Creativity and Element Imbalances in the Chart: Lack of Earth

© March 2011 by Fabienne Lopez

Creativity and the Lack of an Element

Continuing our series creativity and the absence of an element in your chart and how this impacts your creativity.  After covering chart imbalances in general, and the lack of Fire, we focus on the problems caused by the absence of Earth in the chart.

A lack of earth denotes a lack of groundedness in the chartAbsence of Earth Characteristics

  • Difficulties in dealing with practical and mundane matters
  • A feeling of not being grounded
  • Inability to take responsibility
  • Inability to follow through on tasks
  • Tendency to be impractical
  • Difficulties in being organized
  • Disinterest in financial matters

A lack of earth makes it hard for the artist to be in their bodiesAbsence of Earth and Creativity

How this imbalance affects a person’s creativity?

In many ways, the lack of earth relates to the myth of the starving artist, a genius, an exceedingly creative person but incapable of tying his shoes or perform any other mundane task.

Generally, the absence of this element in the chart would reveal itself in day-today activities, such time as management and organization.

Of course, money problems could be expected – the whole relationship with finances would be a symptom of a lack of earth in the chart.

The necessary bridge between the creative process, and the business side of making art would probably conspicuously absent or undermined. The journey of becoming a businessperson – in the general sense and an artist would be fraught with difficulties.

Prioritizing problems and challenges would also come up with a lack of earth in a chart as well as the inability to reduce tasks into smaller doable parts.

The ability to approach goals and stay on track would be impaired as an artist with no earth in his chart would struggle with a lack of purpose, focus, and courage.

A lack of earth would also play into the artist’s life as an impediment to improve his/her attitude towards money, and develop greater confidence in his work and actions related to art. A lack of direction could result.

Materials Definition

In my previous series, I had equated Earth with materials and given the following definition for materials. Materials can be broadly defined as anything used by the artist as a medium to produce a work of art (stone, metal, glass, wood, clay, paper, paint, fabric, ink, yarn, etc…)

The question is what happens to the artist’s ability to use materials when there is an absence of earth in his chart?

lack of earth in the chart: I never know when I am hungreLack of Earth and Materials

My guess would be that the artist would exhibit the symptoms of one of the seven creativity sins – Gluttony , expressed in the form of retail therapy!

Always hankering after materials – a new paint color, a better tool, a new art gadget that promises miracles – in the hope they will help you get organized, more productive, accomplish your tasks.

Unfortunately, I believe this attitude has the opposite effect of its intended goal.  This overcompensation caused by the lack of earth actually stunts the creativity and renders the artist less focused and organized. It’s likely to completely overwhelm him. The result is nothing gets created at all.

The artist lacking earth in their chart needs to walk a fine line between the necessity of focusing on the mundane aspects of his creativity and their work.  Too much or too little focus on either side of the spectrum is not likely to be solution for a lack of earth. Nonetheless, to be successful, he will need to tether himself to those practical aspects if he wants to continue to develop his creativity over the long run.

Alcohol and drugs can often times be solution used by artist who lacks earth in their chart to escape the feelings of uneasiness with their bodies. Judy Garland, Richard Burton, Joan Crawford are all good examples.

Other artists go the opposite direction and become known for the earthiness of their work. Emile Zola, Mark Twain, Ingmar Bergman spring to mind. Nijinsky is as an example of the artist who used his body to its maximum potential.

What sort of problems the absence of earth has created in your life? What are the difficulties you have in expressing yourself through your art? Do you have a tendency to use the lack of materials as an excuse not to deal with the practical realities of your creativity?  Share you experience.

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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.
This entry was posted in Astrology, The 4 Elements and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Creativity and Element Imbalances in the Chart: Lack of Earth

  1. katley says:

    I am guilty of the sin of excess, especially in matters of creativity. My problem is getting the “boring” stuff out of way (cleaning, cooking, food shopping, bill paying) before I sit down and write. And that is a problem because nowadays time for writing is in short supply because my daughter and my husband have been so busy with work and important school projects that I’m reluctant to delegate stuff to them since I know they’re so busy. Since taxes and paperwork have to get done, and I’m the only one qualified to do them, there’s less time to do what I really love.

    I love dancing as well, and overdo that so much (especially on Fridays) that the next day nothing gets done at home because I’m exhausted.

