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The Enigma of Pisces

Pisces, by artist B.A.Vierling

Stop a moment and think about the Pisces people that you know. How would you describe them in three to five words? Can you do it? I would love to see your lists!

Pisces is not an easy sign to describe instantaneously. It’s a bit of an enigma quite frankly. Why is that? I’m going to do my best to try and explain. For starters the time of the year that we say is under the influence of Pisces falls generally between February 21st and March 20th. Here in the Northern Latitudes we are experiencing the shift from winter to spring with some days becoming mild and almost balmy, while other days are wild, stormy, and freezing. Such extremes can be unsettling. Dane Rudhyar says in his book The Pulse of Life, “Pisces is an era of storms and of wholesale disintegration.” This apt description implies the dilemma of the soul incarnated into this sign. The journey of the Piscean’s life must often be one of moving through periods when everything seems to be falling apart and nothing yet has come together into a new form. The future may beckon, but the past is still unraveling.

pisces glyphThe glyph often used for Pisces is the two fish tied together but swimming in opposite directions. Here is the symbol of involution and evolution. Does the Pisces soul descend into flesh or ascend into spirit? Perhaps the Christian ethos of ‘being in the world, but not of the world’ attempts to integrate this paradox. It certainly can be both a struggle and a quest for one actually living out this dualistic path.

So think, again, about those Pisces people in your life. Aha! They’re not quite so dreamy, mild, and wishy-washy as one would stereotype them to be. Pisces is a Water Sign, and the kind of water most associated with this sign is the Ocean. Start describing the ocean and you’re getting closer to describing Pisces. Words like vast, deep, powerful, ever-changing come to mind perhaps.

Where does the cliche of Pisces being wimps come from? The elusive quality of this Mutable Sign, Pisces can certainly give that impression when issues of confrontation are at hand. Many Pisces would prefer to evade head-on collisions and leave the head butting for their Aries kinfolk. They, also, often prefer to be in the background rather than center-stage like more fiery types. But never underestimate the power of a Pisces, for like the element of Water, Pisces can gather a formidable force of watery emotional strength, when necessary, and move through, over, or under any obstacle.

I remember well an early boyfriend who certainly reflected some of the dreamier qualities of Pisces. He loved to dance in candlelight trailing long chiffon scarves after him like Nijinsky in Afternoon of the Faun. One time, however, I got a glimpse of that deeper power and strength. My roommate’s boyfriend had been drinking and was getting abusive and violent with her. Mr. Pisces calmly and quietly walked over and pinned the man’s arms behind his back and started twisting. Without fanfare he told him to leave if he knew what was good for him. End of story.

The key here is how the Pisces individual harnesses the great collective force they are born with which can, at times, overwhelm them like a tidal wave and make them feel lost and afraid. Developing their opposite polarity, Virgo, through some specific skill or technique will help to stabilize and focus their emotional body into a form that can be used in service to others. It is then that they can truly shine and feel good about themselves.

Elizabeth TaylorI think of a famous Pisces type, Elizabeth Taylor. She was hot stuff when I was young and considered one of the most beautiful actresses to light up the silver screen. She certainly did characterize the oceanic in all the variety of roles she played as an actress, the endless personal dramas she got swept away with, and the countless times she struggled with her own tidal forces of loss, suffering, and amazing rebounds. However, it was when she fully harnessed her vast emotional body into the Virgoan task of championing AIDS that she gained the balance and sense of humanitarian service that she is now acknowledged for. Good for her. She did it.

Pisces are the great chameleons of the Zodiac. They often survive through the art of camouflage. Well, doesn’t Water do that? Bodies of water take on the qualities and characteristics of their surroundings, the climate zone, etc. A fjord in Norway is one kind of water. A blue lagoon in the South Pacific is another. Both are water, but what a difference in kind and quality.

