Elemental Wisdom, Part 2—Air

Elemental Wisdom, Part 2—Air


Air people live in the realm of thoughts and ideas. They can be expressive but must also remember to move from their heads to their hearts.

The study of the four elements—Water, Air, Earth and Fire—can help you harvest astrology’s powerful ancient wisdom without needing to know the positions of each of your ten planets or the configuration of your unique natal chart. Air is Part II of our four-part series, in which you are guided to do an eye-opening internal inventory of the characteristics of each element within you and given tools to bring them into balance so you can experience more ease, peace, and joy in your life. We encourage you to read An Introduction to Elemental Wisdom and Elemental Wisdom, Part 1—Water to get the most out of this series.

When teaching about elemental wisdom, renowned astrologer and psychotherapist Debra Silverman starts with Water and then moves to Air—the element associated with Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. This progression is based on the fact that after spending nine months in the quiet safety of our mother’s womb, we emerge into this world and take our first breath.

“Air is everywhere. It has the ability to cross boundaries, and has always been shared by everyone,” explains Silverman. “People with Air personalities live in the realm of thoughts and ideas. They have curious minds and a powerful desire to understand the world and figure things out. They love to talk, write, read, and research.”

Where the Air Is Clear

Social butterflies who are great at meeting new people, Air personalities are loquacious and love to make connections. “The essence of Air urges you to investigate, ask the most important questions, and then find someone to talk to so you can share your ideas,” Silverman observes.

“They have the gift of being interested in pretty much anything that’s innovative, and they hold the ability to process a lot of information quickly and then to be the one to articulate it. They are teachers, writers, and gifted networkers.”

Enter the Smog

Unfortunately, Air is not always fresh and clean—sometimes our words are not well thought out or sourced from wisdom. The low road of Air manifests in gossip, superficiality, and becoming easily distracted.

[Read: “5 Core Practices for More Meaningful Conversations.”]

Air personalities don’t always know when to stop talking and can often interrupt, filling in other people’s sentences. They can be impatient, get bored easily, and need constant stimulation. “At worst, Air people are scattered, confused, and struggle when making decisions. They don’t know what they’re doing with their life, and can dabble in many things while never mastering one. At worst, they can’t stop thinking. Air people get stuck in their heads and their inner dialogue rarely gives them a moment of rest.”

Change is the Constant

Another characteristic of Air personalities is how easily they can change their course. Their minds go in many directions at the very same time. “Just like the wind, Air can be hard to contain or predict. Sometimes the wind can be as gentle as a summer breeze, while at other times the wind carries the force of a tornado.”

The energy of this element is that of fascination, curiosity, and spontaneity. “Change is Air’s constant, and variations on a theme its specialty,” says Silverman, noting the etymology of the term “airhead.” “Sometimes Air personalities may feel self-conscious about their fickle minds. Being codependent and seeking the approval of the other can be another one of their greatest challenges.”

Test Your Air Quality

A quick quiz, adapted from Silverman’s book, The Missing Element: Inspiring Compassion for the Human Condition, will help you determine if your Air element is weak or strong. Answer yes to statements that feel true for you at least 50 percent of the time, and answer no to those that are true less than half the time.

  1. I find words easily; others consider me talkative.
  2. I enjoy watching people and asking questions.
  3. I fill in or finish people’s sentences.
  4. I am curious about many different subjects.
  5. I love to read and learn.
  6. I can get bored easily, with people or routine.
  7. It is easy for me to remember numbers and details.
  8. I am easily distracted by external stimuli.
  9. I change plans/directions easily.
  10. Harmony is essential, even if the cost is high.

If you answered no to five or more statements above, you likely need to cultivate more of this element in order to communicate better, clearly articulate your thoughts, and make healthy, long-term connections with other people so that you don’t suffer from silent loneliness.

Silverman advises people who are low on Air to make a practice of asking more questions, to “air” their thoughts through journaling, listen closely to other people’s stories, join a book club or discussion group, and consider taking a class like Toastmasters to get comfortable with public speaking.

[Read: “Does Self-Expression Flip Your Struggle Switch?”]

If you answered yes to seven or more, you are an Air personality. You can reflect on the ways this element presents itself in you and work to grow the healthiest energies of the element.

Leave Your Mind, Head to Your Heart

To help cultivate healthy Air, try looking within as you ponder the following questions:

  • What am I confused about?
  • How honestly do I express my truths, thoughts, and feelings?
  • What is important to me that I have left unsaid? Do I lie by omission?
  • What are the core beliefs and stories I repetitively tell myself? Are they serving me?
  • Does my mind habitually gather evidence to prove and justify my stories?
  • What words do I use to describe myself? Which of them come from my inner critic?
  • How are my thoughts imprisoning me and pigeonholing the people in my life?
  • Do I feel freedom to think for myself, or am I too focused on people pleasing?
  • Do I know when to stop talking and deeply listen?
  • Do I use my words to bless and heal rather than puncture and hurt?
  • Do I speak from my heart? Am I willing to have hard but necessary conversations?

Silverman stresses the importance of meditation, however it can be difficult for an Air personality to settle down. “Cultivate your ability to watch your busy mind. It may not be easy to get your internal dialogue to stop, but that is not the goal. The goal is simply to have your Observer on, get comfortable being who you naturally are, and to treat yourself with compassion.”

[Read: “Strategies for Overcoming Resistance and Distractions in Meditation.”]

She recommends evening walks as an awareness exercise at the end of the day or taking a few deep breaths every hour, focusing on the rhythmic pattern of your breathing. “It will help you get out of your head and return to the here and now.”

Silverman urges Air people to avoid using their minds and intellect as a distraction from their pain and vulnerability. “Too much Air and you run the risk of overvaluing the mind with little connection to your heart and gut. Although Air moves freely, many Air people live as if there is an imaginary line drawn just above their shoulders—they live in their heads instead of venturing down to their hearts. Air can connect us or separate us. We must all learn to use our words to foster peace, not wage war.”

Enjoy Debra Silverman’s short guided meditation to help ground your Air energy:

In case you missed it, read the series intro, “Astrology Studies: Elemental Wisdom Introduction.” Next up: Earth!

Elemental wisdom of air

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