February Astromusings – Happy Birthday Pisceans!

12 Pisces

Illustrated by Sue Robertson

Pisces the two fish
swim through
the unfathomable depths
Body and soul bound by
the silver cord
The soul struggles to
break free of its earthly bonds
to reunite with the Source
and bring Light to the World

(c) Anne Robertson 1987

No fairy tale relates the soul’s journey of Pisces more poignantly than Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Little Mermaid’. She undergoes sacrifice, great physical pain and personal suffering in return for the attainment of an ideal. She surrenders her beautiful voice, severs her links with her loved ones, and endures unbearable physical pain with every step she takes in return for an immortal soul and the love of a mortal prince who is unattainable. Redeemed from her suffering, she spends the rest of her life in service to others. Both Pisces and its polar opposite sign, Virgo, symbolise service.

Happy birthday to all the Pisceans, who celebrate their birthdays between February 18 and March 20. Pisces, whose symbol is the two fish swimming in opposite directions, is one of the three water signs. Pisces is one of four mutable signs the others being Gemini, Virgo and Sagittarius.

The constellation Pisces comprises the northern and the southern fish, joined together by a rope attached to each of their tails. The fish and the cord form a giant horizontal “V,” at the apex of which is Pisces’s brightest star, Al Rescha, an Arabic word meaning “the Cord” Esoterically the two fish symbolise the Body and the Soul held together by a band – the Sutratma of Eastern philosophy, the Silver Cord in the Bible. The journey of the two fish is symbolic of the journey of humanity toward evolution in consciousness as the soul tries to free itself from the bondage of the ego.

The Age of Pisces
The outgoing Age of Pisces was marked by the birth of Christ, and Christianity commemorates His crucifixion and resurrection, so Pisces is the archetype of the Saviour which represents great suffering and redemption. Pisces falls during Lent, the period of fasting which precedes Easter. During the 500 years before Jesus’ birth, many of the founders of today’s religions were born, including Buddha, Zoroaster, Lao-tse and Confucius. Jesus’ ministry not only laid the foundation for the 2000 year period now coming to a close but for a 26,000 year period referred to as ‘the Great Year’. The Piscean symbolism permeates Christianity. ‘Icthys’, the Greek name for Jesus, means fish. The twelve disciples of Jesus were from the ranks of fishermen. Jesus is said to have fed the multitudes with loaves and fishes. In the early days of Christianity in Rome, Christians, fearing persecution, would identify each other by drawing a picture of a fish in the sand or have a fish painted on the palm of their hand. The Age of Pisces has been marked by religious devotion and worship whereas the Age of Aquarius will focus on cultivating the Divine within humanity.

Neptune the Ruler of Pisces
Pisces’s ruling planet, Neptune, or Poseidon as he was known to the Greeks, ruled over his watery domain with his trident in his hand. In Greek mythology the universe was divided into three realms assigned to the three brothers. The heavens were assigned to Zeus-Jupiter, Hades-Pluto ruled over the Underworld, and Poseidon-Neptune ruled the oceans. The glyph for Neptune is a pictograph of the trident held in the hands of Poseidon. Neptune’s trident is his attribute of power reflecting the lunar crescent which links him to the realms of the instincts and watery depths of the unconscious. Before the planet Neptune was discovered in 1846 Jupiter ruled Pisces. When each planet is discovered it indicates a new level of evolution in the consciousness of humanity. As mentioned in my previous article, Uranus, the ruler of Aquarius, was discovered at the time of the French revolution and the American War of Independence, while the discovery of Neptune coincided with the spiritualist movement and the founding of the Theosophical Society. Neptune’s two moons, Oberon and Titania which bear the names of the King and Queen of the fairies in Shakespeare’s ‘Midsummer Nights Dream’ are symbolic of the dream-like, elusive quality of Pisces and its ruler, Neptune. We can gain an idea of the power of Neptune from the Tower card as depicted in Liz Greene’s Mythic Tarot in which Poseidon, portrayed with a fish’s tail, points his trident at the tower, causing lightning to strike it and cracks begin to appear in its edifice. Neptune rules spirituality and the arts. In its capacity as the planet of spirituality it teaches us non-attachment, because as soon as we identify with a thought, a possession, or a loved one, Neptune can dissolve it.