The great mythological stories, which have evolved since ancient Babylonian times, have many versions of the myth of Aphrodite and her little boy, Eros, acting out the art of evasion and shape-shifting that Pisces is known for. One version of the story tells of a ghoulish monster, Typhon, who is destroying eveything in sight. Aphrodite, in her love for her child, binds him to her with a cord and then magically turns them into fishes so that they can escape below the surface of the water to elude this demonic force wrecking havoc amongst the gods on the surface of the earth. Of course, Zeus, one of the ancient rulers of Pisces, ends up both rescuing them from their watery deep darkness, and rewarding them, which is what he loves doing best, by sweeping them up into the starry sky as the constellation of Pisces.

Initially every young Pisces learns to survive by blending and adapting to their surroundings and circumstances. As they age, however, this can become a problem for they don’t really know who they are. A number of years ago Patty Hearst, the heiress, was captured by the SLA and later emerged in a photograph while robbing a bank. She’s the perfect example of how Pisces survive as chameleons. First she’s this pampered girl from the newspaper dynasty family, next she’s playing Bonnie and Clyde in full regalia with her abductors, and finally—yep—she marries her bodyguard and settles into yet another role.

Remember, Pisces is the very last sign and thus all of the other signs are contained within it. No wonder it gets confusing being a Pisces! So how does a Pisces ever figure out who they really are? I always encourage my Pisces clients to spend time either alone or out in nature. Either way they will gradually separate out subject from object and gain a deeper sense of themselves in the process. The practices of contemplation can help Pisces: stilling the mind, being quiet, listening to the small inner voice. These are ways to come to know themselves better. Once they connect with their core, they can then turn outwards again and help a lot of people.

Serve or suffer is yet another famous cliche for Pisces. I remember a dear happy Leo woman saying once, “Oh you Pisces just lo-o-ove to suffer!” Certainly there was a ring of truth to what she said. Yet suffering is common to us all. It seems to be part of life here on planet Earth. What Pisces do best is to address that suffering and serve those who do. I know so many Pisces involved in the Healing Arts. One woman is a fine Acupuncturist with the most up-lifting sunny attitude. She has a lot of Aries fire in her nature to bring inspiration and spunk to her bedside manner. I know another Pisces who is a Homeopath. He has the patience and technical knowledge to listen quietly and assess accurately the right remedy from the thousands possible. He has more Aquarian planets to meld with his Pisces Sun. I know another amazing healer who works with sound. Her business card says “a harmonic approach to well-being”, Acutonics’ Sound Therapy.

Nirvana NevermindA lot of Pisces are drawn to music and the performing arts. Here all the Dionysian qualities can often be expressed where mystical ecstasy and madness can be unleashed through sound, lights, and multi-media effects. Jon Bon Jovi and Kurt Cobain of Nirvana (what a Piscean name!) come to mind in the music world. In the world of dance both Nijinsky and Rudolph Nureyev expressed the fluidity and power of this sign. There are so many very fine actors and actresses who are Pisces: Glen Close, Holly Hunter, Bruce Willis, Billy Crystal, Glenda Jackson, Joanne Woodward, Drew Barrymore, Juliette Binoche, Queen Latifah, etc.

Michelangelo was a Pisces, but if you want to see a wonderful contemporary artist who totally conveys the nature of mysticism through his magical works, visit the site of Ernest Caballero. Ernest is a Pisces through and through. He epitomizes the Pisces who has found a Virgoan container, his sculptures, for his visionary connection with the unseen realms.

Cinderella, by artist Warwick GobleThere are many myths and stories connected with this sign, but I have especially always liked the fairytale Cinderella. It’s such a classic Piscean tale. The humble Cinderella serving day and night the harsh and greedy stepmother and her daughters. The enchanted visitation by her fairy godmother from the astral realm. The handsome, utterly romantic Prince of her dreams. The dancing until the stroke of midnight when the enchantment ends. The dropped glass slipper. The search for the right and true foot.

Shoes, feet, slippers are all under Pisces’ ruler ship. Last, but not least, the feet. They support the rest of us. They are under us. Pisces must learn to Understand. And, of course, this fairy tale ends with the happy ever after redemption theme that is such a part of the mythos of Pisces. Take a look at Ernest Caballero’s Risen Christ. There is the perfect image of Ascension and Redemption that Pisces yearns for even as the inevitable descent is taking place. There is a longing for absolute oneness and bliss in this enigmatic of all signs, Pisces.

