The only thing harder than change is endings. Ask anyone who’s gone through a divorce, or retired. Or read a Stephen King novel. With Pisces we’ve reached the denouement of the archetypal story and to encapsulate the sign, well, it feels futile to even try to find the words. Language, as we know it, can sometimes be almost meaningless. It would be like asking someone who’s celebrating their 100th birthday to tell you their life story over coffee, all they’ve experienced and learned. It would earn you a smile and a head shake. Each chapter of the journey has played its part and contains profound purpose impossible to see in the moment. You simply had to be there. Pisces has an experiential appreciation of life like no other, which gives them an unassuming sage-like wisdom that separates them from the rest of us. Endings inherently contain completion and understanding, and if we’re lucky a sense of fulfillment. But more than anything, there’s an acceptance, and the inevitable surrender, for without it one cannot freely enter the next phase. You will eventually reach a door where you alone can pass through – you can’t take it with you.
All of the signs are unique, but this is the first to even touch the state of being ego-less. Now that the end is near, it’s natural for there to be an emptying out, a letting go of self-driven desires and motivations. You can sense this state by imagining that you have everything you need. You look around at all your stuff and realize it’s time to lighten the load, especially when so many others have nothing. Pisces is where we carry on the intention of Aquarius by dedication to the greater good not in theory, but in acts, especially the most simple of ones. It is through this level of service they’re enriched and renewed. I’ve never known a Pisces to be at peace unless they were helping another. It could be by having minimal needs personally and always putting something aside for those in greater need. It’s frequently through the most simple acts of kindness – buying food for the homeless person outside the store instead of pretending they didn’t hear him (how often have we done that). They’re the greatest rescuers. If you know a Pisces, you know they’re the first you’d call if you need help, or even just a shoulder to cry on. They’re completely giving in an unconditional way that seem illogical to the rest of us. Not only are they deeply sensitive and emotional, but they are brilliant listeners, because they can do so without judgment or advice giving. I always joke with my Pisces friends that they seem to be magnets for the ‘walking wounded’ because others sense that Pisces ‘Get Out Of Jail Free” Card through their endless warmth and understanding. Pisces wrote the book on charity. If only we would stop to notice their kindest of deeds, which frequently go without notice. Don’t they feel resentful? Used? We can’t help but view their actions from our perspective with our expectations. Pisces has evolved to a level of strength I can only aspire to achieve, which is to have no expectations. They don’t need anything. If they need anything, they need to give.
Their emptying out frees them by loosening their grip on this reality and all its confines. They’re more imaginative and fluid, for though every ending is followed by the new, but the glimmer of birth cannot be seen as of yet. This is the waiting room of the dark before the dawn when it feels as though the night truly will never end. This quiet experience of purging prepares one to enter a new reality, completely mysterious and unknown. Anyone who’s driven in dense fog will understand. Your lights are on, but will only illuminate ten feet in front of you. You are but crawling forward in blind trust. And in that space, removed from earthbound reality, it seems Pisces pierces through a veil and touches new heights, and depths. They’re almost of another world, as if they straddle two realities. I think of them as the gate keepers for other realms. They don’t know any more than we do, but they’re open and receptive as willing channels. The quiet gondoliers who gently navigate our way through murky waters. It’s no wonder Pisces are the poets, the musicians, the muse chasers who have themselves have moved on from flaccid words to more vast means of expression. They are the most artistic of all, using their creativity of choice to mine great depths of sensitivity and levels of brilliance that can take our breath away, and leave us speechless. The art they bring are not merely works of beauty, but the sacred manifested to life.
The16th Century Italian named Michelangelo (March 6th) has been referred to as the original ‘Renaissance Man’. His vast prolific work as a painter, sculptor, architect and poet made him one of the greatest artists of all time. His paintings cover sacred Italian churches with the most famous religious scenes such as “The Last Judgment” and “Scenes from Genesis”. His aesthetic love of the human body gave us the perfection of David, which he claimed was simply freed from the stone; that he merely chipped away all the stone that was not a part of the statue. He was described by nature to be a solitary and melancholy man, who withdrew from the company of others, and he was exceedingly hard on himself — a poster child for all you blocked artists out there.