The Lesson of Neptune in the Myth of Orpheus and Eurydice
Neptune’s lesson of non-attachment is nowhere more powerfully evoked that in the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Orpheus and Eurydice, the newly weds, are very much in love, but instead of fulfilling their wedded bliss, Eurydice steps on a snake, is bitten and dies. The devastated bridegroom, Orpheus, who cannot accept his fate, sets out to retrieve his beloved. Orpheus is the typical Neptunian hero, a poet and musician whose songs and music uplift the spirits. With his music he charms the dog, Cerberus, that guards the Underworld, and persuades its inhabitants, Pluto and Persephone, to allow him to bring Eurydice back to the Upper world. They grant his wish on one condition – that he does not turn around and look at her until she has arrived in the upper world again but he cannot resist the temptation to gaze into the eyes of his beloved and she dissolves before his very eyes and with it his hopes for future happiness. There are always sacrifices and adjustments demanded by Neptune. The promise of happiness and fulfilment is often illusory. Neptune is the higher octave of Venus so requires a selfless love rather than self-gratification.

The Twelfth Labour of Hercules – The Capture of the Red Cattle of Geryon

In this the last of the twelve labours of Hercules the Teacher said to Hercules, ” Before the last gate now you stand, One labour yet remains before the circle is complete, and liberation is attained. He is told to proceed to Erytheia where great Illusion is enthroned where Geryon, the monster of three heads, three bodies and six hands, is lord and king. Unlawfully he holds a herd of dark red cattle. Hercules is told by his teacher that he must drive the herd from Erytheia to their Sacred City. He is warned to look out for Eurytion, the shepherd and his two headed dog Orthrus. His Teacher advises Hercules to invoke the aid of Helius which Hercules does, making offerings to Helius the god of fire in the sun. His offerings were rewarded with the gift of a golden chalice which provided safe protection for his journey across the tossing seas to Erytheia.

Hercules killed the double headed dog Orthrus which guarded the cattle but spared the life of the shepherd Eurytion. Hercules then proceeded to kill the monster Geryon. Hercules placed all the cattle in the golden cup in which he had sailed over to the island, took them to the Sacred City, and offered them in sacrifice to Athena, Goddess of Wisdom. The Teacher greeted Hercules with the words, “Welcome, O Son of God who is also a son of man. The jewel of immortality is yours. By these twelve labours have you overcome the human, and put on the divine. Home have you come, no more to leave. Upon the starry firmament your name shall be inscribed, a symbol to the struggling sons of men of their immortal destiny. The human labours ended your cosmic tasks begin. From out of the Council Chamber came a voice that said, “well done, O Son of God.”

Alice Bailey explains the symbolism of the red cattle as that of the lower desires which are guarded by the shepherd, which is the mind, the two headed dog representing the matter aspect and the psychic nature. The reason that Hercules spared the shepherd symbolising the mind as the mind can still be the shepherd of the cattle but the two headed dog the psychic-emotional nature and the matter aspect, Hercules killed, which means that they were deprived of any power. The keeper of the cattle, the form aspect was killed but the shepherd and the cattle were raised up in the golden cup which symbolised the Holy Grail. Bailey goes onto explain that Hercules the World Saviour has fulfilled his function of lifting up humanity.

The Constellation of Pisces
Alice Bailey explains that the sign of Pisces marks a triangular place in the heavens, a symbol of reality. The sign rules the feet hence the idea of treading the Path and attaining the goal has been the underlying spiritual revelation of the Piscean age. Pisces symbolises the death to the personality and also the death of the world saviour for it is the sign of crucifixion and marks the end of the zodiacal cycle.

The first constellation in Pisces is that curious cluster of stars called “The Band”, connecting the two fishes, one fish headed straight to the north and the other swimming on the horizon. The fish headed toward the north is the symbol of the aspirant to the mysteries while the fish on the horizon represents the average person.

The second constellation is Andromeda, the chained woman.  Alice Bailey alludes to three women among the constellations and explains their symbolism: There is Cassiopeia in Aries representing matter seated in her chair, dominant; Coma Berenice in Virgo who sacrificed her hair to be of service, representing the soul only beginning to assert itself. Andromeda the chained woman in Pisces represents matter harnessed.

The third constellation in Pisces is the King named Cepheus, the husband of Cassiopeia and the father of Andromeda. Bailey claims this suggests that “The King” represents the Spirit or Father aspect.

Alan Oken in his book ‘Alan Oken’s Complete Astrology’ has this to say about the constellation of Pisces: The waters of space obscure this constellation even more than they do in Aquarius however because of its very distinct shape it is easier to identify. Although it is one of the faintest of the twelve zodiacal asterisms it is one of the longest measuring about 41 degrees of celestial longitude. It is composed of the northern and southern fish joined together by a rope attached to each of their tails. the northern fish is the smaller of the two: it swims toward the constellation of Andromeda and the great nebula which lies within its boundaries. The southern fish swims under the great square of Pegasus the Flying Horse, and points its nose in the direction of Aquarius.

