The Mythology of the Zodiac: The Water Constellations (BONUS Free Desktop Wallpaper Inside!)
Hello Astrology Answers family, and welcome back to our month-long series: The Mythology of the Zodiac! This month, we’ll be exploring all of the Zodiac constellations’ stories and histories by elemental group.
This week, we have the stories of the Water signs. Water signs are naturally intuitive, sensitive, moody, and compassionate.
Getting to know the stories of the signs will help you to notice and feel the unique qualities and strengths of the Water signs in your life. It can also help you understand your own purpose if you are a Water sign!
Remember: even if your Sun sign is not a Water sign, you may well have prominent Water signs in your birth chart. It’s important to have a grasp on these stories so we can understand the layers of our own psyche.
So let’s dive right in to the Water zodiac (pun absolutely intended)!
The Cancer constellation has well-known mythology characters linked to it. Cancer is a Cardinal sign, and signs of this quality usher in new seasons that are known to be the most successful and major catalysts for change in people’s lives.
In mythology, the goddess Hera cast a spell on Hercules which made him commit a crime. He was sentenced to fight 12 battles to seek forgiveness for his crime.
As the story goes, Hercules was fighting one of these battles, having it out with the hydra with many heads. The crab (the symbol of Cancer) was sent by Hera to hurt Hercules’ foot. After Hercules crushed the crustacean, his victory earned the crab a place in the stars. Another version of the myth explains that Hercules won the battle when he kicked the crab into the stars.
The constellation of Cancer was first documented by Ptolemy of Greece all the way back in the 2nd century! Cancer is the hardest constellation to see - its dullness in the sky is said to be because it did not accomplish its task to harm Hercules. It has only 2 stars (suns) that have known planets.
A myth that better reflects the personality of the Cancer as the nurturer is about the Crab who was the protector of Poseidon’s daughters, the sea nymphs. The gods of Olympus were under attack by the god of monsters and went into hiding. The Crab asked a squid to watch over the sea nymphs, but the squid ate them. The Crab attacked the squid in anger, but the squid wounded the Crab. Because of the Crab’s immortality, it is forced to carry the burden of the wound - but its sacrifice was honoured by the gods with a constellation in the stars.
The Cancer feels everything, is extremely empathic, and often carries more emotional pain than other signs. Cancers are always looking out for others and known for being protective - their pincers and hard shell surrounding their soft interior making them quick to defend when necessary.
The myth of the constellation of Scorpio is about Orion, a great hunter, who vowed to kill all animals on earth. In retaliation, Mother Earth (or in some stories, Artemis and her mother) sent a Scorpion to sting Orion, preventing him from accomplishing his task. The constellation of Scorpio was thereby put in the sky to honour the Scorpion for saving the animals on earth.
In the night sky, the way the constellations arranged appears to show Scorpio chasing Orion. There are many bright stars in the constellation of Scorpio, which exemplifies this sign’s intense energy. It’s actually one of the brightest constellations.
As the fixed Water sign, loyalty and determination of the Scorpion combined with the Water element bring an emotional depth to the sign of Scorpio. Scorpios, like Cancers, have tough exteriors, but are more intimidating on the surface. That said, they have an understanding of and an affinity for deep, intense emotions. They seek to understand people’s inner lives and ultimately use their own inner strength to act for the greater good.
The myth linked to the Pisces constellation stars Aphrodite (or Venus) and her son Eros (or Cupid). When the giant monster Typhon forced all of the gods into hiding, Aphrodite and Eros transformed into fish. In another version of the myth, it was 2 fish that carried Aphrodite and Eros to safety. Minerva placed the pair of fish in the sky to honour their act of goodness (this may be more likely because other gods also went into hiding as animals and not everyone was given a symbolic constellation!).
The Pisces constellation sits between Aquarius (the water bearer) and Aries (the ram) in the sky, and it’s one of the largest constellations in the night sky.
As the mutable Water sign, Pisceans are known to move like water, they rarely stay in the same place and tend to follow the ever-shifting currents of their lives. They also thrive when engaged with others, symbolized by the pair of fishes. Pisceans fall in love easily because it is their nature to express love. They can be spontaneous and even forgetful as they are subject to the tides of their emotions - or sometimes, they just have the memory of a fish!
The Water zodiac signs teach us how to flow with the shifting tides and currents of our lives. They remind us of the power and strength that can be found when we surrender control and move with our deepest emotions and intuition instead of against them. Water signs are a force to be reckoned with.
Understanding astrology allows us to navigate our lives more peacefully. We come up against so many different personalities in our daily lives that don’t seem to make sense to us until we understand a how the planets and the Universe create and influence our personalities over time.
Stay tuned for next week when we’ll explore the Air sign constellations! Until then, as promised, here’s your free Water Constellation Desktop Wallpaper!
Related Article: The Mythology of the Zodiac: The Fire Constellations