Which Periodic Table Element Are You?


When I was a kid, someone pointed out that the shape of the inside of your ear was similar to the shape of how you looked as a fetus. At the time, I chalked it up to one of those fantastical things kids say to exaggerate a correlation. But years later in advertising school, one of my professors had us gather the leaves from a lemon tree and then look at how it compared to the shape of the tree itself. Amazingly, the veins of the leaf seemed to match the branches of the tree, and the leaf’s shape was similar to the tree’s overall shape. Could it be possible that the parts of a living object represent the whole? And if so, how far back could we go to see similarities of ourselves as a society—to the lines in our palms, the DNA in our genes, or even the atoms in our bodies?

Shortly after my design teacher pointed out the correlation between lemon leaves and the tree, I began to notice many more correlations. First with the shape of an orange and the round orange trees they came from. Then how maple leaves looked like spiky-topped maple trees and oak leaves had more rounded edges like an oak tree. It got me thinking about the science behind reflexology and if there was something to palm reading. In kabbalah they say that just as an entire lake is reflected in one drop of its water, so too is all of reality reflected in ourselves.

Over the years, I’ve noticed patterns within patterns within patterns—in how cycles of history continually repeat themselves, how the patterns in our minds reflect the patterns in our lives, and how the patterns in smaller objects relate to the bigger whole. More recently, I became aware of how the functions of an electron mirror our spiritual growth, which I wrote about in “The Science of Raising Your Vibration.”  Even more recently I noticed how the properties, organization, and categorization of the periodic table elements seem to relate to the different kinds of people in the world.

The periodic table has always fascinated me in how all the elements that make up our world fit into this nice and neat categorization as opposed to being completely in disarray and random as our world appears to be. It makes the creator of this universe out to be pretty anal—whether that creator be God, some computer programmer, a higher version of myself, or plain old random mutations and science. Not so random methinks.

Perhaps even more fascinating for me, is that the man generally credited with the publication of the table is a guy by the name of Dmitri Mendeleev. My Hebrew (really Yiddish) name is Mendel, and it means to heal—as in “mend.” I’ve discovered that throughout history, the name Mendel continually pops up for those who’ve managed to seemingly make sense out of chaos.

So Mendeleev organized all the elements into a neat periodic table; Gregor Mendel took the complexities of heredity and simplified it into a four-box grid; Lafayette Mendel broke down foods to their nutritional aspects, discovering Vitamins A & B, and deciphered how they related to diet, Menachem Mendel Schneerson simplified the ancient stories, rituals, and traditions of ancient Judaism and made them relevant to modern society. Then there’s me, a Mendel who’s attempting to translate the complex workings of our universe into a way the average layman can understand.

There seems to be a power in a name—all names. That’s why they’re so important. Just as the day that you are born relates to your horoscope, the definition, symbolism and numerological significance of your name relates to who you are—almost like a sort of programming code. Science shows us that every element in this universe has a coded signature that relates to its properties and potential. Much like periodic table elements, I believe that we too can be broken down based on our birth date, name, and energy signature—the composition of who we are. I believe that this signature is shaped and reshaped by our soul, but it’s not even necessary to believe in the spirit to see patterns within peoples’ personalities that correlate to periodic table elements.

As a quick review of eleventh grade chemistry, the periodic table is a tabular configuration of the basic elements that make up all the matter on our world…and beyond. Each element is organized chronologically according to its atomic number and electron configurations and grouped according to its recurring chemical properties.

For example, the column at the far right are the noble gasses. They are odorless, colorless gasses with low reactivity. Noble gasses have a complete outer shell, meaning that their last orbit of electrons around the atom’s nucleus is already complete, so they don’t need to combine with another atom for fulfillment. Each shell can contain only a fixed number of electrons. The 1st shell can hold up to two, the 2nd up to eight, the 3rd up to 18, the 4th up to 32, etc. Just like people, the atoms want to be complete. In the case of the noble gasses, they feel like they already are, so, they act just like nobility—they don’t interact with the mere common element.

The noble gasses remind me of the types of people who are more introverted and don’t need to interact with others to feel complete. I often wondered what makes some people more social—enjoying the feeling of striking up conversations with others and being around people, while others are perfectly content to be left alone and rarely initiate conversations. I think it has to do with our various energy signatures. Some people need energy and so must seek it out from interactions with others. These people actually tend to do very well in our social society where networking is key. Those who tend to prefer their alone time gravitate more towards solo careers as freelancers, writers, artists, accountants, scientists, designers, and various desk jockies and Mac monkeys. These people can be very successful at what they do, but usually rely purely on raw talent, intelligence, and skill rather than who they know.

