Pisces, Where Are You?

Swimming with the fishes man…

Of course I meant to write this post ages ago, but somehow other things got in the way which is code for ‘Yes, I meant to do it but I was distracted, disorganised but really have no excuse’. Though, this time around I really do have an excuse…

You’ll note the word ‘excuse’. Pisces is great at excuses by the way, but my excuse for not publishing this post is quite legitimate – and very Pisces/Neptune/Twelfth House – I have been in hospital and have just returned home following some serious abdominal surgery (thank you Mars in my Solar Return Fourth House…).

And so here we are – now well through the Piscean month before I put finger to keyboard. Just as well Pisces is not noted for great timekeeping! Hospitalisation, however, has proved to be a great way to really get to know Pisces, that most elusive of zodiac signs, as there is possibly no other place where I could have been reminded, so overwhelmingly, of what Pisces really means.

As I came around from the anaesthesia (Pisces rules gases…) I found myself disoriented, helpless and utterly dependent on the medical staff. It came to me that this was Pisces in microcosm – dependency, healing, and universal compassion in an oddly comforting other world.

Totally removed from the concerns of my daily life, I became aware I had surrendered to something else completely. How? Because this is what Pisces demands of us. We strip ourselves of the things we think we are and place ourselves in the hands of well, who knows?

I had no choice in the matter of course – my surgery was medically necessary – and though I’d googled the condition (as you do), knowledge was no substitute for my faith in the medical profession. This faith was utterly complete and it had to be – I could no more control my illness than I could control the tides. I am not prone to blind faith but sometimes it’s the only thing you have left to you when you face something beyond your comprehension. And that is pure Pisces.

There is a reason, therefore, that we see Nurses as Angels and Doctors as possessing powers out of reach of mere mortals. Those doctors and nurses are fallible human beings just as we are – and are simply doing the jobs they are trained to do – however, Neptune ruled Pisces is the great mind bender of the universe and our perceptions are altered when we make contact – no matter how symbolically – with that sign.

We see things differently under the influence of Pisces. This may be healing and beneficial (as in hospital, where care, empathy and medication get you through the worst of times) or delusional and addictive, when substance abuse and self neglect take you on an endless downward spiral. Those who are heavily influenced by this sign, or have Neptune prominent in their charts can, it seems go either way. Or both. Pisces is a sign of duality which makes it possible for Pisces to be all things to all people.

This ‘mutability’ is a key Piscean trait. Pisceans go with the flow. Like the fish that symbolise them, they can sparkle in the shallows or sink to the bottom, their watery element taking them to places unknown to more earthbound souls. If there is a character trait shared by all the Pisceans I know (and I have met quite a few), it is this: a marked need to escape from the confines of mundane life and go where the flow takes them.

This is not surprising. Pisces is the twelfth sign of the zodiac, the polar opposite to reassuringly dutiful Virgo. It’s association with Neptune and the Twelfth House gives Pisceans the remarkable ability to ‘let go’, and pursue a life ‘less ordinary’ than the rest of us – even if that’s simply the way it appears to be in their own imagination.

Like fish, Pisces and those heavily influenced by Neptune can exist quite happily in their own goldfish bowl – and often prefer things that way. They are masters and mistresses of the art of creating their own world. At best, they are creative, caring and imaginative souls who give of themselves – often for the benefit others. I have known Piscean nurses, musicians, actors, alcoholics and addicts. The theme of self sacrifice is strong even if it sometimes plays out badly and becomes self destruction.

Pisces are not always so selfless however – I have met Neptune influenced business people too – they seem to have their finger on the pulse in more ways than one. There is no doubt, however that the motivation for most Pisceans is to live the dream – whatever their dream is – and that means escaping into their own dream world. For Pisces, dreams are reality and if they are fortunate their dreams will be realised.

I have seen Pisces people realise their dreams in many ways. I have friends who spend most of their lives on a boat – literally at sea. Others turn their efforts to creating a glamorous party lifestyle, mixing only with those who can support them in their dream world. Pisces have few, if any, boundaries and surprisingly – for a sign renowned for it’s selfless and compassionate qualities – they can be quite happy living vicariously on the resources and reputations of others.

What they all seem to share is a reluctance to be ‘down to earth’ and I have seen many of them have issues with their feet, as if contact with the ground causes them fear and physical pain. Flat shoes are not for Pisces girls – high heels ensure as little of you touches the earth as possible! And look at the little old Pisces lady – she has no problems walking around her apartment but cannot move out of doors without support – she simply does not trust her feet to connect to the ground.

So, towards the end of the Pisces month, here I am, grounded (ironically) and set apart because I need to heal. I like to think of myself as a grounded person – my chart is dominated by earthy houses and Saturn has a towering presence. Yet, here I am helpless with my head spinning on painkillers and my world seems disconcertingly unreal and confused.

It’s in this condition that I’ve realised that maybe I’ve been too earthbound in the past and maybe it’s time to go with the flow, accept and transcend my earthly limitations and go with my dreams. Pisces is about letting go – of the things that hold you back and stop you enriching your life at a profound level. Pisceans, no matter how universally compassionate, will always put themselves at the centre of their own universe – and there is the lesson to us all. It’s not at all selfish to put yourself in a position where you can reach out to everyone – including yourself.

© Sara Shipman 2019


Advertisements

Neptune and the Ocean of Dreams

Neptune, bringer of creative dreams and the nightmare of addiction. How can we learn to accept the things we cannot see?

