Well, we’ve reached the twelfth and last sign in the astrological wheel: Pisces. But, it’s going to start back all over again in a few weeks when the Sun goes into Aries, the first sign. The Sun in Aries represents a time of astrological rebirth in that way, if you will. So, what does the Sun in Pisces represent? If we’re going to go by that logic, the time when the Sun is in the sign of the Fish could symbolize a certain death. Pisces is the final stretch, the end of days. Maybe that’s why there’s such a fatalistic attitude in astrology toward Pisces and its ruling planet and house, Neptune and the 12th. I think people might be more put off by Pisces energy than Scorpio energy. Scorpio can suffer and struggle and even die, in more ways than one. But, it’s seen as a formidable, powerful energy, always finding a resourceful way to come back to life even after being annihilated.
|Kurt Cobain: Pisces Sun/Cancer Moon|
For that reason, Pisces’ Water sign sibling is respected, although also feared, in ways that it’s just not. If Scorpio’s relationship to death is as a ferocious survivor, Pisces is like the peaceful elder, relating to tragedy as a senior citizen lying in their death bed would. The innate passivity of this sign is what leads many to categorize Sun in Pisces people – those born between February 20 and March 20 – as weak-willed, pitiful, or the kinds of folks who just roll over on their backs and give up. Throughout this Sun sign series, I’ve been busting the myths of the Sun signs. So, let’s deconstruct Pisces Sun, shall we? No, not all Pisces Suns are helpless victims or spineless pushovers. And even the ones who seem more victimized can have more endurance than you’d think.
I’ll use two rather textbook Pisces Sun people as examples. First off, there’s alt-rock legend Kurt Cobain, still just as worshipped over 20 years after his 1994 suicide at the age of 27. Now, Nirvana’s lead singer seems to fulfill all the classic Pisces traits. Highly artistic? Check. A deeply sensitive, misunderstood soul? Yes. Tragic life? Check again. He not only was apparently bipolar but he suffered from a heroin addiction (drug abuse is almost insultingly synonymous with Pisces). Apparently a follower of astrology, Kurt famously referenced his Sun sign in both his song “Heart Shaped Box” (“She eyes me like a Pisces when I am weak…”) and his alleged suicide note (referring to himself as "the sad little sensitive, unappreciative Pisces").
Did Kurt’s Sun make him too sensitive for this world, as Pisces people are often seen as being? Well, some people don’t realize just how strong he was through all of his suffering. His undiagnosed stomach problem, in particular, which is the subject of the Nirvana song “Pennyroyal Tea”, resulted in chronic, intense pain that plagued him his entire life. But, Kurt was known as being able to endure his pain in a self-abnegating way, although he eventually turned to drugs as a means of self-medication. Yet, you can also argue that music was another means of self-medication, into which he successfully channeled his personal pain and the impersonal pain of humanity that constantly haunted him in true Piscean fashion, building an unshakable legacy in the process. If that’s not strength, then I don’t know what is.
Pisces is seen as the sign of suffering, stereotypically. This suffering can come from constant health problems, personal tragedies, and/or an inner feeling of torment. But, people don’t often talk about how much that suffering can lead to great spiritual strength and amazing empathic awareness. With the Sun in this sign, this seems to be what your identity (Sun) is dependent on. Pisces often needs to descend into the pit of pain to find their true sense of self. My second textbook Pisces would be Elizabeth Taylor. The late two-time Oscar-winning actress was persistently plagued throughout her life with health issues, undergoing countless surgeries from her twenties all the way into her old age. And let’s not forget the roller-coaster love life, including the death of one of her eight husbands, Mike Todd, and the volatility notoriously experienced with another, Richard Burton.
But, without all of this pain, would Elizabeth have been able to famously fill the shoes of the tortured, alcoholic housewife in her powerful performance in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (which earned her the second Oscar) Would she have developed the empathy to spearhead the movement to fight AIDS in the mid-1980’s, back in a time where celebrities were terrified to even be vaguely associated with the disease? While Scorpio’s pain seems to only make it stronger, more resourceful, and more perceptive, Pisces’ pain serves to make people of this sign more compassionate, more creatively inspired, and more eager to transcend the world’s problems and to help others do the same.
