Inspirit Source
The Elements

Water Signs: Depression & Suicide

At astrology’s most basic level, the signs are separated into the four elements, each ruling over a certain aspect of the human experience:

Fire ➝ (Spirit) ➝ Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
Earth ➝ (Body) ➝ Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
Air ➝ (Mind) ➝ Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Water  (Emotion)  Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

Signs of each elemental group have their own strengths and struggles, which may include both physical and emotional issues. Mind-based air signs are more likely to suffer from mental disorders like schizophrenia. Body-ruled earth signs may experience physically debilitating diseases like ALS. And the birth charts of individuals who suffer from depression—and those have attempted or committed suicide—will often reveal more than a few personal planets in emotion-based water signs.

Being a triple air sign myself (Gemini Sun, Aquarius Moon, Libra Rising) with no watery personal planets, I’ve always struggled to truly understand the feeling natures of Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. That is, until the day of Robin Williams’ death, when I was in the ocean.

Want to better understand a sign? Observe its element in nature.

In the ocean, the water rushes at you with surprising force. The tide swells, and suddenly you’re no longer sure of your strength. Waves crash over your head—pulling you down, overtaking you, tossing you with a disconcerting ease. The ocean doesn’t care who you are, or how good of a swimmer you may be, you are overpowered just the same. Even my Cancerian friend was no match for a rip tide.

In my struggling to remain on my feet, I finally understood the true power of water signs.
The overwhelming pull of the ocean is the same pull that the heavy issues of the heart have over them.

Water signs do not just feel lightly. They feel with the intensity of the ocean.

Just as water nourishes us, it can also drown us. Just as our ability to feel allows us to experience great joy, it also allows great pain. Water is needed to sustain life, yet water is also the most destructive element. Even natural disasters that have historically caused the greatest loss of life all involve water: floods, tsunamis, and hurricanes.

When someone has planets in water signs, this means that their feeling nature is more intense. They feel the highest highs and the lowest lows. Emotions more easily flood them, often without warning or logic. Feelings can easily carry them away, just as the tide attempts to carry swimmers out to sea. They may feel as if they’re often struggling to stay afloat, always fighting an invisible current. This is depression.

And sometimes, after a long battle with the tide, they feel utterly helpless. They feel like there’s no longer any use in fighting the surging waters. They feel powerless, hopeless, exhausted. So they give in, they let the tide take them. Sometimes drifting, sometimes drowning. This watery surrender may be self-harm or suicide.

A look at notable figures who’ve taken their own lives, reveals an obvious water sign pattern:

  • Kurt Cobain: 8 planets in water signs
  • Sylvia Plath: Scorpio Sun and Mercury, both in the 8th House (Scorpio’s native house)
  • Alexander McQueen: Scorpio rising; Pisces Sun, Moon, and Mercury, all in the 4th house (Cancer’s native house, the house of mothering and nurturing) an interesting detail which may account for the timing of his suicide: a week after his mother’s death

and of course, the suicide currently weighing heavy on our collective heart…

  • Robin Williams: Cancer Sun and Mars (8th house); Pisces Moon; Scorpio rising

But the life of a water sign person need not be so bleak. In those drowning moments it is easy to forget that…

Water signs embody the strength of the ocean. They are just as powerful as the tide.

Water signs are the ultimate forces to be reckoned with. Operating from an emotional place allows for a deeper understanding of others, and a gives a truly compassionate nature. No one can shower you with love quite like a water sign.

Remember: water nourishes just as effectively as it can destroy. Where there is water, there is life. And what could be more powerful that that? The ultimate water sign lesson is to harness that power. Ride that wave. Let it push you forward, not pull you under.

You are not the helpless swimmer, you are the ocean.

Feeling overwhelmed by rough waters? Please do not hesitate to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. I can almost guarantee that the voice on the other end will be a fellow water sign who truly understands your struggle and will remind you of your power.

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  • Derek Waechter
    August 19, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Uh, question. You claim Robin Williams’ moon is Pisces (also my moon), and his rising is Scorpio. Where did you get the information to calculate this? Did his family let you borrow his birth certificate?

