Q: Recently I was told that water signs are brahmana (intellectual) signs, fire signs are ksatriya (leadership) signs, earth signs are vaisya (economic) signs and air signs are sudra (laberor) signs.
Furthermore, Pisces is the highest bhramana sign, then Cancer, then Scorpio. Sagittarius is the highest kshatriya sign, then Leo and then Aries. Taurus is the highest vaisya sign, then Virgo, then Capricorn. Libra is the highest sudra sign, then Gemini and Aquarius.
What are your thoughts on this?
Fire is the element associated with the east, which is associated with the goal (puruṣārtha) of dharma (morality) – so it is associated with people who enforce morality and law, the kṣatriya (governors).
Earth is the element associated with the below-direction, so it is assocaited with the goal of artha (economic security), and therefore associated with people involved in agriculture and commerce, the vaiṣya.
Air is the element assocaited with the west, which is associated with the goal of kāma (pleasure) – so it is associated with people who have a very simple, direct concept of pleasure, the basic laberors (śūdra).
Water is the element associated with the above-direction, so it has to do with the goal of mokṣā (enlightenment), and is therefore associated with philosophical thinkers (brāḥmana).
So, yes, this is a good paradigm.
As for whether one is “higher” than another… a water sign ruled by a brahmana planet will be “higher” in its trait than a water sign ruled by some other type of planet. Jupiter is a brahmana planet, so its water sign, Pisces, is the most brāḥmana. I am not sure about the second and third place. Similarly I am not sure about the gradation of the other signs. The idea you have presented seems to be that the sign ruled by a brahmana planet will be the “highest” of that type of sign. I’m not sure, but it sounds reasonable.
Q: How would you use this information in a reading?
You can create some math to tally up the influence of the four types of signs and planets and thereby get an overall understanding whether or not the person is primarily oriented towards simple pleasure and employment / economic development / morality and leadership / or intellect and philosophy.
You can also look at planets individually, as lords of various subjects and/or in their natural significations, and understand how the native approaches those subjects (either as a śūdra, vaiśya, kṣatriya, or brāḥmana).