The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 393, titled:
With Chris Brennan and Austin Coppock
Episode originally released on March 17, 2023
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Transcribed by Transcription Team
Transcription released March 17, 2023
Copyright © 2023 TheAstrologyPodcast.com
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hey. My name is Chris Brennan, and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. In this episode, we’re going to do a deep dive into the meaning of the zodiac sign Pisces which is the 12th sign of the zodiac, and the 12th entry in our series on the signs of the zodiac. Joining me today is astrologer Austin Coppock. Hey Austin.
AUSTIN COPPOCK: Hey, Chris.
CB: Alright, and this is it. This is the final entry. I started this whole series a year ago with Aries and doing one sign each month and trying to really get into the details of everything there is to know about each of the signs of the zodiac. So now things have come full circle, and this is the final sign, and I could think of no better astrologer to do this episode with than my Pisces friend Austin Coppock and frequent guest that we do forecast episodes with every month. Once upon a time, many years ago, we actually did a shorter version of this where we did two episodes on the signs of the zodiac, but we only spent about 20 minutes on each of them. But here I thought we would go the whole nine yards today.
AC: That sounds good. I mean, those episodes didn’t feel particularly brief, but this is even deeper.
CB: Yeah, exactly. First things first, one thing I’ve been doing at the beginning of these episodes is asking for the credentials of each of my guests. What are your Pisces credentials? I believe you had a birthday recently, right?
AC: Yeah, Yeah. I just had it on the fifth. So let’s see; I have the Sun in Pisces, which being a day chart, is my sect light, right? So, you know, HQ is Pisces. I also have the South Node or Ketu in Pisces, right next to the Sun. I have Mars in Pisces, and Mars rules my fifth and my 10th, and the Mars in Pisces actually rules both [the Lot of] Spirit and Fortune, so it’s more influential than it seems at first. Let’s see; my mother was a Pisces. Still is. My grandmother, her mother, was a Pisces. My first two serious relationships were with Pisces. Let’s see; here on the podcast, our third for five or six years was a Pisces. My wife has a Pisces Moon. Need I go on?
CB: So you have some familiarity, a little bit of familiarity with the sign, it sounds like. I think it’ll be sufficient, at least. It’s not as extensive; I have to say, we have had some people with some pretty big stelliums. The Leo episode, for example, Jo and Nick Dagan Best had a stellium measuring contest back over the summer. So we’re not quite reaching that level, but it sounds like you got a little bit of experience, so I think I’ll take it.
AC: Alright. Happy to be tall enough to go on this ride.
CB: Yeah. And I forgot to mention the data. So today is Thursday, March 9th, 2023. We started a few minutes ago, probably at 1:31 PM in Denver, Colorado, just a day or two after Saturn has moved into Pisces for the next few years, so it’s a good time to be talking about this sign because that’s going to be a lot of the energy that we’re going to be experiencing over the next few years as Saturn moves through there.
AC: Mandatory Pisces in Saturn.
CB: Yeah, exactly. Let me start first by showing this graphic that shows the signs of the zodiac, the 12 signs of the zodiac, and the different properties associated with each of them, with Pisces being the 12th sign. Here’s the symbol for Pisces, up at the top for those watching the video version. The basic stats associated with Pisces is that Pisces is said to be a feminine or nocturnal sign. It’s a water sign in terms of the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water. It’s said to be a mutable sign in terms of the modalities of cardinal, fixed, and mutable. Pisces is said to be the domicile of Jupiter, and Jupiter is traditionally the primary planet that rules over Pisces. It’s the sign of the exaltation of Venus, the sign of the fall or depression of the planet Mercury, as well as the sign of the detriment or antithesis of Mercury as well because it’s opposite to Virgo. Those are the basic stats for Pisces.
Usually, where I have been starting over the past few months is talking about the corrective quality that this sign has in terms of the sequence of signs from the sign that came just before it. So, in this instance, that would be the sign of Aquarius, and we’re moving from Aquarius, which is a fixed air sign, which is cold and ruled by Saturn, and now suddenly we’ve moved into Pisces, which is a mutable water sign, ruled by Jupiter, so you almost couldn’t get more of a contrast between those two in making that transition at this point, I think, right?
AC: Yeah, I mean, I think when we’re looking at planetary rulers, the coldness and boundedness, in the sense of limitation within space and time that Saturn and Aquarius brings, is very different from the sort of almost limitless, confusing ocean of experience that Jupiter plunges us to in Pisces. I would say that the transition from air to water is not so bad; it’s not as oppositional as going from water to fire, which we do three times throughout the zodiac. You know, we get, in a sense, with Aquarius being not a water sign, but the water bearer, and air, we can imagine clouds, right, which are gaseous, they’re up in the sky, and then the fall, the release of that water, which is kept gaseous, and then falling, you know, back to the earth and into the ocean seeking its source, seeking to return. That doesn’t look too violent, but if we imagine the experience of the raindrop, of the droplet, condensing and then falling and then mixing with the ocean, it’s very different, right?
CB: Yeah. Ocean is a good keyword for Pisces and the vast expanse of it. But also, you know, it has water, which is wet and has more of an emotional connection. I think that’s one of the big transitions from Aquarius, which is much more cold and distant and almost intellectual as an air sign. When we get to Pisces, suddenly, you get a greater sense of emotion, emotional depth, and also empathy as a major thing. Aquarius wants to improve things and make things better for people in some ways, almost intellectually, whereas Pisces wants to do that almost emotionally or spiritually.
That actually makes me- sometimes, when I think about this contrast, it makes me laugh. I think about that story that you always tell of how at a conference once, we took a friend to the emergency room, and we were sitting there, and I handed her a text on second-century stoicism and was like, “This really speaks to your problem. I think this would really help you right at this time.” When in reality, what you pointed out, humorously, she probably just needed a hug or something like that, but instead, as a very Aquarius and Saturn-type person, I was giving her something I thought would be nourishing intellectually, but that’s not always what’s needed, and I think Pisces understands what perhaps more than any other sign because it’s the most empathetic, perhaps, of any of the water signs.
AC: That’s really interesting. That’s funny. I’m remembering that now. That is classic Aquarius Moon. You were attempting- you were actively caring for a person, right? There was the lunar signature but in an Aquarian way.
CB: Yeah, in my own way.
AC: The empathy is an interesting topic with Pisces. I think on an explicitly personal level, I think Cancer is more tuned in and caring, but Pisces is very caring in terms of, “what does a suffering being need?” We keep some of the large frame of Aquarius, the global, universal sort of quality, but it’s keyed into that more felt wavelength, right, like, “Oh, what does a person need? What does a being need?” Cancer does that, but in a very personal way, whereas Pisces is in a larger way. You know, we might say the Cancer might be like, “Oh, that thing which happened to just you is difficult,” whereas Pisces would be like, “Ah, this is a species of suffering, which afflicts the incarnate,” right? And explore that in a way where you are part of this greater suffering of having to go to the emergency room because you broke your finger, right? And so it’s connected, but it’s still big.
CB: It almost carries over some of the religious tones of Sagittarius that come from Jupiter to a certain extent. But it puts them in a different context and a context of more… what is it? More internal emotional reflection and that which nourishes your soul, whereas Cancer might be like that which nourishes your body to some extent, through its connection with the Moon.
AC: Yeah, more personal and mind, with Cancer mind, but in a more personal way, like, “What’s on your mind?” Pisces is very interested in the sort of beginning and end of suffering an experience, like what does this experience arise from and return to? And there’s a little bit of an alpha and an omega quality to a lot of Pisces things. Let’s see, there was something you just said that I wanted to respond to, too. I’ll come back to it, I hope.
CB: So just going back and keeping the contrast focused is Aquarius is a fixed sign, and especially ruled by Saturn, can be very fixed and very stubborn or very stuck in doing one thing and doing it sort of solidly and steadily, whereas Pisces as a mutable water sign is probably the most flexible or the most mutable of the four mutable signs, which we first learned and started with Gemini, which also, in terms of those four signs, also has that mutable quality of flexibility. But Pisces as a water sign seems like it’s even more mutable, more flexible, or adaptable in the same way that water can adapt to the contours of whatever you put it in. But sometimes that can be a good thing, and the flexibility of Pisces can be very positive in some ways because it allows for things like empathy, but in other instances, sometimes at an extreme, it gets associated with things like flakiness or, you know, not showing up on time or other things like that.
AC: Yeah, absolutely. Guilty as charged. I think with Pisces, so Pisces- one of the differences between Pisces and Aquarius is just that Aquarius as an air sign is active and trying to make a certain thing happen, or trying to, in the case of Aquarius, trying to make things that meet a certain set of standards happen, right? It’s trying to realize an idea or an ideal, and it’s fixed on that. With Pisces being water and mutable, there’s very much a, “Well, we’ll see what happens. We’ll see how it goes,” and that mode of being and approaching things, I think, is really easy to see if you imagine yourself on a pre-modern sea voyage, right, you get on the boat and once you’re away from the shore you know, you don’t have GPS to locate you, there are the tides, there are the winds. There’s some prediction you can do, but, you know, you might get blown over here, you might get taken over here. Shit happens, right? Not being overly prescriptive, not pretending that you can sequence things, but being prepared to adapt to what arises is that Piscean mode.
CB: That makes sense. It almost makes me think that one of the contrasts between Aquarius and Pisces then might be moving from a realm of strict time and the measurement of that, and almost scientific exactitude of, you know, measuring the atomic moments in time, versus going to Pisces and suddenly moving into a realm of timelessness, or that which is timeless as an overarching concept for Pisces because through that we access a number of other things as well in the imaginal realms of fantasy and other things like that, but that some of those issues with time maybe go back to that notion of timelessness.
AC: No, I think that’s really good. When any planet enters Pisces, other than the nodes, it’s gone through both Saturnian signs, and Saturn has a very strict cylindrical clockwork version of time. And with Pisces, I would say yes, timelessness, but it’s also the other time scales of experience. For example, dream time, experiencing moods at a different rate in dreaming than it does in waking life. You know, we’ve all had those dreams which are, you know, immense, year-long sagas, and then, you know, find out we slept for three hours but there was so much experience.
CB: Yeah, where you have that dream where you feel like you lived your entire lifetime in that dream, and you had an entire life and personality and everything else, and then you wake up, and you realize you’ve only been asleep for a night, and all of that was just an illusion of some sort.
AC: Yeah, I don’t know, illusion, maybe, but certainly not true in the waking world. I think with Pisces you get that dilation of time in and out. I would say we also have things with Pisces, appropriately enough, flow states, you know, with water. In a flow state, time passes much more swiftly, right, rather than being hyper-slowed down. We are totally just in tune with something, and there are no breaks to experience, you know, hours and hours pass. And so I think all of those weird sorts of adjustments that don’t show up on a clock or a calendar are probably part of that Piscean landscape. Water signs in general, but I would say Pisces most of all.
CB: This is bringing up I think this is also- maybe some of this thing with time is also coming from the fact that Pisces is opposite of Virgo, which is another sign that’s very like Aquarius or even Capricorn, is very focused on small, minute details and minute by minute accounting of changes and things like that in the sequential order of time. And that then is being contrasted with its opposite sign of Pisces, which is just the opposite of that.
So that contrast is starting to come up here, but also I’m noticing one of the contrasts as well, moving from the Saturn signs to Pisces, is that time itself is kind of restrictive and bounds you or holds you back to a certain extent. It sets a limit for things. But when you get to Pisces, when we start talking about timelessness, one of the other themes we’re ultimately talking about also is freedom or emancipation from time or even liberation from that to some extent.
AC: Yeah, there’s a lot there. Right, I mean, it’s hard to not talk about, with Pisces and time, it’s hard to not sort of intersect with the multicultural body of sort of ecstatic religious experience literature, where, you know, virtually always when we have experience of the divine, not a particular God, but the raw nature of being, there’s always a quality of eternity, or timelessness and also usually ecstasy or bliss or overwhelming something, overwhelming joy, in mad–
CB: Right, like going to heaven. Or achieving nirvana or something like that.
AC: Right, even if it’s just for five minutes of clock time. And certainly, with other- how should I say it- even with other less amazing levels of consciousness modification, just by doing some meditation, you do get time changes there. But that eternal ground of being or whatever language is appropriate does have that quality of timelessness, right, and the suggestion, of course, is, “Oh, this is the substrate or the substance from which time arises,” right, as opposed to being inside of time, but you know, digging down a few layers.
So one thing about the Virgo contrast I wanted to say, so I live with that. I have Saturn and the North Node in Virgo, opposing my Pisces stuff, and so the contrast between clock time and, we’ll call it, soul time has always been a big thing for me. When I was young, I had a recurring nightmare that was just dripping with the greatest sense of horror. There’s no imagery associated with it, but it was all that I was late. I was late. I had failed because I wasn’t on time, in a way that it felt like I doomed an entire nation or that horror and madness was not prevented because I was not in sync with the time.
And then I was looking back at my last Saturn opposition when Saturn was in Pisces when I was in high school, and I did painting after painting and drawing after drawing of this creepy little ageless old man/little boy who was gray and had clocks for eyeballs. And there were all these different images of staring at time and figures with their fingers being candles which were melting, and the time running out, staring at time and the temporary nature of things. So I would say that the contrast between Pisces time and Virgo time can be good for astrology, right, because that’s what we’re looking at when we talk to somebody is like what are both times? Because most of our experience is being trapped between two different kinds of time, right, and having to reconcile those. And sometimes prioritize one over the other.
CB: That’s a really important point because the mutable signs are often associated with transitional states and transitional realms because they’re moving from the solidness of the middle of the season, in the fixed sign, to moving towards having it change to the next season, by the time it gets to the next cardinal sign which in this instance is Aries in the beginning of the spring in the northern hemisphere. So it’s interesting that you mention transitions and transitional states since that’s a concept for all of the mutable signs, but here we’re talking about it, especially in terms of time.
AC: Yeah, and I was thinking about this. So right, every mutable sign ends a season. Which season it is, depends on your hemisphere, but they all end a season. But there’s a very meaningful difference between the two signs that end, you know, solstice, right, which is the maximum inequality of day and night, versus Virgo and Pisces, which both end with a point of perfect equanimity between day and night. And I was thinking about how Pisces and Virgo are both seeking a perfect balance in their own way. You know, with Virgo it’s all of the things are perfectly arranged.
And with Pisces, it’s the desire for all these different conflicting levels of being and layers of time and parts of the mind and soul, and body to establish, not a peace but a harmony between them. Right? Pisces is sort of like, “Okay, what is everything? How do I live with everything?” Even though it’s maddening, right, how do I achieve a coherence and harmony between all the things that I perceive myself to be and the world to be? Which is very Jupiterian, right, and very difficult. You know, it’s as difficult and finicky in its own way as the Virgoan quest for perfection, but opposite or just in a totally different context, but they both have that pursuing perfect equanimity as a goal and literally as a destination.
CB: Yeah, I love that. And Virgo being more of the striving for a perfect balance or equanimity with material things, which is actually a really great summation of a large part of the Virgo archetype, whereas Pisces is the striving and the seeking of a balance or equanimity with immaterial things I guess, most broadly, would be the most broad way you could put that.
AC: Yeah, yeah. With Virgo, I would say “material works”, but I would say “perfection in form.” Right? The part that you can see needs to be brought to completion and finished, whereas Pisces is less concerned with the form. Maybe what informs the form or what is behind the form. Where does the form arise from?
CB: Right. What is the opposite of form? I’m trying to think of what the word is, opposite, because–
AC: I hate to use an internet word, but we could say the “content” of the message is the Pisces part. Its execution is the former Virgo part. For example, a poet, right? Although poetry got kind of weird and sloppy in the 20th century, most poetry and poetic forms for most of history have excruciating and intense parameters, like “this many syllables per line, there needs to be a quarter rhyme between this and that,” that being the Virgoan part, being able to do that in a way that sounds good and fits the form and the Pisces part being like, “But what are you expressing? What is the vision?” Right?
And, of course, an effective work of art needs both. And one demands the other. You’re like, “Oh, I have all this to say. I’ve got 18 planets in Pisces.” Well, you’re going to have to learn form, right? Or you’re going to have to learn enough form to work around form, right, and if you have an ability to execute perfectly, then you’re like, “Oh, I can speak perfectly. I should find something good to say.”