    I don’t have a complete lack of earth, but that’s the weakest element in my chart.
    By the way I have lots of craft materials at home that I’ve never used (earring parts, beads, etc.) that I’ve never used and my unfinished projects sit in limbo. The few I’ve completed I wear with pride :)

    • Fabienne Lopez says:

      It seems like you are aware of how your weakest element in your chart plays out in your life.In addition to crafts, don’t you cook? It would be a good earth expression.

  2. dorchid says:

    great post. i like this whole series on creativity, actually.

    i have a quirky lack of earth in that the ONLY earth in my chart is my sun in virgo. so i don’t know if it’s lacking because it’s my Sun. though if you want to count the descendant in taurus, that also makes me very reliable (in partnerships). but i have moon/venus/mars/mc in 9th house leo and jupiter-uranus conjunction in 1st house sag. LOTS of fire! my virgo sun definitely gets overwhelmed and burnt out, and much of my life is spent MANAGING this inner tension.

    the gluttony raises an interesting point. my mother was a hoarder and i have a supreme aversion to clutter. with my lack of earth the littlest pile of clutter can topple me over – i hate clutter but it still manages to sneak into my life. i also have neptune in sag on my 2nd house cusp – sometimes i fantasize about burning my house down and living out of a suitcase, just wandering.

    there is definitely a huge ambivalence with money/material possessions that’s reflected in my creative work. i have all this fire which makes me very expressive creatively, but i find it hard to stand up for myself in business settings. yes, i can go overboard shopping (i love to collect journals/notebooks/stationery) but ultimately i hate clutter, i hate excess, i hate things collecting dust, i hate not knowing how to find something, i hate redundancy.

    • Fabienne Lopez says:

      Hi Dorchid:

      Welcome too! Thanks for sharing and for the compliment! Like Barbara, you seem to be on top of how your lack of earth shows up in your life. Indeed, Gluttony is an interesting point. I noticed that whenever it is present with an element it points out to some sort of hunger that is linked to the element.
      As with Barbara, I am curious about how you use your strong element? Do you use it to help you with your earth imbalance?

      • dorchid says:

        it’s funny but it’s easier to imagine my earth (virgo) helping my fire (leo/sag) than the other way around.

        i think my fire makes me an excellent visualizer. when i have the vision/inspiration/idea, then i become more efficient and effective (earth) in getting what i want. so yes, i use my fire to prioritize and set goals and then the earth works out the logistics.

        • Fabienne Lopez says:


          That’s a great example! I can see where imagining earth helping fire is easier than the other way around. However, there is no reason for it not to work the other way and as you point out, when you get inspired you can use your earth to turn it into reality, since fire is impulsive and gets bored with details. Thanks. If you have any other examples, I would love to hear them. I am starting to meditate on how the excess of one element can help boost the lack of another element and need examples.

  3. Barbara says:


    My chart is not completely void of earth elements but what happens I think is how they get used and used up. I’ve been in business and have suceeded, but as far as I’m concerned the element of creative was grossly absent and I suffered with that a lot. Still do. The work i did was almost all mundane, uninteresting to my mind, with no real place for ‘creative expression’. Although God knows I tried. Would invent new filing systems, move the furniture for better flow, had music installed on the phone system so on hold would be pleasant, stuff like that. What inevitably would happen, my perception that my creativity was going nowhere or not even vaguely being utilized, is burn out. I just couldn’t muster the energy one more day to reconcile a bank account, interview another candidate, write another proposal, even though I could probably do it in my sleep.

    On the other side, my creativity, because I wasn’t using it as my life’s work got denigrated, mostly by me. For instance I cooked or better said, I mastered cooking. Seemingly the earthiness of cooking might be the best vehicle to hold both the creativity and the practical elements, as you’ve mentioned. So while working full time in ‘business’, I worked part-time in the food industry, but never did a job other than a facilitating or service position. Actually preparing food professionally was a rarity, not then my business or my focus. I think this is where the necessary earth element supplementation kind of put me at a disadvantage. I was using whatever earth I had to load trucks with food for big events, move and set up dining tables and chairs, be a waitress, etc.. Then earth was all used up.

    To this day I am desperate to find a creative outlet that is also what pays my bills, but so much air in my chart has me scattered in the wind, still unable to harness enough power there and then relocate and use my small supply of brass tacks.

    It is sometimes amazing how accurate these portions of one’s chart are not only telling but directive. Great, clear article(s) on the topic.