    • Emma Blair
      August 19, 2014 at 1:57 pm

      Good question! The birth info of most major public figures is public knowledge. Either interviews were given where they stated their birth time (often on Inside the Actor’s Studio) or the celebrity themselves went to an astrologer who then archived their info. and both have pretty extensive databases that you can access for free.

      • Derek Waechter
        August 19, 2014 at 2:41 pm

        Never seen a time of birth listed on any sort of celebrity bio. But the astrologer archived info makes sense. A buddy of mine is a triple water sign, I know it’s a rough life at times. I’m Aries sun, Pisces moon and Capricorn rising. Pretty interesting combo, heh. I apologize for coming off rude, just seemed weird to me that something that specific would be accessible, especially since most of my friends can’t tell me exactly when they were born. Anyway, nice article.

        • CMarie
          November 1, 2015 at 4:33 pm

          You can find the exact time of many celebrities… Like Justin Bieber’s birth was March 1st, 1994 on a Tuesday at 12:56 am. It was raining that day

          • Amber
            February 18, 2016 at 9:29 am

            I’m a fire sign… I usually suffer in secrecy but sometimes it comes out, I only tell the people I really trust to help back me through it, but I also feel bad because I feel like I’m using them… What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, we suffer but hide it well, while the fire forges us into what we are, it can also burn us slowly and steadily or quickly. Yet nobody notices, only the people who really knows you… This is actually really hard to explain but I am a Fire – (Spirit) sign XD we can appear really happy and childish sometimes or casual and bored. For me, I act really happy and always have a smile, while actually suffering on the inside. All we do is build our fire back up when it starts to die out. We try to grow stronger but also maintain our fire so that we’re not overwhelmed. :L That’s the best I can say it right now, sorry.

  • Chico
    December 7, 2014 at 6:56 am

    What about the fire sign. How does the spiritual based sign suffer. I will be extremely jealous if they don’t have any thing. I am a currently depressed water sign.

  • Betty 2 Burnout
    December 26, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    Thanks for this article. I just wanted to let you know your article gave me a rare good feeling. Who knows if I’ll eventually go through with the deadly deed, but at least tonight you’ve given me pause for reflection.

    And thank you for letting the world know that these dark, destructive thoughts are not always by choice. Just as a person may be born with an eye condition that affects the way they see the world, we are each born with inescapable personality traits that affect the way we *feel* the world.

    My question (and what brought me to this page from a google search) is, have there ever been studies done to correlate suicide with astrological traits? And do *all* suicides share those traits?

    If the answer is yes (try to follow this logic for a minute), I would say maybe it’s not that the Water element makes people want to kill themselves. But rather, the Water element is what gives people the ability to commit suicide. Call it courage or cowardice, but the fact is that the act of suicide requires some superhuman ability that most people don’t have.

    So, for example, if every animal that flies has wings, you could look at wings as being the actuator for flight. You can’t fly without wings.

    Depression and suicidal thoughts can be had by anyone, just like the desire to fly. But maybe only a small group of people have the actual ability to go through with it, and that’s where the Water theory comes in?

  • Kath
    January 5, 2015 at 10:47 am

    I have 3 planets in Pisces in my chart, my Sun and Mercury are in the 8th, and I have my NN in the 4th (albeit in Sag). Even though I therefore have “a bit” of Water influence, I find I get horribly depressed and de-energized around Water sign friends, even those with a Water moon or Venus. The atmosphere is very loaded and I find it difficult to focus and function. I would say Cancer Sun/Moon is the most challenging for me but all Water signs are challenging in their own way.
    I think this is basically a wake up call to me to find friends who don’t depress me so much, and who are radically different from both myself and my current circle, in that they don’t awaken my own strong leanings toward depression.

  • Nikki
    June 17, 2015 at 8:20 am

    Wow thank you! This article has touched me so deeply. My sun sign is in Cancer, although I’m born on the cusp with Gemini (Jun 23). My moon sign is Gemini, and my rising sign is Virgo. Although not all of my planets are water signs, I seem to feel everything so profoundly and am effected by things more than the average person.

  • soham
    August 2, 2015 at 2:44 am

    thanx a lot for this rare information. I need more clarification on the planatery combinations for death in water . Astrology still is a mystery .

