This month we explore some of the deeper meaning surrounding the symbolism of Pisces…
Pisces is the sign of the fishes: two fish swimming in seemingly opposite directions. This immediately tells us that Pisces is a sign of duality, yet in our symbology the fish are never separate – there is always a bond, a thread of some kind, connecting the two.
Why fish? Why two fish specifically, and not two of any other animal, say horses or rabbits? Why fish specifically? The answer is probably lost in the mists of time but is likely to be about the symbolism of water and the sanctity of water. The fact that on Earth it is water that gives and sustains life, and also that water is a metaphor for our spiritual nature, Divinity, and oceanic consciousness.
Pisces is the mutable water sign and is associated with oceanic consciousness. We can relate to the two fish as aspects of our individuality swimming through that ocean of consciousness: one fish symbolizing our body and the other our Soul.
In astrological symbology water represents our emotions. All water signs (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces) are mastering emotions on some level. Pisces is very connected to the astral realm: the realm of emotions, psychic impressions, the imagination and the subconscious.
The sign of the fish is also used in Christian symbolism: Christ chose his disciples from fishermen. He performed the miracle of the loaves and the fishes. Modern day Christians also use the sign of the fish, and the Christian faith was founded around the beginning of the astrological Age of Pisces.
The Pisces Glyph
The glyph for Pisces consists of two semi-circles facing away from each other, joined by a band (see the example at the beginning of this post). It is said that the two ‘fishes’ are permanently joined together by a ‘silver cord’ which is sometimes called the sutratma or thread of life. The sutratma is a reminder that we are never separate but that we are connected by the thread of life which runs through all our hearts.
“The Sutratma, the thread of life, is anchored in the heart. It comes directly from the Monad, reflected through the soul, and is fixed in the heart center at the right-hand side of the body. It is reflected through that etheric center to the physical heart and into the bloodstream, which, as you know, is the purifying stream which carries the energy of life to every part of the body. While the lifeblood is pumped correctly through the body and is kept free of poisons, the physical body displays all its ability and accuracy of movement and expression. So, too, the connecting body, the astral-emotional body and the mental body are dependent on the life thread, the Sutratma, for their existence and correct function.”
So there is also this strong heart connection in Pisces which shows that through the Sutratma the individual thread of life, we are all connected through the heart center. In another blog I have written about how Pisces is associated with the sacred heart of humanity.
In many spiritual traditions our spiritual journey is described as a path of the heart. It is through the heart that all human suffering is transformed into spiritual qualities such as universal love and compassion.
Esoterically it is said that the final death happens in Pisces. This would be the final death of ego (after many ‘false’ deaths) where once and for all our illusory ego dissolves into the ocean of consciousness, when we finally recognize ourselves as that ocean, and we are truly at one with all that is. So in Pisces we have the culmination of a heart journey (of transforming human emotions) that began in Cancer, and completes with the ‘death of ego’ in Pisces.
“The happiness of the drop is to die in the river.”
– Sufi proverb
The glyph of Pisces represents this journey… in the two semi-circles we can see an illusion of separation. They appear to be separate, going in opposite directions. Yet all the time we can see the connecting thread. We can also see that once the two halves turn to face each other, the result will once again be a complete circle.
In Esoteric Astrology we are told that all suffering is the result of the illusion of separation. The story of our apparent separation and return to wholeness, as told through the symbolism of Pisces, is one of overcoming human suffering as we return to the wholeness of universal love and compassion.