Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.Lao Tsu
Water is one of the four elements in astrology (fire, air, earth, water). It is associated with nurturing and nourishing. Water is subtle yet powerful. It is a kind of soft energy that is so quiet you normally have to prick up your ears to hear it clearly, but when it stirs up, it makes the world shake.
Elemenets in astrology are extremely important. Studying them lays the foundation for all astrology work. To understand aspects and planets in signs you want to have an (at least basic) understanding of the four elements. However, element analysis is in itself a simple but powerful chart interpretation tool as well. Of course, it doesn’t give as detailed results as doing a full analysis would, but you can get a pretty good idea of someone if you know which elements dominate their birth chart.
Three zodiac signs belong to the water element: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces. They share many traits but they are different in some ways as well. However, they are all inward-turning, self-reflective, intuitive, receptive. Let’s take a look at the main characteristics of the water element in astrology.
Water Element Meaning
Water is linked with: wisdom, vulnerability, intuition, going deep, essence, silence, secrets, the past.
The element water is represented by a downward-pointing triangle. It is yin/feminine/passive by polarity According to the two different polarities, it is wet and cold. Its opposite is the element fire. Water harmonizes with earth (dry and cold).
Water is linked with the phlegmatic temperament. Its emotions develop slowly but then it holds onto them for a long time (but it might not like expressing it). The water element in astrology needs time to gather motivation to get something done, its superpower is its ability to observe and feel.
Water likes: music, art, cozy spaces (preferably with Christmas lights), spirituality, nostalgia, romance
Water dislikes: rudeness, overstimulation, conflicts
“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”Margaret Atwood, the Penelopiad
The primary GPS water navigates the world with is intuition. Often unable to back their gut feelings up with arguments, people with water strong in their charts are able to have accurate ideas of people or situations before others can see what is actually going on. The intelligence of water is irrational, whimsical, yet if you trust it, it saves you from so many unpleasant experiences. The world often feels too harsh noisy for water dominant people. They are more prone to anxiety and depressive moods. If there are no other placements to balance it out, water on its own lacks self-confidence and drive.
Water thrives on emotional bounds. Close relationships are really important to people with emphasized water and they are very compassionate. It is able to create an environment where you dare to be vulnerable. The element water is agreeable, cooperative and good-faith. Because you love so much to give, be careful you don’t let others take advantage of your selfless nature. Caring about yourself too is really important with the water element strong in your birth chart. It’s also helpful to learn to verbalize your needs and wants to others.
When it comes to thinking, the water element is extremely imaginative and it often prefers abstract thinking. Because it is so strongly linked with intuition, sometimes the train of thought is hard to grasp even for water. This element is artistic and while it appreciates beauty, it sees art as a way of capturing a piece of divine harmony as opposed to just something to decorate a space with.
This energy is generally oriented on the past rather than on the future or on the present. It tends to dwell on the past and hold grudges. The water element in astrology is linked with memory. (Water houses—the 4th, 8th, 12th—are considered karmic houses in astrology.)
Home is sacred for people whose chart is rich in the water element (not just physically, they need an ’emotional’ home too). They might not be homebodies but they need solitude and they usually enjoy being on their own. Because they are so sensitive, they pick up on the vibes around them what can overwhelm their nervous system. It is not rare that they are hypersensitive. When they meet someone, water rising signs usually need some time to warm up.
How to know if a chart is water heavy?
Assessing how the plants are distributed by elements is a quick and easy way to get a basic idea about the chart owner. The more you see of the following signs, the stronger the person embodies the water element:
- Sun or the ascendant in Cancer, Scorpio, or Pisces
- the Moon in Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces (very significant)
- the majority of planets in Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
- the Moon or Neptune on an angle
- planets in water houses (the 4th, 8th, and 12th)
- Moon/Neptune/Pluto aspecting the majority of planets
If there is too much water element in a natal chart, the person may struggle with boundary setting or feel that their energy flows away. They often complain about low energy levels. The positive side is enhanced creativity, spirituality, empathy. If the person is unable to express water energy in a healthy way, they might end up in a martyr role or escape into addictions. Water dominants often dislike the practical side of life and math and they can be pretty choatic.
What about no water in a birth chart?
People whose chart lacks the water element often struggle with forming healthy emotional bonds and they often resort to escapism. At a young age, many of them avoids self-reflection. Ironically, they are often more sensitive than some people with good amounts of water. It is a pretty challenging energetic pattern to have, but it is totally possible to figure it out, you just might need more time than others. Often, these people are drawn to water dominants.
Most astrologers consider a balanced chart to be the most harmonious. Water energy allows you to connect on a deep emotional level and calm your mind.
Water Element Zodiac Signs
The three water signs represent the three different aspects of water. Cancer reflects the nourishing quality, without this, life wouldn’t be possible. Scorpio is the dramatic, destructive side of water that can take lives away and ruin robust structures. Pisces mirrors the calm, wise traits of water and the unity and eternal circulation.
Cancer is the cardinal water sign. It is driven by the desire to protect and take care of its loved ones, to connect with the past and create a safe, nurturing environment.
Read more: Cancer in astrology
The next water sign, Scorpio is fixed water. It changes its thoughts and desires relatively slowly, focusing obsessively on what it wants. Although its emotions run deep, Scorpio has the most emotional stamina of the three water signs.
Read more: Scorpio in astrology
Pisces, the mutable water sign, is the last sign of the Zodiac. Pisces feels connected to the whole universe on a deep level and holds on to memories on an extremely deep, collective level.
Read more: Pisces in astrology
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