Pisces – The Fish or Dolphins – February 19 to March 20

“Pisces – sign of compassion and empathy –
has great psychic depth
with deep-felt sensitivity.
She’s peaceful and loving, taking all the way they are.
She’s an artist and romantic,
a giving carer – outstanding by far.”
– by Silvestra Silvermoon

Goddess Symbolism

The age-old symbol of the Fish is well known even in modern times. It is associated with Jesus Christ and Christianity and represents good fortune when encountered in fairy tales. But where does it actually come from and why are fish linked to good luck?

A long time ago during the Stone Age there lived a group of people along the Danube river in the region of today’s Serbia. Archaeologists have named them the Lepinski Vir culture. These people lived by and from the river. It sustained them with its water and its constant supply of fish. To the Lepinski Vir people the river and its fish meant life. The Danube river was the Great Mother who fed and watered them. And to honour Her, they built statues along the river shore. [1]

Archaeologists have found many statues made from natural egg-shaped river boulders. They have great staring eyes and fat-lipped gaping mouths. They are the image of the Great Mother of the Lepinski Vir culture – they are the image of the Fish Goddess who brings life and sustenance to Her people.

Some of the statues are all fish, some are human-fish hybrids. One even has human breasts. Many of the statues have bird feet etched into the sides, connecting the life-giving Fish Goddess to Her death-bringing aspect, the Bird Goddess. Some statues also show labyrinths on the body, representing the winding waters beneath the earth, which are governed by the Snake Goddess.

These three aspects of the Great Goddess – fish, bird and snake – encompass the Wheel of Life.

The Fish Goddess is the Birth Giver, and like the embryo swims inside its mother’s womb so signifies the fish the beginning of life. The symbol of the fish is linked to birth and fertility. Its shape resembles the womb and, more clearly, the vulva. It is often drawn as two thin crescent moons facing each other, forming a pointed oval shape, sometimes with one of the points overlapping and crossing over to form a fish shape. This emblem is known even today as the Vesica Piscis. It clearly shows the link between the The Fish Goddess and the Moon. Like the Fish Goddess Herself it is linked to early spring, new shoots and baby animals.

Unlike the Fish Goddess, the Bird Goddess is the Bringer of Death. The people who lived along the Danube river left their dead outside, most likely on specially designed platforms, in order for their remains to be picked clean by birds to facilitate the person’s journey back to the Goddess. This custom prevails even today in parts of the world. The Bird Goddess is linked to the Upper Waters, the Sky. Long ago our foremothers and fathers understood the blue sky to be made of water, which would occasionally drip down in the form of rain. The bird to them was related to the fish, as both “swim” through water: the bird uses its wings to navigate the Upper Waters, while the fish uses its fins to “fly” through the Lower Waters.

The Snake Goddess and Her emblem the labyrinth is the Regeneratrix. She governs the waters beneath the earth that wind around like a serpent. The labyrinth represents the path to the Otherworld and the Mysteries of the Goddess. It symbolises the time of renewal and regeneration that takes place between death and rebirth.

With that in mind the egg-shaped statues with faces like fish, claws like birds and the meandering lines of the labyrinth depict the neverending cycle of death, regeneration and rebirth. These statues represent the Great Goddess in Her many guises:

– She is Mistress of the Upper and Lower Waters.
– She is Goddess of Heaven, Earth, Water and the Underground.
– She is Goddess of the Above and Below.
– She is Goddess of Fertility, Birth, Life, Death and Regeneration. She is Goddess of the Neverending Cycle of Life and Death. She is the Great Goddess of All Existence.

The Fish Goddess as the Bringer of Life and Fertility is truly the Bringer of Good Fortune, which, as said above, has remained with us in disguise within our fairy tales, where the fisherman who catches the lucky fish is rewarded with great riches. The same imagery is retained in the mystical Mermaid who lives at the bottom of the sea and has the upper body of a woman and the lower body of a fish. She is the Virgin of the Sea, the Great Goddess again in disguise. We will find out a little bit more about mermaids further down.

The Goddess as Fish is not just limited to Central Europe. All over the world the Great Goddess is linked to the sea, to water and fish.

In China She is Kwan-yin. In India the Dark Goddess Kali is also known as “the fish-eyed one”. In Egypt it was a fish who swallowed Osiris’ phallus to symbolise regeneration. In West Africa She is Yemaya, Goddess of the light upper part of the ocean, and Olokun, Goddess of the dark bottom of the ocean. Both are usually depicted as mermaids.

