Ruler - Neptune
¦ Zodiac Sign - Pisces
¦ Element - Water
¦ Mode - Mutable
Right back to Babylonian times, Pisces
, the twelfth sign of the zodiac, has been linked to the Constellation of The Fishes. The Fishes had many references to its origins, but in Greek terms, it relates to Aphrodite and her son Eros. In the story of Capricorn, we saw that after the Olympian gods overthrew the rule of the Titans, in the battle for sovereignty of the world, they came upon the monster, Typhon. There are some discrepancies over whether this was at the Nile or the Euphrates River. In the story of Pisces
, Aphrodite and Eros jumped into the river to escape the monster, as the other Gods did. In Capricorn, we saw that Pan turned himself into a Sea Goat, half goat, half fish. Aphrodite and Eros turned themselves into two fish and it is these two fish that were placed in the heavens as Pisces
. This is said to be why the Syrians regard fish as taboo.
Another story is that Zeus was in a cave nearby, seducing the nymph Pluto, as he tends to do at every chance. This gave Typhon, the monster, the chance to steal Zeus thunderbolts, which held his great power, while he was preoccupied making love. When the other gods saw that Typhon now had Zeus power, they fled to Egypt. As they fled they turned into various animals. It was at this point that Aphrodite and Eros turned themselves into fish. Here the powerful forces of love and desire were powerless against this monster. For in Greek mythology, even the mightiest of gods trembled in fear at the prospect of encountering this monster that dwells in the deepest reaches of the cosmos.
As the monster closed around the helpless body of Zeus he cut out the sinews on both his hands and feet, leaving Zeus helpless and defenceless. Cadmus came upon the scene, armed with nothing but his intelligence. It was then that Cadmus remembered something that Apollo had taught him music! He went to a nearby grove of trees and began to play a tune on some pipes. The sound so intoxicated the monster that its many arms and its only human head (he had 100 heads, but only one was human), came to the mouth of the cave in search of the source of this music. Realising the power of the music, he challenged Cadmus. Cadmus s music verses the thunder and lightening bolt he had stolen from Zeus. With his newly found power, he offered to give Cadmus any goddess he chose, except for Hera, even the virgins Athena and Artemis.
Cadmus, even though he was frightened, boasted that What would you do when I strike out a hymn of victory on the harp of seven strings to honour your throne ? Forget the pipes Cadmus said, I will play the harp whose seven strings play the music of the seven spheres the seven sacred vowels . Cadmus said he could do this, but he did not have any sinews to make the harp. Pumped up by this time, Typhon disappeared into the cave and came out carrying Zeus sinews and gave them to Cadmus. Cadmus built the harp, but he used the sinews from the bark of a tree instead, safely putting Zeus sinews under a rock.
Then he began to play the harp. The monster heard the tune, but didn t understand it, so came closer, straining to hear the composition that Cadmus had promised him, an opus to celebrate overcoming of the Olympian gods. He came away from the cave entrance to get closer, to hear the music, with all of his 100 heads distracted. Just as he did, the music fell silent. Not hearing what he expected, he rushed back into the cave to get the thunder and lightening bolts, but found only an empty cave. Zeus had turned himself into a bull and found his sinews.
With his power restored, Zeus chased Typhon back to Sicily and finally killed him by throwing him into Mount Etna. What is left of the monster is the volcano that continues to erupt to this day.
From a leap into the water, in fear, by Aphrodite and Eros, ending with the restoration of order to the entire cosmos and all because of the intoxicating allure of music. For Pisces
, love is mightier than the sword.
The two fishes that form the constellation of Pisces
, swim in different directions, bound by a cord. It lies between Aries the Ram and Aquarius the Water Carrier. They are widely separated in the sky, with the north eastern fish lying just south of Beta Andromedae and the south western one, headed east towards Aquarius and Pegasus.
One fish faces east and is swimming upwards, while the other swims west and horizontal. The ancients saw this as representing the dual nature of the constellation and the duality of human emotions that we find in Pisces
. This represents the dual nature in the sign, with opposite qualities that cross, but are bound together forever.
The eastern Fish swims up and is said to represent an ascent to heaven and spiritual maters, with the western Fish swimming towards human alignment in the everyday mundane world.
This is how the ancient world viewed Pisces
, the Fish, but when Christianity came along, it claimed Pisces
as its own. For the last 2,000 years the Fishes have come to represent Christ . The bible makes many references to fish. Jesus is called the Fisher of men .
It was 2,000 years ago, at the time of Christ that the Equinox Point moved through this constellation, passing through the first fish as the Christian Church was founded and Christianity developed.
The Fishes were both a Christian and a pagan symbol. The Creation Myths all have different stories about how the Creation unfolded, but in one of them, we meet Atagartis, a love goddess. She pushed a giant egg out of the water of the Euphrates River, from which she emerged, where herself, her son and lover Ichthys took the form of fishes. This parallels the story of Aphrodite and her son Eros, god and goddess of love and desire. However, it is in the Atagartis myth that we get the pagan origins of Easter.
In the early fish cult that she formed, the mother goddess and her son die each year and are reborn. This birth and return takes place in the dying month of the old year
) in order to be reborn in Aries. Nearly every ancient civilisation links the ending of the old year with the constellation of the Fishes.
Since ancient times the constellation of the Fishes (Pisces
) was under the care and protection of Neptune
, now its ruling planet. Before the discovery of Neptune
, but in her more exulted form, just as Mercury ruled Aquarius before the discovery of Uranus. Even without the story of her dive to safety in the Euphrates River, Venus
herself came from the sea. Sir Thomas Brown, 17th century author and physician, said who wilt not commend the wit of astrology? Venus
, born out of the sea, hath her exaltation in Pisces
The constellation has been known as Venus et Cupido , Venus
Syria cum Cupidine, Venus
cum Adone, Dione, and Veneris Mater and as the Sarmatian Aphrodite. All coming from Venus
aka Aphrodite s pivotal place in the story of this constellation.
On a more mundane level the constellation derives its history from the fact that the Sun moves through the constellation of Pisces
during the rainy season.
In Astrology, Pisces
is the most mystically inclined of all the signs and being the last sign of the zodiac, represents the return of all energy into the great ocean. It is seen as dreamy, gentle, creative and intuitive and slightly hypnotic.
In the ancient world, fish were sacred, in reverence to Aphrodite, however, it is also found in cultures as diverse as Scandinavian mythology. Freya, the Scandinavian counterpart to Aphrodite and Venus
, gave her name to Friday (Freya Day), a day that Christians later adopted as a day on which they ate fish. Friday is also sacred to the followers of the Prophet Mohammed. Even the word nun means both fish and growth and the name is given to the female brides of Christ .
Across all times, religions and cultures, the shared symbolism of Venus
and the Fishes has brought Pisces
its qualities of spirituality, religion, beauty and love.
Each particular zodiac sign has it's own characteristics. If you click on the sign you can read about some of the traits
of that sign. Or order one of our
and use the power of the planets to your advantage and tap into what should come naturally to you.