Water is the All Possibility and thus can be anything. In its normal state, water is fluid, but when heated, can become gaseous and blends with air, and when cooled, can become solid like earth. When in motion, water can become energy and fuel, like fire.
Water is by nature soft and yielding and will change according to its surroundings. Water is the most easily influenced of all of the elements. Even so, water is powerful. In Filianic Scripture it is written, “There is no thing strong but shall meet a stronger, yet where is the hand that will break water?” The Heart of Water.
Water is essential to creation. In the physical world, the presence of water is believed to be necessary for the formation of life. Water also has the power to move mountains and shape the Earth. It is said that the Grand Canyon was formed by water.
Traits of Water
Water is the hardest element to define in words. Water is complex, as are watery people. Water can be gentle and soft, yet water can rage with devastating storms. Water can be wildly emotional, yet, infinitely calm and patient. Water is the most misunderstood element. Modern Astrology tends to think water is weak, except for Scorpio, which is seen as dark and dangerous. Medieval and Renaissance Astrology tends to fear water.
Watery people tend to be passionate, intuitive, and adaptable. They also tend to be misunderstood. Often it can be difficult to identify watery people because water likes to hide behind or blend in with other elements. Those lacking water tend to have difficulty with adapting to others and understanding things that are beyond the five physical senses.
Nurturing and Managing Water
By temperament, water is cold and wet, so cannot tolerate a great deal of activity. Water has no structure of its own, so it needs structure from outside itself. Water’s natural ally is Earth, which can give water the boundaries it lacks, but does not excite or agitate it. The heat of Air and Fire can both cause Water to storm and rage out of control.
Those with a predominance of Water signs are comforted and healed by water. They do best when they live near bodies of water which they can visit. Water is malleable and impressionable, so more than most, watery people need to protect their Image Spheres and carefully choose who they allow to influence them.
Water in Astrology
In Classical Astrology, each of the elements is ruled by a team of planets known as the triplicity rulers. There are several different systems of triplicity rulerships, but I use Dorothean triplicities. In the Dorothean system, each element has a daytime ruler, a nighttime ruler, and a participating ruler. In this system, the day ruler of the watery triplicity is Venus, the night ruler, Mars, and the participating ruler, the Moon. So for day charts, the order of precedence is Venus, Mars, and the Moon, and for night charts, Mars, Venus, and the Moon. All three of these planets have dignity in all of the Water signs.
The Water Signs are as follows:
In Cancer, Water is at its most active. Cancer is the Mother, and Cancer wants and needs to nurture and protect others. Cancer can seem shy and unassuming, however, when aroused is as fierce as a mother bear protecting her young. Cancer can be kind, gentle and caring, but she can also be powerful and controlling. It is wise to never underestimate Cancer. Cancer has a strong tendency towards worry and can benefit greatly from prayer and meditation.
Cancer is ruled by the Moon and exalts Jupiter. Saturn is in detriment in Cancer, and Mars is in fall.
Scorpio is the most powerful and least malleable of the Water Signs. Scorpio is the Ninja or Martial Artist and is the sign of extremes. The emotions of Scorpio run deep but often hidden. Scorpio is sharply perceptive and knows many secrets. Scorpio is devoted and fiercely loyal to her loved ones and her beliefs.
Scorpio is ruled by Mars, and Mars is the only planet that is unambiguously positive in this sign. Scorpio exalts no planet. The other triplicity rulers of Water are debilitated in Scorpio, Venus in detriment and the Moon in fall.
Pisces is the most ethereal of the Water signs, and she is the least comfortable in the material realm. Pisces is the Dreamer and is happiest when allowed to float in the realm of fantasy and imagination. The physical world and its demands are exhausting for her. Pisces is gentle and compassionate, but her lack of comfort in the material realm can impede her ability to offer practical assistance to others.
Pisces is ruled by Jupiter and exalts Venus. Mercury is in both detriment and fall in Pisces.