Out of all four elements in the zodiac, the last element is water. Unlike the other elements, the water signs are most associated with feelings, emotions, and intuition.
If you want to learn about the other astrological elements, here are the guides for all four elements:
- Everything You Need to Know About Fire Signs
- Everything You Need to Know About Earth Signs
- Everything You Need to Know About Air Signs
- Everything You Need to Know About Water Signs
The three water signs of the zodiac are Cancer (personal), Scorpio (social), and Pisces (collective). Although each sign is very different from the next, they share overarching traits. Think about the nature of water: oceans are deep and seem infinite, rivers constantly flow, and when frozen, it can feel cold as ice. Water in excess can be turbulent, but just enough can be cleansing and healing.
Water signs are highly emotional people, but all in different ways. Some may show big displays of emotions, while others may conceal it, although it’s not to say that their emotions don’t run deep. It’s simply that some are more expressive than others.
Because water signs are ruled by their emotions, they have a tendency to be emotionally impulsive and make decisions from feelings, rather than logic. They aren’t intentionally being irresponsible, but more than others they have a tendency to follow their intuition, as they are likely the type to regret decisions that go against their gut feeling.
In real life, the element of water is associated with cleansing, healing, and sustenance. We wash our bodies when we are dirty and wash our hands to prevent sickness. We can survive for days without food, but need water to stay alive. Much like how water is necessary to our survival, we need emotions in order to have a truly complete human experience; without it, we would have no compassion or understanding of others to be able to coexist with other humans. Without experiencing all of the emotions on the emotional spectrum, there would be no joyful feelings to motivate us or unsavory feelings to provide contrast and allow us to truly appreciate the good times.
Water Signs as Friends and Lovers
Water signs are the most nurturing out of all the elements, whether they openly express this quality or not. Emotional water signs are often mistaken for being dramatic, but this is often not the case: some water signs can be more private about their inner emotional world but find that they invest a lot of their efforts on helping others work through their emotions.
Water sign love runs very deep, and as both friends and lovers they will do a lot for the people that they care about. They are the friends that will always come through during your darkest moments and will be there to support you through thick and thin. They are often empaths, so if they see you struggling they will often embody your frustrations and feelings as if they were experiencing the situation themselves. Water signs are the friend who is likely to cook dinner for you or visit your house with cough medicine and hot soup if you catch a cold.
Because of their unconditional devotion to others, they will often get stuck in toxic relationships. Waters are natural caregivers and may wind up taking care of others in relationships, which can prevent their partner from growing if the water sign is being used as an emotional crutch. Unfortunately, because they are so devoted, they can refuse to give up on a partner that may use the water sign as an emotional punching bag.
Water Sign Work Ethic and Career Tendencies
Because water signs are very sensitive, intuitive and empathetic, they make excellent caregivers. Whether it’s a nurse in the medical field, a personal assistant, a hotel manager in the hospitality business, or volunteering at a nonprofit organization, water signs are excellent at providing a service that helps others.
One drawback of water signs in the career department is that because they may be so emotionally reactive, it can be hard for them to feel fulfilled in their career if they aren’t 100% in love with what they do. This can lead to an unmotivated attitude and even tardiness or truancy. And if they are forced to be present while in a mood, they may mentally check out and display poor work performance.
Water signs need to feel appreciated and valued in the work that they do, otherwise, they may lack the drive and motivation to show up and perform.
Low Vibrational Tendencies of Water Signs
Because water signs are so involved in their emotions, they can react to situations with such emotional impulse that can cause friction and drama as a result. It’s not in their nature to make it about them – ironically, their desire is usually opposite – but they may simply be overwhelmed by their feelings that they can explode in huge displays of emotion. When unchecked, this behavior can make it hard for others to be around them, because it can seem as if they are making a big deal out of everything, even though it’s only because they are struggling to process their emotions.
Water signs tend to be caring to a fault: if they don’t set boundaries with themselves, they may wind up devoting the majority of their energy being an emotional servant to others. This leaves them vulnerable to energy vampires and toxic individuals that can really test the emotional resilience of water signs. And if the water sign continues to stay loyal to them, it can create feelings of resentment over time.
If they are unable to step away from a toxic environment and don’t know how to express their frustrations of feeling used as an emotional punching bag, they may channel that frustration inward and engage in self-harming or self-sabotaging behavior. Water signs who do not know their worth tend to overextend for others who may not be worthy, which makes them feel worthless and vulnerable to self-punishment. Water sign self-sabotage can be seen in subtle actions such as binge eating or neglecting self-care, or on a larger scale, depression and even suicidal thoughts or tendencies.
How to Balance Water Energy
The biggest challenge water signs face is emotional turbulence. Luckily, it can be balanced by providing water signs with a sense of stability. Earth signs have a natural flair for this, but the other elements can be aware of a water sign’s desire for stability and take more active steps into creating a safe emotional space for water.
Water signs still enjoy deeper connections and conversation, so if you are able to entertain this desire, they may feel less inclined to probe further. They thrive on personal growth, so allowing them the freedom to discuss their qualms and helping them unpack and process their emotional baggage is a great way to hold their hand while they face their demons.
