Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Pisces Considered

In his book, Astrology published 1964, Louis MacNeice, not an astrologer, but a poet and scholar, gathered together much of interest from a variety of sources, ancient and modern. On zodiac sign Pisces, through which the Sun now travels, he wrote the paragraphs below, quoting from some professional astrologers whose works may now be less known by the average astrology fan. Some related links identifying those astrologers are added at the end of this post. The excerpt has been copy-typed by my own fair fingers, rather than copy-pasted from elsewhere on the internet. Illustrations here were added by me.

 Pisces by Erté
Pisces the Fishes
February 20 to March 20
A mutable, watery sign. To be both mutable and watery might be thought to be overdoing the fluid element; traditionally Pisces types are liable to lack both stability and precision. But the ruler of this sign is Jupiter (though some would substitute Neptune), which tends to correct the balance. The water symbolism is made much of by astrologers (Pisceans are said to be wonderfully adaptable and to make good actors) but the actual fish reference has mostly been dropped. Varley provides an exa of the latter: "Pisces was found to signify persons who were employed in fishing, and in other watery concerns...It is a sign under which many fishmongers were born...and some of the persons born when it is rising approximate to fishes in their eyes, which are somewhat conspicuous and phlegmatic."

 Pisces by David Palladini
Modern astrologers do not mention fishmongers but they stress the fact that Pisceans at their best are idealists and, at their worst, drifters. They are not individualists and in fact seem hardly conscious of their own individuality. And they certainly are not go-getters: They are gentle, shy, sensitive (often hyper-sensitive), vague, and prone to melancholy. Some retire from ordinary life by drifting (astrological textbooks always warn them against drink); others retire into lives of dedication, in cloisters or hospitals. They are extremely malleable, often hesitant, and keep changing course; Barbault says that the Piscean voluntarily loses himself in a labyrinth. When they lie it is not usually intentional but just part of their general confusion. The Moon in Pisces is dangerous for she encourages fantasies and hallucinations. At one extreme the Piscean can lapse into schizophrenia.

All this being so, it is not surprising that some of the artists born under this sign (it could be said to be a natural sign for artists) should have had tragic careers. It was the Sun-sign of the unfortunate German poet Holderlin, who went mad. Nijinsky was born with Pisces rising, and also went mad. And the pessimistic German philosopher Schopenhauer was born under Pisces with Saturn very prominent in his horoscope. A tragi-comic example from fiction is Dickens's Mr Mickawber in David Copperfield, a person who (according to Gleadow) is "notoriously Piscean."
On the brighter side of the picture, Pisceans are very lovable people because they are very loving. Not only is Pisces rules by Jupiter (which tends to redress the shyness, neurosis, etc.) but it is in this sign that Venus is exalted. And, true to the oceanic nature of the sign, the Piscean tends to "lose himself" in love. In Morrish's scheme there is a similar merging or fusion but here it is a "liberation" in the symbolic ocean of the cosmos: We have reached the highest point of yoga or spiritual consciousness, the top of the Zodiacal ladder. As usual, this is Morrish's own formulation, but he also accepts the traditional idea of the Piscean Age and, unlike Gleadow and others, deplores the fact that it is passing: Everywhere he sees a "characteristic destruction of Piscean values."

With this we have come the full circle of the Zodiac.

John Varley
Morrish (L. Furze-Morrish?)
Rupert Gleadow

For more posts on this sign - please click on Pisces in the Label Cloud in the sidebar.


Géraldine M. said...

Merci je partage !

Twilight said...

Je suis reconnaissant à vous, Géraldine! :-)