Science and Salvation
Emily Qureshi-Hurst is a doctorate of Philosophy candidate in the Department of Theology and ...
The study of the four classical elements—Water, Air, Earth, and Fire—enables us to harvest much of astrology’s powerful ancient wisdom in our quest to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and the forces that shape us. One need not know the positions of each of your ten planets or the configuration of your unique natal chart to benefit. In this four-part series, you will be guided to do an internal inventory of the characteristics of each element within you, and you will be given tools to bring them into balance so that you can experience more ease, peace, and joy in your life.
Life begins in water. Our first nine months are spent in our mother’s womb surrounded by warm fluid, so when working with the four classical elements, renowned astrologer and psychotherapist Debra Silverman always begins by evaluating our relationship with the qualities of Water—the element associated with Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces zodiac signs.
People who have Water personalities live in the realm of emotions. Their world is focused on feelings, intuition, and family. They also often feel a close connection to animals.
[Read: “Empaths and Animals: A Special Relationship.”]
“At best,” Silverman explains, “a Water personality type easily embraces silence and stillness. They are comfortable feeling their emotions. They listen to their body’s subtle messages and naturally practice self-care. Water personalities love massage, spa days, and spending quiet time alone.”
Of course, water can be still or choppy, clean or murky. People who haven’t cultivated their Water element can easily become depressed, anxious, reclusive, negative, or overwhelmed, as a result of neglecting their sensitivity. Some struggle with addiction, seeking comfort through escapism.
“At worst,” Silverman says, “Water can turn to ice, which means people become very numb. They feel so many emotions they don’t want to feel, so they turn them off and pretend not to care. Often it requires their body to scream for attention through pain. Illness always makes us slow down and ask for help. Learning to ask for help is one of Water’s life lessons.”
A quick quiz, adapted from Silverman’s book, The Missing Element: Inspiring Compassion for the Human Condition, will help you determine if your Water element is weak or strong. Answer yes to statements that feel true for you at least 50 percent of the time, and answer no to those that are true less than half the time.
If you answered yes to seven or more, you are a Water personality. If this is you, reflect on whether the element can present itself in a healthier way.
If you answered no to five or more statements above, you likely need to cultivate more of this element in order to bring you back to compassion for yourself and others. “Emotional numbness or bypassing is the result of an underdeveloped water capacity,” explains Silverman. “For example, the person who says, ‘I don’t know why that bugs you,’ or ‘Who cares anyway? Let’s get back to work!’ is likely lacking Water.”
Silverman says that healthy Water not only brings more ease into our lives, it’s also the doorway to success as we begin to work with the other three elements. “Healthy Water fosters self-awareness. It opens our hearts and reminds us how to love. It starts with you loving yourself. Nothing is more important than that.”
[Read: “4 Practices to Embrace Blue Spirituality.”]
Below are affirmations that help cultivate healthy Water. “Water represents the subconscious mind, so repeat the affirmations that resonate with you often to make sure they take hold,” Silverman instructs.
One of the best ways to cultivate healthy Water is to shower ourselves (pun intended) with kindness and care. “Put your hands on your body and gently ask yourself, ‘What is going on? What do I need?’ The goal is to respect all the places we are tender. Nothing is wrong with being vulnerable,” Silverman says. “Practice telling someone that you miss them. Ask for a hug. Try writing a love letter or sending a card to a friend that expresses how you feel.”
Silverman underscores the importance of maintaining healthy emotional boundaries. “Get good at saying no,” she advises. She also encourages people to practice the art of forgiveness and acceptance. “Being real with your emotional self means being present and patient. It’s not always easy to forgive.”
Finally, Silverman urges us to pay close attention to our intuition and listen to the messages from our bodies. “We need to make space in our lives for silence and stillness, meditation, and introspection. Slow down and take time to honor Water. This is the doorway to compassion for ourselves and for others.”
Enjoy Debra Silverman’s 5-minute meditation to help you access the deep wisdom of Water:
In case you missed it, read the series intro, “Astrology Studies: Elemental Wisdom Introduction.” Next up: Air!
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