2021 may have just begun, but with the Sun’s ingress into Pisces, we’ve reached the last season of our astrological year. As the 12th House ruler, Pisces is a liminal space governing the transition between endings and new beginnings. It’s a fascinating, magical place often referred to as the House of Self Undoing: Pisces Season is where we break down and begin again, facing the Wine Dark Sea of our own dissolution. As the final sign of the Water triplicity, Pisces certainly works within the same emotional, intuitive themes. However, its Mutable quality places Pisces neither here nor there, giving it an air of ineffability. Pisces is the ever-changing sea, always in a state of becoming.
Appropriately, the story of Pisces has undergone constant revision and evolution. Most sources name the heavenly fish as none other than Aphrodite and Eros who transformed themselves in order to escape Typhon, the youngest and most beastly sibling of the Olympians, as he ransacked the home of the gods. This would certainly explain Venus’ exaltation in the sign and could even reconcile its rulership by Jupiter who eventually overpowered the assailing monster and cast him perpetually into the depths of Tartarus. But we see other stories from poets and historians who identify the fish as Aphros and Bythos. Although sketched in the stars as two fish bound around the tails, Aphros and Bythos were a particular breed of mythological creature, ichthyocentauroi, with the torsos of men atop horse bodies with winding serpentine tails. Some versions of the Battle of Olympus name them as rescuers of Aphrodite and Eros, but others suggest a completely different origin story adapted from an entirely different mythology: Aphros and Bythos distinctly resemble a pair of Sumerian sea gods responsible for safeguarding the Egg of Astarte, Queen of Heaven, and it’s this version of the story that gives us the most insight into the celestial nature of Pisces: Pisces is a place of complete devotion, divine unity, and cosmic potential.
This upcoming season certainly challenges us to surrender: the Sun is the first planet to ingress into Pisces, dismissing last month’s Aquarius assembly once and for all. This is no longer the united progressive party with its Utopian visions and humanitarian ideals: if Aquarius is the Star, Pisces is the Moon, the dark reflective glass that reminds us of life’s dual nature. Nearly every aspect is part of a pair, highlighting one energy and then another–the masculine and the feminine, the mundane and the spiritual, the needs and the desires. Mercury stations direct on February 20th, but remains in the shadow until mid-March emphasizing that this season is one of quiet reflection.
Venus enters Pisces on the 25th, returning to the shores of her exaltation. It’s not simply myth that places her here: transformational Pisces elevates Venus, liberating her from all the performative gentility and diplomacy required in her role as the Great Lady of the Heavens. Here, she is free as the day she was born of the sea. Here, she becomes Astarte, Goddess of Love, War, Storms, and all the raw sensuality that binds them. The Full Moon in Virgo on the 27th asks us to shed our restrictions and release inhibition: with the Sun nestled between this primal, empowered Venus and Neptune, King of the Churning Sea, we easily see how our pursuit of practicality numbs us to life’s sublimity. Both luminaries make helpful aspects to Uranus, encouraging us to take a chance and follow the Holy Fool into the unknown.
But leaps of faith are never easy–the first week of March presents us with plenty of temptations to lure us back to the old familiar path. Mercury, now direct, slings thought after thought before us, unsure of whether a step towards desire could be in line with our highest potential, where the Sun insists that joy is its own reward and happiness is worth pursuing. Whether or not logical Mercury agrees, it can at least concede to the authority of generous Jupiter. With the blessing of the Greater Benefic, we are free to explore the dreams we’ve abandoned to practicality and progress and embrace the wishes we thought might never come true.
Mars leaves the exile of Taurus on the 3rd, calling in the Winds of Change. With our hearts adrift on Pisces’ Sea of Dreams, this breezy Mars is more than happy to fill our sails and propel us into new discoveries, even if they lie completely within ourselves. The New Moon in Pisces stills the water, collecting the Sun, Moon, Venus, and Neptune in place to allow us to gaze into the depths and see ourselves reflected as a collection of emotions, ambitions, instincts, and ideals, a portrait painted in ocean waves and seafoam, abstract and ephemeral.
This is the language we’ll have to use when Mercury arrives in Pisces on the 15th, its sign of detriment – as the solar season draws to a close, dream logic is more pervasive than ever. If you kept yourself tethered to the shore and resisted the call to adventure, you may find your cords suddenly cut as Pluto lends strength to both the Sun and Venus: this is the full force of the liminal, challenging us to remember that we are neither here nor there, this nor that, because we are boundless, vast, and uncontainable. It is not until we’ve seen ourselves in the abyss, recognized the darkness as our own, and pulled up the anchors on our worldly vessels that we can move forward to meet the dawn of a new age.