Meet Earth Signs: the Practical, Ambitious, and Super-Materialistic Element of the Zodiac

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I am the most aggressively Taurus of all Taurus bulls, and even though I'd never describe myself using the adjective "earthy," I do enjoy the distinction of being one of the zodiac's Earth signs. It's a great, strong-headed element with which to identify.

But before diving right in to explain what are the Earth signs in the first place and what being one might mean, first, a primer on the zodiac sign elements: Elements, or triplicities, help determine someone's basic temperament, whereas quadruplicates, or modes, more so refer to how each sign directs its energy behaviorally. There are four elements—water, fire, air, and Earth—and each include three zodiac signs, hence triplicity. Each element is known for a certain group of traits, but, like with every other astrological quality, each also includes some certain less-than-cute qualities that need to be energetically balanced. Let's dive more into what this means for Earth signs:

So, what are the Earth signs, good and bad traits, included?

As previously mentioned by yours truly, Taurus is an Earth sign—the one with a fixed modality— followed by Virgo with a mutable modality, and Capricorn with a cardinal modality. The takeaway here is that all Earth signs handle things differently behaviorally (my fixed modality, for instance, means that I hate endings and changing), we're nonetheless connected by a similar personality temperament.

Earth signs are known for being pretty in touch with practicality. That said, there's one area where they often go overboard. "Earth signs usually seek material comforts, success, and status above all," says Carolyne Faulkner, astrologer and author of The Signs. "They are practical, driven, and tenacious, prone to become sad or obstructive if they don’t feel successful. This is the element of materialism, designed to execute plans and create order from chaos."

"Earth signs usually seek material comforts, success, and status above all. They are practical, driven, and tenacious, prone to become sad or obstructive if they don’t feel successful." —Carolyne Faulkner, astrologer 

And, as the owner of a glitter record player, gilded bar cart, and skin-care refrigerator, I can't lie and say I know nothing about materialism. Yet, per Faulkner's take, the materialism of Earth signs is often a manifestation of their drive to appear accomplished (which is, IMHO, less egregious than plain-old "just because" materialism). And while there's nothing wrong with being ambitious, there is an icky superficiality connected to using stuff as a vehicle to prove to others (but mostly to ourselves) how good we are, no matter how luxe and fancy and exciting that stuff is.

Before you worry too much about yourself or any of the Earth signs in your life, know that it's possible to dial down this unsavory bit: "Practice daily gratitude and acceptance," Faulkner says. "Partake in simple pleasures, like cooking, gardening, and reading."

By doing these acts, we can connect a bit more to the larger world and also learn to enjoy the smaller things. And no, not smaller things in the sense of objects—like diamonds—but like a beautiful sunny day on planet Earth.

Here's how to use your zodiac sign to optimize your nighttime routine. And, feel free to check out the zodiac wheel's biggest gossips (looking at you, Gemini).

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