While I enjoy interacting with interesting people, I actually fall into this more introverted category. I don’t socialize in gyms or fraternize at bars after work. I’m usually surprised when people reach out to me—initiating a social connection—as it has usually never even crossed my mind to do the same for them. Nothing personal, I just feel like I have enough to keep me busy on my own. Usually, however, I’m glad when people decide to connect.

Besides not having this built-in urge to be social, like the independent noble gasses, I just so happen to be an air sign, which seems to relate pretty clearly to gasses since they’re invisible and light like air. This got me thinking. If I fit into the noble gas archetype, does the periodic table represent all kinds of personalities?

Dividing the zodiac elements into the periodic table groups, air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) could be the noble gasses, halogens, and other nonmetals groups. Earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) could correlate with the alkali and alkaline earth metals, fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) could be the equivalent of the lanthanoids and actinoids groups, and finally the water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) could relate to the transition and post transition metals as well as the metalloids.

Some columns of elements need just one electron to feel complete. All of the halogen group fits into this category, and they are highly reactive. Personality-wise, they would be the most aggressive, needy people. Just as the halogens are harmful or even lethal in sufficient doses, people who are of this personality type are said to be toxic—they are the drama queens and haters always looking for a little energy to live off of. The less dramatic halogen types are energy vampires who talk and talk about themselves and their problems hoping to suck out the attention they need to feel fulfilled. For this reason, they need to be around others. They wouldn’t be able to stand living the life of a noble gas.

One particular halogen—fluorine— is so reactive that once it reacts with something it bonds so strongly that the resulting molecule is non-reactive to anything else. Abusive and over-protective husbands are likely fluorine-types. That’s why they are so demanding and jealous of their women, but as long as they are secure in that bond they can usually keep their reactions towards others in check.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are those elements that have one electron that they need to give away to feel complete. These include both the earth sign-esque materialistic alkali metals and much of the water sign-esque transition and post-transition metals. While all of those who fit into this category would likely be “givers” those who are of the earthy alkali metals would be more likely to need to give away physical things like money or gifts to feel self-worth while those from the watery transition groups would need to care for others in a more emotional way—either through listening or helping

The fiery lanthanoides are all very reactive, burn easily in air, and are used as catalysts for synthetic products. Similarly, these personality types can act as catalysts to make things happen, or cause them to boil over. Like any other element, they can use their properties for constructive or deconstructive purposes, having both scientific and industrial uses. I would imagine that the lanthanoide personality would be similar—able to help bring about amazing inventions and start-ups but also able to destroy just as easily.

Another firey-type element group, the actinoides are all radioactive and release energy upon decay. Those in this personality group would likely be prone to frequent meltdowns or temper tantrums. At the same time though, when they hit it big, they can be explosive. Rock stars, divas, narcissistic politicians, and fame-feeding movie stars all fit into this group.

Obviously, this article isn’t meant as a thorough exploration of each element and its properties, but a basic introduction as to how this could all work. Those more familiar with chemistry could certainly weigh in on other correlations and how they relate to our personalities and how we interact and react with one another. Do certain element personalities or groups get along better with those that form the best molecules together—like hydrogen and oxygen? Or would it take two hydrogen types to interact with an oxygen to make an emotionally balanced H2O relationship?

I think the most interesting correlation for me is how some people seem to need energy, others seem to want to give some away, while others seem to prefer to just keep what they have. And the interactions between these various types create for some very interesting group dynamics. The various properties of each periodic table group also seem to have very similar correlations among peoples’ personality types. Who knows, there may be a whole new metaphysical genre shaping up here—a whole new school of the occult. Perhaps one day people will speak of astrology, numerology, reflexology, palmology, and elementalism—or whatever they decide to call it. Twenty years from now when it starts getting popular you’ll swear it sounds like something you read about years earlier but for the life of you, you won’t be able to recall where.

Even if I am onto something here, what’s the point? How could this knowledge actually help us? Well, I think knowing the forces that motivate us is very helpful. It helps us to see why we act the way that we do and gives us the power to choose whether we want to be so easily manipulated by our particular energy signature. While our personality types may initially be dictated by whatever element we are associated with, I actually think we gain the most energy by going against our set type. So those who are already fulfilled should force themselves to interact with others, those who need energy should instead give theirs away, and those who need to give should learn how to take which will be challenging for them. Going outside our comfort zone would give us the most growth, cause our spiritual electrons to jump orbits, and result in light. And that being said, I guess I should stop being so antisocial at the gym.