  • unloved
    September 27, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    Pisces in the Sun. Pisces in Venus. Dying of loneliness. wanting to drown it all away. I dream of walking into the ocean and not returning. Love isn’t real. If i thought this was all there is i would have left a long time ago. i’m worried i’ll just end up here again. if kurt didn’t make it what chance do i have. he had everything i could ask. I’m doomed.

  • Llama
    October 12, 2015 at 12:30 am

    I really fucking needed to hear that. Being a Scorpio with 8H Moon and Jupiter and Cancer Mars.. it’s really not easy. Thank you.

    I have also looked at both Kurt’s and Williams charts. They were both my heroes growing up..

  • Dewi
    November 11, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    I’m a Virgo with ascendant and moon in Sagittarius I can be very hard but sometimes when things build up but like alot I can get very depressed and cry my eyes out tell myself I don’t want this life anymore I don’t have many watersigns in my chart only my Pluto in Scorpio my Venus is in Leo my Mars in Libra and alot in Capricorn my Saturn in Aquarius my Interception in Scorpio / Taurus even if I don’t have that much watersigns I can tell you that I experience life very heavy I’m a lifepath 8 and I had a lot of ups and downs in my life what let me go through a roller-coaster challenging me everytime over and over still every day

  • Jen
    December 9, 2015 at 7:01 am

    Depression and addiction run through my family. I was moved to see the pictures of Kurt and Robin at the top of your article, which clarified why my sibling, Father and I suffered greatly. I was always depressed and blamed myself and everyone else thought I was seeking attention or whatever. And I couldn’t get in touch with the pain (Moon in Scorpio/Cancer decan in 12th house conjunct Uranus) Dad was a triple Scorpio- all in the 12th house. Brother is cancer Rising, Pisces Mercury. I traced my Moon to other planets to see where I could possibly find a way out of the tango, having to self-medicate bc of depression (Neptune 1st house conjunct Moon). That is, through communication (Moon semi-square Mercury) and ultimate wish fullfillment via the great challenge to learn real intimacy (Cancer Vertex in 8th house opposite Mercury) I thought you would find this interesting for you studies. This page may save lives and hopefully find it’s way to contribute to Depression awareness. It certainly helped me understand myself a little better in my recovery. Much love to you and your’s!

  • davis
    April 5, 2016 at 11:07 am


    can you help me ?
    i’m feeling very depressed for so long time ,i m a french man

    i was born the 15 august 1969 in arbois (france ) at 10:20 am
    thank you very much for your help

    • Emma Blair
      April 19, 2016 at 4:44 pm

      I’m very sorry to hear you’ve been feeling depressed. I took a quick look at your chart and noticed that while you’re a Leo Sun, you have some key planets in Virgo (your Moon and Mercury). Virgo is a more hyper-aware and self-critical sign, which is contradictory to the classically self-empowered traits of Leo. Often Virgo-types can feel inadequate and be incredibly hard on themselves, never feeling like they’re good enough because they’re always aiming for perfection. But no human is perfect, and that is okay. We’re all here to learn.

      You also have a variety of other chart factors that lead me to believe that you probably give a lot of your energy to other people and care much about how others perceive you. Remember: you cannot serve from an empty vessel. You must take care of yourself and your basic daily needs in order to be the best version of yourself. Finding little ways to feel productive in your daily life will make you feel better. As well as finding a community, whether that be where you live or something online. You also have a fair amount of 12th house planets (Pisces influence) which can make it hard to figure out exactly why you’re feeling a certain way. If you’re on Facebook, I would recommend joining this 12th house group: . The group is full of compassionate people who might be of great help to you. Wishing you the best!

      • Eddie Davis
        June 6, 2016 at 1:48 pm

        lovely blog you got here. where were you born Emma? just curious. I am willing to bet you have scorpio rising. lol I am a a researcher in the field of astrology.

        • Emma Blair
          June 6, 2016 at 3:37 pm

          Thanks Eddie! I’m gonna reply to your email as well.

          Libra rising here, though definitely have plenty of Scorpio influence from my 8th house stellium, Pluto contacts, and my two Scorpio Sun parents. I was born near Detroit, MI. I can send you my birth details as a reply to your email if you’re interested!

