At 11:43 am EST on 18 February 2022, the Sun enters Pisces I — the first decan of Pisces, which Austin Coppock called The Labyrinth. The Labyrinth, of course, was the secret maze beneath the palace of King Minos of Knossos, where the Minotaur was imprisoned — and where Theseus wandered with Ariadne’s yarn, guided clearly to the monster with sword in hand and then back, bloody, to the exit.
Ruled by Jupiter, Pisces is associated with the feet, with places where water runs down to and collects, with pumps and wells, and where the dry land becomes marsh. I often spent summers on Cape Cod as a child, not far from the Great Marsh on the bay side, where my mother’s sister and her husband worked hard at tending a garden, gathering oysters, and managing a furniture business. The landscape is distinctive and unmistakable — low and flat, filled with narrow and meandering waterways, marsh grasses rising from thick beds of mud, and birds everywhere. Here, a heron wades in water barely three inches deep, standing so that its shadow does not reveal his position to the minnows he hunts. There, a red-winged blackbird clings to a reed as slender as a drinking straw — and the reed does not bend beneath the blackbird’s weight. The oysters that come from the beds are a shape that fits neatly between thumb and forefinger; the tip of an oysterer’s knife slides in at the narrow point, lifts the shell, cuts up to sever the foot that holds the top-shell closed, cuts down to sever the foot that holds the oyster to the bottom shell. A tilt of the head, an open mouth, and the salty-sweet oyster is eaten whole and raw. The human is every bit as predatory as the heron in the marsh-grass.
The dodecatemoria of Pisces I recapitulate the drop of water’s journey to the sea. Each of the dodecatemorias is 2° 30′ wide, and follow the pattern of the Zodiac. Thus the 10° of Pisces I re-state Pisces, Aries, Taurus and Gemini — the marshy salt-brine left behind in the marsh at low tide, subject to the heat that loosens the water from the salt, the water soaking into the brine-logged earth of the marsh, and then half of each drop going its own way… one half back to the eternal Ocean, and one half leaping skyward through the miracle of evaporation.
Pisces has a ruler, Jupiter — but the first decan is administered by Saturn, the salty, grizzled harbormaster, who knows the secrets of where the community seeded the oyster and mussel beds four years ago; how the gale winds wrecked the fishing boats in the last hurricane; who has paid their dock fees for the season; and whose boat was impounded by the authorities for non-payment of taxes. Saturn knows the depths of these waters — where the kayakers and pleasure-boaters run into trouble, which fishermen are in financial trouble, and which of the would-be deckhands are reliable and who are pirates. He knows the heron is named Sam, that the seagulls say other things than “mine! mine!” — and that the channel sometimes hosts hungry sharks.
Saturn here is an archetype of a still more ancient figure, celebrated during this season in the streets of ancient Alexandria: Okeanos, lord of the deep waters, the Titan-prince of the ocean beyond the Pillars of Hercules and the Red Sea. Many-formed and easily capable of changing shape, Okeanos (sometimes spelled Oceanus) wrestled with heroes and other gods alike, threatening to drown them and destroy them while in the form of dragons and whales — but also to trick them into letting him go and slip away. It’s telling that Okeanos is not recorded as having killed any hero… but numerous ancient Greek heroes were instructed to seize him and hold him without mercy until he tired of changing shape. What is it about this god who delighted in changing shape, and threatening injury and death, but who never harmed anyone? For sure, Okeanos is a trickster— but it’s a complicated question to ask, if he is merely a rogue or a genuine mass murderer. The ocean is old, and relatively placid for what it is — but it is still hundreds of billions of tons of water, and it will drown you if it gets the chance. Maybe the reason Okeanos isn’t reported to have drowned any heroes… is they didn’t come back.