I would like to close by bringing your attention to possibly the highest aspiration of Pisces, Kuan Yin. She is the female Goddess of Compassion known far and wide in the East as “The One Who Hears the Cries of the World.” The Lotus Sutra translated by Kumarajiva, possibly a Pakistani prisoner sold into slavery in China, somewhere between A.D. 397 and 415 introduced her and from there she evolved into the accepted role of the divine feminine by the 9th Century AD.

Kuan Yin epitomizes the qualities of Pisces, a Yin sign, as its best. Her compassion knows no boundaries and extends universal love to all, including animals and plants. Her appeal is that she extends her compassion and love to ordinary people. There are so many myths and stories abounding that tell of her great deeds of grace, but none are more fitting to our theme than her connection with the sea.

Tales are often told of her ability to calm the turbulence of typhoons as she descends from the heavens in her flowing white robes. Here is a quote described in one such tale from a beautifully written book about her, Kuan Yin, Myths and Prophiscies of the Chinese Goddess of Compassion by Martin Palmer and Jay Ramsay with Man-Ho Kwok, “… Closing her eyes, she raised her hands before the raging waters, which immediately ceased their turbulence. Turning to face the winds, she opened her eyes and the winds died down and the storm clouds dispersed” Then she disappeared.

Kuan YinPeace, Love, and Compassion: these are the highest qualities that Pisces aspires towards. To get to such a lofty goal they must often wallow through a lot of mud and storms along the way. That is why Kuan Yin is often depicted standing upon a full blown lotus flower. Perhaps there are really no words now to further attempt to define what can only be contemplated. I leave you, dear readers, with that beautiful image. Who or what is Pisces must perhaps ever remain a mystery, an enigma.

February 28, 2008  353 Comments
Categories: Astrology, Pisces | Tags: , ,


1 Desire { 10.23.17 at 4:22 am }

Born 2 22 83 I am so lost please helo

2 Genevieve Vierling { 10.23.17 at 10:48 am }

Dear Desire, It is of utmost importance that you find a spiritual path that you believe in and work with it. Cut out ALL escape activities!!! That includes any endless watching of garbage movies, TV, iPhone trivia, etc. You do have a good chart for gaining discipline and accomplishing much in this life, but you must absolutely take yourself in hand and cut out people who distract, deceive, and mislead you as well. Some of what you are under will pass on soon. Take the high road please! You’ll be OK but illusion and deception are what you must avoid right now. You can do a lot of good in this life if you are willing to put in the work and discipline it requires. Much love to you!!

3 Zita { 10.23.17 at 5:31 am }

Hi Genevieve, thank you so much for your response. So much that you have said has hit home with me. I am currently doing a course which will allow me to teach abroad as it has always been my dream to travel. This really rings true. Thank you again for you quick and amazing response.

4 Genevieve Vierling { 10.23.17 at 10:25 am }

That’s wonderful Zita!! Isn’t it amazing how your birth chart really does show you the path you are meant to take. It is like a road map, but you still need to make your own choices. I wish you every success as I know you’ll make a WONDERFUL teacher.

5 Karina( 18-03-1999) { 10.25.17 at 11:31 am }

Hello, I am really lost in my life. Please help.

6 Genevieve Vierling { 10.26.17 at 10:15 am }

Dear Karina and ALL Pisces—-Neptune is moving through Pisces until the spring of 2025 and even then it will dip back in going retrograde from October 24, 2025 until January 27th, 2026. So it is tantamount that all Pisces souls, and that includes Pisces Rising and Pisces Moon, find a spiritual compass to give you a sense of direction. Your spiritual life is what matters. Period. Illumination comes from within, not from something outside yourself. So find a path that involves either meditation, service, or contemplation to involve yourself in. There is simply no way you’re going to get out of that lost feeling by relying on the material world we now live in which is a very dead place spiritually. We have lost contact with nature and the natural world. We have lost contact with our inner selves through all the addictions and distractions everywhere present. We have lost contact with our Core Selves. I do not have the answer for you other than trying to steer you towards seeking spiritual food for your SOUL. You will know when you have found what feeds you that way because you will resonate with it vibrationally. That won’t come from your head. You will know it in your heart. May you find that quickly Karina!

