The Sun leaves Aquarius and enters Pisces on Sunday, February 19, at 12:19 a.m. CST (6:19 a.m. GMT). It will remain in Pisces until March 20.
This shift is bringing all of us new opportunities to focus on our spiritual lives and explore the hidden world of dreams, intuition, and imagination.
Pisces, watercolor on hand torn, handmade pink paper by Anne Nordhaus-Bike
Pisces's sensitivity allows us to empathize with others, especially those who are ill, wounded, or confined in some way. This experience can teach us compassion and stimulate our desire to improve the world so that no one suffers needlessly. It also teaches us the wisdom of boundaries: although we may feel sympathy or even literally feel another's pain, we must not take on tasks that others can and must do for themselves. Reflecting mentally on our feelings and meditating about our desire to help others enables us to make good choices in how--and how much--to serve others.
Pisces also is linked with the arts because its watery nature gives it ready access to states of consciousness beyond everyday material reality. Those states may include dreams, the subconscious, and even psychic or mystical experiences. All of these can deepen imagination and often result in art with an intuitive, otherworldly quality.
Pisces is ruled by Neptune, a bright blue planet named for the Roman god of the sea. Neptune reinforces Pisces's association with water, a substance that long has symbolized emotions as well as consciousness. This planet also points to Pisces's preoccupation with hidden realms and spirituality: just as an ocean's surface hides most of what goes on in the sea, our physical bodies hide our true, spiritual selves.
As the last sign of the zodiac, Pisces rules the feet, the base of the human body. This suggests a need for dreamy Pisces to keep its feet on the ground; it also implies that this sign's spirituality and sensitivity are key to our foundation in life, on every plane of consciousness.
Pisces is associated with water-loving plants such as moss, water lilies, and willows and with sea creatures such as dolphins and fish. Its symbol consists of two fish bound together but facing opposite directions, a visual image of the human soul and body, yoked together and often in conflict. With Pisces, one fish tends to want to drift downstream with life's random currents, while the other wants to swim upstream by meeting life's challenges in order to make spiritual progress.
Current astrology: planets in retrograde and earthy energy
This month's astrology brings us a third planet going retrograde, giving us more opportunities to review certain areas of our lives. It also continues the recent emphasis on earth signs; with Neptune and the Sun in Pisces, this earthy energy can help us ground the Fish's dreaminess and compassion in practical, tangible ways:
. On March 12 at 2:50 a.m. CDT, Mercury will go retrograde and will remain so until April 4; during this period, Mercury will travel back through Aries and into Pisces. The retrograde begins the day after the U.S. shifts to daylight saving time, making this a good opportunity to check timepieces of all kinds to ensure they're accurate and in good working order. Mercury rules the mental realm as well as communication, electronics and gadgets, and short trips, and when it goes retrograde (typically, three times each year), we may face delays, interruptions, or adjustments in communication, travel, and computer processes. This energy asks us to put off starting anything new and instead go within to reflect and meditate; as we re-think, review, and often redo tasks connected to Mercury's areas of life, we can make sure we're doing the right things in the best way.
. Also retrograde now are Mars (active energy, assertiveness, will, sexuality) and Saturn (responsibility, reality, boundaries). Mars is in Virgo (purity, perfection, independence), giving us an opportunity to review our recent efforts at self-improvement and to set new goals to better our health, jobs, and daily routines. If we do this work well, we'll be ready to take action and move forward in mid-April. Saturn has been in Libra (relationships, fairness, justice, balance) since late 2009, except for a few months in Virgo in the first half of 2010. This retrograde period gives us a final opportunity to review our relationships and our personal boundaries before Saturn leaves Libra in October.