I started by noting that the first decan of Pisces is called The Labyrinth — the home of the son of Pasiphae, the dreaded Minotaur, the cannibalistic half-man, half-bull. Yet it’s worth considering that the modern notion of a labyrinth as a meandering path without choices of left or right turns — one enters and walks to the center, and then returns out by the same route one came in. However, most labyrinths today, whether in brick or mosaic outside a cathedral, or laid out as stones in a garden, or painted on canvas, in fact have three paths through them. The first path is the one everyone thinks of, the one that leads to the center and then back out again. The second path is the decision to reverse course part-way through the walk, and head back to the exit without ever reaching the center. And the third path, of course, is to decide part-way through the walk that none of it matters, and to walk across the labyrinth’s boundaries as if they were not real or binding.
Something of that insight may be necessary as you walk the windings of the next ten days — are you stuck in a labyrinth of the ancient type, where a monstrous beast stalks you in the dark? Or is the monster only real because you believe yourself bound by imaginary walls, and constrained to follow a path to very center? Look around you: are you best served by continuing this progress to the heart of the trouble? Or by walking away?
The Sun is above the horizon, making this a Day Chart. The Sun has passed through the sign of its detriment and is peregrine — but angular and culminating at the Midheaven. The result is a more dignified Sun than we’ve seen in some weeks, and the improvement of overall conditions.
The Ascendant is in Gemini, making Mercury (in their own term in Aquarius) the ruler of the chart. While under Saturn’s severe rulership in the ninth house, the herald-advisor planet is dignified as a triplicity ruler (off-duty) and and ‘in their chariot’ — akin to a prominent local official taking time off from a busy work schedule to be the parade’s grand marshal: some favor is likely to come our way. In the ninth house, they provide assistance with learning and travel, although the ringed world-lord may advise against too much long-haul journeys. The Saturnian presence amounts to a search for a kind of idealistic practicality — how can we live in a way that honors heaven yet also meets the genuine feasibility issues of life on earth? There’s a way to live that begins from a commonsense approach to experience and yet holds to principles and standards… isn’t there? (spoilers: there might not be — but the search matters.)
In the fourth house Moon is just past the full moon in Leo — which occurred in the Twelfth Mansion, The Tail of Leo, also called The Changer. That position is a place of frustrated desires and conflict, which will overshadow the next two weeks. Yet at the Pisces I ingress she’s in Virgo, in the fourteenth Mansion, The Unarmed. This mansion is noted for its contrary perspectives: it brings together man and woman in marriage, but sets up difficulties so the couple is prevented from having sex; it heals the sick who seek doctoring and pharmacy, but it destroys plants and harvests on which those medicines depend; it is considered a good time to travel by sea but a terrible time for road trips; it’s a good time for crowning kings and installing officials, or for bringing friends of friends together — but a poor time for asking your friends or officials to help you with anything. Trine to Pluto, the Moon has significant challenges in this position, while offering opportunities at home for healing, for cuddling without consummation, for delegating authority without quid pro quo. Unless you’re planning on a pleasure cruise, it’s not a bad time to stay home.
The North Node/South Node axis runs between the twelfth house and the sixth house in this chart, encouraging retreat from the world and less emphasis on daily routines or workplace concerns; it’s not a good time to hire people to work on your house or property, or even in your workplace. At the same time, just because you want peace, quiet and privacy doesn’t mean you’ll get it — you may find that you have to collect the assistance of several associates for your residence or other facilities: look up the number of your plumber and electrician and other professionals, and put them in your phone contacts today. The presence of Uranus in the twelfth house strongly suggests regular interruptions of any attempt at retreat; expect your ‘bubble’ or ‘pod’ to be punctured— maybe in pleasant ways for enjoyable circumstances, maybe in ways that are challenging: Uranus is nothing if not surprising.
The stellium in Capricorn is in the eighth house in this chart, the house of death, duty and obligation. The effects and focus of this combination have narrowed slightly, since Mercury has moved on to Aquarius; and we’re left with Mars, Venus and Pluto — however we’re still left with the forces of destruction and creation, masculine and feminine, barrenness and fertility, all amplified in the next ten days. It might be a great time for getting pregnant — but it might not. It might be a good time for an orgy — but the consequences of your threesome, foursome or moresome might become … tiresome. One way or another, expect a certain amount of antagonism, and conciliation, to be a part of all negotiations and discussion of your responsibilities (and your partners’ financial issues) in the ten days ahead.
