New! Audio on how these readings work, and about the solar house system.
by Eric Francis, Daniel Grimsland and Daniel Sternstein
Vision Quest for Pisces by Eric Francis Coppolino | Printable PDF
Once I was reading a writer in Scientific American describe a concept from quantum physics. You might remember the famous quote wherein our Pisces cousin Albert Einstein complained that, “God does not play dice with the universe.” That was a comment on quantum theory, which is essentially a theory of probability.
The older Newtonian physics described an entirely predictable universe. If you drop a pencil, it will land right below where you dropped it.
Alternately, quantum physics describes a universe where anything is possible, but some things have a greater probability of occurring. When you drop a pencil, it’s not certain that it will fall — it may fly through the roof and land on the Moon. It’s just not that likely to do so. In fact, it’s extremely unlikely.
But here’s the catch: The universe is so big it can contain any possibility, or any probability. Not only can it, it must — everything that can happen is happening somewhere. The size of the universe embraces the odds of even the least likely things happening right now, somewhere. In other words, there is some planet just like Earth where I’m sitting writing this interpretation in a hash bar in Amsterdam with tickets to go see Mark Knopfler tonight, and Rihanna as my date.
Every possibility is available all the time, somewhere, or anywhere. The question then is, what’s the nature of our present reality? How is this particular one the one we get? And what about all those different versions of supposedly totally unique you? Can you tune into any one of them at any time? Can you become any one of them? If so, why are you having your current experience? Did you choose it, or is that how the dice landed?
This is a radical departure from our rather limited cause-and-effect model of reality. It would obviate any notion of ‘impossible’. The idea that anything is possible is not just hopeful cheerleading; it’s not a potential; it’s a mandatory fact of known physics. And it may be that there is some ability to choose which of the multitude of possibilities we get to experience. At minimum, far more is possible than we may have imagined. As one of my teachers put it, what’s most interesting about our particular plane of reality, right here on Earth, is that you can go anywhere from here.
What we have in these ideas is a description of Pisces as it’s currently aspected. Anyone familiar with cosmology as described by astrology might say this is the nature of Pisces on any day — that its whole purpose is to contain all the possibilities, and make them ready to access. It’s why Pisces is such a creative well, and can be so inspiring, at the same time it’s capable of such delusion and denial. On one level it’s all the same thing — any possibility is a potential waiting to be expressed. Those who can tap into potential are the ones we call ‘creative’ or ‘lucky’ or ‘in tune with the cosmos’.
At the moment, Pisces is unusually rich with potential. One by one, slow-moving planets have gradually arrived there, each of them representing not just one potential but an approach to existence. Others more recently discovered have appeared in Pisces with no prior astrological history. The challenge is selecting, tuning into and choosing the possibilities you want. The other challenge is what to do when you get something you don’t want, or don’t think you want.
Awareness and choice are therefore the keynotes of this moment in your personal history. They always were — it’s just that they count more now. Of course, now always counts more than any time in the past, because now is when you can consciously influence your life. So you might say the greater challenge is to stay fully present now, and to participate in your existence more directly than ever.
You have unusual manifesting power right now, and will either benefit from what you create, or have to live with it, or uncreate it. Therefore, it will be wise to use your consciousness to maximum benefit.
Chiron, Sigil of Mentorship and Awareness
Of all the planets present in Pisces right now, Chiron is your best mentor. You will have the benefit of Chiron in your sign for about two more years. This transit goes back about five years, though this is one of the more important years in the journey, because all of 2016 is leading up to a rare contact between Saturn and Chiron.
Mentorship is one of the most vital (and forgotten) concepts associated with Chiron. Mentorship is a form of one-on-one teaching, typically expressed through some form of modeling. At this time in your life, it’s essential you have people who you look up to, people with more experience, and probably of significantly greater age.
Equally vital is your duty, to use a strong word but a valid one, to be an exemplary person in the lives of others with less experience than yourself. These people come to you; you don’t go to them. In essence, though, you might work with the A Course in Miracles idea that everyone teaches, and teaches all the time.