CB: Right. I like that. Maybe that takes us into- I’m not sure if that takes us into talking about the contrast more clearly between Virgo and Pisces at this point, or if there was anything you want to do before we get there because I know there was an area we were almost going into there, where we were talking about transitional states but also consciousness and reality modification, which is a major Pisces theme. And I know that can sometimes lead into one of the sort of shadow sides or one of the downsides, which can be escapism with Pisces, which can sometimes be a good thing and other times can be a tricky or problematic thing.
AC: Yeah, no, I think Virgo and Pisces are both, you know, they’re the two yin, feminine, nocturnal, mutable signs. And so, instead of saying, “How do I change this situation so that it’s what I want?” It’s, “How do I change myself or the way I’m doing things in order to better navigate the situation.” And I think with Virgo, you know, I think instantly, a contemporary form of this is if you look on the internet and any sort of exercise or performance YouTube rabbit hole, like, “Okay, you need to take four grams of this, do this, eat this, sleep exactly this much, do this many reps per session, do this many sessions per week…” It’s like the science of self-modification. And Pisces also does that but in a decidedly less scientific way. Because it’s not essentially about form in a body in the same way. With Pisces, I would look at self-modifications that are more about changing one’s state. A very simple one would be any form of meditation, prayer, ritual, any of the things that humans have done to change their state forever. And then, as you said, a “shadow side,” for lack of a better term, we also have the escapism. Is it escapism, or is it just modification? Right? Like I would rather be in this state than this state. Right? Because with Virgo, we’re also escaping negative outcomes. There’s an interest in avoiding negative outcomes and experiences with any sort of self-modification. I guess when it becomes super pathological where the outcomes aren’t actually being avoided, then it’s escapism as a pure pathology. But it’s like self-modification, so one, I’m not in this place where I’m wracked with anxiety or furious or in whatever errant state of mind. And then I guess the quality of the practices and of the substances that one ingests to do that are going to modify outcomes, right?
CB: Yeah, well so going into the escapism part, something I’ve been thinking about a lot over the past year is sometimes the healthy or the healing nature of having an escape from reality or having an escape from the harshness of reality, especially if one’s reality in the present time is really hard or is really difficult, that having the ability to, you know, read a book and read a novel and escape to a fantasy realm of whatever the fictional narrative is in that book, if you’re reading a work of fiction, can be healthy and healing, especially if you’re in the middle of, you know, let’s say, a war-torn country or some other really major period in human history where people are experiencing extreme levels of hardship, and in some instances, in the extreme, like the horrors of, you know, reality and sometimes the necessity of having an escape because that can help to recharge or help to make your life more positive or make your experience of life actually more enjoyable and more optimistic in some way than it might be otherwise. So that sometimes that’s actually a very positive and healing and useful thing to have that’s sort of everpresent in our society, but we don’t necessarily think of it that way sometimes.
AC: Yeah, totally. Do you know what Ursula Le Guin said about escapism?
AC: She wrote an essay some time ago, and she basically says so what do we escape from? We escape from confinement and prisons, and when we’re escaping, we’re always moving in the direction of freedom. And that’s not an inherently negative thing.
CB: Right, yeah. That totally takes us back to the Aquarius-Capricorn to Pisces transition that we were just talking about earlier.
AC: Yeah, that’s interesting. So with “escape,” right, “escape,” another, I think, closely connected Pisces trait, or maybe even just another word for the same orientation, is “avoidance,” right? And if you say someone has an avoidant personality, you’re suggesting that there’s a defect and maybe something that they should fix or it would be better if they weren’t. But speaking as a Pisces, there’s so many things worth avoiding, right, where there’s nothing to be gained from the encounter. Back to the “if you want to learn something, there are better ways to learn things. If you want a greater victory, there are greater contests to have.”
And if we go back to a nautical metaphor for Pisces, there are just, there are areas where you just avoid it. You’re like, “Oh, yeah, there are reefs really close to the surface there. We’re going to sail around that.” Right? And obviously, that can be taken to a pathological level, but that’s part of the Pisces’ navigation intelligence. It’s just like, “Ah, that’s not worth sailing there.” Right? “We’ll probably fuck up the boat. We can go somewhere else instead.”
CB: Yeah, I mean, I’ve been thinking about the avoidant nature of Pisces a lot over the past few years, and one of the other angles for that and that tendency for Pisces that I’ve thought about is that, as a sign ruled by Jupiter, Pisces fundamentally wants to say yes to things and to affirm things in accordance with Jupiter’s basic principle to affirm and say yes to things, as opposed to Saturn which typically says no to or rejects things. And I sometimes think the avoidant quality of Pisces is kind of an indirect way of them being able to avoid saying no to things where it’s like you don’t have to reject something if you just avoid dealing with it. If you just ignore that thing, in some sense, you never have to invoke the, you know, rejecting principle of Saturn. You’re still sort of almost saying yes to something by virtue of just avoiding having to say no to something.
AC: Yeah, a hundred percent. Right, it’s like if you know you’re going to say no, why even have the conversation?
AC: That’s interesting, though, just to think about the desire to affirm with Pisces. And I think part of the way that works is looking for things that you can enthusiastically affirm. You know, Jupiter likes the good in both a small “g,” everyday sense, but also very much in the Greek philosophy sense, like, “What is the Good? I want to find the Good.” What is Good for the soul? What is Good for, you know, what is truth? What is beauty? The Good? Pisces can be almost addicted to the good and dissatisfied with anything that doesn’t live up to that sort of half-philosophical-spiritual quality.
CB: Yeah, or ideal. So that’s a really important thing then that’s fundamentally an optimistic sign or at least similar to Sagittarius in that way, which is the other Jupiter-ruled sign in that there’s a tendency toward optimism, or a tendency towards especially that which feels good internally is something that is gravitated toward, and that which doesn’t feel internally there’s sort of a tendency to float away from.
AC: Yeah, yeah. I think the optimism is an interesting point because I think Sagittarius optimism is more like, “We can do it,” whereas Pisces, there’s a little bit more, “We’re going to do it, and if it doesn’t happen, that’s also okay.” And there’s often the indication of the greater frame is a big Pisces thing, right? It’s like this is just one tiny thing. You have a whole life, and there’s lots of good, even if this one thing you hope is excellent doesn’t quite happen, that’s not the end of the game or even more than a single point out of a thousand. And so the optimism, in my experience with Pisces, tends to be a little bit more optimism for the entirety of the field rather than optimism about the one line or the one point like this one thing is going to happen, with Sag.
CB: Yeah, that makes sense. And that statement of, “Everything is great,” I think that’s a really great Pisces thing of, yeah, they’re wanting to be a fundamental positive take on things. I’m having trouble articulating that, but there was something about that phrase that I thought was really good. It’s not the exuberant optimism of Sagittarius, the externalization of that, but there’s something there about the internalization of that desire to seek and maintain that, which might take us back to because I didn’t want to completely move on from this, but the escapism thing, especially in the positive sense. Because there’s other versions of that. There’s, you know, not just reading a novel, a piece of fiction, but there’s somebody that does that with video games, or somebody that does that with movies or music. What are the many other forms of almost entertainment that sometimes act as an escape into an alternative realm of sensation and things that speak to you emotionally, that convey something emotionally as a result of experiencing them?
AC: Yeah, you know, it’s tricky with Pisces because there is emotional content, but a lot of times with Pisces, it’s more of an engagement with story in a way that connects to, you know, whenever we’re talking about story, we’re kind of talking about the experience of lived beings, right? Story structure is a way of looking at experience moving through time and things that we try to make happen, happening or not, things that we didn’t expect to happen happening, and any time you’re sitting with stories, you’re sitting with kind of the fundamental structure of experience through time. It’s not that the Pisces is an unemotional mode, but it’s less about the sort of cheap moving. I would say Pisces is not sentimental in the same way that we might get with Cancer, for example. I think significantly less so. Again, there’s always a movement towards a universal with Pisces, which might be like, “Oh, it’s betrayal,” which might be moving and cathartic, but it’s almost like the archetype of betrayal rather than the one instance of. I think there’s a desire with Pisces to understand, “Oh, what is this thing that happens in so many stories?” Which allows for relating to the individual stories but has that larger Jupiterian frame.
CB: Okay. So escapism as a positive thing, as a healing thing, as a liberatory thing, as you were talking about, but then also sometimes there can be a downside to that, in terms of engaging, and if somebody gets caught up in sometimes other types of escapism, for example, with drugs or alcohol or things like that, that maybe are detrimental physically, but that feel good, and that make you feel better than what your material or initial starting point was so that it becomes very attractive for that reason.
AC: Yeah, so to go back to the boating metaphor, it’s a smart thing to avoid the shoals and the reefs, but then we also have the Pisces whose boat is completely stuck on a reef, who is just pretending that it’s not like, “I’m on the wide open sea. I can see whales.” It’s like, “No, you’re stuck. The wind isn’t blowing your sails anywhere. The waves aren’t taking you anywhere.” And you have to maintain a certain level of delusion in order to not see that. Right? And there’s certainly substances that can help you stay that out of it. Right? And that would be avoidance in the negative sense. You’re avoiding the fact that you’re not going anywhere, that you are stuck.
CB: Right, that there can be a lack of progress or a lack of forward movement, materially and physically, because you’re stuck, you know, in a realm that’s giving you access to the timelessness or to not having to deal with things, and that actually becomes a form of avoidance in and of itself. It’s like avoidance of reality to a certain extent.
AC: Yeah, well, and in Pisces, we have to sort of start thinking about the different layers of reality and how they compete and contrast and how you know with Pisces, a lot of times you get the preference of one over the other and sometimes the avoidance of this one instead of this one, right, and so that can be the physical also you know if we’re talking about someone who’s mired in one of the stereotypical addictions, they’re also stuck on the reef psychologically, right, they’re not going anywhere, internally either.
CB: What is it that’s keeping them stuck, fundamentally, or what are some of the different factors that might keep somebody stuck? I mean, I know- I’m trying to think of or I’ve thought about different people like Kurt Cobain, for example, famously had a heroin addiction, although that was kind of complicated. I know someone with a Saturn placement in Pisces and issues with drinking; what is the thing- I mean because obviously that’s a complicated topic, and obviously, we can’t attribute all of that to Pisces, and there’s other factors going on, especially to the extent that addiction you know in modern times is starting to be better understood as an illness or other things like that I guess I’m just trying to understand the dual-natured tendency that maybe Pisces has that’s somewhat pronounced toward escaping to different realms and the different motivations for that, but maybe we’ve started to really sort of explain some of that already, in terms of the timelessness and healing nature of escaping, but how sometimes that can be detrimental physically. I mean, even with the good forms of escapism, you know, there’s people that would argue, obviously, or that would criticize, you know, playing video games too much or reading fiction too much or doing anything too much, where you could instead be putting your time into the here and now and there’s different arguments about that or the pros and cons of that.
AC: Yeah, I don’t think there’s a signature thing to get stuck on as a Pisces or with Pisces planets. I think it’s more the way they deal with obstacles, right, because everybody gets stuck to a certain degree on the things that happened along the way. Many of them in childhood, plenty of things can happen after childhood that you get stuck on and you know in the sense of, a lot of the signs all have ways of dealing with that or not dealing with that you know the signs tell you a lot about the sort of decision tree of the person and how they frame situations. And, yeah, the Pisces avoid the bad, seek the good. You know, yeah, that’s oversimplifying it, but everything we’ve talked about is very much the way of dealing with it or not dealing with it.
I don’t know that- okay, I guess we can- there are specifically Piscean things to get stuck on, and those are, how should I say, afflictions, corruptions of that big frame that I was talking about. You were saying, you know, you’re saying that with Pisces there, you know, there can be a fundamental sort of underlying optimism. I would frame that as an optimism of the field.
But operating within Pisces, when you see the entire framework of the universe, as far as you can see out of it, of conscious life out in the universe, if you see that as, for example, predatory or cruel, then that intrudes on everything and frames everything. Right? You’re like, “Oh, where am I? What’s the meaning of life? Ah, it is to be subtly tortured until I’m erased from existence.” Right, if we’re talking about that bigger frame, right, that bigger frame can also be cruel or nightmare-ish or monstrous, and that’s, again, that’s a thing that’s not any one place but is everywhere. Just like the, you know, a happy Jupiter in Pisces provides a more buoyant, supportive frame for everything that isn’t anywhere, but it’s a little bit everywhere.
And so Pisces gets stuck on things that are big-frame questions that other people don’t necessarily appreciate. They’re like, “Yeah, but if we look at, you know, what happened last Tuesday, that wasn’t so bad.” But then the Pisces will be like, “Oh, but the context, right. Oh, but the universe that occurred within is indeed monstrous.” And then vice versa, “Oh, Tuesday was terrible, but the larger thing is nice.” And so, you know, there’s that wanting to understand the nature of stories existing within time. Right? And what is the ground of reality, which is usually explored through spiritual or religious practices and methods because there’s the seeking that; what is the big context?
CB: Right. What is the big picture? And that’s the really important contrast with Virgo just because the two Mercury-ruled signs tend to focus on smaller things, especially Virgo, and very minute, almost microscopic things and details, whereas the contrast with Pisces, ruled by Jupiter, is the big picture things. The universal things. “What is it all about?” type things.
AC: And then with that, when you have a functional or coherent sort of bigger picture that allows you to prioritize. Right, which is very Jupiter, being like, “This is what’s important,” you know, “This matters for years. This other thing, whether it works, it doesn’t work, that’s just a matter of a day.” Right? And so that leads to Pisces. You can tie that to avoidance. I would also say that with that avoidance, there’s also an ignoring things that seem low priority, like, “Yeah, I’m not going to spend my time experience on that. It’s not a big deal.” You know, ‘it’s not a big deal’ is a statement about scope, right, which of course is lovely when it’s all working when the priorities are determined correctly when you really are choosing the arc of a year over the arc of an afternoon but sometimes that afternoon is more important than was initially judged, right, and Virgo is really good at getting the thing right, getting the afternoon right. And, you know, the Virgo argument is, “Well, a life is made of moments, and so if you get all the moments right, you nailed the whole.”
CB: Yeah, especially sequentially, which is something Virgo does things in order, sequentially, whereas Pisces, as a mutable sign, I always think about how Dortheas in the second century, or first century, talked about, in electional astrology, with mutable signs if you elect something with a mutable emphasis chart, that you’ll start one action but then before the first action is completed there will have to be a second action that’s initiated and the second action will be completed first before the first one is brought to completion. So there’s this discursive quality–
AC: Right. Yeah, you’re going to get it done, but you’re going to get distracted, and then you’re going to come back to it, right, which is contrasted, right, in the same context with fixed, you’re just going to go in a straight line, and cardinal you’ll do this for a while and then you’ll start something else and not come back to it.
CB: Right, of a strong initial starting but cardinal having problems bringing things to completion.
AC: Yeah, well, literally, the starting is also the problem because they’ll still start a new trajectory that takes them completely away, in Dortheas. But yeah, that “coming back to” is interesting to think about with Pisces and Virgo. With Virgo, it’s, you know, I think a lot of times it’s coming back for edits. It’s coming back, “Hmm, this isn’t quite good enough,” right? You know, “I got it done, then I went- or I thought I got it done. I went over here, and then I come back to this, and it’s just not, it’s not what it should be.” Right? Whereas with Pisces, I think it’s a little bit flakier, a little bit more fluid. It’s like, “Oh, I got caught up in this, and then I, you know, wound back around to this.”
CB: Yeah, the keywords: discursive, digressive, meandering, potentially, or maybe even wondering, diffuse to a certain extent.
AC: Yeah, I think sort of circumabulatory wandering, which is its own form of exploration, is really crucial to Pisces. You know, one of the things I was thinking about for our discussion was: what is the Pisces shape of a story? And in Pisces stories, the protagonist is usually, or is often, in a mysterious world and trying to understand both themself And their place in it, and the world itself, trying to get the self-world relationship right, and there’s either a mystery in the self that makes that question impossible to solve at the beginning, or a mystery in the world that makes the self-world relationship impossible to solve in the beginning, or both. And so this is interesting because it connects with Sagittarius.