We end where we began, with the Sun in the tenth house and under the rulership of Jupiter n Pisces. Both have their upcoming conjunctions with Neptune — The Sun on March 13-14, 2022, and Jupiter on 12-13 April 2022. The first, in March, is likely to see a bit of a burst of psychism, as people confront the reality of the pandemic in some fashion… and the by-products of the sometimes-harsh efforts by governments and organizations to control them. There’s likely to be a bit of new transparency or ‘sunlight’ on this two year old problem, and it’s hard to know how we should react to it, or what the mob’s overall counteraction will be. The second, in April, is likely to involve some awakening of alternative spirituality, as well as a projection of “grin and bear it” false-fronts. Jupiter often represents the capacities of mortal or human law and institutions to manage change — and it’s hard to know what wins out in a confrontation with the popular dream of Neptune: will the prevailing public opinion win out over the technocrats and bureaucratic frameworks? Or will the executives and administrators have the last word?
Horoscopes by Rising Sign
Horoscopes of Decan I of any sign are free to the public; Decans II and III are available to the $3/month tier and above on Patreon; I also send decan III horoscopes to my email list subscribers.
Gemini: Mercury is trine and dignified by triplicity and term, but cadent. You’re hungry to create a little bubble for yourself at home, and hide from the new demands that the world makes upon you, but the world is coming calling at your door, in the form of new responsibilities, new learning journeys, and recognitions of your outstanding reputation in the fields that you wish to be known for. You may not be all that, in the private minds of the people who pay you or honor you, but in public at least they have to give you the commission and the mention for past service. The amount of work, and the expectation of excellence, is likely to fall like a ton of bricks, though — you’re out of shape to do the labor, and yet it’s time to step back into roles you know well that may have been sidelined for two years. This time around, be the expert in the room, and be prepared to show the boss that you can be trusted with much.
Cancer: Moon is sextile and angular but peregrine. Financial matters related to house and home are partially resolved, but there’s some larger plans that have to be postponed for a bit. Be aware that time marches on — your future good fortune is dependent on making some long-term plans, but the implications of those plans may feel too large to wrap your head around. Take the challenge in small bites, open the conversations that need to happen. An employer may want you to seek a certification of some kind — ask them to pay for it and see how seriously they need you to get the diploma. Have you got a bucket list of goals with your business partner or current significant other? Start it as a “what if..” list and tack it to the fridge or the water cooler.It’s not as cool as running it up the flagpole to see who salutes… but it’s a bit easier to test the waters than to accidentally dive into a puddle.
Leo: Sun is angular but peregrine and inconjunct. Some self-reflection is necessary: are you yourself your only cause, your only raison d’être? If you could support and work for any social vision or goal in the world, what would it be? Dream big. At the same time, recognize that your current “intellectual exile” occurred for the most natural reasons, but you still have responsibilities to the world you left behind, and that requires showing up daily to do the work. For some of you, that may be a remote work-from-home situation, for others it means a return to the office. One way or another, it’s the prosaic, one-foot-in-front-of-the-other that get your blood pumping about your long range goals and what you want to do, for real. Live the ordinary for now… but work for the dream.
Virgo: Mercury is dignified by triplicity and term, but cadent and inconjunct. You’re likely to examine current circumstances with clear eyes, only to see the push-pull of daily duty at odds with what you’d rather be doing. A partner (romantic or entrepreneurial) has got some big plans and goals, but it requires you to up-end your own program and projects, particularly any empowering travel that you had in mind. Good fortune requires that you hear them out, but then gradually work toward a shared vision that sounds like it could be fun for you. Don’t commit to doing anything that feels like more drudgery right now — insist on a plan that brings home the bread, but also puts roses in the vase on the table: seek both the emotional enjoyment and the filthy lucre in the same labor.
