Hobbies Astrology The Water Signs of the Zodiac: Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces Share PINTEREST Email Print Tse Hon Ning / Getty Images Astrology Basics 12 Signs of the Zodiac The Sun & Sun Signs The Moon & Moon Signs The Houses Love & Compatibility By Molly Hall Molly Hall Molly Hall is an astrologer, tarot reader, and author of "Astrology: A Complete Illustrated Guide to the Zodiac." Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 05/07/19 The water element is one of big feelings and imagination. Water signs are submerged in their surroundings, often sensing the hidden emotional reality. Water signs are attuned to waves of emotion, and often seem to have a built-in sonar for reading a mood. This gives them a special sensitivity in relationships, knowing when to show warmth and when to hold back. At their best, they are a healing force that brings people together -- at their worst, they are psychic vampires, able to manipulate and drain the life force of those closest to them. Water signs are tuned into the many shades of meaning in relationships, and at times can absorb "vibes" from others. They have to work harder than other elements to maintain their personal boundaries. Zodiac Signs Cancer Scorpio Pisces There are four triplicities in astrology that are grouped by their element. The other triplicities are earth signs (Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo), fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) and air signs (Libra, Aquarius, Gemini). Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable Water Within their triplicity, the water signs each belong to another group known in astrology as qualities. For the water signs, Cancer is a cardinal sign, Scorpio is a fixed sign, and Pisces is a mutable sign. In basic terms, Cancer leads and initiates, Scorpio goes deep with a fixed focus and Pisces is changeable, hard to pin down. The Water Element in Astrology Those with planets in water signs are often assessing a situation by its undercurrents. It can give them an air of being aloof or even shy at first, but they're the warmest of souls when you've won their trust. Water signs are very self-protective because they're emotionally sensitive. Going forward in a relationship or situation often means being sure of their emotional ground, a kind of decision-making process that is baffling to others. Their perceptions border on psychic, but these insights get clouded by the intensity of feelings or are altered by the vivid imagination. The nuances of feeling experienced by water signs can lead them into the arts. Some find release from their own personal dramas when they're able to express them as universal. As writers, musicians and actors, they help others make sense of the human experience. But this also happens in everyday life, since water signs soften the edges of the mundane by padding it with emotional meaning. Water is a formless element on its own, and that's why those with this sign are so quickly shaped by their relationships to others. They need time alone to remember where they end and others begin. And to let what's been stirred up by life find its way to a quiet calm again. These are people who need people, but also need the restoring space of solitude. Water and Earth Water signs can soften Earth and take them into the deeper emotional layers of intimacy. This brings touchy and feely together for a satisfying physical relationship in romance. Earth signs can help water with the practical challenges of life, and encourage them to bring their gifts into the real world through some tangible effort. Water and Fire Water and fire signs can be one steamy combination under the right circumstances. Water can add emotional nuance to Fire's instinctual responses, and help Fire learn things like tact, compassion and how to nurture. Fire can blaze a trail of Water out of the swampy abyss of inaction. Their vitality and enthusiasm lift Water up, so they can find their way. Like with any element, there's a danger here of mutual harm if things are not in balance. Fire can dry up Water, and make them feel brittle and undernourished. Water can smother Fire, put out the flames of inspiration, which usually sends them right out the door. Water and Air Water can help the air sign make the deeper emotional connection. Water inspires Air to create a stronger personal base for what they're saying, by meaning what they say. Air signs help Water put their feelings into words, and understand the patterns at play in their lives. Air encourages the insights of Water and can be a motivating force for creative expression. Water and Water Here is a pair that can dive together into the deep end, for better and worse. They'll understand the need of the other for "me" time to process all they've experienced. But two water signs can easily merge and lose their sense of boundaries. This might not always be a bad thing, but at times it might feel like two people at the mercy of the emotional highs and lows of life. With balancing elements, this can be an incredibly close bond, to the point of being telepathic.