South of Al Rescha (also called “the Knot”) is Cetus the Whale, and east of the upper arm of the “V” is Aries.

Piscean Anatomy and Health
Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac and if we take into account the Universal Law, ‘As Above So Below’ it follows that Pisces rules the feet, the last part of the body. Added to this is the fact that March, the month in which Pisces falls, is derived from the Latin word, ‘margo’, which means extremity, limit, edge, boundary, or attainment.

Metaphysically, Pisces is related to understanding, and good understanding is necessary before we can travel far mentally. Pisces is one of the most sensitive signs of the zodiac, often referred to as a psychic sponge so they need to protect their boundaries to avoid being overwhelmed by other people’s negative vibes. They need to have periodic retreats from the world to recharge their batteries.

Anatomically Pisces also rules the pineal gland, the lymphatic system, the aura and parts of the nervous system receptive to psychic impressions. An afflicted Neptune can lead to auto-immune disorders or conditions difficult to diagnose. In her book, ‘Astrology and Biochemistry’ Vanda Sawtell describes the role of the cell salt related to Pisces: “The Biochemic cell salt related to the sign Pisces is iron or Ferrum phos. Iron has an affinity for oxygen which together produce red blood. When iron is lacking the blood is pale and anaemic. Physiologically, iron which is related to Pisces, is in charge of the transport system of the body, just as our feet have charge of the transport of the body as a whole. Deficiencies of iron in the blood can cause inflammation or congestion, injuries and haemorrhages, dull throbbing headaches, insomnia, sore throat, lumbago, heart palpitations, emotional disturbances, colds and chills especially when feverish, rheumatism, fractures, cuts, sprains, bruises anaemia, depression, or listlessness.”

Pisceans can be prone to allergies caused by foods such as milk and dairy products. They need to include foods in their diet which keep their lymphatic system flowing, such as fish, a good source of protein, lemon, lime, cranberry and apple juice, leafy green salads and vegetables such as cabbage and celery, and grains such as brown rice, and potatoes and kumara. Exercises that encourage deep breathing such as yoga or pilates would also be beneficial. Neptune rules drugs and alcohol, therefore Pisceans or people with strong Neptune placements can be very prone to addictive behaviour.

Because of their compassionate natures they need to be discerning in whom they help and beware of a tendency toward martyrdom. The gemstone for Pisceans is aquamarine.  Bach flower essences that can relieve the Piscean tendency toward physical and mental exhaustion are hornbeam, and scleranthus for changeability, indecisiveness and moodiness. A homeopathic remedy indicated for heat exhaustion, headache, nausea and cramps, Veratrum album, would be beneficial for the  Piscean. Aromatherapy oils that would be a healing balm for the sensitive Piscean include sandalwood, jasmine, myrrh and ylang-ylang. The healing musical note for Pisces is B.

The Piscean Hall of Fame
Neptune rules the 12th house which deals with sacrifice, the unconscious mind, mysticism, imagination, illusion, intuition, confinements and past lives. For this reason people born under the sign of Pisces or having strong 12th house placements are often drawn to careers in the arts or spiritual endeavour. Anatomically Pisces rules the feet so it is not surprising to see that the famous ballet dancers, Nijinsky and Nureyev were Piscean. Pisceans exude an aura of glamour and a certain mystique which makes them well suited to the stage or screen.

Famous actors include Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Caine, Drew Barrymore, Leo McKern of Rumpole fame, Glenn Close, Liza Minnelli, Lynn Redgrave and Julie Walters.  Famous Piscean singers include Johnny Cash, Neil Sedaka and George Harrison. Piscean composers in the Hall of Fame include Chopin, Handel, Vivaldi, Ravel and Rossini. Piscean writers who have entranced their readers with their vivid imaginations include Kenneth Grahame, the author of The Wind in the Willows, the poet, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Dr Seuss whose stories have enchanted many children. Those Pisceans listed amongst the famous painters are Michelangelo, Botticelli and Renoir.
Pisceans who have contributed to the mystical realm include Edgar Cayce, the Sleeping Prophet, a very gifted healer and medium, the Dutch psychic Gerard Croiset, the Indian mystic Meher Baba, Rudolph Steiner the founder of the Anthroposophical movement and Roberto Assagioli the visionary psychiatrist who developed Psychosynthesis.

