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Earth, Wind, Fire ... and Love?

How The Elements Affect Our Relationships

By Natasha Burton

We chatted with holistic doctor and astrologer Dr. Craig Martin, the author of Elemental Love Styles: Find Compatibility and Create a Lasting Relationship, which explains how the four elements — earth, wind, fire and water — relate to our personalities and desires. Dr. Craig explains that we frequently use the elements to describe people's characteristics with phrases like "stick in the mud" or "air head" or by saying someone is, for example, "full of hot air." Here, he reveals why the elements are so important and how we can best use them to improve our love lives.

Why look at the elements?

The elements provide simple definitions for people looking to improve their understanding of themselves, their partners and their partner choices. They also provide insight on how to make things work out more easily in relationships and can make the work of relationships less of a chore. Our elemental style actually describes the way we approach life: It can give us a real framework from which we can see our strengths and challenges. It's a good start on the instruction manual for life that everyone wishes they had.

How do the elements relate to the zodiac signs?

The natural elements can help to define the zodiac signs, and there are three signs for each element: Fire is Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius; Air is Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius; Water is Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces; and Earth is Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. When finding your elemental style, it's important to go beyond the zodiac sign [to take a] slightly deeper look at your personality and how you make choices. For example, just looking at someone's career might not give a complete picture of who they are as a person. The same holds true for our astrology sign: It just doesn't give enough information for us to completely figure out who we are. Our elemental style can. The elements connect with the zodiac to help define each sign, but they stand alone as basic concepts in the world around us. They can be used to describe a quality of being: Fire is creative; Air is thought; Water is emotion; and Earth is substance. In turn, enthusiasm is Fire (creative); love is Water (an emotion); humor is Air (thought); and money is Earth (substance).

How can knowing ourselves help our relationships?

All good communication begins with knowing yourself. If you know yourself — what you need and what you bring to the table in a relationship — you can express that knowledge and self-awareness. You can also get in touch with what would make you truly happy. Self-awareness helps deepen existing connections, by increasing our capacity for intimacy — that sense of honesty and openness between two people.

How did you decide to study the elements?

As a holistic doctor, interfaith minister and astrologer, I see the elements as the building blocks of creativity and manifestation. My insight into connecting them to personality developed from my studies and my private practice — the process was probably a lifetime of integrating cultural and spiritual study, travel, formal education and personal experience. Basic personality characteristics of the elements are not new: What's new is my determination of how each element loves differently, and also how each elemental style has a different kind of work to do in their relationships. Those insights came from pondering the numerous couples I've worked with and comparing their relationship dilemmas to my knowledge of their personalities.

Why is it important to understand our elemental side?

The natural world is important because we are a part of it. When people divorce themselves from the world around them, they lose the opportunity to see a perfect reflection of their struggles in nature. The cosmic concepts of life are really quite simple: They are developed from observing life and realizing what a great teacher we have right in front of us.

What do you think is the key for a successful relationship?

Honest communication and having an understanding of what you expect from your partner and what they expect from you. Find the right partner, develop a more meaningful relationship and feel comfortable with the process of intimacy. It takes time, [but] it will be worth the wait.

Want to know your elemental love style? Take Dr. Craig's quiz, here.

SHOP NOW: Elemental Love Styles by Dr. Craig Martin, $14

  • Courtesy of Beyond Words Publishing
Earth, Wind, Fire ... and Love?
How The Elements Affect Our Relationships
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