18, the Sun began its month-long voyage through Pisces, the sign of the
zodiac assigned to the eighteenth trump of the tarot, the
moon card. Pisces has a traditional ruler Jupiter,
associated with the tenth tarot trump, the wheel of fortune, and a modern
ruler Neptune, linked to the twelfth trump of the tarot, the hanged man.
the ancient god of the seas, and the
Moon, depicted on the eighteenth tarot trump,
controls the ocean tides. Appropriately, the sign Pisces belongs to the
water element. The tarot’s watery suit of cups illustrates scenes related
to love, friendship and vicissitudes of human emotions.
symbolism of Jupiter and the tarot’s wheel of fortune card was discussed in
a previous article about
Sagittarius and the tarot. This month, the
focus will be on Neptune and the sign Pisces.
The Constellation Pisces and the Sign of the Cross
constellation Pisces is formed by a set of dim and scattered stars that
trace the images of two widely separated fish joined by a knotted cord. One
fish, swimming upward, faces east toward Aries, while the other fish swims
westward toward Aquarius along the plane of the ecliptic. The directions of
motion of the two fish form a cross, the symbol of the Christian
religion—the upright line of the cross representing spirit and the
horizontal line signifying matter.
mythology tells of two fishes that pushed ashore a giant egg, from which
emerged the fertility corn-goddess Atagratis and her lover-son Ichthys, who
dies and is reborn annually. The myth of Ichthys and the sign Pisces later
became connected with Christianity. Directly across the zodiac from Pisces
lies the sign of Virgo, symbolizing the virgin grain goddess of ancient
Greece and also connected with the Virgin Mary of Christian mythology,
whose birthday is liturgically celebrated on September 8, when the Sun
crosses the midpoint of the sign Virgo.
Ancient Greek Fishes and the Monster Typhon
youngest son of Gaia (mother
earth) and Tartarus (the infernal regions), was a
devilish fire-breathing monster with a hundred dragon heads. Typhon’s name
derives from the Greek word for “violent wind,” and is also related to the
word typhos, meaning vapor. We now call violent storms “typhoons,”
and medical history documents typhus as one of the great disease scourges
of human history, presumably spread by the noxious breath of the monster
For a brief
period, Typhon wrested control of the heavens from Zeus (Jupiter) by
stealing his thunder while Zeus lay defenseless during the act of
love-making. To escape Typhon, the gods of Mount Olympus changed their form
into various animals and fled. The god Pan became the half goat-half fish
of Capricorn. Aphrodite and her beloved son Eros (Venus and Cupid, love and
desire, agape and eros) transformed themselves into fish, bound themselves
together with a cord and escaped into the Euphrates river.
union of love and desire was immortalized in the constellation Pisces. The
astrological glyph of Pisces depicts two crescents, symbolizing fish and
Moons, facing in opposite directions and joined at
their centers by a line.
the help of Cadmus, was able to subdue Typhon and bury him under Mount
Aetna on the isle of Sicily, where Typhon periodically erupts in anger even
to this day. Cadmus used tricks he had learned from Apollo and the lure of
music (ruled by Pisces) to outwit Typhon and allow Zeus to conquer him,
thus restoring order, love and desire to what had been a terrifying
Moon Trump and the Hanged Man of the Tarot
moon card (linked to Pisces) shows two dogs baying
Moon. One dog is dark and the other light, symbols
of matter and spirit. A crayfish emerges from the sea, perhaps a reference
to the ancient Babylonian tale of the egg containing the grain-goddess and
her lover-son Ichthys. The
moon card is often interpreted as a warning that
the querent is not seeing clearly or is being deluded in some way. These
are also negative manifestations of the sign Pisces.
Rider-Waite-Smith hanged man (linked to Neptune) depicts a man hanging
upside down with his legs assuming the form of a cross. When it appears in
a tarot reading, the hanged man advises the querent to pay attention to the
spiritual dimensions of the situation.
Tarot Meditations While the Sun Is in Pisces
when the Sun transits through Pisces is an excellent time to meditate on
moon, hanged man and wheel of fortune cards, as
well as the suit of cups of the minor arcana. Where in your life are you
not seeing clearly? Are your actions motivated by love or by desire? Do you
need to act with more compassion rather than like a fire-breathing dragon?
Are you neglecting your spirituality for material gain?
for mediation, sit or lie in a comfortable place and allow your body to be
free of tension and distractions. Pay attention to your breathing. Feel
your breath go in and out as you inhale and exhale. If distracting thoughts
enter your mind, simply observe them and allow them to float by as you
gently return your attention to your breathing. When you have established a
steady, comfortable rhythm of breathing rhythmically in and out, turn your
focus to the tarot card you have selected for meditation.
card and contemplate its images. Imagine yourself as a character or element
in the card. In your mind’s eye, enter the card and become part of its
scene. What are you thinking and feeling? What questions are you asking of
the other characters in the card? What do they expect of you? What is the
story that underlines the scene on the card? How does that story relate to
your own life? Take your time playing out the story as if you were in a
dream. When you have completed your meditation, you may wish to record your
observations in a tarot notebook for review later on.