were incredibly ugly. Worse, they were tasteless. There was a violent debate among the audience following the show of slides. Several people protested that these might be valid and important socio-political statements, but to define them as art was a dangerous thing. They might or might not be, depending upon who looked at them. Four people in the audience were particularly vocal in their disgust. I inquired later about their birth signs. They were all water signs. The objets d'art have offended their taste. They could accept them on the level of political and social statements. But they were ugly. They were offensive to the eye. Here is the subjective judgment: I don't like it, it doesn't please me. It's a simplistic but good illustration of the difference.
Water and air see very different realities, and value very different things. To the air signs, the idea is everything. Feelings must be subjected to the dominance of the idea. To the water signs, feeling is everything, and the idea must be bent to the feeling. Air, for this reason, tends to be more liberal in its politics - sometimes excessively so. 'Humanity' is always a big issue for the air signs. Water tends to be more conservative in its politics - sometimes excessively so. 'Humanity' is not a relevant concept for the water signs. It means nothing. Mrs. Thomas across the street who at eighty cannot pay her fuel bills because her pension is too small - well, that's a reality, provided you know Mrs. Thomas. One Mrs. Thomas is enough to influence the political viewpoint of a water sign.
You can argue unto eternity with these two. They are both right; they see two sides of a coin. Water sees what is here and now, the reality of the pain, suffering, loneliness, dreams and needs of other human beings. Air sees what ought to be, what should be, what from an idealistic point of view might be. Because the water signs can't grasp broad principles very easily, they can often become bigoted in a small way. Rarely in a large way, because they aren't concerned about large wholes. But if one Black or one Jew or one Arab offends him, a water sign will often form a value judgment against the entire race or nationality. Why? Because he personally, had a bad experience.
The water signs are usually pretty well acquainted with the darker side of human nature. Because they are naturally sympathetic, people unburden themselves, and they learn a lot of secrets. They are also acutely sensitive to all the undercurrents of feeling within a person, whether they are spoken or not. They have a strange ability to feel what somebody else feels, and enter into his emotional state with ease. For this reason many water signs make wonderful priests, doctors, counselors and teachers. The gentle, delicate touch of the water signs never prods or pushes. It just shows empathy and understanding. And it opens hearts. The trouble is, there has to be a direct, personal contact. Discuss human suffering in the abstract and it means nothing to water. Show him an individual who is in trouble, and he will respond.
With all these virtues, you might expect some pretty strong vices. They can be phrased in one simple word: reason. Water signs have a problem with reasoning. I'll say again that this has nothing to do with intelligence. Intelligence is something which has many different ways of working. You can have a person who is a brilliant mathematician and who is perfectly stupid about other people. You can have someone who has wonderful insight about people yet can't add to save his life. There are all kinds of intelligence. One is probably no better than another. With the water signs, the intelligence is of the heart. It's intelligence about people, what they need, how they feel. But water isn't a very objective element. It's hard to see beyond the garden wall.
Consequently, water people are often unreasonable. They are also often unfair, which is infuriating to the air signs. They will quite blatantly set one standard for themselves and another for others. And you can't argue with it, because they can't argue. If they try, you will get the most amazing flow of opinions second-hand, make-shift ideas, 'they say' and 'everybody knows', third-hand quotes from unread newspapers, and a lot of completely irresponsible declarations that may or may not exist in reality. In other words, water is capable of bending the truth, for 'truth' as an abstract is something known only to the element of air. To the