Sagittarius also likes exploring, but it’s usually, “I’m setting out for parts unknown.” With Sag, you have this active sort of volitional quality. Whereas with Pisces, it’s more, “I find myself in the strange place.” Right, or, “I find myself in a place where sometimes some dreams feel more real than waking life, and also some dreams seem to foretell things about waking life, but not all dreams.” What is the nature of reality, then? What is the nature of dreaming, you know, if given x, y, and z? You know, I think this sort of shitty pop version would be Inception. I feel like, you know, it’s like exploring different layers of reality and potentially getting lost in those. Eventually, coming out understanding reality as a multi-layered thing better, but getting lost along the way. You mentioned What Dreams May Come when we were talking earlier. What dreams may come? What is the fate of- what is the nature of a soul? What is the fate of a soul after death? What can be done? What can’t be done? What is the true nature of this relationship? And those are, I see those as typically Picean.
I would add to that, for the nerds, the classic computer role-playing game Planescape Torment is, I think, one of the most Picean narratives ever. The protagonist wakes up on a funereal slab and can’t remember who he is. And as you wake up, you find yourself in a city that is between every heaven and hell, and, you know, and normal worlds and where all the denizens of these different realms of reality intersect and do business, etc., etc. And you slowly find evidence that you’ve lived many lives there and that you are immortal, but every time you die, you forget everything, and so you’re trying, you know, you’re trying to understand the nature of this strange place, but you’re also literally hunting down the mystery of everybody you’ve been and then deciding who you’re going to be. Right, at the beginning of the game, it seems like there was just one life that you forgot, and then it seems that this has happened a bunch of times and that you are total fucking shit during one of your lives. You meet your victims from that life. People attack you for no reason you can remember. You also find lives where you were saintly. You find others where you were just, you know, you were okay; where you were a winner, where you were a loser. And so, I would say that’s very Piscean. And then I would add, as the Piscean protagonist, right, and the main character in that is called “the nameless one” because you can’t remember your name, right, who am I?
I also was thinking about in terms of Piscean protagonists in several of William Gibson’s novels- William Gibson, who was considered the sort of father, at this point, grandfather of cyberpunk, and who has Sun in Pisces. In two of his trilogies, he has, I would say, essentially the Piscean protagonist in the Bridge trilogy, the main-ish character- and this is set in the 2030s, I think- is somebody who has this strange talent where they can basically just look at the internet all day long, but they don’t focus on any one thing in particular. They look at the flow of information, and the prevalence of particular imagery and colors and data flows and end up sort of being able to prophesize about the future by looking at the entire shape of what’s going on. Which is, you know, it’s a very Piscean thing, right, where you have, is it prophecy? Is it intuition? Is it madness? And, of course, this character, I believe, ends up very addicted to a variety of substances and not doing very well physically. And then, in the next trilogy, the protagonist is a woman who is literally physically allergic to bad branding. And so she’s actually the most sought-after brand consultant in the world because people can just show her a marketing campaign, and she’ll get hives if it’s bad, or will have a physical sensation, so there’s this weird, kind of, intuitive/prophetic ability to navigate the sum of information rather than any one piece.
CB: Okay. I wanted to go back to– not to take us too far back, but shout out to Camille Michelle Gray, who helped with some of the research for this episode as she has, actually, since the Gemini episode and throughout this series. So, I wanted to thank her for that because it’s been a huge part of helping me to do and prepare for each of these episodes.
So, talking about the transition from Pisces to Aquarius, or to Pisces from Aquarius, she says, “Pisces corrects Aquarius by inserting emotion and warmth. The colder, intellectual energy from Aquarius benefits from a Piscean sense of possibility from the loosening of that which is too rigid and prescriptive. The goals Aquarius has for humanity are more easily transmissible through the flexibility and the lubrication of Piscean energy. To give people something to believe in rather than just giving people something to think about. The correction of brute-force of intellect with creative and compassionate approach.” And it was that last keyword that I thought was important and wanted to expand on if we can, which is something I commonly associate with Pisces, are things like compassion, empathy, and sometimes that kind of extends to all other sentient beings, like sometimes people that do a lot of charity work or work for the homeless for example, or people that are really into helping out animals and animals’ rights and things like that, or who even sometimes somebody like a vegetarian who wouldn’t eat meat because they don’t want to inflict suffering on another sentient animal/being due to this internal sense of empathy. But also just affirming and raising up those who are in a difficult position, but sometimes that can then also be extended to when it gets manifested in a spiritual, religious, or philosophical context, even trying to help somebody out by saving their soul, or what have you, in a religious context or in a missionary context. How do you feel about something like that when it comes to empathy and compassion and some of those drives?
AC: Yeah, no, I think that’s all good stuff. I was thinking in particular about, well, three or four things and I’m going to pick one. So, yeah, I think the universality of the experience of suffering is something that just kind of comes with planets in Pisces, which allows you, if you are the owner of said planet, to empathize and, you know, in a religious context, if we’re talking about what essentially is saintly behavior, right, to forego any action that creates suffering, but that comes out of because there’s so much suffering. I think one of the standard Piscean package of experiences is knowing that the great ocean from which we all arise is also an ocean of suffering. And that’s just a given. It doesn’t mean that’s the only thing, right, the ocean is vast and holds many seas within itself, but that of course, there’s suffering, of course, that hurts. That’s a given that that’s part of the case for every living being.
CB: Yeah. [crosstalk] Go ahead.
AC: You know, there’s sort of no defense against that. Most other signs are like, “Yeah, that’s true, but I’m busy doing this thing.” Whereas with Pisces, that’s one of the baseline assumptions that leads into, you know, whatever actions or approaches.
AC: And that could also drive you crazy, by the way.
CB: Right. That’s the problem. And something I struggle with to understand with Pisces because there’s that element, the supreme understanding of suffering, and sympathy and empathy for it, and there can also be a sort of sadness sometimes there, associated with it, but I’m trying to understand that and figure out what the access point is archetypally with some of those basic properties of the sign since it otherwise, you know, theoretically at least, like Sagittarius being ruled by Jupiter, has that more optimistic or fundamentally positive orientation initially. But I think maybe part of it is that Pisces because it initially approaches things with such an openness and emotional vulnerability to things, there can be an experience relatively early on in life of having that emotional openness and vulnerability and positiveness be met with the opposite of that in the world, and therefore sometimes to be hurt by that and have the experience of being hurt by the world. That is kind of sobering and is kind of hard to deal with and hard to reconcile with their initial orientation to things, which was somewhat positive and open and empathetic.
AC: Yeah, well, I would say that Pisces wants to understand. And that the desire to understand, therefore, to not disallow the experience and knowledge of things. It means that you’re going to encounter all of that, right? The greater Jupiterian sort of goal of understanding in the context of Pisces means, you know, engaging with suffering. Not suffering on an explicitly individual level, where, “Well, that thing happened to one person,” but more like, “Ah, that can happen to a person.”
I remember one of the things that my mom, Pisces, always- I don’t even know if she said it that much, it was just enough that it stuck in my mind, is that whenever there was a case of a person suffering through their own actions, or somebody else’s, or just the world, or you know, usually it’s a combination, right, she would quote the Bible and she would say, “There but for the grace of God go I.” And she’s not a religious woman, but that always stuck in my mind that under different circumstances, that could be me. Right? There’s no absolute defense against finding yourself in any situation. Like, “Oh, if I had been brought up slightly differently. If my body was shaped differently. If I had different advice from different people, that could be me.” Right? The individual will and choices alone cannot keep you from the vast majority of suffering. Right? There’s a certain level of grace, luck, etc., etc. Basically, it was that that could be you. That always stuck with me, and that feels very intergenerational Pisces advice.
CB: Yeah, I mean that’s the fundamental, almost definition of empathy. The ability to understand and share the feelings of another. To put yourself in somebody else’s shoes and therefore to understand, almost intuitively, what that would be like, and to sympathize with it. I–
AC: Let me stop you because you said something I think is really crucial to Pisces, is the ability to pour yourself into that situation and be like, “Oh, that’s what it would be like.” And again, I feel like I need to contrast this with the other signs, the other water signs. With Pisces, it’s a sort of stepping in and then withdrawing. I think the other signs, like with Cancer, there’s a much more limited number of people and situations that they’re willing to do that empathic pouring. But it’s much more intense and also harder to withdraw from.
Part of the Pisces thing is immersing and then retreating. You know, Pisces is good at letting go of things. And that can be like, “Oh, that’s terrible. Now I’m going to go have crackers.” You know, which I think, people when they talk about Pisces in their life, are sometimes confused by what seems like super empathic and just not at all, or just moving on or distant. Whereas Cancer and Scorpio, I would say, as well, are much more sort of dedicated to the situations that they empathize with and the people that they empathize with. It’s much more fixed in the case of Scorpio. Whereas Pisces is just sort of like, “Yeah, but I can’t do that with-” When the scope is as big as it is with Pisces, you can’t get stuck, I would say, is the feeling. You should be able to pour in, but you need your water back.
CB: Yeah, letting it go emotionally is not something I would associate with Scorpio.
AC: [laughs] No. No. No.
CB: That’s actually really interesting. I mean, one of the things I always associate, that’s kind of sad, when I think about Pisces is, I sometimes think about Kurt Cobain, who had a Pisces stellium with Saturn there as well as a Sun in Pisces, but how he wrote, and what he wrote in his suicide note, because he talks a lot about his empathy and his sensitivity and it’s something that always stands out to me because he even references it at one point, being a sad, sensitive, little Pisces, but it’s more than that. He’s using a lot of other phrases and things like that that are kind of insightful in terms of what we’re talking about here.
So just for the video, here’s part of it. He talks about feeling guilty beyond words, and he says, at one point, “I’m too sensitive. I need to be slightly numb in order to regain the enthusiasm I once had as a child.” And I think there’s something really important about that that he comes back to because he says, “I can’t get over the frustration, the guilt, and the empathy I have for everyone.” So, empathy he feels for everyone. He says, “There’s good in all of us, and I think I simply love people too much, so much that it makes me feel too fucking sad. The sad little, sensitive, unappreciative Pisces. Jesus man, why don’t you just enjoy it?” and he says, “I don’t know.” He starts talking about his wife. He says, “…has empathy,” and he says, “…and I have a daughter who reminds me too much of what I used to be, full of love and joy. Kissing every person she meets because everyone is good and will do her no harm, and that terrifies me to the point where I can barely function.”
He’s actually contrasting, he relates to the openness of a child and something he used to experience and feeling hurt by that, growing older, realizing that that openness can leave you open to being hurt. But then he goes on, he says, “Only because it seems so easy for people to get along that have empathy. Only because I love and feel sorry for people too much, I guess.” And then he ends it saying, “Peace, love, and empathy. Kurt Cobain.” And here’s his chart, just for reference, where he had Virgo Rising and the Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Saturn all in Pisces, not to mention other water placements like the Moon and Jupiter in Cancer and Mars and Neptune in Scorpio.
AC: He had every visible planet in a water sign.
CB: Right. So, that’s kind of an intense example, but I think it’s also just important because it’s that dual nature of that sensitivity and that empathy, which can be a really good quality, but also sometimes the openness can, especially if you compare it to other signs, like Scorpio for example, that’s almost more existentially aware of the openness and sensitivity, being defensive against that, or that leaves you open to vulnerability or needing to put up defenses to guard against that. Pisces, in some ways, doesn’t initially approach situations with that, and sometimes maybe it leaves it open to having a sense of sadness over that or something like that.
AC: Yeah, I think that’s true. That leads me back to our discussion about avoidance. Right? Every sign, all of these modes of being have their own defense mechanisms, right, and so with Pisces- excuse me, with Cancer and Scorpio, you will literally see the signs referred to as “armored,” right? They literally have a hard shell. The crab and the scorpion have an armored exoskeleton, and you can see that with the limits on who I’m going to care about with Cancer and same with Scorpio, but different selection process. What I’m going to care about and what I’m going to remain hard against. And so with Pisces, you know, this is not an armored animal. It’s got scales, but what it is is evasive. Right? That’s part of that avoiding or selecting, “I’ll be here and not there. No, I don’t want to look at the internet today because I know that I will feel it if I take it in, and so I’m just not going to expose myself to that.”
CB: That’s Pisces defensive armor is the avoidance?
AC: Yeah, and if we look at the world of animals, right, there are only so many ways to defend against threats, and one of them is to not be there for it. Right? I think of, you know, in the martial contest of bodies, there’s blocking, interfering with what’s going to harm you, armor. And then there’s evading. Like, “I’m just going to take the step here, so I’m not going to be here for the punch.”
CB: Yeah, I like that. That makes a lot of sense. Alright, so to round out this section, Camille had written out some contrasts between Virgo and Pisces that I think might be a good jumping-off point for some final initial thoughts about both that contrast as well as just Pisces on its own. So let me read some of those really quickly.
So Camille writes, “The contrast between Virgo and Pisces is that Virgo is the service in the material realm, while Pisces is service in the realm of consciousness, soul, or spirit. Virgo operates on preparedness. Pisces operates on faith.”
AC: I’m going to dispute “faith” there with Pisces.
CB: Faith? Okay, well, I mean, we do- that’s one of the things we haven’t talked about. We’ve just been glossing over it for the sake of this is, you know, in contemporary astrology, we do have a struggle between the reassignment of Neptune to Pisces over the past century and a lot of our modern astrologers’ conceptualization of Pisces being based on, and I’m not necessarily saying Camille, but just all of us, including me and you, that first learned astrology through modern astrology that associated Neptune solely with Pisces versus the movement over the past 30 years to go back to some of the original understanding of Jupiter being the traditional ruler of Pisces and reconceptualizing the signs through that, which is something I’ve been consciously doing with this series, is using the traditional rulerships. And we can see, sometimes, the overlap, where there’s certain keywords I think that modern astrologers associate with Neptune that we could still understand through the lens of Jupiter and through Pisces being a mutable water sign, for example. But sometimes you do still have some of that ambiguity or that, yeah, interchange of significations. Alright, let me read the rest, and we’ll come back to that.
CB: Alright. Okay, “Virgo. Keyword: I have a plan. Pisces keyword: I have a dream.” Which I think is really interesting because Martin Luther King had the Moon in Pisces. “Virgo as logistical mind. Pisces as mystical mind. Virgo as academic intelligence. Pisces as emotional or spiritual intelligence. Virgo as practical. Pisces as fanciful. Virgo as physical. Pisces as metaphysical. Virgo as common sense. Pisces as sixth sense. Virgo as self-discipline. Pisces as self-deluding. Virgo as seeks information, versus Pisces seeks inspiration. Virgo needs to know. Pisces goes with the flow. Virgo critical thinker. Pisces big thinker. And then Virgo zooming in. Pisces spacing out.” Yeah, I like that. That’s pretty good. So, what are some of the ones that catch you that might be good discussion points or ones to either expand on or that you’d like to modify?
AC: Can you put the list back up?
CB: Yeah, here it is.
AC: So, zooming in versus spacing out. One of those is useful, and one of them isn’t. Pisces is good at zooming out. Right? There’s literally a lens change with both. It’s not that Pisces just stops concentrating, doesn’t think about things. It thinks about context by zooming out.
CB: Yeah, or the difference between a microscope that’s looking at atoms versus a telescope that’s taking in the entire galaxy.
AC: Yeah, exactly. And so, with “needs to know,” instead of “goes-” Pisces does go with the flow, but as a contrast to “needs to know,” I would say Pisces “needs to understand.”
AC: Which is related to, but different than, knowing.
CB: I like that. Knowing versus understanding.
AC: Yeah, and I would maybe also do the same thing with “seeks information” [and] “seeks understanding.” So, “self-discipline” versus “self-deluded.” I don’t think we should be doing one virtue and one vice when we’re comparing signs. We should compare vices or compare virtues.
CB: What’s the contrast? So, self-discipline with Virgo. Pisces has self…
AC: I would say what discipline gets to is “ordering,” and so there, with Virgo, we have an ordering of the physical realm and actions within the physical realm. Pisces seeks order, but its coherence on an invisible level. Right? Pisces wants to have an ordered soul, and, you know, if that results in orderly action, then great. But it’s not the priority. I think they’re both seeking- maybe Virgo is seeking order, and maybe Pisces is seeking coherence and harmony.
CB: I like that. Yeah, that makes sense. Coherence and harmony.
AC: Right, Pisces–
CB: That makes a lot of sense.
AC: Ok, good. And there were a few others in there that were interesting if you don’t mind putting it back up.
CB: Sure. Here it is.
AC: Yeah, “practical,” “fanciful,” “practical,” “imaginative.” You know, “physical,” “metaphysical.” Yeah, “visible,” “invisible,” however, we want to kind of address that basic divide.
CB: Yeah, of earth versus water?
