by Nan DeGrove

With a solar eclipse at the new moon in Pisces on February 26th we continue the theme of water that began last month with Aquarius, the Water Carrier. Pisces, the Fishes, is a sign of poetic and artistic inspiration, as well as healing, compassion, and divine madness, (or just plain madness). Sun, Mercury, Neptune and Chiron join the new moon, making this month an extra sensitive, delicate time. We are aware of subtle currents and unseen depths that move beneath the surface of our lives; we sometimes feel like fragile boats tossed in the waves.

Christ walking on water, Greek Orthodox icon

Pisces is the least worldly of the twelve signs. As a sign of mystery it calls us honor the things we cannot understand with our minds, to realize that life on Earth is in many ways a “mystery school.” Mystery calls to us everywhere — in our emotions, loves, dreams, art, nature, moods, symptoms, problems. Honoring the mysteries that surround us relieves us of the burden of over analyzing, and opens our hearts to the wonder of the universe.

The eclipse, the last in a Virgo-Pisces sequence that has recurred over the past eighteen months, signals an end, perhaps a recognition of something that has been ending for some time. Simultaneously, new possibilities now are like seeds waiting to break their husks and open to life. The eclipse has a ripple effect that continues over the weeks ahead. Secrets are being unveiled and hidden information brought to light, especially as we come to the. the Virgo full moon, on March 12 .

Venus Retrograde

Venus turned retrograde in Aries on March 4th, re-enters Pisces on April 3rd, and turns direct at 27 Pisces on April 15th. The orbit of Venus traces a pentagram in the heavens as it completes an eight-year cycle of five retrograde stations. Venus retrograde means taking time to heal in areas where harshness and conflict have caused pain, whether in personal relationships or communities. It may bring luminous gift from the past, an old friend or a lost treasure.

The Renaissance painter, Botticelli, would have been aware of this mystical pentangle, and incorporated it into the composition of his iconic “Birth of Venus.” Venus is the priestess of all the arts, and Venus retrograde inspires us to see beauty where we might not expect it, to discover and reveal hidden beauty. Venus retrograde alerts us to Venus values and institutions that are under threat in the current political climate — the National Endowment for the Arts, women’s health, the environment and, more generally, civility and kindness.

Pisces is traditionally connected with the ocean, with fishing and seafaring. I recently watched the film, The Light Between Oceans, a spellbinding, mythic tale of maternal love, obsession, betrayal, loss and atonement. The story takes place in a remote part of the Australian coast, with the presence of the ocean almost as a character in the story, expressing the forces of chaos, longing, passion and destiny.

Love from Nan