Pisces Ingress – Traversing the Transpersonal

Aerial view of foggy coastline“If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Pisces)

I vividly remember the days in which my family didn’t have much. Every Sunday, my mother gave what little income she had as her tithe and offering to God. The rational mind might perceive this act as foreign, but she believed in something greater than herself and it bestowed her with a deep well of strength and inspiration in the face of adversity. This was probably my earliest experience to the principal of faith. I believe that the energy we project into this world is reflected back to us, in the people the meet, the experiences that we encounter, and the opportunities that arise. Sometimes it’s beneficial, albeit difficult for us to relinquish control and submit to forces beyond our control, yet we can uncover hidden strength and perceptions that we may have previously been oblivious to. These are the intricate and elusive lessons of the twelfth and final sign of the zodiac.

On February 18th, at 6:01am CDT, the Sun shifted from rational, humane, and intellectual Aquarius into the watery depths of transcendental, visionary, and otherworldly Pisces. Pisces marks the last leg of our astrological journey through all twelve signs and is the last of the deep, enigmatic and intuitive water signs.

The rationalism, intellectuality, and detachment of Aquarius are counterbalanced with the imagination, subjectivity, and permeability of exceeding sign, Pisces. Archaic astrology books describe Pisces as a sign of gentility, low vitality, and vacillation. However, every evolved Pisces is often acutely aware of forces that exist alongside our own physical realm. Thus, Pisces is truly of the sign of spiritual strength, inspirational artists, and compassionate leaders. Think Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Michelangelo, or Galileo.

Celebrity posing for paparazziI don’t believe that everyone understands the sign of Pisces. Some say that Pisces is a chameleon, containing various qualities of the preceding eleven signs, yet I never fully bought into this. Sure, Pisces is a mutable sign with impressionable tendencies and an affinity for glamor and theatrics. It’s what often draws them to artistic and creative endeavors. Sometimes there can be selfless and sacrificial tendencies; the martyr, but this never accurately depicted a sign that hosts several famous artists, leaders, and inspirational people. After all, it’s not uncommon for Piscean people to be born with planets placed in adjacent signs and Pisces is placed next to Aries, the zodiac’s fiery and independent initiator. The keywords for Pisces are “I Believe”, and they provide insight into the motivations of this complex sign.

“A deeper significance lies in the fact that the fish is a creature of the ocean, which since ancient times has been taken as the symbolic realm of emotional and spiritual energy that lies beneath physical existence, where all is connected and nothing moves without creating a tide of motion that pulls or pushes against another. The sea as the magna mater, the primary source, signifies the boundless essence of soulful creativity and elemental life force from which everything emerges and eventually returns. Fishes, as intrinsic parts of this fertile yet deeply mysterious realm, were regarded as sacred representations of the soul and the spiritual connection that animates society.” [1]

The Pisces Myth – Fluidity and Escapism

diver hovering in mid water observing a school of fishThe Pisces Myth is a simple one. In Greek myth, a monster named Typhon threatens Mount Olympus, Aphrodite and her son Eros were led to safety by two fish.  The fish were later placed in the heavens as the constellation of Pisces. This story contains one key element, which alludes to the nature of Pisces, escapism. Whether it’s through their dreams or imagination, their art, meditation, or more destructive practices like drugs or alcohol, you’ll find Pisces exercising an outlet in which they can release their psychic energy.

The ‘boundless ocean’ represents a very open and fluid environment where instincts reign. Changeable and unpredictable, it lacks structure, control and conformity. So too the Piscean finds it hard to cope with discipline, routine and order. Their emotional capacity gives a strong imagination that often finds expression through escapist tendencies or dreamy, hopeful visions. Capable of great inspiration and idealism, they are often accused of lacking realism and being too trusting in the conviction that the power of belief, hope, or love can transcend all bounds and borders. [1]

Pisces, Jupiter, and Neptune– Faith and the Subconscious

Woman meditating in calm lakeThe symbol of the fish is widely recognized for its association with spiritual principles, which are further emphasized through the twelfth sign’s planetary rulers. The planet, Jupiter has traditional ownership over the signs of Sagittarius and Pisces. Naturally, both signs often possess a much broader outlook on life and are interested in its meaning. Jupiter provides expansive, moralistic, and idealistic energy but can lead one to lack focus and practicality when obtaining goals.