    • Fabienne Lopez says:

      Hi Barbara:

      Welcome to Astrology Unboxed and thank you for sharing your experience. I totally can relate to what you are saying about trying to fulfill a low or missing earth function, since it is also low in my own chart. It seems you have a good understanding on how you use this element. What I am curious about is how you have been using the strong elements in your chart? Also I would like to know if you have used these elements to somehow boost your low earth index?

      • Barbara says:

        Hi Fabienne,

        Well, since this balance/substitution is an active and ongoing process, I always have this subject on my mind, lots to say. Hope this isn’t too long.

        Since my air element might as well be ‘the element’ in my chart, I have always tried to use my intelligence/mentality to do a lot, teach myself and share whatever knowledge I garnered, amuse myself and others, even conversing seemed dominated or focused on things people knew rather than more personal disclosure. In fact, my therapist observed how as a kid I used my intellect in order to create connections with others, something that never occurred to me. (I made it a point to know all 400+ kid’s names in my senior HS class so I could address each one by name!) I did then know everyone by name, but looking at it in retrospect, I can hardly say I really knew any of them. Needless to say, the mental ability works much better in a business/professional sense than a personal one. I now crave the missing personal relationship, value it above all else. I guess I always did, but didn’t have it, didn’t know how to get it, used what I had.

        I also think (airy) intuitive knowing was often put in service to make up for the missing earth.

        I love gardening, knew things about plants and planeting from that ‘out of nowhere’ place. Same with making my home’s flow, decor, even repair/renovation choices. I just kind of knew what was right, often saw it clearly in my mind’s eye. Same with wardrobe, just knowing what would look and feel right on me (or others) with only a glance at a rack in the store. Despite my desire sometmes to dress anyway other than I did. I could never make funky, showy, out of the ordinary, etc., work for me. My intution was probably dictating conservative/classic to get me down to earth!

        In some ways the cooking came from the same place, but I did and still do cook every day, so practice practice practice is a big part of my body of knowledge and ability. I’m sure the excessive collection of cookbooks I have, and read like they were novels, contributes.

        It’s my deeper desires/wants that I often can’t fill. Such as creating those irreplaceable relational experiences that transport one to timelessness. Or maybe music, some sort of artwork, something, which combines my love of the abstract, esoteric, ethereal with something one can hold, fully senses with their senses. I know cooking can be considered art, but it is also a necessity to eat. I’d like to feed the other senses too, mine and others, in a different less ‘necessary’ way. For me, art that isn’t necessary as a basic survival need seems all the more necessary in one’s life.

        • Fabienne Lopez says:

          Once again thank you for sharing your experience, especially because you took the time and effort to think and write about your own impressions on how you have acted out the elements in your chart.
          The comment on intuitively know how to put together an outfit made me smile, since I am the same way and have been dragged by my friends to the shopping mall more than once to help them.
          As for your comment on your deepest desires/wants, I will just point out that the difficulties of creating timeless relationships are not confined to a specific element. All of them have their own problems. Fire has passion but can’t hold on to relationships over time. Earth might be to pragmatic to let itself experience the mystery and magic of this type of relationship. Water might choke down on their emotions and not be able to sustain such a relationship. I think it’s the nature of humans to experience such difficulties and develop tools to overcome them.

  4. k says:

    Fabienne, I cook most of my family’s meals. On the days that I work or dance it’s usually something quick & prefab. When I have the time and energy, I cook up some tasty stuff, meatloaf, goulash, and adobo chicken. What’s ironic is that I’m the one people ask for financial advice, despite earth being the lowest scoring element in my chart, and I file the family’s tax returns to save money. (Actually, I hate doing that stuff, but I’m the only one in my house who actually understands finances, and they are earth/water people!)

    • Fabienne Lopez says:

      That’s one way to fulfill your earth function. I also have low earth and I always have worked in administrative jobs that required a lot of attention to detail, like bookkeeping. And I do cook a lot, too.

  5. minne says:

    Earth is my lowest element and your article has helped me to see how my alcohol consumption has probably played a part in alleviating that lack. I collected ‘things’ to the point of almost hoarding. Love retail therapy! I also learned to cook and do it very well! It is actually a comforting thing to be in the kitchen creating meals. I have plenty of water and then equal parts fire and air, its just the earth that is low. I’m very creative but I feel guilty being creative in any real and concrete creative sense because I am not able to manage finances : ( So with my taurus midheaven what do I do? By the way, I have done real estate for the last decade (not stable), and have transitioned into a related ‘day job’ type of field. It’s hard being stable and reliable. I have Aquarius on my desc. So I hope I can hang on to this stability I have created lately. I now have no more clutter at all and I don’t want any more ‘things’.