  • J
    May 26, 2016 at 10:17 am


    I am going through a very difficult time. I feel an almost inescapable pull to end my life these days. I am barely hanging in there but I can’t escape the feeling Life wants to make me do it or else it will keep hammering me till I go.

    I have spent nine years battling massive health issues starting with an accident in 2007 May. I’ve had a rotten childhood , abusive bipolar Narcisisstic mother who then married my narcissistic stepfather who seems born to torture me. I am now so disabled physically that I cannot earn, drive, cook, do much more than a walk of ten or fifteen minutes. Huge list of chronic health issues, surgery I barely survived, bad physiotherapy, terrible home environment with a Narcissitic joint family where due to my physical Ill health I am a scapegoat.

    My stepfather has delighted in using my horoscope against me and even to this day obtains a sadistic satisfaction at seeing my spirit and body ebb. He could not tolerate me as a small child and did whatever was in his power to put me down even though I fought as my spirit was strong. But now I am utterly defeated by multiple disappointments and traumas and truly ready to leave the planet.

    I am sorry to bother you with a this but I am desperate. I have no money no other place to live and living with Narcisisstic insensitive people has ruined my health even more. I am only taken care of bevause of the culture I live in – my mother would not be able to show her face in society if I was cast out on the street. So here I remajn caught in unbearable limbo. I have not come to feel like this lightly – it has been years of humiliation, victimisation, and too many things to list. My stepfathers words haunt me “you have a terrible horoscope and a bad collection of planets.” He even forecasted my accident which caused this disabiloty but never did anything to warn me about it so I feel doomed by life and the planets. I feel I am dying a slow long death and wish to give myself the gift of a quick release and peace. I share my birth details with a humble request that if you see anything happy for me in my future please tell me. I don’t want to kill myself but I find myself praying for God to give me cancer or something. I truly have tried but my spirit is broken after nine years of chronic pain illness bad treatments and all the shattering of my dreams. Physical chronic ill health has destroyed the only way I could have escaped a bad life – I have no friends or social network to rely on I have a therapist but I feel trapped in this useless body that makes me dependant on others who can abuse me while I cannot protect myself. I dread having to live like this another year . Will I ever get better and lead an independant life? Or am I just screwed? I feel I have paid more than I needed to for any bad karma – I wouldn’t wish my life on even murderers. I hope I did not bring you down too much I don’t want to bother anyone else I just am so very very lost now. Thank you.

    23 February 1982 8:40 am India.

    • Emma Blair
      May 27, 2016 at 5:01 pm

      Hello there! Thank you for sharing this with me. I’m very saddened to learn of your situation, and I hope that I can at least offer a little bit of comfort.

      Now, being from the US myself, I practice Tropical (Western) astrology, so I only know how to interpret your chart from that angle. But honestly, sincerely, I can’t find a reason why anyone would say you have a “terrible horoscope”, in Western or Vedic. I have noticed that Vedic astrology interpretations tend to be more fatalistic, which I’m sure is just a cultural difference. But if you’re open to it, allow me to share a more Western astrological perspective with you.

      One of the comforts that I’ve found in looking at charts, is that there really is no such thing as a “bad” chart. Every chart, and every person, no matter how successful, has challenging aspects. We are all here to work through challenges, big or small. I do firmly believe, and have noticed from countless examples, that anyone who is working through great challenges in life, as you are, is actually on a more evolved soul path. Any health struggles, or issues with harmful people in your life, are not inflicted upon you because you’ve done something wrong. Quite the opposite. It takes an incredibly brave soul to be able to take on such burdens. Yes, your body may hold you back, but we are not simply our bodies. Your family may hold you back, but you are on your own path, as they are on theirs. You are so much more than these things.

      What I see in your chart? Someone who is incredibly intelligent, whether you realize that or not. Ahead of your time. Inventive. Unique. A person who has the ability to uplift others, to empathize. Someone who can build something practical yet beautiful for the world. I see someone who others project themselves onto. But keep in mind that the labels that others put on you belong to them, not you. Every Piscean person serves as a reflection for others. Be aware of that, and find the truth in the You that You know. That is who you really are. I see someone who’s own personal power has been hard to tap into. But that does not mean that it is not there—it is only more hidden, and surrounded by higher walls. But it is there, waiting to come out and thrive.

