspects of life in its own distinctive way (to use one of pdw’s examples, when you’re a Scorpio like B. Gates, you can’t not care about money and the power it bestows) and, when it comes to signs of the same element, what sets them apart outnumbers what brings them together. Thus, when looking at a chart, we can only go so far with element distribution. Pdw, hopefully we’re on the same page here.
      P.S. Fabienne, I’ve visited your blog- great articles and magnificent layout! I wish you all the best 🙂

      • VR, thanks for sharing. We have some similar questions about the meaning this measurement is sometimes given – although I would never throw the Elements out with the pre-Socratic bathwater! 😉 I love their symbolism in astrology.

        Reading your examples of ‘inadequate’ astrology assumptions vs real life made me think of how we treat an empty house. We don’t generally consider that activity missing or even a challenge… Much to think about in astrology, as always.

      • Hi VR:

        First thank you for visiting my blog, the compliment and the best wishes. To answer you comment, I would like to state the following:
        I agree that any technique for a chart reading should not be exaggerated, including the elements. They are a tool among many that astrologers can use. A multitude of tools are necessary because astrologers need different ways to help their client shift their perspective and their understanding of their chart. Different tools for different clients. Astrology has many of them, like any other profession, It’s not one size fits all, in depends on the sensibilities of the client and the talents of the astrologer.
        Those different tools are there to help the client understand their chart. So if he understands singleton, better than missing an element or lacking, I say we should use it. In the end what it does is give a diagnostic.
        Also different causes can have the same manifestation in the chart. Hence, somebody with no water or an abundance of water, can express their emotions in the same manner. What it is doing is pointed to an area of their chart where the person needs to work on it.

  12. I think VR’s examples of how “missing-element people” (for lack of a better phrase!) exaggerate those elements actually *proves* how significant missing elements are, rather than showing they’re an area of astrology that “doesn’t apply.”

    In addition, it seems to me that the hyper-sensitivity of a no-water person expresses (and is experienced) differently from the hyper-sensitivity of very watery person. In the former case, the individual will express their feelings in an overt way, showing a lot of emotion for example — more like an air/fire sign — while the very watery person will often hide their very sensitive feelings, as befits the reactive water signs.

    Having said that (and this sort of echoes Fabienne), for every chart with a missing element, I bet you can find other factors that reinforce the “message” of that absence, as well as its solution. So you could choose not to use this factor in reading charts if it doesn’t work for you. For me, though, it’s adds to the whole picture.

  13. Is it possible to balance a missing element through diet? e.g. eat more potatoes and root vegetables if missing earth, more red peppers if lacking fire, etc? Has anyone had success with this?

  14. Going by Donna’s tests I seem to be strongest in Mutable and Fixed qualities and then the element of Fire and weakest in Cardinal and Earth. says that I’m dominant in Fixed Water, equal in Fire and Earth/Cardinal/Mutable and Lacking in Air(I have a Pluto in Libra singleton and Gemini Rising 29′)

    It seems kind of ironic that that would the case considering that I have a 4 planets in a water sign(and then depending on the house system used) 3 of those planets in the 6th house(Placidus) or 4 of those planets in my 5th house(koch/Equal which I prefer)

    For some reason I can relate to MEL810 in general in many ways….I couldn’t figure out exactly what to say so I hope this person doesn’t mind me quoting there words….

    “I find I can get all worked up over an idea”….”I lack self-confidence in promoting my own talents. I am great when promoting others but fall down on the job when promoting myself”…..”Add to this my general confusion about goals and you have a hot mess.
    My best traits: creativity, art and design sense, enthusiasm, a spiritual and humanitarian bent, a willingness to learn, open-mindedness, a sense of humor.
    My less flattering traits: confusion, lack of self-confidence, procrastination
    Water can moan and mope, wallow in the past and I have to actively fight those tendencies.”

