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Mapping the Psyche

An Introduction to Psychological Astrology, by Clare Martin

  • Mutable Water
  • Personal Ruler: Jupiter
  • Transpersonal Ruler: Neptune
  • Exaltation: Venus
  • Detriment: Mercury

I have nothing to say about Pisces, so we can all go home now! The problem is that the sign of Pisces is so inclusive that it is very difficult to define, or to get any kind of intellectual grip on it. As the most mature water sign, Pisces is also the most collective, non-personal sign of the zodiac. In this sense, Pisces can be whatever you want it to be since, as a mutable water sign, it is the chameleon of the zodiac, taking on the shape and colour of its environment. The Jupiter ruler of Pisces describes the potentially joyful, ecstatic 'dolphin' nature of this sign. Pisces has a heightened sensitivity to beauty and can enter realms of fantasy and imagination which other signs can only dream of. Pisceans are often masters of creative self expression, wonderful actors, since they can feel their way into any persona, and often tremendously skilled in non-verbal communication, such as dance, art and music, capable of merging and surrendering to forces and feelings which are greater than themselves.

Planets in Pisces are like psychic sponges. For example, if a person who is depressed or angry or unhappy walks into a room, the Piscean can easily begin to feel depressed or angry or unhappy themselves, without knowing why. If this capacity for symbiotic merging is consciously recognized and harnessed, it can be an extremely useful gift for anyone working in the helping and healing professions. Pisces has an immense capacity for non-judgemental compassion and unconditional devotion which can be directed towards anything or anyone who is suffering or in need. However, unless this sensitivity is to some extent defined and contained, Pisceans can all too easily find themselves overwhelmed by the emotions of others or by the environment in which they find themselves, leaving them adrift and at the mercy of others and of the world.

The two fish of Pisces portrayed in Lambsprinck's De lapide philosophico (1625), with the comment, 'The Sea is the body; the two fish are spirit and soul.'

This capacity for total immersion and absorption also crosses the boundaries of space and time. It is not unusual for Pisceans to become mediums or channels, or to discover that they are psychically connected to other people no matter how far apart. Pisces is too diffuse to be contained or defined by the ego. Rather, it describes the place in the birth chart where we lose ourselves and surrender our own personal willpower and direction in life. With so much going on psychically, there is often a curious lack of engagement with, or commitment to, personal relationships, which I think is a feature of the non-personal mutability of the sign. A Piscean student I had a while ago explained to me that although she had several children of her own, she was just as fond of her children's friends, and just as happy when they went away as when they were at home. She was perfectly happy to go with the flow and not personally identified with any of it.

The mutability of this sign can express itself as a refusal to establish healthy boundaries or to take any kind of responsibility, which can become self destructive to the point of manifesting as an addiction to vulnerability, weakness and self-sacrifice which can be extremely masochistic. The conscious integration of Mercury, which is in detriment in Pisces, can lend analytical thinking and objectivity to the otherwise overwhelming fluidity of this sign. There are so many fleeting impressions, changing emotions and subtle influences constantly occurring for Pisceans in the psychic background, that they often don't need any additional stimulation from the world at all. It is often quite the reverse. It can be very helpful for Pisceans, who have no boundaries of their own, to construct some kind of outer container or structure which will give them the privacy they need and protect them from becoming too diffuse, dispersed, overwhelmed or poisoned by their environment. This structure can be a place of escape and seclusion - any kind of bolt hole - such as a public library, or a retreat, or a weekend fishing on the banks of a river.

The Neptune ruler of Pisces describes the mystical, devotional nature of the sign. The Neptune ruler alludes to another dimension of connectedness which can be described as the part in all of us that never wanted to incarnate in the first place and longs to return to formlessness and oblivion, or to experience mystical salvation and redemption. Pisces describes a vast range of feelings, all the way from divine content to divine discontent. Neptune rules drugs and alcohol and any addictions which help us lose ourselves and escape from the world. 'Reality' is often too difficult, harsh, brutal and restrictive for Pisceans.

