The planetary symbol for earth is a circle with a cross inside it. The circle symbolizes the earth itself. While the cross means various things and is open to interpretation. Some say it represents the four corners of the earth. Others say the four directions or maybe the four seasons or the four clans of mankind or the four virtues and so on and so forth.
While the circle is the most common shape associated with the earth, it is not a universal symbol for the earth. The Native American Ojibwa symbol of the earth element has a center circle, two horizontal lines and two vertical lines stretching out from the circle and figures in each section.
The circle represents earth in its infant form. The lines represent the four cosmic directions: north, south, east and west. The figures in each section symbolize the four great nations of mankind settling and ordering the earth with a vision for cosmic harmony with all tribes and all life. The Mayan Kab or earth symbol is quite different. On one side there is a spiraling figure which is symbolic of the creative god force moving upon and within the earth. There is a thick horizontal line at the top symbolizing foundation and time. On the other side of the spiraling figure are four circles; the top circle being bigger than the following three which follow each other in a vertical line. They represent the phases of the moon cycles as well as the accumulative phases of immaterial progressing to the realm of material.
The Chinese trigram for earth is called the K’un or K’uen and represents ‘Big Earth,’ the mother and passive receptive energy. You will find no circles here. Instead, they use two rows of three rectangles to represent earth.
In Fung Shui, it signifies southwest directions and yielding properties. One of the most recognizable symbols for earth element is the Aristotelian Element Earth Symbol. It is an inverted, equilateral triangle with a horizontal line crossing it a little ways down from the flat side of the triangle. The line denotes the division between earth and sky.
All four elements are represented by a triangle. Triangles symbolize creation and more specifically co-operative creativity. In occult, the pentacle is representative of the earth element. It is a five pointed star within a circle.
It embodies symmetry, secret knowledge and hidden mysteries within the earth while each point illuminates different spiritual aspects. The four points can also represent the four directions. The fifth point portrays the spirit within and without and the circle is the unifier.
There are a number of ways to embody the element of earth. For instance, many Gods and Goddesses manifest earth essence. Some of the Goddesses that are known as earth mothers are Gaia, Hera, Demeter, Ceres, Mah, Nephthys, Persephone, Prithvi, Rhea, Rhiannon, the Horae, and Proserpina. The Gods associated with earth are Adonis, Athos, Arawn, Cerrunnos, Dionysus, Marduk, Pan, and Tammuz. Earth elementals are called gnomes. They come in many sizes and shapes. They are the easiest to contact and communicate with because they’re the densest and most like us. They love to live in the earth and don’t care for exposure or sunlight. They work hard and are quite serious. They are good friends to those who love the earth, work to heal the earth, recycle, and plant or maintain gardens. They relate to people who are loyal and practical. The phrase ‘salt of the earth’ comes to mind. They appreciate coins and stones as gifts. They help to heal the body or heal the earth itself. They also will help break unhealthy habits, aid with prosperity and abundance and assist in fertility issues. Earth’s direction is north, the place of greatest darkness. Its energy is receptive. Its basic nature consists of the fertile, the moist, nurturing, stabilizing, and grounding. Gravity is a manifestation of earth element. Brown and Green are its colors. Places represented by earth are caves, canyons, forests, groves, valleys, fields, farms, gardens, parks, plant nurseries, farmer’s markets, kitchens, baby nurseries, basements, mines and holes. Earth rituals pertain to money, prosperity, fertility, stability, grounding and employment. Burying, planting, and making images in soil or sand are some earth ritual forms. Earth herbs consist of anything earth-smelling such as patchouli, vertivert, mosses and lichens. Also nuts, dry and stiff plants, heavy-low growing plants and generally roots represent earth. Earth stones are heavy or opaque as in coal but also are symbolized by green as in emerald and peridot. The drum and all percussion instruments beat out earth’s essence. Winter, the time of darkness, is earth’s season and night is its time. Its time in life is aged. Its magical tool is the pentacle, the staff and the cauldron. Touch is earth’s sense. Its natural symbols are salt, a clay dish of fresh soil, rocks, sheaves of wheat and acorns. Earth rules these types of magic: gardening, magnet, image, stone, tree, knot and binding. The pentacle represents earth as an altar tool embodying feminine energy, strength, stability, and abundance. Also representing earth is the cauldron which stands for the divine womb. In tarot, the suit of disks or sometimes referred to as pentacles represent earth. The princess in the court cards of a tarot deck portray earth element. In the major arcana the Empress, Hierophant, Hermit, Devil, World, Chariot, Wheel of Fortune, and Judgment signify earth. Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn symbolize earth and so does the planets Venus and Jupiter. The archangel of the north and earth is Uriel. There are many creatures associated with the earth element. The hoofed creatures are cows, bulls, stags, does, buffalo, moose, antelope, goats and sheep. Boars and wolves are the forest dwellers. The earth diggers are rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, gophers, groundhogs, and badgers. Centipedes, termites, worms and wood bugs represent the insects. Earth dragons, gnomes, dwarves, fauns, goblins, satyrs, and sylvan represent earth energy.