“…Jupiter struggles to find conscious direction in Pisces, where the emphasis falls upon faith over reason, and freedom of the soul through denial of earthly shackles. Unless a proclivity for self-imposed structure and regulation are suggested by more earthy qualities in the chart, Pisces often wastes its potential by failing to give lasting definition to its latent creativity. It will ‘go with the flow’ and when interest or energy levels drop, so too does application. Pisceans are great starters of projects and initiators of ideas, but they lack the sustained energy that is required to fulfill many of their long term objectives.” [1]

Detail of Neptune Fountain by Bartolomeo Ammannati and Giambologna

Neptune is known as the modern ruler of Pisces and is rightfully so. The mythical god of the sea represents the vast depths of unconditional love, romance, and selflessness that Pisces represents. Neptune is often prominently placed in the charts of my favorite musicians; they truly have the gift to inspire. However, the element of water is highly receptive by environments, and moods. Neptune’s presence is known to erode boundaries in order to provide a greater sense of the collective, the sense that we are all connected.

“…Lacking the hardened shell of Cancer and Scorpio, Pisces has least resistance amongst the water-signs to surrounding impressions, making them almost as responsive to excitement, fear, anticipation, joy, hurt and laughter originated from without as that generated from within. If they see tears they will cry, if they see a smile they will smile back; no other sign is so prone to the infectious nature of human emotion.” [1]

Therefore, it’s often important for your average Pisces to work on establishing boundaries between themselves and chaotic environments or toxic people. Prolonged exposure to negative energy has been known to drive many-a-Piscean into the arms of harmful habits such as drugs and alcohol. Hence, the disillusioned, irrational, and passive escapist that are the lower vibrations of Pisces.

 “Neptune’s principle is dissolution into collectiveness. Although often marvelled as a planet of great spiritual mysticism, mundane astrology accepts that part of its influence is to weaken vital force and strive towards communism, where all are equalled, segregations and barriers are broken down and no one shines brighter than the rest. Neptune can bring depression and Pisceans are known for having low vitality which makes them easy prey to lethargy…” [1]

Pisces and House XII – Material Loss to Spiritual Gain

Looking up at a figure 'supporting' a huge rockThe twelfth and final house of the zodiac is the one that is often least understood. It’s often a space of dissolution, where we are forced to place our egos aside and take a much deeper look inside. It can be a dark night of the soul or our fortress of solitude. The twelfth is the house of karma, self-undoing, hidden enemies, prisons, hospitals, institutions, and monasteries. It can represent a veil of deception or a romantic and transcendental union of soul mates. Planets in this house can also often allude to our own hidden potentials, which we may only be able to recover in a state of reflection and isolation. 

“Draped in the gauzy veils of Neptune and Pisces, the 12th has become an inner dream factory, residence of the collective unconscious, wellspring of symbols and archetypes, favorite haunt of the imagination. It is a house of intuition, compassion and spiritual transcendence. You’re advised to serve here, so that you don’t have to suffer.” [4] 

I experienced a progression of my Sun and Moon through my twelfth house for about two and half years. During this time, I experienced an array of situations, which forced me to relinquish physical control over events in my life to the universe. I dealt with hospitals frequently as I became the primary caretaker of my mother during her battle with brain cancer. I began to enjoy drinking alcohol for the first time, though not too excessively. Towards the end, I really felt confused, like I had lost my sense of personal effectiveness despite my best efforts to establish new opportunities. I believe that the truth of this period was for me to set my ego aside and connect with a greater sense of the universe, and my life. I could either see my experiences as a horrible attempt at victimization, or I could accept what was happening and use it as fuel to transform and propel me. Sure enough, as my progressed moon exited my twelfth house and conducted my first, my life exploded with unfathomable opportunities. My power had returned!

“According to Fernandez, people who have positions of influence or fame will more often have an emphasized 12th house than a strong 10th. Since the 12th house rules both the collective unconscious and the masses, planets here indicate the potential to tune in to what’s popular and have an effect on a wide audience. They may also bear the burden of mass projection, sacrificing the personal life to become a product or symbol…” [4]

Woman holding an orb

During another time as the transiting Sun moved across my twelfth house, I began to doubt pursuing my college major. It was a time of great confusion. However, I took action on my faith that switching would be more beneficial in the long run and I couldn’t have been more right! I’ve received heaps of internship offers and have indeed appeared before the face of the public on many occasions.

Naturally, many great spiritual leaders have been born under the sign of Pisces and with planets in the twelfth house. Consequently, many who have taken their beliefs to an extreme in order to justify hurting others have also. Survive the twelfth house test and uncover your hidden strengths. It’s in the twelfth that people often find themselves in situations outside of their sphere of control and naturally appeal to a higher power. The twelfth is where we can gain a new perspective on the universe and its enormity.

