Today, we’re boldly going somewhere we haven’t really gone before on the site: astrology.
And we tapped Jennifer Freed, Ph.D, a psychological astrologer who has 30 years of experience as a depth psychologist and social emotional trainer to help.
In her latest book, A Map to Your Soul, there’s a chapter on the support styles of each of the four elements. Knowing our own style and the styles of people we are close to serves as a springboard for getting and giving better support.
“The best question in the world is, ‘What does support mean to you?’” she says. “We tend to grow up thinking, ‘They need what I need.’ But that’s not true. Everybody’s made up very specifically with their own kind of cosmic DNA.”
When it comes to support, we need to give people what they want to be given instead of what we want to give them.
Figuring out your support style
Read through the phrases below and notice if you relate to any of them.
You feel most supported when someone…
1. Gives you passionate, enthusiastic affirmations (both verbal and physical). FIRE
2. Shows you they’re reliable through their actions—by doing the small things that make you feel like they’re solid. EARTH
3. Listens to you, follows your train of thought, and remembers what you’ve said, but also gives you space. AIR
4. Feels with you and is empathetic, compassionate, and kind. WATER
It’s also A-OK to relate to more than one.
Dr. Freed gets into more detail about each of the support styles in a bit.
Now that we all have a sense of what our dominant support style is, let’s dive into how we can actually use this knowledge.
“This is the opening gate to figuring out the specific ways you feel supported. You use those as a starting point for the discussion,” Dr. Freed says.
“I hate the word ‘hacks’ in general, but there are hacks to getting your needs met,” Dr. Freed says.
Meaning—giving the kind of support the other person needs also helps you get your own needs met.
Dr. Freed shares that her primary support style is fire, and her partner’s is earth. “My partner says they get super turned on when I actually do the dishes right. Or close the cabinets. They get turned on because I’ve done the earthy things. And I get the fire benefit, the one thing I want, which is passionate engagement.”
She adds that it’s important to learn that support means encouragement. “Go and give compliments toward what you want,” she explains. “Don’t do so much commenting when they get it wrong. Everyone feels better being encouraged than criticized. So pick out the times your partner is supporting you the way you need, and tell them, ‘Wow, that hit the spot—that was so good. I feel so cared for.”
As Dr. Freed says, “The fundamental underlying principle is we’re all flawed, imperfectly moving toward the right growth place for connection.”
Knowing how we need to receive and give support provides us with an opportunity to do just that.
Want more details on your support style element? We gotchu.
Aries, Leo Saggitarius
“If you’re heavy into fire, the type of support you need is very enthusiastic, very demonstrative, very exciting, adventurous, and a lot of verbal and physical affirmation,” Dr. Freed says. “It’s dynamic, passionate, and expressed.”
Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
“Earth people need reality,” Dr. Freed says. “‘Don’t tell me—show me. Do the small things that make me feel like you are solid.’” These could be things like paying bills, picking up clothes off the floor, and doing chores.
Gemini, Aquarius, Libra
“Air needs a lot of conversation—ideas and discussion. ‘Listen to me. Remember what I’ve said. Follow the train of my thoughts’” Dr. Freed says. “They also need more space, and they want to give more space and independence.
Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
“Water is, ‘Feel with me. Be empathetic. Be merciful. Be compassionate. Be kind. Show me your support by being willing to host the dark in the light,’” Dr. Freed says. “So it’s qualities of love and consideration and sensitivity.”