Air in the Natal Chart: Understanding the Four Elements in Astrology
Air: General Qualities and Associations
Suggestive of both dimly low atmospheres (aer) and the qualities of the atmosphere above the clouds (aether, often described as the fifth element), air is the element ascribed to the trigon of Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. In Plato’s Timeaus, air is represented by the octahedron, and considered to be both hot and wet. Likewise, in medieval astrology, heat and moisture, qualities of the sanguine temperament, are ascribed to the air element.
Air: Its Function and Expression
Air is the abstract (free from the material sphere’s solidity) quality of expansion, activity, and mutability. It is constant mobility, expressed through the exchange of oxygen for carbon dioxide through the breath’s inhalation and exhalation process. While we can use its properties through the vital breath, visualize its effects, and hear its audial patterns, air remains intangible. Because one cannot physically grasp air, it is deemed abstract. In visual art, for example, ‘negative space’ is the compositional constituent that allows the eye room to ‘navigate’ through a piece. In this manner, the air element is responsible for mobility: it allows ideas to wander and exchange in ample fluidity. Air is the intellect’s link to ideas and their articulation. Because of its constant mobility, once exchange is afforded, air proceeds to explore new concepts.
Air Equilibrium in the Natal Chart
Sufficient air in the natal chart affords the ability to analyze situations with clear objectivity and perception. It bestows the capacity to effectively articulate ideas through oratory and written formats. New concepts, however contrary to the native’s existing beliefs, can be assimilated for consideration, without irrational or defensive reactivity. Self-perception is seamlessly calibrated, since the native possesses the capacity for impersonal receptivity. Essentially, the air affinity is akin to the third-person perspective of a book’s narrative, or a bird’s eye view of a moving picture: impartial surveillance of any given scenario.
Air-Void in the Natal Chart
For the native, an air-void is challenging to distinguish when the remaining elements are heavily activated in the natal chart. In other words, experiencing life through the active/ dynamic (fire), emotive (water), and material (earth) spheres can conceal the subtlety of air. If we look to its qualities, as described in the beginning of this article, air’s abstract qualities easily dissolve, comparatively, against the remaining elements. Personal detachment is challenging, since the native’s experiences are consumed in immediacy.
Since the unifying properties of air are compromised, uncooperative behavior begets unsatisfactory partnerships, and hesitance surges when adjusting to new people, ideas, and insights. An amount of distrust and suspicion is applied to purely intellectual pursuits and people. In essence, the main air-void obstacle stems from the inability to objectively approach internal and external circumstances.
Excessive Air in the Natal Chart
An over-abundance of air in the natal chart can often result in a native who rejects the material world in favor of the imaginative realm. Essentially, the native is engulfed in the richness of the mind’s constructs, yet the over-active mind requires guidance and control. Excessive air, coupled with an earth-void, for example, can impede the actualization of accumulated ideas that require release from the mental confinement. In extreme circumstances, the inability to generate action without excessive thought can lead to the paralysis of will and psychological disarray. While the mind creates its own isolated world, one that can often lead to conceptual brilliance, impracticality and lack of material application can remove the native from any connection to the vital solidity of existence.
Physical Correspondences and Remediations
Air-voids are often linked to delicate nervous systems with psychosomatic manifestations. When ideas fail to be assimilated (mentally and emotionally), irrational reactions can surge. While the body’s response to inconceivable ideas can produce physical ailment and aggression, these reactions are intended to abolish threat. Physically, excessive air can lead to a highly activated and extremely sensitized nervous system. Consistent meditation and restful, recuperative retreats are necessary for replenishment and the prevention of cerebral exhaustion. Additionally, it is imperative to implement a change of scenery away from the quotidian in order to escape from systematic preoccupations, second thoughts, and interminable plans.
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