If we just stand back and look at astrology visually, as the original astrologers did, we see a beautifully rendered art filled with imagery. We can see connect-the-dots pictures called constellations, a Zodiac (meaning a band of animals), intriguing inherently symbolical Zodiacal and planetary glyphs, systematic “Element-ary” and expressive modality clues to each sign, analogies for a twelve-fold division of the agricultural cycle of the Northern Hemisphere.
As a logos-study, Genuine Astrology should always be basically orderly, never just conveniently arbitrary. With rich mythology alluded to again and again by its Zodiacal Signs, planets, etc., astrology should have never been allowed to degenerate into mere cliched keywords, locking away imagination and the animistic vitality inherently always there, if we can boldly and confidently See, Hear and Evoke the Truth that the original astrologers, those seminal artists, systematically laid out for us.
Just what are we meant to see, to hear, to evoke? Our Sky Maps hold for us the great and wonderful potential of who we are meant to be, in contrast with an equally accurate mythic rendering of how we can tragically fail ourselves. The potentials of our time are defined in terms of issues and opportunities within a specific range of possibilities, mythically inspired.
Outside of Eric Francis’ Planet Waves, and precious few other sources, sadly, most of astrology has degenerated to arbitrary keyword cliches, dressed up in slick magazines and tooth-rotting cotton candy website fluff, trivia useless to help us through hard times. Many, many modern ‘astrologers’ have forgotten the essence of our sky-watching ancestors. For some who do look back on astrology’s history, they tend to look for old cliched keywords, ignoring planets discovered since antiquity, rendering or restoring value-judgment-laden numeric ratings, with an unspoken implicit fatalistic doom, equally useless in helping us through hard times.
Astrology Is Lookin’ Up, and Lookin’ Things Up
Case in Point: Chiron and Neptune in Pisces, the eminent era. Without even addressing the rich depth of Pisces in terms of “Mutable Water,” the Mythology of Pisces tells us so much! What about when Chiron and Pisces were each last in Pisces? When were they last in Pisces together? To round out our picture, we will look at the creative words of some Pisces Sun songwriters to show us the relevance and applicability of the applied mythology of Pisces.
Although our overwhelmingly popular Western “Tropical” season-based astrological signs no longer align with the same-named constellations, the mythology of those same-named constellations still tell us about the life perspectives of the signs of the same name. How so? This connection seems analogous to someone who leaves his or her home country, or even the expatriate’s prodigy. For instance, Americans of Irish extraction can still very much identify with the stories and cultural essence of their Emerald Isle ancestors.
The constellation Pisces is dimmer and harder to see than other Zodiacal constellations, as if to imply that Pisces is quieter, easily overlooked, easy to misunderstand compared to the showier look-at-me Zodiacal constellations. However, once we know where to look, things get quite interesting. The visual imagery shows two fish connected by a common cord, tied or emanating from a common point (a star). This image alludes to a mythic story that should prove helpful for astrologers to remember in the Chiron-and-Neptune-in-Pisces era, beginning this year of 2011. It’s also important to note that the constellation of Pisces is now home to the Vernal Equinox Tropical Zodiac “Aries Point” at which the Sun crosses the celestial equator into the northern hemisphere each year. In Greek mythology (which was significantly influenced by earlier Babylonian mythology), Zeus (the Roman Jupiter) was the chief god of a group of gods and goddesses whose Roman names are commonly known to us through astrology. This cast includes Hestia (Vesta), Hades (Pluto) and other familiar names. The mythic story plays like gang wars meets terrifying science fiction meets ecological warning meets love-conquers-all. (No, really!) An abbreviated version of the myth follows.
Gaia, Mother Earth, and her prodigy, by turn, over eons, opposed husband/paramour Ouranos (mythic Uranus), Chronos (Saturn), and Zeus (Jupiter), always for the repression or banishment of her offspring. The ensuing battles escalated to the ultimate challenge. Gaia birthed sky-high, 100-headed terrifying Typhoeus (a.k.a. Typhon). Because Jupiter was king of the gods and goddesses, Gaia and Typhon were opposed to all the gods and goddesses.
All of the gods and goddesses changed their forms and ran to hide. Jupiter turned himself into a ram (fitting Jupiter’s 2011 transit of Aries). He came back to fight Typhon (and ultimately contain him), but the real ‘stars’ of our story are the Goddess of Love and Her beloved son. They’re the lovers, not fighters. The ancient Romans and we astrologers call these two Venus and Eros (Cupid). (What follows is an integration of different versions of this myth into one.) Seeing Typhon coming in pursuit, Pan sounded the alert and then jumped into the river as a goat-fish (Capricorn). So warned, Venus tied a cord to her foot and to Eros’ foot. She called out to the Water Nymphs for help. The Two changed themselves into fish and jumped into the nearby river (the Euphrates or the Nile). Besides the typhoon-like conditions, there were also major earth and wind disturbances, pounding hail, hideous noise, etc. Epic battles of this sort go on for years. The Typhon-Jupiter battle spanned the world from the skies to the deep earth and deep sea.
