Cancer is a water sign, and in astrology, I’m a Cancer because I was born in July. Could my intense love of the water—from the bathtub to the ocean—be rooted in my astrological sign?
And anyway, what does it really mean to be a water sign? In astrology the sky is divided into 12 sections of the Zodiac, each 30 degrees. Your sign is determined by which section the sun is in at the time of your birth. Every astrological sign corresponds to an element: earth, fire, water and air. The water signs are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. Each water sign has different qualities and traits.
I sat down with Gabriella Tal, an astrologer from Chapel Hill North Carolina. She told me everything I ever wanted to know about being a water sign. I was amazed by how she nailed my personality to a tee by combining traits associated with water signs along with the qualities of Cancers.
Read on to learn more about water signs in astrology, including which element makes the most compatible romantic partner for Cancers, Scorpios and Pisces.
What Characteristics Do Water Signs Share?
When I ask Gabriella what these water signs share, here’s what she says:
“Water can take the shape of whatever container it’s in. Similarly, in astrology water signs can adapt to whatever situation they’re in. Water is associated with emotions, because of the changeability, so water signs are emotionally fluid and move quickly between various feelings.”
In addition, Gabriella says, people with water signs are compassionate because they feel things intensely and so can have empathy for others. But every positive comes with a negative, and the hard part for water signs can be losing boundaries. “When you can’t say ‘no,’ you can’t take care of yourself,” she says.
Affinity to Water
In addition to these common traits, Gabriella tells me that people with water signs generally display an affinity to water.
“Aha!” I say. “I knew it!”
“But this strong relationship with water is expressed in different ways for each sign,” she says. “What’s more, if someone has a trauma associated with water, the expression of their love for water can be interrupted.”
So next, Gabriella and I discuss the different ways in which Cancers, Scorpios and Pisces use water to renew their hearts and heal their wounds:
Cancers and Water
Cancers are born between June 22nd and July 20th. At that time, the sun is in the section of the sky that has a constellation that resembles a giant crab. This is why Cancers have a hard shell.
“Don’t be fooled,” Gabriella says. “Cancers are usually sweet and mushy inside. But every so often, they need to crawl into that hard shell for privacy to protect themselves from their extreme sensitivity.”
As a Cancer sign myself, I have an epiphany: my bathtub is my hard shell in my home. It’s where I go for refuge and to regroup. Sometimes I even have what I call a “two-bath day.” (But don’t worry, I have special strategies to reuse bath water on those days.)
Scorpios and Water
Scorpios are born between October 23rd and November 21st. During those days the sun is in a part of the sky with a constellation that resembles a scorpion.
Scorpions have an exoskeleton similar to that of a shrimp. But they can’t retreat inside it like a crab does. Instead, for protection, a scorpion will sting. Similarly, Gabriella says that Scorpios will lash out if they are repeatedly provoked.
“They tend to be very intense, deep thinkers,” she explains. “They can act as their own psychologists. They will get in the bathtub with a problem, think about it deeply and get out of the tub with the answer!”
Scorpios in popular astrology are often said to be the most sexual of the signs, so once they solve their problem, they might be happy to have a partner join them in the tub!
Pisces and Water
When a Pisces is born between February 19th and March 20th, the sun is in a region of the sky that has a constellation that looks like two fish.
Unlike the crab or the scorpion, fish lack a hard shell or exoskeleton to protect them. For this reason, Pisces are the most vulnerable, the most mystical and show the greatest intuition of all the water signs.
“A Pisces finds its protection through oneness as in joining with the power of the ocean. A bath for a Pisces might be a time to drift into a transcendental state and let one’s visions take over,” Gabriella says.
Since Pisces are more “naked” in this way, sometimes they turn to various addictions to escape the difficulties of reality. Because Pisces have no protection, they also struggle the most with boundaries and have a tendency toward addictions of various sorts.
Water Signs Have These Astrological Qualities
In astrology, the word “qualities” means something very specific. Gabriella tells me that each element—water, fire, earth and air—has three different qualities: fixed, mutable, or cardinal.
“While the element is the most powerful indicator of a person,” she says, “qualities can provide more information about what to expect from each sign.”
Gabriella then explains how qualities apply to water signs, while I feel the excitement of learning about a whole new world I never knew about before. Here’s what I learn:
Cancers Have a Cardinal Quality
The cardinal quality indicates leadership. The cardinal qualities within each element indicate the ability to organize people.
In the case of Cancers, their desire to lead others may often stem from their compassion and empathy with others’ pain. However, Cancers can get into trouble when they overly identify with the people they are leading or the outcomes they want to achieve.
Scorpios Have a Fixed Quality
A person with a fixed quality might have a hard time with change, so Scorpios might be prone to getting stuck in rigid routines. But every quality has a positive side as well, so Scorpios can also be dependable and steady.
Pisces Have a Mutable Quality
Unlike a fixed quality, a sign with a mutable quality shifts easily. That said, Pisces is the sign with the most mutable quality within the water element. A Pisces can adjust to situations and change with the times. But they can also be wishy-washy and have a hard time making decisions.
Who Are the Best Partners for Water Signs?
People would say water and earth signs have a more natural, easy time in relationships together.
The Relationship Between Water and Earth
“Water needs earth to contain it and earth needs the water to grow. There’s a peace to this kind of union, like a lake within a canyon,” Gabriella says. “But when you work with couples, you have all different combinations coming in, so you have to look more closely at the person’s full chart to help the couple better relate to each other.”
The Moon and Other Planets
In astrology, a Zodiac chart usually will show not only the position of the sun at the time the person was born, but also the position of the moon and other planets.
Looking at the full chart allows Gabriella to give a more in-depth reading. “The moon has to do with your emotional makeup and Venus is the romantic planet, so I usually look at the moon and Venus when discussing a person’s relationship.”
The Rising Sign
Gabriella also looks at the sign that was on the horizon when the person was born. The “rising sign” indicates the first impression you might make when trying to attract a new partner. She also considers the position of Neptune, which is a key to understanding spirituality.
Advice for Water Signs
Gabriella has three pieces of advice for Cancers, Scorpios and Pisces:
More than some other elements, water signs tend to harbor a well of creativity. They need to find an outlet for their creativity through relationships with others or through artistic expression.
At the same time that water signs need to be in relation to others, it’s critical that they learn to set boundaries in a loving but firm way. This might not be easy, but it’s necessary to nourish their souls and maintain their energy.
Water signs need to balance their intuition with practicality. Gabriella says, “When you get some sort of inspiration from the “Beyond” which you want to manifest, one needs to ask themselves how to apply the vision in an earthly, practical way.”
How Do We Know Astrology is Real?
After hearing Gabriella describe the nature of Cancers, I’m much more convinced that Astrology is for real. But still, the skeptic in me pops up to ask Gabriella how she feels about the authenticity of astrology. Gabriella says:
“Astrology precedes modern science going back thousands of years from markings on cave walls to 300 BC in India and in ancient Egypt. It’s born out of ancient knowledge and it’s stuck around for such a long time. If it’s been around for this long, it’s held up! Many people find that it resonates.”
How Water Signs Can Find Restoration in Water
If you are a water sign, use the water to your advantage. Remember its healing powers and next time you feel the need to revive yourself, immerse yourself in a bath, the ocean or even a float pod. And if you’re not familiar with the magical healing powers of a float pod, also called a floatation tank, discover the amazing benefits here.
If you want to learn more about Astrology, consider getting your chart done with a knowledgeable astrologer. You can also read more about Astrology by reading the bestselling Astrology classic The Inner Sky, written by Steve Forrest, who was one of Gabriella’s teachers.