Are You Attracted to the Element You Lack?

Have you ever wondered why you attract the friends and lovers that you do? Is it your similarities that bring you together, or your differences, or a bit of both?

In astrology, the study of relationship compatibility is called synastry, or chart comparison. Synastry can be complex, but like most things in astrology, keeping it simple can be very enlightening.

The elements are the basic building blocks of astrology (see the graphics for the signs and key words for each element at the end of this post). Popular theory says that you will be compatible with signs in your own element, so Fire gets on with Fire, Water with Water, etc. Additionally, Fire and Air signs are said to get along, as are Earth and Water signs.

However, I have also found that we are very often attracted to the element we lack in our own chart. It’s as if we look towards others to compensate for what we don’t have. Here are a couple of celebrity examples:

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie has a chart strong in Fire and Air, with a good splash of Water as well. She is totally lacking in the Earth element.

People with a lack of Earth in their charts often feel rootless and ungrounded. They may feel as if they don’t fit into the ‘real’ world and often have difficulty following the routines and limitations that are demanded by everyday material life. Jolie’s unbounded wild behaviour, risk taking and fantasies are well documented.

Brad Pitt on the other hand has a stellium of personal planets (Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars) in practical, down to earth Capricorn. While we can’t speculate on their private life, it’s easy to see how earthy Pitt might provide Jolie with a sense of the stability, rootedness, routine and structure she appeared to lack in her younger, crazier days. Certainly, she has become the model earth mother since meeting Pitt, as evidenced by her brood of six kids. It’s interesting that she has so many kids, as people often compensate for their lack of element by totally overdoing it.

Does spontaneous Jolie find practical Pitt boring at times? Who knows, but I’m sure that his adventurous Sagittarius Sun and Ascendant must provide a bit of excitement to keep the fire alive in their relationship.

Beyonce and Jay-Z

Singer Beyonce has very little Fire in her chart, which is compensated for by rapper Jay Z‘s Sun, Mercury and Venus in fiery Sagittarius.

A lack of Fire can manifest in a lack of self-confidence and a lack of enthusiasm, faith and optimism in what life has to offer.

Jay-Z’s fiery get up and go, idealism and energy are probably an effective foil for Beyonce’s lack of fire. Conversely, Jay-Z lacks Earth in his chart, so Beyonce’s practical, down to earth Sun in Virgo no doubt helps him to keep his feet on the ground.

Here’s a very simple exercise to see if this works for you:

First of all work out what element(s) you have a preponderance of and which you lack. If you don’t already know this, tells you how to work it out, and also includes useful interpretations. (If you know your birth time, I would also include three points for the Ascendant and one point for the Midheaven.)

When I did this exercise for myself, I scored high for Air; average for Earth and relatively low for Fire and Water.

Next look at the charts for your close friends and your partner (if you have their permission to do so).

Here’s a few of mine:

One of my close friends has a very strong Water chart, with Sun, Moon and Ascendant all in water signs. Definitely a good foil for my lack of water. I love how I can tell her all my woes and she will just listen and be with me and empathize, without giving advice or instruction or trying to ‘fix’ or change things.

A lack of Water can mean that it’s difficult to empathize with others and hard to pick up subtleties of feelings in relationships. The emotions may not be easily accessible to those lacking in Water, although that doesn’t mean that they don’t have strong emotions, just that they may have difficulty expressing them. If you are lacking in Water however, try to not ‘dump’ all your emotional stuff on your watery friends. Be aware that they are very sensitive, like sponges, and they will carry your karma away with them, without either of you even realizing it.

Another close friend of mine has a totally fiery chart with Sun, Moon and Ascendant all in Fire signs. I really admire her nerve, spirit and creativity. An afternoon with her really lifts my spirits and makes me feel as if anything is possible. Longer than an afternoon though, makes me feel positively ‘burnt out’.

It works both ways of course. Your friends might be attracted to you because you have an element they lack. For example, a good friend of mine with lots of Earth and a watery Moon in Cancer (she bakes the best muffins this side of, well, the Moon) totally lacks Air in her chart.

With a lack of Air, it can be difficult to take a step back from one’s life in order to see things in perspective. It can be difficult for a person with a lack of Air to detach themselves from feelings and situations, and it can be hard for them to adjust to new ideas and differing points of view. Perhaps my airy nature is a good foil for my friend’s lack of Air, in the same way that her watery planets nourish my lack of water.

If I do the same exercise for all my close friends and for my hubby, they are all without exception strong in either Fire or Water, or both in some cases.

Comment below: What about you? Do your close friends and your partner reflect the elements you are lacking? Or are you more attracted to people with a similar element balance as yourself?

Fire signs
Water signs
Air signs

This article is republished with permission from the author, and original appeared at Astroair Astrology.

About the Author

Mandi LockleyMandi Lockley is an astrology writer and consultant based in London. She is the author of the Astroair Astrology blog, where she offers her insights into the current cosmic climate. Her articles are regularly published online and in print. For more info go to

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  1. I can relate to this so much! I’m heavy in earth and air, while the guy I’m crushing hard on is all fire and water. Total opposites!

  2. this is a very good article, yes, i’ve also noticed what the author says in various people (how someone is if he/she lacks water, or fire, etc). thanks!

  3. my bf’s elements are exactly the opposite of mine! down to the bone

    i am highest in earth and water and lowest in fire and air. he is highest is fire and air and lowest in earth and water. very very interesting!

  4. I have a fairly equal number of all the elements but I have no cardinal energy at all in my chart. And guess what. I’m attracted to people who can lead, because I have no desire to! I’m a sheep, not a shepherd. (And I don’t mean Ram either.) Once I took an astrology class and there were 6 of us in it. The Earth & Water signs all sat together and got along, and the Air & Fire signs sat together, talked loudly and irritated the heck out of us.

