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Understanding the Earth Element in Western Astrology: For Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn

Find out what it means to have the element of earth in your sun sign.

Find out what it means to have the element of earth in your sun sign.

Discovering Earth Energy

Earth is an incredible element in Western astrology. Earth is what gives us matter and definition. It's the slowest moving of the four elements, but it's the one that allows us to take shape, to take form, and to have strength. Our physical body is represented by earth.

Those born with an earth element sun sign are practical and grounded. They move at a gradual pace, have realistic goals, work hard, have the power to organize what's around them, provide for their families, are financially responsible, and they love nature.

Earth signs are sturdy, stable, and present-minded. They are not easily fooled and can be stubborn and resilient about their goals.

The four elements of astrology are the forces of nature that work in all things and can be traced back to the Big Bang.

  • Fire focuses on energy and movement.
  • Air is about space and time.
  • Water is about organic life and emotions.
  • Earth is the manifestation of matter.

Earth is in the bones—it's what makes things solid and gives you shelter. Stars are built from the element of fire, while planets are built from air or earth. You need the rock and the ground below to establish yourself. We don't build homes on the water, in the volcano, or in the air . . . unless we have some very powerful innovative skills.

Getting in touch with earth energy on a physical level means you're focused on gaining strength and being in tune with your weight. Fire is all about cardio, air is about expression and stretching limbs, and water is about flow. Earth knows that you must work against an object in order to gain muscle. Without resistance, strength cannot form. Whether lifting weights or doing moves to build strength (e.g., planks, squats), earth understands the need to overcome resistance to grow.

Earth came into the universe to give us purpose. It gives us a place to have our lives, and it is through earth we gain meaning. We gain structure, organization, and even family. Earth signs tend to be big providers because they are excellent managers of resources.

It Takes Time for Earthquakes

Earth moves slowly. For example, it takes a long time for continents to move, and earthquakes build over time. As pressure builds under the earth, disasters such as volcanic eruptions or tsunamis can be the long-term result.

Earthquakes are one of the ways in which the planet shows us that it has power over us, and we have to respect that. Earthquakes have the power to bend buildings, buckle roads, and destroy structures. If we want to better understand the planet, we need to understand tectonic plates. The earth and the layers we see with the naked eye protect something very precious for this planet—its core.

Earth is something that needs to be respected. It is the soil in which flowers can grow, and the trees we rely on for oxygen come from the ground. The earth and its varied landscapes give us places to explore, to travel to, and to enjoy. The minerals of the land become our food. Earth gives us what we need. It provides the sounds of nature, the smells of flowers, the taste of nourishment, the sights that heal, and the ground for our footsteps.

Earth is often where we go in the end, whether we are turned into dust or buried in the ground. One way or another we return to dust, and our bones return to the ground. The earth is what can embrace us.

Earth Grounds Us in Our Physical Reality

So, how do we come in better touch with our earth energy?

Western astrology shows through the signs that earth belongs to the throat and the voice, the neck, the chest, and the legs.

Taurus is the master of the voice, which allows for distinction through the use of words. Virgo is the master of the chest, an area that carries the shoulders and is meant for strength. Capricorn is the master of the legs, giving the body power and stealth. Those with a lot of Capricorn energy in their natal chart can make for strong runners.

These three relative areas of the body are highly focalized. They also respond to fire energy. Fire is desire, and earth manifests desire into physical reality. Where fire leads, earth follows and organizes. For example, what happens in the mind (Aries), gets translated and sent out the throat and mouth. What happens in the heart (Leo), gets translated and sent out to the chest and made manifest through deeds. Where the thighs (Sagittarius) lead, the legs must follow.

Wind and water also work this way. Wind is thought and water is emotion. Where air leads water follows. Air is governed by the shoulders and arms (Gemini) and fully manifested in the hands (Cancer). Air is in the kidneys and gut (Libra). This is where many of our intuitions and passions first develop before they manifest at the bottom of the spine (Scorpio). Aquarius—in all its strangeness—governs the ankles, while Pisces as the feet orders Aquarian steps.

All the elements work together and all are needed. Reality wouldn't work if one of the elements didn't exist—we can't live without fire, earth, air, or water. All four elements must work together. All four of these elements also need different degrees of interaction in order to properly function. There needs to be a beginning, middle, and end—cardinal, fixed, and mutable.

Can You Imagine a World Without Earth?