AC: Yeah, well, especially the water of Pisces, right, which is Jupiter water. I also think with Virgo, there’s also- with Virgo-Pisces, there’s- How should I say? Virgo is interested in and seeking what is knowable, and Pisces is always interested in mystery, right? Pisces is like, “Oh, but what does nobody know yet?” Right? “What do people think we can’t know? What does no one know?” Or, “What is mysterious?” It makes me think of the quote- I know it was attributed to Einstein but at this point–
CB: I was just about to bring up his chart.
AC: At this point on the internet, was it Einstein’s quote? I don’t know. I’m gun-shy. I’m paraphrasing, but it’s the quote you’ve probably seen the memed, which is about, “as the body of knowledge expands, the periphery of mystery expands.” That if knowledge is a light, right, or occupies a given space, then the bigger knowledge gets, the larger the circumference of mystery is. And Virgo and Pisces are very interested in knowledge. But with Virgo, it’s what’s inside that boundary, and Pisces is sitting on the periphery and staring outward into what’s not yet known.
CB: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So, yeah, Einstein- probably one of the more prominent Pisces, especially in the 20th century, who had Cancer Rising and the Sun at 23 degrees of Pisces and the Midheaven, the degree of the Midheaven at 12 Pisces. And, yeah, some of that that I thought was really interesting is just his work thinking outside of the box of the current scientific paradigm and completely changing our understanding of time and space and the interrelationship between the two is really interesting, in terms of his Theory of Relativity and how that ties into some of our previous discussion about time and timelessness and other things like that.
AC: Yeah, and of course, the fact that the breakthrough work was inspired by dreaming and imagining.
CB: Right, of getting inspiration from a dream.
AC: Yeah. He’s also one of the best stand-ins for, not an archetype, but a Pisces stereotype. You will encounter them. The “pantsless genius” or the “sloppy genius” who is so amazing and insightful in one area and just completely absent from the competence and normal human things in another area. It’s definitely a Pisces shape.
CB: Right. There’s this quote–
AC: You can take a dig at me. [laughs]
CB: Are you wearing–
AC: I saw you calculating.
CB: Yeah, are you wearing pants right now?
AC: I am, but only because it’s cold.
CB: Ok, that’s fair. That’s fair. That’s very practical. So, there’s a quote from Einstein, actually. It says, “Imagination is more important than knowledge, for knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” Yeah, and I know he’s had a lot of other sort of statements like that about imagination and different things like that.
AC: Yeah, well, it’s interesting in a sense, Einstein kind of stands in for a lot of the real history of science before the post-World War II era, where there was a lot of imagining things, a lot of sort of borderline quackery and exploration, and you know, getting lost and then finding something that ended up being really valuable rather than the sort of, how science is presented as being this very institutional, linear, one foot in front of the other way of moving forward, which is more the narrative that has become popular about science, but the like, “I don’t know, I dreamed it, and then I did the math, and I was on to something there. Not mentioning the other times I dreamed things and the math did not stack up,” like that Piscean edge of mystery and having to get lost in order to find something new. Einstein was that but also stands in for that, which is a real thing.
CB: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Alright, I’m just looking through some of my other charts, for example charts. I know that one that I’ve used in the past as a Mercury in Pisces example- because one of the statements that sometimes comes up is that because Mercury was traditionally said to be in both its detriment as well as its fall in the sign of Pisces, because its opposite to Virgo, which is the sign of Mercury’s domicile and exaltation, that Mercury in Pisces is somehow thought to be a bad placement for Mercury, but it’s not necessarily a bad placement per se because there’s actually a lot of really good and really interesting creative things that Mercury in Pisces people do. One of the ones that I’ve used in the past and one of the ones that Camille pointed out, of course, is one of the most famous poets of the 20th century, which is Maya Angelou, who had Leo Rising and Mercury conjunct Venus almost to the degree in Pisces, in the eighth house, and she was a famous poet that was really able to lean into and use that Pisces placement, I think, in a positive way. And while she struggled with some issues early on when it came to speech and things like that, eventually, it was something that she came to excel at, especially in writing poetry.
AC: Yeah, that’s the example, is the expressing huge things. And really having to play with and undermine and reinvent language in order to express things. That’s sort of the poetic thing. And also the situation of Mercury in Pisces, you know, one way to think about planets in signs is it’s Mercury and Mercury finds themselves in Pisces. It is so hard to get any data on any of the things that are important in Pisces-land. All the things, the ocean of Pisces, the sea of Pisces. All these things that we’ve been talking about are all beyond the scope of facts. Facts may be involved, but the facts don’t help you solve the mystery. And so, how does Mercury navigate an area where Mercury’s great capacity and cleverness with facts doesn’t get you very far? Right? It’s an environment that’s- it’s not hostile…well you could say it’s hostile, but it’s, you know if you have wings, wings are great, but if you’re a mile beneath the ocean, how helpful is that? Right? Or let’s say you’re winged with a beautiful voice, like Mercury, and you’re a mile beneath the ocean. Nobody can hear you, and your wings are basically just super shitty flippers. It’s a difficult landscape for Mercury to navigate.
CB: Yeah, for sure. And it’s like sometimes you do see some obstacles that come up, especially with planets in detriment or with fall, but sometimes people, especially when the planet is otherwise well configured as it is in her chart with that conjunction with Venus, that an area of difficulty can become an area of strength. I know early in her life, because of some major traumas that she experienced that, she became mute for almost five years, but during that time, that she developed her love for books and literature and Wikipedia says, “Her ability to listen and to observe the world around her,” and I think that’s such an important thing also since we’re talking about a nocturnal or feminine sign, or a yang sign, as you would say, which is sometimes what we would consider to be a more passive quality of listening or taking in information. And I think Pisces is one of those signs that are really good listeners and an ability to truly sit and listen and hear people, which is, in some instances, just as important of a quality as the externalized act of speaking and externalizing one’s thoughts.
AC: Yeah, absolutely. The taking it in. And that’s part of the sort of getting lost in a mystery storylines. It’s sort of like, “Well, I’m here. I need to pay attention in order to figure out who and where I am and who and where you are.” There’s that, to use water language, drinking it in. “Ok, where is this person coming from? What happened here?” So, two things related to that. One: even though Mercury definitely has a hard time in Pisces, it is having a hard time in the sign of a benefic, which is not as bad as having a hard time in the sign of a malefic. And we have these sort of mixed sort of delineations in a lot of traditional texts where it’s like, “Well, Mercury is in a Jupiter sign, so it’s good, but Mercury is in a sign where it’s in its fall, so it’s bad.” You see both of those.
CB: Yeah, that was one of the things that was brought up during the whole detriment thing a couple years ago, which is just of the pairs of the signs of contrast with detriment, the Mercury-Jupiter axis ones are the easiest ones to reconcile compared to the other one’s that are ruled by either Mars and Venus or by Saturn and the luminaries.
AC: Yeah, yeah. Totally. And back to the listening thing; the way that I present the difference or the contrasting roles of Jupiter in Sagittarius and Pisces is just sort of a quick image for a long time, is with Sag we have the priest who is speaking the truth or trying to preach the truth, or proselytize, or explain, “This is how reality is.” It could also be the philosopher lecturing. Whereas, I really see the Pisces as the confessor, right, who sits and listens to, you know, all of what’s on a person’s mind and then, of course, you know in a Catholic context, offers their understanding and then whatever methods or actions would bring a person then back to a place where they’re at peace with themselves, right, absolution, at peace with themselves and the divine. But it starts with listening.
CB: Right. Yeah, that makes so much sense. And then the last thing, just to finish off that example that Camille mentions about Maya Angelou is just that she was also a civil rights activist, which demonstrates the Piscean intention or the tendency to help heal, to correct a pain, and to dream of a more inclusive reality.
AC: Yeah, yeah.
CB: Yeah. And then we already mentioned Martin Luther King and his Pisces Moon and just the idea that “I have a dream.” One of the most famous speeches in American history, the I Have a Dream speech.
AC: Yeah. It’s very Pisces. He was a night chart, wasn’t he? So wasn’t the sect light Pisces? Pisces Moon.
CB: No. I researched this a lot. It’s supposedly- when I researched it, I don’t know if there’s been anything new in the past five-10 years since I researched it, but the Martin Luther King Museum or something like that, when I had researched it, said that he was born at noon, which sounds fishy because, you know, we don’t know, but they seemed pretty clear that he was born about midday, and so it might actually be- this is usually what’s thought to be the correct chart, which is a Taurus Rising chart with the Sun in Capricorn and the Moon at 19 degrees of Pisces with Venus also in Pisces, exalted in the 11th Whole Sign House.
AC: That’s a very believable chart. I think I saw one years and years ago that had it below the horizon. But yeah, I mean Jupiter in the first and then the Venus-Moon in Pisces in the 11th.
CB: Yeah, and Venus is actually in a mutual reception, or at least exchanging signs with Jupiter in the first, so you just have this super close tying together between the 11th house and the first house.
AC: Yeah, I mean, that certainly works. That’s very strong. And the speaking to wide groups of people with the Venus-Moon in Pisces and the speaking to the whole. Well, and throughout his career, increasingly larger wholes and being the person who was binding that together into a dream.
CB: Yeah, into a dream and also the preacher, the pastor that’s also, you know, doing partially an inspirational context and lifting people up as well as some of the sorts of pacifistic tendencies just in terms of where different people were going with different elements of the civil rights movement. And it’s interesting with him and his message that it was more that we have somebody with such prominent Pisces placements that was going in more of that direction.
AC: Yeah, well, and if we’re thinking of modes of political action, the benefic is that strong. Jupiter in the first, in mutual reception with Venus in the 11th, which is right there with the Moon, you know, benefics try to win non-violently, non-forcefully.
CB: Right. Right, which makes a lot of sense.
AC: Yeah. Let’s see, there was something… Oh!–
CB: Which almost takes us back to that avoidant quality that we talked about, but it’s that archetype underlying that, but it’s not avoidance per se. It’s something else. There’s another word there that almost is relevant in that context when we’re talking about how to win through not direct physical confrontation and almost avoiding that. Avoiding physical confrontation, but overcoming despite that.
AC: Oh, I would say that the sort of archetypal Pisces, you know, if confronted with rival/enemy/opposing faction, if you have your druthers and your operating from Pisces, you incorporate them, and you make them allies. Better than vanquishing your foes is to have your foes add to your strength by becoming allies. That’s the Jupiterian move. Right? Is that possible most of the time? No. But in an ideal world, that’s better than defeating people. That’s better than the opposing army literally putting down their swords and walking away. Even better is if they join your cause. Right? To add the strength that opposes you to the strength of your own side would be the best possible Piscean win. There’s something like- how do I put this? I think of macrophages in the bloodstream and the immune system. They just swallow pathogens. It’s not like, “I attack, and it dies.” It’s the incorporating into a larger whole.
CB: Right, that makes sense. Are there any other chart examples that you think of that comes up for you or that you’ve used or invoked as classic examples?
AC: I was just thinking the other day; I asked Kate, “Rhianna is a Pisces, right?” Because I’d just seen, I believe, the Super Bowl performance, and I was like, “That seems so Pisces.” And she was like, “Yup, Rhianna’s a Pisces.” And I think Rhianna has a little bit of the same sort of quality as Einstein. And what I mean is the sort of “pantsless genius” or the “sloppy genius” there’s a little, like Rhianna has a charm that isn’t about sort of perfectly executed Virgoan sort of detail. There’s a sort of looseness to Einstein, to Rhianna, to a lot of Pisces that’s part of what makes the genius work. It’s a little like, I should say like the shirt isn’t too tight. You know? Pisces is the only sign where both benefics are happiest, and so there’s a sense of ease, you know, even if both of them have lots of planets in other signs, but there’s this sense of ease and not being too perfectionistic or tight in a way that would restrict the flow.
CB: That’s really interesting, and it almost takes us back to that contrast between [Aquarius] being such a fixed, Saturn-ruled sign and then getting to Pisces and just loosening up and being able to breathe again.
AC: Yeah, totally. Well, and with Jupiter; we often see Jupiter being the planet of the winds. Not like the air element, but all of the sky. Bringing the wind and the rain. The life-giving air, or Prana or Numa.
CB: Alright, we’re back from a little bit of a break and ready to move into part two. So, I think we had a few examples before we move on and start contrasting with the other signs. What do you have? What is coming to mind for you right now?
AC: Ok, so famous Pisces or notable Pisces include Flavor Flav, another “pantsless genius.” Fabio.
CB: Fabio. Ok, that’s good.
AC: You can see the- while Flavor Flav and Fabio might not be immediately associated, we both have imagined characters. Flavor Flav is just, he’s playing a super imaginative, non-linear, intuitive, enthusiastic character, right? Fabio, we know Fabio. Fabio was literally best able to embody a cultural fantasy, right? It’s that intersection with dreaming, right, either to be an imaginative character or to embody something that people already imagine. I would also say, you know, bridging the “pantsless genius” and “sad Pisces” categories, the legendary Alaska Thunderfuck who is a drag queen, who is very… if you hear Alaska talk, there’s this melancholic, Saturnian sort of quality, while also being a fantastically imaginative performer even within drag. And then this is going to be a Pisces Moon, but they wouldn’t have been who they were without it, Leonard Cohen had a nearly full Moon in Pisces and that “sad Pisces” depth and world-weariness and, you know, the gaze that one only has when one has drunk deeply from the sea of tears, like Leonard Cohen all the way. You know, there’s also lots of Virgo for him, so he’s able to shape it perfectly, and Libra as well, but the Pisces Moon really anchors that chart.
CB: That’s a really good one. I was actually just talking to somebody about that recently. And it looks like we have an A time for Leonard Cohen. So, here’s the chart.
AC: Yeah, I’ve been using this one as an example for years. There are like, 12 different things that speak to being an amazing artist in this chart. It’s really good for, “Oh, where’s the talent?” It’s 13 different places, right, and they all work together.
CB: Right. So, this is around sunrise chart with a Virgo Rising and the Sun and Venus and Neptune in Virgo in the first Whole Sign House, for those listening to the audio version, and then the Moon is over in Pisces in the seventh Whole Sign House.
AC: Yeah, it’s conjunct the Part of Fortune, conjunct Fomalhaut, in a perfect antitial relationship with Jupiter, which is its ruler, which is on Spica. It’s a beautiful chart. But yeah, that chart doesn’t happen without that big Pisces Moon to anchor it. And it’s worth noting that it’s in Whole Sign seventh, and so many of Leonard Cohen’s songs are addressed to a beloved. Sometimes a named person, sometimes a mysterious other that he has a romantic entanglement with, sometimes God or the divine, but addressing that mysterious, powerful beloved other.
CB: Yeah, I mean, I was just talking to Leisa Schaim about Leonard Cohen the other day because I think she was watching a documentary about him and especially one of his most famous songs, “Hallelujah,” and how that’s just been covered like a million times.
AC: Yeah, I watched that documentary, and then Kate and I watched every documentary that we could find that he was ever in. [laughs]
CB: Okay, yeah. So that’s a really good Pisces example. What is it about- if there’s a way we could explain that, especially the “Hallelujah” song from the perspective of somebody who’s never heard of him or heard of the song before, how do you encapsulate it?
AC: Well, it does what a lot of his work does, which it entangles the individual, small, inconsequential, minuscule, even petty, with the mysterious, divine, transcendent, and overwhelming. The Pisces-Virgo axis, as we talked it about earlier, you know, he connects the smallest thing with the largest possible scope very consistently throughout his entire, gigantic body of work. And, you know, there’s beauty, but there’s love, but then there’s all the things that Kurt Cobain couldn’t tolerate, right, who was also Virgo-Pisces axis. And Leonard’s one of the people who not only, who was able to reconcile them, I think, in a lot of ways, personally, or at least consistently worked to reconcile them, but also lyrically and musically. It’s all little things and huge things and Leonard’s able to show you their inner connection rather than having them seem hopelessly irreconcilable, as they often do.
CB: Yeah, there’s a real melancholy to the song as well.
AC: Oh, and that’s one of his more upbeat songs.
CB: Okay. [laughs]
AC: You should listen to “Songs of Love and Hate.” I would say that Leonard Cohen was my goth phase. I was listening to what might seem like much darker goth industrial metal, but Leonard Cohen was the darkest vibe. I mean, literally, his going away album before he died was “You Want It Darker.” And that was addressed to God.
CB: That’s really interesting. Relevant side note because the other Pisces example I always think of, who was born within weeks of Kurt Cobain, was Billy Corgan.
