In astrology, there are four elements that describe the energy present within each zodiac sign. There's fire, which creates the most vivacious and creative personalities. There's earth, which makes for more practical and grounded perspectives. There's air, which tends to emphasize communication and knowledge above all things. But what is a water sign, you ask? You'll find they're often the most emotionally perceptive and understanding of them all — and that's only the beginning.
The elements are super important when interpreting a birth chart. According to professional astrologer Taryn Bond, the elements are the four principles required for life and survival. One way to look at elements is as representation of the different parts of the psyche. “All of us experience emotions, a mind, a body, and inspiration to act, but the way that people experience it and the distribution is always different, which is why people act so differently,” Bond tells Elite Daily. Emotions relate to water, the mind is air, body is earth, and inspiration is fire.
Water is the element that comes to mind when you think about sustaining life — nevermind the fact that humans are mostly made of water. As astrologer Indigo Witt puts it, “When we're born, we're in water and we're entering [the world]. And that's what creates life — that water element.”
If you were born with placements in Cancer, Scorpio, or Pisces, you tend to feel things more deeply than others. Your dreams tend to be vivid, you have an intense imagination, and there's a whole private world inside of you. “Water signs activate great depths of emotion, intuition, and sensitivity,” Kyle Thomas, a celebrity astrologer, tells Elite Daily. “They are the most introspective of all, as they understand that individual growth is tied to relationships and trusting one's vulnerability.”
Water signs are selective about who they let into their hearts, but they have to be because they’re such highly sensitive individuals. They have the power to transform the world with their kindness and compassion. People generally feel like they can trust water signs, which means they might be more susceptible to being taken advantage of. However, their strength is far deeper than anyone can even begin to comprehend.
What Does It Mean If You Have A Water-Dominant Chart?
If you look at your natal chart and see a bunch of planets in Cancer, Scorpio, or Pisces, you’ve got heavy water influences going on. You’re likely a highly sensitive, creative, moody, and emotionally-driven person. You do things because they feel right. But it’s not that water-dominant people are weak little crybabies, as they’re often labeled. “Water signs have reasons to be as emotional as they are,” Witt tells Elite Daily. They “genuinely do feel things deeper than other people.”
Water signs are highly emotionally intelligent, and they are excellent when it comes to nurturing and empathizing with others. These people can often appear shy or withheld because they pick up on so much and experience a constant depth of emotion. “When they trust people, it's like they want it to be for life — that’s their intention,” Witt explains. “They definitely do not like things to be ‘here and there’ with their deeper connections.”
A concentration of water in a birth chart makes for an immensely intuitive person. “Water signs really rule intuition and that unexplainable understanding,” Witt notes. “They tend to go after things that don't necessarily make sense. They really trust their dreams.” Because water signs live with one foot in their delusional, fantasy realm, they tend to be excellent at manifesting.
Water placements are likely to be attracted to the elusive things in life. “They have this witchy thing going on ... they have this tendency towards the spiritual and the metaphysical,” Witt observes. While earth is all about the physical and reality, water is the opposite.
What Are The Water Signs?
Cancer: The Caretaker, Protector, & Deep Feeler
Those born with Cancer in their birth chart are naturally inclined to take care of others and put their needs above their own. Their compassion knows no bounds, and they will do anything to protect the people they love from harm. They have a knack for nurturing and are called the “mom friend” for a reason. Ruled by the moon — planet of your emotional inner world — Cancers have a deep connection with their feelings that allows them to understand and relate to others. If you're feeling a certain way, this cardinal water sign will feel it with you.
With a keen intuition, bottomless empathy, and a mission to care for others, it’s not uncommon for Cancer placements to end up playing therapist to anyone and everyone. Cancers can easily feel emotionally exhausted, but they can’t help being there for a friend in need with some deeply mulled-over, sincere advice.
As the moon is ever-changing through its phases, Cancers can experience an extra dose of emotional turbulence and shifting moods. Think of Cancer as the tide — it’s constantly moving and experiencing ups and downs.
But as a cardinal sign, Cancers will be the initiators. “Cancers are very good at understanding business, how things work, getting ahead, organizing, and things of that nature,” Witt offers. As the opposite sign to Capricorn, they can be quite business-oriented like their earth counterpart. Cancers will often have big, watery dreams, then use their cardinal go-getter energy to make them a reality.
Scorpio: The Powerhouse, Beguiler, & Investigator
If you were born with Scorpio placements, nothing gets past you. Your intuition is so strong and you're so observant, you can pick up on the truth much faster than others. Yes, there’s the watery intuition, but the attention to detail and tenacious detective skills likely contribute to why you just know everything.
Ruled by Pluto — planet of all things unseen — this fixed water sign is a natural at picking up on everything that isn't being said. However, they're also known for being highly sexual and effortlessly seductive as they’re also ruled by Mars — the planet of action, sex, and drive. It's difficult not to fall in love with a Scorpio when they look you in the eyes.
If Scorpio was a physical representation of water, it would be an iceberg. It’s frozen, it’s fixed, and you only catch a small glimpse of its entirety.
If you have Scorpios in your life, it’s not uncommon to feel completely exposed in front of them, like they know the deepest parts of you, yet you know nothing about them. These are intensely private people and tend to have trust issues, especially if they’ve been wronged in the past. These signs are notorious grudge-holders. “When Scorpio feels something, it's not going away for 10 years,” says Witt.
“They’re often in their own world and just very intense people, but they're also a little bit obsessive,” Witt continues. But they’re also very powerful and magnetic and highly interested in intimacy and intensity. “Out of all the water signs,” Witt offers, “they are the most into investigation, breaking things down, magic, and psychology.”
With Mars and a fixed stubbornness on their side, Scorpio has a deep and intrinsic level of ambition. When a Scorpio wants something, they find a way to get it. They can be intense and do nothing at half caliber.
Pisces: The Dreamer, Spiritual , & Free Spirit
There's no zodiac sign more ethereal and confounding than a Pisces. If you were born with Pisces placements, you're naturally tuned in to the spiritual world. You might even have a hard time staying grounded in reality. But don't think of this as a weakness. Your imagination is bursting with color and music, which makes you highly artistic and capable of dreaming up an even better reality. After all, this mutable water sign is ruled by Neptune, planet of fantasy and other realms. It’s also ruled by Jupiter — planet of expansion and adventure — which makes Pisces difficult to confine. They truly just want to be free.
“They're not necessarily mysterious,” Witt says. “They're just kind of confusing, and no one knows what they're talking about.” They have such vivid imaginations, it’s almost like that is their reality in a sense.
“They're very spacey people, and they're about what they believe, unconditional love, meditation, and mystical things, and they're just a little bit more passive than the other water signs,” Witt offers. They can be a bit detached and hard to contain or pin down. It’s mutable water: It’s ever-changing and flowing. As the last of the 12 signs, Pisces holds the weight of the entire zodiac. They represent the switch from this realm to the spiritual, so it makes sense that they are so mystical and other-worldly.
Indigo Selah-Jael Witt, astrologer and TikTok content creator focusing on interpreting the stars, spirituality, and pop culture
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