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Water signs, explained: What to know about Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces

If you're looking for an empathetic friend, go find a water sign.
The three water signs of the zodiac are Cancer, Pisces and Scorpio.
The three water signs of the zodiac are Cancer, Pisces and Scorpio.TODAY Illustration / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

What's in a water sign? The 12 signs of the zodiac are split up into four elemental groups: Fire, earth, air and water.

The three water signs — Cancer, Pisces and Scorpio — are each individual, but share broad commonalities. They're intuitive, emotional and easily able to access truths that are impossible to put in words.

When assessing your birth chart as whole, look at which elements appear more than others. This evaluation could give a new understanding of your astrological profile.

What are the qualities of water signs?

Sensitive, tender-hearted and often psychic, water signs become invested in their relationships, passions and pursuits. Water signs tend to be protective of themselves and their loved ones.

These signs are often in tune with their emotions and rely on innate instinct to make decisions. They’re sensitive and nurturing, but have different ways of expressing those qualities.

Their emotional sides can also lead to anxiety, as they absorb others' feelings and the worries of the world. It’s important for water signs to learn how to manage their feelings in a healthy way and develop a strong community and sense of self esteem.

What to know about Cancer, Pisces and Scorpio


Cancer season hits mid-summer.
Cancer season hits mid-summer.TODAY Illustration / Getty Images

Dates: June 20 to July 22

Modality: Cardinal 

Ruling planet: The moon 

Representation: The crab 

Cancers are creative, committed and sentimental. They have a protective shell that helps them determine who they let into their inner circle. Once they let someone into their lives, they keep them there (unless ... they’re crossed).

Cancerians are recognized for their intuitive natures and emotionally mature outlooks on life. They tend to have strong wills and are inclined to care for others, especially their loved ones, as they cherish those close to home.


Pisces season arrives at the tail-end of winter, leading into spring.
Pisces season arrives at the tail-end of winter, leading into spring.TODAY Illustration / Getty Images

Dates: Feb. 18 to March 19

Modality: Mutable 

Ruling planet: Jupiter and Neptune 

Representation: The fish 

As the final constellation in the sky, Pisces is considered the universal keeper of wisdom.

Creative, sensitive, artistic and nostalgic by nature, Pisces always seems to be a little bit out of step with society — in the best way possible. Rather than dwell on practicalities, they like to get lost in their own world.

When they feel their freedom is being restricted, Pisces tend to swim away from situations. People born under this sign can be elusive as a form of self preservation.


Scorpio season happens mid-fall.
Scorpio season happens mid-fall.TODAY Illustration / Getty Images

Dates: Oct. 22 to Nov. 21

Modality: Fixed 

Ruling planet: Mars and Pluto 

Representation: The scorpion 

Scorpios are known for their combination of intuition and ambition. They're not afraid of change. They tend to keep their feelings and thoughts to themselves, which can make them seem mysterious and hard to read.

People born under this sign can either be seen as possessive or fiercely loyal to the people they care about. Scorpios have a desire for depth in terms of relationships and intellectual pursuits. They abhor shallowness. This makes Scorpios powerful individuals who aren't afraid to speak their truth. Despite their enigmatic nature, people tend to be drawn to Scorpios, hoping they'll unravel their evasive side.

CORRECTION 3/25/24 at 9:15 a.m.: This article originally stated that Pisces was ruled by Jupiter and Mercury. It is ruled by Jupiter and Neptune.