AC: I was just going to say that, yeah.
CB: Okay, who has the Sun and Mercury in Pisces and he’s a funny example because Cobain was born before him, as Mercury was stationing retrograde, and then I think Corgan was born when Mercury was stationing direct, just a few weeks later, but also with a Virgo Rising, which creates a very, weirdly similar chart. The major difference is that Saturn has moved into Aries, and Venus is also no longer in Pisces, but there’s still Pisces there, and I did see on Twitter recently, a few days ago, that the astrologer S.J. Anderson pointed out that Billy Corgan and The Smashing Pumpkins album “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness” came out under Saturn in Pisces, back in the mid-1990s.
AC: Yeah, that’s really good. Yeah, the sad/goth Pisces, it’s a thing, right? It’s there with the “pantsless genius.” They may be “sad goth pantsless geniuses.” There’s a lot of that. There’s also a goofy quality to Pisces that you see in a lot of the nativities, a lot of the natives. You know, it’s sort of imagining beyond what makes sense. You know, or being more creative than what’s cool. If you’ve ever seen Billy Corgan interviewed, he’s a goofy motherfucker. You know, Flavor Flav is certainly goofy, intentionally.
CB: Yeah, Robin Williams and his Pisces Moon.
AC: Yeah, there’s a goofiness. There’s profundity in goofiness, and that’s part of the, on a personality level, the dual-bodied quality of Pisces, right? People often talk about the two fish, as if one were an alcoholic and the other is some transcendent thing. Sometimes one is profound, and the other is goofy, and they complement each other, even though it’s hard to reconcile.
CB: Yeah, I’m looking through my other files. Pisces Moon is Chris Farley, actor, and comedian from the 1990s, who is also very kind of zany. This one, I’d already used as an example the Aquarius episode because they have an Aquarius stellium, but Eddy Izzard has a Pisces Moon as well.
AC: Noted, empath, Dick Chaney.
CB: Right. [laughs] Yeah, that’s a good one. So, you mentioned your musician examples. Mine, going back to the sad melancholy Pisces thing, I have a good one which is, you know, that cover of- you know, that song by Trent Reznor, the song “Hurt”–
AC: Oh, Johnny Cash. Great musical, Pisces. Legend.
CB: Yeah, so that’s where I’m going with that. So, Trent Reznor wrote the song in the early 1990s. It was on one of his early albums, “Hurt,” and Reznor has Saturn in Pisces in the third house, which is playing a somewhat prominent position in his chart since he has Capricorn Rising, so Saturn’s actually the ruler of the Ascendant. So, Reznor writes that in the 1990s and then Johnny Cash, whose career by that time, by the 1990s and early 2000s was in some sense over, and he kind of felt left behind, and then–
AC: I think he was in his 70s by that point.
CB: Yeah, he was pretty close, really, to the end of his life. So, then recorded this cover of the Nine Inch Nails of Trent Reznor’s song “Hurt.” Interestingly, guess who suggested that cover to him. Another Pisces, Rick Ruben, who has the Sun, Jupiter, and Mercury in Pisces. We don’t have a birth time, so we’re not sure what house, but very interesting. And Rick Ruben himself, very interesting character in terms of Pisces studies and his whole approach to music and everything else, which is more, kind of just vibe-based. I was watching this interview with him a few months ago where he was like, “I don’t really know music,” he was talking about, “in a technical sense,” but he was just saying, “I know what sounds right and what sounds good and what feels good in the moment and that’s what I go with.” And that’s what people pay him for as one of the most famous music producers in modern times.
AC: Yeah, yeah. And just to get back to Johnny Cash for a second, you know, somebody who basically found their way to goth in the middle of country music. You know, he was the self-proclaimed “Man in Black.” There’s some fun songs like “We Got Married in a Fever,” or “Jackson.” But, you know, “Hurt” was not a detour into melancholy for Johnny Cash. Also, you know, if we’re doing Pisces stereotypes, another Pisces addict, right? Big part of his story.
CB: Yeah, and you know, we have a time for him, so he’s actually Pisces Rising with the Sun, and Mercury and Mars all in Pisces in the Rising sign, in the first Whole Sign House, as well as the North Node. So we’re talking about a Pisces stellium here, and in the early to mid-2000s, he just recorded this cover of Trent Reznor’s song “Hurt,” which was just- somehow, it took a song that was already kind of sad and deep, but it kind of put a completely different spin on it, a completely melancholy spin, which was just wildly successful but also, had this haunting reflective quality that was really incredible and really amazing.
AC: Yeah, yeah. And another thing that Leonard Cohen and Johnny Cash have in common is that they would use their religious upbringing and they would use reference to religious tradition without doing Christian Rock or, in Leonard Cohen’s case, Jewish Folk. But there was a relationship with the spiritual tradition that was personal, and when they did reference something, it was always very meaningful because it was something that they understood. There’s no sense of being preached at, right? But there was drawing on that deep reservoir of religious literature to make works of art.
CB: Yeah, for sure. And you see some of that imagery in the Johnny Cash cover. He changes one of the lyrics. It’s one of the few lyrics that he changes to “crown of thorns,” like an allusion to Jesus in the “Hurt” lyrics. But it’s just really interesting because–
AC: It was originally “crown of shit,” right?
CB: I believe so, yeah, which is more Trent Reznor, but it’s interesting because Trent Reznor’s reaction to it, once he saw the music video and stuff, after initial trepidation of having his song covered by this older sort of country artist when he saw it, he had this reaction reportedly that Johnny Cash had really made the song his own and had elevated it in a way. And it’s interesting seeing the sort of Pisces chain of events there, with initially the starting point of Reznor’s Saturn in Pisces and then Rick Ruben as a Pisces stellium sort of suggesting it and vibing it out and feeling like this might be a good idea, and then Johnny Cash having his Mercury there in Pisces adopting it in that way and making it his own, through his own way of just retelling and speaking the same song but giving it a soul and giving it a depth that it almost didn’t have in the previous version, in a unique way.
AC: Yeah. The Pisces chain of custody.
CB: Right, yeah. There’s just something about that and you know, there’s different versions of that, but we also see versions of that that we’ve talked about, like the family chain of custody. You know, your familial Pisces hereditary line, and we’ve talked about that in previous episodes where I have my own, where it’s like my mom and dad were both Scorpio’s, my grandfather was a Scorpio Sun, so on and so forth, that you see things like that in families, and the passing down of certain qualities or archetypes, but then you also sometimes see that with people that work together and do certain things as well, like in this instance there’s something about the Pisces quality that’s almost being handed down there, or that creates the connection between those three people.
AC: Absolutely. You know, in all honesty, I do have the feeling sometimes when I find out someone is a Pisces or I meet someone, and I know they’re a Pisces when I talk to them. I do kind of feel like we’re all part of this secret Pisces conspiracy like we all know a little something or have access to something that nobody else knows about. And maybe that’s something that everybody feels with their sign brethren, but yeah, it feels like a little bit of a Pisces conspiracy.
CB: I mean, if it’s like Pisces Fight Club, what’s the first rule of Pisces Fight Club? I mean, Scorpio is still definitely that you don’t talk about Scorpio Fight Club, but what would be Pisces’? Rule one or two?
AC: So, one: you shouldn’t have to say it.
AC: This is not Mercury’s domain. It’s not Saturn’s domain. You don’t make rules, and it can’t be explicitly stated. If you know, then you know.
CB: Right. It’s just conveyed with a look, with a vibe.
AC: It’s a vibe.
CB: Yeah. I get it. Alright, I like that. Alright, are there any other examples that you wanted to mention? I think those were some of my core ones. I think we’re pretty good at this point.
AC: Yeah, let’s not talk about Justin Bieber. If I can disown him if I can boot him out of the Pisces conspiracy, I would, but–
CB: Yeah, I mean, he’s starting his Saturn return. It’s interesting seeing, on the one hand, some of the older Saturn in Pisces people starting their Saturn return, like the fact that Trent Reznor is starting his Saturn return right now is pretty wild and is making me feel kind of old. But also that some of the people are hitting their first Saturn return right now, like Justin Bieber, that is also pretty striking.
AC: [laughs] Yeah, yeah. The Saturn in Pisces who are having their second return are an interesting sub-generation because they all have the Pisces-Virgo tension. Whether there are personal planets there or not, they all have both Uranus and Pluto in [Virgo], and so Cobain and Reznor and all those mid-60s people, Corgan, you know, they all have that tension, which, you know, if you can work it out can be interesting. Pisces-Virgo tension, again, well resolved, looks like Leonard Cohen or, I believe, Richard Tarnas, who, if I’m not mistaken, is a Pisces Sun with Saturn in Virgo. Where, in Tarnas’ work, in Cosmos and Psyche, you have vast historical and planetary cycles backed up with minute detail. It’s that same vast and tiny reconciliation or bridging.
CB: Yeah, totally, or even Robert Downey Jr. is a good example of somebody who had his struggles at one point early in life and where there was a period in the late 1990s, and early 2000s where it seemed like his struggles with drug and alcohol abuse were going to drag him down, and he went from somebody who was a leading man to somebody who was having trouble getting cast in roles in Hollywood because it was too much of a liability, and he was sort of in and out of jail, but then was able to make a comeback and able to overcome some of those issues and then eventually go on to become one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood for a period of time.
AC: Yeah, yeah. You know, I don’t want to overplay this because I feel like this element of Pisces ends up eclipsing others that are important to recognize, but the fall from grace and pursuit of salvation, within and also well outside of a Christian context, is something you find relatively often with Pisces stories. There is the fall from grace, which in life often looks like, “And then they got addicted to heroin,” or, “Then they started doing vodka for breakfast,” or, you know, whatever, but that rising and then falling out of grace through whatever mechanism and then seeking atonement or salvation from, you know, whatever dragged them into the depths, is a Pisces thing.
CB: Yeah. One of my most famous ones that was relevant ten years ago was Charlie Sheen, who had Saturn in Pisces in the 10th house and, you know, I think, was the highest-paid actor on television for a period of several years, but then through some struggles with different substance abuse and things like that, he just had this wildly public sort of implosion where everything sort of fell apart over a period of time in a very public manner. And then needing to pick up the pieces and put things back together after that over the course of the past decade.
AC: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s interesting, right, because if we’re talking about Saturn in Pisces, as I joked at the very beginning, it’s sort of mandatory Pisces, even if you’re Sun in Virgo, you’re a practical person, getting dragged into these Piscean places and challenges and storylines, right, you know, becoming lost. It’s interesting we talk about, dissolution with water, right, water dissolves things. We talk about a person’s dissolution, right, which is often what’s happening when they’re in the throws of a sort of long-way-down storyline, right, where the person loses a sense of who they are and who they should be and their relationship to the world. And dissolving is neutral. Dissolution can be very positive. For example, the dissolution of a kidney stone is what you would long for if you had a kidney stone. But the dissolution of identity and place in the world and connection is not good.
CB: Right, but then sometimes people find themselves there. They find something there that’s really valuable in hitting rock bottom because it’s only in hitting that point and experiencing the loss of everything that you truly find empathy for everyone or can relate to the hardship of other people through experiencing that yourself. And there’s almost something about that process that maybe is really important, especially for Saturn in Pisces, and can sometimes lead to great inspiration.
I’m thinking of Frida Kahlo and her Saturn in Pisces, and obviously, she had other things going on in her chart, but just the way in which a lot of her hardships and traumas and losses in life or even deaths and other things, or injuries ended up informing her artwork and her paintings and how through her paintings she was able to escape and able to, not just have inspiration but also have an escape from the bounds of her physical, you know, restraints, being stuck in bed and stuff, and not being able to do anything else. But then finding a sort of escape, creatively, through painting.
AC: Yeah, that’s interesting. Saturn in Pisces is a confinement in one’s imagination.
AC: Which is where all the nightmares live, of course.
CB: Sometimes. All the–
AC: I mean, nightmares are- there are bad things in reality, but, you know, nightmares are all dreams, and I think it’s really important to include nightmares whenever we talk about a Pisces being dreamy or we talk about just the layer of reality dreams are that intersects with ours.
AC: You know, in waking reality, all horror is finite. But dreams have infinite bliss and also boundless horror.
CB: Right, yeah, that’s true. For some reason, it makes me think of Robert Zoller, who was an astrologer who passed away a few years ago. He had Pisces Rising, and the Moon in Pisces with the ruler, Jupiter, in Scorpio in the ninth house, and I remember him telling me at one point about how he was really sick growing up, and that kept him confined to bed sometimes, but in that, he would read a lot of books, and that was his initial, gateway eventually into astrology, was through that; through literature and other things like that, eventually heading in that direction.
AC: That’s interesting.
CB: That might be good for examples just of standalone Pisces stuff. We’re starting to get into different planetary placements in this sign. We might want to continue on through some of our contrasts because one of the things I usually like to do in these episodes is just start doing some deliberate comparisons between Pisces and some of the other signs that we haven’t contrasted yet. How does that sound to you?
AC: That sounds great.
CB: Alright, so why don’t we start- we’ve already done this a little bit, but why don’t we start by contrasting, because it’ll be shorter, with the other two water signs. So Pisces is the mutable water sign, but then we also have Cancer, which is the cardinal water sign, and we have Scorpio, which is the fixed water sign. I know that we’ve talked, oftentimes, about water analogies, and one of the water analogies I like with Scorpio as fixed water is an ice cube, which is something that’s hard and somewhat immovable unless you melt it. And there’s certain circumstances in which it can become flexible, but its initial starting point is sort of something hard, whereas, with Pisces, we’re talking about the ocean or something that is already in its most moveable and impressionable state.
AC: Yeah, I would add to that, I think with Scorpio and fixed water, I think of liquids moving in one direction. One example, drawn from the scorpion’s body, being the hypodermic action of the stinger, right, which is also how medicine or many medicines are injected, right, but it’s water moving in one direction. The other is a stream or river which flows in one direction, whereas if we look at a large standing body of water like an ocean, the way it’s back and forth, and there’s subtle currents and highways underneath it that change over time, you know, there are hidden streams and there’s not one direction of movement. It’s not like the water flows from New England to Spain, right, in one direction. It’s very confusing.
CB: Right. So, in terms of the things, so they’re both nocturnal or feminine signs. They’re both water signs. We’re talking here mainly about the difference between the modality of fixed versus mutable. They also have the difference of Mars as the ruler of Scorpio versus Jupiter, and that more the optimism versus the pessimism to some extent of Scorpio. I’m trying to think of some of the other qualities. First, maybe how do they get along, or what is it that they share in common where they see eye to eye on things. I think one of the things is having an emotional or intuitive sense of vibing things out and having a vibe about things and having an orientation maybe towards life or towards circumstances and events that is based on some sort of almost instinctual level to a certain extent.
AC: I would say that both have an appreciation for intuition, but I think, and I speak as someone who, I am completely surrounded by Scorpio and Scorpio Rising in my life. Almost everybody who I work with, who I’m married to, a lot of my friends, it’s just Scorpios all the way down, either Rising or Sun or lots of planets. I think Scorpio and Pisces agree strongly that there’s more going on than you can see on the surface, right? They’re both interested in what is occluded or mysterious and think that that is relevant to take into consideration before figuring out how to proceed. They both agree that there are things beneath the waves, and we should figure that out.
CB: That’s great. I love that. So, one version of that might be thinking of looking for the big-picture things. Things happening behind the scenes. The almost, I don’t know how else to phrase it, but the conspiracy theory. The thing of what’s really going on, perhaps, as being an orientation for both signs.
AC: Yeah, that’s a good way to put it. Because it’s like, “Ok, what’s really going on?” And there’s instant agreement that, “Yeah, that’s a good question. We should figure that out.” And bringing different frames to that, but both very interested in that question.
CB: Right, because that goes back to how Pisces is looking at the big picture, whereas Scorpio is digging down deep and getting to the bottom of things. And I think in doing that they both sometimes can be interested in going to the same place.
AC: Yeah, definitely. What’s going on underneath? And I would say that something that the two share that is just a water sign thing that Cancer is also interested in is there’s a great interest in motive when thinking about people. There’s what people did, but why did they do that? Right? Understanding motive for different reasons is very important to all the water signs.
CB: That makes sense.
AC: Where are they coming from? Why did they say that?
CB: Right. Alright, so those are reasons why they get along. What are some differences between Scorpio versus Pisces?