One take on the mentorship angle is that it can be isolating. With strong Chiron in your chart, which you now have, you often must stand apart from the crowd as a matter of integrity. This is not about being a nonconformist. It’s about conforming only to that which you truly respect and resonate with. One way to measure this is to assess the level of devotion to healing and service among the people in any group, or any individuals you encounter.
Energetically, Chiron is a kind of condenser of reality. It takes the vast, wide, streaming potential of Pisces and focuses it into a vantage point. Imagine the existence of the internet without a computer to actually get in. This is how Pisces feels to many people. Chiron provides the point of mental access. In a sense you might say you can use this tool to narrow and focus your potential.
Focusing on Chiron helps cut through the dense thud of human consciousness. That is why Chiron is so often experienced as the rude awakening. It need not be rude, as long as awakening is voluntary. It usually is not. People tend to require violent impact to wake up, or so they think. That is a choice. Chiron will give many signals and warnings before there is any impact. Make sure you listen for the messages. They will come as recurring situations, messages from your body, and information tagged with the feeling of ‘Oh, this is important.’ Don’t mark it “unread” and forget about it. Print it three times and stick copies on your wall, in your date book and in your private diary.
If the theme of Chiron is healing, the thing Chiron focuses in Pisces is healing the existential wound. Far from having the sensation that all possibilities are open all the time, a great many people are wondering what the heck they are even doing here, or how they got here. Even spiritually aware people can go through phases of feeling forsaken. Some of the best art is created through struggle and isolation. Worse, many people experience struggle and isolation they can neither process with creative activity, or justify on the basis of using it as inspiration or learning. Indeed, plenty of struggle happens that is not even dedicated to healing.
So the first thing to do is get your priorities in order. You determine the purpose of your life. Then you get to express that purpose within your existing circumstances, and morph them to fit your intentions, your desires and your needs.
If Chiron in Pisces is the siren call of the Divine as if from across the cosmos, your job is to hear that calling, to listen carefully and respond. If Chiron’s role is to provide the incentive to healing, your role is to make that purpose into your own, and see where that takes you.
Chiron is reminding you that you are the fulcrum of your own experience. A fulcrum is the point from which something pivots, such as a telescope on a tripod. Small movement at the fulcrum can move the line of sight millions of light years. Your job is to tune your awareness to your ability to pivot, and to then see what changes when you slightly alter your position in consciousness or in space. Said another way, your point of view is critical to your being able to influence your experience.
The presence of Chiron is likely to serve, at times, as a trigger of crisis. This may be a kind of general existential crisis, or it may have a specific theme. If you are a Pisces with a birthday in the March 8 through 12 period, pay attention to your relationships with men — and by extension your father — as Chiron is now very close to your Sun.
In the Virgo reading, I covered three of what I have documented as the core principles of tantra. You might read that chapter if you have access to it; but to sum up, they involve accessing your inner male and inner female aspects in a balanced way. By doing so, you can get control over projecting otherness, which has as one of its more basic elements the illusion of sexual opposition. Being uber feminine and having everything masculine exist outside of you might work for a fashion model, but it’s unlikely to be productive for a spiritual seeker or someone on a conscious path of growth. Being Mr. Macho and having all that is receptive and feminine exist outside of you is a similar form of imbalance that will not serve you.
Next, all experiences within your environment are relational, and at their core erotic. When a person’s mind and energy are clear, all of existence is creatively and procreatively generative. The distinction between ‘sexual’ and ‘non-sexual’ is exaggerated and inherently deceptive, largely the product of limited and controlling religious conditioning. If everything is erotic, you cannot define erotic as ‘bad’ unless you define existence as bad (and this idea many schools of thought perpetuate rather handily).
Third, it’s necessary to embrace taboo elements of life. Purity is not a value. In Virgo, I offered this idea:
“In classical tantric practice (which is different from the more familiar how-to of Kama Sutra), that which is forbidden is embraced. In tantric practice, participants might have sexual encounters with those outside their caste — with someone of lower or of higher status. Vegetarians might eat the forbidden fruit of meat. Spiritual purists might experiment with drugs and alcohol. This is all designed to guide people out of their thought boxes and their experiential limits, and to lead them to a new place of shifted consciousness. Most enlightenment is designed around some concept of purity.”