Despite all this, the God and Goddess of Love remained ever connected via their common-bound fish tails, despite circumstantial separation and tumult. Our story has a happy ending, no matter which version chosen. Sometimes two river fish rescue the two Deities. Sometimes two fish roll a wonderful egg ashore where a dove sits upon it until Venus is born from it. In late classical art, two fishtailed Sea-Centaurs, Aphros and Bythos, bring Venus ashore after her sea-birth. The rescuer fish are said to be represented in the constellation Pisces. No matter what known mythic possibilities we choose, when it comes to Pisces, loving collaboration saves the best that the gods have to offer us, even, perhaps especially, in times of great strife and seeming chaos.
Some “Pisces Times” In History:
* American Civil War begins: 4/12/1861, 4:30 a.m. Fort Sumter, S.C.: CHIRON at 0 PISCES 56′, Mercury in Pisces conjunct NEPTUNE at 29 PISCES 56′ (square Ceres in Gemini) conjunct Pisces Ascendant (square MC/IC), Juno in Pisces, Part of Fortune in Pisces
* “The 60’s”: CHIRON in PISCES: 3/26/60 тАУ 1/30/69: Love-based subculture; compassion in action (Peace Corps, Freedom Riders, non-violent peace movement, etc.); James Lovelock’s 1965 “Gaia hypothesis” response to Shell Oil enquiry about 2000 AD)
* SANTA BARBARA BLOW OUT: 1/28/1969 (6 miles offshore): CHIRON 29 PISCES 56′ conjunct Venus at 25+ Pisces: Leaking ocean floor near offshore oil drill inspires first Earth Day teach-in and ecological awareness…
* “SHOCK and AWE”: 3/20/2003, 5:30 a.m. Baghdad, Iraq: American Empire ecological devastation of Iraq, especially via U.S. Depleted Uranium: URANUS at 0 Pisces 29′ (Pallas Athena, Mercury & Sun Pisces, Pisces ascendant). Note that the Euphrates River, mentioned in the myth, is in Iraq. In fact, some say the angle of the Pisces Fish in the constellation look like the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers of Babylon/Iraq…
* DEEP WATER HORIZON OIL RIG EXPLODES: 4/20/2010 at 10 p.m. CDT: Neptune 28 Aquarius 15′ conjunct CHIRON at O PISCES 02’+ Jupiter & Uranus in Pisces
NOTICE that for whatever reason, the very first degree of Pisces and the very last degree of Pisces figure prominently for “Pisces times” involving the U.S.A.
Applying This Mythic Inspiration to Astrology
1. Mythically speaking, starting this year or next, it would be reasonable to expect the significant threat of, and/or actual, ecological disasters of ‘Biblical proportions’ including, but probably not limited to, events involving the seas, and/or rivers, and/or typhoons. (Remember the Deep Water Horizon oil rig disaster that occurred in 2010 when Chiron was briefly in Pisces conjunct Neptune in Aquarius.) Since mythically Neptune was known as “earth shaker,” earthquakes and/or volcanic activity that upsets ‘business as usual’. (Remember the Icelandic volcanic ash that disrupted European air travel and commerce in 2010 when Chiron was briefly in Pisces conjunct Neptune in Aquarius.)
Regardless of the occurrence or non-occurrence of such changes, such matters are likely to be brought to significant collective consciousness. Note that thousands, perhaps millions, of fundamentalist Christians expect 5/21/2011 to be the beginning of the end, and that 10/31/2011 will be ‘the last day’. Note that such beliefs are held by many men at the highest levels of the U.S. military, and at high levels of state and federal government. From a completely different perspective, modern-day Mayan leaders, the internet tells us, expect a ‘changes everything’ pole shift any time now, no later than 2016. While we’re at it, we should throw in the non-Mayan ‘Mayan’ 2012 story that buzzes the collective consciousness now more than ever. Also note that at least one 2010 seismological study has determined that deep water oil drilling destabilizes the earth in the region, increasing the probability of earthquakes, tsunamis, etc.
2. It would not be surprising if men at the highest level of power take increased extreme adversarial actions against Nature, causing even greater immediate or near-immediate environmental problems.
3. Increased lack of social cohesion is mythically probable. Panic and ‘deer in the headlights’ shock is likely. Particularly probable would be VIPs focused on problems of ‘Titanic’ proportions. Typhon was a Titan, and it was mythically disastrous hubris to name that ‘unsinkable’ ship thusly. While focused on their big problems, the ‘little’ people are likely to matter even less as they fight desperately to prove to themselves that they are indeed ‘too big to fail’.
4. Astrologically, we might expect that the planets (except Venus, Eros, Chiron and Neptune) will not ‘behave’ as expected. (Mythology offers clues us to the changed natures of a few planets. The Moon, for instance, turned herself into a cat.)
5. Disease, including Typhus, mythically speaking, could proliferate. Whether intentionally spread (biological warfare, for example), accidentally spread or ‘naturally’ occurring, if ever there be a mythic time for such, this might be it. With Chiron in Pisces, alternative remedies for disease are likely to be most effective, and with Neptune, the power of prayer and incantation. Don’t expect widespread acceptance of these approaches, unless Jupiter makes harmonious aspects to Chiron and/or Neptune around that time.