AC: Oh, differences?
CB: What is something they maybe clash on or that we would use to differentiate them?
AC: Yeah, so the Pisces sort of critique of Scorpio is Scorpio gets stuck on things and takes things too personally.
AC: And then why don’t you give me the Scorpio critique of Pisces rather than me? We’ve got a Scorpio right here. I don’t need to stand in for Scorpio.
CB: No, I think that’s a really good one. I think the reverse would be being too flaky and not being serious enough about things or not treating the interpersonal relationship and the trust that it involves with the level of seriousness- I don’t know how to explain that- but the level of intensity of the interpersonal relationship, while sometimes I think Virgo and Scorpio connect on that sometimes and having an emotional connection with things, and caring about things deeply emotionally, I think sometimes the laxness of Pisces can sometimes be hard for Scorpio.
AC: Yeah, I see that.
CB: Or lack of consistency, I guess I should say.
AC: Yeah, the way that I can see that with Scorpio is I see people being like, “Are you committed?” Commitment, emotional commitment, loyalty, you know, with Scorpio, Scorpio is very much like, “Are we on the same team? Or are we not on the same team? Are you doing this, or are you not doing this?” And Pisces’ back and forth energy I see being very frustrating sometimes to my many Scorpio friends and companions and marriage partners.
CB: That makes sense. Alright, so let’s go back to Pisces and Cancer and some of the contrast there of the things they connect with versus the things that are a little bit different between those two signs. It’s interesting because you have both Cancer and Pisces placements.
AC: Yeah, and I have the ruler of Pisces in Cancer. So, I might be worse at this. Let’s see. I would say that, so in terms of agreements, Pisces and Cancer are both really interested in the exploration of personal depth, of all the layers of a person’s mind and psychology and the different ecologies of feeling inside that. I think there’s a point of agreement there. Again, I think the point of disagreement is going to be similar to Scorpio but meaningfully different. Pisces just wants the frame to be bigger. Cancer sticks with a very personal, much more tightly bounded sort of frame. When I think of Cancer, I think of building the shell around the one oasis where the freshwater comes up. That’s life and death. It’s super important. Only family and chosen family allowed inside, and that’s where the water is. That’s who gets the water and that’s it. And so there’s an intensity of relationship that is, you know, similar to Scorpio, but you know, meaningfully different. Again, the Pisces difference, and this is a sect difference. So, both Cancer and Scorpio have night-sect planets. You know, both the Moon and Mars. They’re both very personal, right? They’re much closer to earth, whereas Jupiter is a giant, gas giant, and, you know, much further away than either Mars or the Moon, and just wants the framing to be bigger and less personal. All the day sect planets are bigger and less personal.
CB: That makes a lot of sense. So it’s like Cancer’s orientation to wanting to help out and support and provide sustenance to the family unit or, you know, whatever the tribal unit is, the country, or nationalism sometimes, or just different units of identifying who is family and then doing what you can to support that, versus Pisces having a more universal orientation towards wanting to help and wanting to be supportive. You know, helping an international charity or doing volunteer work at a soup kitchen or something like that is much more of a Pisces thing compared to Cancer and wanting to support one’s family and be there for them and always.
AC: Yeah, the same water is much more diffuse in Pisces, which allows it greater scope, but I think both Scorpio and Cancer are frustrated at the lack of concentration of the water. Being like, “No, we’re trying to put it all right here because this is what’s important.”
CB: Right, the lack of discrimination.
AC: Yeah, or what might be read as that. Or a lack of, I would say… let me think. Focus is one–
CB: Focus, intensity. Focus of the stream, of the output of energy.
AC: Yeah, the concentration of emotional resources. Both are much more concentrated in Cancer and in Scorpio.
CB: That makes sense. That makes a lot of sense. Alright, perfect. So I think that’s good for the water signs. Moving on to the other ones that Pisces shares in common is the four mutable signs. And we’ve already talked about this quite a bit with Pisces and Virgo, so the other two we need to talk about are Sagittarius, the other Jupiter-ruled sign, which is also a mutable sign ruled by Jupiter, but it’s a masculine sign, and it’s a fire sign, compared to the water of Pisces. And then also Gemini, ruled by Mercury, which is a mutable sign, but it’s an air sign, and it is also contrasting with masculine or diurnal.
AC: Yeah, so let’s do Sag first. So as I mentioned earlier, in terms of Jupiterian roles, Sagittarius is much more preaching the truth, lecturing on the truth, active. Putting it out there to try to convince or seeking it, hunting it. The whole archetype of the spiritual seeker is a Sagittarius thing. They’re hunting down, you know, what’s real, or holy, or good.
CB: Like the “globetrotter” literally externally traveling around in search for something, or wandering or looking around externally versus the internalization of the wandering in Pisces.
AC: I would also say, you know, pursuit is such a key Sagittarius thing. Pursuit is not a Pisces thing. Again, it’s more you get those storylines where you kind of stumble into a mystery. And reality itself is a mystery, and it’s always there. Right? The self is a mystery. It’s always there. The object of salvation, transcendence, truth, mystery; it’s just omnipresent with Pisces, whereas with Sag, there’s a going in search of a thing. And often, there’s the desire to accomplish a thing, which is much more incidental in Pisces, I think.
CB: Yeah, that’s a good point. With Sagittarius, one of the things that came up when we talked about that sign was the overwhelming optimism of Sagittarius and the need for that optimism. That optimism being a driving force in some instances that will push forward and sometimes allow them to do more and go further than others might be able to or dream of through sheer force of will and that optimism carrying them forward, in some instances, the closest you can get to whatever the real version of that notion of manifesting something, of just being carried forward through that optimism. While there’s a positiveness or an optimism there in Pisces as well, that they share in common, it’s interesting that one of the themes we‘ve come across a lot is still a sadness or melancholy sometimes, with Pisces, which is an interesting contrast, despite them both being Jupiter-ruled signs.
AC: Oh, yeah. At that point when we named melancholy signs, Sag is probably going to be last or second last on that list, right?
AC: So there’s a similar issue of concentration with Sag as there is with Scorpio. It’s not the water that’s being concentrated, it’s the Jupiter power, right? And it’s literally coming to a single point, you know when an arrow is. If we think of the horse, which the centaur evokes, horses have to have blinders so that they go along the right path. Because if they can see everything, if they do Pisces vision, you know, with eyes on each side of their head like fish, they get super distracted, and so there’s this concentration of everything to get something done in Sagittarius.
CB: Yeah, that makes sense. And that productiveness. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I’m trying to think of anything else.
AC: I would say that with Sag, you very often see a tremendous amount of energy being focused on either accomplishing something or being a particular kind of person. To achieve the elevated version of oneself or the more divine version of the self, there’s this striving either internally or externally where Pisces is much more interested in understanding what’s already here and what’s already going on. Like, “Maybe that wasn’t a mistake. Maybe I’m just moving with the tide. Maybe I’m not being lazy. Maybe moving in what I thought was in concert with the universe was just an excuse.” But there’s the trying to understand what’s already going on rather than like, “I’m going to be that. I’m going to accomplish that.” With Sag, I think, is the sign that I think best approximates the classic quest story, where, you know, there’s a problem, here’s your sacred mission, go and achieve the quest. The entire world, or kingdom, or whatever, depends on you doing the sacred thing. That’s Sag.
CB: Yeah, almost a hero’s journey type thing.
AC: Yeah, whereas Pisces is just like, “Oh, what is the nature? Why did this story come about? Is the dragon our enemy? Why is the dragon angry?”
CB: Right. It’s like that moral of the story where you’re not slaying the dragon, you’re the one that finds out that the dragon just has a nail in its foot, and by removing it, you befriend it, and the whole thing is resolved.
CB: Through non-violent, ironically non-violent means.
AC: Yeah, right. With Pisces, the entire story can change by changing the understanding of what’s going on, right? “Oh my god, I was the dragon the whole time.” That sort of trope of the schizophrenic protagonist where the story changes for the viewer because then you see the other side of the protagonist. To a certain degree, in “Fight Club,” you’re like, “Oh, this was the same person the whole time.” And there are a variety of other stories like that. “Final Fantasy VII,” where the story changes because it catches up to reality because the person is becoming, the protagonist is becoming more integrated in their perceptions.
CB: Love that. I’m just looking up some directors like that.
AC: I think I’m framing Pisces accurately here as fascinating but useless. [laughs] It’s like, “Why don’t you go slay the dragon?” “Well, I’m trying to understand the genesis of dragons and humans and how did this story come about in the first place.”
CB: Yeah. I’m trying to think. I was just looking up David Fincher, and he has Jupiter in Pisces, which is funny in terms of “Fight Club” and the movie you just mentioned, but who is the other major person that became like that, where every- in the 1990s, after “The Sixth Sense”?
AC: Oh, with a twist. The Shyamalan twist.
CB: M. Night Shyamalan, okay.
AC: But yeah, it’s just, it’s its own genre or category or trope. Another one would be “Memento.”
CB: Oh, yeah. Well, that’s an interesting one because that’s the same director we were talking about earlier with “Inception.” So there are interesting recurring themes like that.
AC: What’s his name? I don’t remember.
CB: What was the other- so with “Memento,” can you expand on that?
AC: Oh, so in “Memento,” the protagonist loses their memory every day, and so they wake up, and they have all these notes written to themselves so they can figure out what’s going on, but they have to start over again and figure out what’s going on and who they are every single day.
CB: Right. And it’s also told backward, so it’s like that and I think of that like something that’s told in reverse chronology, but also other types of storytelling, non-linear storytelling, I think would be a Pisces thing.
AC: Yeah, and that goes back to what we were talking about in the beginning about the relationship to time.
CB: And time being sometimes more fluid than other people, or sometimes it’s normally conceptualized or treated by other signs.
AC: Yeah, it’s definitely, especially the two signs which precede Pisces, right? It’s definitely experiential or soul time, rather than calendar time, that Pisces is interested in.
CB: That makes a lot of sense. And that makes me think of, you know, Quentin Tarantino, who has Jupiter in Pisces, and how his most successful movie to date was “Pulp Fiction,” and that part of the novelty of “Pulp Fiction” was that it wasn’t told sequentially. Parts of the story are told out of order, and it doesn’t all become clear until the very end what the different sequences are that you’re watching at different points.
AC: Yeah, yeah. And that particular quality that everything makes sense only when all the context is there, that’s the Pisces. That’s, in a sense, the holy grail that Pisces is looking for, right? It’s like, “Well, there’s this, but, you know, the meaning isn’t clear until you can hold it against this, this, and that.”
CB: Yeah, and that goes back, archetypally, to the big picture thing, that you’ve got to be able to see the big picture in order to fully understand things because if you zoom in too far, which is the opposite, which is more of a Virgo thing, sometimes you might miss the forest for the trees.
AC: Yeah, right, you get the details of that instant or those happenings correctly, but what it means in terms of the overall plot isn’t revealed by those details.
CB: For sure. Alright, so–
AC: Just one quick note on that. So, if we were drawing houses with Aries being the very first, then Pisces at the 12th, so that there’s some resonance there, but then also if we look at the Thema Mundi, right, the chart of the creation of the world, Pisces is the ninth house. Which is, you know, “What’s really going on?” is the question, is the question of the ninth house, where we see the religion of the native and what they think reality is.
CB: Yeah, and going back to the big picture thing, that is, the other thing that Pisces and Sagittarius share in common is that big picture orientation, and then that’s contrasted with Virgo, as we’ve already talked about, but then also Gemini, so maybe that’s what we should focus on next is the contrast between Pisces versus Gemini.
AC: It’s interesting, right? Because we’re doing another Mercury-ruled sign, but it’s not opposite, and it’s not earth.
AC: Virgo values a concreteness that Gemini, you know, incidentally values, but it’s not a core thing. So, you know, as far as qualifications and personal relationships, I have a Gemini Moon, and several of the examples I gave are also Pisces Suns with Gemini Moons. So, I would say Gemini and Pisces both have a huge range of motion. Being air and water, and both mutable, what they have in common is that there’s a wide variety, there’s a great range of states of being and of ways of looking at themselves. Somebody with the Sun in Gemini will not have a simple idea of who they are, right? They’ll need to explain all their different sides and, you know, this and that. And a Pisces will give you something similarly large and complicated and seemingly self-contradictory. I think the difference is that Gemini doesn’t take it so seriously. Gemini is happy to be like, “Yup, life is full of contradictions.”
CB: Right, and to be less disturbed by that.
AC: Yeah, if we’re talking about sort of sign stereotypes, the sad Gemini is less a thing than the Jekyll and Hyde Gemini because Gemini is active if there’s- the negativity isn’t just a sadness that they sit with. It’s sort of like, “Okay, well fuck the world.” You know, “The world has played a trick on me. I’m going to play tricks on the world.” It’s much more active. And yeah, and doesn’t want to just sit with the endlessness of something. The uncountable endlessness of something is not Gemini fuel. Because the Moon in Gemini is the ruler of my Ascendant, so I have strong Gemini motivation, and I literally will be two leagues deep in Pisces sea, and the Gemini side is like, “Yeah, but fuck this. Let’s go do something else.” Right? Or like, “Yeah, that’s there, but I don’t know, are we doing anything useful? Are we learning anything from drifting slowly deeper?” And sometimes the answer is yes, but the Gemini is sort of like, “Is it necessary to withstand the pressure of the depths?” Right? Gemini like, we talk about soggy, winged, drowned Mercury. The slowly increasing pressure of the deep sea is not a natural environment for Gemini, you know, it’s uncomfortable. They can appreciate Pisces’ imaginativeness and flexibility, but they don’t want to hang out with the sad Pisces too long, unless they’re in the same person.
CB: Yeah, there’s definitely an orientation towards keeping things light and keeping things a little more surface level with Gemini, which is definitely a bit of a tension with Pisces.
AC: Yeah, Gemini wants to move nimbly across the surface.
CB: For sure.
AC: Gemini wants to know that there are depths below but doesn’t want to get stuck in them.
CB: Right. That makes sense. A famous Pisces-Gemini contrast nativity is Alexander Graham Bell, who developed the telephone and telegraph and had Sun, Saturn, and Mercury in Pisces, squaring Jupiter in Gemini.
AC: Oh, mhmm, mhmm.
CB: So, communication. Alright, that’s pretty good for Gemini. I think that might be it for the mutable axis. So, what comes after that when it comes to Pisces? So we’ve got to do usually the sextiles. We’ve done the trines, so the other ones would be the sextiles, so Pisces relating to either Capricorn, the sextile in front, or to Taurus, which is the sextile on the other side.
AC: Ok, which would you like to begin with?
CB: Let’s do Capricorn, just because it’s easier because we’ve talked about it a little bit, in terms of the contrast with Saturn already with Aquarius, but this one is a softer contrast, where Pisces has more in common with Capricorn, being also a feminine sign or being a nocturnal sign or a yang sign. I think there’s more relatability between these two as an earth and water sign.
AC: Yeah, I would say that, whereas with Pisces we’re, you know, again, with yin or feminine or nocturnal signs, it’s sort of like, “Okay, I’m in this situation,” rather than, “I caused this situation.” With Pisces, it’s, “I’m in the situation of being conscious in a world,” right, which is as much immaterial as it is material. I think with Capricorn you also have this sort of awareness of, “Oh, okay, so I’m in a world of both physical and social laws.” And Capricorn is much more concrete than Pisces, but both of them are interested in the field in which they find themselves, right? Capricorn says, “Oh, I’m in a mountainous region. It’s ruled by a state government, and then that’s ruled by a national government, and, you know, what are the rules of where I am?”
And Pisces is also, Pisces is half-interested in that, but is also interested in the, you know, all the invisible stuff that’s, you know, non-material and non-concrete. The combination can make for very- if we’re thinking about the Capricorn modifying the Pisces- very structurally effective, sad Pisces. Like, “Ah, yes, this is the world. Not only the world of the soul but the world of matter, and this is what we can do here. And this is what we can and can’t build here.”
CB: Yeah, that’s a good point since Capricorn is one of the other goth signs, and there’s a similarity there or connection in terms of sometimes the connection through sort of melancholy sometimes.
AC: Yeah, I think what Pisces can offer Capricorn is some sense of redemption or salvation. Not making the world go away but redeeming the fallen world, whereas Capricorn can help Pisces really see the mechanics of the world as it is and has been. And yeah, you’re right, it’s another goth sign. They can totally work together to make beautiful industrial dance music.