There are two more ideas that are particularly vital for you. The first is the principle of containment. It’s essential that you learn how to contain your energy. This is particularly true with boundary-melting Neptune in your sign, which I’ll come back to in a moment.
Containment means everything from knowing how not to speak when it’s not appropriate to do so; to being able to remain in control of your emotions; to wearing clothing that is appropriate for your environment (i.e., garments that keep you warm, and shoes that grip the ground); to being able to limit, to a healthy degree, your indulgences in whatever experiences you like. Containment requires awareness and discipline.
Last is the idea of direction of your expressive energy. This is the balancing principle to containment, and the natural result. If you’re a pen that can hold ink, you will also be a pen that can write because you have that ink. The more you have to express (and you do have a lot), the more you need the ability to direct your creative energy, which is all of your energy, in a way that you choose, and in a way that is appropriate for what you want to achieve. For this to work, it’s necessary that you be aware of what you want, and then conduct a mindful experiment in what choices get you further from that, and which ones get you closer to it.
You might look at containment and expression as one function, regulated by one ability. They are integral to one another; each is meaningful due to the existence of the other.
Neptune, the Abundance of Creative (or Destructive) Potential
One of the longer-term visitors in your sign is Neptune, the modern ruler of Pisces. Jupiter is the classical ruler, which I’ll describe soon — it’s in a vital role in your life, placed in your opposite sign Virgo.
Neptune is a planet that is actually made of water. Water is essential to life; it supports and sustains life, and can just as easily take it away. Therefore, Neptune must be assessed as something with approximately equal potential to destroy as to create.
Neptune arrived in Pisces only recently for the second time since its discovery in 1846. (It was discovered while in late Aquarius, and was last in Pisces between 1848 and 1861. If any astrologers cared at the time, we have no available record of their ideas. But that was a dark time for astrology, before the revival of the late 19th century.)
There is a lot to this placement, though I think it would be wise to keep my interpretation grounded and not be too speculative. In terms of the historical process, it’s interesting that we are now experiencing the very kinds of divisions and extreme polarizations in society that led to the American Civil War, which began in April 1861, with Neptune both rising at that moment and in the very last arc minutes of Pisces.
In other words, at the end of Neptune in Pisces, things really fell apart, and we are witnessing similar precursors to that kind of destruction right now. This topic deserves a very long article, though I think the big take-away is recognizing the core delusion that all this divisiveness in the world is just fine and will have no real effects. In some ways it seems the entire world is in an enormous blindspot right now. With Neptune in your sign, your first job is to not get caught in that blindspot. Part of this means accounting for your creative and destructive tendencies, and using the power bestowed by Chiron to sort things out and make clear decisions.
Water in water creates displacement. Add a lot of water to a river and it will flood its banks. Seen another way, Pisces can go stagnant, and the infusion of Neptune has created a refreshing, cleansing effect in your psyche, flooding out much you forgot was there. This may result in the resurfacing of any previous tendency, intention or desire; you may experience a recurrence of an addiction issue, or you may remember you’re really an artist.
Neptune also arrived in your sign after its long, long journey through Aquarius, your 12th solar house, which transit felt interminable. Yet end it did, and then it was as if a vast bubble burst and you got an infusion of oxygen-rich water — and in a sense, met your previously hidden self. Whatever the results of that may be, what you are feeling is unprecedented for any Pisces people on a timeframe of at least 150 years.
One of my early teachers told me to write the keywords for Neptune on the wall, so I would not forget them. Neptune can indeed be creative, and the ‘tune’ in Neptune is definitely connected not just to music but the music of the spheres. However, most keywords for Neptune begin with the letter D — dreams, delusion, denial, drink, drugs, distance (as in isolation), depth, drama, distortion, destruction, disappearing.
Neptune has a knack for vanishing and then reappearing, which was evident from the process of its discovery. If you’re an astrology student and you want a good laugh, read this story of how it was first seen in 1612 by none other than Galileo himself, who failed to recognize it as a planet despite the fact that it moved visibly in the course of one month. Neptune then did a brilliant imitation of a whale that lasted more than two centuries till its existence was finally confirmed in 1846.