Let's look at some of the planets in Pisces. Sally has Moon in Pisces. This is an extremely impressionable and imaginative placement, describing Sally's need (Moon) to merge with something greater than herself (Pisces). There will be a powerful symbiotic relationship and/or strong psychic connection with her mother, which can be extremely supportive and nurturing on one hand and emotionally overwhelming on the other - very often both. If the Moon describes what we need and what feeds us, the Moon in Pisces can indicate that there are no boundaries or limits to our neediness. We may never feel safe. The result can be that we are forever hungry and thirsty, feeling that our needs can never be fulfilled or satisfied, which can result in addictive tendencies. It is also possible to find that we end up driving others away, since they can become overwhelmed or feel 'drowned' by our neediness. On the other hand, if the Moon Pisces can be diverted away from the battleground of the ego's demands for safety and security, it ultimately describes a strong and loving connection to one's own soul and can indeed find fulfilment in unconditional devotion to something greater than oneself.

If you have Mercury in Pisces, then you know that everything is relative and that the truth can be anything you want it to be. If you want black to be white, then that is fine. Mercury in Pisces can cast a spell, spin a tale, promote a sale, and communicate in a variety of non verbal ways, such as through mime, music, dance and art. Mercury in Pisces has a vivid and poetic imagination, sensitive to the feel and atmosphere of words rather than to their actual concrete meaning. It can also describe confused thinking and invasive thoughts.

Audience: This is an interesting way of looking at it, because my son has Mercury in Pisces and he will tell you whatever he thinks you want to hear. It drives me mad, because as far as I am concerned he is lying.

Clare: Well, you will often read that Mercury in Pisces can be dishonest. And indeed, from a factual earth or air point of view, this may be the case. But from your son's point of view, he is more likely to respond to you on an emotional level, and try to protect you or try to avoid making a commitment by telling you what you want to hear. As a passive collective sign, it is also very likely that he doesn't know what he thinks and so any one answer may be as good as any other answer.

Audience: So you mean that the lights are on but there is nobody at home?

Clare: Not so much that there is nobody at home, but rather that the Piscean is unable or unwilling to discriminate, so you can have whichever piece of it you would like, since it doesn't matter either way. The television impersonator Rory Bremner, who has Mercury in Pisces, can 'become' whomever he is impersonating, even to the extent that he appears to take on their shape as well as their voice and mannerisms. He can feel his way into becoming a certain person, which will be much easier for him than being himself, which he may not be so clear about.

Audience: I have Sun, Mercury and ASC in Pisces, and I can certainly relate to what you are saying.

Clare: Yes, and of course we all have the sign of Pisces and the planet Neptune in our charts, so we all have places where we long to surrender. To some extent we should all be able to relate to these themes.

David has Venus in Pisces, which indicates a pronounced sensitivity to and appreciation of music, dance, art, fantasy, film, fashion and romance. Venus in Pisces can describe a person in love with the ideal of love, someone with the capacity for unconditional love and devotion to others, to the extent that it is not personal. On a personal level, it can also describe dissatisfaction or disappointment or deception in relationships.

Chiron in Pisces often describes a kind of 'existential loneliness', a feeling of being cut off from the source of support, a kind of emotional exile, which people will often spend many years trying to heal through relationships. It is as if Pisces holds a memory of oneness with everything which may be a memory of mystical connection or a memory of life in the womb. Eventually, we can come to accept that, for so long as we are in separate bodies this kind of loneliness is an intrinsic part of the human condition, and therefore something that we all feel at some level. Once we have accepted that the umbilical cord has been cut, we can develop compassion for ourselves and others since, to some extent, we all feel this existential wound.

In the end, Pisces has a vast range of expressions, all the way from divine content and divine discontent. As the last sign of the zodiac it is about surrendering and letting go, dissolving into a greater whole and preparing for a new beginning and a new life when Pisces gives way once again to Aries and the great story starts to unfold again. On that point I think we can all drift home! Have a wonderful holiday and I look forward to seeing you all again next term.

nach oben

The Book"Mapping the Psyche"

First published 2005 by the CPA Press, BCM Box 1815, London WC1N 3XX, United Kingdom, www.cpalondon.com.
Copyright ©2005 by Clare Martin.
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