7 Taylor Cardish { 10.27.17 at 8:52 am }

Hi Gen! I’m on the cusp of Pisces and Aries, born March 19th, but nonetheless a Pisces to the fullest extent. I’m only 19 years of age and I’ve always had an attraction towards astrology. I feel all of this resonates with me, I still feel very lost at times, not so much in what I should do with my life, but just everyday things. I don’t always know how to blur the lines between real and the fake, and I know I am very intuitive at heat, but I don’t always know how to channel that energy. I’m very empathetic and great at reading people. I’m actually dating someone right now with my opposite polarity and I’ve never felt more balanced and down to earth in my life, she’s truly making me understand the path more, but I can’t just rely on her to understand myself completely. I need some advice.
Thanks and lovedddddd your post. Truly riveting and resonating 🙂 hit home

8 Genevieve Vierling { 11.09.17 at 8:56 pm }

Taylor—-You are part of this new wave of very bright and perceptive young people who already have a good grasp of astrology. When I was starting out in my late 20s astrology was fairly hidden as a path of consciousness. So thank you for sharing your insights and being so candid about your self.

9 Eobert L Van Nest { 11.02.17 at 9:37 pm }

Born 02.27.38 scorpio rising
Most impressive sight.
E. Taylor 02.27.32 ; J. Woodward also 02.27 but not sure of birth year.
For me, the two most important people of the 20th cent were Einstein and Edger Cacey. The latter was probably the great prophet to ever walk the earth. Both were Pisces. John Steinbeck and Ralph Nader both Pisces 02.27.35 for Nader.
When you think about what these people did for mankind you have give them great respect.
My only great moment was teaching woodworking in Laos in the mid Sixties as a prePeace Corp volunter. Only American ever to do this. I drastically changed my life.
The sad thing about it is my own Coutry bombed Laos for more than 15 yrs. 4 billion pounds aprox. At current rate of removal of the uneploded ordance, it will take another 480 yrs to get it all out of the ground. It is trully a sad tail of my Country and its Imperial ways. Just think about how badly we are responding to Puerto Rico disaster.
One last thing, those born the 22 of any month unbelievable talents that no other number can match. Two examples in the music world: Andrew Lloyd Weber and Stephen Sondheim both born on March 22. 1930 & 1948.

10 Genevieve Vierling { 11.06.17 at 5:56 pm }

EOBERT—We are all privileged to have your in-put. Good information. I see from your energies that you have a nice blend of Aquarian–Pisces–Aries. I’m sure you’ve led a most interesting life and made some great humanitarian contributions along the way. I agree that the shadow side of our nation is enormous but I am also forever encouraged by the people I know personally and see rising up to create conscious and positives changes. These are the people I am grateful for and want to support—people like you! Thank you.

11 Roshan singh { 11.17.17 at 6:17 am }

Hello i am a pisces guy…i am currently persuing my bsc hospitality training bt i want to achieve something in life i always feel lyk doing such things would nt get fame fr me and nowadays i am also looking to be an actor i dunno where should i move to build my carrier i am totally lost can uh please help me out???

12 Genevieve Vierling { 11.17.17 at 8:58 am }

Dear Roshan, I’m not sure where you are living, but Hollywood and NYC are the logical places to go if you want to seriously pursue acting in the United States. Of course other countries now have their own places like Bollywood connections in India, etc. I remember years ago I knew Run Run Shaw’s son. Shaw was the top movie producer in Hong Kong and made hundreds of great films. So even San Francisco is a good place for budding actors. ACT is a great theater company there. Annette Bening got her start there. I knew the impresario, Enrico Banducci, who got Bill Cosby, Barbara Streisand, and many other talented people started at his club the Hungry i. I’m just giving you these examples to show that many large cities have acting and entertaining resources. I guess you’ll have to decide if you want to go into theater acting or film and then go from there to where the major centers are. Don’t be afraid to FOLLOW YOUR DREAM!!!

