On Being An Air-Head

The windows opened up to the Spring
Like every spring before

—Mary Chapin Carpenter

The title of this just about says it all, but it wouldn’t be much of a post if I didn’t elaborate a bit more. Still, with it being Spring and this being a brand-spankin’ new blog, I thought this might be a fun way to disseminate some more information on Woman Behind the Keyboard.

Depending upon how much stock one places in astrology (personally I think it’s a fun way of looking at the universe and its multitude of interactions), my birth chart explains a lot about my overly-analytical personality. Namely, out of thirteen planets, nodes, etc., six of them show up in Air signs.

For those of you not familiar with the qualities of Air, this element governs the intellect, communication, clarity, swords, the East, dawn, and Springtime, just to name a few. According to the ancient Greeks, Air contained hot and wet qualities (which also probably led to its association with Spring, since this was also the quality of the weather in much of the Mediterranean at this time of year) making it expansive and mobile.

First, some great things about being an Air-Head: complicated concepts tend to come easily and quickly; pattern recognition also tends to be well-above that of the rest of the population; the potential for quick witted humor and an easy charm in social situations (although I have yet to experience the latter!); above all, the need for freedom is paramount of Airy personalities. Stagnation or lack of choice is one of the most frustrating positions in which an Air-Head can find herself.

But what about when Air “goes bad” or becomes overly assertive? Pedantry is the biggest trap, along with its traveling companion, Loss of Humor. Another tendency is to disconnect from the emotions, to hide behind a shield of Air when forced to confront an emotionally charged topic or discussion. When the intellect is overvalued, a person becomes dry and sterile rather than the engaging, lively mind most of us would prefer to manifest.

So, how to avoid these pitfalls of personality, you might ask? I can only speak for my own experience, but paying attention in particular to the qualities that come from Water and Fire (the “other” elemental axis, so to speak) can be helpful. Engaging in passionate expression, acknowledgement of not only others’ feelings, but one’s own, and remaining connected—in “real time”—rather than “Airing Out” (as my husband calls it) are the big ones. Smaller things I find comfort and balance in are:

*being in hot water (taking a shower, bath, or doing the dishes)
*taking in the Sun’s energy
*taking in Fire’s energy (particularly in Winter, from a wood stove or radiator)
*plunging hands into warm, rich soil, or lying on a large sunny rock

The key is to engage the kinesthetic and sensual parts of our beings, to remember that we are more than just brains in a bottle. Sometimes it can be a challenge, but the effort it well worth the balance that can be achieved. Air is a wonderful element, but like any of the Big Four, it needs to be moderated by its fellows to reach its greatest potential.

To fellow Air-Heads, enjoy the Spring! This is our time, when we can open ourselves up to all the possibilities and freedoms inherent in this element. Communications will move rapidly and new ideas cluster faster than a nest of ladybugs in a window sill. This is what we were made for, what we thrive upon.

Just remember the hot baths, ok?

—A.V.

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