Water signs can get so swept up in their emotions that they may sometimes lose track of time and space. Sometimes it’s best to gently bring them back to the present and help them get their mind off of their worries by doing something fun and engaging.
Cancer: The 1st Water Sign
Cancer is the first sign of the water signs and a cardinal sign (the first sign of the summer season), which means that they associate the closest with the characteristics of water: nurturing, emotional, cleansing, and even turbulent.
In the astrological journey through the zodiac, after the human intellect is developed through Gemini we move into Cancer, which represents the development of human emotion. While Cancer gets a bad rap for being moody or sensitive, these don’t have to be negative traits. Cancer is simply the most emotionally receptive of all signs, which means that they tend to return the same energy you give to them twice as much. Cancer serves as an emotional mirror to others and if we are unaware of our own emotions, Cancer’s response to our energy can take us by surprise.
Cancer is associated with maternal energy, which means that they are likely to be the most caregiving and nurturing out of all of the signs. They are also the personal water sign, which means that they are mostly focused on their own emotions. They can either be intentionally focused on their personal growth or too caught up in their own emotions to be involved with other people’s emotions.
Scorpio: The 2nd Water Sign
Where Cancer is focused on understanding their own emotions, Scorpio emotionally captivates others. Scorpio gets a bad reputation for being “evil” or manipulative, but that is because they are the social water sign, which means they are focused more on how they communicate or interact with their environment or the people around them, rather than inward, like personal Cancer. This social energy manifests in how Scorpio has a natural power over other people’s emotions. Unfortunately, unchecked Scorpios can use this to manipulate people’s emotions that proves the stereotype true; however, emotionally aware Scorpios can use their influential ability for good and be a powerful catalyst for change toward others.
When you think of Scorpio as a “social” sign, you may instinctively connect the word “social” with “friendly,” but that is not often the case. They may appear unapproachable and their approach toward others is hardly ever direct; they have a magnetic and mysterious quality that naturally draws people to them. They dive deep to understand and decode human emotions, which makes them intuitive at knowing what to say and do to others in order to get their desired response. It’s usually not something they are aware of, because their emotional perception is intuitive and second nature to them.
Scorpio is the 2nd water sign and comes in at the middle of the fall season, which means that they are a fixed sign. For Water, this fixed energy manifests in their all-or-nothing approach with everything they do: they either approach it with passion or with no desire at all. That means they only believe in deep bonds and no superficial acquaintances, purpose-driven work instead of menial labor, and so on.
Pisces: The 3rd Water Sign
Pisces is the 3rd water sign and comes in at the end of the winter season, which means that they are a mutable sign. For Pisces, this changing energy manifests in their slippery emotional disposition: one moment they feel a certain way, and in the next moment, they feel something else. Their emotional flip-flopping makes them appear loopy or as if they are living in a dream world.
Pisces has a dreamlike quality to their emotions which gives them unconditional love and acceptance towards everything. This perspective can be perceived as idealistic but for Pisces, they truly believe that in the end, things will work out, and this is why they tend to be more passive in their approach to the world.
Pisces is the collective water sign, which means that unlike personal Cancer or social Scorpio, they desire a world where everyone can see -or rather, feel – the world through the same rose-colored glasses as theirs. Pisces embodies the depths and expansiveness of the ocean, and like a fish, it can travel from country to country. Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac, so they tend to have the energy of old wisdom and the mindset of “I have seen the world, and I accept it.”
How Water Signs Interact With Other Elements
While each water sign is unique, they all have similarities in how they interact with the other 3 astrological elements. Understanding how they interact with others allows you to easily identify someone’s elemental without knowing their specific sun sign.
When water signs meet fire signs, it can often reach a boiling point. Fire has a tendency to heat water up and provoke them, while water can completely put out the passion and drive of a fire. Imagine a fire sign telling a water sign, “you killed my vibe.” If the energy can be balanced between both, they can manifest a lot of transformational healing, through fire’s ability to create and water’s ability to cleanse.
Water and earth is a beautiful synergistic combination that can produce many rewards. Plant a seed in the earth and give it some water, and with time, a plant will surface and bear fruit. Adding water to earth allows earth signs to be more in touch with their intuition and emotions, while adding earth to water can give water signs more structure, shape, and solidarity.
Water and air is a force of nature: when rain meets wind, hurricane and rainstorms surface. When windy skies meet the sea, sea storms can sink ships and cause destructive tsunamis. When the elements butt heads, it can create a recipe for disaster. But when the energy is balanced, they can help each other express themselves better in the ways the other falls short. Air signs can bring logic and reason to water sign’s emotions, while water signs can help air signs balance emotions with intellect.
Water energy can be forceful and tumultuous, but when given a container, it can be very cleansing and what we need to initiate the healing we need. Even if you aren’t a water sign yourself, understanding how to use the healing nature of water can allow you to move fluidly through life with emotional intelligence. Who do you know is a water sign and what watery qualities can you identify?