CB: Right. That is the most important thing. Alright, I think that’s pretty good. There’s something else there, but it’s not quite formulated yet, so maybe we can move on to the other sign, which has a much greater connection and easier flow because the connection of the ruler, but Pisces and Taurus, which is a fixed earth sign, ruled by Venus, and Venus also has its exaltation in the sign of Pisces, so I think there’s even closer connection here between these two. Pisces has a sort of optimism and the escapism, and I think there’s a bit of that when it comes to Taurus because, with Taurus, we saw earlier in this series, sometimes the escape or the indulgence of sensual pleasures and the attractiveness of material things and the enjoyment of those. I think there’s a similarity in terms of Pisces and Taurus liking to enjoy or indulge in the good things and the nice things in life.
AC: Absolutely. And that brings us to the exaltation of Venus in Pisces. You know, so with all of the cosmic and sometimes melancholy meanderings of Pisces, what it often brings you back to is just the nature of experience. Like, “So, what is the argument against enjoying what there is to enjoy?” Right? All those Pisces twists and turns, you come back to a very pro-Venus place. Right? Where it’s like, “Well, should probably be nice to people, enjoy your relationships and enjoy what there is to enjoy.” You know, whether that’s food, drink, friendship, art, etc., etc. And so, you know, Pisces gets to it differently, but that’s a huge point of agreement with Taurus. You know, Taurus says, “Hey, here’s a really nice thing.” Pisces instantly says, “I love nice things. Why wouldn’t I? The world is a veil of suffering.” You know? [laughs]
CB: Right, “It’s a veil of suffering, but why don’t we try to make it better for other people,” I think is something that I see as a recurring theme with Pisces that seems really important that keeps coming up over and over again, like why not try to improve it for those that are having a hard time or for those that are less able to, you know, enjoy it because of something that’s holding them back.
AC: Yeah, although I would say that I think Pisces is equally self and other interested in because it’s the same suffering, right, it’s the same compassion, you have the… You know, I don’t know, I could be wrong or speaking too personally here, but I do think with Pisces, it’s sort of like, “I am part of the joy and suffering of the universe. So are you.” There’s a tendency to weight that equally. I think Pisces will use it as an excuse there, altruism, like, “No, I’m doing this because I care so much about other people,” but they generally care just as much about themselves. Not more, it’s not like secret narcissism. It’s just sort of like, you know, we’re both species of experiencing beings, and why not have the good chocolate? With Taurus, we should all have the good chocolate.
CB: Right. That makes sense. I’m just looking up some Venus in Pisces examples, and it’s sometimes artists like Vincent van Gogh had Venus and Mars on the Midheaven with Neptune in Pisces. And there is his chart with Cancer Rising. Or I also have another one which is Hans Christian Andersen, who was a Venus and Pluto in Pisces because he was born in 1805 and wrote famous children’s stories and things like that.
AC: Yeah, yeah. Venus in Pisces is a nice position. One thing that I think is important to say, and this is part of the Pisces vibe in general, the reason why Venus exalts there is Venus is good at letting go of things, or better at letting go of things in Pisces than the other place where it’s strong and not as focused on form. There’s a little bit of a like, “If it emerges, enjoy it. If it’s there to enjoy, you enjoy it. And if it goes away, it goes away,” right? Pisces is the only mutable sign where Venus is very happy to be. Right? Because it’s there, and then it’s gone, and it’s easier to let go. Taurus is not great at letting go. And with Libra, it brings all of these, in a sense, the rules of proper Venusian interaction to Venus, which is supportive of Venus, but things have to be this way and that way, and it goes back to something I was saying about the sloppy genius energy that Pisces sometimes has, where it’s like, “No, no. It doesn’t have to be perfect.” In some ways, it’s better if it’s not perfect. That little bit of flaw, that small flaw on a beautiful person, makes them more beautiful than if they were flawless. And it makes it easier to accept. You know, it’s easier to be liked if you present yourself as imperfect versus if you try to live up to perfection, right, then you’re going to off-put people, and you’re going to be frustrated yourself, whereas Pisces is a little bit of the other fish with the beautiful one.
CB: That’s really important because that brings up a super important keyword for Pisces, which is “humility.” I think Pisces, more than any other sign, is able to develop a sense of humility, and that seems like it’s one of its core principles for Pisces.
AC: I’m searching to see if we can characterize that more deeply. I feel like humility is not the wrong word, but that there’s a sub-version or sub-category that’s bang-on for Pisces. Virgo is very good at humbling themselves before a task or before accomplishing something. Setting the ego aside in order to X or Y.
CB: Right. Often times Virgos can be very helpful to help somebody else do something.
AC: Yeah, yeah. And really willing to set themselves aside to be of service. With Pisces, I think it’s the big context-seeking that just makes the individual feel less important or less centered. A lot of the other things I was saying where I think the Pisces energy is like, “Oh, I’m one instance of an archetype,” or, “My particular suffering, in this case, is one of many versions. That suffering has happened ten billion times.” This is just, “Oh, I’m having this joy. Billions have had this joy before.” I think that context, I think it, how should I say, drains the ego to some degree that might come across as humility.
CB: Yeah, there’s another theme also we’re getting to here. One of the things that comes up in Christianity, for example, and like Jesus and sacrificing yourself for something bigger, and that idea of self-sacrifice sometimes seems like a Pisces thing, and sometimes that’s a positive thing, and sometimes it’s about, you know, devoting yourself to something bigger or donating your time or resources or other things in order to help those that are less advantaged than you or the disadvantaged.
Sometimes it can be spun in a not-great way where it can be sort of painting yourself as the victim or something like that, like unnecessary self-sacrifice or unnecessary undermining of oneself and one’s own ego and own needs and things like that. Like giving up your own needs when it’s almost going too far, and you’re pushing that tendency, so you’re not supporting yourself by just giving everything away. And having no boundaries or no stopping point for that, but it seems like there’s some themes there that we’re getting to as well.
AC: Yeah, I would say that those cluster very strongly around the third decan. They’re there in other parts of the sign, but really the third decan has that as a focus, and it’s searching for something worth giving everything to. Right? And I think one of the giant frustrations there and great sources of pain is giving everything to something and then finding out that it wasn’t worth it, right, that’s what you thought- when you were talking about Jesus. Jesus literally expurgates the sin of all of humankind with that one death, right? That’s a much more glorious and wonderful thing than just having a cool rest of your life. Also, he’s God and comes back in a couple days. But that’s the kind of thing that’s worth self-sacrifice for. But, you know, in life, you know, you don’t get that kind of deal. And so they want to be able to give everything to something or someone, and then it just ends up like, “Oh, it’s just a normal person.” It wasn’t love itself that you gave yourself to, it was just some person of average virtue and vice. Or, you know, a cause where you thought this would really change things and make it better, and it’s like, “Well, it kind of helped.” Right? I think that kind of seeking what you can, what’s worth filling a cup of blood for, is very important, especially to third decan, but it is a Pisces thing. Because, again, I think it comes from the limited valuation of the self, where it’s like, “Well, I’m not that important.”
CB: Yeah, and sometimes that can be not a good thing, like the undervaluing of oneself. Maybe some of the things we were talking about earlier about feeling sadness or some of those feelings can be through a dimin- I’m having trouble finding the word.
AC: Is it diminution?
CB: Something like that. It might be something especially with the Sun in Pisces, and maybe that’s why the association happens because we were specifically talking about those that have the Sun there and the ego sometimes being subsumed under something larger, but some of the ways that comes to is by undervaluing the self or one’s own ego in a way.
AC: Yeah, well, and if we think about the Sun in Pisces from just an essential dignity point of view, almost every other planet does better in Pisces than the Sun. The Sun’s really got no minor dignities. I guess the best you could say is that the Sun and Jupiter are friends and that it’s visiting one of Jupiter’s places, but the Sun doesn’t particularly like water signs. There are no solar decans. There are no bounds of the Sun. And so yeah, the Sun isn’t actively impeded in the way that Mercury is, but kind of has nothing to work with. If we look at sort of solar things, like creating a strong, healthy, stable identity. There’s nothing about being in Pisces that’s really particularly helpful for that. It’s all very fascinating, right, but none of these big themes and all that stuff but it’s like, “Yeah, who are you? That’s going to be the same as tomorrow?” And we see that to a certain degree with the absolute lack of aspect between Leo, the Sun’s home, and Pisces. It’s not even opposite, it’s just sort of completely sideways from it.
CB: I think part of that is- maybe go back to- I have something here about the charity inclination of Pisces and that inclination going to its ultimate conclusion, which is, you know, what more could you give, what’s more important that you could give up than yourself and your entire self to something? And to give that up to a cause or toward some bigger thing to give yourself to that in its entirety.
AC: Yeah, great work, a great love. Because yeah, I think that a little bit of the default Pisces relationship to the solar is like, “Well, what is this good for? I mean, I guess it’s ok, but could I trade it for something cool?” Right? “Could I trade it for something Jupiterian?” Right? “Could I trade it for something Venusian?” I think the default Pisces answer is “Yes.” Those are greater goods than the solar good.
AC: Quick example; George Washington, who is the military leader during the Revolutionary War and was offered Kingship, literally offered the archetypal Sun role and was like, “Ehhh, could we trade that for something better?” Right? “Let’s try democracy instead. A very limited form of democracy. And could we do something instead of the solar?”
CB: Right, so he set the precedent of giving up the presidency and relinquishing power for the greater sake of the institution and the ideal of the new government that they’d created.
AC: Right, it’s like, it would be cooler if we started something that maybe doesn’t replicate the mistakes of the past. We try something that we’ve never tried before. That would be much cooler than having a crown. Like choosing the Jupiterian or the Venusian over the solar.
CB: Yeah, that makes so much sense. Alright, that’s really good. I don’t know how we got there from Taurus, but–
CB: That was a pretty good digression and–
AC: Yeah, I think we just started talking about the Sun in Pisces and self-sacrifice.
CB: I mean, something I do know that’s almost relevant is I do remember a friend of mine and astrologer named Kirk. My friend Kirk Khan who is an astrologer that was my age and he, always wanted to do stuff for the community and he always wanted to give stuff away for free, and we always had this funny tension between us where I always wanted him to create his stuff but have it support himself when he made posters, he would always hardly charge anything for them because he just wanted people to have that. He wanted to do that community service, even in instances where he was sometimes struggling financially to get by, there was a tension between his greater idealism toward wanting to contribute to astrology or the astrological community or help out other people and we did lots of great community work with the Association for Young Astrologers and helping, you know, young astrologers get to conferences who were disadvantaged or didn’t have a lot of money to make it to things like that or put them up in a room to stay, but there was always a tension sometimes, a tendency to almost self-sacrifice or not support his own material needs in order to do these other things and trying to constantly tell him that he didn’t have to sacrifice one for the other. There could be a balance between the two.
AC: That’s interesting. That brings up, I think, a very Piscean theme of neglect.
AC: Pisces as a, you know, sign mode is… The way that Pisces damages a lot of the time is not by attacking, but by neglecting, right? That’s connected to that avoidance quality or being somewhere else, right, or tension or care being somewhere else. And you know you could look at that for parents, you could look at that for also the self, just neglecting. I’ve thought this a million times like, “Well, that’s not important.” Right? I remember I woke up this morning, and I looked around my office, and I was like, “Oh, that’s a fucking mess.” And I was like, “Eh, it’s not important right now.”
CB: Right, to focus on the big picture and not this individual thing.
AC: Yeah, but like, “Ehhh, that’ll wait.” But the prioritization plays into what gets neglected or avoided. Yeah.
CB: Yeah, that’s great. Neglect is a really great Pisces one because it’s not actively saying no or letting something die or waste away as a result of a deliberate negation or rejection of it. It’s an accidental one through almost avoiding addressing the issue, even though sometimes it can become very pressing.
AC: Yeah, it’s a sin of omission rather than a sin of commission. But, you know, you talk to somebody who is severely neglected by their parents, and that hurts a lot, right? You know, just because you’re not screaming profanity at someone doesn’t mean that you’re not hurting them.
CB: Right, yeah. That makes sense. Alright, back to the signs. So, I think we completed the sextiles. I think what’s left is just the aversions. So, we’ve talked a lot about Aquarius already. We should talk a little bit next about the sign that comes after Pisces, which is Aries, and the disconnect between the two, but also, I think since we’re coming full circle here from where we started, maybe the corrective function that Aries serves over Pisces in order to correct some of the things that Pisces was doing differently and I think one of the things that we’ve already gotten to here is while the Sun was not doing great in terms of having essential dignity in Pisces, in Aries it is in the sign of its exaltation. And I think one of the things about that contrast is the sudden shift toward putting oneself first and to going first and leading in a way as the first, being the tip of the spear in some instances, but I think part of it is through the correction of putting oneself first.
AC: Yeah, and what’s interesting about the relationship between Pisces and Aries is we have a contra-antitial mitigation of the aversion. And there’s something about the vastness of Pisces, which doesn’t mind concentrating into the single-pointedness of Aries. It’s natural when you get so big to go back. If you’re exploring the center of the wheel or excuse me if you’re exploring the edge of the wheel, the center is implied. And I think that’s one of the less or one of the seemingly counterintuitive but easier transitions or relationships between signs that don’t have a classical aspect. You know, it’s so big that why not just focus on the individual, right? It’s so huge that why not? But yeah, I don’t know. I always think of crawling ashore with the Pisces-Aries border.
And another thing about them that they share is they’re both so- so a Pisces might not be thinking of themselves, but there’s so much going on internally and that huge focus on the internal. It’s an internal world with Pisces, and it’s a much more focused internality with Aries than just expresses. But so much of the person’s attention is just located subjectively that even though there’s a huge versus individual context, the energy is still all there, from the outside, what looks like the personal. A Pisces might be thinking about the world, but it’s like, “Oh, they’re always just there, consumed with their own thoughts. They’re in their own world.” And the Aries is very much in it’s own world, but is then interested in remaking the world around it to resemble that.
CB: One of the contrasts that I think of immediately is how Pisces, especially being a Jupiter-ruled sign and Venus having its exaltation there, Pisces is a very peaceful sign, whereas Aries is much more war-like or combative, or at the very least competitive and wanting to have a competition between two things and wanting to, you know, win an award for excelling over the person it’s competing with and being first as a result of its internal qualities, whereas I think of Pisces instead of wanting to be the teacher that gives everybody participation awards so nobody is seen as being unequal or anything like that.
AC: I think Pisces can kind of either go Cancer or Scorpio. If you just nudge it a little bit in either direction, Pisces takes that whole, “This is fine. This is just another thing that people do, and that conscious beings do,” to conflict. You have lots of military leaders, you have this weirdly disproportionate number of mixed martial arts champions who have Mars in Pisces. It blows the statistical distribution out of the water. And it’s sort of like, “This is fine, too.” Right? Pisces is, like you said, saying yes. There’s a lot of like, “Sure, conflict, too; that’s part of the big story.” But it’s not as important, right, as it is with Aries, where it’s like you’re proving something by accomplishing something. There’s success in failure, whereas I think Pisces relationship to that more martial realm is more rolling with the punches and being like, “Yes, conflict, too. Sure, competition, too.” It’s not rejecting conflict. It just may not be as interested.
CB: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense to me. Just looking at different Mars in Pisces natives, and there’s a lot of different ones.
AC: Yeah, I mean, if you just look at people who are champions in the UFC, you have Anderson Silva, one of the greatest of all time. You have Daniel Cormier, who usually makes the greatest of all time list. You have Amanda Nunes, who is on the greatest of all time list. You have Chuck Liddel, who is a legend. You have Michael Bisping, who is a champion, not the greatest of all time. But it’s a weirdly high number of Mars in Pisces.
CB: Yeah, one of the things I’m getting is I’m looking through some of these is like the connection between Aries and Pisces is the will to fight for something greater than yourself. So, Che Guevara was an Aries Rising with Jupiter and Uranus in Aries, and the ruler of that was Mars in Pisces with the Moon in Pisces, in the 12th house, and both of those are being overcome by Saturn in Sagittarius in the ninth house. And he was famous as a revolutionary who, you know, died fighting in a war in a different country, partially for his ideals.
AC: Yeah, and that third decan of Pisces, which is the “give it all the something” decan is Mars-ruled. And so he has that Mars there, which is like tripling up on that signature.