Victor Hugo (February 26th), who is called the greatest French poet, yet is more widely known for his literary work “Les Miserable”, an epic tale which follows ex-convict Jean Valjean who seeks to find redemption for his dark past by being a force for good in the world. He was moved to give a human voice to the suffering masses he saw ignored and abused. Not only was he influential in the political arenas, speaking out against the death penalty and social injustice, but was bitterly disillusioned by what he believed to be the Church’s indifference to the oppression of the working class. Pisces is the most spiritual of all the signs, but not religious. They have a more direct, personal experience of the divine and rarely involve themselves with churches – which are but man-made institution. He predicted that Christianity would eventually disappear, but people would still believe in “God, Soul, and the Power.”
But when the artists and writers lack the ability to express the beauty of feeling, there are the musicians. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel of melodic miracle weavers — Frederick Chopin, Glenn Miller, Johnny Cash, Liza Minnelli, Nina Simone and George Harrison (who was called ‘the Quiet Beatle’). They are mystical pied pipers with a mesmerizing appeal and can have fanatical influence. Kurt Cobain, lead singer of Nirvana, who was hailed as ‘spokesperson of his generation’ yet felt misunderstood and struggled with public acclaim, until sadly he took his own life. Then there’s Boy Wonder with the Greek god of golden vocal chords – Josh Groban (February 27th). (Hell yeah, I’m biased — what tipped you off? But I dare you to listen to his music and not melt.). Still but a young artist, he is currently one of the most successful musicians around have sold over 21 million CDs in the United States alone, and that’s without having even a single song hit the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. Try that, Brittany Spears.
I must confess, writing this has been like living in my own personal Sartre Suite at the Overlook Hotel. I could blame my Mercury in Pisces, which for me means writing is always a bit like trying to run jello through a pasta press. Or like fly fishing for words, with the slimy bastards slipping away before I can string them up. Just try getting fish to behave. Mentally exhausted and frustrated to almost tears, the only thing I can do is walk away, and marinate. I’ll lie down, shut my eyes and let the thoughts wildly wash over me, while listening to the rain, or Pavarotti’s heartbreaking rendition of Nessun Dorma. I can’t force anything to come together in any form or structure. But it could happen when I’m out for a walk without means to write anything down – but a trickle, a sprinkle of rain. And hopefully, if I’m lucky, when I’m ready the thoughts will float by again, gently in waves, waiting for me to gather them up. Oh, that’s right — I can’t move water any more than I can walk on it. It comes in its own time and way. Somehow I manage to pass what feels like a kidney stone from my mind, and experience a sense of relief and inadequacy at the same time. So it brings me great comfort to know that the man who painted the Sistine Chapel from a prone position considered himself an inferior painter.
When I was little, my favorite thing was the family vacations, where we journeyed from arid Central California to Pismo Beach. I couldn’t wait to scurry down the sandy rocks to run into the ocean — so vast and wide that it seemed to go on forever, as if Columbus was wrong. I loved how the roar of the waves drowned out all other sound, creating a symphonic beating of its own. I loved wading in the waters, feeling the power of the rhythmic currents capturing my tiny legs until they released me, slipping away still grasping in tiny ripples. And when we were done, for the time, I’d trudge away, hearing the echoing waves fade out, leaving my ears numb in a temporary silence before I could hear the sounds of the world again. I’ve always loved the ocean, but for a strange reason – it makes me feel so small. Anyone who has gone swimming in the ocean is reminded in a humbling way that they are not in control. The best you can say is you’re keeping yourself from drowning, but it’s the ocean that has you at its mercy. As much as I’ve always wanted to believe I am captain of my ship, guiding my destiny toward greatness, in my honest moments, I must admit I’m no more in control of my life as I am of the tides. But I find a gentle reassurance in that power. I see an intelligent order silently guiding our lives, each person playing out a poetic story all their own, and all of us having our roles in their lives, and theirs in ours. When I can step back and see life from that position, it’s fascinating – to realize that our lives are our epitaphs and all of the material concerns that we cling to will but collect dust as we turn to dust. Our actions, they’re the waves that move forth through others, be it fond memories, or inspiration. And maybe, but for a fleeting moment, I believe that everything is perfect, because there is something bigger steering the ship, whatever it is that lies beyond our high beams.