FEBRUARY/MARCH - The sun crosses through Pisces as it leaves mid-winter and heads toward spring, pausing briefly at this last snowy point in the seasonal year. The frozen sheets of ice which dominated the land now pause, and then lessen their grip on the ground. Those lambs and calves and babies born now slip small and thin from the bellies of their starving mothers; an image of innocence and fragility amidst the bleakness of winter. The world remains dark, still, and eerily quiet. But with each day that the sun rises, hope stretches forth a little more. Although times were hard and the winter was a cold and unforgiving time, the gathering warmth of the oncoming spring held the promise of a new year, and all the food, warmth, and happiness to be had then.
By the end of winter, the old and the sick were dead and gone, and the survivors were teetering on the edge of sanity. Food, firewood, and supplies were at an all-time low, with no hope of replenishing them for the next few months. People needed some semblance of hope to push them through. Once the snow turned to rain and the ground was soft enough, people could begin ploughing their fields again. Livestock and their manure were brought out to fertilize the fields and guarantee an early round of spring crops. Not much else could be done, but those early chores and tasks were done eagerly when they could be.
The fact that this month is the last of winter, coming up to the Spring Equinox, was cause for celebration. Many cultures saw this not as the winter that it was, but the spring that it could be, which speaks volumes about the tenacity of human optimism in desperate times.
Originally, what we now call the Pisces constellation was divided into three different groups of stars: “The Tails”, “The Great Swallow”, and “The Goddess”. But by the 5th Century BCE, Babylonian and Egyptian astrology saw this Sign as The Fishes. While it is more likely that the symbol were two fish swimming down the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, a possible mistranslation led to them depicting the sign as two fish tied together. In Greek mythology it was explained through the tale of Aphrodite and Eros fleeing from the monster Typhon. Two fish appeared to save them, and they tied them together so they wouldn't lose each other as they fled. After the two had been saved, the grateful Aphrodite placed the two fish (still tied) in the heavens as the constellation Pisces - a symbol of unity and love in desperate times.
The Babylonian god Ea, from which we get both the Aquarius and Capricorn symbols also, is said to live in the fresh waters under the earth and rule wisdom, fertility, and magic. He was often surrounded by fish that lived in those watery depths alongside him. Symbolically, fish are messengers to the unseen spiritual and emotional realms hiding from us, and so are associated with magic, mysticism, imagination, and the deeper recesses of the subconscious mind. Fish are also able to slip away or evade capture by diving down. So while in the Greek myth the two fish connected with one another symbolized a loving bond, in modern times the two fish swimming in opposite directions is a symbol for confusion, deception, and escapism.
The glyph for Pisces is two opposing crescent lines with a straight horizontal line connecting them. This is, obviously, the two fish tails and the cord tying them together. But in medieval medical astrology Pisces is supposed to rule the feet, so the symbol is also of two feet, side by side.
Pisces is a blend of the Mutable Quality and the Water Element. Like other Mutable signs, they're confusing because they are emotionally changeable, flashing different parts of their personality at different times. They go through phases and become whatever they are around the most, whether that means being a book nerd in a library or a drug-fueled party addict. Trying to discern exactly what the Pisces personality is like is as difficult as trying to pin down Gemini. But where Gemini was two opposite things at once, changing faces depending on the social and intellectual climate they are in, Pisces is everything at once, and changes with the emotional energies that surround them.
The thing most people mention when they talk about Pisces is their sensitivity. Pisces have enormous compassion and empathy for those around them; they adore small children and animals of all kinds, and often become sympathetic caregivers to anyone who needs it. But their sensitive hearts are open and vulnerable. They are easily overwhelmed by the anxiety, anger, and depression surrounding them. Put them in a stressful job, or in a home with an angry, demanding spouse, or close to a grieving relative, and watch them "swim away" from what hurts them. Either by avoiding it altogether, by numbing themselves, or through distraction.
Escapism goes hand in hand with the Piscean sensitivity. Different methods play off of other personality traits, depending on what else is strong in the chart. Couple escapism with their vivid imagination, and you get someone who indulges in daydreams, art, reading, writing, acting, movies, music, and television shows. Couple it with their love of intimate, sensual pleasure, and you get someone who turns to food, drink, sex, and relationships. With their addictive personality you may find Pisces who are alcoholics or drug addicts. But combined with their love of all things fantastical, magical, and spiritual, they instead look to religion, occultism, or other kinds of faith to save them.
