The Cycle of the Qualities

class=”alignleft size-medium wp-image-1279″ src=”×300.jpg” alt=”element cycle” width=”300″ height=”300″ />The cycle of the elements results from an exchange of the qualities.

The elements used in the Western astrology are Greek in origin. According to the Greeks almost anything in the universe could be classified according to one of the four elements: fire, earth, air and water. The system of elements and qualities was articulated by Aristotle in 350 BC and had been formulated at least 200 years before.

This model of the composition of reality was based on the changing cycles of the seasons. Seasonal change was seen as dynamic and the result of an interchange of qualities.

The fire element is strongest at the height of summer. The transition to autumn (fall) results from the loss of heat in exchange for coldness.  This is followed by the loss of dryness which is exchanged for moisture during the transition into winter.  During the transition from winter to spring moisture is exchanged for dryness; and the transition from spring to summer results from the exchange coldness for heat.

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