This week I’ve been suffering from flu. Fever, cough, chills – all the things we associate with the flu virus. On the bright side however, illness is a great time to have some ‘me’ time – though not from choice – and as I lay there musing and having crazy feverish dreams, I wondered about the nature of viruses. We cannot see them yet they are all around us and have the ability to pass through our boundaries to make us incredibly weak. I decided they were the most Neptunian of organisms – completely invisible, they swarm our defences and make us feel completely unlike our normal selves.

That, in essence, is Neptune, ruler of Pisces and the Twelfth House, the planet that takes us away from normality and allows us to construct an alternative reality – without being aware of what is really happening. Neptune is a generational planet – none of us will live long enough to see a Neptune return – so, by sign, we share the ways in which Neptune‘s energies are expressed with our peers. However, at the individual level, Neptune affects us all too.

By house position in every persons chart, Neptune shows where you may be blind to the things you really should be paying more attention to. To give you some examples, in the Fourth House, you may neglect your home or family, in the Sixth House it’s possible to ignore signs of ill health or maybe have a disordered lifestyle or with Neptune in the Tenth House you may feel you need to drop out of society in some way. Neptune makes you want to escape from all that is mundane, ordered, responsible and routine by taking your mind to a different place entirely. You simply don’t notice the things you need to do.

It’s not for nothing that Neptune is associated with altering the mind. From being easily distracted from rather dull daily tasks, to drug and alcohol abuse induced abdication of responsibilities to yourself and others, Neptune has all bases covered and provides you with a wealth of excuses as to why you behave a you do. ‘I couldn’t help it’, says the Neptune in you, if indeed, you say anything at all. Neptune ghosts, evading the tough call every time.

It’s this aspect of Neptune that lies at the root of it’s more negative manifestations. Your mind wants to take you to a different world, a world of dreams and you feel helpless and ensnared, after all who doesn’t want to live the dream? The problem is this – Neptune‘s dreams can come at a price and when the only way you can feed those dreams is through addiction, whether it’s some form of substance abuse, gambling or even sexual addiction, that’s a high price to pay for that brief moment of touching the stars.

So there you have it. Neptune can be an infection in your soul, making you drift aimlessly across it’s ocean of dreams until one day you wake up to find you’re lost. No bearings, no horizon and no comprehension of how you got there. How could this have happened to you? Neptune habitually takes us to it’s own realm – the place where we find it most difficult to understand what is happening in our lives so instead we often surrender ourselves to the Neptunian mist and remain in limbo.

One thing you have to realise about Neptune is the very thing I alluded to in my opening paragraph. It’s invisibility. This quality of Neptune‘s is the thing that makes it so hard for us to own our Neptune side. Now for those who don’t have a particularly strong Neptune in their chart that’s maybe less of a problem, however for those of you who have, for example, Neptune in an Angular House, Neptune in the Twelfth House, Neptune conjunct Sun or Moon, even many of you with the Sun or Moon in Pisces – I have a favourite phrase for this and it’s this – ‘a bad case of Neptune‘. A life filled with Neptunian issues can be problematic, largely because there is such a reluctance to face reality and admit there is a problem in the first place.

Facing up to Neptunian issues can be a struggle – yet paradoxically – Neptune is a planet of healing. The key to overcoming Neptune‘s negative manifestations lies in acceptance – the ultimate expression of Neptunian energy. Acceptance means, at heart, accepting yourself for who you are. it’s only then you can learn to accept the world as it is and other people as they are too.

That’s not to say that acceptance equates with putting up with your current state of oblivion. Neptune asks you to look into your soul – all the outer planets require soul work and Neptune is no exception – and ask yourself to accept who you are at the deepest level. We use our addictions to hide away from ourselves, it’s only by confronting them we make peace with our soul.

If that sounds trite I apologise, however, Neptune offers solutions to help us heal, regardless of the scale of the problems we may face. Once you have made the effort to make unconscious Neptune a positive and conscious force for good in your life, you can start to overcome your own issues – after all they’re your issues not Neptune‘s. Owning your Neptunian side actually means coming clean with yourself.

So is the solution to a Neptune influenced crisis in your life even more Neptune? Well, we all carry the potential to express our planetary energies in both positive and negative ways – and they’re not mutually exclusive. Neptune grants you spiritual qualities. Some may find religious faith helps them overcome adversity, others may practice yoga, meditation or mindfulness techniques. Again, the key is taking your mind to another plane – only this time the goal is self awareness not self destruction. Neptune can be your spiritual guide, making you receptive to the world rather than blotting it out and in that way, the things you found so difficult – your daily life and it’s responsibilities – become a form of spiritual practice.

Neptune is therefore asking you to love and worship the life you have on this earth but certainly not to abandon your dreams. In a positive way, this can mean you find joy in artistic expression. Music, poetry, drama, art – whether you simply enjoy looking, listening or watching or whether you take things further and find an outlet for your own creative expression, Neptune guides the way and Neptune‘s ‘infection’ becomes inspiration.

Equally, many people with strong Neptune influences find their lives have meaning working in the healing professions – not just conventional medicine but often as practitioners of alternative medicine and therapies. This drive to help and heal comes from Neptune‘s quality of universal love in all it’s forms and it is one which carries the promise of redemption.

As I conclude this article, I’m glad that the flu virus gave me the ‘time out’ to share my thoughts on Neptune with you. Being ill at home and thus detached from my usual daily routine was, perhaps, what I needed to get this done – then again, maybe it was the meds…

© Sara Shipman