The Elements of Health

Blog Kira Sutherland Astrologer 4

(Originally published in Wellbeing Astrology Magazine 2008 as Picture of Health)

The Elements of Health

In medical astrology one of the first things to focus on are the elements. What element does your Sun and Moon belong to? These two luminaries are the cornerstone of our personal makeup, who we are and how we approach life both physically and emotionally. The elements provide us with an easy to use balancing system for our physical health and mental wellbeing that is simple to apply to our everyday life.

When an element is strong in our chart it can bring great benefits to our health, empowering and balancing our daily lives. It is possible for an element to be overstimulated or to fall into a state better known in medical astrology as; in excess. Elements can also be ignored or underused in our chart and fall into a state known as; lacking or depleted. Read through the explanation of your elements for your Sun and Moon, see what they are about and then take note in your life if this element feels in balance, in excess or is it lacking? Under each element are guidelines and suggestions for re-establishing balance depending on whether you feel it is depleted or in excess in your life. 

The elements are a fantastic tool to use in medical astrology because they are so simple and straight forward. The four elements of western astrology are Fire, Earth, Air and Water. The divisions of the zodiac signs into the elements are as follows:

FIRE – Aries, Leo and Sagittarius

EARTH – Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn

AIR – Gemini, Libra and Aquarius

WATER – Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces

You can also look to the other elements that may not be your Sun or Moon sign if you wish to create some of that element’s energy in your life too. Here is a simple guideline:

Fire is about action and courage

Earth oversees the physical body and grounding

Air rules the thoughts and mental focus 

Water oversees one’s emotional state

Have fun with the elements and see how easy it can be to invoke a bit of extra help in your life.


The fire element is hot and dry. It is stimulating, creative, dynamic and radiates energy. It corresponds to one’s vital force, motivation and our actions. It rules the body’s heat and digestive fire, muscles, physical movement, and perspiration.

In balance

Supplies great physical energy, vitality, and body heat.

Creates confidence, courage, and optimism.

It manifests ideas into action, creates charisma and motivation.

Excess fire

Creates anger, hot tempers, impatience, and aggressive behaviour.

Physically this can manifest as heart burn, liver and stomach problems, acne, skin eruptions, headaches, fever as well as inflammation and excessive perspiration.

To balance

One needs to eat more cooling foods such as raw vegetables and fruits, the juicier the better. 

Water intake needs to be focused on as hydration is vital as excess fire can be very dehydrating. Juices, water, mineral water and even cold soups are great.

Activities near or in the water such as swimming, sailing or surfing are great to decrease too much fire. Baths are also good just make sure the water is not too hot. 

Wearing clothes of a cooling colour such as blue or green is fantastic to bring down the heat.

Herbal teas such as peppermint and spearmint are cooling in nature. 

Lack of fire

Little or no fire can cause such problems as poor circulation, cold hands and feet, stiffness in the body and low energy levels.

One can feel a lack of inspiration and motivation and lack of confidence.

Digestion can suffer due to a lack of digestive fire and energy levels can be very erratic as well.

To balance

Any form of aerobic exercise will help to increase one’s fire as well as stimulating the circulation and heart.

Following a regular routine can help with energy levels and alleviate some of the sluggish, melancholic symptoms.

Hiking or walking out in the fresh air will bring back energy and fire to one’s body and strengthen ones emotional state.

All the warming spices are recommended for low fire such as: chilli, cinnamon, ginger, curry and cardamom.

Herbal teas such as ginger, chamomile with honey are both great for warming up the digestion. 

Wearing of the warm colours such as red, pink and orange can help lift the energy levels and bring more fire back to the body.


The earth element is dense or heavy, ruling our physical form and structure. It has a cold and dry nature that is feminine, form building and melancholic. The earth element rules all 5 of the body’s senses.

In balance 

Earth is both stable and practical with good persistence and endurance. It has a caring and nurturing nature that takes responsibility where needed. It governs all the bones of the body (including the teeth), the skin, ligaments and tendons as well as the fingernails. Earth is responsible for the ‘structure and form’ of the body.

Excess Earth

Creates a heavy, sluggish nature to the body. 

It can be lethargic, stagnant, and easily leads to weight gain and melancholy. 

Too much earth can create an over concern with material possessions, the physical body and rigidity of emotions.

The mind can feel sluggish and there can be a crystallization or stubbornness to ones thinking, habits and views.

To balance

Get the body moving, doing any type of exercise.