There are many psychological qualities that encompass the earth element. When your earth is balanced, you will have these qualities: concentration, connectedness, endurance, industriousness, nutrition-savy, responsibility, self-assurance, and thoroughness. When earth is in balance, one is considered earth or down to earth, solid, dependable, honest, and determined.
Earth people can be called upon when the chips are down. They follow through with their plans, stay composed, and are respectful and dutiful toward authority. Once earned, their trust and fealty is unshakable. When your earth is imbalanced, it will manifest in these qualities: dullness, hoards possessions, laziness, misanthropy, obsessiveness, and tardiness. Also when earth is imbalanced one is prone to rigidity, bullying, and greed. The earth mind is willful, determined and methodical.
An earth woman knows what she wants and sets about patiently with a plan to get it. Once her goals are achieved, she switches her focus to maintaining and expanding upon what she has acquired. She has an eye toward setting up permanent structures so she can pass along her accomplishments to her heirs. The earth woman wants to establish dynasties and empires in a world where the sand is constantly shifting under her feet. Her constant worrying diminishes her ability to enjoy what she has attained. Therefore, she must keep vigilant, forever watchful and always protecting what she has obtained.
A male earth mind can be that of a tycoon. He is easily willing to hire goons to bust some heads like those of union organizers. In his mind, they are trying to steal that for which he has worked so hard for. He believes that he needs policemen and soldiers to guard his borders and protect his fortress. Brute force is his innate quality and turns to it instinctively.
The earth mind is ponderous. Often it ruminates as long as needed in order to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion. The male earth mind is ready to put his nose to the grind. First he considers the details. Then, once he makes up his mind, he is unstoppable. He will work tirelessly with a patient, steady effort until the task is done. Overtime, he saves his money and his dreams are long-term, practical and attainable. The earth element is loyal and dutiful. Once loyalty is earned it is impervious to doubt. The 1960s attitude ‘my country right or wrong’ illustrates earth mentality. Earth element wants to maintain established traditions. The earth mind longs for the good old days and wishes they could be perpetuated forever. An earth personality will go to church because it’s the right thing to do and doesn’t question what she/he hears. One might equate an earth personality with the term ‘silent minority.’ They do what’s right and see the world as under attack from lefties and weirdos. There is no room for doubt. New ideas and concepts are seen as suspicious and are rejected without a hearing. An earth mind is content to relax, watch TV, and hang with the family. He does not exercise. In fact, the idea is quite foreign to him and tends to put on weight. But even obese, male earth bodies are still sturdy and strong and his belly is round, firm and hard. If he does actually get motivated to work or exercise, he is indefatigable. He will work well into the night and even awaken early to finish a project.
Generally, an earth person is easy-going, nurturing and supportive especially to loved ones and family toward whom he/she is kind and forgiving. They keep their poise when others are disturbed. Do not cross and earth person for they will hold a grievance with tenacity. They will get their revenge in their own time, in their own way and spend long hours plotting the details. The earth mind is slow but scholarly. Although it is unlikely that an earth mind will conduct any ground breaking research or discoveries, they are however able to thoroughly flesh out the concepts of others by affirming or negating them through careful and methodical application of established modes of thought. Career choice for earth people often rely on the secondary personality element. An example would be an earth/fire person is highly motivated to start a business with an idea towards legacy. Earth/water people are much more easy-going and therefore more suited for the food and restaurant business. Many fine chefs are earth/water types and have a sensuous and subtle relationship to foods, textures, aromas, and flavors. Earth/air types are drawn toward the arts, especially music. Earth types make great farmers for they like to work the land. On the other hand, they can also be bureaucrats and accountants. Men tend to end up in construction or drive trucks due to their stable energy and endurance.
An earth child needs diligent parents who provide a stimulating lifestyle. They need to establish patterns of working hard to achieve goals rather than relying on brute strength, intimidation or force. The mindless repetition of routines renders them dull and rigid.
You can recognize an earth imbalance not just by psychological traits but also physical traits. The person will be obese, most likely have diabetes, and be prone to heart disease. Even with the obesity, an earth person will still have the impression of strength and force. Personality wise they will be dark, lazy, apathetic, exude a type of hopelessness, and be depressed. They feel that every exertion seems not only monumental but also meaningless. They have a tendency to overeat and over sleep. Solid tumors and fibroids are common for earth types.
To remedy an earth imbalance you need a schedule of activities. The mind and body need stimulation and exercise. Since the earth body is sturdy, it can handle vigorous exercise with less risk of injury. The diet should be light, zesty and varied. Exposure to culture is very important to show earth types that the evolution of thought is inevitable and that intellectual and moral growth can be desirable. An earth body is massive. Its bony frame is large with thick wrists and ankles. The hands are meaty and strong. The head is large and square with a pronounced jaw. The neck is thick and strong and may be hard to see as if the head were directly mounted onto the broad shoulders. The chest is deep, waist is thick, and the limbs are stout. The male voice tends to be gravelly and the female’s is deep and relatively loud.