Most humorous is that its existence was predicted mathematically. Neptune can, therefore, represent something of a blindspot. It’s the opposite of Chiron, which represents a lens, telescope or other measuring instrument. Chiron is what can make you painfully aware of what you must address. Neptune can be used to anesthetize you out of awareness, but once you know that, you would have to cooperate for it to actually work.
The upshot here is that Neptune’s extended presence in your sign requires impeccable honesty. You need to be in constant relationship with every one of those words beginning with D. Not just honesty but also the ability to harness them creatively. Anything that can destroy can create; anything that can create can destroy. You might say the message is: own your creative power. Oh, that! Well, you knew the time would arrive eventually, and now it’s here.
One other bit, about boundaries, which I’ll back come to with Nessus. Neptune’s presence says mind your boundaries, which starts with making sure your doorknobs and door locks work properly, and knowing how much money you have at all times. And I would add this — which someone just posted to my Facebook timeline, quoting me: “‘Independence’ does not really mean being strictly non-dependent on the ideas and companionship of others; rather, it means coming from your own viewpoint and seeing the viewpoints of others clearly.”
Borasisi and Manwe: Planets Named for Fictional Entities
Typically, newly-discovered planets are named for established gods and goddesses from different cultures. But there are a lot of planets being discovered now (there are more than a million known to be orbiting our Sun). Recently, there has been a little trend of astronomers naming planets for fictional entities. As it happens, two were in Pisces at the time of their discovery and naming — Borasisi and Manwe.
Borasisi is the Sun god from the Kurt Vonnegut novel Cat’s Cradle. This is a rather deep novel, dealing with themes of truth and lies, as proffered by both religion and science. If you’re curious to go deeper, I suggest you check this article, written one week before the nuclear incident at Fukushima.
Personally, the core issue of Borasisi is that of how your beliefs influence your reality. Nobody will accept what they don’t think of as true, but in that assessment there is huge variance. With Borasisi present, the thing to know is that your beliefs influence everything in your reality, and you make up your beliefs. Proof does not matter. What you see and hear does not matter. What wise people say does not matter.
You make up your beliefs, so it would be wise to make them up consciously, based on the known data. Even before you go there, it’s essential that you know what you believe, and be aware of why you believe it.
Manwe was named for the chief of the gods in the legendarium of J.R.R. Tolkien. He is the brother of the ‘fallen’ god Melkor, the teacher of Sauron and the root of all the evil in the world. He is the wise brother attuned to the will of Eru Ilúvatar, ‘the one’ overarching god.
This is an interesting placement and we could take it many ways, but without going too far out on a limb it is saying listen for your awareness of what is ‘intended’. I am not teaching fate or destiny. I am however suggesting you listen for intention, however that works out for you, and whatever it means — whether coming from your higher self, your deeper self, your guardian angel or from God.
And how do you know if it’s real? Well, that’s the art of discernment. Suffice it to say that what we think of as spiritual information — if real — is life-affirming, oriented on loving others and receiving love, focused on healing, and will tend to unite rather than divide.
Other influences are urging you to listen to your intuition, and to notice what happens when you do listen and when you do not listen. In this way, you’ll be able to discern what is truly coming from a dependable source.
Nessus: Accountability for What You Feel
The most recent arrival in your sign, and the one that will be there the longest, is Nessus. The third-ever discovered centaur planet, Nessus bears a resemblance to Chiron, only you might say it’s a more hardcore influence. The tales of Nessus, whether from mythology or from personal biography, tend to be stories of the results of actions coming back to people. In other words, on the most basic level, Nessus is about the experience of consequences, and detecting the roots of those consequences.
Yet going deeper, Nessus is about taking accountability for those same events, and further, for blocking the cycle of abuse. Melanie Reinhart came up with the best key phrase yet for Nessus, which is that the buck stops here. Here means with you.
We could parse this a few ways, one of which is that you are the one who ceases to do to others what was done to you. Nessus represents a kind of anti-mentorship, as it describes the example not to set. Yet the attribute that is indeed about setting an example for others is the one about taking responsibility for what you feel.
This is not easy, given that so many people, organizations and media influences are trying to take over what and how you feel, think, do, in addition to modifying your body chemistry, your DNA, your choices, and just about anything else in the universe subject to being influenced. We are pounded by persuasion, and swirling in circumstance.
