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METAPHYSICAL PISCES

by Gary Brand - written February 16, 2006,
published in the March 2006 edition of Echo* newspaper

Neptune's evanescent eye - image of a large storm system
taken by Voyager 2. Neptune's evanescent "eye" - a large storm system termed the "small dark spot."  It was photographed by Voyager 2 on October 29, 1999 but has since vanished (blue color added).  Courtesy of NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.

This is a 1491 woodcut of the classical representation
of Pisces as two fishes. This is a 1491 woodcut of the classical representation of Pisces as two fishes tethered together but swimming in opposite directions.  The bottom fish is swimming upside down, symbolizing the esoteric principle of "as above, so below" and that the earthly is the opposite of the Divine.  From the 1491 edition of Bonatti (G.B. (c. 1282/1491)).
his is one of a series of articles about the metaphysical meanings of the signs.  Metaphysical astrology is the study of first principles and the esoteric or hidden meanings of the signs and planets.  This article addresses the first principles of Pisces and Jupiter (traditional ruler of Pisces), which we all have somewhere in our birth chart.  The meaning or energy of each sign of the zodiac manifests in some area of life symbolized in the birth chart of each of us, whether we have planets in a particular sign or not.  The entire visible Universe is based on the 12-fold manifestation of God we call the zodiac (E.H., p. 244 (1974)).

Pisces is symbolized by two fishes tethered to a single, favorable star, the "Conjoiner of the Fishes' Tails," with each fish swimming in a different direction (see woodcut at left).  In most depictions of the fishes, the top or northernmost fish is swimming to the left and the bottom or more southern fish is swimming to the right.  The northernmost fish is significantly north of the ecliptic, symbolic of the aspiration of our human soul to swim toward the light and rejoin paradisiacal unity.  This fish of divine nature swims at the surface of the river of life in the divine direction (with the current) until it reaches the great ocean of reunited souls we call God.  The other, more southern, worldly fish struggles against the current of life, swimming parallel to the ecliptic (the path of the Sun and symbolic of the cyclical nature of life) and remaining submerged in an illusory world, living many sensation-filled incarnations without awareness that another, entirely different and unbounded paradise exists beyond the veil of the water's surface.

Pisces is the twelfth sign, the end of the cycle of the signs of the zodiac and when the Sun is in this sign all of nature rejoices the end of winter.  The northern, spiritual fish represents the potential end of the cycle of reincarnation, the chance to get off the merry-go-round of life and death and evolve into a purely spiritual form, free of the limitations and sufferings of the physical body, free of the desire for sensual pleasures, and free of material and emotional attachments.  The southern, sensation-seeking fish represents the temptations of our primitive senses to begin another series of lifetimes during which we will experience the twelve-fold manifestations of pleasure and suffering in a series of physical bodies.  The northern fish suffers in sorrowful resolution when the human soul chooses to remain in the river of life and the world of sensation instead of spiritually evolving beyond the wheel of reincarnation.

At its best, the northern fish symbolizes the messiah or prophet and, at its worst, the southern fish symbolizes the addict or suicide (all of these are Neptune keywords, modern co-ruler of Pisces).  In the Greco-Roman myth of Pisces, Venus and Cupid were surprised by the giant Typhon while playing on the banks of the Euphrates River and, to escape his grasp, they jumped into the river and transformed into fishes.  Minerva, goddess of wisdom, commemorated the event by placing two fishes in the celestial sphere.  Gods and goddesses of the sea (Pisces is a water sign) were shape-shifters and were prescient, able to foresee the future, so these qualities are inherent in this sign.  The more planets in Pisces in a person's birth chart, the greater these abilities.  Thus, Edgar Cayce, with four planets in Pisces was a great but humble seer.  Pisces is a shape-shifting sign in the sense that a Piscean personality can adapt to changing circumstances (or shifts in the currents of the river of life) and blend into a group or situation.

Pisces is one of the storytelling signs because of its traditional rulership by Jupiter but feelings like compassion and empathy evoked by the Piscean story are reminders that this is a water sign.  In today's world, we think of a picture equaling 1,000 words but a 1,000 word Piscean story paints its own vivid picture.  At best, the Pisces in us is expressed as a life of service to the many with the light of brotherly love shining as a beacon to guide those who seek the key of wisdom to overcome and evolve beyond the temptations of the flesh.  Dereliction in high office attracts the wrath of the Pisces knight errant, defender of the oppressed, refusing self-aggrandizement.  One of many apt metaphors for this sign, from The Degrees of Life, is the scientist (Pisces is a scientific sign because of the knowledge-seeking nature of Jupiter, the sign's ruler) with knowledge that will upset the popular beliefs of the day, who sits in his secret study meditating on a method for giving this knowledge to a world that sorely needs it while not risking his own neck in the doing of it (p. 89 (1976)).  This aptly described Galileo and Copernicus, both strong Pisces.

Since the theme of this month's issue of Echo* newspaper is books, here is a list of my favorite astrology books.
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Reference Citations.

See related article Metaphysical Jupiter.

*Echo is a monthly newspaper about community, the environment, health, cuisine, and spirituality that is distributed in central Virginia.
Good Timing and Location are Keys to Success

Gary Brand, Traditional Astrologer
Tallahassee, Florida
850-656-5758


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