As we reach Pisces season, many of us may be ready for spring, overly eager to clean up our gardens and to birth new life. Gleaming from the inside out as we reflect the shining sun; our lightly sun kissed cheeks gleefully welcome the growing warmth. And yet, many others might be feeling the springtime blues, dreading springtime allergies and the fast-paced season. Wistfully watching as the snow melts and the darkness fades, not ready for all the pressures of spring. For those of us feeling gloomy, there is no worst contrast than a bright spring day. And yet, for many of us we will be feeling both/and, as our inner complexity mirrors the changing season. Welcome to Pisces season, and to the dual nature of the Fish. Where it’s not quite winter, and not yet spring. Welcome to the betwixt space, to the fluidity of Mutable Water. To that neither here nor there space, where all is one and one is all.
We arrive at the Pisces New Moon, ready to say goodbye. Pisces season is a graduation, a culmination of sorts. As the final sign of the Zodiac, we’ve journeyed the entire wheel, gleaning the wisdom of each and every sign. We’ve moved from spring, to summer, through fall, and now winter, as yet another year comes to a close. We’ve left the wisdom of Aquarius with a clear and precise vision for our future, now comes the inevitable moment of surrender. With any goal or vision, we will eventually reach the point where we have done all that we can do, where we must dissolve into love and trust, knowing it is now out of our hands. As imperfect humans we must recognize our vision is limited, and that all intentions, no matter how good, are not meant to land for infinite reasons unbeknownst to us. The fish reminds us to let go and let goddess/goddexx/god. Ultimately, Pisces is a season of death; that liminal space between who we once were and who we will be. Both an ending and a beginning, and all the mixed emotions that come with any meaningful transformation.
For many the transition period that is Pisces season can feel terrifying, especially within the context of our linear, fast-paced, colonized world. We are not taught how to navigate the liminal, nor how to surrender control. We’ve been programed to revere the definitive and idolize effort. We fear dissolution, afraid that if we come undone, we’ll never be put back together. Death is a slow and gradual process; a rose doesn’t wilt overnight. We want death to be quick, painless, over and done with; out with the old and in with the new. In our colonized world we’ve equated slowness with stagnation, and there is perhaps no aspect of Pisces season more vilified than indecision and stagnation.
Pisces & The Wetland
I often look to the living world, to earthly nature, to better understand the energies of the signs and stars. Unlike textbooks and theories, the wild is inherently decolonial and allows for deeper truths to emerge. While most astrological texts will liken Pisces to the vast and infinite Ocean (which I do see and understand the connection), this season the depth of Pisces has revealed itself to me through the Wetland, through the swamp, marsh, flood plains and estuaries. There is perhaps no more perfect a physical manifestation of the Piscean energy than the Wetland. Both fluid and solid wetlands embody the liminal, non-binary energy of Pisces. A place where water meets earth, where the spiritual and material converge, where the unconscious and conscious merge. A place of dissolution and surrender as river and ocean become one. A space that evokes the most powerful of emotions, as snow melt floods both our lands and our hearts. A space where water moves slowly, a space often feared.
In the western colonized world marshes and swamps have long been undervalued and feared. The UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment has determined that Wetlands have experienced more environmental degradation than any other ecosystem on Earth. Throughout early colonization wetlands were considered undesirable to white settlers, often drained and developed, preferring the tamed and manicured over the unruly and wild. Nearly every major costal city has been built atop the desecrated remains of wetlands. European and American folklore often depicted the swamp as an eerie place, inhabited by evil spirits and gruesome monsters attempting to lure travelers into the murky waters. Fear of the snakes and gators lurking amongst the misty moonlit reeds have long plagued our psyches. And while many of these fears are legitimate, as snakes and piranhas actually do swim in swampy waters, is this the fear that is responsible for the cultural disdain and destruction of our wetlands? Or is there a deeper fear, beneath the monsters, gremlins and gators? Through the lens of Pisces, season of the swamp, we can undoubtedly sense there is. Our draining the swamp and projections of ogres and monsters merely echo the colonizers deep-seated fear of stagnation, and their unsatiable hunger for movement and progress.
The colonizer has demonized Piscean energy and the wetlands alike. Stagnation does not generate progress, profits, nor exponential growth. Marshy waters move too slow for Capitalism. Considered a place of illness and disease, monsters and parasites, to the colonizer there is nothing more dangerous than stagnation. Stagnation refers to a state of not flowing, whether it’s our waterways, psyches, or emotions. In our toxically colonized linear world, the idea of “not flowing” is terrifying. Petrified that if we stop moving for even a second, we may never move again. It is this constant attempt to outrun dissolution and decay that has pushed our planet to the brink of collapse. In this context it makes sense that cities which never sleep now stand where thriving wetlands once lay. May we remember the vastly complex vital intelligence of Pisces and the Wetland.
