Elemental Wisdom Part 3—Earth

Elemental Wisdom Part 3—Earth

Earth to Earth people: Give yourself a break!

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. Earth is Part III of our four-part series, in which you are guided to do an internal inventory of the characteristics of each element within you and are 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, followed by Water and Air, to get the most out of this series.

After we grow inside the warm safety of our mother’s womb for nine months (Water), then emerge to take our first breaths (Air), we arrive in the physical realm of this planet and our family: Earth. Earth is the element associated with the zodiac signs Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn and is very focused on practicality—having our feet firmly planted on the ground.

Getting Down to Earth

According to master astrologer and psychotherapist Debra Silverman, “Earth is about the material world—the part of us that is down-to-earth, wants results, and needs to know how long the project is going to take and what it will cost. Serious and ambitious, Earth people are well suited for tasks that require a strong degree of concentration and focus. They work hard and methodically through each step of a project, devoted to staying with the job until it’s done, and done well. Earth people often get labeled as perfectionists, but I see them more as artists of details.”

[Read: “Clean Your House and Your Mind Will Follow.”]

Although Earth personalities love planning, organizing, and getting things done (they are the people who are flooded with joy when they’ve cleaned out their closets or crossed off everything on their to-list), they also appreciate creature comforts, the sensual aspects of life, and being in nature. Dependable, grounded, steady and with great integrity, Earth personalities are deeply devoted to the people in their lives. “Just like Mother Earth who is always fertile, Earth’s generous nature is to be constantly giving and nurturing.”

Test Your Earth Element

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

  1. Others consider me to be practical and grounded.
  2. Cleaning or organizing makes me feel good.
  3. I am thorough and deliberate when I work.
  4. I love to eat and am sensitive to tastes and smells.
  5. Saving money is important to me.
  6. I prefer to be in control.
  7. Being in nature is essential for me.
  8. I am goal-oriented and I get results.
  9. People can rely on me and consider me dependable.
  10. I am slow to change.
Debra Silverman

Cultivating Your Core

If you answered no to five or more statements above, your Earth energy is likely low, and you may lack sufficient practicality, focus, and follow-through. Silverman’s suggestions to cultivate more Earth include paying close attention to the details of your finances, making and savoring at least one home-cooked meal every week, offering to do a favor for a friend or neighbor, making sure there is regularity in your routine, and embarking on a consistent spiritual practice.

[Read: “3 Tips for Building a Meditation Habit.”]

If you answered yes to seven or more, you have an Earth personality, which means you can benefit from becoming aware of how the low road of Earth manifests. This includes being stubborn or stingy, habitually reverting to fear and worry, being critical of yourself and others, and setting unreasonably high standards and expectations. “Many Earth people are workaholics who push themselves too hard, living more in service of achievement than happiness.”

According to Silverman, a great example of the high road of Earth is someone who “whistles as they work”—accomplishing the mundane activities of day-to-day life with joy instead of complaints. Another example is feeling kindly and accepting of others without judging them for not being like us.

Because Earth personalities often have harsh and self-critical internal dialogues, Silverman urges them to look inside to uncover the areas where their attachment to security and practicality are trapping them. “Ponder the following questions from the perspective of your inner observer—the part of you that can bear impartial and compassionate witness—instead of through the eyes of your inner critic.”

  • Do I frequently tell myself that I have not done enough or done my best?
  • Do I often feel exhausted or overworked because I reflectively take on the burden of whatever needs to get done?
  • Am I overly worried about finances or material security?
  • Is the bar I set for success unreasonably high? Am I chasing a finish line that keeps moving out of my reach?
  • Am I able to accept the natural ebbs and flows of life and allow change to be easy?
  • Am I able to serve others while serving myself? Do I neglect my body and emotional needs?
  • Am I able to enjoy life in present time, or do I focus on the end result at the expense of savoring the journey?
  • Do I make fun and relaxation a priority?
  • Can I laugh at my need to be in control and in charge?
  • Am I comfortable receiving instead of giving?

“When your Earth element is healthy,” Silverman says, “You can relax, play, and be spontaneous instead of telling everyone else what they need to do. You also know the importance of rolling with the punches when things don’t happen according to plan.”

She notes that Earth personalities need to learn that contentment, peace, and trust are even more important than reaching all the high goals they’ve set. “When you begin to find fulfillment from simple pleasures, without using the outer world as a measuring stick, you will discover a wonderful new calm. But change is hard for Earth people. One gentle way to help release old patterns is to consciously give yourself permission to stop trying so hard.”

Permission Mantras

Silverman advises Earth people to try the following “permission mantras” on for size, and regularly use the ones they need the most:

  • Right at this moment, there is nowhere I need to go and nothing I need to do.
  • It’s okay to take risks, even if I fail.
  • It’s okay to slow down. I will relax and enjoy myself instead of focusing on what’s not being done.
  • My standards are high. It’s okay for me to lower them sometimes.
  • I can bask in my accomplishments, and see my tasks as joys rather than burdens.
  • I can accept uncomfortable feelings and situations, knowing that it is not my job to fix every problem.
  • It’s okay to ask for help—to receive from others, not just give.
  • I allow myself to truly savor my food and embrace sensual pleasures.
  • It’s more important to go outside and play than to make the beds or wash the dishes.

Silverman stresses how essential it is for Earth people to take walks in nature, smell the flowers, and appreciate the sunsets. “Never be too busy to notice Mother Earth’s beauty.” She also assures us, “Once an Earth person learns to be less attached to results and more focused on enjoying the journey, they can relax, slow down, and trust their life. But acknowledging the invisible realms can be a stretch for many Earth people. Buddha was an Earth sign, and his gift to us was all about non-attachment—probably the most important of Earth’s lessons.”

Now relax with Debra Silverman’s 5-minute Earth meditation. It will help you feel grounded, access trust, and release your burdens:

In case you missed them, read the series intro, “Astrology Studies: Elemental Wisdom Introduction,” Part 1: Water, and Part 2: Air. Next up: Fire!

Layers Of The Earth

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