The Moon will reach its New Moon phase in Pisces on March 2 at 9:35 a.m on the West Coast. This will be a magnificent New Moon, with Jupiter and Neptune, the traditional and modern rulers of Pisces, also both now in Pisces and headed for their momentous conjunction on April 12, 2022. Jupiter and Neptune conjoin every 12 to 13 years, but they have not conjoined in their home sign of Pisces since 1856. We are swimming in an ocean of Piscean energy at this time.
Pisces, the last of the 12 zodiac signs, comes at the end of winter, just before the birth of spring at the Aries equinox. Pisces is mutable water, the rhythm of waves, the darkness at the depth of the oceans. We dream in the dark. There is a primordial feeling of hope at the end of winter.
Pisces is associated with the quality of undifferentiated compassion for all beings. Coming between the humanitarianism of Aquarius and the forward motion of Aries, Pisces is like the opening of borders, or floodgates.
Each sign is “ruled” or guided by one or more of the planets. These rulerships were observed and formulated by astrologers thousands of years ago. As astronomy has allowed for new planetary discoveries, the significations of the signs have changed over time as well.
Traditionally, Pisces is “ruled” by Jupiter, named after Zeus, the king of the gods. Jupiter, which also rules Sagittarius, is associated with beneficence, expansion, the quest for knowledge, faith and religion. It was among the planets that were discovered when civilizations arose, and it was associated with the priestly class.
Neptune wasn’t discovered until 1846. It was named not by astrologers but by astronomers, after the Roman god of the sea, because of the planet’s blue color. Neptune’s symbol is a trident which is like the Greek letter psy, relating to the words psyche (soul) and psychic, a quality associated with Neptune. When Neptune was discovered, it was at that time in a conjunction with Saturn, which is fitting, as Saturn is all about structures, and Neptune came to be understood by early 20th century astrologers as representing the dissolution of structures and boundaries.
In a recent webinar for Astrology University, astrological scholar Demetra George traced the synchronicities between the timing of Neptune’s discovery in 1846, its ingress into the sign of Pisces in 1848 and important currents in mid-19th century North American society. At that time, there utopian religious communities flourishing (Oneida, the Shakers and others), especially in New England. There was an unstructured religious movement called spiritualism (think seances and Ouija boards). Many adherents of spiritualism were also active in movements for feminism and for the abolition of slavery.
Across the Atlantic, in Europe, 1848 was when the Communist Manifesto was published. At best, the early communist workers’ movements were egalitarian, seeking to dissolve structures of economic oppression.
Equality, the end of gender, race and class hierarchies, compassion for all—these are all Neptunian themes. Astrology works by processes of synchronicity. Planetary movements and even the discovery of planets tend to coincide with events here on earth.
Jupiter, the traditional ruler of Pisces, is about knowledge and faith. Neptune, which came to be seen as the modern ruler of Pisces, is about a kind of knowing that comes from ideals, visions, and intuition. Knowledge and vision, together, when grounded, can spell wisdom. Yet as Demetra George pointed out in her lecture, the shadow side of Jupiter can be grandiosity and dogmatism, while Neptune’s shadows include delusion, con artists and widespread misinformation. There lies the pitfall: how do we distinguish between faith or a good dream and something that may send us over a cliff?
Each of the signs is medicine for—and receives medicine from—its opposite sign. They are complements. At this New Moon, with so much planetary energy concentrated in Pisces, it is good to also invoke Pisces’ opposite sign, which is grounded, discriminating Virgo. If Pisces is dreamy, Virgo wants to check the fine print. And what Pisces offers to those of us with an abundance of Virgo in our horoscopes is a way to loosen up on the inner and outer critic. My astrology teacher Tony Howard, who has four or five planets in Virgo in his own chart, has a precise word for Pisces: it is to allow.
To allow is to make room for something, to make possible.
This is a practice I’m pondering during Pisces season and especially at this time of the New Moon. To allow. Not everything, not always, not to permit any actual harm, but to allow more experiences to just be. The backyard neighbor plays loud and annoying music in the late afternoon, and all I need to do is to close my glass door.
The ocean refuses no river, goes an old proverb.
That’s the spirit of Pisces. In the flow and the darkness, we move on.
Blessings for the New Moon in Pisces!