    • Fabienne Lopez says:

      Hi Minne:

      Yes, with a low earth score, routine can be a drag. Not much comfort or satisfaction in there – that’s from one low earth to the other. I also understand the dilemma of wanting to be creative professionally and not being able to manage the financial side of it. It’s the starving artist archetype that creative people do so well. It’s a tough one to manage. I am still trying to figure it out myself.

      • katley says:

        maybe we need to create a starving artist support group :) and invite some earth sign people to teach us on how to market our creations.

        Yesterday my husband and I were watching something on TV about Jackson Pollock. What I find amazing about him is that although his art, as my husband describes it, looks like a “toddler who dripped paint all over the canvas, then let it dry” his work is worth millions. I looked at a few of his works and wondered, what is so valuable about this stuff ’cause I’m sure not seeing it…..I don’t see anything particularly outstanding about Jackson Pollock’s art. Maybe it’s just not to my taste.

        I know there are people out there like us who create some really good stuff. What we need is someone who can “pimp” it :) Or maybe we need to learn how to “pimp” ourselves.

        • Fabienne Lopez says:

          Yes, pimping ourselves is difficult with many internal hurdles to surmount, the least being taught that we should not brag about ourselves. Pimping does requires a certain amount of tooting one’s horn. Oh, well…

  6. astrodreamer says:

    This is me to a T. Although I have Capricorn rising. Which makes me appear and sound more practical than I actually am. Also, Saturn the ruler is debilitated in
    Leo. If I didn’t have understanding friends who help I would be doomed!

    • Fabienne Lopez says:

      Hey Astrodreamer:

      I am happy I got it right. How do you deal, then with your lack of earth? How does it show in your life. Are you creative but have difficulties with the material side of it? I would love to hear from you!

  7. Pingback: Creativity and Element Imbalances in the Chart « Sky Writer

  8. Ellen Nicholas says:

    I really could relate to your analysis. I have mostly AIR in my chart, and only a little bit of the other 3 elements. But I have Cancer rising, and Moon in Sag. The only Earth I have is Mercury in Capricorn (in my 7th) and Saturn in Virgo (4th house).
    Anyway, I have trouble feeling Grounded, and feeling comfortable in my body, Doing things instead of just Thinking about..Ha! that’s my Mars in Libra, also..being Practical, and getting myself to deal with mundane realities, like Cleaning my apartment and being concerned with Money. Always had the “hippie” view that materialism is unimportant (although, with Mercury in Capricorn, I Can balance a checkbook no problem). Hard to get interested in Cooking, and any kind of Routine. Boy, could I relate to not finishing a creative project – all of my Aquarius planets just want to Rebel against anything I think I “ought” to do!

    • Fabienne Lopez says:

      Thanks for sharing. As you can see from my other comments, I am interested in knowing how people use their elements and more specifically how, if any, people use their excess of one element to help dealing with any other elements that are either lacking or low in the chart. Thus, how do you use your air to “boost” your second highest element after air? If you have some examples, I would love some examples.

      • minne says:

        On being grounded, I went through years of never really being in my body. So I’ve had to work really hard at always doing body work, whether it be massage, tai chi, kung fu, and yoga. I get cranial sacral work and anything else that makes me feel grounded. I think I make better decisions that way. Still working on the check book thing though. I’m not sure what my block is there. I just make as much money as I can :D

  9. VJ says:

    I love your articles, especially about lack of elements in a chart. I lack earth, and love hanging with earth signs, especially Taurus. My chart elements are mostly fire and water, although I have Sun in Gemini (12th), Chiron in Aquarius in the 8th, and Aquarius on the 8th, and 9th house cusps.

    An astrologer once advised me to work a lot with SATURN. I have Saturn in Sag (6th), Jupiter in Virgo (3rd), and Mercury, and South Node in Taurus (11th). I’m working on becoming a writer of children’s stories, and although I love having a nice living environment, along with a quiet neighborhood, the maintenance of same is tedious for me. I do not care about the mundane everyday maintenance of human life, including, but not limited to, washing the car, laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning, etc. Although I manage to get through it, chores are painful.

    I am not married, and don’t have children because it would cramp my freedom. I have eliminated as many responsibilities as possible, including donating my car to charity, since it was 23 years old, and ready to retire. I don’t like the lack of freedom that’s caused by debt. Perhaps, it is Uranus in Leo in my 2nd house.

