Thomas Jefferson, the fiery and brilliant Aries, once remarked that the mind of one of his august colleagues was “slow in operation, sure in conclusion.” If Tom had mastered astrology along with everything else, he would have known that America’s first president was neither dull nor deliberate. It was just that George Washington (Feb. 22) had a Pisces mind.
As Pisces is both a water sign and mutable in quality, it is the most fluid and mysterious temperament in the zodiac: introverted, sensitive and moody, apt to be so easily moved by external influences that the Pisces character may seek refuge in solitude and meditation, or sleep, nicotine, alcohol and psychoactive drugs, all of which are within the domain of Pisces the Fishes and their ruling planet, Neptune. Like the sea itself, Pisceans can be deep and unfathomable, especially to hyperactive intellects. They are appreciated best by those who know the ocean as the symbol of boundless compassion, nurturing and healing. The ancient Egyptians had this all figured out, celebrating every March 5 the feast of Isis as Ocean Star – Stella Maris, as the Virgin Mary would also be known – protector of all who journey by sea.
Pisces month (Feb. 18 – March 20) is traditionally the time each year when plans are developed in secret, alliances reviewed, assumptions questioned and energies organized toward release a month later, at the spring equinox. While not favorable for new beginnings, the Pisces season is ideal for preparation and purification toward the burst of spring. This is why in the Celtic Ash Month that comes now, curses are dispelled and new protection invoked. Druids wash clothes in clove and angelica, to purify them for the Spring. The ancient Romans celebrated Caristia, the feast of the goddess Concordia, with ritual meals at which all disputes are resolved and all ill will purged, on the premise that the bounty of the coming year depends on the energies living within the hearts of the country's people: good will promotes good planting and growth, and a bountiful harvest.
The Pisces New Moon is universally auspicious. It is Mahashivaratri, the great annual Hindu festival in honor of Shiva in his most beneficent aspect as the universal creator whose drum and dance bring the visible world into being. Shiva and his consort Shakti are honored with music, dance and other works of beauty, and with prayers for abundant vitality. This link between Pisces and the lord of the dance is one of the keys to this sign, as Pisces rules theatre, dance and other magical performances and illusions. It fits, then, that so many actors as intuitive as Michael Caine (March 14) and Elizabeth Taylor (Feb. 27), and as empathetic and smooth as Rex Harrison (March 5) and David Niven (March 1) were born under this sign, as was Kiri Te Kanawa (March 6), the ideal embodiment of Mozart’s most poignant role: the classic Piscean type, Countess Almaviva. Another curious cue to the illusory dimension of Pisces: more famous fashion designers and makeup artists were born under this sign than any other.
Neptune, Pisces’ ruling planet, was discovered in 1844, the year of two typical Piscean events: the beginnings of the labor movement, with its aim of solidarity among the workers of the world; and the birth of the Baha’i faith, and along with it the surge of interfaith activity that has grown ever since. The urge to unite downtrodden people in an empowering cause is as clear in such Piscean figures as Victor Hugo (Feb. 26) John Steinbeck (Feb. 27) and William Jennings Bryan (March 19) as the metaphysical side is hard to miss in Rudolf Steiner (Feb. 27), Michelangelo (March 6) and the famous trance medium and prophet Edgar Cayce (March 18).
How are your love prospects with a Pisces? Great, if you’re patient, a little psychic yourself, and a good reader of hints and moods. Less thrilling if you like to “make things perfectly clear,” as the Capricorn Richard Nixon put it. Least rosy if you’re a planner and controller who’s after facts, not flow. Pester a Pisces enough and she’ll submerge emotionally, even suddenly fall asleep. Or, like Pierre-August Renoir (Feb. 25), he’ll go paint somebody else. Or, like Jack Kerouac (March 12), he’ll bug out and go On the Road.
To get along with a Pisces, you’d best be comfortable with creativity. You’d best be happy with tales that don’t cut to the chase, but wind through labyrinths like the hermetic Alexandria Quartet of Lawrence Durrell (Feb. 27). And it’s best to accept that a Pisces may be much more focused – to the extent, you may wonder, that a Pisces can focus – on the wellbeing of humanity and Earth in the timeframe of eternity than on your wishes and needs in the physical world right now. Don’t fight it. Get some lotus oil and frankincense. You too can resonate with a character like the rumpled genius who invented astonishing models of the universe when he wasn’t trying to remember where he’d left his cigar. That’s right: Albert Einstein (March 14). “Kindness and a good heart,” he said, “are more important than intelligence and learning.” Spoken like a true Pisces.
Want to know how the year ahead affects people born in your sign? Dan Furst has been a professional astrologer for thirty-three years. He is the author of Dance of the Moon, and his new book Surfing Aquarius will be published by Red Wheel Weiser in September. He lives in Peru, and does astrology and astrocartography readings for people all over the world by phone and Skype. You can reach him at 51 – 984 – 155622, email firstname.lastname@example.org. His astrology web page is Dan Furst Astrology Web Page.