Air is the element of thought and communication. It is the most malleable of elements. It is in us, around us, and through us. In Classical and Traditional philosophy, Air was considered the highest of the elements. It is through Air that we are able to understand the Divine.
Air is the fuel for Fire and permeates both Earth and Water. Air allows life to breathe and protects us from outside threats. When not in motion, Air is difficult to see or detect. The Chinese character for what is known as Air in the West is 風, which is Wind, or moving Air.
Air is lightweight, but it is also quite strong. The storms produced by Air are powerful, and Air can cause storms to rage among all of the other elements as well. Thoughts and words are governed by Air, and these have the capacity to do great good or great harm.
Traits of Air
Air is friendly and sociable. More than any other element, Air enjoys being with people. Air can understand all of the other elements and enjoys a variety of personalities, thoughts, and opinions. All Air Signs enjoy parties with people from all walks of life.
Air is cerebral rather than emotional and values rationality over passion. Airy people are talkative and inventive. Air analyzes everything and never loses interest in intellectual pursuits. It is endlessly curious and loves to learn new things. That being said, Air is generally more interested in theory and philosophy than in practical matters.
Those lacking in Air may have difficulty with imagination and trouble communicating their thoughts and ideas.
Nurturing and Managing Air
More than anything else, Air needs intellectual stimulation. If an Airy person finds herself in a job or a situation that does not require her to think very much, she must find a hobby or pastime that does. Luckily, we live in a time in which the Internet is filled with information and with classes and courses, so it is easy to find ways to learn new things.
Air also needs freedom. Air will suffocate if confined. Air often has difficulty with routines and schedules, finding them quite limiting. In relationships, Airy people will need some space in order to pursue their own interests.
Finally, Air needs social engagement. Of all of the signs, Air has the most trouble with being alone. Air also has trouble if social contact is limited to only a few people. It thrives in large group situations. Air is the element that enjoys social media the most, and in modern times, it can be a lifeline when other forms of contact are difficult or impossible.
Air in Astrology
Each of the elements is ruled by a team of planets, known as triplicity rulers. I use the Dorothean system, and in that system, the day ruler of Air is Saturn, the night ruler is Mercury, and the participating ruler is Jupiter. For day charts, the order of precedence is Saturn, Mercury, and Jupiter, and for night charts, Mercury, Saturn, and Jupiter. All three of these planets have dignity in all of the Air Signs.
The Air signs are as follows:
Gemini is the flightiest of the Air Signs. Gemini is always seeking new and interesting experiences and ideas. For Gemini, the worst fate imaginable is boredom. Like all Air Signs, Gemini loves parties with many diverse people. At such a party, Gemini would talk to everyone. Because Gemini knows a little about a lot of different things, she would be able to carry on an intelligent conversation with everyone in the room about their field of interest or specialty.
Gemini is ruled by Mercury and exalts the North Node. Jupiter is in detriment in Gemini and the South Node is in Fall.
Libra is the most charming of the Air Signs. For Libra, harmony and good manners are more important than any other consideration. Libra is famous for her indirect communication style. Libra can see all sides of every issue, so is sometimes seen as indecisive. When something is important to her, however, she can be surprisingly forceful. In the hypothetical Air party with lots of different people, Libra will be the hostess and will expect everyone to like each other and get along.
Libra is ruled by Venus and exalts Saturn. Mars is in detriment in Libra, and the Sun is in Fall.
Aquarius is the most aloof of the Air Signs. She enjoys the company of others as much as all of the Air Signs, but she tends to hold back and listen rather than talk. She has her own ideas about everything and eschews convention. At the hypothetical Air party described above, Aquarius will sit off to the side and wait for people to come to her. She will listen to various ideas and opinions politely and with genuine interest. Despite her interest in what others have to say, she will almost never change her own opinion based on that.
Aquarius is ruled by Saturn and does not exalt any planet. The Sun is in detriment in Aquarius and no planet is in Fall.