CB: Right. Or another one I’m seeing is Ralph Nader, for example, famous sort of left politician in the U.S. who had the Sun, Mars, and Mercury in Pisces and pushed for legislation of different things like seatbelts and stuff like that.
AC: And our buddy, Johnny Cash.
AC: Another Mars in Pisces.
CB: Yeah, that’s really good. Okay, so that’s pretty good for Aries. I mean, there’s one last thing, which is just that Aries, I’ve learned, and Mars in general and speed. Understanding that speed is a basic property of Mars but also Aries has been interesting. And I don’t know how that relates to Pisces because I don’t know what the speed of Pisces would- it’s less of a straight line. Aries seems like more of a straight line whereas we have that more digressive or discursive quality with Pisces. The non-linear quality.
AC: Yeah, I think the quality of movement is more distinct… yeah, I mean, the quality is very distinct, in terms of lines versus curves. And then, yeah, I would say that Pisces can go fast, but it takes a while to get the Pisces moving. It’s like getting the water moving takes some time, you know, whereas Aries has that gunshot quality, right, the moment of ignition, and now it’s full speed. I would say Aries has a capacity for acceleration, which no sign has, and especially not Pisces.
CB: Yeah, for sure. Alright, so that’s pretty good, and that brings things full circle there. So the final two things are just the other two signs that are an aversion, which are Leo and Libra. So, let’s start with Leo because I think we’ve already picked up on a lot of stuff when we were talking about the Sun in Pisces that connects us with some of the incompatibilities between Leo and Jupiter since those two signs don’t share any of the basic qualities in common of, you know, modality, element, etc.
AC: Yeah, I would say that that is probably the hardest pair of signs to bridge understanding between. Things are just so different. They’re not even opposed, then they would have something to argue about.
CB: Right, opposed signs are like two sides of the same coin, but here we’re just seeing, you know, strangers that don’t necessarily share anything in common.
AC: Yeah, like the- speaking as someone with the Sun in Pisces, the confidence that people with the Sun in Leo have that they understand themselves and are what they are is befuddling. Right? It’s like, “No, no, no, you’re a mystery. People are mysteries.” They’re like, “Yeah, I’m a great mystery. My name is this….” You know, the straightforwardness is befuddling, and I’m sure conversely, the endlessly trying to layer and meander through solar matters that Pisces do must seem perplexing and fruitless. [laughs]
CB: Yeah, especially also the submission of one’s ego and own self to something greater, I think, is something that Leo struggles with a little bit. Because I think if Leo’s tendency to want to be at the center of things and to want to put oneself first, which has both good qualities as well as sometimes not great qualities.
AC: Yeah, I think with Leo, it’s much more an aspiration to be great, right, and to have a great effect on the world. But in some ways, it’s through intensifying the solar and upgrading the solar. Like a better version, the stronger version of the self rather than, you know, with Pisces, completely changing the narrative or understanding or framing of what a self even is and, you know, “Is it important to do this or do that?” And just yeah, even just the elemental qualities of action are so different. You know, with Leo, we have a capacity to stand and to occupy a place and to be something, whereas, you know, Pisces is great at lots of things, but holding one place and one mode of being to be that character, play that one role and nothing else is very contra the instincts and the energy of Pisces.
CB: Yeah, to center oneself or to treat oneself as the center of the universe is very different for Pisces and is not its initial inclination.
AC: Well, and just to get stuck, or what it feels like getting stuck and identifying with, “Yup, this is me. This is what I do. This is who I am. You can depend on that.” Where with Pisces, it’s like, “Well, I don’t know. We’ll see tomorrow. I’m still learning about it. I’m still trying to figure out who I am. I’ll let you know what I think is interesting about my endless meandering.” [laughs]
CB: Right, because that is the one central thing that Leo understands, and it is fixed, and the fixed sign is just the sense of self and who I am, versus Pisces’ belief, sometimes going to the extreme that there is no self. Of lack of selfhood and that the self itself might even be an illusion or might be, you know, in some of those spiritual traditions like Buddism or something like that. That is something actively that you’re supposed to realize is not permanent; the impermanence of the self.
AC: Yeah, or, you know, “I’m this. I’m Austin now.” How should I say it? “I’m Austin in this life, and I’ll probably be something else in a different life. And I’m not just either of those things. I’m the thing that connects those things,” which is mysterious, right, which I can’t present to you or, you know, even create a frame for myself.
AC: Just as another example.
CB: Yeah, that makes sense. Which, it’s funny because then you think of things like reincarnation as almost like an interesting Leo-Pisces concept and the different ways different people conceptualize that and what they take from it. The Pisces person might take reincarnation and interpret it as, “Ok, so my current ego is not something that’s permanent, and even though there may be a part of me that lives on or has lived in other successive lives, the manifestation of that will be different and my ego now and my personality now will not necessarily survive, even if there’s something else in me that does or some spiritual part of me that does.” But I would think that the Leo interpretation of reincarnation, that there’s some versions of it that I think about where their interest in reincarnation is the notion that the self does survive and that there’s some piece of their selfhood or their ego that will transcend the restraints of life and death and things like that.
AC: Yeah, yeah. That’s a good take.
CB: Alright, so then the final sign contrast to talk about is Pisces and Libra, where Libra is a cardinal, air, masculine sign, and Pisces is a mutable, water, feminine sign. And the contrast, again, we get back to a Venus contrast with Libra being ruled by Venus, but it’s a much different one in this instance. In the Taurus episode, one of the analogies I came up with was Taurus is like a garden, a beautiful flower garden, whereas Libra is an art gallery. And there’s an artificiality to it in some sense versus an organicness in the difference between an earth sign versus an air sign.
AC: Yeah, that’s a good point. Libra is a humane sign. You know, meaning that it denotes human activity, right? And an art gallery is constructed. A meadow is something that just happens, right, if we’re looking at Taurus-Venusian or sites of Taurus-Venus stuff. And that’s part of the power of Libra is to construct the Venusian, to decide on what would be the best looking design for this website, right? It’s not going to emerge out of the earth. We don’t wait for spring when the websites bloom, right? And how to construct harmony between human beings or relationship, right, the good version of which being harmony. And so this one’s interesting because this is one of the aversions that has an antitial mitigation.
And so what Libra and Pisces have in common is that they’re both interested in establishing a harmony between contrarieties. With Pisces, it’s these big, universal, two-fish chained at the mouth sort of contradictions. And with Libra, it’s often social contrarieties, or aesthetic contrarieties, or matters of design, but there’s, you know, we have the scales, which are balancing both, and we have the chain which links the fish, which keeps them connected. And so there’s a great interest in both in finding what is the point of agreement or the point of reconciliation between, you know, contrasting things, you know, pairs that want to pull apart because of their opposition or difference. And so even though the tools are completely different, there’s an interest in the same kind of activity.
CB: Yeah, so maybe one of those kinds of activity can be there’s some sort of social orientation like Libra has a really obvious social orientation in wanting to keep things balanced on a social and on an interpersonal level. And Pisces has almost a similar orientation between wanting to raise up the fortunes of those who are disadvantaged at a social level, so maybe there’s almost some connection or some way for them to meet there, in between.
AC: Yeah, and I think the Pisces-Venus-Jupiter sort of orientation wants there to be a coherent vibe connecting everybody in the room, right, and they’re probably coming from more of a vibe level. The energy is coalescing and coherent. And Libra is going to be happy with that result but achieve it very differently.
CB: Yeah, because there’s a little bit of a coldness to Libra on a certain level, even though it’s a social sign and it is connecting things together, it’s not necessarily doing it from an emotional place, necessarily. It’s trying to create harmony, but Pisces, the motivation is much more coming from an emotional place of empathy or different things like that.
AC: Yeah, and to be fair, Libra also loves to advocate for those who have gotten a raw deal according to their scales, right, they’re always measuring what’s fair and what’s not fair. And so that’s another similarity, but different kind of method of coming to it.
CB: Yeah, that makes sense.
AC: I would say one big difference is Libra believes in etiquette. Doing things properly is not the Pisces way. Pisces might do it in a way that’s really cool or interesting or maybe awesome, but that interest in form and etiquette and structure, right, because Libra is where Saturn takes its exaltation, is not the Pisces talent, right, you have people like Leonard Cohen, who have those two connected, where you see that breathtaking works of staggering genius, but it’s rare that they come connected and, you know, coherently intermingling.
CB: Yeah, that makes sense. Alright, let me look again at this diagram. I think we have somehow gone through the comparisons with all 12 signs of the zodiac at this point, which brings us not just to the end of this discussion about Pisces but also to the end of my year-long journey through the signs of the zodiac. This was amazing. Is there anything else we should mention about Pisces in closing that you wanted to mention before we wrap up in terms of final thoughts?
AC: I don’t know we’ve covered so much. Is there anything that comes to mind for you? I’m sure there’s stuff that I’ll bring out that I left out.
CB: The only thing I know you like to mention on the forecast episodes is sometimes the body associations with Pisces, the feet.
AC: I do.
CB: The feet actually sometimes manifesting very literally when people have placements in Pisces.
AC: Yeah, it’s a thing that happens in a quite literal manner. I don’t want to retell the whole story, but I have Mars in Pisces. When Saturn went over that when I was younger, I broke my foot. I broke three toes and then had my jaw broken by a foot, right, so the feet are real. And it’s worth noting, too, that if we’re talking about this connection to a larger whole with Pisces, your feet are the only part of you that’s consistently connected to the earth, right, they’re the part that makes contact with the rest of the world.
CB: Right. That’s a really interesting point, and that analogy sometimes, of you need to keep your feet on the ground and get your head out of the clouds, or other things like that. It’s funny because that’s kind of a Pisces analogy.
AC: Yeah, or with Mercury having difficulty with Pisces, putting your foot in your mouth.
CB: [laughs] Right. That’s a good one. I like that. That’s really good. We finally understood there, the core of the Mercury in Pisces dilemma. Alright.
AC: I think I’m good, yeah.
CB: Yeah. That feels good. That feels like a good ending point for this series and for this episode. Thanks a lot for doing this with me. This was awesome. So you, my friend, are working on a book that you’re going to publish this year that goes into something that you mentioned briefly in this episode, which is the decans and the subdivisions of the signs into three different parts that I didn’t get into much in this series because I thought it would be too much, but that is something you’ve done a lot of in-depth work on.
AC: Yeah, and I’m well into creating the second edition, which it’s not just an edit. I’ve been doing a lot of adding and re-writing and just re-thinking every decan, one at a time. And then deciding what I want to keep and what I need to add, and what maybe needs to go. Or what maybe needs to be said again, but with more finesse and nuance. So, I don’t have a definite release date. I’m, I would say, dead in the middle of it right now. Hopefully, it’ll be out by the halfway point. It shouldn’t be too much longer than that. So, yeah, working on that. Also, for my birthday, which was just a few days ago, in which I entered a Pisces profection.
CB: Nice, nice.
AC: You know, very convenient for this. My lovely wife surprised me with having re-built my website, re-designed and re-built.
CB: Oh, wow.
AC: So yeah, that’ll be out by the time this comes out publicly. So you can actually see what I am doing in a way that’s clear and easy to access. I’m also going to be putting up a bunch of the classes and lectures that I’ve given over the last several years for sale that haven’t been previously available. The gem of which might be the class I taught on astrology and tarot a few years ago, where I go through every card and look at its zodiacal and planetary associations and sit and think about it, like “What is the relationship between the Hierophant and Taurus? They’re not the same thing, but what is one saying about the other?” So I’m excited that that’s all finally coming out. Let’s see. I will be teaching throughout the year. For my year one class, I will be doing a limited enrollment once per quarter. It’s important that that class doesn’t get too crowded because we do a lot of live stuff, and it’s important that people be able to interact and speak, and it not just be sort of, you know, a tsunami. So, look for updates for that on the new website.
CB: What’s your URL again?
AC: It’s AustinCoppock.com.
CB: Okay, brilliant.
AC: Yeah, pretty easy. Coppock is C-O-P-P-O-C-K. And I suppose, finally, a lot of the magical electional work I’ve done for Sphere + Sundry will be coming out continuously, every six to eight weeks throughout the year. We have some nice series that we banked. There’s a spritely Mercury in Gemini that’ll come out. There is a Saturn in Aquarius series, where you can experience the chill of eternity. The frosty winter air of deep time and planning. Then there is the as-yet-unannounced Sphere + Sundry Manhattan Project, which will see the light of day before long, but I can’t leak anything about that. We’ve got a bunch of other stuff as well.
CB: Nice. What’s the website for that?
AC: It’s SphereAndSundry.com.
CB: Cool. Alright, well, thanks for joining me for this. As for myself, so this concludes this series. If people want to learn more about my approach to astrology or how some of this is applied in actual chart interpretation, the primary course I teach on interpreting birth charts is my Hellenistic Astrology Course, which has over a hundred hours of lectures that go into much more detail, just like this one. So you can find out more information about that at Courses.TheAstrologySchool.com. And then I’m going to keep working on the podcast, so I’ve now completed a series last year on the planets and this year on a deep dive on the signs of the zodiac, so the next one I’m thinking about doing is a deep dive on each of the 12 houses and the significations and topics associated with each of those and especially looking at them in terms of birth charts and what happens when people have a bunch of planets placed in a certain sign of the zodiac and how that manifests in different ways. So if people want to support that work or get early access to those episodes as I record them, you can sign up through my page on Patreon.com/TheAstrologyPodcast to get access to those episodes and support that work. So otherwise, thanks a lot, everyone, for watching, for supporting this work on the podcast, and for listening and everything else. I really appreciate it. Thanks, Austin, for joining me today. This was great.
AC: My pleasure.
CB: Alright. And that’s it for this episode. So thanks, everyone, for watching, and we’ll see you again next time.
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If you’re looking to get an astrological consultation, we have a list of recommended astrologers at TheAstrologyPodcast.com/Consultations. The astrologers on the list are friends of the podcast that have been featured in different episodes over the years, and they have different specialties such as natal astrology, electional astrology, synastry, rectification, or horary astrology. You can get a 10% discount when you book a consultation with one of the astrologers on our list by using the promo code ‘ASTROLOGYPODCAST’.
The astrology software that we use and recommend here on the podcast is called Solar Fire for Windows, which is available for the PC at Alabe.com. Use the promo code ‘AP15’ to get a 15% discount. For Mac users we recommend a software program called Astro Gold for Mac OS, which is from the creators of Solar Fire for PC, and it includes both modern and traditional techniques. You can find out more information at AstroGold.io, and you can use the promo code ‘ASTROPODCAST15’ to get a 15% discount.
If you’d like to learn more about my approach to astrology then I’d recommend checking out my book titled, Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune, where I go over the history, philosophy, and techniques of ancient astrology, taking people from beginner up through intermediate and advanced techniques for reading birth charts. You can get a print copy of the book through Amazon or other online retailers, or there’s an ebook version available through Google Books. I also recently published a new translation of The Anthology of the 2nd century astrologer Vettius Valens, which is one of the most important sources for understanding the practice of ancient astrology. You can find that by searching for ‘Vettius Valens, The Anthology’ on Amazon or other online book retailers.
If you’re really looking to expand your studies of astrology then I would recommend my Hellenistic astrology course, which is an online course on ancient astrology where I take people through basic concepts up through intermediate and advanced techniques for reading birth charts. There’s over 100 hours of video lectures, as well as guided readings of ancient texts, and by the time you finish the course you will have a strong foundation in how to read birth charts, as well as make predictions. You can find out more information at courses.TheAstrologySchool.com. I also recently launched a new course there called the Birth Time Rectification Course where I teach students how to figure out your birth time using astrology when the birth time is either unknown or uncertain. You can find out more information about that at TheAstrologySchool.com.
Each year the podcast releases a set of astrology calendar posters for the coming year, and we’ve just released our 2023 Planetary Alignments and Planetary Movements Posters, which are now available on our website at TheAstrologyPodcast.com/store. There you can also pick up our 2023 Electional Astrology Report where Leisa Schaim and I went through the next 12 months and we picked out the single most auspicious date for each month using the principles of electional astrology. You can get that at TheAstrologyPodcast.com/2023report.
And finally, thanks to our sponsors, including: The Mountain Astrologer Magazine, which is a quarterly astrology magazine which you can read in print or online at MountainAstrologer.com. Finally, thanks also to the Northwest Astrology Conference, which is happening May 25-29, 2023, just outside of Seattle. This year’s conference is gonna be a hybrid conference where you can either attend online or in person. Find out more information at norwac.net.