 

 

Neptune Transits
Every one of us experiences Neptune transits in our life. These transits can either enhance our sensitivity, intuition, compassion and creativity if they are positive transits, or if they are challenging transits can bring about confusion, deception, loss, sacrifice and suffering in our lives in order to teach us the lesson of non-attachment. Neptune’s cycle is approximately 160 years therefore it doesn’t complete a full circle and return to its natal place in the span of a lifetime. Neptune transits occur in the middle to late twenties around the time of the first Saturn Return, enabling us to aspire to our ideal of what we could be. A major Neptune transit occurs around the age of 42 coinciding with the Uranus opposition which represents the mid-life crisis and its subsequent search for meaning. In our mid fifties there is another Neptune transit which can enhance spiritual growth. The final major Neptune transit that we are likely to experience if we live into our eighties occurs in our mid eighties, around the same time as the Uranus Return which marks a time of reflection, not only of life and death but also of what lies beyond.

 

 Overview for Pisces for 2017

Neptune in Pisces
Soulful Neptune continues it sojourn in its home sign of Pisces bringing spiritual upliftment and creative inspiration for all Pisceans. Neptune will be in your home sign of Pisces until January 2026 when it will change signs moving into Aries. Sometimes you may feel a bit lost or confused as if you have lost your moorings but your ruling planet Neptune is beckoning you to attune to your highest spiritual and creative potential.

Career
Saturn is continuing its sojourn through your career sector and will be there until December 2017. This will bring more hard work and responsibility and a certain gravitas.

Work and Health
Your work and health sector is highlighted by two eclipses – a lunar eclipse on 11 February and a solar eclipse on 21 August.

Relationships
The karmic north node which charts your destiny is in Virgo and is also continuing its sojourn through your relationship sector. Other cosmic visitors that will be in your relationship sector are Mercury, Venus and Mars. Quicksilver Mercury will be there from 26 July until 10 September facilitating communication in your relationships. However, part of Mercury’s stay there will be in retrograde motion from 13 August to 4 September which could bring confusion and misunderstandings. Feisty Mars will make its presence felt in your relationship sector from 6 September to 22 October giving you the impetus to assert your needs in your relationship. Gentle Venus will grace your relationship sector with her presence from 21 September to 14 October bringing harmony and romance to your relationships.

Finances
Unpredictable Uranus continues its journey through your 2nd house of finances, possessions and values. This brings both uncertainty and excitement to your financial life. It encourages you to be innovative to develop your own unique approach to managing your finances rather than going with the status quo. You may use your ingenuity to devise your own money-making schemes. Jupiter moved into your debt and tax sector in September 2016 and will remain there until 10 October 2017. Part of Jupiter’s passage here will be in retrograde motion from 6 February 2017 to 8 June 2017 so you need to take care with your budget and taxes.

Home and Family
 Dynamic Mars will be in your domestic sector from 22 April to 4 June imbuing you with plenty of energy to deal with family matters and assert your needs. Communicative Mercury will pay a visit to your domestic sector from 7 to 21 June  giving you an opportunity to network with your family and have any conversations on family matters. Venus graces your domestic sector with her presence from 6 to 31 July making this an ideal time for any family get togethers.

Travel and Education
Quicksilver Mercury will pay a visit to your travel and education sector from 18 October to 5 November facilitating communication here. Feisty Mars pays a visit to your travel and education sector from 10 December 2017 to 26 Jan 2018 imbuing you with energy to pursue these areas of your life. Venus will grace you with her presence from 8 November to 1 December which would be an ideal time for a romantic getaway or pleasure cruise.

Friendships, Groups and Goals
Powerful Pluto continues to make its presence felt in your eleventh house of friends, groups and goals causing you to make radical changes in this area of your life. Your power and influence will be felt in groups situations. You may act as a catalyst for change for your friends or there may even be some power struggles resulting in a friendship coming to an end. You may radically alter your goals including your life purpose as Pluto’s impact is felt here. Venus graces your friendship sector with her charming presence  from 26 December 2017 to 18 January 2018. This should promote affection and harmony in your  social circles and group activities. 

Spirituality
Your spirituality sector will be highlighted by a partial lunar eclipse on 7 August 2017. A solar eclipse aligns with karmic South Node in your solar first house on 26 February.

Sources
Pisces Greeting Card Illustrated by Sue Robertson
Pisces Poem by Anne Robertson
Esoteric Astrology Volume 3 Treatise on the Seven Rays by Alice A. Bailey
Soul-Centred Astrology: A Key to your Expanding Self  by Alan Oken
Alan Oken’s Complete Astrology by Alan Oken
The Labours of Hercules by Alice A. Bailey
Astrological Keys to Self-actualization & Self-realization by Clara A. Weiss
Astrology and Biochemistry by Vanda Sawtell

 

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