Along the east Mediterranean the fish became the dolphin, which until about 2,000 years ago was a common sight in the region.

The Minoans on Crete have left behind some of the most beautiful dolphin frescos. They are bright and colourful and almost cartoon-like in their artistry. It is fascinating to think that they were drawn over 3,000 years ago! Unfortunately the Minoans didn’t leave many written records and those that have been discovered have not yet been deciphered. So we don’t know for sure what meaning the dolphins had to the Cretans, but based on Greek mythology we can assume that they were sacred to them as an emblem of the Goddess.

Over the waters in ancient pre-olympian Greece the Goddess Eurynome was said to have danced over the sea creating order from chaos. One of Her children was Themis, one of the original Titan Goddesses and later Goddess of Order. Themis was once known as a Fish Goddess. She was the Keeper of the Oracle of Delphi, the Navel of the World. This very fact gives away Her fish origins: In Greek “delphis” means dolphin, whereas the very same word spelled with a “y”, i.e. “delphys”, means womb. It clearly shows the connection between the fish symbol and the womb of the Goddess. (Note, obviously we now know that dolphins aren’t fish but mammals, but chances are that our foremothers and fathers saw them as fish plus they sure look like fish.) This connection to the womb also explains why Delphi was thought of as the Navel of the World. Themis as Fish Goddess, as Dolphin Goddess, was the original Mermaid in European mythology, a symbolism to be shared with later Aphrodite.

Aphrodite as we know Her today is a shadow of Her former and real self. She is so much more than just the Goddess of Love and Beauty!

Aphrodite is the Great Goddess of the Sea. She is the Queen of the Mermaids with Her fish tale and yonic comb that symbolises great riches and good fortune. Like all Fish and Sea Goddesses She is also Goddess of the Moon. This Moon connection is captured in the traditional long-handled hand mirror that Aphrodite as mermaid holds in Her hand. It represents the Moon and the reflectiveness of water. Aphrodite’s mirror would later be adopted by Roman Venus and become immortalised as the symbol for planet Venus as well as the sign for “female”.

The name Aphrodite is generally taken to mean “foam born” (aphro = foam, dite = born). However, according to The Amazon Nation “dite” with the meaning of born can’t be traced further back than Aphrodite Herself. The origin of Her name therefore lies somewhere else outside of Greece. In Chaldea, south eastern Mesopotamia, a Goddess similar to Artemis in nature was known as “Aphradah” which means “She Who Subdues Wrath” (aph = wrath, radah [f] = to subdue). It is likely that these are the origins of Aphrodite’s name.

Aphrodite was brought via the sea to the island of Cyprus (or Kypros) by Middle Eastern women, who established the matrifocal and matristic colony of Paphos there. Note how according to Greek myth Aphrodite’s birth place is said to be just off the coast of Paphos on Cyprus.

The Goddess Aphrodite was known all across the ancient Middle East by different names:

In Egypt She was Ay-Mari.
In Persia She was Anahita “The Immaculate One” and Esther “The Star”.
In Canaan She was Hadusah “Myrtle” for their star-shaped flowers. Still under the Greeks the myrtle was sacred to Aphrodite. In Her honour sometimes the clitoris was called myrtle berry. The Canaans also knew Her as Asherah and Astarte. She was Warrior, Mother, Queen of Heaven, Sea Goddess, Measurer of Time and Alotter of Fate. [2]
In Babylon She was Ishtar.
In Sumer, Her (as far as we know) earliest manifestation, She was Inanna.

According to Classical Greek mythology Aphrodite is said to have risen from the sea after Uranus’ testicles fell into the water thus fertilising Mother Sea. Aphrodite’s birth therefore represents the separation of heaven and earth, but here in this patriarchal version of the myth unlike Her alter ego Inanna She is no longer the Mother Goddess of Heaven and Earth, but is merely the daughter of a father.

According to a lesser known birth story Aphrodite’s origins lie in the Euphrates river in Mesopotamia, where an egg fell from the sky into the water. This is likely to refer to a meteorite, as many Goddesses were represented by them. This egg was then brought to shore by a fish, symbolising the Goddess as Sea, and was warmed by a dove, another vulva symbol, until She finally hatched. [2]

Aphrodite is a Sea Goddess. She has many sacred emblems, but the ocean and dolphins are particularly dear to Her. The Vesica Piscis is one of Her signs, showing Her again as Goddess of the Sea and the Moon.