Socialise; get out into the world and so something that makes you laugh.

Spicy and hot foods such as chilli or ginger can create more heat and fire.

Not eating heavy sugar and starchy food. Be aware of poor emotional eating habits.

Wearing coloured clothes of fiery nature such as red or orange.

Lack of earth

When earth is low it often presents as a dreamy, ungrounded nature where the person is not tuned into their physical body.

They can have wonderful ideas but fail to put them into action. 

There can be a state of malnutrition or lack of awareness regarding the physical body.

To Balance

Grounding activities such as: massage, reflexology, outdoor activities or even walking barefoot on the grass.

Creating a regular routine / schedule will help bring a person back into their physical body.

Find activities that can use all the 5 senses. Cooking classes are great to stimulate the senses.

Eating green foods and root vegetables. Wearing the colours green and brown.

Bushwalking and hiking in the mountains are both fantastic for creating more earth energy.


The element air is light, hot, moist and changeable. It creates movement, connects things together and has a quick and mental nature. Though moist in temperament it easily creates dryness due to its quick and windy nature.

In balance

Air expresses itself through graceful movement and good communication skills. It rules logic, reason, ideas and speech. It has rulership in the body over the respiratory and the nervous system. Air is also in charge of the messages sent throughout the body via the hormones.

Excess air

An abundance of air can create a restless, anxious state with too much nervous energy.

There is an inability to sit still and the thoughts often race as fast as the body.

Physically excess air can manifest as dryness, rough skin, brittle hair and nails and stiffness in the joints.

Lung trouble, flatulence and a detached impersonal nature can all be a sign of too much air.

To balance

Getting outdoors and expending some of the extra energy can be a grounding experience with such activities as: walking, swimming, or any form of exercise.

Eating a diet rich in whole grains and root vegetables.

Wearing colours of a soothing nature such as green, blue or purple.

Herbal teas such as: chamomile, lemon balm and liquorice can soothe the busy air 


Lack of Air

Creates problems with the body’s energy flow, tiredness, breathing difficulties and an introverted nature.

Poor coordination, weakness of the nervous system and slow movements can all be a result of low air.

The brain and thoughts can feel as if they are in slow motion.

To balance

Breathing exercises, meditation and yoga can all aid in increasing the air element.

Socialising, working in groups and dancing are all fantastic.

Herbal teas such as ginger, chai and liquorice are fantastic to increase energy in the body.

Rosemary, ginger and garlic can help to increase air and energy in the body.


The element water is of a cold and moist nature. It is emotional, intuitive, cleansing and creative in its energy.  It rules the emotions, all fluids of the body and the lymphatic system (immune system). It has rulership of the reproductive processes and cycles of the body.

In balance

Water in is emotional, flowing and nurturing in its nature. It is imaginative, creative and manifests as intuition and emotional intelligence. It is the element of emotional connection and expression.

Excess water

Water in excess creates weight gain, sleepiness and self-indulgent attitudes.

They can be dreamy and inattentive to the present as well as over concerned with money and security matters.

Physically excess water can manifest as colds and flu’s, fluid retention, and an overproduction of mucus. Tiredness and the desire to withdraw are common traits. Emotional eating can also be a sign of excess water.

To balance

Eating foods of a warm and spicy nature such as: soups, stews, Thai and Indian.

Diuretic teas like dandelion or nettle are great for their build up of fluids.

Activities that warm up the body are great for the overly cold-water types such as: exercise, yoga and saunas.

Getting out and being social, emotionally connecting to others has a great balancing effect.

Wearing bright and warming colours such as: red, orange and yellow.

Lack of water

Without enough water the body becomes dehydrated and cold, with dry skin and stiff joints.

Sleep problems can occur when the element water is lacking.

Emotions become hard to express and there can be a lack of understanding or empathy for others emotional states.

To balance

Those with low water element need to increase their fluid levels with such things as water, fruit juice, vegetables juice, soups and herbal teas.

Living near or visiting the water frequently will help to rebalance a depleted state.

Activities such as swimming, snorkelling, boating are all great.

Art classes or other creative endeavours will help to increase intuition and emotional balance.

Cooling and soothing foods such as: grapes, berries, rockmelon, pineapple, zucchini, and lettuce.

Salt should be minimised as it has a drying nature as do most of the spices.

Wearing greens and blues will help to increase the water element. 

Hope you enjoyed your elemental journey! If you want to learn more about medical astrology please have a look in the courses section of my website for more information. 


Kira Sutherland