In astrology and metaphysics, water is used as a metaphor for the feelings and emotions. This is because water is almost as dense as solid matter, but it responds readily to the slightest touch or breeze.
It is also reflective, and the disturbance of the reflections can provide new ways of seeing the same thing. So it is with the emotions; our feelings enable us to see old things in new ways.
Water is the closest thing in our world to the basic, intangible substance that the ancients classified as "moist" or "wet." We all know that water driven by powerful forces can create tsunamis or erode rock into canyons over time, but we also know that without water, we cannot survive. Water can be dangerous, but it is the source of all life on earth.
The idea of water representing our feelings about things is a very old one. We know how easily our feelings can be changed by others' ideas and behaviors, but we also need to consider how our feelings connect us to others, in the way that two bodies of land share water with one another.
Water's basic nature is passive, and it's because of this passive nature that it is moved by tides, or is stilled by containment. A troublemaker is said to "stir things up", or to "rock the boat" or "make waves." Someone cold and unfeeling is often called an "iceberg", and those who lack emotional depth are called "shallow." To hurt another's feelings is to "rain on their parade."
Tidal movement is not just expressed in the oceans; it is part of our biological nature as well. The female cycle of fertility is well known, and many authors believe that men also experience a similar cycle of 23 days.
Other tides are present in every cell of the body, and modern research has shown that they can be calmed or disturbed by the emotions. These tides are expressed in the changes of mood that everyone experiences, whether they show them or not.
Many metaphysicians and astrologers say that water is the most powerful of all the elements, because water is so adaptable. It can work its way around or through any obstacle, and when in motion, it can become unstoppable.
Just as an object dropped into water makes waves, the activities of those around us makes waves that we understand through the Water Element we all share. We call these waves someone's "vibes"; people whose horoscopes are abundant in the Water Element, like those born into the Water Signs, Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces, tend to be better at understanding them than others.
Almost all of our experiences in relationships are dependent on our feelings. Most of the time, we make sense of our relationships through our feelings about others, rather than facts. When our feelings about another are good, we tend to overlook their flaws, but when our feelings about another are bad, we tend to overlook their good characteristics.
Our ability to appreciate other people can be said to be the experience of the Water Element and its tolerance and adaptability. When two people have been together for a long time, they begin to develop similar habits and moods; this is also the result of the connections made through the Water Element.
As mentioned before, the Water Element is also responsible for the physical connection; there can be plenty of passion, but without the connection made between people through the Water Element, relationships are not complete.
To learn more about the Water Element and how it helps define the Zodiac signs, jump to the Water Signs.