There are four “elements” in a person – fire, earth, air and water. They exist in varying quantities and qualities in a person depending on the date, time and location of birth. The different compositions of these elements suggest a different makeup of a person.

The four elements are not unlike the four temperaments although it’s possible for a person to be balanced across the four of them or have an emphasis in one, two or three of them. What’s interesting though is that a person may tend to overcompensate in the element that they have a low emphasis of.

For instance, air is concerned with the mind and social side of things. Ideas, words, logic, groups, friends, partner come into the picture. When someone is low in air, he/she may overcompensate by being involved in “airy” activities such as being a data entry clerk or a salesperson. Or having a PhD and two masters as well as being a medical doctor.

Under the Myer Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality profiling theory, where there are 16 personality types, there are four functions for each type. These functions are the dominant, auxiliary, tertiary and the inferior. The inferior function is so called the weakest link in our personality. Some people think of it as the shadow side of our personality i.e. the repressed and unintegrated aspects of us. People might have a tendency to be obsessed over their inferior function and be overly involved in activities associated with it.

I just find it interesting that there’s a parallel between astrology and MBTI in terms of potential overcompensation in what a person lacks or is weak in. However, I suppose it’s not just astrology and MBTI. Some people may seek to focus on overcoming their weaknesses and ignore their strengths. Perhaps this was how the Clifton StrengthsFinders came about. Or that there’s certainly a market for it.


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