May Your Inner Spark Grow To Light Your Way,
The Layman

Cover image and other element caricatures by Kaycie D

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Marc Oromaner is a spiritual author and speaker who teaches how we can discover our destiny using clues found in the media and in our lives. His book, The Myth of Lost deciphers the hidden wisdom of the hit TV show and explains how we can use this wisdom to overcome our own challenges. His blog, “The Layman’s Answers To Everything” points out the patterns that run through all great stories including our own. These patterns are clues that are meant to guide us towards a life full of love, light, and fulfillment.


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The Layman posted at 2013-7-18 Category: Answers to Everything

20 Responses Leave a comment

  1. #1Cecilia @ 2013-7-19 11:50 Reply

    Very interesting. PBS had a special on hidden dimensions that measured the branch of a tree and how it follows the same shape of the tree AND the forest. So, you are spot on. I enjoyed this one!

    • #2The Layman @ 2013-7-19 17:16 Reply

      Oh wow, I wish I’d caught that! So the patterns are within patterns within patterns–as I know you yourself believe as well! You wouldn’t happen to remember the name of that special by any chance?

  2. #3Doppelganger @ 2013-7-20 14:03 Reply

    This got me thinking about how much more sociable I was when I was younger. Through the years I really began to value my “alone” time. It’s almost as if I started off with the personality of my zodiac sun sign and somewhere along the line my moon sign took over.

    • #4The Layman @ 2013-7-20 18:02 Reply

      In kabbalah there is the belief that through challenges, sharing, and growth you can evolve to a different sign as you get older. Your moon sign relates more to your emotions so it’s a part of your overall personality. From what little I know about astrology I’d say that it’s unlikely that the growing dominance of your moon sign explains your growing need for alone time.

      To clarify what I wrote above, the introverted Noble Gasses from the periodic table relate to the zodiac air signs in that they are similar elements and likely share many characteristics. However, as a group, air signs on the zodiac ARE social. They are usually social on a superficial level. They like to talk to a lot of people at parties but usually don’t go very deep on an emotional level. They usually aren’t looking for deep friendships but just casual conversation. With the noble gasses however, since their last shell is full, they don’t need to talk to anyone for fulfillment. I put that together for me since I fit both the air sign and Noble Gas introverted archetype. But as mentioned above, air signs can also fit into other periodic table groups including the Halogens, and Other Nonmetals group.

      I think we all get somewhat less social as we get older because we have more responsibilities. The takeaway is to look at your comfort zone. If you find yourself rarely seeking connections with others, than it would likely be beneficial to reach out more frequently. Get in touch with your former doppelgänger!

  3. #5jane @ 2013-9-14 08:12 Reply

    Actually, Doppleganger, we start out with characteristics of our moon sign and as we get older we move toward the Ascendant and progress into the next sig, moving a degree a year. Layman, this is the first time I’ve been on your site and I’m laughing at myself, because I thought I was smart till I read yours. Brilliant! Aquarius, no?

    • #6The Layman @ 2013-9-18 09:58 Reply

      Thanks Jane–for both the info and the compliment! I appreciate your modesty but can see that you obviously hold tremendous wisdom and strength to even say something like that. “Those who know don’t say, and those who say, don’t know.” As for my sign, CLOSE! I am an air sign but Gemini. I’m an Aquarius correction so glad to see that I give off that impression! Judging by your perceptiveness and modesty, I’m going to guess Pisces for you.

  4. #7HEYOKA @ 2013-9-16 11:33 Reply

    I must have something in common with you 🙂 I have played around with the correlation between The 64 hexagrams in the I’Ching and the periodic table.

    I am sure you would love Human Design and the Gene Keys, as the thoroughy explain how energy is exchanged on a personal level. I do also love your description of the atom and the way it gives off energy when it moves closer to the nucleus. Indeed this movement is deep relaxation. It requires effort and struggle to move out (contraction) and surrender (expansion) to let go. Your view and “explanation” fits nicely to my own.

    If you send me your birth data, date, time and place (and e-mail address) I will send you your 4 special Gene Keys.

    ALl the best to you,


    • #8The Layman @ 2013-9-18 10:08 Reply

      Wow Heyoka, sounds like you’ve already read the posts on the periodic table, honeycombs/hexagons, and vibrations! Thanks so much for your interest and happy to hear its resonating! I appreciate your offer as well! 6/16/71, 5:30PM, Queens, NY. If you hit “contact” on the upper right hand portion of the site under “interesting stuff” you’ll get my email address! Namaste!

  5. #9Marie Housel @ 2013-9-18 15:14 Reply

    This is great stuff to ponder. I,too, am a Gemini (6/19) and have wondered why I prefer solitude to company. In my teen years I started to lose interest in group activities and even parties. Now I tell people that I try to avoid weddings and funerals because there is too much extreme emotion going on but I also wondered if I was being too anti-social or eccentric. Sometimes it’s been hard to explain myself to others. The idea presented here consoles my questions about myself and gives me comfort. Have you delved into how the elements translate to our physical appearances?