13 Shanno { 11.25.17 at 12:09 pm }

Beautifully written! It all hits home for me, I’m a 16 March 1969 posces, and I’m really really struggling to find my virgoan purpose!

14 Genevieve Vierling { 11.29.17 at 7:39 pm }

Shanno—-Oh yes! You have the Sun opposite Pluto in Virgo. So you have the purpose of facing ‘the other’ or dialoguing with them. It’s all about relationship for you with this. I see your Mercury/Moon is also in Pisces, so you have plenty of feelings, sensitivity, and compassion. It must be applied somehow with others who are facing life/death situations where you facilitate transformation. Pluto is also power and you have to willingly participate in something powerful and transformative. That covers a broad spectrum. You are obviously working with relationships and polarities in this lifetime with the directive to claim your own power of understanding to aid in healing the rifts between that divide. Virgo demands being a problem solver!

15 P. { 12.26.17 at 7:56 am }

3 3 1983 I am struggling with channeling my energies, Gen.
What chart are you referring to in some of your comments? Can I access it on your website?

16 Genevieve Vierling { 01.02.18 at 7:53 pm }

Dear ‘P’, I run the data myself that readers post. In your case, I’m simply looking at a Sunrise Chart (Sun on the Ascendant) since you don’t give me time or place of birth. I can see the challenge of ‘channeling your energies’ all right. You have Sun in Pisces in square aspect to Jupiter/Uranus for one thing. It would be easy to get off-track with whatever exciting adventure lures you out there, or in there mentally even. Your Moon/Saturn in Scorpio may help. You NEED to get deeply emotionally involved! Then immerse yourself in what FEELS RIGHT. That’s one hint anyway. I wish you well. You have an extraordinary chart for creativity. Just try not to get caught up in too much drama!

17 Jessica { 01.06.18 at 2:40 am }

Hi I’m a Pisces sun, Venus,mars and Pisces rising. I really enjoyed your article. I’ve sort of lost my way recently and can’t seem to find the way back. My true calling is something I am looking for. I’ve recently became very interested in astrology tho. My birthday is 2/21/83 at 7:45am in Atlanta Georgia

18 Genevieve Vierling { 01.25.18 at 7:59 pm }

Dear Jessica, Yours is easy to spot! You are under Neptune’s fog right now. The planet is going over your Ascendant of late, but will gradually fade away. In the meantime, since you are Pisces’ Rising, something is calling on you in terms of your true vocation. You were born with Neptune in your 10th house of public life. So go within and keep asking your Higher Self for guidance. Inspiration will come if you will listen and pay attention in the still moments of contemplation and reflection. Your Moon in Gemini can’t be buzzing around so much now. Neptune is wanting you to go within. Any form of therapy such as Sandplay, art therapy, or creative journal writing would probably be useful. Neptune is dissolving the old approach away so you can begin anew, more in tune with your truer self. You have great healing ability as well as artistic gifts. Good fortune smile on you!

19 Anusha { 01.07.18 at 3:00 am }

Hello. My name is Anusha and I am a March 1st Pisces. I’m currently doing my college degree that I thought I was passionate about but lately, I realised that I am actually completely lost in life. I tried to force my interest into what I’m doing right now but it completely backfired. It feels as if any decision I take now is going to end up bad so I’m being very indecisive. Any suggestions on how to deal with this?
thank you 🙂

20 Genevieve Vierling { 01.25.18 at 8:03 pm }

Dear Anusha, You’ve also been experiencing transit Neptune going over your Sun for several years now. Neptune is the great dissolver, but also requires considerable reflection and inner work to truly by-pass programming in a modern world that doesn’t support a richer inner development. Try to spend as much time in nature as possible and really open yourself to your connection with energies that stream around and through you constantly, but get drowned out by a modern world that doesn’t support the subtleties of intuition and mysticism. Pisces really needs that. And—yes—under Neptune it isn’t easy to make sure fast decisions. Be patient. Answers will come in their own time…..

