Influence of the Cancer Water Element

Published February 13, 2020
laughing woman floating down river

In astrology, the Water element represents deep emotions and feeling responses. Those with Water strongly active in their birth chart realize from birth that nonphysical factors play a role in life. They are in touch with their feelings and in tune with the nuances and subtleties of life. But specifically, how does the Water element influence the astrological sign of Cancer?

The Element of Water

Water is the nourisher of life. It falls from clouds as rain and creates aquifers, springs, streams. Ponds, rivers, and oceans. Water nourishes the soil and makes crops grow. Too much Water creates floods, landslides, and tsunamis, too little creates droughts and famine. In astrology, the Water element represents human emotional and feeling responses which are, like Water, necessary to life but can also be both nourishing and destructive.

Cancer Water

Cancer, the Cardinal Water sign, is the fourth sign of the zodiac and the first water sign. Cancer's water moves and is directed. Think of a mountain stream. It's the freshest Water with the most drive to move continually forward. Cancer's Cardinality moves the mountain's water so that it aids growth in areas that need it. Cancer combines Water's adaptability with Cardinal's motivation, drive, and leadership.

The Mother Archetype

Ruled by the Moon, Cancer is the mother archetype. You can imagine Cancer as a busy mother involved in homemaking and caregiving; a fierce mama bear protecting her cubs; a mother duck leading her chicks to the Water. The Moon bequeaths Cancer with a mothering instinct, and the Cardinal Water element gives it the emotional drive to nurture and protect.

Mother duck and ducklings in water

Water and the Cancer Personality

Water gifts the Cancer personality with intuition, compassion, and an extremely emotional nature, as well as the ability to connect with, understand, and empathize with the emotions of others. It also makes Cancer retentive, sentimental, and nostalgic by nature.

Water and Cancer's Relationships

Because the water element has no shape or solidity of its own, water needs earth to both contain and direct the flow of its emotions. Therefore, those with a Cancer Sun or a Cancer emphasis in their birth chart are best paired with the Earth signs, Taurus, and Capricorn. Using the mountain stream analogy mentioned above:

  • Capricorn is the mountain that actively channels (encourages) the mountain stream's downward flow.
  • Taurus is the rich earth that surrounds the pond that contains and slows down (stabilizes) the mountain stream's flow.

How Water Directs Cancer's Interests

Being the Cardinal Water sign, Cancer is a compassionate caregiver. It is not surprising to find Cancers actively involved in charity events or nurturing hobbies like cooking. Water also makes them nostalgic. They also seem to love collecting antiques, collecting coins and postcards. You'll also find individuals with significant Cancer placements have an interest in careers related to children and family or to jobs where they protect and nurture others.

Boy rolling out dough

How Water Affects Cancer Health

The watery emotional nature of Cancer can lead to tension and anxiety. Emotional stress is Cancer's leading cause of illness. Emotional stress leads to health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes, etc.

How Water Negatively Affects Cancer's Personality

Watery, emotional Cancer not only deals with their own emotions; they're also sensitive to the emotions of others. When a continuous stream of negative emotions hijacks Cancer, they can become fearful, angry, frustrated, moody, depressed, self-protective, and irrational. The best thing Cancer can do when flooded by their watery nature is to take a step backward to find a safe, familiar place where they feel supported and protected.

Woman meditating at home

Where Is Your Cancer?

Those with significant Cancer placement in their birth chart are emotional individuals who are compassionate and want to actively give care to others. The need to make your surroundings safe and protected, and the desire to be nuturred, is part of everyone, no matter whether planets are in Cancer. Locating the house or houses that contain planets in Cancer, or have Cancer on the cusp, can help you identify the areas in life where you'll deal with your watery Cancer sensitivities and traits.

Influence of the Cancer Water Element