The Earth Element is associated with stability, practicality and protectiveness in all systems of astrology and metaphysics around the world. It is through the Earth Element that all things take form.
Water can freeze and become as solid as the earth, but without the application of tremendous forces, earth does not easily liquefy, although it can dissolve in water or be carried by the wind.
As its name implies, earth is the most dense and solid of all the primordial elements. The ancients equated the idea of "cold" with the solid substances of the earth, because it is the most resistant to fire. Stones have been used to store heat for untold thousands of years, but before the heat is applied by the Sun or by fire, they are basically cold by nature.
Although water can give us feelings about things, and air can give use ideas about them, and fire can make us passionate about doing things, nothing happens until we move the matters we are working with; until the Earth Element is brought into play.
All four elements work together to create action, but the action takes place through and upon the Earth Element. Earth is the practical side of our nature; to be "earthy" is to be "grounded." A reliable person is said to be "solid", and one who is trustworthy is called "the salt of the earth."
Many expressions refer to the earth as the repository or protector of the truth. A journalist may wish to "dig up the dirt" on someone, while a scientist or marketer may have their network people do some "data mining." A "cover-up" is often used to "bury an issue", until someone "uncovers the truth."
A wealthy person is said to have "substance"; "substantial" is often used as the opposite of superficial when referring to information. "Heavy" and "deep" are both popular metaphors for knowledge that is complex or vast in its content. In fact, the American slang expression for fully understanding something has been, for years, "can you dig it."
The Earth Element, when discussed in the context of relationships, has more to do with behavior than an actual quality of the inner life of the people involved. It's a little hard to explain, but let's say that the first word one should think of is commitment. Humorous expressions about marriage, such as wearing the ball and chain, express the solid and protective quality of the Earth Element.
People whose horoscopes are dominated by the Earth Signs, Capricorn, Taurus and Virgo, usually exhibit these traits of reliability and dependability. Earth-oriented people aren't usually demonstrative in their affections, and tend to show their feelings through their deeds rather than their words. Again, protectiveness is one of the chief traits of the Earth Element; it's where the idea of someone being another's "rock" comes from.
Yet the Earth Element isn't all about the serious side of relationships. If you consider that earth is the hardest to disturb of the four elements, you'll realize that all the other three have to go into action in order to "rock your world." When someone has made the "earth move under your feet", they have excited your passions, emotions and thoughts.
We talk about having a "gut feeling" about someone they have affected us on the level of the Earth Element. When two people feel physically affected by one another, it's usually because of a mutual Earth Element connection, and may result in things moving to "the next level."
To learn more about the Earth Element and how it helps define the Zodiac signs, jump to the Earth Signs