Everything you need to know about these super-practical and goal-oriented signs, according to an astrologer.

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A Guide to the Earth Signs
Credit: Anton Ponomarenko/Unsplash/Getty Images

Looking to learn more about astrology? A great place to start is understanding the four elements: air, fire, water, and earth. While each of the 12 zodiac signs has their own M.O., signs that fall under the same element share similar perspectives and mirror one another in terms of what they value and how they move through the world. Knowing which element rules your sign can give you insight into your own personality and desires — and help you figure out which signs you'll be most compatible with. 

So, let's dive into the earth signs. From your pragmatic personal trainer who's mapped out your roadmap to success all the way through next year to the romantic partner who's a pro at orchestrating a weekend that's as sensual and lazy as it is productive, the earth signs in your life will help you plan ahead, stay grounded, and take care of business. People who have earth sign placements tend to be among the most organized, rational, and hard-working in the zodiac.

Here, a primer on what it means to be an earth sign and what you need to know about each.

What You Need to Know About the Elements

The 12 zodiac signs are broken down into four elements: air, fire, water, and earth. There are three signs per element. In the earth bunch, those three are: 

  • Taurus, symbolized by the Bull.
  • Virgo, symbolized by the Virgin or Maiden. 
  • Capricorn, symbolized by the Goat.

Another layer to consider: Within each element, there's one of each quality, or quadruplicity: cardinal, fixed, and mutable. The quality that a sign falls under speaks to the sign's basic energy. Cardinal signs are the initiators of the zodiac (but can struggle with follow-through), fixed signs tend to be the most resolute (but also stubborn), and mutable signs are the most adaptable (but also wishy-washy).

Earth Sign Traits

While water signs are very much in their feelings, fire signs are action-oriented, and air signs are generally focused on interpersonal and intellectual pursuits, earth signs are the ultimate pragmatists of the zodiac. At times overly perfectionistic and overthinking, their analytical, logical approach is often the key to building anything — a relationship, a business, a large-scale undertaking. Detail-oriented, organized, and driven to deliver concrete results, they often find success slowly but surely by bringing their practical, down-to-earth perspective to the table. 

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Symbol: The Bull
Ruling House: Second House of Income
Ruling Planet: Venus, the planet of love, beauty, and money

The first earth sign in the zodiac — and second sign overall — Taureans are known for their resolute character, pragmatism, patience, and penchant for luxury. They're loyal, heartfelt, loving, and soothing to be around. Sure, they have a reputation for being stubborn, but that's no more the case for them than it is the other fixed signs (Scorpio, Aquarius, Leo, looking at you), all of whom have a knack for digging their heels in and struggling to steer away from anything they've found security in. 

But Taurus is particularly concerned with security, as the ruler of the Second House of Income. Material possessions, value, wealth, and how all of those things interplay with emotional comfort are themes that permeate Taurus' perspective. And because Venus, which oversees love and beauty but also money, is their ruler, the intersection of earning, possessions, financial security, and relationships is top of mind for the Bull. 

Truly in tune with their senses, Taureans know how to embrace the simple, lovely, heartwarming pleasures of life. They're your favorite chef, Netflix and chill companion, date to a concert, or friend you can rely on to plan the most memorable spa day (even if it just entails throwing on a luxe face mask and sipping rosé at home).

Compatibility: Taurus often hits it off with a similarly service-oriented Virgo, home-loving, money-conscious Cancer, or industrious Capricorn.

Virgo (August 23-September 22)

Symbol: The Maiden or Virgin
Ruling House: Sixth House of Health and Daily Routine
Ruling Planet: Mercury, the planet of communication

The second earth sign of the zodiac (and sixth sign overall), Virgos are grounded empaths and lovers of language, knowledge, and being of service to those they love. As the mutable (aka most adaptable) sign of the earth bunch, Virgos actually have some traits that feel more air sign-esque. Ruled by Mercury (like Gemini), they are intellectual, adept conversationalists and researchers who can also suffer from indecisiveness and maxed out cerebral energy. And they want to channel those traits into being helpful — especially to those they care about most. They are the brainy A-students of the zodiac, quick to share what they know to steer the ship in the right direction — and if they don't, they'll go on a merciless hunt for those "just-right" details.

And as the ruler of the Sixth House of Wellness and Daily Routine, Virgos are innately health-conscious and comfortable contending with the little details of everyday life, especially those that relate to organization and self-improvement. But although they can be conventionally neat and tidy in certain ways, like drooling over spreadsheet design, they might be totally sloppy in others, like leaving piles of clothes on their floor for days on end). 

Invested in caring for others and using their super-communicator skills to do just that, Virgos knock it out of the park as writers, editors, educators, and wellness professionals. They're the friend who feels more like a big sister or the yoga instructor whose flows and speeches seem intuitively, perfectly attuned to the moment. And if you're dating a Virgo, they'll make sure they've scoured all of Yelp for the perfect spot with the best reviews, call ahead to ensure you get the best view, or offer up a gift that's so incredibly thoughtful, personal, and sweet, you're left shaking your head in awe.

Compatibility: Virgo often hits it off with a similarly thoughtful Taurus, heartfelt and sensitive Cancer, or industrious and tradition-minded Capricorn.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

Symbol: The Goat
Ruling House: Tenth House of Career
Ruling Planet: Saturn, the planet of boundaries

As the third earth sign of the zodiac — and tenth sign overall — Capricorns are industrious, practical, reliable, organized, and stable. The cardinal one of the earth bunch has no trouble taking the initiative — especially when it comes to getting after any given big picture goal. They have a seemingly endless reserve of drive and determination which generally manifests in a chill, calculated, grounded way. They see every aspiration as a mountain that they're cool with climbing one, slow, steady, pragmatic step at a time. They're in no hurry, set on doing whatever it is they're going to do correctly and in a controlled way. 

This point of view goes hand-in-hand with Cap's ruling planet, taskmaster Saturn, which oversees restrictions, limitations, boundaries, rules, regulations, and commitment. Sounds like a bummer, but Cap knows full well that all of those aspects of life are necessary to stick with a game plan and ultimately revel in achievement. 

Their north star is achievement — and public recognition — as the ruler of the Tenth House of Career. In turn, Caps put their noses to the grindstone, often suffering from workaholism, but they can't help but leave onlookers impressed — and perhaps a bit envious of their no-fail go-getter energy. Their need to put in relentless work in extends to their personal lives as well, as they tend to be ambitious in looking after their health, families, and long-term friendships.

Compatibility: Cap often hits it off with a similarly pragmatic Taurus, cerebral Virgo, or driven Scorpio.