    Though I tend to disagree about the creativity part(despite what I’ve been told) and I can become kind of grumpy if my feelings are hurt or I’m under a lot of stress.

    I have learning disabilities especially in Math,but I have problems with everything.

  15. Hi Fabienne, it’s great to see you here..and happy birthday to you, I hope you’re having a wonderful day…. I’ve been following your great creativity and elements series on your blog and it’s so spot on.

    I’m an Air and Earth type…. with less Water and Fire, so it’s always a tie in on which lack of element affects me the most.

    On balance I think it’s the lack of Fire (I only have Mercury in Sag in the 7th, which is ‘besieged’) and definitely need to work on inspiration, vigor, confidence, get up and go etc. I tend to project these things.

    For water, I only have Saturn in Pisces and Neptune Scorpio…but I tend to ‘do’ water quick strongly – overcompensation? – maybe it’s because Neptune is in semisquare to my Sun and Saturn rules my Sun, so the water has an active and very personal channel for expression. Certainly when I was younger I had big issues with oversensitivity and weak boundaries. I’m much better at dealing with those things now and in some ways see them as strengths. Thanks again and also to Donna for highlighting Fabienne’s work

  16. Another wonderful article.

    I have no air signs in my chart and only one mutable sign. Many people say that makes me rather stubborn. I have an excess of water signs in my chart (my sun is a water sign too) which make me rather emotional. There are a lot of fire and earth signs too but no air sign at all. Can anything be done to correct the lack of air signs?

  17. Hello, I am from Turkey and I am very curious about astrology. My sun sign is copricorn and my asc is cancer. I have copricorn sign in Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Uranus and Neptune they are all in seventh house midheaven is Pisces, North node is Sagittarius. İn some online charts they say I am lack of air, lack of fire and too mıch earth in my chart. İ am quite depressive, stubborn, too sensitive and shy and I have comminucation problems. I say the words wrong when speaking someone. I have no talking problems People say I am very clever bıt I cant speak well. I think so much about politics, philosophy and religion too much. İt makes headache some times. Please I need some advice.

    • Hi, Fatih, with all those Capricorn planets, what you have is a STELLIUM in that sign and house. You’re not alone–there were millions like you born in the late 1980s to mid 1990s. Find out more about it at Donna Cunningham

  18. Thank you so much I was born in 11 January 1994. My birth last for two days my mother said. I want to ask you am I lucky or unlucky I feel myself too heavy and I cant become relaxed and cool what is your precious advice to me thank you.

  19. What would you suggest for someone that seems to have a depletion of ALL the elements?

  20. I’m void of fire completely and up until the last two years it was very much a problem for me. I gave up constantly on everything. I never finished any goals. I was always very down and withdrew from other people. I also seem to surround myself with Leos and Sagittarius’ mostly. I’m low on Earth too only 2 planets. I tend to draw towards Taurus’ and Virgos. I do also have many body image issues I’ve been working hard to over come. I’ve never been very grounded. I now have to carry hematite to compensate. It’s helped a lot. I’m air and water dominated, most of my placements are Aquarius or Scorpio oddly enough. I however am better with my fire issues. I’m far more optimistic and better at completing things than I was. It’s been difficult but I’m going through a spiritual awakening thing and the more I’m learning of myself I’m seeing improvement from. Maybe one day I’ll be like the people with balanced elements. 🙂 I enjoyed your article. However I was wondering if you have advice for air void people. My dad is one and he refuses to hear anything or change so things can be easier. It’s hard to deal with him because of the void. He has no ability to detach or see the bigger picture. And advice would be much appreciated.

    • You’re doing the right thing for yourself by having lots of earth friends. My only planet in earth is foggy Neptune, but I have a wealth of good, solid, practical earthy friends to advise me.