It would be a body-less place. There would be no ground. There would be no soil. Our planet that we love and live on would deform into one of the gas planets. We would be but light and air. Earth is what slows things down in the universe. Earth literally slows down time and space to allow for matter to take form. We need cohesion, and that's what earth gives us.

Earth's ruling planets are Venus, Mercury, and Saturn. These three planets are shared by other elements. Taurus and Libra fall under Venus; Virgo and Gemini share Mercury; and Capricorn and Aquarius share Saturn. Notice anything here? Earth and air share ruling planets. Even though these are opposing forces, they do share commonalities. They are part of a spectrum—earth in its solid force moves to air in all its liquidity and fluidity.

Water and fire are ruled by other planets, but they don't share as generously as earth and air do with each other. The moon only belongs to Cancer. The sun only belongs to Leo. I personally like to see Cancer as the pregnant woman who gives birth to the Zodiac and whose husband is Leo. Aries, Taurus, and Gemini would be her children.

Feng Shui and Yin and Yang

Let's switch over to Eastern traditions about earth. Earth is a celebrated element in feng shui and is welcome in the southwest, northeast, west, northwest, and the center.

Crystals and Stones

For more earth energy in your home, it's encouraged to have bowls of crystals or other minerals throughout the house. I have a jar of rocks I found in Ireland that I like to put on my desk. Sometimes I like to use them to help me make decisions, to visualize what I'm doing, or to keep track of something with numbers. It's nice to hold something in your hand and grip it. It's nice to hold a rock and remember its origin. You can't hold onto the other elements this way.

Lamps and Decorations

Himalayan salt lamps and candle holders can also help purify your air. When salt rock is heated, it naturally ionizes the air. You could also add figurines to your home that were created out of minerals or rocks. Avoid plastic, and add more natural elements—such as wood and earth—to your home.

Wall and Floor Decorations

To invite earth energy in to your home, you can also paint your rooms in earth tones. These include greens, browns, sandy shades, creams, beiges, grays, and burnt reds and oranges. Add some landscape paintings or similar items to the house. Earth is about creating a shelter that also respects nature, and it encourages creating structures that are in harmony with landscapes. Also, pick rugs and tapestries with natural fibers.

In the Kitchen

Add more foods into your home that are organic (e.g., wheat, oats, and fiber), and get rid of preservatives and other items that cancel out natural qualities in your foods. Keep earth-based items together (e.g., bread, dry ingredients, and fibers). Fruits and vegetables are water-based, so you have to keep them in different spots from your earth-based foods.

Read up on feng shui to determine what is the best way to organize your home and to become more aware of the elements. Some elements work really well together in feng shui, while others cancel each other out or lead to disaster. For example, you don't want a lot of fire and wood in one room for obvious reasons. Yin and yang need to flow together in harmony. Earth is a yin-based energy, which is associated with water, coolness, darkness, the moon, shadows, and femininity.

Exercises to Better Command Earth Energy

Earth energy is all about strength. If you want to gain some earth in your body, focus on a fiber-rich diet. You can gain strength whether you have a gym membership, your own personal gym, or no exercise equipment at all. Here are some strength-building exercises you can try:

  • Squats
  • Ab crunches and sit-ups
  • Yoga warrior poses
  • Balance exercises (e.g., lifting one leg while standing on the other)
  • Lift household objects and slowly increase the weight
  • Push-ups
  • Handstands

You can download apps that can help you find an exercise routine that works for you. There are also plenty of strength training videos on YouTube for free. Earth energy gives you power and this energy is best harnessed through workouts that focus on your legs and your chest. Lifting will help strengthen your neck, arms, and chest.

Easy Ways to Invite Earth Energy Into Your Body

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Walk 10,000+ steps a day.
  • Do household chores (e.g., move/organize items).
  • Carry and lift objects.
  • Move around furniture.
  • Slowly add more weight to your exercise routines.
  • Try challenging baking recipes and don't use a mixer. Use only your hands to knead and a spoon to stir. This will get you moving, especially if using sourdough. Bread making is good for earth element types.

Be Active Outdoors

If possible, exercise outside in nature. It's good to be around rocks and to get into the mud. If willing, you should try rock climbing as this will take you directly into your element and help build strength. Developing muscles is a slow and steady process, but it can protect you from a variety of illnesses and is an excellent future investment. Here are some ways to build your strength outside:

  • Run in fields.
  • Hike through the wilderness.
  • Jump along stones.
  • Climb the peaks.
  • Stretch in the mud.
  • Dance among the flowers.
  • Camp in the woods.
  • Creep into caves.
  • Walk gingerly along narrow paths.