One of Her early incarnations was Moira “The Strong One”, one of the Fates. Later this would be changed to Mari, the Sea, and attached to Her name as in Aphrodite-Mari. Mari was also a name of an ancient Sumerian town, revealing yet again Aphrodite’s Middle Eastern origins. The Virgin Mary, who has adopted many of Aphrodite’s emblems continues to be known as Stella Maris “Star of the Sea” and even the name Mary is reminiscent of Mari.

Like the ancient Stone Age Goddess, the net is sacred to Aphrodite. She wears it as a robe or over a skirt.

Fridays were Her special day, when people would eat fish to honour Her life-giving essence, hoping for lovemaking and fertility (cf. aphrodisiac). This rite would later be adopted by Christians minus the sexual aspect.

On Paphos the rites of Aphrodite were celebrated on the cusp of spring under the sign of Pisces. Again, this reveals Her connection to the ancient Neolithic Fish Goddess. Spring is the season Aphrodite is connected with. Interestingly, the ram with his spiral horns also belongs to Her (cf. in astrology both the sign of the Fish and that of the Ram are spring signs).

It is due to Aphrodite’s connection to the Neolithic Fish Goddess, the Great Giver and Sustainer of Life, that we can understand the origins of Aphrodite’s Hellenic denomination as Goddess of Love and Beauty. While She once was the embodiment of new birth and new life, of springtime and renewal, of basically the life-giving aspect of nature itself, as humanity moved further away from Mother Nature and natural law, this life-giving essence of Her would be reduced to meaning romantic love and sex only.

Unlike Aphrodite, Pisces, the sign of the Fish, retains its Great Goddess symbolism: it is the sign of the Primordial Watery Womb, the Great Goddess of the Sea, the Bringer of Life and Fertility, of Early Springtime, Pregnancy and (Re)birth. Due to the Precession of the Equinox the dates of the sign are likely to have been early February, probably falling on the Holy Day of Imbolc, the Festival of Purification and Cleansing, of Early Lambing and the First Signs of Spring [3].

Pisces’ Traits and Characteristics

Pisces is most certainly one of the most misrepresented signs of the zodiac. Traditional western astrology just doesn’t understand Pisces’ incredible gifts and discards a whole host of amazing people as basically “washed out, weak substance abusers”. This couldn’t be further from the truth and it’s high time the record were set straight!

First of all remember that Pisces, the sign of the Fish, is closely connected to the Goddess as Life Bringer and Nurturer. The fish to this day symbolises good fortune, which explains why the original Piscean ruler was Jupiter, the planet of luck, youthful exuberance and opportunities. Although modern astrology has transferred Piscean rulership to the much darker Neptune, it is vitally important to remember Jupiter’s original influence on Pisces to truly understand the motivations of this sign. So far from being victims and martyrs who sacrifice themselves for the good of others, Pisceans are actually good natured, happy people who choose (!) to share their kind-heartedness with those around.

The other important thing to remember when trying to understand Pisceans is their watery nature. Never ever underestimate the strength of water! It will never break, but always flows around obstacles, apparently making way for more solid objects. However, after a time even the hardest rock gets worn down by the strength and energy of flowing water. And it is this very strength through adaptability combined with their giving and compassionate nature that enables many Pisceans to do something most of us couldn’t cope with: taking care of the most unfortunate souls inside health and mental institutions. Most of us would break under the emotional strain of such an emotionally difficult task, and yet Pisceans are able to do this day in day out. Is it really so surprising that they occasionally need to withdraw to recharge their batteries? I think not. There is nothing “fragile” about a Piscean!

Overall Pisceans are happy, playful souls that enjoy living life to the full. They are kind and generous with a sensitive, sympathetic heart. But that is not what makes Pisceans so unique. The special gift that Pisceans have been bestowed upon is their almost uncanny empathy. They are so deeply intuitive and insightful they can make psychic connections with others and “see” things most of us are blind to. They can almost read other’s thoughts and are most certainly able to put themselves into anyone else’s shoes. As empaths who are gifted with great sensitivity they can’t avoid absorbing the emotions of others. Some say that by taking on the negative energies of other people, Pisceans are able to liberate them from their troubles. This can be quite overpowering and exhausting for the Piscean. Again, it is not surprising that at times they require solitude and / or choose to indulge in their imagination and fantasy in order to revitalise themselves. Besides, is imagination, fantasy and dreams such a bad thing? Once upon a time those blessed with such abilities were revered as wise women, priestesses, druids, shamans, bards and, of course, (even today) as artists and storytellers.

