The 12 signs of the zodiac are subdivided according to the four classical elements of earth, air, fire, and water. The three water signs (the water triplicity or water trigon) are Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. Astrologically, water refers to sensitivity, intuition, emotion, and fluidity. Water-sign sensitivity can manifest as artistic sensitivity, psychic sensitivity, or as sensitivity to others. This element also embodies the traits of compassion, nurture, and protection.
The emotional sensitivity of the water element shows itself somewhat differently in each of the signs of the water triplicity. Cancer's watery nature typically manifests as feelings about home, security, and family. Scorpio's emerges as strong feelings about sex, death, and occult mysteries. Pisces's watery nature appears as mysticism, sensitivity to music, and impressionability.
Negative water people can be moody, depressed, emotionally grasping, and possessive. Unless counterbalanced by other factors, excess water in a chart indicates an individual who is hypersensitive and overemotional. Conversely, lack of water can indicate a person who is insensitive and unemotional.
One finds the same set of four elements and the same classification of signs by element in Vedic astrology. The connotations are basically the same as in Western astrology.
Water is also one of the five elements of Chinese astrology—earth, water, fire, wood, and metal. In this system, the elements are not permanently associated with each of the signs of the zodiac. Rather, each one of the 12 signs of the East Asian zodiac can be a different element. The connotations of water in Chinese astrology do not correspond with the connotations of water in Western astrology.
Hand, Robert. Horoscope Symbols. Rockport, MA: Para Research, 1981.
Sakoian, Frances, and Louis S. Acker. The Astrologer's Handbook. New York: Harper & Row, 1989.
Was this article helpful?