Cancer is the first water sign and represents water in it’s most basic form. Cancer is genuine, concerned with others, nurturing and the most helpful. When unleashed however, like a river that spills it’s banks, Cancer can be very aggressive when the need to defend themselves or someone they love.
The fluidity of water describes our emotions. The turbulent sea has inspired many poets; water is, in fact, the element of the poet. The surface of the sea erupts into waves that can be gentle and slow or unpredictable and life-threatening. Deeper than the surface of the sea are quiet calm and a plethora of interesting, colourful life-forms. Water represents the subconscious mind. Comparing the human mind to the sea, that world in the deep waters is our subconscious, filled with creatures we can only glimpse briefly. The imagery of the subconscious is likened to the imagery of the poet, with symbols holding deeper meanings that effect us on an emotional level.
The watery womb is nurturing and life-sustaining. Going "back into the womb" is a phrase that implies comfort and security. The womb also reflects the creative qualities of water. The watery individual is able to develop a creative project over time. Jung used the concept of water as inspiration for his "Feelings" category of human psychology.
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.