Not all Pisces people will live as dramatic of an existence as Kurt or Elizabeth. Jon Hamm, born a Pisces Sun, isn’t a tormented drunk. He’s a level-headed, down-to-earth guy who just played a tormented drunk on television via Don Draper on Mad Men. (Edit: As of recently, Hamm actually revealed his private struggle with alcoholism, attending rehab in 2015 to get clean) His fellow Fish brother Bryan Cranston also seems well-adjusted and stable enough, which makes his legendary, Emmy-winning performance as meth-dealing anti-hero Walter White on Breaking Bad all the more astounding. They’re actors, of course, and are just becoming other people. But, they are also Pisces and that’s what Pisces do: become other people. It’s no coincidence that Pisces Sun folks are so prevalent in the arts. If this is your Sun sign, your identity is based on having a million identities.
|Rihanna: Pisces Sun/Aries Moon|
Pisces energy is amazingly multifaceted. This is the sign of the chameleon and when it’s your Sun sign, you’re definitely a chameleon. Few people can adapt like you. Pisces just floats along with the current of things, which is why its mascot is the Fish. Whatever situation you find yourself in, you have a way of just swimming right through it. But, this is why Pisces is also known as being potentially tricky. Like a fish, you can slip right out of other people’s grasp. However, you can also slip right out of your own grasp. True self-awareness can be difficult for Pisces, without dissolving into confusion or melancholia. The boundary between your problems and other problems can feel very thin, so introspection can quickly turn into depression over the state of everything.
The Sun represents the relationship with the father figure in astrology. And I hate to be fatalistic but there is often some sense of sadness around the father figure for Pisces Sun, whoever their more paternal parent might be. There can be an experience of him not fully being present. A father or paternal figure struggling with an addiction is very common with Sun in Pisces people. It doesn’t have to be drugs or alcohol, though it certainly can be. But, it’s anything that sort of checks the father out and into an emotionally unavailable state, whether it’s work or emotional issues or outside interests or total irresponsibility. Therefore, it leaves the uber-idealistic Pisces Sun child forever in a state of hoping for things to get better. This Sun sign can have a rather deluded and overly forgiving relationship with their father figure, glossing over or ignoring problems as if everything will be resolved eventually.
This, of course, can lead to a habit of glossing over problems with everyone else and/or becoming too permissive of other people’s toxic behavior. Of course, not everyone with a Pisces Sun has a dysfunctional father. Maybe the father figure is someone who helps them develop a sense of self that is compassionate, spiritual, and sees the good in other people. This parent could have a real healing touch on others, including the child, and instills an awareness within the child that’s rather unworldly. You could’ve learned about the more soulful, transcendental side of life through this paternal figure, causing you to constantly yearn to reach great heights as an adult.
Learning how to get to those heights, of course, is the challenge for people with the Sun in Pisces. This sign’s energy is particularly nonlinear and intuitive, to the degree of being all over the place. Pisces placements manifest sort of like walking through a dream. And when it concerns the Sun, the planet of the self, finding yourself can become a very hazy, confusing experience. Sure, it can be confusing for all of us. But, Pisces can cause its own undoing through living out a chaotic string of selves. This is the stereotypically deceitful Pisces of legend: the one who buys completely into its own lies, who creates a constant illusion for everyone else, who seems to always be in the midst of some identity crisis.
Here’s the kicker, though: being a Pisces Sun means not really having a solid identity, in a way. We can always find a way to use the weaknesses of our placements as strengths. And, with this Sun sign placement, you’re meant to embrace the creed of not finding yourself but creating yourself. You can come to discover that you can be absolutely whoever you want to be. Your boundless connection to humanity means that you feel a little bit of everyone in you. This should be an empowering quality and something you use to your advantage.