21 Lunch Abrams { 01.11.18 at 12:05 am }

2-23-73 female…feeling super lost

22 Genevieve Vierling { 01.25.18 at 8:17 pm }

Dear Lunch, It’s difficult to say too much since you don’t give accurate birth data, but I see that your Sun is in a challenging square to the ruler of your Sun, Neptune. This modern world is quite non-supportive for a true Pisces, because you have to spend a lot of time going within and cut out the distractions that derail you. I see your Moon is in Scorpio, so you need something deep and passionate to arouse your mind—Mercury in Pisces. You are a strong feeling type. Highly intuitive. So develop that skill. Again, the right teacher is sometimes hard to find depending on where you live. But I wish you a true teacher at this point in your life.

23 Enya { 01.22.18 at 2:30 pm }

Oh wow what a lovely piece to read. I’m an 8th house sun, mars anf merc with 1st decan Leo Rising. Fighting a constant identity crisis….even though I’m nearly 40 I’m still not much closer to discovering who i really am.

24 Genevieve Vierling { 01.25.18 at 8:18 pm }

Thanks for sharing Enya~

25 Michael { 01.30.18 at 4:06 am }

Hi i’m Michael from South Africa, i’m a Piscean and i’m constantly feeling lost,melancholy gets the best of me most of the time i do however help others but sometimes i feel like i’m too open and often feel that i should take my own advice.

26 Genevieve Vierling { 02.14.18 at 11:38 am }

Thanks for sharing Michael. I’m sure all Pisces can relate in some form to what you say. May you find comfort!

27 Koni { 02.14.18 at 3:14 am }

Thanks for the article. Wonderful and so completely encapsulates what I’ve been going through all my life.

Birth date : 10.03.87

Any specific advice for my love life and career would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

28 Genevieve Vierling { 02.14.18 at 11:41 am }

Thank you Koni—-Unfortunately I can not address your query in any type of SPECIFIC way. That requires having Place of Birth and exact TIME OF BIRTH. A professional astrologer can help you with these questions, myself included, for it is a comprehensive question that requires considerable study of your entire birth map and the PLACEMENT of where your planets are located. Love Life includes several planets and several houses. Career includes at least three houses and several planets. I hope you see how complexity cannot be addressed in a paragraph or two on this blog.

29 Elisabeth { 03.07.18 at 1:35 pm }

Hi Genevieve,

I am a triple Pisces (sun, moon, and ascendant)! I seem to get into relationships with people in which I do most, of not all of the giving and compromising. Am I doomed in love by this triple Pisces threat?

30 Genevieve Vierling { 03.08.18 at 6:16 pm }

Dear Elisabeth, If you can use this incredible force of empathy and understanding professionally you may be able to move towards a more equal personal relationship where give and take is a must. One of the best books I have read which includes some insights on your theme is by Joan McEvers entitled “12 Times 12, 144 Sun/Ascendant Combinations Of course she’s only dealing with Sun/Ascendant—not Moon! Moon in Pisces is THE most sensitive placement for the moon in my humble opinion. So I”m wondering if your Sun/Moon are in the 12th house or the 1st house? Also the decanate that each is in is important as well. But she describes your type as ‘impressionable, romantic and idealistic…….you have a universal quality about you that others respond to without knowing just what it is that attracts them. Emotional, dreamy, receptive and restless, you are the most approachable of people…..”

She concludes with this sentence, “When you are using the idealism and spirituality of Pisces to its best effect, there is no one kinder, more understanding of others and helpful than you.” Reason, again, from my point of view to use these sterling qualities in your life work. Lawrence Welk is one of the examples she uses of someone with this signature. You are probably too young, but he had this musical show as a bandleader that was very genteel and people-friendly on TV way-back-when. He was exceedingly popular for his day. So acting, performing, even politics are suitable careers for people like you.

Finally, since Virgo is on the cusp of your 7th house, look to your Mercury and all of its aspects to see how best to find the right type of partner who may compliment your incredible capacity to give. Perhaps someone you could work WITH in helping others. Just some thoughts for you…..

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