Period: February 19 – March 21
Element: Mutual Water
In the period of Pisces the sun warms up a bit more. Ice and snow thaw. Buds start to appear. The harsh winter is defeated; life returns and prepares for its visible birth in the spring equinox.
Pisces is the last step of the whole cosmic cycle of Light and Darkness. Muse over the whole cycle and you will understand this sign. Let’s indulge ourselves a few words for inspiration.
In the first three signs (Aries, Taurus and Gemini) we saw individual life, born at the spring equinox (Light and Darkness in balance), struggle for survival and gradually become aware of its own potential to become fully integrated and an original personality at the summer solstice (the peak of Light). With the gradual retreat of Day from its peak we can see in the following signs (Cancer, Leo, Virgo) this personality, called by the Night to meet it – in the form of love, family, society – to deal with it from the perspective of his or her own ego. In Virgo – the opposite of Pisces – the personality is asked to become clean, e.g. to become free of its dependence on its own ego (not to lose the ego!) to be able to see the values of the Night clearly – until the autumn equinox comes. In the third quarter of the cycle (Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius) man gradually dives into the growing Night to understand it deeply, to touch the bottom of Infinity, to become the man who has absorbed the whole of collectivity, the Magician controlling universal powers at the winter solstice (the peak of the Night).
The solstices (and peaks in general) are a trap: it may seem that the path is at its end; the sun even stops in these moments. Similarly as the integrated Personality in Cancer is tempted to stay alone and crystallize into a shell of super-egoism and narcissism, eliminating anything foreign (the Night), the mighty Magician of the winter solstice is tempted to stay with the immense power and to become the Almighty Ruler, e.g. disperse him or herself into the Infinity - but losing thus the Light of his or her own individual life. But the Wheel of Life never stops and whoever wants to do so will be destroyed.
In the last quarter the mighty Magician is asked to continue the path of Life, to return to his or her individual life. They are to become free of the dependence on his or her power and experience and to use them in developing their own individual life in rising to a higher level of consciousness in a new cycle, which begins at the spring equinox. This process, which started in Capricorn and was further developed in Aquarius, is completed in Pisces. That’s why this sign is symbolized by the ocean (unconsciousness) where all relationships, all dependence are dissolved. It’s the purging process, a catharsis, and a mythical flood. In such an atmosphere man can become free and meditate over his or her life. (Not by chance the month before the spring equinox is a month of fasting.) The beauty of this step lies in a challenge to dive into one’s own depths and release the spiritual treasures that are to be carried further: the Sparkle of the Individual life – the Golden Fish, the Salvation of Being.
In Christian tradition Pisces plays a leading role. A five-lettered ideogram of the first Christians ”i.k.t.u.s.” (meaning ”fish”) can be analyzed in this way: “Iesus Kristus Theou Uios Soter“– “Jesus Christ, The Son of God, Savior”. The beautiful story of Jesus Christ represents the winter process we’ve talked about. Put symbolically, the Son of God. Jesus decides to become a man and thus to carry the evolution further. He yields his prerogative to use his God power to rule others and fulfills his purpose on earth by accepting the painful burden of individual human life fully and transforming it into a beam of precious light. When he becomes crucified on the Holy Cross of solstices and equinoxes, the endeavor is completed and he is re-born into a new life on a higher level of consciousness. He is the Savior as he succeeded in his interior transformation and rescues the Sparkle of Life that can be carried further. And as a ram of Aries he steps into a new cycle.
As for the Prague Zodiac, the pass from Aquarius to Pisces is marked out by the church of St. Charles of Boromea on Bartolomejska Street or by the northern hillside of the hill Vítkov in Žižkov. The borderline with Aries is the equinox line and it passes through the church of St. Kliment in Klimentská Street, the northern tympanum of the church of Our Lady at Tyn and through the Bethlehem Chapel (see Aries) .
Any ordinary map of Prague will show you that the Vltava river flows practically from south to north. Only above the Old Town does it meander to the east, after several kilometers returning to its original direction. It’s normal and no one pays much attention. But on a map with the Prague Zodiac you can see that the meandering happens at that place in the sector of Pisces. It is as if the ocean power of Pisces’ watery element drew the river into its band and after making it, let the river go free on its own way north.
In our tours we speak about the story of W.A. Mozart and the Estates Theater, located in the sector of Pisces. In Mozart’s horoscope the Estates Theatre is stressed as the line of Uranus (a symbol of sudden changes, revolutions but also of brilliance) on the 14th degree intersects it. The theater is also stressed in Mozart’s life. Here, on October 29, 1787 his Opera of Operas, “Don Giovanni” meets with phenomenal success. His brilliant ego (see Virgo) rises to the peak of the Night: he becomes a Master (Mozart introduced such innovating and original musical methods that he changed the following development of music fundamentally) and his stunning success brings him fame and social position. But on September 6, 1791 he meets a catastrophic un-success with “La Clemenza di Tito” in the same theater. Although this un-success is unjust– it originated from human silliness, including the Austrian Empress – it throws Mozart into poverty and condemnation. Uranus destroys rigid mirror walls of ambitions that make Mozart’s sight dazed and the ocean of Pisces dissolves all relationships that chain him. Catharsis makes possible the unification with God and consequently a repeated inception of a new life: he finds the Grail in his Requiem, which while composing, he dies at the end of 1791.
Another example – and a truly allegorical abbreviation of the whole sector of Prague Pisces - is the mysterious statue of the Black Madonna wired into a cage on the corner of Celetná and Ovocný Trh Streets. It was moved here from its original building to this new house named “At the Sign of the Black Mother of God” – the first distinctive example of Czech architectural Cubism. The Black Mother of God is no one else than the Night, the infinite Ocean of collectivity and Eternity. The Christian example of the Virgin Mary bears witness too. The name Mary hints at the ocean (“mare” in many languages). Its basic form - the Hebrew Miriyam (probably derived from Egyptian merit-am) is interpreted as “the ocean of bitterness”. It’s the ocean between the shores of Virgo and Pisces. Not by chance “God is born of a Virgin”.
With the Black Madonna we touch the mystery of Templars and with that something more of an undercurrent. As it was shown during the trial with the Templars in 1310, they secretly called their order “the Church of Our Lady, the Mother of God”. Some researchers see mysterious connections among the Gothic style, the Holy Grail story and Our Lady or Black Madonna. Templars are thought to have been the authors of a highly mysterious system of early gothic cathedrals in France consecrated to the Virgin (“Notre Damme”) that geometrically copies the Virgo stellar constellation. The Prague Black Madonna very clearly points to another Black Madonna situated in the underground of the mysterious cathedral of Chartres in France, which is supposed to have been constructed by Templars.
The allegory of the Black Virgin (the widespread Christian iconography of the Mother of God standing on a head of a snake) moreover points to something highly spiritual but not necessarily religious - to telluric streams of energy: the Mother Earth, only with help of Heaven, generates active radiance (= a snake), e.g. a manifestation that is, due to its quality, characterized as divine.
Will you consider as mere chance that right in front of the house “At the Sign of the Black Mother of God” a house called “In Temple” stands (and right beside “Temple Street”!)? In the mysterious times of Prague’s Middle Ages, Templars, who came to Prague officially around 1230, settled also around this place. After the order was abolished in 1312, its members would meet in secret in the cellar of this house.
The example of the magnificent tympanum of the church of Our Lady Before Tyn, through which the borderline between Pisces and Aries leads, is mentioned at the sector of Aries too. With it we can set off on a new cycle.