6. Connections between the seemingly discrepant are likely to be of great help, at a minimum to soul survival amidst the seeming adversity and chaos. These include, but need not be limited to, empathic connection between humans, between species, and between the waking-day world and what aboriginal Australians call “The Dream Time.” Metaphysically, it is said that when we sleep, an invisible cord connects the sleeping body to the ‘astral’ body that journeys at night.
7. Like Venus calling out to the Water Nymphs, reaching out for invisible assistance, is mythically the effective thing to do. Prayer, for instance, is likely to be more powerful than ever for any love-oriented, non-violent, believing person. This is particularly likely to be helpful for non-selfish prayer, or for not entirely self-centered prayer and wishes.
8. The work of Pisces Edgar Cayce may be particularly helpful. Note that Cayce, a photographer by trade, received information from dreams to help and heal others and to understand human life in every sense: economically, spiritually and physically. Cayce saw and told of the lost Civilization of Atlantis that collapsed into the sea. Note that in 2010 when Chiron was briefly in Pisces, Jimi Hendrix’s Valleys of Neptune was posthumously released. Recorded the last time that Chiron was in Pisces, the title song (artistically illustrated by Jimi) spoke of remarkable Earth changes and the rise of a lost civilization: “Look out, East Coast, you’re gonna have a neighbor.” Was Jimi a prophet? If so, we could know soon.
9. Most importantly, the power of love is likely to be unprecedented. Note that the bounds of love can be between lovers, between parent and child, between friends, between the waking self and the apparent dream self or dream ‘twin’, between the muse and the artist, etc.
How Can We Best Be All This? Lighten Up!
(The Intuitive Essence of Mythic Pisces in Song)
Astrological Pisces placements give us the gift of knowing what’s important in life (love in all forms) as we move through the threatening chaos and tragedies of life. If one picture is indeed worth a thousand words, a few song lyrics are probably worth a few hundred words of prose. Hopefully you’ll see what I mean when you read the following lyrics. Enjoy!
Turn to Me (By Lou Reed, Sun in Pisces; from “New Sensations,” 1984)
Since you gave up major vices, you’re between a hard place and a wall
And your car breaks down in traffic on the street.
Remember, I’m the one who loves you, you can always give me a call,
Turn to me, Turn to me, Baby, Turn to me.
If your father is free basin’ and your mother turnin’ tricks,
That’s still no reason you should have a rip,
Turn to me ….
When your teeth are ground down to the bone and there’s nothin’ between your legs,
And some friend died of somethin’ that you can’t pronounce, ah
You can’t pay your rent, your boss is an idiot, and your apartment has no heat,
And your wife says, “Maybe it’s time to have a child”
When it’s all too much you turn your TV set on and light a cigarette
And then a public service announcement comes creepin’ on
And you see a lung corrodin’ or a fatal heart attack
Turn to me I’m just a phone call away, just one tenth of a dollar…
Save Me Jesus (By Bobby Charles, Sun in Pisces; 1972, from “Bobby Charles”)
They got sisters and brothers fightin’ against one another.
They got dreams and schemes and build war machines to try and outdo each other.
We got children that are starving’ but that don’t bother them,
They’re much too busy gettin’ rich to worry about our little children.
[chorus:] Save me Jesus, Jesus save me, save me Jesus, Jesus save me
From this God-forsaken place.
They got satellites and space ships flyin’ ‘cross the universe,
They killed before and they’ll kill again just so they can say they’re first.
They build monuments and churches and things I ain’t seen yet
And they’ve signed them all with their autographs in case you might forget. [chorus]
And Lord when it’s all over, they’ll think you should be proud
And there’ll be a few who offer you anything for Your Shroud,
So when you take me, Jesus, put me among friends
Don’t put me back with these power crazy money lovers again. [chorus, repeated]
Without a Friend Like You (co-written by Ronnie Earl, Sun in Pisces)
[Hear Maria Muldaur’s version from “Louisiana Love Call,” 1992]
I know you feel like the world’s turned its back on you
I think I know what you’re goin’ through
But don’t let those feelin’s turn in your head
Let the Soul inside give you peace instead
[chorus:] You gotta pull yourself up, You gotta hang tough
I know you can do it, I know you got the stuff, and
I wouldn’t want to live in a world without a friend like you!
It’s so easy to fall prey to this cruel world’s ways
And the easy way out is just to call it a day
But hang on, Baby, ’cause your Soul is true
We all got to face these lowdown blues
(Maria adds, “Aw, come on friend!” inviting Amos Garrett’s guitar solo)
I know you might be thinkin’ you’d be better off dead
Better think it over, Baby, and don’t be misled
‘Cause time has a way of healin’ all pain
Nothin’ in this world ever stays the same [chorus]
“Aw, come on now!’ And I couldn’t go on livin’ in a world without a friend like you,
No I wouldn’t want to live in a world without a friend like you!
Beatle George Harrison, Sun in Pisces, wrote of Pisces time — the end of winter — in his well-known song, Here Comes the Sun…