“As a child Paul wasn’t allowed to drift and dream or float in Neptune’s sea; that was the early deprivation of this planet. As a young man Paul served in the military and later went to school for a business career. But in the past ten years I’ve watched him steadily withdraw from worldly concerns to submerge in the Neptunian world of his art. For the past two years he has been so deep in Neptune that he disappears for months at a time. Yet whenever I see him, he is intensely alive. More than anyone I know, Paul lives an artist’s life, completely on artist’s time. He will spend hours catching just the right light for a photograph. He will go days without sleep, living with the characters in his novel as though they were roommates. His 12th house Neptune has become the center of his life. It is the sunken treasure he has been working his whole life to retrieve. It is something truly divine.” [4] 

Pisces vs. Virgo – Formlessness Vs. Form

Pisces and Virgo represent the axis of devotion. These are two signs that derive pleasure from being of service to others.  As an earth sign, Virgo is often concerned with efficiency, detail, and conciseness. Pisces is known for it’s much broader outlook and unconditional acceptance. Virgo and Pisces represent form and formlessness. Both signs are known for their self-contained nature. While Virgo is typically analyzing the material realm and questing for wholeness on earth, Pisces’s mind is alive and rich with imagination. The sign of the fish represents the classic daydreamer.

Artists in studioVirgo and the sixth house represent our daily routines, habits, work, and professional skillset. If we identify too much with the sixth, then we will need the influence of the twelfth to help balance ourselves. This is a classic example of burnout, where stress and pressure in our daily lives might lead us into a sabbatical, or even the hospital. In contrast, if we are deeply rooted in the twelfth, we may fail to cope with the reality of daily life and never truly realize our hidden gifts.

“When you see thirty different things, how can you explain one?  Especially when the chances are that the other person can’t even comprehend what it’s like to see thirty?  And ambivalent emotion – well, that’s equally difficult.  How to explain when you love and hate someone, when they’re ugly and beautiful, when everything shifts and changes, and takes new shape faster than you can say chameleon?  For all these reasons and more, Pisces is an elusive partner.  You take the feelings as they come, and let them go as they go.  Attempting to define and freeze them into structures is a futile exercise.” [3]

Mars in Pisces – Tidal Waves

USA, Oregon, Bandon Beach, Evacuation route signMy response to adversity when I was a bit younger was to shut down. I often felt overwhelmed and dealt with my problems by sleeping them off. I loved sleep because I didn’t have to think. That was my Piscean method of escapism. Sleep, and even video games for a long while. Two of my closest friends are born within ten days from me and we all have Mars in the sign of Pisces. Traditional astrology explains that the active, assertive energy of Mars is doused a bit in Pisces and I can say that there is truth in this, yet the explanation is not so simple.

I do feel that I require more rest than average and my energy level is sometimes equivalent to how I am feeling. By having a few planets and points placed in water signs in my chart, there are parts of me that ebb and flow and I certainly feel myself connected to the emotional undercurrents that exist within people and environments.  There are parts of me that can very easily sacrifice what I want in order to gain in another area, and that is the mystical strategy that Pisces possess.

Moscow Poet“In this last of the zodiacal signs is represented all of man’s helplessness, his longings, his dreams, his needs, his powerlessness in the face of the universe, his delusions of grandeur, his longing for love, his sense of a mystery or a divine source which he strives for, yet cannot wholly reach without great sacrifice.”   [2]

I was more shy and somewhat of a pacifist in my earlier days. Even today, I look at the bigger picture and don’t even waste my energy if I see no valid reason to mobilize my defenses. I used to think that my reaction to traumatic events was strange. I’m not really a crier or a screamer initially, but almost instantaneously enter a state of acceptance. Sometimes if I’m not careful, I can lose my sense of time and space when involved in something that stirs my passions.

“…But perhaps the task of every Piscean is to come to terms in some way with the transpersonal realm, and to have the courage to be its mouthpiece…”  [2]

Mars in Pisces is far from an inanimate, watery puddle. When emotionally invested in a cause like art, music, poetry, a strong belief, a creative vision or a fight for the underdog, Mars in this water sign has tidal-like force. Here, the inspirational and compassionate qualities of the final sign of the zodiac can be clearly seen.

Famous Pisceans via CafeAstrology

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Mars in Pisces), Drew Barrymore (Sun and Venus in Pisces), Kurt Cobain (Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Pisces), Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan, Cindy Crawford, Billy Crystal (Sun, Mercury, and Mars in Pisces), Albert Einstein, George Harrison, Kato Kaelin (Sun and Moon in Pisces), Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr., Michelangelo, Aidan Quinn (Sun and Moon in Pisces), Rob Reiner (Sun, Mercury, and Mars in Pisces), Dr. Seuss, Sharon Stone, Elizabeth Taylor (Sun, Mercury, and Mars in Pisces), Bruce Willis

Dave Elkins was born on February 26, 1982 under the mutable water sign of Pisces.


  1. Pisces the Fish
  2. The Pisces Myth
  3. Pisces
  4. The Twelfth House