    I work as a legal secretary (temp, not permanent), but have always had problems holding onto money, and have found myself unemployed throughout most of my life. Again, perhaps it is Uranus in the 2nd.

    Besides meditating a lot with Saturn, and hanging out with earth element individuals, how could I balance the lack of earth in my life. Now that I am older, juggling the ups and downs of “lack” has become tiring.

    Thank you.

    • Fabienne Lopez says:

      Hi VJ:

      I could not help but smile at your comments. They are very similar to my own chart. Like you, I am mostly water and fire and low on Earth. Similarly, I hang out with earth people, especially Capricorn ones since I have a strong Saturn in my chart. I also worked as a legal secretary as a way to put more earth in my daily life. :)
      Water/fire combination is a powerful combination although a less traditional one. I like to think about it in terms of being a steam engine, like the one that gave birth to the whole industrial revolution. But it needs an outlet for expression, a cause, a passion, an activity that will let it shine. What is your outlet for this combination?
      As for your Uranus in the second house, I am always reminded of Donna Cunningham’s definition of Uranus in a career house: “You are not the boss of Me!”

  10. Gian Paul says:

    Just looked at Donald Trump’s map (N.Y. June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m.). Not a single planet in earth!!! His MC is at the end of Taurus. Are his real-estate deals more for fun (even going bust at times) – and what about his go at the Presidency in 2012???

    Moon opposite his natal Sun/Uranus indicates sort of a gambling nature – confirming lack of earth?

  11. VJ says:

    Thank you, Fabienne:

    I am Gemini, and I’m laughing! I have attempted various creative pursuits, and recently finished a children’s writing program, but find that being a student of learning, universal as well as college is an outlet for blowing off a bit of steam. I have studied Tai Chi, and martial arts, also as an outlet. But, sometimes I become so bored with earth school, that I want to take off like a rocket ship straight into outer space. Now, the countdown of Uranus, among other planets are transiting my 10th with Aries on the cusp.

    Since I am 53, with a birthday coming in June, I suppose there aren’t that many options available to me in relation to what’s left of my life. Therefore, I have been advised to work with middle-grade children, or become a librarian. So, my plan is to enroll in a Librarian Technician/Paraprofessional program to start this Fall.

    Go figure! After an entire lifetime of “hippity, hoppity,” the end result is still more education, and, to teach.

    Thank you for responding so promptly!


    • Fabienne Lopez says:


      I would be curious to know what lessons Saturn in Libra has brought you in regards to creativity and your lack of earth. How an earth planet -Saturn- in an air sign has helped you understand how these two could, should, would work together.

  12. Veronica says:

    I am low in earth and strong in air.I struggled in school with finishing things and left my studies to join the protesters. After working in retail and clerking in an. E.R., I became a legal secretary at my mother’s insistence. I excelled in all of the connection aspects of the job, and have great people skills. But I struggled with timeliness, forms, organization and protocol. I left to be a full time mom. I am sentimental and hate to pitch my kids’ papers. Purging belongings used to be so painful because I associated them with their owner. My 7th house has Taurus on the cusp and I now carry our health benefits. I work many more hours than I was I initially promised and I dearly miss my freedom. My job again involves connecting people to resources.

    My husband’s business had diminished to the point that I felt that I had no choice but to step up and work more hours. For many years he had the worry of the big money stuff while I was home with kids.

    I have Saturn in the 2nd.
    Earth is teaching me to be mindful of time. Scarcity to sufficiency with time and money is my current challenge. What can I do in five minutes? Can I finish a load of laundry? Getting my family to work together, learning about delegating, hierarchy and boundaries at work; reciprocity and honoring obligations are my current Earth lessons.

    • Fabienne Lopez says:


      There is not much I can say about the lessons and actions about Earth. You really have a good grasps on it. I like the way you explain. That’s very practical and mindful – what can I do in 5 minutes, how to grow from scarcity to sufficiency and then abundance (that my addition). A thought that came to me, is that with Jupiter’s extended stay in Taurus from June 2011 on, it might allow you to expand, grow these time lessons with a greater sense of self-confidence and optimism. Just a thought.

  13. VJ says:

    Saturn is transiting my 4th house, Libra cusp, or intercepted, depending on Koch or Placidus astrology programs, so I’m dealing with 4th house matters. My family was not supportive of me, emotionally or creatively. As a matter of fact, I have lived the majority of my adult life without them. So, that leaves me with the discipline of establishing my own spiritual family, which is Universal.

    Thank you.

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