  5. what fire and air signs irritate you??? you must be a water or earth sign

  6. i lack water and not at all fixed….not surprising

  7. what happened to “how to break up with a water sign”? what happened to us? we dont get any “break up” methods?

  8. I lack air and water and have all 3 fire and earth signs
    he has heavy emphasis on water , earth and air (in that order)

    is this why i’m attracted to him?

  9. I find this to be very true. My fiance is all earth and I’m fire/water. He said once that I completed him. That got me to thinking because I felt the same. It probably helps to have aspects between your personal planets that give you a connection so the differences aren’t so overwhelming to the point where you can’t relate.

  10. @moongodz unfortunately the author of that series did not complete it. But check out our breakups page, which features articles on Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.

  11. is it supposed to take the houses in consideration too?

  12. @pandora explain what you mean, please. Like “water” houses (4,8,12)?

  13. what I was asking is should I take into consideration the signs of the planets and the houses (too)?

  14. scorpwm38 says:

    True! I am in Love a Taurus. When we are together it is the perfect example of Yin and Yang. He makes me strong where I am week. Now if He would only move to my town, We would have paradise!

  15. @pandora, look at the elements of the signs that all of your planets are in, as well as the signs on your Ascendant and Midheaven.

  16. thank you 🙂

  17. I’m 7 points in Earth, and I do agree with it! And my Cancer bf does have an Air moon and mercury, while I have 3 points in air. Nonetheless, our charts aren’t too unbalanced, but I feel like opposites-attract with him 🙂

  18. Phenix/scorpio says:

    thats interesting ill haft to check into it though im mostly water and earth lol ive got fire and air as well im a nut 😛

  19. Wow!

    Did anyone else get an ah-hah moment?!!! ha!

    This was a real interesting read and very true!
    Am sure its not so cut ‘n dry, but there was definitely a thread of truth in all said.
    And my free chart – kinda spookily close to the truth. I took a step back after reading and went outside for a breath of fresh air.

    This would explain why the first time I fell in love 10 years ago (real love mind you, not just lust!) was with a Sag! I know the feeling was mutual, but alas….
    2nd love was Gemini.
    And if I think about it – all other significant relationships seem to be with many Gemini’s (plus my 2 sisters and mom are Gemini’s). My father and I are the only 2 water signs – which would explain why my mum and him never got along and neither do my mum and I – although my sisters and I are close! Go figure – maybe it’s a generational thing?

    Currently, two individuals I adore who are my close friends are Fire (both Leos) – I wonder if age has an issue about it as well? I mean I have an older Fire (Leo) gentlemen – we have a mentor/mentee relationship – nothing iffy.
    I seem to bring out their ‘’I want to protect this girl’’ emotion in them.

    I currently have a real crush on a Capricorn – 1st time I’ve ever felt this way about an Earth Sign – guess there is always a 1st! But then again my ex boss, Taurus – we were at loggerheads constantly!!!

    And here all along I thought my soulmate would have been a water sigh….maybe he’s still out there, still my soulmate and regardless of his sign or element….here’s to romantically hopefulness! LOL

  20. I only love nothing but Sagittarius just all Sagittarius and i am more atracked to Sagittarius then virgo so i might have Leo/Sagittarius on my chart because i feel that lack every other sign except Sagittarius.

  21. Yes she most defenetly like Sagittarius alot better than any other sign.

  22. curious757 says:

    This is an awesome article. It makes a lot of sense. Plus it’s also good to have same elements in the chart for “understanding”. My husband has planets I have none in and vice versa. Astrology has helped me understand about myself. I already understand about relationships but knowing myself was a little difficult. Cause i dont really “see” myself although others, like people who love you/close to you actually do see you for who you are. But being “lost” or in some kind of a fog makes you question.

  23. I have always found this true. I am heavy on Water and AIr, and have no Fire and very little Earth. Almost every man I have ever dated has been a Fire sign, and my best friend of 30+ years is an Earth sign.

    I always feel I am at my best with a Fire sign by my side.

  24. How do I find out which element I lack?? I’m a cancer born July 4 1994

  25. where can I look to see all my elements besides just water (cancer July 4 1994)

  26. you can get a free report here and use this reference:

    Air: gemini, libra, aquarius
    Fire: aries, leo, sag
    Earth: taurus, virgo, capricorn
    Water: cancer, scorpio, pisces

  27. I have talked about this before. I am all Water and Air, with very little Fire and no Earth. My best friend of 30+ years is Taurus, and almost every man I have dated or been involved with has been a fire sign.

  28. I’m an earth sign and I get along best with fires and air signs

  29. FierySaturnian says:

    I agree that’s why I don’t buy into astrological compatibility because we always attract someone who is the complete opposite of who we are. I’m mostly fire with some earth & water and only 1 air planet but because all of my fiery planets & AC/MC are heavily aspected by my earth Saturn, my earthy side got the best of me even though my earth score is just average plus my dominant zodiac sign is Virgo. On the other hand, my SO is mostly air & fire with weak earth so he’s the typical “air-headed” guy with Aries/Mars as his dominant sign/planet. Just like in the case of Brangelina, as a Saturnian, I’m the one who carry the burden to create structure & practicality for my partner even as simple as constantly reminding him to place the dishes on our sink after eating plus he doesn’t even know how to pay the bills. Him, on the other hand, is the one who tells me the importance of having friends as I’m not the type to easily let others into my life. Because of our Mars-Saturn combo, we do have clashes.

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