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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  257 Comments
Categories: Astrology, Pisces | Tags: , ,

257 comments

1 Ellie McCarthy { 05.08.17 at 3:01 pm }

Genevieve, you have beautifully articulated the complex and often befuddling inner world of a Piscean – all of the opposing forces at work, the natural strengths and tendencies. As one who is on the brink of pursuing my higher calling after years of middling about (although perceived as ‘successful’ by many), I’m curious to learn what you can share of a Piscean born March 9, 1969 in Kitchener Ontario Canada. Unfortunately, no time is known (adopted). Cheer and anticipating a response with excitement!! Ellie

2 Genevieve Vierling { 05.11.17 at 9:17 pm }

Dear Ellie, You have the gift of objectivity with Mercury in Aquarius, and now the daring of a Venus/Saturn in Aries finally ‘awakened’ by transit Uranus. These energies give you much breadth and scope when added to your Sun in Pisces enabling you to use your mind and heart together and teach others the wisdom you have gained. You are also a visionary I see with Moon next to Neptune and that Scorpio ability to go deep allows you to penetrate the mysteries of life and help others in their transformation process. Soul work certainly is something I see you are capable of doing on many levels in service to others.

3 Kathryn Goldseth { 05.12.17 at 8:19 am }

Hello, I enjoyed reading about Pisces, as I am one. I have been enlightened! My birthday is March 11, 1952, born at 4:37 pm as far as I know) in Rochester, New York. Would you be so kind as to tell me more about myself? Thank you

4 Genevieve Vierling { 05.15.17 at 6:21 pm }

Kathryn, I have to be very brief with these responses to readers. For an in-depth interpretation I suggest connecting with me or any good professional astrologer. That’s how we make our living! You have an exceedingly complex chart and have to cover a lot of bases in this life, so you are no ordinary Pisces! You need to be very concrete and grounded in many respects and then work with others so that your capacity for compassion and understanding is brought forth. Did you know that you were born almost right at a Full Moon? Holding a vision but being willing to allow for human imperfections is a balancing act. There is a gifted humanitarian as well as an artist in you. There is also a non-conformist and highly inventive thinker in you. I doubt seriously that you will ever suffer from a dull and boring life. 🙂 These are but a few of the many aspects shining forth from your natal map.

5 Ben Boda { 05.24.17 at 12:36 am }

hit my tear ducts, and straight to my heartstrings…. cuz it was sooooo on point! now tell me , if you know, how to find a lost cancer? please!

6 Genevieve Vierling { 05.25.17 at 2:38 pm }

Ben—That’s not an easy question to answer. However, try when the Moon is in a water sign since you are both of that element.

7 Chandana { 05.31.17 at 12:25 pm }

Genevieve, your posts are very educating. They help people understand and see what astrologers like you can see and feel. The best thing i liked about your blog is that you are not trying hide the important details like most people. Just curious, are you a pisces too ? 🙂
I am a pisces, and spend most of my time inside my head. Not sure if it is a good thing or a bad thing and my focus keeps changing from one thing to another. Most of the times, i feel like i am wasting my energies, which can be put to better use to help others. But i still can’t see where to start. I was born on March 9th, 1985, 4:45 pm, Saturday in Bhadrachalam, India. Could you please give me any insights or guidance to point me in the right direction.

8 Genevieve Vierling { 06.03.17 at 3:10 pm }

Thank you Chandana for your comments. Yes, I am a Pisces. Looking at your natal birth chart I see that your Sun in Pisces must meet the challenge of Uranus in Sagittarius which contributes to your having a difficult time getting focused. The key is to own your individuality and freely express some of your Fire which shows up with all that Aries energy. I get that playfulness is a quality to invoke and cultivate. If you are enjoying action and the freedom of motion you are more likely to be helpful to others with your sparkle and fun-loving spirit. Your Moon in Libra needs harmony, style, flair perhaps. You need to be artistic in some way or utilize a quality of social gracefulness and sensitivity. If ‘by being in your head a great deal of the time’ means you invert that Mercury in Aries, I’d say look to your most intimate relationships for clues. You get in touch with yourself through relationships a great deal, so these important connections help to guide you either positively or negatively. Finally, I see that you are part of that rare generation born with Pluto in Scorpio, and your Pluto forms the apex of a Yod with Chiron and Mercury. Inner work is vital so that you gain guidance from sources higher up. This is an aspect of destiny which points you to some form of healing communication work that is transformative. I wish you all blessings dear Chandana—-such a beautiful name too!

9 Lorenzo { 06.04.17 at 2:56 pm }

Genevieve, I enjoyed reading your entire post. Spot on with content and filled with new learnings. Please tell me more about myself. I was born on March 11, 1995 at 12:56 pm. I think logically a lot, but also outside the box in my own world. I have grown to love myself more as I understand my Piscean ways. It’s so intriguing.

10 Genevieve Vierling { 06.07.17 at 3:22 pm }

Lorenzo—Your birth chart reveals a LOT of WATER, so it might also be important for you to read my article on the Sign of Cancer. There is a marvelous book by Donna Cunningham entitled ‘Being A Lunar Type in A Solar World’. That would be a very helpful book for you to read! Feelings are your natural habitat and tracking the Moon would help you in understanding more your own natural rhythms. Sometimes you need to be ‘in’ and sometimes ‘out’. There’s a shape shifter in you which would fit naturally in the acting fields, performing fields, etc. Your mind is readily suited to investigations and going deep. You have a very strong, but more introverted Mars in Leo, so it will take time for you to really know your strengths and talents. Your ambitions are big it looks like. With hard work and application you will achieve much in this life in almost any field you have an interest in, for you are multi-faceted and it all depends on WHO you are in relationship with. That’s the important part of your life journey—-the right people who will believe in you and support you. There’s a natural ‘healer’ in you as well. I could go on and on…..So be as Universal as you can possibly be and some day you will be an authority on what you have developed. Your generation is special for you were all born with Neptune conjunct Uranus—-no boundaries. That’s when the inter-net came into its own. No boundaries. You have to constantly move beyond your fears and know that this is a limitless Universe that will support you if you keep your connection with your Higher Self alive.