      Soon, in the coming 2+ years, your Sun will progress out of the darkness and into your 1st house, just like the breaking of dawn. That will give you hope and the opportunity for greater self-discovery and renewed energy. You’ve also just begun a new progressed moon sign. For the next 2.5 years your emotional state will be more Gemini-like. The greatest emotional comfort and growth during this time will come through seeking information. Learning, reading, connecting with others. Make time to write about your feelings. Write about your experiences, your struggles, examine them, analyze them, communicate them, even if only to yourself.

      For you, I would also suggest finding a network of people. It doesn’t have to be in person. That’s the beauty of our technological age, you can connect with people all over the world. Maybe look for support forums or Facebook groups for others with chronic illnesses. I think that would be very beneficial to someone with your particular chart. Your natal 11th house Moon and Mercury will thrive once you feel that you are a part of something.

      Remember, the planets are always moving. Things are always shifting and progressing. This part of your life will not last forever. Nothing truly stays the same, it only appears so because so often our environment and the people in our life do not seem to change. But that is one of the great illusions of life. Please know, this is not the end of the road for you.

      I understand why you feel hopeless, and I understand why you think about ending it all. I cannot stop you. But I truly hope that you can find a way to remember the inherent strength that lies within you and soldier on. You have already made it through so much in your life, and I have so much respect for you. I wish that the people in your life would see that. But we cannot change others, so we all must find ways to appreciate ourselves, and find the value in continuing our own lives. I do not know you, and will never meet you, but I do know one thing with certainty: your life is important.

      I hope this has been of some help to you. I wish you the very best and I am sending love your way <3

  • J
    May 26, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Sorry forgot to add the city. New Delhi India

  • Eddie Davis
    June 6, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    Don’t give up. The afterlife is the reward phase for all suffering. The more you can endure in this life, the greater is the reward in the afterlife. In fact, escaping life is like skipping school. It is always best to learn as much as possible. If your learning is not completed, the escape to the afterlife will only be a continuation of the same.

  • Picassoid
    June 24, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    You don’t have to be a water sign to suffer the consequences of Depressive Water, or Earth….I’m a Libra with Venus, Saturn, Mercury in Scorpio, Jupiter and Uranus in Cancer, with the Moon and Mars in Capricorn, and life under these influences can be a BITCH!!!!….I was born with the Sun in Libra, but I consider myself a Scorpio….

    • Inez
      September 23, 2016 at 6:17 am

      No you don’t, i think it’s because you have a lot of planets under the influence of water signs. It doesn’t have to be your sun sign, that’s why we have charts, to guide us through times of loss of direction/self in life?

  • Miss Leah
    July 14, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    I’m a Pisces. I do not follow charts because I do not feel that there is a reason? Of course basic astrological….that’s why I’m here.
    I was born on March 20th (cusp of Aries). All I know is that I’m compassionate (possibly to my own demise). My will to live is not so good? I’m a beautiful woman at 52 but have been a caretaker of my husband most of my life.
    Pisces (water signs), give so much of themselves!
    Hang in there brothers and sisters! We are the toughest sign as we are a combination of every astrological sign….beautiful!!

  • ivb
    September 4, 2016 at 11:38 am

    Wondering whether planets in the 12th house are a proxy (to planets in a water sign)? Could they be similarly interpreted? Most of my planets are in an air sign (i.e. Libra), but 5 of them are in the 12th house in Libra and I have Scorpio rising. (only 1 planet and the north node in water signs as such).
    Well. I have been in psychological pain for most of my life, and now (for 2.5 yrs) I am “officially” depressed (diagnosed, meds, psychiatrist and all that). I am also seriously contemplating suicide. The funny part is that I am actually not considered severely depressed because I am “functional” (can take full care of myself). I should note that if I didn’t take care of myself I would actually die, being completely on my own, but it seems that that degree of loneliness is rather unusual and thus unimaginable- so people interpret my “resilience” as a sign that I’m not really doing that bad. Or maybe all this is very non-watery of me, that I’m not letting myself go, at least not gradually it seems.