Since the beginning of time we human beings have relished the exploration of disguise by changing ones appearance into different forms. Disguising ones appearance contains the idea of fantasy and escapism from a self reality that may have become too mundane but is this behaviour as simple as it seems? Wearing a simple mask hides ones eyes but behind that, the minds owner experiences a kind of euphoria via a disconnection of an all too well-known persona. Escapism is a known trait born in the Astrological Sign of Pisces so it might pay to investigate the mythology of the twin fishes to find out more.
The story of Pisces indicates that disguising ones form and appearance is primarily to escape a terrible earthly monster called Typhoeus.
“The horrible earth-born giant Typhoeus suddenly appeared one day, startling all the gods into taking on different forms to flee. Jupiter, for instance, transformed himself into a ram; Mercury became an ibis; Apollo took on the shape of a crow; Diana hid herself as a cat; and Bacchus disguised himself as a goat. Venus and her son Cupid were bathing on the banks of the Euphrates River that day, and took on the shapes of a pair of fish to escape danger. Minerva later immortalized the event by placing the figures of two fish amongst the stars.
The zodiacal constellation Pisces represents two fish, tied together with a cord. The constellation is neither particularly bright nor easy to find, but it lies near Pegasus.” (By Cathy Bell)
Venus and her son Cupid are at the centre of this fishy tale and as we all know, the mythologies surrounding these two are primarily concerned with love and enjoyment. The sign of Pisces is a mutable environment where adaptability and change are fundamental traits. If many Gods changed into different forms when the monster suddenly appeared, there is a self-preservation element to this story with a goal to live another day.
If the of the story of Pisces embodies two pleasure orientated archetypes such as Venus and Cupid, one of the primary roles described in the constellation of Pisces is a transitional one, with a theme for pleasure and enjoyment. Escaping the reality of such earthly monsters in the story of Pisces conjures up a myriad of more mortal and human behaviours when we consider the monotony and harsher realities of life, in the monster Typhoeus.
In my view the sign of Pisces contains the idea of an older soul that is not only wise and experienced but less ego driven in the same way as other signs. The constellation of Pisces is the last sign in the Zodiac which means that Pisces has “lived through” all the experiences of other signs, starting with Aries. There is a melancholic sense for the Pisces archetype and less desire to integrate into specific roles other Signs of the Zodiac identify with. So at the last outpost and final transitional environment, the horoscopic wheel turns to fantasy and escapism with a primary motivation to disguise the reality of ones identity!
We can’t really stop there when considering the Pisces constellation and the idea of manufacturing different realities for the purpose of escapism. The imagery of the myth is symbolised as two fishes tied together with string and swimming in opposite directions. Perhaps a duality of directions here represents the inner conflict supporting a perpetual and incomplete gestalt in life. No wonder the Piscean kind turn to “disguise” and attempt to escape reality through drugs and alcohol? We could list numerous positive and negative behaviours here relating to escapism. Even the simple application of applying perfume and latherings of lotions, disguise and re fantasize ones identity in the “real world”.
` The domino effect of the “yes we can” message
The other main component of the mythology is the string that ties the fish together like an eternal reliance on the “other”. In this day and age the Piscean idea of the relationship between “We” instead of “I” is perhaps an ultimate wisdom that hopefully intoxicates a collective form into change? The hidden and less egotistical ideals of Piscean forms may have their negative manifestations and co dependencies, however there is an underlying and creative message ringing out in the unconscious collective here. The fact is we are dependent on many things and we will always need other people or external leanings to survive those fearful and symbolic “monsters” of life.
The age of individualism and separationalism of the 1960’s was a necessary “therapy” to establish a global collective identity of which similarly permeated our personal need to evolve. Now that Neptune has entered Pisces the complexities of our unconscious workings will require different kinds of global analysis and transformations? Like some forms of psychoanalysis we need another person and trusting unconditional relationships to access intersubjective spaces for awareness. The sign of Pisces contains such rich and supportive environments for explorations into the unknowns. If it’s through these kinds of “clinical” escapisms that holds a more complete gestalt then the two fish tied by string is certainly an apt symbol for the sign of Pisces.
The idea of fantasy and creative disguise can behold a variety of literal and psychological outcomes. Through the watery journey of the sign of Pisces, we can access realms never before experienced and dangerously enough, be tied to the destructive tendencies of escapism.