When I first started learning about astrology, I admittedly took a fairly narcissistic approach. I dove headfirst into my “big three,” learning about my sun, my moon, and my rising signs, analyzing and dissecting how these different traits manifested in my own life. But soon after, I desperately wanted to do the same for everyone else—my friends, my boyfriend, my co-workers, my co-workers’ boyfriends. I had to go back to the basics: the 12 zodiac signs of Western astrology and the four elements—air, fire, water, and earth—that rule them all.

Think of it like a family tree of sorts; each ruling element has its own traits and the three signs that element rules share some of those same characteristics. For example, the air signs—Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius—are breezy social butterflies who are typically good communicators. “The air signs—probably because they flow together so seamlessly, as air does—are aware of connections between everything,” notes Tali Edut, one half of The AstroTwins, the official astrologers for ELLE. As for everything else you need to know about air signs, Edut breaks it all down below.

Air Sign Dates

Aquarius: January 20–February 18

Gemini: May 21–June 20

Libra: September 23–October 22

Air Sign Traits

a water color painting of a spiral of air and a few leaves
Leah Romero

Naturally, air signs take on many of the attributes of their elemental ruler. “They can be breezy, they get things moving along,” Edut says. “When they’re on their game, they’re the social butterflies who get everyone to connect, communicate, and think about each other.” As a result, air signs are also good communicators, researchers, and journalists. “Geminis, especially,” Edut explains. “Libras tend to be coaches or agents or representatives. Aquarians are the scientists and the think tank organizers.”

On the flip side, air signs can also be flighty and superficial. “They never ground themselves long enough to go deep,” she says. “They can be so on-the-go that you can’t pin them down. They can be very indecisive and will take forever to pick an option, because why should you when there are five million others out there?” Emotionally, air signs can also run hot and cold—and the latter typically happens when they don’t want to discuss something.

If you have an air sign for your sun sign...

...it’s the essence of who you are, Edut says. “You’re a social being. You’re somebody who needs people, needs groups, needs to find some commonalities. When you don’t have movement, when you don’t have people, you’re going to feel like there’s no fuel in your tank.”

If you have an air sign for your rising sign...

...that influences peoples’ first impression of you. “You literally might come across as a bit of an airhead,” Edut explains. “Very outgoing, very talkative.” Either way, people will think you’re a social creature, even if that might not be who you are at heart.

If you have an air sign for your moon sign...

...you might steer clear of heavier relationships and emotions. “You might not be someone who’s all about feelings and drowning in them,” she says. “You don’t mind analyzing them, but you can come across as a bit cool and reserved or superficial sometimes. It’s not that you are, but you want everything to be kind of bubbly.”

Air Sign Compatibility

The easiest pairing for air signs are fire signs—a fanning of flames, as Edut says. “There’s sort of a friendly dynamic [between fire and air]. Air and water, if they have common interests, they’ll have lots to talk about, but eventually water will start to bring it into more emotional terrain, and air might be like, ‘Ugh, why are we talking about this?’” Lastly, earth signs can ground air signs but ultimately might be a bit heavy for the airier folks out there.

Gemini Traits

Let’s get into the three unique signs, each of which also has a modality: cardinal, mutable, or fixed. Gemini is the mutable air sign, which Edut describes as the “ever-changing current.” She says, “Of all the air signs, they need the most variety and change and get bored the easiest.” Some famous Geminis include communicators like Angelina Jolie, an actor and former Special Envoy for the UN Refugee Agency, or rapper Kendrick Lamar.

Libra Traits

Libras are the cardinal air sign and the more stable of the bunch. “They’re very much relationship-oriented and very firm in what they want.” So if you’re looking to date an air sign, Edut suggests looking to the Libras in your life. “I’m not saying the others aren’t going to stick around, but they’re not as eager to pick a lane.” Libras are also the leaders of the air signs, which makes sense when you consider how athlete extraordinaire Serena Williams and rapper Cardi B are some of our most famous Libras.

Aquarius Traits

“Aquarians are fixed [signs], which is funny,” Edut says. “You think of Aquarius as being really wacky, but they’re more about data and groups.” Aquarius is also the sign of teams, giving us famous team players like Harry Styles (shout-out to One Direction) and Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player of all time.

Rapid-Fire Questions

Best form of self-care for air signs?

Edut: Absolutely yoga. It’s good for them to bring themselves into their bodies. Even though they may not come to it immediately, it gets them to calm down, pay attention to their breath, and that is really what gets them centered after they’ve absorbed all the social energy around them.

The ideal date for air signs?

Edut: An ideal date for an air sign definitely has to be out where there’s great people watching. They have to see and be seen. They need to go observe and speak about it afterwards. So go see an exhibit, go to a concert, go somewhere where they can just share their opinions throughout, and it doesn’t have to get too heavy.

The next vacation an air sign should book?

Edut: Generally a thriving metropolis full of all the cultural activities that they love to do.

Headshot of Madison Feller
Madison Feller

Madison is a senior writer/editor at ELLE.com, covering news, politics, and culture. When she's not on the internet, you can most likely find her taking a nap or eating banana bread.