To the rational outsider, you may look at a Pisces and see a dreamer with their head in the cloud, easily thrown off course by the smallest criticism. To you that are passive and dependant, shy and quiet, gullible and easily manipulated. You may not every know what is going on with them, as they cry often and seldom talk about how they feel. But this Sign is much stronger, and much more capable, than they may seem!
The Pisces child's parents are often loud, energetic, and sporadic, with emotional depths that go unexplored. Their father is dominant and powerful, sometimes so much so that the child is afraid of them. Their mother is a driving force in the family, pure and perfect, but also subtly manipulative and highly volatile at times. Pisces children have similar relationships with their mothers as Cancer children do, wherein the mother depends as much in them for care and emotional comfort as the child does on them.
Pisces children are often born to parents at a time where their relationship was being questioned, debated, or slowly dissolved with lies and hidden resentment. Not that you would know from looking on the surface. To the outside world they appear to be a loving couple, strong and steady in their love and commitment to one another. Their fights happen behind closed doors. Dad might be out drinking with his friends more than he is home with his family. Mom might drag the child to her friend's house, and then cry in the kitchen while they play in the other room. But while they may seem too young to know what is going on, Pisces children soak up the energies of their house. They cannot place their knowledge of events into words because they picked up on emotional cues and the subtext of what happened. But they nonetheless have strong feelings about what happened in the silent spaces of their home growing up, and gain intuitive knowledge of the tumultuous family dynamic around them.
On a subconscious level, the Pisces child picks up in how their parents denied themselves happiness and pleasure by staying in a difficult relationship with a partner they resented - a relationship they stay in for the sake of their kids, or out of fear of not knowing how to live without the other. Like other Signs, Pisces emulates this in their own relationships, recreating the same family environment they grew up with.
Pisces begin their lives dependant on their mothers and fathers for everything, from emotional comfort to financial and material stability, and everything in between. Their lives are completely dominated by their parent's wills and wishes, and they dutifully follow through, honestly believing that what they want and what their parents want is one in the same. But eventually there comes a time for Pisces to grow up and become an autonomous, responsible, self-sufficient, adult person, and the inevitable break from the family (and their family values) into independence.
The most important thing to know about Pisces in regards to their relationships with others is that they have no boundaries with people. Pisces absorbs traits and characteristics from all the people they are surrounded by, becoming a living mirror of the energy of their surroundings. And this absence of barriers between themselves and other people is why they are hesitant to get into new relationships.
Pisces only knows how to fall completely and totally in love. They get completely consumed by their relationships and are deeply emotionally invested in the people they care about - so much so that they become afraid of how powerful their emotions become, and how vulnerable they are to hurt and rejection. Initially, they play it safe and live their lives in silent introversion, far away from anybody that might get to them, but dreaming and pining for love and attention all the same. Luckily, their natural beauty and magnetism is on their side, and even the most private Pisces usually end up with a gaggle of admirers and no clue how to choose one. As much as Pisces may be scared of losing themselves in love, the only thing scarier is isolation and loneliness. Introverted as they may be, they follow the words of Hannah Nelson: "I like drinking coffee alone and reading alone... [but] even though I like being alone, I don't fancy being lonely".
But Pisces has every right to be cautious. What do you suppose happens when a person who is open-hearted and kind, easily manipulated by guilt, overpowered by a sense of obligation to serve other, compelled towards self-sacrifice, and susceptible to losing themselves totally in a relationship, who also happen to be drawn to strong, protective, possessive, lovers? They end up getting seduced by users and abusers who take advantage of them, usually. Pisces, like their Virgo counterparts, love to take care of strays. And more often than not, they get roped into romantic entanglements with losers who don't deserve them.
Don't think that you can tell a Pisces that they are in an unhealthy relationship, however. They cling, brood in silent resentment, explode at random intervals into fits of crying, and then make excuses for why they need to stay. Insecurity, jealousy, hidden anger, and even depression plague the unhappy Pisces who does not want to confront the reality of their failing relationship. But for the Pisces on the inside, lost in love, reliving the unhappy marriage of their parents and their own relationship with their mother and father, there is no way out but to finish this winter of misery and emerge, enlightened, into a spring of self-awareness and discovery.