11 Megan { 06.08.17 at 7:49 am }

Genevieve, hello! I just recently had my first child, a Pisces girl. I was hoping you could tell me about her so I will have an idea of how to interact with her. Coincidentally, I am a Leo woman, my mother is a Pisces, and I have said to her once that she loves to suffer, as well! That’s pretty freaky. My daughter was born March 1st, 2017 at 1:08 p.m.

12 Genevieve Vierling { 06.15.17 at 2:52 pm }

Hello Megan, You don’t tell me WHERE your baby girl is born, but her Sun in Pisces is high in the sky irregardless, sitting there right with Neptune and Mercury and the South Node also in Pisces. She has some deep spiritual forces coming through her all right! Help her to find a good path to believe in. She also has a tremendous amount of Aires energies, including her Moon, which are in harmony with your Leo Sun. Encourage her independent spirit, her courage, AND her fun-loving ways. She will be charismatic, high-spirited, and highly visible even though she’ll also need her private times. She will be a very strong young woman some day—a real leader potential shines in her birth chart. Give her every opportunity you can to gain a good education, but also to think for herself. It looks like her rising sign is Cancer—-emotion and an ability to care in a truly humanitarian way. I LOVE her birth chart!! May she be blessed and protected so she can grow strong. She may also take to astrology like ‘a duck to water’. 🙂

13 Lynda { 06.10.17 at 2:52 pm }

“Hi”, I am a triple Pisces. Had my chart done at least 4 times. Sun, rising, moon. But, I don,t swim away from my problems. I confront them head on. My friend told me I turn into a shark when I feel injusted. Everything else is classic. Artist, compassionate the works. I can throw mental water on my Aries boss and most of the time it works. Could there be another element in my houses that are keeping me from throwing myself off the Piet at times?

14 Genevieve Vierling { 06.15.17 at 2:56 pm }

Well, Lynda, perhaps you have some sensible EARTH planets in there somewhere so you don’t go off the deep end of the pier and drown! You know there is nothing stronger than WATER. It can douse Fire out, it can wear out Earth and move around it, and it can make Air into mist, rain, etc. So I’m sure you are a force to be contended with!! Thanks for sharing.

15 Celine Johnson { 06.10.17 at 7:17 pm }

Hey, that was truly amazing what you wrote and I enjoyed it and also learned a few things. I was born on March 17 2000 at 9:45 in Kingston Jamaica and I am very confused and lost and I would like a little insight of my life please I bet of you. Hope you are having a good day today and if not just remember it will get better and keep the faith. Will be extremely happy if I heard from you.

16 Genevieve Vierling { 06.15.17 at 3:03 pm }

Hi Celine,

I hope you meant 9:45 AM, and you’re only 17 years old. So happy you are in to astrology! Confusion and a feeling of being lost can almost always go with Pisces as well as being still in your teens, but I also see a configuration between Neptune and Jupiter in your chart. You need some Earthy pragmatism combined with your natural inclination for dreaming and mysticism to keep you grounded. With the Moon in Leo you also need to shine and be super creative. Both home/family and a public life are going to be important for you. Do you spend time in nature? Very important! Your Venus/Mercury in Pisces needs both a spotlight to shine on you, but also for you to help other people, so develop your creative talents and help others too. You are here to do both.

17 mamta { 06.14.17 at 9:21 pm }

Hello Genevieve, thank you for this post i love your post and i can just say that you have great observation as i can relate almost everything which you have written in this post and i would love to know more about myself my birthday is 27th February 1987 at 8:40, pm. Buxar, india. I thik a lot but at the same time I’m unable to properly express i want to work for the society. Please guide me.

18 Genevieve Vierling { 06.15.17 at 3:15 pm }

Hello Mamta, Thank you for your compliments from far-off India. Much appreciated! I see you have Moon conjoining your Sun and a Mercury Retrograde all in Pisces in your 5th house of creative self-expression. So you have children? It will take you awhile to gain the self-confidence to give voice to all you know and feel. Yours can be a ‘prophetic voice’ too. That is, you need to pay attention to your intuitive hits and knowingness. Are there other ways you express yourself creatively? It looks like you have a lot of talents even if your chart is what we call private or even introverted. Perhaps you struggle to become more visible. Do you like to write? What have been your educational opportunities? Education is important for you to gain the skills you are looking for. The depth of your mind and heart are immense. Know that! There is treasure there to be discovered and resurrected, so to speak. The right partner is important; someone who will support you in your drive to express and be helpful to the world around you. Wishing you good fortune in all of this!

19 mamta { 06.15.17 at 2:39 am }

Hello Genevieve, i really like your post about Pisces as i can relate almost everything which you have written you have beautifully articulated the complex world of a Piscean you have great sense of observation. I was born on 27th February 1987 at 8:40 in buxar india. Could you please tell me more about myself. Thank you.

20 Genevieve Vierling { 06.15.17 at 3:19 pm }

Dear Mamta,

I did address your other inquiry but keep in mind that your ‘Ruling Planet’ with a Libra Ascendant is Venus in Capricorn deep down near the bottom of your chart. The value of your role in the home and perhaps as a mother is equally important here. I believe in the nobility of motherhood! If you are one, then the education and nurturing of your children is vital to your well-being. If you are not, then working with other people’s children is also tremendously important and further’s your contribution to society.

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