Virgil Finlay Illustrations An Astrology Sketchbook (Pisces)

 

Pisces Ancient Greek: is the twelfth astrological sign in the Zodiac, originating from the Pisces constellation. It spans the 330° to 360° of the zodiac, between 332.75° and 360° of celestial longitude. Under the tropical zodiac the sun transits this area on average between February 19 and March 20, and under the sidereal zodiac, the sun transits this area between approximately March 13 and April 13. The symbol of the fish is derived from the ichthyocentaurs, who aided Aphrodite when she was born from the sea.

According to some tropical astrologers, the current astrological age is the Age of Pisces, while others maintain that it is the Age of Aquarius.

 

Background

While the astrological sign Pisces per definition runs from elliptical longitude 330° to 0°, this position is now mostly covered by the constellation of Aquarius, due to the procession from when the constellation and the sign coincided. Today, the First Point of Aries, or the vernal equinox is in the Pisces constellation. There are no prominent stars in the constellation, with the brightest stars being of only fourth magnitude. One star in the constellation, Alpha Piscium, is also known as Alrescha which comes from the Arabic, meaning “the well rope,”or “the cord.” Ptolemy described Alpha Piscium as the point where the cords joining the two fish are knotted together. The astrological symbol shows the two fishes captured by a string, typically by the mouth or the tails.The fish are usually portrayed swimming in opposite directions; this represents the duality within the Piscean nature. Although they appear as a pair, the name of the sign in all languages originally referred to only one fish with the exception of Greek,  Bulgarian, Dutch, Latvian, Italian.

Mythology

Divine associations with Pisces include Poseidon/Neptune, Christ, Aphrodite, Eros, Typhon and Vishnu. “Pisces” is the Latin word for “Fishes.” It is one of the earliest zodiac signs on record, with the two fish appearing as far back as c. 2300 BCE on an Egyptian coffin lid.

According to one Greek myth, Pisces represents the fish, sometimes represented by koi fish, into which Aphrodite (also considered Venus) and her son Eros (also considered Cupid) transformed in order to escape the monster Typhon. Typhon, the “father of all monsters” had been sent by Gaia to attack the gods, which led Pan to warn the others before himself changing into a goat-fish and jumping into the Euphrates. A similar myth, one which the fish “Pisces” carry Aphrodite and her son out of danger, is resounded in Manilius’ five volume poetic work Astronomica: “Venus ow’d her safety to their Shape.” Another myth is that an egg fell into the Euphrates river. It was then rolled to the shore by fish. Doves sat on the egg until it hatched, out from which came Aphrodite. As a sign of gratitude towards the fish, Aphrodite put the fish into the night sky. Because of these myths, the Pisces constellation was also known as “Venus et Cupido,” “Venus Syria cum Cupidine,” “Venus cum Adone,” “Dione,” and “Veneris Mater,” the latter being the formal Latin term for mother.

The Greek myth on the origin of the sign of Pisces has been cited by English astrologer Richard James Morrison as an example of the fables that arose from the original astrological doctrine, and that the “original intent of was afterwards corrupted both by poets and priests.”

In modern mythology and religion

Purim, a Jewish holiday, falls at the full moon preceding the Passover, which was set by the full moon in Aries, which follows Pisces. The story of the birth of Christ is said to be a result of the spring equinox entering into the Pisces, as the Savior of the World appeared as the Fisher of Men. This parallels the entering into the Age of Pisces.

Want to Learn More, Purchase and Read (Available on Amazon)

Virgil Finlay-An Astrology Sketchbook Hardcover – 1975

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