Talking Fire, Talking Earth

by Jenny Yates

Four women are sitting in a café talking.  Let’s call them Fiona, Ella, Arianna and Wendy.  As they drink their
chai tea and eat their blueberry muffins, they are talking about 2012 and the possible end of the world.

Fiona flashes a big grin.   “Times of change are always exciting!  This is when we can really make a

Ella brushes some muffin crumbs off her lap, as she notes,  “I think we should start stockpiling batteries,
candles and that sort of thing.  I remember doing this for Y2K, and nothing happened, but it’s better to be
safe than sorry.”

Arianna waves at somebody across the room, and then turns back to the conversation.   “I’ve been
gathering information from lots of different websites, trying to find out what’s going to happen.  When I get a
minute, I’ll send all of you the links.”

Wendy shifts her gaze from one woman to the next.  She says,  “Whatever happens, the main thing is to
support each other through it.”

These four women are illustrating the four different communication modalities. Fiona is talking Fire, Ella is
talking Earth, Arianna is talking Air, and Wendy is talking Water.  Whenever we speak, we embody a
particular element, and we draw on its authority.   This is our mother tongue, our natural form of

Each of the elements constitutes a mirror in which we recognize ourselves, and through which we animate
the world around us.  But a person who lives in a world of Fire does not always find it easy to communicate
with one who lives in a world of Water, and vice versa.  

Which modality is most natural for us?  This is mostly shown by the sign our Mercuries occupy, as this
indicates the way we frame the world around us, and the kind of information we gather.   The sun-sign is
also important;  it indicates our conscious aims in life.   And the rising sign is important, since it’s a strong
stylistic influence for all of us.  

Talking Fire

When Fire talks, everybody is inspired.  Fire talking is a flame licking at your mind.  It creates new
possibilities.  It creates hope, and then pushes you towards it.  It opens doors into the unknown.

The main urge of Fire is to create, and, in doing so, to leave its mark upon the world.  When you talk Fire,
you generally impress the hell out of everybody around you.  They catch your spirit, your daring, your
boldness, and they want to follow wherever you go.  There is nothing at all boring about talking Fire.  

Fire has an enormous, ambitious imagination. When you talk Fire, you mesmerize people with your creative
spirit.  Your voice takes on an intense, hypnotic rhythm.  Children especially love to hear someone talking
Fire, because Fire makes everything larger, stronger, and more exciting.   Heroes talk Fire.  

Talking Earth

Earth’s forte is common sense.  And Earth speaks with the voice of the senses.  When you talk Earth, you
may be talking about the beauty in an old person’s wrinkles, or the softness of a baby’s skin.  It’s there in
front of you, but it takes Earth to point it out.  When Earth speaks, everybody who hears enters into the
present moment.

Sometimes Earth talking makes you feel good.  Earth has a wonderful eye for beauty – not just visual
beauty, but beauty in sound and smell and taste and touch.  Everything becomes richer and more
substantial under the influence of Earth.  

But Earth talking can also bring people down, at times when they’re flying high on some kind of exciting trip.  
When you talk Earth, you say things like, “Yeah, but how do you expect to do that?”, and “Do you have the
resources for that?”, and “Do you have the tools?”, and “Do you know how?”

Of course, if you’re an Earth talker, you also have the answers, most of the time.  “Yep, I’ve got a 2-by-4
that’ll wedge right in there and hoist the whole thing up.” Or “Aunt Sally will probably give you a loan.”
Sometimes everybody has to wait while Earth mulls the whole thing over and comes up with a considered,
pragmatic opinion which just might fix the problem.

Talking Air

Air is the element of communication, and Air talkers are masters of the art, able to talk rings around
everyone else.  An Air talker is like a magician who can produce gossip from your left pocket, trivia from
your right pocket, and theories from under your nose, without anybody having any idea where all of this
stuff comes from.

Air talkers have no trouble with endurance.  They can talk all day.  They are equally comfortable face to
face, on the phone, or via e-mail.  In general, they like communication to be fast, easy and abundant, so the
technological revolution is perfect for them.  Appreciating a world of paper, they can move right along to the
computer screen and the smart phone.

When you talk Air, you are talking in abstractions.  You are taking in all the information that crowds your
brain, and passing it out again, mixed together in a new way.  You love to ask questions, to solicit more
information, more opinions.  Your goal is knowledge, and it doesn’t have to be pure and simple.  It can be
endlessly complex and convoluted!

Talking Air generally brings lots of friends and companions your way.  Everybody loves to find out what
everybody else is thinking, feeling or doing.  And you’re one person who generally has the time to talk, and
to keep other people informed and amused.  

Talking Water

Water is soft, deep and gentle.  When you talk Water, you’re talking about feelings.  When someone says,
“Yes, I understand,” then they’re talking water.

Water doesn’t just speak with words.  Words are nothing without that tender, sympathetic look in the eyes.  
And then there’s touch, sometimes just a simple brushing of the fingers against an arm.  The important thing
is that the space between two people is bridged.  The barriers fade away.  

When barriers dissolve between you and others, you’re talking Water.  You find it easy to feel what the
other person is feeling, and you often unconsciously imitate their body language.  The two of you become
one.  The other person feels nurtured, comforted, loved unconditionally.

Whenever you discuss emotional realms, you’re talking Water.   When you sit around and discuss the way
Lorna left her lover and took the cat, you’re talking Water.  This is not an abstract topic for you.  You know
Lorna, and you’ve met the cat, or you’ve at least heard a lot about them.  And you’ve felt everything that
Lorna’s felt, at one time or another, and so has the person you’re talking to.  You can bond sympathetically
with your listener and with your subject;  you are all connected to the universal experiences of love, grief,
abandonment, and change.

Talking about 2012

Is the world coming to an end in 2012?  Nope, I don’t think so.  But there is a major astrological aspect, one
that doesn’t come along every day:  the Uranus/Pluto square.  And it’s not just happening in 2012, but
rather, it lasts through 2015.  

So I don’t think the world’s coming to an end in 2012, because if it did, we wouldn’t find out where this
aspect is going to take us!  How anti-climactic would that be?  (I’m talking Fire here.)

Of course, since our way of life is going to change, we might want to think about the basics – what we need,
what we don’t need.  (I’m talking Earth now.)  It’s easier to do this if we can keep sharing information, keep
writing and reading and spreading the ideas of this changing age.  (Now I’m talking Air.)  And of course, the
bottom line is always love, our love for each other and for our community.  (And here, I’m talking Water.)

Let the energy fill you, stay safe, spread the word, and – hey, come here, girl, give me a hug!  


first published in Womyn's Words
August 2012

What’s your usual communication modality?  What sign do
your sun, Mercury and ascendant occupy?

If you don’t know,
go to  
a free birthchart,
or  email me at
& I’ll look it up for you.

Here is the breakdown of elements:

Fire:  Aries, Leo or Sagittarius
Earth:  Taurus, Virgo or Capricorn
Air:  Gemini, Libra or Aquarius
Water:  Cancer, Scorpio or Pisces

For more about the Uranus/Pluto
square, read
my essay on Lesbian