Libra: Venus is succedent and dignified by triplicity and term but square. Pleasurable activities beckon, but certain family obligations need to be completed as well — business before entertainment is usually a good rule to follow. While a beloved partner may be involved in bodily assisting some relatives, it would be good for you to manage some household chores of your own, though the burdens may seem inappropriate for your own gender. Take care to defer some decisions, no matter how small they may seem, to someone with greater seniority than you; meanwhile, find some joy in gaming your reputation from ‘know it all’ to ‘senior expert on station’. This may require setting a gentle ‘trap’ for the unwary, such as an extra paragraph in a first draft essay, or a ‘joke diagram’ in a report. Then you can catch it ‘on camera’ and present the corrected draft in public. Schedule some “just me” time, but be prepared to adjust plans if conditions warrant: don’t lock yourself in if a better option appears, just because it’s on the agenda.
Scorpio: Mars is exalted, dignified by triplicity, succedent, and sextile. You’ve collected some elegant and thought-provoking things that will excite an emotional response, but no one seems interested. All the same, some time in learning spaces under a teacher in a hierarchical association — a martial arts school, perhaps, or a social organization with strict member categories — may be beneficial. You don’t have to join, but sating your curiosity should prove valuable, as long as you avoid single-sex experiences. Make a point of seeking out places and occasions where men, women and o
Sagittarius: Jupiter is in a sign he rules and angular, but square. In relationship with others, you may find yourself returning to the same themes over and over again. Upcoming events that you’d like to take part in, put expected pressures on the wallet — it’s the uncomfortable disconnect, really: the check is in the mail might be true, but you can’t spend promises is also true. The money is coming, but there’s some challenges with cashflow: be aware and honest with yourself about the financial mismatches. Family matters become an important communication. There’s still beauty and love in the relationships of extended family, but you may feel that you’re on the outside more than usual. House and home bring significant reputation this week, but also provide certain illusions – delusions? – about the future. You’re hungry for a regular schedule, but remember that disruptions also bring new opportunities even as they play havoc with your autonomy.
Capricorn: Saturn is in a sign he rules and dignified by triplicity, but cadent and inconjunct. Relationships between men and women, and the duties they owe one another, are likely to be a theme in the next ten days. They’ll be a source of tension, especially if your partner appears to need some solo time, but also of good fortune — especially if you can take the lead in guiding that partner toward mutually enjoyable activities that allow you to luxuriate in autonomy. Financial matters require you to have a good head on your shoulders; expect to wind up in the doghouse over a dumb mistake or two, but recognize that a little song-and-dance number may paper over a problem and resolve it to everyone’s satisfaction. A family member may ask you to shine a light on some deep history; it’s worth satisfying their curiosity, but be aware that it could be a trap: summarize, don’t try to embellish or add unnecessary detail.
Aquarius: Ruling Saturn is present and dignified by triplicity as an archon. Starting a new program of learning? Getting ready for a trip through the air? Stay grounded, either way. Begin both potential paths through the next ten days with an honest assessment of the complexities of both — what computing skills do you need? What paperwork? What equipment or infrastructure? What disposable materials? Will you have to quarantine or self-isolate at either end of your journey? How will you handle exposure to new ideas… or new viruses? Some of this reflection will have to be professional or impersonal focus on financial matters: you have some big dreams for March, April, May — it’s time to see if the financial load can handle it. You may also have an argument brewing over control over the property of an entrepreneurial partnership or the shared resources of a marriage. It’s going to be a touchy subject, but clear the air and recognize the love, honor, and respect that created that body of shared resources in the first place. Then you can approach the question of management with dignity and grace.