Submitted by Omallia Moonstone
The element of earth embodies the substance of the world. It gives us a place to live and a chance to grow food. Earth is the origin of everything solid. It’s more than ground and dirt. It’s stone in all varieties including the most precious gems. It’s also every object we shape such as wood. It is the base of all. Where all other elements have some mobility, earth is primarily fices. It corresponds to the material body of all living things which must be animated by other elements in order to be alive. Therefore it is the basis and foundation of all elements. Earth is the first fountain from which all things spring. It is the mother of all things. It can take on the qualities of other elements. When it is dry, dusty and hot, it represents aspects of fire and air such as in deserts. When it is moist and fluid, it represents aspects of water such as in swamps, marshlands and fens. This makes earth have a mutually dependent relationship with the other elements. Earth needs water to be fertilized, air to be animated and fire to be inspired. On the other hand, air, water, and fire need earth as their base on which to be grounded. For example, imagine you’re writing something such as an essay, poem or novel. Fire represents the spirit to write. Water would give you the depth and meaning to what you want to write. Air would provide the means to develop and structure your writing by putting it into an eligible literary form. Finally, earth would be the ink and paper or any other means required to transform your aspirations into actual, physical existence. In all this earth is the great accommodator. She allows great swaths to be sliced from her body as she yields to the waters of the world. She communicates with air for without earth air would be a lost and sorrowful daughter. As for fire, fire lives in the belly of mother earth and can’t consummate without the foundational spark originating from earth-based matter. All threads of life are first woven with the fiber of earth. It embodies the concept of home.
In Indian tradition, Prithvi is the Hindu earth and mother goddess. Prithvi is the personification of earth itself. Others say that PrithviTattwa is the essence of the element earth. As Prithvi Mata, she represents mother earth and is in contrast with Dyans Pita who represents father sky. In the Rigveda, earth and sky are seen as a duality. It speaks of them as complimentary half-shells. Earth is associated with Buddha or Mercury representing communication, business, mathematics and other practical matters. In East Asia, metal is seen as the equivalent of earth and ir represented by the white tiger. IN the Artic, earth is symbolized by a house, in Hindu a lotus, Scythians a plough, Greeks the wheel, and Christians the bull. Earth in Chinese Wu Xing is the balance of both yin and yang. It is the feminine and masculine together. It’s motion is inward and centering and it’s energy is stabilizing and conserving. They associate earth with the color yellow and the planet Saturn. Earth lies at the center of the compass in the Chinese cosmos. Also it governs the spleen, stomach, mouth and muscles. Anxiety displays its negative emotion and empathy its positive emotion. The Yellow Dragon embodies the primal spirit. The qualities of earth manifest through patience, thoughtfulness, practicality, hard work and stability. It nurtures and seeks to draw all things together with itself in order to bring harmony, rootedness and stability. Other attributes include ambition, stubbornness, responsibility and long-term planning. In pathology, earth can present as selfishness and self-centeredness. Earth plays an important role in Chinese astrology. It is included in the ten heavenly stem (the five elements in their yin and yang forms.) the ten heavenly stem combine with the twelve earthly branches (Chinese signs of the zodiac) to form a sixty year cycle. Yang earth years end in eight and Yin earth years end in nine. It is the central balance of elements and therefore lends qualities to all twelve animals as well. Westerns debate that the planet Saturn should be associated with the element of metal because of its association to rigidity. In the meantime, venus should be associated with earth because of its common theme of centering and harmonizing. I Ching and FengShui say that earth contains all the elements, fire, water, wood and metal. They state that there are four types of earth: earth of water, earth of fire, earth of metal and earth of wood. The colors yellow, orange, beige and brown represent earth. There are two earth cycles in Wu Xing. In the controlling cycle, earth controls water by damming or absorbing it and wood can overcome it by breaking it up by the roots. In the conductive cycle, earth is produced by fires’ ashes and in turn melts to produce metal. In the Kabbalah, earth is associated with Nefesh or the ‘animal soul’ and the world of Assiah which is the world of making, the world of action. It’s the one world where allforms take place and are finally united. It’s the spiritual principle of stable. Though inflexible, it’s also a synthesis and the passive imposition of form. It is also associated with Malkuth also called ‘the kingdom’ in the Tree of Life. The Kabbalah doesn’t actually equate earth with an element in the same vein as fire, water, and air. The nature of Malkuth is not anything emanating from above but a fixed plane. It is the ultimate receiver where all emanations take their final form. It is the root and origin because it’s there where the physical, comprehensible existence actually begins to manifest.
The earth’s symbolic meaning is so far-reaching that it’s almost impossible to place into words. Earth for the Celts was a unifying force. They required native soil to cover the physical remnants of the dead. This was necessary to reunite him or her with their heavenly clan. Although the Celts weren’t the first to bury their dead beneath the soil, they knew earth is the consecrator. It anchors, reunites and re-establishes all things in need of her balancing effect.