Understanding the Water Signs: Exploring Water in Astrology

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Emotional Tides: The Water Element

The Water element in astrology contains the three water signs: Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. Each of the water signs experiences life through a filter of their feelings. They are emotional, empathetic, and intuitive. Like water, the emotions of the Water signs shift and change.

These signs transform through emotional growth with each experience in their lives. All three signs are protective of their emotional space because it’s in their emotions that they find space to connect, reflect and care for themselves. 

Water Sign Quick Reference Guide:

  • Element: Water
  • Signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
  • Key Traits: Emotional, Intuitive, Sensitive, Empathetic, Imaginative
  • Compatible Elements:
    • Best Compatibility: Earth (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn)
    • Good Compatibility: Water (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces)
    • Mixed Compatibility: Air (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius), Fire (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius)
  • Famous Water Signs:
    • Cancer: Meryl Streep, Selena Gomez
    • Scorpio: Leonardo DiCaprio, Katy Perry
    • Pisces: Rihanna, Albert Einstein
  • Symbol Imagery:
    • Cancer: The Crab
    • Scorpio: The Scorpion
    • Pisces: The Fish

Element Overview

Key Characteristics

Water people are also often spiritual and introverted. They understand the deeper layers of human connection and because of this, they are more empathetic than the other elements. They get the subtleties underneath logic, and use their senses to navigate the world, in the same way the Air signs use their intelligence. 

Because of these traits, Water people are empathetic and compassionate. Many are natural healers or end up taking care of others, whether in their families or in their careers. They easily make close, emotional bonds because they understand other people’s emotions. Their talent is in understanding the desires, emotions and true motivations in themselves and others. 

Element Symbolism

Water, in astrology, represents emotions and intuition. Water is deep and mysterious. It hides secrets that are not easy to understand. Like the deep ocean, Water holds the potential of things unknown, and untapped. The Water element is birth and death, illusion and fantasy. 

Water is our subliminal self, our emotions, and our dreams. Water reflects what we take in from the world around us, and reflect back to the world. 

Each of the three Water signs express the traits of Water in their own way: 

Cancer represents feelings, the family or the home environment, and has a nurturing and caring personality. 

Scorpio is emotional passion, complex human emotions, and transformation. It is the most intense of the Water signs, perhaps of the entire zodiac. 

Pisces is the most flexible and adaptable. He is reflective, intuitive, and sensitive. 

Signs Under the Element


Basic Traits: Cancer, the crab, is a nurturing sign that loves to take care of something; in fact, caring for people brings out some of Cancer’s best qualities. They are very protective of their own emotional space, and of their families. They are empathetic and have great sensitivity to the feelings of others They are most inclined to maintain a very close link with their home and family. 

Element Influence: Water in Cancer increases their sensitivity and intuitive nature to a whole new level. They are also caring and protective. They rely on these traits as a foundation of their relationships. It’s what they need in a relationship to feel safe and grounded. They are capable of great depths of compassion and caring for others, and they easily express their compassion and healing energy. 


Basic Traits: Scorpio, the Scorpion, is super passionate and intense. They are very determined and resourceful people. Once they set their sights on a goal, they will work tirelessly to get to it, just as an exercise in willpower. They have an almost magnetic appeal. They attract people without trying, only with their mysterious aura. 

Element Influence: Water, in the sign of Scorpio, has deep emotions and wants to change everything. Scorpio represents the power of Water to transform, and the effect of deep change in the psychological sphere. Scorpios are not easy to manipulate. They are naturally suspicions because they are always digging underneath everything to get to the truth. They will use their talents to scrutinize every aspect of their existence, and yours. 


Basic Traits: Pisces is the twelfth astrological sign, represented by two fish swimming in different directions. Pisceans are full of imagination and sensitivity. These people are artistic, dreamy, and very much sensitive to the suffering of others. Natives of the 12th and last house of the zodiac, they have the strongest connection to the spiritual and mystical realms. 

Element Influence: Water brings out Pisces’ creativity and sensitivity. If left to their own devices, many Pisces natives would rather live in a bubble, in a world that is not real but not a dream, something in between. They are known to get lost in addictions of all types. Most commonly, Water in Pisces brings out their loving and perceptive qualities and makes them very compassionate and kind people. 

What they three signs have in common is that they are emotional and intuitive. Cancer cares and shields, while Scorpio represents passion and rebirth. Pisces is creative and compassionate. Each brings depth and reflection to their human connections. Each uses Water’s energy in their own style. 

Element in Daily Life 

Water signs understand what it is like to feel a certain way. These are the friends you turn to when you need a listening ear and someone who can feel what you are going through. Deep feelings come with some problems though: namely, that of being carried away because of too many feelings. 

Tips for Balance: 

Cancer: Don’t forget to take care of yourself as well, not just your family and friends. Caring for others can’t come at the expense of neglecting yourself. 

Scorpio: Anger or hurt feelings will only wear you out if you don’t learn to let them go. Try to forgive and forget. Indeed, putting that passion into something creative can really help. 

Pisces: Dream, but do not forget to wake up and stick to a schedule to maintain a healthy and sound mind and body. Learn to communicate those intense emotions without getting lost in them, but getting stuck in a loop. The arts and other forms of creative leisure are some of the best hobbies to turn to. 

Compatibility with Other Elements: 

Water and Earth Together: The Water and Earth elements are good friends. Water signs are most compatible with Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. They appreciate the stability and sense of security that Earth provides because of its down-to-earth qualities. This way, Water people have a grounding element to anchor them down when they return from the dreamlike state in which they like to play. 

Water and Air Mix: Combining Water with Air is fun, at least at least in the beginning. Eventually, things start to heat up. While Air signs love to analyze and discuss things, they are not particularly in touch with their emotions. Instead of feeling them, Air signs rationalize them and pick them apart with logic. This does not sit very well with the Water signs. Both elements look at the world in a different way. 

Water and Fire Connection: There is often fiery passion and deep attraction between Water and Fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius). But how exactly they mix is also more unpredictable. Water is tender and can either soothe Fire’s passion or get agitated and turn into vapor under Fire’s influence. Over time, Water tends to put out Fire’s impulses and needs. This is a combination that needs extra work and attention to keep balanced and healthy. 

In Essence 

This element, profoundly emotional, has the ability to function without thinking. Feelings flow through these signs and draw them on the path of their lives. Cancer gives protective and caring support. Scorpio is change and passion, the darkness of the soul,  and the depths of feelings. Pisces makes us appreciate the spiritual and mystical aspects of life through their power of imagination and dreams. 

They each have a distinct way of using the Water element to approach the world. And while their emotions make them highly sensitive, Water signs know how to read people and situations like open books. However, deep emotions imply that they have difficulties in regulating the emotional self. They are tasked to find the balance between losing themselves in their emotions or completely drowning in them. 

Are you a Water sign who wants to understand what makes you unique? Or do you wonder how you mix with a smoking Fire sign? Continue on your exploration of the four elements with our Element Series. Read about the fiery passion of Fire signs, the solid dependability of Earth signs, and the word games of Air signs.

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