    • #10The Layman @ 2013-9-19 15:27 Reply

      Thanks for sharing that Marie. Glad that this post gave you comfort, but at the same time, just because something is part of our chemical makeup, doesn’t mean we should resign ourselves to that personality. As I wrote, I actually think we gain the most energy by going against our set type. A lot of Noble Gasses/air signs ARE social. The difference is that they usually don’t feel compelled to socialize to complete themselves or get energy. They do it more because they like good conversation or just looking for fun. If it doesn’t come naturally to you these days, I’d suggest finding a group like Meetup.com or something with organized activities involving something you enjoy. It’s easier to interact with people when there’s something else going and that you have common interests with. Challenge yourself to go outside your comfort zone. You may surprise yourself!

      As for the elements relating to physical appearances, absolutely. I took a palm and face-reading kabbalah class. They mentioned that air signs (noble gasses) tend to be lankier types with more triangular faces that point towards their chin; water signs (transition/post transition metals and metalloids) often have rounder features and bigger eyes; fiery types (lanthanoides and actinoides) are hair-focused and have eyebrows that often are a prominent characteristic of their face, finally the earthy signs (alkali and alkaline earth metals) have more solid frames, broad shoulders, and square jaws. I just guessed a girl was a water sign last night because her head was a perfect sphere. She was a Cancer.

      In addition to comforting, I hope this blog helps to inspire, Marie. Making ourselves uncomfortable is a good thing–that’s how we grow. In fact, I’ve begun striking up more conversations with people at the gym (and elsewhere) and plan to do even more!

    • #11Ibu @ 2014-3-12 14:50 Reply

      This is pretty lame. Actually this is EXTREMELY lame. So lame that it slodhun’t even be on flowingdata. And here is why 1. The atomic numbers don’t make sense.2. The groups (IA, IIA VIIA) is pretty random. The only thing that happens is that the cuss word gets long (but that too is not done convincingly).3. What’s with the colors? Do they signify something or did miss that part altogether.4. Just in general, there is no rhyme or reason for any of this classification. It’s just a bunch of cuss words thrown in together.LAME!

      • #12The Layman @ 2014-3-12 15:42 Reply

        Hi Ibu, to respond to your issues:
        1: The atomic numbers represent the numberer of protons in the nucleus of each atom. They make complete sense since they uniquely identify each element.
        2. The groups represent elements with similar physical or chemical characteristics b/c they share the same amount of electrons in their outermost shell.
        3. The colors represent the type of element category that the key above the chart shows.
        4. Having a problem with the periodic table is like having a problem with the globe. It’s a representation of how our world works.

  6. #13Alyson @ 2013-9-21 01:04 Reply

    this is very interesting . I’m not usually interested on this kind of stuff , I just came looking for answers to my homework which I did ^^ , then I got hooked and kept readding and searching ore things , I never notice nothing of that

    • #14The Layman @ 2013-9-22 15:07 Reply

      Glad to hear that you unexpectedly expanded your horizons! When I was your age, I had no idea this kind of thinking even existed, so you’re discovering it way before I did. Not sure what kind of homework assignment this article could’ve answered, unless you just used the periodic table image here. The rest of it probably wouldn’t be taught in a classroom other than this one! Stay curious Alyson.

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  10. #18Michael C. @ 2016-10-28 05:49 Reply

    I really liked this. I was absorbed from start to finish. About a year ago I started studying chemistry, and soon made the exact same correlations between atomic properties and human personalities. (I related myself to neon.) “As above, so below.” I’m kinda disappointed that someone beat me to it, but then also comforted to find someone who thinks like me. Alkalis are the most selfless; halogens are the most selfish. “CONS” are the most social. Transition metals are also social, as well as hard-working, but more rigid in their personalities and beliefs. I’ve never been able to pin down hydrogen.

    A lot of this pairs very nicely with Ayurveda as well (specifically, the Doshas). In Ayurveda, there are 3 constitution types: vata (airy, quick, thin, more shy, most cerebral); pitta (fiery, athletic, competitive, outgoing, driven); kapha (water/earth, large-boned and easy to gain weight, emotional, gets sad most easily).

  11. #19mark @ 2016-12-13 12:42 Reply

    Enjoyed the read, I also look for the patterns in patterns, love the periodic table, which I believe is another pattern within a pattern,

    I am born under the element mendelevium z101, 6th dec 1964=6+12+19+64=101,
    everybody is born under a element, it is why we bond to some and react to others.

    To me the periodic table was only showing part of the picture, I realized that once extended to z172 I could fit two tables together,which i could then translate to the proton/universe, and much more.

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