The Lesson of Pisces

Date Range: February 19 – March 20
Symbol: Two Fish
Element: Water
Quality: Mutable
Planet: Neptune
Tarot: The Moon

 

Traits and Characteristics

Pisces is the twelfth and final sign of the zodiac.  It is symbolized by two fish tethered together and swimming in opposite directions.  Some have said this is a representation of the duality of Piscean nature as those born under this sign often move freely between the mundane world and the mystical or illusory.  As imaginative and idealistic creatures, Pisces live part of their lives in their own minds, imagining a better, more comfortable, and beautiful space for themselves.  Some say the Pisces fish speak of the sign’s ability to “go with the flow” and “not make waves”.  As a mutable sign and the chameleons of the zodiac, they are able to conform and adapt themselves to fit any situation and are malleable enough to blend in with any crowd.  Fish take inspiration from their surroundings and experiences and these things often mold their personalities.  They also tend to have peaceful and submissive natures.  Being a Pisces, I have my own personal take on the symbolism.  Just as the fish swim in opposite directions, Pisces often find themselves at odds with their own opposing viewpoints and internal conflicts.

Pisces imaginative side is something of a mixed blessing.  It helps the Fish to excel in what they like most – becoming lost in a world of perfection, whatever that may entail for the individual.  It also helps to feed the Fish’s own talents.  Pisces do not do well in the daily grind, but tend to excel in the creative world of artistry, writing, music, and acting – anything that helps them escape the pain and tedium of the real world.  They also trend toward spiritual and mystical pursuits.  As entertaining as this may sound, Pisces escapist nature can render them unreliable and ungrounded.  It’s easy for the dreamy Fish to become lost in an imaginary world and distance his or herself from others.  This can also occur if the Fish allows him or herself to become depressed or disenchanted with the status quo.  Pisces need other people to keep them focused and on track as they lack self-discipline.  This escapist nature also leaves the Fish vulnerable to addiction and overindulgence.

Fish are most happy when helping others and love to surprise and delight with gifts and/or assistance.  They are incredibly intuitive and empathetic.  Pisces are ruled by their emotions and those emotions are often roused and magnified by the emotions of the people they surround themselves with.  A Pisces will do anything for the people they love, though these gestures are not entirely altruistic.  Fish feel the pain and joy of their loved ones.  For this reason, Fish do not like to hurt people’s feelings and have a hard time saying no.  This can be a bad thing for the Fish, because they have a gullible nature and their giving personalities can be taken advantage of quite easily.  As a tediously sensitive sign, Pisces don’t take criticism or rejection well and try their best to treat others as they wish to be treated. 

Pisces are dreamers, not doers.  This isn’t to say they lack ambition or that they are incapable of excelling.  When a Pisces feels strongly enough about a cause or goal, they will put their all into it.  But Pisces can be lazy as their default attitude is to stand back and allow things to work themselves out instead of taking matters into their own hands.  They often put more effort into solving other people’s problems than they do their own.

Love is very important to the Pisces who will search far and wide for their soul mate.  They are gentle and sensitive lovers who bring overwhelming emotion to the bedroom.  Pisces look to connect to their lover in an emotional and spiritual sense more than a physical one.

 

The Work

The work we do in Pisces is the work of the ecstatic.  Pisces travel freely between the mundane and the mystical, but not everyone is able to let go so easily.  Many of us are grounded here in this realm, anchored by our need for complete control.  In this ritual you will work with the Greek God of wine and ritual madness, Dionysus.  You will be asked to loosen your grip, go with the flow, and see where the wave takes you. 

This ritual is meant to be done by individuals aged 21 or over!  It is against the law for minors to consume alcohol and the Muses do not condone illegal activities.  With that being said, those who are under 21 may use other exhibitory techniques to aid in the shifting of consciousness in leu of the wine.  These include up-beat music, chanting, or drumming, and body movements.  Incense is also a great tool to help in shifting consciousness.

 

Materials:

Drum or rattle or some form of up-beat music, preferably without words

Incense (Use what you prefer or *See below for Scott Cunningham’s ‘Pisces Incense’)

1 Cup of Red Wine – 21 years old and up only (Use what you prefer or **See below for Christopher Penczak’s ‘Journey Wine’)

 

*Pisces Incense

The Complete Book of Incense, Oils, & Brews – Scott Cunningham

2 parts Frankincense

1 part Eucalyptus

1 part Lemon peel

A few drops Sandalwood oil

 

**Journey Wine

WARNING: Do not drink mulled wine if you have allergies to wine or any of the herbs in this brew.  Please note that American mandrake (mayapple) is a poisonous plant!

The Living Temple of Witchcraft Volume Two: The Journey of the God – Christopher Penczak

Bottle of red wine

1 teaspoon chamomile

2 teaspoons mugwort

1 teaspoon scullcap

2 teaspoons vervain

1 teaspoon nettles

3 teaspoons cinnamon

1 pinch American mandrake (a.k.a mayapple – NOT to be confused with English mandrake which is also called mandrake root)

 

Circle Cast

I cast this circle for my protection, from all harm, on all levels.

I cast this circle to allow in only those energies and entities for my highest good.

I cast this circle to form a space beyond space, a time beyond time, a place in which perfect love and perfect trust reign supreme.

 

Quarter Calls

To the Guardian of the North and Earth, I bid you join my circle and offer your protection.  Aid me in grounding myself once the work here is completed.  Hail and Welcome!

