How I deal with “water” people — my trajectory so far.

Yes, I’m open about it. This is not a secret strategy because I’m not talking about war. I’m talking about diplomacy. The most difficult work of diplomacy I’ve ever set out to do.

Lucy the Oracle
10 min readMay 17, 2024
Photo by Cesira Alvarado on Unsplash

First of all, this group of people I have an excruciating amount of difficulty with is very hard to label.

There was a time in my life when I thought “I can’t stand women”. This quickly evolved to “I can’t stand girly women”. Obviously, I was very very wrong.

I’m not just saying I was wrong, to win brownie points with whoever is reading this article — honestly if you want to vilify me you can do that to your heart’s content. I’m saying it because I mean it. I was wrong. This “not-like-other-girls” phase subsided when I came to realise that women who are like me exist. And they’re not even uncommon. They’ve existed throughout History and keep existing to this day.

Gráinne Mhaol was a good example of woman I would get on well with, and so were Mercedes Sosa and Madam C. J. Walker. Contemporary examples include Sinéad O’Connor, Greta Thunberg, Dr Shirley Thompson and Anna Akana.

What do they all have in common? Other than being famous (because citing private individuals in my public post here would be a little creepy — but rest assured, they exist in my life too), all these celebrities have one main thing in common: they’re go-getters who don’t really hesitate in life and don’t put other’s feelings above their own. Not even where taboos and elephants-in-the-room are concerned. Because it’s very easy to say, if you’re a “water” person, “oh, but I can be bold too. In fact I’m fighting for this and that cause already”. Sure, love. If you refuse to tell the truth, I’ll do it for you: You’re only doing that because you have your clique, your wolf pack so to speak, who were already into this activism and invited you to join. That’s not wrong, I’m not criticising, but there’s an abysmal difference between that… And actually pioneering a fight, braving the whole world and then some, completely on your own. That’s what Sinéad O’Connor did. That’s also what all the other women I cited did, in their own ways. Yes, even the youtuber Anna Akana, because let’s not forget she rose to prominence talking about her sister’s suicide. A “water” person in her place wouldn’t dare, would worry too much about the family’s sensitivity, and all the extended circles, and “oh my god what will everyone else think”, etc. In this meantime, nothing gets done, no elephants get addressed, and no-one finds relatability. So… Is it truly selfless to always keep the sensitive stuff to yourself? Is it really “prim and proper” to avoid daring, even when your daring would potentially (and does in fact — as we see time and again) help others?

I know pioneers and innovators are inconvenient, loud, inconsiderate and [insert here common insult we all hear in the start of our careers]… But would you really like to live in the stone age? Without anything new ever? Are you sure about that, dear “water” people?

There are women, all over the world, who do not trump their own emotional well-being in order to cater to the well-being of the naysayers. REGARDLESS of what we’re collectively socialised to do or not to do. Yes, you read that right. Women who don’t put other people’s feelings above their own exist. They have always existed, with or without feminist communities around them to back them up. And they exist everywhere. Whether you like it or not.

What’s more: men, and non-binary people, and every gender imaginable who have people-pleasing tendencies, exist too. And they’re not uncommon either. So clearly, this isn’t a gender issue. It just looks like that on the surface because of societal stereotypes, but… Fuck them stereotypes!

That’s why I eventually decided for a new label altogether. A metaphor based on elements in alchemy: water VS fire.

Water goes to great lengths to adapt and get along… And then blames the world because it’s not getting what it truly wants.

It’s passive. It’s submissive. It’s every 1950s “tradwife” stereotype you can think of, and more. That’s shameful and bad and I’m sick of sugarcoating it. It’s 2024, for crying out loud! Let’s leave these lingering shadows of a long-lost social norm behind.

The people who present too much of it are too proud to admit it. So, here you go: I’m shedding light on the scary thing FOR you. Oh, you thought that if you didn’t talk about it, everyone would forget and leave it unaddressed? No. You’re gonna have to deal with the problem one way or another now. The time is up. Call me bringer of karma.

Come on, get off your arse. Let’s get down to business. I’m not asking.

I bet, if you are “water”, you’re rolling your eyes as far as humanly possible. You’re muttering something along the lines of “oh dear. How childish. A Disney song! Tsk tsk”.

Or, alternatively:

“Bless your heart, Lucy. How childish are you? Making a reference to toughness when in fact we don’t need any of that in the world”.


And then, you’re righteously (you think) dismissing it because you should be the bigger person and perhaps pray that one day I grow up and learn.


Before I comment on the above, let me show you the other side of this coin:

Reading this, if you’re “fire”, you’re rolling your eyes as far as humanly possible. You’re muttering something along the lines of “oh dear. How childish. This twee poem screams I’m 14 and this is deep”.

Or, alternatively:

“Bless your heart, Alison. How childish are you? Making a reference to a romanticised sense of sisterhood when this old lady could just be a rich CEO oppressing the workers in her factory and that’s why she has all the tranquility and time in the world for herself. Have you considered that hypothesis? No, because you constantly daydream about twee ideas”.


And then, you’re righteously (you think) dismissing it because you should be the bigger person and perhaps pray that one day this poet will grow up and learn.

I’m not making this up just for the sake of “getting back” at “water” people. Honest. In fact, if you’re “fire” and had similar thoughts, comment here. Let people see undeniable proof that they’re blind to the fact “water” and “fire” are two sides of THE SAME coin.

The exact same coin.

And we deny that, don’t we?

“No! We aren’t! This crowd is greedy and materialistic and only thinks about themselves. I do not associate myself with them! I AM the bigger person!”


“No! We aren’t! This crowd is delusional and gullible and only thinks about escaping reality. I do not associate myself with them! I AM the bigger person!”

