Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Tail of the Fish

 Pondering the Last Days of Pisces

Article © 2013 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved

In a previous article, The Winter Signs, I referred to the Sun’s sojourn in Pisces as “the dark of the Sun,” parallel to the “dark of the Moon.” This refers especially to the last days before the Sun cycle starts over. The “tail end” of this finishing period is the last week, especially the last few days of the sign. Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac the Sun passes through as winter turns into spring. This passage reminds me of the dark of the Moon where the Moon disappears from visible sight as she wanes to apparent nothingness. The New Moon is born as the Sun and Moon invisibly mate or conjoin at the same degree of the zodiac. (Call it my bawdy Jupiter-in-Scorpio sense of humor, but apparently there are celestial bodies, as well as some humans, that would rather “do it in the dark.”)

The concept of late-Pisces as the “dark of the Sun” refers to the last days of the darker half of the year. That’s the larger metaphor. By the time we get to the Tail of the Fish or the end of Pisces in the Northern latitudes, light is actually increasing till light and dark are equal at Spring Equinox. The literal dark of the Sun, when there is the least daylight, is celebrated at the pagan festival, Samhain. Astrologically, Samhain actually occurs at the midpoint of Scorpio (15°) on November 7th, which is the cross quarter between the Autumnal Equinox and the Winter Solstice, as light fades and we work our way to the darkest day in the Northern Hemisphere on Winter Solstice. [1]

When the Sun is in the last days of Pisces, we are experiencing the swan song and final bow of its complete 360-degree cycle, the ending before the new beginning of the natural New Year at Spring Equinox. Like the Moon’s light appears to increase and decrease in the sky, the Sun travels through the zodiac in waxing and waning overall light of day. A figurative spotlight, dimmed during winter, now slowly increases in brightness as one year exits, stage left. Now the spotlight shines on the New Year. This moment of literal, equal light (equinox) has been building since dark was at its fullest at Winter Solstice. We’re on the cusp of the light half of the cycle, until the light begins to dim again at Autumn Equinox. The end of Pisces is the end of the darker half of the hemi-cycle.

Late Pisces: What can we do with this sacred cusp of the entire Solar cycle, this end-beginning, presented to us only once a year?

For hints, I thought I’d delve into the waters of Pisces’ mythology. While accounts vary, they merge into a single legend.

In the Greek myth, a monster named Typhon descends on Mount Olympus. He threatens the gods and goddesses, and most of them flee. As Typhon nears, the goddess Aphrodite and her son Eros (also known as Venus and Cupid in the Roman myths) are looking for an escape route.

Here come the variances: Either Aphrodite and Eros turn into two fish or two fish approach them and swim them away to safety. Another version: They turn into fish and two other fish take them to safety. The common denominator: two fish. These two fish were honored by being placed in the constellation Pisces. (Whether the Pisces pair were Aphrodite and Eros or their rescuers is left up to individual interpretation.) Most legends say the tails of the fish were tied together so they wouldn’t lose each other. [2] [3]

The punch line is that salvation comes from tying our tails together. It is attachment that saves Eros and Aphrodite, symbols of love and the heart. The last days of Pisces invite us to review our attachments and mergers and willingness to let go of that safe togetherness to individuate again, as we touch Aries, the Sign of Me and the cusp of spring. It’s easy to see why the Sun is exalted in Aries, as Aries is the beginning of the Sun’s annual transit through the zodiac. [4] When the Sun is in Aries, this expression is literal: Let’s begin at the beginning.

Tips for the Tail

1. Ponder how you’re tied to others. Can you cut loose some of these chords to grow more into who you are this spring? 

2. Give yourself some down time to restore your energetic reserves. You’ll need a new surge of energy to meet the bursting vitality of all nature, human and otherwise, that invigorating characteristic of spring.

3. Your psyche needs transition to cushion the shock of the seasonal shift from Pisces (the Sign of All and No Me) to Aries (the Sign of Aries and All Me and of venturing out on your own). These seasons are vastly different from one other. Some suggestions:
  • A - Try a musical segue. You can begin slowly shifting your musical selections from those that reflect a gentler, Piscean quality to those with a more vigorous Aries-like flavor. Example: You might listen to less New Age, Classical or soft music and start shifting to more energizing genres, such as contemporary rock or jazz, music with a dance beat that your body can’t resist moving to.
  • B - Meditate more often to raise your energy to the extroverted resonance it will need come March 19.