To have a better sense of your earth element, you need to treat your body well. Get enough sleep each night. Eat natural foods and avoid a lot of preservatives.

Getting the right amount of earth energy will help you find a healthy weight. When you get overweight, you might start carrying too much earth and too much water. On the other hand, when you're underweight, you have too much air energy and not enough earth energy.

Getting outdoors is essential for earth signs.

Getting outdoors is essential for earth signs.

Earth Elements in the Zodiac

Earth energy influences Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn in different ways.


Taurus is the second sign of the Zodiac and is known as the bull. This sign will charge straight into whatever is their target. Taurus is born into the world to work hard. This is the sign that maintains the Garden of Eden and keeps it running for others to enjoy. Taurus is about hard work, beauty, enjoying the five senses, and putting in practical, gradual work. The ambition of Taurus is in part due to its need to compete against Aries, the first born of the Zodiac. Taurus energy works in tandem with Aries. The second-born wants to be appreciated, seen, and understood. Where Aries leads into battle, Taurus follows and finishes the fight. Taurus picks up the pieces where Aries left things behind.

Taurus is governed by spring and is the fixed sign of the earth element. This makes it more stubborn, which is impressive considering earth signs are already stubborn. Taurus believes that if you want there to be flowers, then you need to put work into the soil to make it happen. Aries comes into the world like a powerful and exciting gale that spreads the seeds. Taurus then follows with its meticulous focus and takes the time to directly plant those seeds.

Taurus cares about its resources and wants to make sure they have a good financial footing. All earth signs are somewhat conservative and less impulsive—they stick to tried and true paths. Taurus is guided by Venus, which allows it to enjoy beauty and love a little more than the other two earth signs. Taurus, comparatively, is more concerned about romance, affection, and finding a partner or soulmate. There is a lot to Adam from the Bible that fits the bill for a Taurus personality. Adam was instructed to name all the animals, which is an example of a Taurus giving definition to things through the use of the voice. He also organized the garden and yearned for someone to be with him.

Adam was also gullible. He was easily lead out of his work and out of the garden. Taurus needs to be careful as they too can be gullible. They can be manipulated and led away from their beauty.

Taurus takes it very hard when things fall apart. Spring energy signs tend to have a hard time with conflict because they live in such a beautiful part of the year. These signs tend to have a more youthful and vibrant side to them, and they can be a little immature and impulsive. Indeed, the raging bull aspect of Taurus is fairly narrow-headed, impulsive, and energetic. They're not really focused on death or existential crises—they're too busy living.


Virgo is the sixth zodiac sign (after Leo and before Libra) and is a highly cerebral sign. Virgo is associated with scholarly attributes, hard work, perfectionism, logic, and proficiency. Virgo is the studious one who will work until it has accomplished its task. Where Taurus is often a sign that pairs up with someone, Virgo is often found to be single or independent.

Virgo is one of the most mysterious signs of all. This is someone who doesn't want to act like the signs that came into the world before it, but who also doesn't have a good understanding of what is to come—this makes Virgo a special kind of loner.

Virgo puts a lot of its hard work and ambition into its mind. This is someone who wants to succeed and who wants people to treat each other with more respect. Virgo wants things to be perfect. This obsession is in part because Virgo is in a time of year when the weather is pretty perfect—they are born at the end of summer. Virgo also wants everything to have its place, to have its reason, and to be concrete. These are qualities it gets from Mercury's influence—Mercury is the planet of communication and mental energies, and Virgo shares this planet with Gemini.

Virgo is not someone to fight or argue with, and I don't recommend intentionally upsetting a Virgo. It's also good to be careful when approaching conflict with a Virgo because this sign can hold a grudge. The earth sign needs compassion, even if it's not really giving compassion to itself or others.

Virgo wants to be the best. This is someone who could be a fantastic lawyer, publisher, editor, journalist, politician, or technician if they apply themselves. Careers that require communication skills are great for those born with Mercury's influence. Virgo is also someone who thrives on detail and inventory. They make great researchers, which is why they become such well-known scholars. As the mutable earth sign, Virgo has a desire to wrap things up. It wants all the details done and it wants to see hard work paid off with results.

Virgo wants to work with practical items, and sometimes the abstract can annoy them. Virgo wants to apply themselves and see victory in their tasks. They won't let any relationship or person get in the way of their goals.