And you might say, in the middle of all this we’re supposed to be accountable for how we feel? Well, is there an alternative? Are you a free-floating entity with no volition, subject to every vector? Or are you a being reaching for autonomy? The case is being made every day that you must do what your mother, the church, god, goddess and Monsanto think you should be doing. Personhood is about taking over that process — the one of having your own assessment of life, and making your own decisions.
You don’t need to look far to see people are in love with having others make their decisions for them, then resenting what happens as a result. We are a society of people in love with having people run our lives, or of just giving up and having others do it by default (same basic thing, just less honest). The few and the proud who rise above this have the potential to accomplish great things — the kinds of things that in truth, only a self-actualized person can accomplish.
But self-actualization has fallen under tough times. However, whether fashionable or not, this is going to be the story of your life for quite a while, so I suggest you get with the program. Thankfully, the previous generation has left us with a wealth of excellent books that map out the territory of personhood. Books require time and thought. They are not emails. They are not articles, essentially disposable. Books require commitment, and I am aware that the modern method is to skip around. It is however difficult to make a relationship with an idea if you’re doing that. The reading of books is key to what we think of as individuality. One could write a book about that, though I am speaking from the perspective of a media history student.
Therapy is another tool. If you’ve been married 30 years and knew you should have got out 18 years ago, that’s a reason to go to therapy. The thing about therapy is that it has to be interesting. If you feel bored in the session, or feel worse after the session, you need a new therapist. Therapy has two purposes: the cultivation of trust, and teaching you to make decisions.
Authors who are not purporting to come from a ‘spiritual’ point of view — which I believe is an essential qualification for those teaching self-actualization — include Fritz and Laura Perls, the earliest works of Hugh Prather, Eric Berne, Erich Fromm, Alan Watts, Robert M. Pirsig, Nancy Friday, Erica Jong, Simone de Beauvoir and Adrienne Rich.
If you are a woman, the book that in my opinion is the most essential to commencing a real education in personhood is called The Second Sex, by de Beauvoir. This is the book that explains how women got to be non-people, and what they must do to graduate from woman (the second sex) to person.
The problem with most spiritual solutions is they are too given to the practice of deferring responsibility or giving it to God. Speaking as one who loves God, I can tell you we are here to do the work of waking up, of learning to trust, and learning to make choices. And much of that involves having information to work with; it involves knowing something about the history of consciousness; it involves being introduced to different ideas of what personhood really means, then deciding for yourself.
Saturn in Sagittarius: The Achiever
Now that we’ve covered most of what’s in your sign — most of; I had to leave out a few interesting bits — let’s look at two other planets. We will be taking a second pass at your chart in the audio reading.
So, I’ve written a lot about inner process. That’s the theme, but it extends out into the world. What’s the point of taking 75 workshops at Omega Institute if you don’t get busy with something you know you must do? That’s the message of Saturn. Spiritual is action. Action is the fruit of knowledge.
Sagittarius is your 10th solar house, or your 10th whole-sign house if you are Pisces rising. The 10th is the house of achievement and reputation. With Sagittarius oriented in this way in your chart, you have a rather large concept of what it means to achieve something, and what you would like to get done. This is really a visionary placement.
But more than being visionary, Sagittarius wants to set a goal and attain it. Then set another one and attain that. You could not want a better placement as your 10th house. Yet the requirement for success is that you do something actually meaningful to you. Sagittarius is all about meaning. The 10th is your highest calling. Your highest calling involves honoring meaning, whatever that means to you.
You might say the distinction is the same as between career and vocation. Career is what you do to make money, or because someone made you do it. Vocation is the calling that you follow because it’s already in you, and then you figure out how to make it work.
Saturn in one’s 10th house represents a direct calling to success, but it’s not a promise. It’s an invitation, with a probable comment that if you do the work, you will get someplace.
What Saturn does for Sagittarius (as well as for Pisces) is to grant the quality of tangibility. Both your sign and that on your 10th are ruled by Jupiter, which is more about potential, promise and hope than about being a taskmaster. Saturn grants you taskmaster capabilities. It’s also a commentary on taking charge, and taking responsibility. I don’t mean being boss — I mean being accountable for your own actions, and for your decisions, and therefore for what you accomplish.