  • C - Do some guided imagery around the idea that you’re a seed, still under the earth, ready to sprout with one energetic push into visibility. How does this idea fit your life? You can journal about it or make notes on your recorder. Maybe a poem or song will emerge out of this exercise—or an idea for the birth of a new project on the equinox.
 4.  Your body needs transition, too—probably more than just the rest suggested in #2. Take immune support herbs or vitamins to prepare your body for Aries action. My bible on this subject is Staying Healthy with the Seasons by Elson Haas, M.D. Just as we do spring cleaning in our homes, Dr. Haas is big on a spring fast and personal cleanse. His master cleanser is a combo of lemon or lime juice, maple syrup,  and a dash of cayenne pepper in spring water. It’s the only thing that’s kept me fasting as long as three days. Besides elimination, other big themes are exercise, veggies and a big dollop of enthusiasm.

       5. Indulge the last of your positive addictions that border on too much, whether it’s too much TV, losing yourself in books, meditation or music—or extended days of passion, one of the most enjoyable examples of Neptunian merging. If you’re in sync with the seasons, you are likely to have less time for these indulgences in the months to come. Savor them in their season and be willing to let go of focusing on them for a slightly different balance come spring.  

6. As much as possible, do nothing. (For some of us, that is a state of being we’ve rarely tried.) We are called human beings, not human doings. There is no time of year where it’s more appropriate for you to “just be.”   

7. Do some “Pisces things” to celebrate the last of this season that evokes our place in the Cosmic Soup and our ease in tapping collective consciousness. Write a poem, make a drawing, paint your feelings, write a song. (See #3C for a possible stimulus.) Let yourself channel whatever muses and inspirations flow through you.

      8.  Revisit your planets in Pisces and Aries and how you relate to them. If you don’t have any planets in these signs, look at where they fall on your house cusps or add some asteroids, centaurs, fixed stars or other bodies into the mix to help you reveal anew your relationship to the Fish and Ram. You’re surely to have at least one of those in these signs. While you’re at it, imagine you’re a shape shifter morphing from a fish to a ram. What would that feel like? Bring that visceral experience into your chart interpretation. Any new insights?

9.  Revisit your relationship to your spirituality. This will be your subconscious, inner buoy as you leave the ocean of Pisces and launch into the fire of Aries, waving your sword of Self, putting these concerns more in the backseat. It’s good for them to be backseat drivers!

      10.  Do the same rituals recommended for Winter Solstice, especially if you didn’t do them then. Winter Solstice marks the cusp of the reflective season of winter. The last days of Pisces mark the end of that reflective time. Rituals to acknowledge your accomplishments, the Ceremony of Recognition, and Burning the Old things you want to get rid of in your life are still appropriate at the winter-to-spring new beginning. It’s the cusp of the New Year when all nature sings—but instead of Auld Lang Syne, the song’s Another Opening, Another Show!

The more we’re in sync with the seasons and the natural world of which we’re part, the more we hum in harmony within the web of life. Flowing well with these annual changes increases our personal flexibility. It  helps us handle better the bigger changes the outer planets bring, such as the transformational agenda of the current Uranus-Pluto square.

A blessed winter into spring!


Photo Credit: © Crystal |


  1. Samhain, All Hallow’s Eve: 
  2. The Mythology of Pisces:
  3. Oddly, the cord attaching the two fish by the tails has faded from most modern renditions of the Pisces Fish. There are a couple of excellent examples of artwork in Reference 2 where the cord is shown.
  4. Why is the Sun Exalted  in Aries?


Anonymous said...

Thank-you Joyce!

In the last couple of days I have really felt guided to do many of the things you suggested. Thank-you for the confirmation that i'm listening to myself.

Joyce Mason said...

So nice to hear, Michelle... another familiar voice in this stellium-in-Pisces One Mind! Thanks for taking time to comment.