 

To the Guardian of the East and Air, I bid you join my circle and offer your protection.  Help me to see clearly and interpret those things revealed to me during my journey.  Hail and Welcome!

 

To the Guardian of the South and Fire, I bid you join my circle and offer your protection.  Kindle my will and burn away any fears I have in letting go.  Hail and Welcome!

 

To the Guardian of the West and Water, I bid you join my circle and offer your protection.  Let the tides sweep me where they shall and help me go with the flow of this journey.  Hail and Welcome!

 

Evocation of Deity

I acknowledge and honor the Great Spirit and Creator, Cauldron of the Universe, you who are all, above and below, within and without, life and death

And from you, the two who move as one

The Goddess, who is Maiden, Mother, and Crone

And the God, who is both Hunter and Hunted, Singer and Song

Join me for this working.

Hail and Welcome!

 

Evocation of Pisces Energy

And though the energy of Pisces currently influences our world at this time, I give formal invitation that it may aid in my work.  Hail and Welcome!

 

Naming the Work

It is my intention to pair with the energy of Pisces as I seek to meet the Ecstatic God, Dionysus -  to join his wild band of maenads and satyrs - to become intoxicated in my own power and spirit, and to merge with that wild energy and find my own spiritual ecstasy in whatever form that may take.

 

Honor Dionysus

<Homeric Hymns: 26 – To Dionysus>

 

(ll. 1-9) I begin to sing of ivy-crowned Dionysus, the loud-

crying god, splendid son of Zeus and glorious Semele.  The rich-

haired Nymphs received him in their bosoms from the lord his

father and fostered and nurtured him carefully in the dells of

Nysa, where by the will of his father he grew up in a sweet-

smelling cave, being reckoned among the immortals.  But when the

goddesses had brought him up, a god oft hymned, then began he to

wander continually through the woody coombes, thickly wreathed

with ivy and laurel.  And the Nymphs followed in his train with

him for their leader; and the boundless forest was filled with

their outcry.

 

(ll. 10-13) And so hail to you, Dionysus, god of abundant

clusters!  Grant that we may come again rejoicing to this season,

and from that season onwards for many a year.

 

 

Energy Raising

<Light the incense, turn on the music or begin drumming or rattling.  This is the time to dance.  This is the time to enjoy that cup of wine.  Bottoms up.>

 

The Meditation

<Use whatever means work best for you to count yourself down into meditation>

You find yourself on a threshold, an ivy wound gateway.  The loud thumping of drums and crash of cymbals is so emphatic it makes the very air around you vibrate.  Beyond the arch burns a brilliant bonfire and from your place under the bow you can see the dancers whirling - Dionysus’s maenads - each clad in fox pelts and holding a thyrsus, a long stick wrapped in ivy and topped with a pine cone.  They thrash about, lost in the ecstasy of the music and drink.  And there, seated before the fire is the beautiful Dionysus himself.  His chest is bare, his loins covered by a fox pelt.  He is crowned in ivy and acorns and holds a drinking horn in one hand.   He looks straight at you and winks, his eyes merry.  You are safe here under the arch, separate from the wild revelry taking place around the bonfire.  But you cannot pull your eyes away from the mad ritual before you – the dancers and their desperate shadows and just beyond the fire you notice a ring of goat footed men, each with an instrument in hand – drums, pipes, and symbols – they dance as they play.  The music calls to you and you notice that some of the dancers are doing the same, whirling this way and that and beckoning you forward.  As you move away from the protection of the arch, one of the maenads breaks away from the dance.  She taps the thyrsus on the ground and a spring of wine wells up in a fountain at your feet.  She gestures for you to take a sip, so you bend over and drink from the flow as if from a water fountain.  The wine is sweet and strong and you cannot stop yourself from gulping it down.  When at last you pull yourself away from the flow to stand straight, you realize you’ve become quite drunk.  The generous maenad takes you by the hand and before you know it, you are pulled into the dance.  Stay there awhile and lose yourself in the sensations.  When you’ve had your fill, you may wish to approach Dionysus.  He may ask you to join him again some time or perhaps he has some wisdom for you.  When you’ve exhausted yourself and wrapped up your conversation, thank the revealers and Dionysus for including you in the wild party.  Make your way back through the arch and count yourself out of meditation.

 

Grounding

<Take it slow and easy, giving yourself plenty of time to fully return to your body.  You may need to do some extra grounding.  This is best done by simply touching the ground beneath you.  You may wish to lay on the ground or sit and touch your hands and forehead to the ground.  Do this as long as needed.>

 

De-vocation

I offer my thanks to the energy and wisdom of Pisces.

 

De-vocation of Deity

I give thanks to the Great Spirit, Goddess, and God for joining me in this working.  Stay if you will, go if you must!

 

Release Quarters

To the Guardian of the North and Earth, I thank you for your presence and aid in my working.  Hail and Farewell!

 

To the Guardian of the West and Water, I thank you for your presence and aid in my working.  Hail and Farewell!

 

To the Guardian of the South and Fire, I thank you for your presence and aid in my working.  Hail and Farewell!

 

To the Guardian of the East and Air, I thank you for your presence and aid in my working.  Hail and Farewell!

 

Release the Circle

 

The circle is open, but unbroken. 

 

 

***

 

You may wish to do even more grounding once you’ve closed the circle.  It’s always a good idea to eat something with a lot of carbohydrates if you’re feeling disconnected or flighty.  Bread will help soak up that wine. ^_~