In astrology and many forms of metaphysics, the Air Element is associated with thought and thinking; in some eastern systems, it is considered as the force that moves energy, including mental and emotional energy, throughout the body.
The ancients considered air as a source of energy and movement; sailing vessels, a blacksmith's bellows and windmills are both examples of how the air stimulated some of the oldest technologies on earth.
Air was called an element because it is the closest representation of the primordial substance that the ancients called "dry." Anyone knows the importance of the air we breathe; many words for air mean the same thing as "spirit" or "life force", such as Prana or Qi (Chi).
Air, like thought, is intangible, and its value is known by what it moves, or how it can be utilized. It could be said that air is the carrier of ideas, and constantly strives to bring these ideas into manifestation somehow. In the human sphere, it manifests through technology, travel and communication.
For a long time, expressions have been used to distinguish between the practical and impractical by speaking in terms of the Air Element. Someone who is full of talk, but little action is called a "windbag." When one speaks angrily, they are said to be "blowing hot air" or "blowing off steam." In more recent times, someone who is impractical is called an "airhead", or is said to "have their head in the clouds."
Almost all communication is done through sound, and this sound is nothing more than vibrations carried by the air. In astrology, the Air Element is not only the conveyor of sound, but of information as well.
If a joke contains witty information but not much emotional content, it's called "dry humor." When one is strongly impressed by another, they've been "blown away." If plans have not been decided upon, they are said to be "up in the air."
Our vast communications and financial networks that carry the information that moves the world, and the entertainment that moves the emotions of millions is often called the "airwaves." A program on radio or television, when active, is said to be "on the air." If you're looking for a media event, you want to know what time it "airs."
Of course, communication is the core of all human relationships. The whole idea of "relating" has to do with being able to communicate easily on all levels, but the Air Element is far less tangible than water, and less connected to the feelings.
This can mean that people born under the Air Signs, Libra, Aquarius and Gemini, are often guilty of making statements or decisions that are perfectly logical, but disconnected from the feelings of others.
At the same time, our ability to "know" and to "understand" one another has to do with the Air Element. Someone who brings clarity and honesty into our lives is often called "a breath of fresh air."
It's the Air Element that causes relationships to be light and "breezy", which is often a source of happiness. But the Air Element can also bring uncertainty and changes, causing one person to feel that they don't know where the other is "coming from."
Air is the most mobile of elements; it's always moving from one place or point to another. It takes a lot to pin someone who has a predominance of the Air Element in their horoscope down to an opinion or a commitment.
To learn more about the Air Element and how it helps define the Zodiac signs, jump to the Air Signs.