Virgo believes in good manners, chivalry, and respect. However, they may at times rebel against the rules or rebel against themselves. They believe in common decency, but they also like to retreat inwards and avoid others when they need to. Sometimes they lead themselves into depression out of an obsession with perfection. They isolate because they can't stand imperfect humans—sometimes other people cause chaos that can muddy the Virgo's deep need for perfection, logic, and order. You'll find Virgos taking on too much work, relentlessly taking on requests, and fighting for causes they believe in.


Capricorn is the tenth sign and appears at the beginning of winter. This sign is the hermit and cherishes its alone time. However, Capricorn also prioritizes family and wants to give to those it loves. It wants to make sure its family's needs are covered so they can all survive the harshness of winter.

Capricorn is the last of the earth elements in the zodiac, but it is the cardinal sign of the element. Every element has a position that takes place at the beginning, middle, and end of a season. Taurus is the middle of spring, Virgo is the end of summer, and Capricorn is the beginning of winter. No earth sign belongs to fall.

Capricorn is also a type of loner like Virgo, but again, more like a hermit. Capricorn is highly selective about the people it prioritizes, and usually it will focus on family and very close friends. Capricorn wants to give and provide for its family and to make sure it thinks ahead to future generations. This is someone who is conservative with their resources. They can sometimes be a bit of a hoarder, are often messier than their counterparts Taurus and Virgo, and they prize shelter.

Capricorn is the one who makes sure there is shelter for its family or unit. This person delegates responsibilities, and they have a more mature viewpoint than Taurus and Virgo. Capricorn knows it must provide and plan according to the reality of the world around them. This is because this sign in the Northern Hemisphere occurs during the darkest time of year. This sign gains strength from its focus on survival and gains intelligence from this perspective. Capricorn considers what it needs to ascertain for its own survival, the survival of its family, or the survival of humankind.

Capricorn isn't about perfection—it is about survival. Capricorn realizes that to have gotten this far in the zodiac cycle, it cannot just depend on luck. By the time Capricorn has arrived, people have come face to face with existentialism. People have considered their death. Taurus and Virgo are not hardened by this because they come earlier in the year. It is the last four elements of the Zodiac who ponder death after experiencing the change in Scorpio. Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces all have commentary on death, the afterlife, and how to live your life with the knowledge that all lives end in death.

Capricorn uses their awareness about death to access their practical side by focusing on how to make the most of life. This is someone who believes in family and who would bring their family into the afterlife with them. They believe having more people and more bodies is the answer to a surviving species. Capricorn is big on teaching practical subjects to their children, learning skills that could help you in the long term, and forming long-lasting bonds. Capricorns make for excellent parents if they so choose and also make for great spouses. They like long-term commitments.

Earth Qualities in Different Fields



Brass instruments

The sounds of the earth waking, the slow sounds of french horns, the sounds of triumph and an edge of ego in trumpets.


Venus, Mercury, Saturn

A little bit of love, communication, and strangeness. Earth signs get an abundance of excellent planet energy to incorporate into their lives.


Muted colors, greens, browns, reds, burnt orange, sandy shades

Earth rules colors found in landscapes. Think of the color of grass, mud, mountains, and deserts.

The Body

The throat, neck, chest, and legs

Earth is voice and giving meaning to what is around it. Consider Adam naming all the animals. The chest is about pride and strength. Legs will carry you to anywhere. Earth energy is about strength.


Pentacles / Coins

Earth spends its energy on practical, financial matters. Earth is focused on gaining money to provide for others and the slow climb of a career.


Breads, fibers, oats, flour, and wheat

Earth is about what is grown from the planet and the tones of those foods. Earth supports fruits and vegetables, but these have a high water content. Earth is about minerals.


Strength training

Rock climbing, squats, lifting weights.


Middle of spring, late summer, early winter

Earth energy looks for temperate weather that's not too hot nor too cold. It provides for flora. Spring is dominate for earth energy. Late summer is about harvest. Early winter is about conservation of materials.



The physical manifestation of reality.


Gradual geological shifts

At extreme: earthquakes and tectonic tension.



Interested in allocating resources less about leadership.


Cold-blooded creatures of the land

Lizards blend in with the land, they have earth tones. Warm-blooded creatures belong to fire.


Conservative, diligent, purposeful, careful, precise, and hard working

Driven by what is practical and grounded. Looks to what is sustainable rather than ideal.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Andrea Lawrence