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Understanding the zodiac water signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

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In addition to being divided into 12 signs and 12 respective houses, the zodiac wheel is quartered into the four elements: air, water, fire and earth. Within the element of water, we find the signs Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.

While these signs each possess their own power and challenges, their ruling element lends itself to a slew of common ground, or groundwater, as it were. 

Highly imaginative, water signs are predisposed to creativity, vivid dreams and acute insights. Water signs “feel” their way through the world, relying on instinct and emotion to guide them. Pisces Anaïs Nin may have spoken on behalf of all water signs when she likened herself to a mermaid, writing, “I have no great fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.” These folks exist to feel and find communion and transformation through emotional experience. 

The zodiac and the elements are divided into feminine (Earth and Water) and masculine (Fire and Air) signs; this distinction is not related to gender so much as the dichotomy of yin and yang, or passive, receptive, internal energy vs. active, projected, outward energy. Feminine water signs, Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces tend to carry energy; receiving it from those around them, internalizing it and oftentimes holding onto it longer than is necessary or nourishing. 

Alongside receptivity, there is a danger among water signs to seek external validation. This modality lends itself to instability and the tendency to be deeply unmoored by endings: relationships, careers, Mufasa’s death scene in the “Lion King,” etc. There is an intrinsic vulnerability to the emotional quality of water signs but, as any therapist worth their weight in salt and Jungian interpretation will tell you, vulnerability is the truest kind of strength. 

Water signs are ultimately seeking routing and release. They need a direction to point their prodigious emotional energy towards and a modality of catharsis to clear the negative or challenging currents they collect. Water signs at their highest level can provide refreshing insights and compassionate clarity. On their lowest vibrational setting, water signs are guilty of passive-aggressive manipulation and emotional waterboarding. 

Cue Fleetwood Mac’s “Storms” and read on to discover more. 

Water Signs In Love

The acute sensitivity of water signs is often guarded by an initial aloofness. These folks can’t be trusting their marshmallow insides with just anyone. Because they feel deeply and hurt easily, they are understandably more discerning than other signs when it comes to opening the chambers of their oceanic hearts. In love, water signs crave reassurance from their partner through words and physical touch. They need to feel safe before they feel safe enough to share the entirety of themselves. 

Once safety is secured, the attachment style of water signs can be quite intense, oceanic in its scope and tidal in its pull. These folks dive deep and hold on tight. 

A sense of stability is essential to water; without a vessel to hold it or a proverbial river bank to bind it, it runs the risk of drying up or flooding over. Often, water signs seek this containment through their romantic relationships, hoping another person will provide them with a safe harbor. 

Unsurprisingly, boundaries within relationships are a perennial struggle for water, this relates back to containment. It’s difficult for them not to spill over into others and vice versa; it’s sometimes hard for water signs to determine where their partner’s needs and desires end and their own begin. Alone, water is and rightly feels formless, but the lesson for water signs is to find form in the scaffolding of their selfhood rather than in the murky mashup of their romantic entanglements. 

Water and Fire Signs

Cauldron bubble, water tampers the sometimes tactless approach of fire while fire encourages water to be bold and seek reward and acknowledgment for their accomplishments 

Water and Earth Signs 

Water cultivates earth, making it more malleable and inviting those of the crust to engage with and fully express their oft-neglected emotions. Earth reminds water to take snack breaks between true-crime episodes. 

Water and Air Signs

Here we find a balance between the cerebral and the sentimental. Water lends meaning to the cool removal of air and air provides levity and communicability to water. 

Water and Water Signs 

Water signs find safety and the quality of being “seen” in others of the same element. The best mix is a mix itself — i.e., Scorpio and Pisces, Cancer and Scorpio. 

Water Signs At Work 

When water finds its purpose, it flows easily and powerfully in service of it. Water signs are built for careers with a focus on spirituality, investigation and or caretaking. They thrive in environments where their preternatural gifts of intuition and empathy can flourish. The ability of water signs to read and respond to the emotional energy of others lends to their success in a collaborative workplace. 

Water signs are prone to drastic changes in mood, and in the workplace they must guard against an all or nothing approach that can make them appear extreme or erratic to others. 

Water signs need stimulating work environments as stagnation of any kind is a dangerous stasis for them. Channeled appropriately and challenged effectively, water signs, like hydropower itself, have the potential to be expansive and absolutely illuminating

Ideal Careers for Water signs: social worker, creative director, orchestra conductor, lawyer, nurse, scuba instructor, pre-k teacher, underwater basket weaver 

CANCER (JUNE 21 – JULY 22) 

Cancer
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Ruler: The Moon 

Quality: Cardinal 

Moon-ruled Cancer gets a rep for being the most outwardly emotional and unapologetically nostalgic of the water folk. According to Liveabout.com, “Cancer in trouble will fixate — and seem to really live — in the past.  It’s already the sign of subjective reality, i.e. living in your own world.  And the imagination of the Moonchild is legendary. Cancers can escape into nostalgia for an idealized past that never was. It really helps this sign to have mediums to share the visuals and emotional impressions of their inner life. It’s a triumph when the personal becomes shared as the universal, and Cancer feels less alone.” Look no further for proof of pandering to the past than apex Cancer Lana Del Rey, who reconstitutes American aesthetics and imagines her own history to the tune of music, offering it up as an alm to the collective, a sacrifice to her own loneliness and catharsis through return and escape.  

SCORPIO (OCTOBER 23 – NOVEMBER 21) 

Scorpio
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Ruler: Mars and Scorpio

Quality: Fixed

As a fixed water sign, Scorpio finds meaning through mining, be it their own pain or the subterranean currents of humanity at large. Horoscopes.lovetoknow.com reports, “Scorpio water is like that of a dark swamp; humid and soggy, filled with thorns and thickets, unmoving but teeming with hidden life below its still murky surface. Scorpio’s emotions are extreme, dark, deep, and mysterious. Scorpio is the most emotionally receptive and most emotionally secretive sign of the zodiac. True to its Fixed modality, Scorpio emotions are as contained and controlled as they are extreme.” Scorpio Travis Barker showed his propensity for extremes by doubling down on tattoos, recently covering the name of ex-flame Shanna Moakler with a scorpion (feel the sting, y’all) and adding a black ink imprint of fiancé Kourtney Kardashian’s lips. 

PISCES (FEBRUARY 19 – MARCH 20) 

Pisces
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Ruler: Neptune and Jupiter

Quality: Mutable 

Presided over by trident-wielding ocean daddy Neptune, Pisces may very well be the quintessential water sign. As Astrologyk.com writes, “Pisces people are super sensitive and very easily hurt; they need partners who can share their feelings while providing stability and structure. Pisces could be your soulmate if you’re seeking a spiritual union and you don’t mind tears. You are the artist, the dreamer, the enigmatic lover of all things ethereal. It is why of all the signs you may be the hardest to pin down, but once love sinks its teeth into you, your heart turns to mush and the Pisces mind which floats around so airily, lights of fire with passion and romance.” Power Pisces Rhianna is well on her way to soul-mating with flame A$AP Rocky. It appears the talented twosome are merging not only in body and mind but also in style — and after midnight-munchies. 


Astrologer Reda Wigle researches and irreverently reports back on planetary configurations and their effect on each zodiac sign. Her horoscopes integrate history, poetry, pop culture and personal experience. She is also an accomplished writer who has profiled a variety of artists and performers, as well as extensively chronicled her experiences while traveling. Among the many intriguing topics she has tackled are cemetery etiquette, her love for dive bars, Cuban Airbnbs, a “girls guide” to strip clubs and the “weirdest” foods available abroad.



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