“Well, of course I said that, I’m an [insert sun sign here]!” If you’re even remotely interested in astrology, you’ve probably uttered some variation of this statement about the zodiac sign that rules your personality. But the same way your sign helps determine your daily interactions, it’s also ruled by one of four elements that further influences why you are the way you are: air, fire, earth, and water.

Each of the four natural forces controls three zodiac signs. And while they allow each its individuality, being charged by the same element makes for some pretty cool commonalities, including quirks and opinions, that become more apparent the more familiar you get with the ruling element.

When it comes to water signs, you’ll likely notice they are intuitive and emotionally fluid, says astrologer Valerie Mesa. Much like water itself, which ebbs and flows, water signs can easily adapt to any situation and, as a result, have pretty reliable gut feelings, high emotional intelligence, and are not easily fooled.

If you’re starting to make connections between your sign and this ruling element, water, might have more of an influence on your temperament than you’ve given it credit for. But it’s never too late to take a deep dive (pun intended) into the power of water and what it means for your sign. Ahead, two astrologers explain exactly what it means to be a water sign and how the three signs it rules embody the traits they’ve inherited.

Which zodiac signs are water signs?

The three water signs are Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. They don’t shy away from deep and heavy conversations and can typically suss out what someone’s got going on beneath the surface, says Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer at Astrology.com. “They see right through people and know their real intentions. Signs of this element are also very prone to be in relationships, as their need to merge with another means they function better when they feel safe and protected,” she explains. “Plus, the sensitivity that comes from the water element also translates into great creativity.”

Water flows easily, but it’s one of the most difficult elements to manipulate. Because they feel so deeply and are often in tune with what someone else is feeling, trying to convince a water sign they’re wrong is a pretty tough battle. For this reason, they can come off as a bit intense to some of the other elements, Montúfar says. “Fire signs can sometimes feel that water signs ruin their high,” she notes. “After all, water dissipates fire. And air signs are just too logical and fact-driven for water signs, as water signs know that feelings can’t be intellectualized.”

Earth signs, on the other hand, love a water sign since water helps cultivate the earth and earth helps keeps water grounded and safe.

Cancer (June 21 – July 22)

Meet the most sentimental of the zodiac. “Those born under this cardinal water sign could struggle with someone who isn’t in touch with their emotions, or perhaps a bit apathetic to another person’s needs,” says Mesa. “They strive to make the people around them feel as safe as possible, and they expect the same in return.”

If they get that from you, you’ll get passionate loyalty in return. A Cancer sign will shower you with affection and nurture your relationship with everything they have. But be careful, if they feel betrayed or crossed, says Mesa, Cancers will retreat into their shell and snatch that loving energy right back.

Because they’re so empathetic, Cancers hate rigidity and won’t tolerate mistreatment of themselves and the people they care about, adds Montúfar. Once a Cancer determines they can trust you, they’ll open up to you and you’ll have a friend for life.

Scorpio (October 23November 21)

This sign is often misunderstood, says Montúfar. But, she notes, they only seem complex. In reality, they’ve got tons of emotional depth. Thing is, it might take a while to see that. Scorpio is a fixed sign, meaning the water that rules it is also fixed, making them guarded, adds Mesa.

“For some, their enigmatic nature could come across as ‘shady’ or unapproachable but, in reality, this is how Scorpios protect their heart,” she explains. This is why they’d rather have a few deep connections than a ton of shallow ones: “They’re either a ride-or-die or not in the least bit interested.”

In a ride-or-die situation, you can expect honesty, support, and commitment. And should you ever find yourself in a jam, it’s the Scorpio in your life who will help you come up with a solution or find someone who’ll have the answer, says Montúfar. But the second they sense superficiality or deceit, they’ll consider that a betrayal. They want the whole truth and nothing but…even though Scorpios are the type to take their secrets to the grave, Mesa points out.

Learn more about Scorpio zodiac signs in this video:

Pisces (February 19 – March 20)

Since Pisces is “governed by the elusive Neptune—the planet of dreams, fantasy, illusions, and universal love,” says Mesa, chances are, there’ll be something about them that you can’t quite put your finger on.

“Pisces struggles when it comes to setting boundaries, as they are innately preoccupied with saving the underdog,” she adds. As a result, those born into this sign are usually social workers, healers, artists, and empaths.

They’re deeply connected to the world around them, constantly dishing out unconditional love, which is awesome for those around them. But what is a blessing to others can sometimes be a curse for Pisces, since people will likely burden them with their problems. In the end, though, a Pisces sign might say it’s worth it because they ultimately want the world to be a better place, says Montúfar.

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