Friday, February 25, 2011

The Fishes

The Fishes shine one higher than the other,
From each of them extends as it were a band
That fastens tail to tail, as wide as it floats,
Ane one star large and brilliant clasps its ends,
The Heavenly Knot it is called.
--Frothungham's Aratos--

Pisces, the twelfth and last sign of the Zodiac,  is one of the earliest signs on record.   The sign of Pisces is represented by two fish, each going opposite directions while their tails are tied together by a ribbon or cord.  Pisces is a mutable Water sign, and is very in tune with that element. Modern astrologers associate the planet Neptune with Pisces, and both Neptune and Pisces share a fog-like quality, and a sensitivity to higher, spiritual vibrations.  Its early ruler was Venus.  In fact, many empaths, psychics, and healers have the sign of Pisces either as a sun sign or moon sign.  The flower ascribed to Pisces is the daffodil, and the gem is  the white chrysolite.
The Babylonians, Syrians, Persians, Turks, and Greeks all regarded this star group as representing two Fishes, and we find them appropriately placed in the part of the sky known to the ancients as 'the Sea', because there are so many water related constellations in that area.   To the Egyptians, this sign denoted the approach of Spring and the season for fishing.  It is also claimed that the name of the Fishes was derived from the fact that, at the time when the sun entered Pisces, fishes were considered as fattest and most in season for use. 

According to Greek mythology, Venus and her son, Cupid, were strolling along the banks of the Euphrates River.  They were alarmed at the sudden appearance of Typhon, a terrible giant, whose chief occupations seems to have been to frighten people.  To escape the monster, Venus and Cupid leaped into the river and assumed the form of two fishes.  To commemorate this event, Minerva placed two Fishes among the stars.

The Arabs knew the Western Fish as Al-Hut, the Fish, and they considered the stars in the Northern Fish as part of the constellation Andromeda.  The Chaldeans imagined the Northern Fish with the head of a swallow.  The association of a bird with this constellation is very curious.  Among the Peruvians the month of Pisces was represented by two star groups, one called the Terrace of the Granaries  or the Doves, a name also given to the Pleiades.  The other Peruvian system Asterism* was called Pichu the Knot, by which the name of the month was also known, and it was represented by a net enclosing fishes.

In the Hebrew zodiac, Pisces represented the tribe of Simeon, and the Fishes were considered the national constellation of the Jews, as well as a tribal symbol.    The symbol of the sign, M, is thought to represent the two fishes joined together.  A fish was always the symbol of the early Christian faith, and the figure appears in many of the stained glass windows of the churches of today.  When each sign of the zodiac was assigned to one of the twelve Apostles, the Fishes were said to represent St. Matthias.  

 As a water sign, Pisces can be very sensitive and emotional, but doesn't always know how to handle these emotions.   Pisces is mystical.  Its symbol, the two fishes points to the Great Deep. Its two half circles united by a band, shows well the dual nature of man that has run its course in the physical world, but has another evolution to be taken up in the unseen realms.  Each archetype in astrology reflects a function that is essential to the nature of life. In the case of Pisces, one of the primary focuses of its influence is to bridge between the ego, the separated consciousness, and the higher forces.  

May you all have a blessed weekend.

(Asterism:  star pattern that is not a constellation.) 


  1. I was born on the cusp of Pisces and Aries. When younger, I felt more Pisces. Older, and I'm much more Aries.

    Can we change?

    Wishing you a fair weekend too. After our re-bout of crappy weather. Oh bother!!!

  2. Hi Mary....thanks for the lesson once again. Just red Aunties comment above.....Will you guys ever be able to dig yourselves out of all that snow?


  3. My oldest daughter is a Pisces. Thanks for sharing some insight into this sign of the zodiac. Have a good weekend. X.

  4. Did I miss our Aries?
    My head isn't screwed on right at the moment.
    Went for a 2 hour cruise of the harbor and left my camera home.
    How dumb is that!
    Don't answer. :0)