Far from stagnant, wetlands have long been sacred places of spiritual worship, and life generating abundance to Indigenous peoples across the globe. To the Arrarrkbi peoples of Australia wetlands held special significance as creation, ceremonial and initiation sites. To the Acjachemen peoples of the Pahne villiage in Southern California, the freshwater marshes of the San Mateo Creek were life sustaining, providing an abundance of fish and sea life, and is still considered a sacred site to this day. From the Amazon river delta, to the Yangtze river basin wetlands have nourished and sustained peoples both physically and spiritually for millennia. Unlike the colonizer, the slow, murky, liminal space of the Piscean Wetland is celebrated and worshiped by Indigenous peoples across all continents, and for good reason. Their saturated soils and slow-moving waters are vital transition zones that provide essential services to the surrounding and global ecosystems. Wetlands act as a natural filtration system; as water flows through sediments, phosphorous, nitrogen and pollutants are naturally filtered out by the plant life, purifying the water. Any remaining or excess chemicals accumulate at the bottom of the wetland, buried under sediment. They provide natural flood management and prevent hurricane storm surges from penetrating deeply inland. They are an abundant source of oxygen and fresh water for all life. They are an abundant source of beauty and inspiration for all of life. While their waters may appear stagnant to the unobservant eye, they are actually thriving, full of movement and growth. In reality it is the overdevelopment of wetland areas, that has created truly stagnant waters.
On this Pisces New Moon, we are invited to wade through the waters of our own internal wetlands. The wetlands remind us we needn’t fear stagnation, that certain processes, such as grief and goodbyes, are meant to be slow, meandering and nonlinear. Like the swamp we too are filtering, even when it seems like we are stuck in the mud. The murky waters of the marsh remind us that confusion, depression and fog are actually incredibly active states. That we are sifting and sorting as we wade through the muck, gradually making the unconscious conscious. Just as the brackish waters of the estuary are a source of rich and abundant life, so too are our saline tears. While our colonized minds may prefer the clear lines of a forest trail, or the peace and serenity of a day at the beach, we must allow our hearts to flood from time to time and be replenished in the process. The ancient Egyptians called Heaven Aaru, or the “Field of Reeds”, similar to their life-giving Nile River delta. Every year when the Nile would flood it was celebrated, as the waters deposited rich silt on the riverbeds. It was a sacred time, when the waters were said to return to their primordial state. Under this Pisces New Moon may we surrender, allowing our tears, our joy, and everything in-between carry us to that primordial place, back to the beginning, to spring, to innocence. Beneath this lunation can you accept exactly where you are at, in all its intricate complexity? Can you accept any dead ends, fog or confusion, indeed knowing that spring will come? Can you compassionately welcome each and every part of yourself? Can you get even more comfortable with the unknown? Can you brave the muddy waters?
Collectively the Piscean energy is palpable at this time. Having just experienced the one-year anniversary of a global pandemic, we’ve been through an unfathomable amount of grief, loss and death. We’ve been wading in the wetlands and waltzing the liminal for the past year, with no clear road map to guide us. For many of us life has changed drastically in the past year, and still, we are unclear where we will land, and who we will be on the other side of this. And yet there is hope on the horizon that the picture may soon be clear, as countries across the globe report drops in new cases, herd immunity develops, and vaccinations accelerate. May this Pisces New Moon remind you that spring is coming; that there will be another side to this, even if we are not sure what it will be. That the grief, confusion, and fog of the past year has been a collective process of filtering and sorting through what does and doesn’t work, for us, our communities and our planet. A pause to reconcile our past with our present, to illuminate the pain and suffering that colonial capitalism tried to bury with the wetlands. Beneath the Pisces New Moon, we are offered a moment of stillness to reflect on this past year. Who were you in March 2020? Who are you now? How have you changed? What parts of you require tenderness? What parts still need healing? Who do you want to be on the other side of this? How do you want to show up for your community? What are your hopes and dreams for the world?
Dream big darlings. Under the New Moon Neptune is conjunct Venus in Pisces. Picture the Dreamer and the Lover in a secret rendezvous amongst the reeds and sedges. Worlds away from the developed world, outside the prisons of colonized space and time, where the cosmos perfectly align to support their wildest dreams. Dream of love, of joy, of ecstasy and pleasure. Dream of freedom, of truth, of justice and liberation. Dream of a world of both/and. Where anything and everything is possible.