Earth and Air by Darby Costello – A Book Review (Sort of)

© October 2010 by Fabienne Lopez

4 elementsBalancing Karma

A while back I wrote a book review on “Water and Fire” by Darby Costello.

For some weird reason, this article has gotten over a thousand hits its publication. I say weird because there is no really good reason for so many clicks and the absence of comments. Not a single comment, none whatsoever. So what gets? I do not know. I am not complaining, just noticing the phenomenon.

For karma reasons, I thought I would redress the balance and write a review about the companion volume published by Ms. Costello: Earth and Air.

zodiac earth element

Photo credit: mickyGMT

The Earth Element – The Ground of Life

The books begins by reviewing the importance of the earth rituals for archaic cultures.  It then proceeds to examine in depth the qualities and attributes of the Earth element  through the signs (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn) and houses (2nd, 6th and 10th).

Ms. Costello ends her analysis of the complexity of the earth  element by exploring the chart of Teilhard de Chardin, a Jesuit priest who was both a mystic and a scientist.  The author uses the chart – with 6 planets in Taurus -  to illustrate the complexity of that element. According to Costello, earthy types are always on a quest to reconcile rationality and respect for scientific facts with a sense of the magic contained in the mysteries of life.
Teilhard de Chardin teaching sought to emphasize the fact that “human spiritual development is moved by the same universal laws as material development “.

air elementThe Air Element – The Breath of Life

Part two of the book starts by exploring the meaning and nature of air, followed by an analysis of the planetary placements through  the three air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) and their ruling houses (3rd,7th and 11th).

In her book, Ms. Costello asserts that the element of Air is often mistakenly thought to be “merely” rational.  She points out that in traditional astrology, the planetary rulers of the Air element also governs  an earthy sign (Venus rules both Libra and Taurus; Mercury Gemini and Virgo and Saturn Aquarius and Capricorn). This dual rulership according to Ms. Costello reflects the need for the human spirit to understand what is and our perceptions of it. She points out that since Plato, philosophers have “ grappled with the notion of the interaction between the ideal realm and the real world.

As an example of the intimate relationship between the Earth and Air elements, Ms. Costello examines the chart of poet W. B. Yeats whose vision, fertility of ideas, and love of beauty represents the essential nature of this astrological element.

air, fire, water and earthInterconnecting the 4 Elements

As I said in the post Water and Fire, the value of Ms. Costello’s two books  comes from challenging the current  point of view on how to pair the elements. Modern astrology tells us that Earth and Water are compatible elements. The same goes for Air and Fire.

By using the traditional rulership system to pair the elements together, Ms. Costello adds another layer of understanding of the 4 elements. One that points out that Fire, Earth, Air and Water are interconnected and inseparable.

Understanding Earth and Air

I am low on Earth and Air in my own chart and do not feel totally comfortable dealing with the world of ideas and the world of matter. It is something I need to develop. Any suggestions? Share your insights!

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Photos credits: Flickr Creative Commons

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About Fabienne Lopez

Astrologer, Blogger, Life-Coach. My mission is to help you discover, develop and nurture your creativity no matter what transit you are going through.
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