      As for your father, being void in air must make him have lots of earth planets–very, very stubborn types that you’re not going to change because they really balk at change. My advice–quit trying to change him and do things your own way. Donna

  21. I have an abundant of Fire and Water elements in my chart. It seems like such a contradiction – that I even confuse myself: terrified and emotional, though fearless and resolute; gullible and trusting, however, suspicious and wary. Do you have an opinion or comment about such a contradictory nature in a chart and how best to utilize such disparate elements in everyday life? How can I take advantage of such contrasts?

    • We all have contradictions of one sort or another in our birth charts, loribeth. None of those contradictions are a mistake, it’s part of what makes us unique individuals rather than cookie cutter automatons. It’s the work of a lifetime to learn how to make them work well. Donna Cunningham

  22. Sooooo I only have one fire and one earth and I don’t have any eating disorders and most people would say I’m extremely passionate. Is it possible that being full of emotions and having a drive for knowledge in and of itself create passion? One thing I do find true is that I’m attracted to earth and fire signs. I just think it’s more complicated than what you are stating.

    • You’re right. EVERYTHING is more complicated than the 700-1000 words recommended for a blog post. Donna Cunningham

  23. Hi Donna, thank you for this. I really needed it because I worry oh so much about not being able to communicate well enough or not having the ability to be as empathetic or intuitive as other people. I have a very low supply on water and air in my chart. One planet in water and one planet in an air sign, with my north node in another air sign. When it comes to the many ways people deal with a missing element, I would say I definitely overcompensate. With my lack of water, I am very attracted to people who are naturally sensitive and tenderhearted because deep down, I wish I was like that. Since overcompensation can mean going to extremes, I can sometimes be way too sensitive and emotional for my own good, feeling everything so deeply, to being very cold, aloof and emotionally detached. Things I’m doing about this are being more open with myself; being more emotionally honest and more intimate with others and working on my nurturing side. I like to take care of others, whether it’s having a nice, deep talk or cooking them something or giving hugs.
    As for my lack of air, I would say it’s even more complicated for me than my lack of water. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had problems with communication. Socializing, being on the phone, intellectual subjects, talking in front of people, and writing are things that make me feel very insecure. Whenever I’m around someone who is able to communicate very clearly with no problems, I get kind of jealous. At the same time though, I like hanging out with people are very intellectual and talkative because it makes it much easier for me to be that way, if only for a little while. Just like my lack of water, I swing to extremes; being very talkative one minute, and then totally mute the next, just internalizing everything. By the way, I can definitely relate to the part about asking what I think to be dumb questions or very unintentionally saying something very stupid, which just serves to make me feel even more intellectually inferior. Having to work with this lack of air element is hard in daily life, it sometimes gets me into trouble or painful situations, but it’s something that I’m going to have to achieve if I wanna reach my destiny (I have north node in the 3rd house of Gemini.)
    I’m sorry, I know this is REALLY long but I just had so much to say about this. Maybe this is how I deal with my lack of air, writing my thoughts down. It’s always been a very helpful alternative for me.
    Again, thanks for this amazing piece. Take care 🙂

    • Thank you for sharing, Alyssa. Good, clear details like this help us all to learn more about balancing the elements. Donna

  24. It’s going to be ending of mine day, but before end I am reading this fantastic
    article to increase my know-how.

  25. Your awesome!

  26. Donna, I have no fire in my chart and I am extremely creative and positive! I once met an astrologer who said that, ‘ just because an element is missing, does not mean that you are lacking that element.’ She looked at my chart and said, that I was ‘fire’ and that is why I didn’t need it! My sun and mercury are in the 9th house, my Jupiter and north node are in the 5th house, my IC is Aries, my south karmic node is in Sagittarius and my part of karma is Leo!

  27. I have no water in my chart… 😦 expect Scorpio in Chiron. Besides that it’s like .something or another in my chart consisted of water. I can never decide how I feel about anything, doesn’t help that I have more Air than anything. Plus my sun sign is Aquarius and moon libra. I’m always sad and also fantasizing. I feel like I’m very emotional but I can’t really relate or feel with anyone else.

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