Pisces: Ruling Jupiter is present and angular. Career and reputation will be much on your mind in the next ten days, which may put your plans in conflict with a partner’s management of their career goals. It may feel a bit like beating a dead horse, but the conversation may revolve around what is your free labor, and what deserves to be paid work. You are likely not using your solo time as productively as you should, and as a result organizational strategies and tactics may be a learning process. Untangling what’s part of your creative labor, what’s your idealistic belief, and what’s the by-product of your aloofness from old models of professionalism, are all at work here — be prepared to make flow charts and diagrams, even brush up your spreadsheet knowledge! Some friends of yours are eager to move ahead on their projects, and will ask you to share the load. There’s good fortune in that work, but expect that labor to have some sour byproduct to emerge: maybe it’s pickles, maybe it’s sourdough — and maybe it’s bare knuckles fisticuffs and shouting. Unexpected gifts show up in familial life, but expect difficulties in travel.
Aries: Mars is exalted, dignified by triplicity, succedent and sextile, but square. It’s easy to sing, with the Beatles, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” But do you? There’s a wide range of people speaking love and honor to you, but the reality is that you’re facing a number of significant financial upheavals that threaten your autonomy. Are you lonely, too? You want to get back with others, but you’re afraid that the dream won’t live up to your reality. There’s a degree of wanting to maintain your current isolation, too, but people have the skills and social range that you’d like to have. Oh, yeah. And then there’s work — people are willing to be generous, and compromise on a bunch of things… but no one is going to pay you, not even minimum wage, if you can’t, won’t, or don’t show up to work: it’s unlikely you’re independently well-off right now. This is going to require you to bury past excuses, and bring back to life some habits of daily practice that you’ve let slide over the past few years. Follow your gut instincts about what worked in the past, and use them to take charge.
Taurus: Venus is succedent, trine and dignified by triplicity and term. Now is a great time for you to plan your goals for the next couple of years. Who you are in eighteen months is likely to be different than you are now, and now is a favorable time to begin setting out your goals. Hitting “execute” on a few financial benchmarks would be a good start; figuring out what battles you want to fight with your extended family and neighbors is another. Shine some light on what sort of leadership roles you want in your community, and how you want your expertise to be remembers at the highest levels. Additionally there’s some learning you have to do around your obligations and oaths if you want certain partnerships to succeed. Identify what you desire, and where you have to make compromises.
I have a Patreon account for those who want to support this column as it approaches the midpoint of its third year (I began with Leo I in 2019 ). We’re currently doing a decan walk through some Tarot, astrology, mythology, and magic. If you don’t want to become a regular patron, you can also buy me a Ko-fi in $3 increments, and any column I write after receiving a Ko-Fi donation will be open to the public. You can also schedule an appointment with me using Accuity Scheduling, for a natal or solar return consultation.
I use iPhemeris for my charting software, and screenshot it to make charts. I want to thank the team that develops iPhemeris for the addition of Terms and Decans to their charts, appearing here for the first time! I use Hugh Tran‘s Physis typeface to craft logos for this blog, as well.
I use Christopher Warnock‘s The Mansions of the Moon as the basis of my Moon placement delineations, and Austin Coppock‘s 36 Faces as the basis of much of my planetary delineations. Neither gentleman endorses me. My own book, A Full Volume of Splendour and Starlight, is now available as PDF download from my Etsy website, as is my Almanac for 2021. I follow T.Susan Chang and the Reverend Erik Arneson for insight into Tarot. Any errors in these columns are my own.
If you’d like to schedule a consultation with me, you can find additional information on the Services and Classes page.
If you want to read some of my other astrologically-oriented poetry, “A Full Volume of Splendour and Starlight” contains these smaller collections:
- To the Mansions of the Moon is a collection of hymns to the angels of the Mansions
- For the Behenian Stars is a collection of hymns to the first/brightest sixteen stars.
- The Sun’s Paces are hymns to the thirty-six Hellenistic-era deities and ascended souls of the Greco-Egyptian Decans-calendar.
- Festae, hymns to some of the older Roman gods and spirits.