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Mythology of Pisces

Mythology of Pisces

Astrological glyph for Pisces
Pisces, the 12th sign of the Zodiac representing mutable water, or water in it's gaseous state, is one of the earliest zodiacal signs. Originally the dolphin was its symbol. The modern glyph, two fish swimming in opposite directions, bound together with a line is believed to represent the struggle between the desire for spiritual enlightenment and the reality of existing on a material plane. Most Pisces struggle to keep both fish satisfied, but the struggle usually ends with a fall toward one fish or the other. Most settle on the material plane where material gain becomes their most important endeavor. If there are negative aspects or a strong Neptune influence, life can become painful and as the need for a fantasy life takes over alcoholism or drug addiction can become an issue.

The ocean has always been associated with Pisces and its modern ruler is Neptune. Before Neptune's discovery in 1846, Jupiter was its ruling planet. The Olympian ruler of Pisces was Poseidon and esoterically, it's Venus, who was born on the waves of the ocean that carried her to shore. Neptune (and the ocean) represents two sides to us: the dark, stormy, violent side and the deep, dreamy, placid side. Symbolically the ocean represents that which is deeply buried within and the collective conscious. Neptune represents the point at which we encounter those images. Artists, poets, writers, musicians, and dancers all need at least one strong positive aspect with Neptune in their natal charts to be able to draw on the depths of their imaginations.

Individual ego tends to be weak in the Piscean personality. They are easily influenced and easily convinced they are wrong, however they tend to be able to see what others cannot. Unfortunately they are rarely heard, like Cassandra who angered Zeus and who angrily caused deafness to fall on all who heard her prophesies, rendering her powerless.

Exactly when the Age of Pisces began is disputed among astrologers. Precise dating is impossible, even with modern methods and understanding. The esteemed astrologer, Robert Hand, dates the Age as beginning at about 111 BCE. Eastern astrologers place the beginning at circa 200 CE.

It is commonly believed the most famous Piscean was Yeshuah ben Joseph, or as he is more commonly known, Jesus of Nazareth. It is believed that he was born during a stellium in Pisces and he is a Piscean archetype. The Piscean Age is believed to have been in place at the beginning of the common era coinciding with the dating later established by Christian sources. The challenge of those living at the dawn of the Age of Pisces was, according to Dane Rudyer, to "face the unknown with simple faith". The Age of Pisces has been called the Age of Faith. And it did leave its mark on three of the major religions of the world. Mohammad founded Islam, creating a new source of faith, Christianity was founded by a small group of messianic Jews who created a new religion that went on to successfully control the governments of most of the known world, affecting how we measure time and history. Judaism survived on its faith in Yahweh, the one God, to deliver them from the world that through the Age of Aries, (commonly referred to as the Iron Age), seemed bent on obliterating the entire Jewish people through conquering armies, starvation and deprivation, and finally, as the Piscean age dawned, the Diaspora, dispersing them from their homeland. There were times when faith was the only thing that held each of these religions together during their individual histories.

Despite words and actions to the contrary down through the centuries, Christianity, which is most associated with the Age of Pisces, established as one of its main messages, universal love. Universal love is ruled by Venus who is exalted in Pisces. The worship of Venus was in some ways associated the Goddess, long suppressed by the patriarchal religions that sprang up during the Age of Aries. As buried as the female aspect of God (Shekinah) is, so is the concept of universal love. If universal love is ever going to truly take its place in the minds, hearts and actions of the religious fraternities of the world, the Goddess must be raised to her rightful place, on equal par with her male counterpart, the male essence of what we refer to as God. The unity of the male and female essences will bring about a totally new awareness of our understanding of creation and spirituality. God - Goddess is not two entities, but One entity. The One is the perfect blending of male and female, which would make it neither one nor the other, but something completely different. It would be androgynous, but not in the way we understand that term today. Because of this perfect blending, it is beyond our understanding at this phase of our spiritual development as humans, restricted to this material plane. Today there is open discussion again of the Goddess, leading the way at this time into the dawn of the Age of Aquarius, which will lead us back to the One.

The path back to the One did not begin spontaneously. The path leads into the Age of Aquarius and is marked by the discovery of the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. With the appearance of the asteroids and the Pallas Athene archetype, the women's movement began. The Pallas Athene archetype honors the father at the sacrifice of the mother and these early women's suffrage organizers were militant types who needed to brandish a forceful countenance to make an impression on the male dominated world around them. Women are still striving for equality as we move more and more into the Age of Aquarius.

Also, as we enter the Age of Aquarius, it is important to recognize that the Wiccan movement has gained a steady increase in membership as women have begun to reassert themselves, reclaiming the power of the feminine. Wicca is the modern version of Goddess worship, in which the Goddess and God are worshipped as equal parts of One Creative Force, as they were in the ancient times. Though there has always been an underground remnant, early Goddess worshippers were nearly wiped out by the patriarchic societies who outlawed the practice and destroyed the temples and alters. Anyone known to follow the old practices was put to death. Early Jewish and Christian Scriptures clearly state that to establish their monotheistic male-based religion, the Goddess (and Her followers) had to be eliminated. As a result women were stripped of all power within the community and reduced to a chattel state under their fathers or husbands domination.

When Zeus vanquished Kronos he took over his father's rulership, becoming the supreme ruler. Poseidon was given rulership over water and Hades, the underworld. Poseidon carried a trident and controlled the water, and winds with it. When he courted his wife, he rode up on a dolphin and she was so impressed Amphitrite, accepted his proposal on the spot. Amphitrite was the granddaughter of the Titan Oceanus who ruled the seas before Poseidon. As a reward for his service to Poseidon, the dolphin was given immortality and placed in the stars. Poseidon was second only to Zeus in Olympus.
The legendary Odysseus and Penelope, are associated with Pisces. Odysseus was on his way home to Ithaca where his faithful wife Penelope awaited him, when an angered Poseidon cast him into uncharted waters. For the following 20 years he was washed up on many beaches and encountered every kind of humanoid and mythological creature, both good and evil. His journey was one of discoveries and of long periods of confusion. Though he was gone for 20 years Penelope never lost faith that he would return to her. In the end, his tenacity and perseverance and her faith were rewarded when they were reunited.

The Sun in Pisces is directed to a universal context, not toward the individual self, as in Leo, which weakens the ego. The Moon in Pisces leaves one feeling the deep comfort of the rocking ocean cradle. Mercury in this sign leaves the native needing to learn a different way of communicating. Venus is exalted, creating a hopeless romantic. Mars in Pisces brings the gift of creativity, such as dancing, acting and certain athletic abilities. Jupiter, the ancient ruler of Pisces, brings out humanitarian tendencies. Saturn in Pisces brings issues with the father generally centering around his absence or ineffectualness as a role model. Uranus in Pisces brings the unconscious to the forefront in a quest for enlightenment. Neptune, faithful to the duality that Pisces represents, can produce the compassionate servant of mankind or it can bring the addictions that help us to escape the pain of reality.

1. Mythic Astrology: Archetypal Powers in the Horoscope by Ariel Guttman and Kenneth Johnson
2. Archetypes of the Zodiac by Kathleen Burt
3. Rachel's Destiny As Written In The Stars by Julie Bresciani, Ph.D.
4. Mythology by Edith Hamilton
5. Bulfinch's Mythology by Thomas Bulfinch
6. Wicca, A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham