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Why Are Water Signs So Emotional?

The zodiac’s 12 signs are split into four elements: air, fire, water, and earth, with three signs aligned under each element. Those who share the same element also have similar character traits.

The three water signs—Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces—are renowned as the most highly emotional of the zodiac. Some liken their emotions to the waves on a beach, which ebb and flow and keep coming and going. Others compare them to a waterfall, or even a flood. Many jest that with water signs, their emotions flow as forcefully as a river or as painfully as tears.

Water signs are not known for being logical, practical, or especially diligent. They can sometimes let their emotions get the best of them. To others, they can seem overly touchy, embarrassingly sentimental, or disturbingly clingy.

They also tend to be socially introverted and are more likely to have a few very close friends than a giant network of mild acquaintances. But once they let you inside the vast spaces of their emotional world, they are extremely expressive and fiercely protective.

Here are the three water signs and how they differ from one another in expressing emotions.

1. Cancer

Don’t be fooled by the Crab’s hard outer shell. Inside,  it’s nothing but sugar and mush. They are easily overwhelmed with “the feels” and are prone to crying at the slightest instigation—or sometimes, for what seems like no reason at all. Their ruling planet is the moon, which guides emotions and maternal intuition. Of all the water signs, Cancer is the great caregiver, the nurturer, the kind who’ll rescue an injured baby bird and nurture it back to flight. They are also ruled by the Fourth House of Home Life, which makes them the great homebodies of the zodiac who are always nesting and making their abode cozier, warmer, and more welcoming.

2. Scorpio

Symbolized by the Scorpion—which has a hard, protective outer shell and will sting you to death if dare to get on its bad side—Scorpio is darker than night and deeper than the ocean. They are the most stubbornly mysterious and hard to read of the water signs. They are ruled in traditional astrology by Mars, the sexy warrior planet and in modern astrology by Pluto, which represents power, taboos, and destruction. They are also ruled by the Eighth House of Emotional Bonds and Sexual Intimacy, which makes them the most intense, erotic, and explosively sexy sign of them all. It also makes them jealous, possessive, and frighteningly vindictive. Once they’ve closed their hearts to you, they are unlikely to ever forgive you, either in this life or the next.

3. Pisces

Symbolized by a pair of fish and ruled by Neptune, the planet that guides dreams and spirituality, Pisces is intuitive and psychic, magical and mystical, a wizard and a witch. Ruled by the Twelfth House of Spirituality—which guides the afterlife and the subconscious—Pisces is the most metaphysical and “out there” of all the signs. They obsessed with the great beyond and the afterlife. Their inner life is as vast as the galaxy. They love to soothe and comfort and heal. Prone to fits of sadness and characterized by an eccentric sort of wisdom, they are nonjudgmental to the point where they can be a bit naïve and overly trusting. But you can trust that if they give you advice, you should follow it to the letter.