Okay, children. It’s okay. Now, let’s take a deep breath in, and a deep breath out. Very good! Repeat until you guys are calmer. Allright? Awww, good kids! That’s it. It’s allright. Yeah, love. It’s allright.

This is what we all need:

Photo by Дмитрий Хрусталев-Григорьев on Unsplash

But the problem is…

This is what one side [of the debate above] wants:

Photo by author

And this is what the other side wants:

Photo by author

That’s the reality.

You can justify it all you want, with every excuse in the book. I’m not even saying your excuses are bad. They probably make a lot of sense indeed.

But they’re excuses, susan.

So, before we proceed, (this is for both sides) please answer one question. And while you do so, I want you to be as honest as possible. I don’t wanna know why you’re not doing it or haven’t been doing it since 1996. So, don’t justify it. Simply answer: DO YOU WANT to grow past your extremist tendencies?

Do you?

If not, thanks for your attention and goodbye. But if so, keep reading.

“Oh but the fire crowd is to blame for Capitalism and the destruction of our planet. They’re too ambitious. Too restless. They’re pure evil and we should eradicate them”.

Oh, really? Are you sure about that? Swear to god?

Don’t swear. You’ll regret it when you read the next paragraph.

Sweetie… Have you ever heard of “old money”? Yeah? Look it up once again, so that you won’t forget. Most of the richest 1% in the world come from a long lineage of aristocrats dating back all the way to the Empires. But these Empires have all fallen, haven’t they? Even in the East. Hmmm… How interesting. Even when we talk about “new” faces (#not. But anyway) like Elon Musk, they all come from these lineages. They surely didn’t start from the bottom. Self-made people are pretty damn rare, and they have a totally different antics to these oligarchs born into privilege.

I mean… I’m sure there is (excessive, unnecessary) competition at the root of today’s oligarchies — but this isn’t a root you can go and change, is it? We’d need a time machine for that. What perpetuates oligarchies (and that, my friends, is something we CAN address because it relates to the here-and-now) is too much preservation; conservatism; too much “each to their own and let’s keep the trash under the rug”. Too much W-A-T-E-R.

If you think the source of all evil is competition… Congratulations, you have been successfully brainwashed. Those people I cited above? They don’t dislike or compete against each other. Quite on the contrary, huh, these cliques are very close-knit. And they lead very comfortable lives, they can afford to live slowly and (believe it or not!) simply preserve what they have. They certainly don’t hustle.

In fact, these easy lives they are living are comparable to what you probably consider a utopia, “water” person. Would you like that? Oh, yeah? And who would sustain it for you? Surely somebody’s got to take care of the logistics. Even hunter-gatherers of old, well, hunted and gathered. They didn’t just have “girly days” relaxing on a hammock 24/7.

Anything in excess is bad. We know that. But throw the first stone if you haven’t ever competed against anybody. Oh, you haven’t? You’re a total saint? Uh-huh. I see. Hold on a sec, I’ll go call the Vatican and tell them there’s a living saint they still need to canonize.

Love it or hate it, pursuing things like competition, drive, excitement, thrill… Are part of human nature. It could be for half an hour every 365 days of your life, but it’s there. Somewhere. The problem is, “water” person, you don’t want to admit that. So it’s encumbered within you. It’s hidden from sight. It makes things like envy, control, manipulation, catty behaviour, etc manifest in your relationships and you go like “oh no, I’m confused, why is this happening?”

You’re rejecting a part of your human nature. THAT is what’s happening.

Photo by Manki Kim on Unsplash

“Oh but the water crowd is to blame for Fascism and the destruction of our planet. They’re too fearful of anything new. Too stagnant. They’re pure evil and we should eradicate them”.

Oh, really? Are you sure about that? Swear to god?

Don’t swear. You’ll regret it when you read the next paragraph.

Darling… Ever heard of “cultural appropriation”? And what do you think causes it? Certainly not an excess of romanticism that ignores real-life use (water’s domain). In fact, when we speak of problems like Fascism, we often think of romanticism (the bad, excessive kind) — but that’s only part of the story, isn’t it? Fascist groups often engage in cultural appropriation. Look what happened to the swastika!

Appropriation is not something “water” does. It has more to do with “fire”, because it always comes from a place of borrowing too fast, using too fast, without thinking much about origin or future repercussions (or without caring, either way).

Who is the archetypal caregiver? Why, of course, mamma water with her habit of digesting, digesting, digesting… And ruminating and digesting some more until things are stale (or “aged” well). But this can be a very good thing in a lot of scenarios! A vital thing, in fact. Culture, community, History and (yes) a safe dose of childlike wonder can teach us all to really appreciate the slooooooooooow processes that are behind so many wonderful things we take for granted in our lives.

If “fire” was all we had, it would be impossible to nurture our souls. Art, for example, would be more like… AI art. A laughing stock (in the bad sense).

On the other hand, if “water” was all we had, we’d all rot to death (or get caught-up in a never-ending cycle of ruminating about bad stuff in the past without ever moving on. We need propulsion to move on, don’t we? Some good ol’ rocket fuel!). SOME level of vitality, energy, drive to achieve more and more (even if sometimes small) is needed for the cycle of life to be maintained. So, why would humans be any different?

But the good news is: EVERYONE is both! I’m using labels here, calling some people “water” and other ones “fire” because that’s how they see themselves… On an ego level.

Let’s try and transcend this ego, just a tiny bit? I promise it’s worth your while.



Lucy the Oracle

Oracle learner / spirit worker based in Ireland. Buddhist/polytheist. I don't read minds. I don't change minds. I don't sugarcoat. Take my message or leave it.