Slowly or suddenly, Pisces looks for an escape route. Often, they will not leave one relationship until they've found another potential one, cheating for a while until finally making the jump from one to the other. Most Pisces go through several break-ups or divorces on their way to maturity. Hopefully, they learn these relationship lessons early on, before having children. More often than not, however, their children get caught up in their whirlwind of emotional drama, and end up having to be their mother or father's rock though it all. What does it mean for Pisces to finally achieve maturity? Read to the end of the article to find out!
Two sides of Pisces come together in their public life: their enormous sensitivity to the environment around them, and their big dreams and imagination. A lot of Pisces dream about owning their own business or running their own departments, with idealistic visions of how beautiful it will be. But the reality is they procrastinate and avoid it out of fear of failure, only to become increasingly frustrated over their dreams not coming true. And when they do take the leap and start their journey into their career, the entire process is a lot harder and a lot more challenging than it appeared.
I have worked with plenty of Pisces and Neptunean men and women at my jobs, probably thanks to my 6th House cusp being in Pisces. I have seen them in all positions of power, from owners to managers to newly hired employees. So I speak as much from experience as I do as an astrologer!
Your Pisces employees and coworkers are hard working sweethearts who only want to help. But they are changeable, and get emotionally overwhelmed very easily, so you will have to cater to that of you would like them to stay. Let them fluctuate between working with the public and working in private. Let them work at their own pace, but with strict deadlines for when their work has to be handed in. It's all about balance. Push them, and they start to crumble into a pile of years and days of anxiety over what they did wrong. Leave them be, and nothing gets done on time. Pisces work best in a flexible, easy going atmosphere, without too much pressure, but with enough structure that they feel safe and secure in a routine. Give them that, and they will keep your clients happy!
Knowing Pisces as emotionally fragile and dependant on others for support, you may not think of this as a leadership Sign. But do not be fooled! Pisces have big dreams and far-reaching goals, and often end up in positions of power in the businesses they work in. The Pisces who have risen to a leadership role have matured and become more comfortable with confrontation, and are more emotionally detached, less of a procrastinator, and less afraid of public performance. Any Pisces who wants to run the show needs to do more than insist. They need to demand, speak with certainty, and not fall to angry silence when they are not listened to. In short, they need to become more of a man: certain, confident, aggressive, rational, and headstrong.
The biggest thing holding Pisces back is fear. They tend to take the safe route and fall to a more passive role, helping other people achieve their dreams instead. That is the drawback of being such an ultra-feminine Sign - they put others first and then feel frustrated that they aren't going anywhere. They deny their needs for fulfillment, recognition, achievement, and success, instead sitting in the sidelines and watching others do the things they only dream about. In order to remedy this, Pisces need to adopt more masculine qualities and let go of their excessive fear - something they do as they mature and become more like the next Sign in the cycle, Aries!
Whenever I write an article, I get into the headspace of whatever I am writing about. This post has been really difficult and has taken me a really long time because everytime I try to write, it's like my mind shuts off. Maybe I am just creatively worn out from trying to do too many things at once. Or maybe the Pisces headspace is just a fog to me. Whatever it is, I've definitely been avoiding my responsibilities through procrastination, voting instead to sleep my weekends away or work on other things. It's hard enough getting things done as a Pisces temporarily - it must be even harder being like this all the time!
THE pisces TRANSFORMATION
There is an idea shared by many astrologers that Aries is the youngest and most immature in the zodiac, and that Pisces is the oldest and wisest. They say that each Sign is a combination of all Signs previous, and that Pisces is therefore a compilation of all other Signs. But I disagree. Western astrology is not the karmic pyramid of its Eastern counterpart. It is based on the seasons, and it is a wheel, a cycle, with no beginning or end; one where each phase evolves into the next seamlessly. Each Sign is more mature than the one previous, but less so than the one ahead. Pisces may be the last phase in the seasonal cycle, as it falls at the end of the seasonal year. But as this personality matures, it will still ultimately transform into Aries.
In their relationships with others and with themselves, Pisces need to learn how to become more masculine and more independent. That includes taking up space, being loud, and learning how to ask for (or demand) what they want, regardless of how it will make other people feel. It also means growing a funny bone and cultivating a better sense of humour, and detaching from situations so their feelings don't overwhelm them. And going from sexually passive and restricted, to a kinkier, more pleasurable, level of sexual healing. But more than anything, transforming into Aries means being properly selfish, and letting go of their desire to make everyone else' happy at the expense of their own health and happiness. Only then can a Pisces say that they have finally matured past their old selves and evolved into a stronger, more spiritually awakened person. To start this series over with the next Sign in the cycle, click below to read more about Aries!