Majestic Saturn is, however, not merely streaking across this angle of your chart for the next two years. While it does so, it will be putting the squeeze on every single one of those planets I’ve mentioned in your 1st house, Pisces. In astrological terms, Saturn will make squares to Neptune, Chiron, Borasisi, Manwe, and several other points. It has already made a series of three squares to Nessus, and you might (from understanding Nessus a bit now) be able to identify the scenarios in the past 12 months where you were absolutely compelled to take responsibility for your life, and your business — or both.
Next in line is Saturn square Neptune, which is a way of saying you must be as practical and realistic as you are visionary and idealistic. You need to work both sides of that equation. Your idealism and a practical approach must feed your vision equally, and you will need to know when to emphasize one over the other.
Your personal growth and professional success are inextricably linked by the squares of Saturn to all the planets in your sign. Personal growth will drive your desire to succeed, and expand your potential to do so. Many, many people are held back by their refusal to grow. Those people are not your friends. And if you don’t want to be one of them, that’s the option you must choose.
So if you feel pushed beyond your capacity, expand your capacity. If things are getting too real, remind yourself you don’t want them any other way. While you’re at it, you might take a guess how much time you have left on the planet, and how you want to use it. Here is a clue: I doubt it’s about having a good time. I suggest you tune into the gratitude that there is work to do on the planet, and strive to do it meaningfully and as joyfully as you can. Live in such a way that you have an authentic answer to the question, “What did I accomplish today?” when you go to bed every night.
When you wake up, face the day boldly, and as the leader of your own life.
Jupiter in Virgo: One With the World
In a section above, I mentioned some of the properties of tantra. It turns out that a lot of this philosophy involves the integration of opposites (as does astrology). There is something about heightening your knowledge that you are part of the world and it is part of you. What we call consciousness is the result of that mutual relationship. The world as you know it does not exist without you.
The integration of opposites is perhaps the idea most central to astrology that is not mentioned anywhere, that I have seen, in classical literature. Rather, to find it, we must go to a 1950 work by Alice A. Bailey — who was not an astrologer — who offers this as what I consider to be the very best idea in her book Esoteric Astrology. Bailey said she got her information from Tibetan master Djwhal Khul, a/k/a The Tibetan.
This idea embraces and indeed encourages fully owning otherness, accessing your inner male and female polarities, and relating to the world as if it’s your service-oriented creative plaything. Service is natural if you are living in a way that is creative; you don’t have to work at the sandwich bar when you’re on vacation in the Bahamas. You would, though, be inherently respectful of anyone who does.
Now for Jupiter in Virgo. In traditional astrology, Jupiter is the planet associated with both your sign and with Sagittarius (your 10th house). Jupiter is now in Virgo, your opposite sign.
What this offers is a vision of you projected into your environment as a fully enmeshed participant. Your environment in turn reflects itself back to you as a fully enmeshed participant in your life. You might say this is about mirroring, but really it’s a lot more than that. You cannot really reach into a mirror. It’s just an optical illusion. This is about you and your world being soaked into one another, and more than that, it’s about you impregnating and infusing your world [I originally typed ‘work’] with your creative energy.
The double association of Jupiter with yourself and your vocation means you are living in a world where more is accessible than you might otherwise imagine. Treat everyone and everything as if it’s potentially available. I don’t mean to say proceed with an attitude of what is popularly called ‘entitlement’; rather, with an eye toward embracing the potential in whatever, and whomever, you encounter.
You have permission to see and experience your life as an integrated whole. This is the fulfillment of the true nature of Pisces, which is not always so easy to make real. But your chart is supercharged at the moment, which is an indication that this is a full time in your life; one waiting for you to reach beyond anything to make your existence known. It’s an invitation to push your potential, make sure you try out what is seemingly impossible, and if you don’t succeed, try again — as long as you want to.
It’s not just a crazy idea from quantum physics. Everything is not only possible, it’s inevitable. But everything depends on where you place your attention.
This is the endpoint of the written section of Vision Quest at 8:56 pm in Kingston, New York.