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The Four Elements in Astrology, with Darby Costello

The Four Elements in Astrology, with Darby Costello

Episode 246 features a discussion with astrologer Darby Costello about the four elements in astrology, and the way their archetypal meanings are applied to the signs of the zodiac.

The four classical elements in the western tradition are: fire, air, water, and earth.

The concept of the four elements originated in the Greek tradition with the pre-Socratic philosophers, and especially Empedocles in the 5th century BCE, with additional contributions later by Plato and Aristotle.

The four elements have been applied to the triplicities since at least the 1st century BCE, and Chris published a paper in 2013 showing how the assignment of the elements to the signs of the zodiac was based on the planetary joys scheme.

Darby wrote two books on the elements, titled Water and Fire: The Astrological Elements Book 1, and Earth and Air: The Astrological Elements Book 2.

During the course of this episode we talk about how Darby got into astrology, the history and philosophy behind the elements, and how they are applied to the signs of the zodiac to create pairs of signs with antithetical elemental qualities.

For more information about Darby’s work visit her website:


This episode is available in both audio and video versions below.


Here are some timestamps for topics covered at different points in the episode:

00:00:00 Intro
00:00:43 Darby’s books
00:03:10 Darby’s background
00:14:10 Sources of the elements
00:20:49 Plato, elements, triplicities
00:30:50 Aristotle and natural place
00:34:56 Archetypal qualities
00:43:40 Hot, cold, wet, dry qualities
00:54:29 Water signs
01:02:17 Air and fire signs
01:18:15 Element imbalances
01:24:15 Cancer Capricorn
01:30:35 Virgo Pisces
01:39:30 Taurus Scorpio
01:57:26 Aries Libra
02:07:30 Closing remarks

Watch the Video Version of This Episode

Here is the video version of our discussion about the four elements:


A full transcript of this episode is available: Episode 246 transcript

Listen to the Audio Version of This Episode

You can either play the audio version of this episode of the podcast directly from the website or download it as an MP3 to your device by using the buttons below:

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