Pisceans are understanding and totally non-judgemental of others. They are all embracing and accepting of different kinds of people. Due to their open-mindedness Pisceans are often described as being somewhat elusive and difficult to pin down. This is only so, as they can see and understand all sides of a story. As far as Pisceans are concerned we are all one, we are all connected. Pisceans are possibly the most spiritual of all the signs.

Pisceans have a wonderful imagination, they are very much in tune with their unconscious, dreamy side. They are romantic, creative and poetic and make the most amazing artists and actresses / actors. Due to their perceptiveness and empathy they can mimic and mirror others easily.

Pisceans are exceptionally well equipped to cope with chaos. This might not sound like much, but most people get quite upset when things aren’t in their ordered places. It is this ability to take chaos in their stride that Pisceans are able to learn new things so easily.

Pisceans are quite unique individuals. They neither like rigid structures nor can they stand their personal freedom being hampered. They are quite independent and despite what traditional astrology would like you to believe are perfectly capable of self-control and self-direction.

Pisceans are warm and sensual people. They are charming and have a way with words.

One of Pisces’ traits that is often expressed in a negative way is their self-lessness, their devotion. They are neither ego-centric nor ego-driven, something that our society can’t comprehend (although this is changing) and those in the far East try to attain over many years of training.

Pisceans are persisting yet able to adapt to whatever life throws at them. They may need a recess, but will never stay down. Like water Pisceans are incredibly resilient  Yours is a sign to be proud of!

In summary Piscean women (and men) are:

– empathetic
– sensitive
– receptive
– psychic
– mediumistic
– spiritual
– almost able to read minds
– absorbing

– fluid
– flexible
– adaptive
– versatile
– with a love for change

– non-judgemental
– all embracing
– accepting
– sympathetic
– understanding
– with belief in wholeness and universality
– with belief that we’re all one and interconnected

– laid back
– easygoing

– benevolent
– humanitarian
– compassionate
– generous
– nurturing
– kind
– caring
– patient
– giving

– self-less
– modest
– not ego-centric
– not ego-driven

– devoted
– generating
– perserving yet adaptive

– curious
– seeking answers
– always learning

– peaceful

– dreamy
– visionary

– responsive

– introspective
– intuitive
– with great foresight
– with great emotional depth
– insightful
– with retentive memory

– subtle
– elusive
– difficult to pin down
– independent
– with dislike of structured situations

– non-conforming
– not able to “fit into square hole”
– original
– innovative

– exuberant
– playful
– idealistic
– resonant
– sociable
– with zest for life
– with love for pleasure
– with love for a good time
– with great sense of humour

– beautiful

– imaginative
– creative
– gifted with vivid and lively language skills
– expressive
– artistic
– poetic
– romantic
– able to mirror and mimic others

– sensual
– warm
– charming
– loving

– able to cope with chaos
– able to multi-task
– resilient
– self-controlled
– self- directing
– with personal integrity
– courageous

– drawn to the sea

Pisces is a mutable Water sign that is ruled by Olokun, Goddess of Dreams and the Dark Realms of the Unconscious. Pisces’ previous ruler was Artemis, the Maiden of the Silver Bow.

Pisces is associated with lavender, turquoise, sea greens and watery colours.

Within the body Pisces is linked to the feet.

Piscean qualities are most prominent when the Sun, the Moon or the Ascendant (Rising Sign) are in the sign of the Fish.


[1] These could very well be the origins of the Celtic Mother Goddess Danu who is connected to the river Danube and is the Bringer of Good Luck and Fortune for Her children, the Tuatha de Danaan.

[2] See The Amazon Nation

[3] Part of Aphrodite’s rites in early spring was the cleansing of the Goddess in order to wash away the traces of winter and to renew and regenerate Her virginity (here likely to represent the youthfulness of early spring).


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Raiza
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 10:08:52

    I loved your description of pisces! was the best i have ever read.My venus is in pisces and i do have a lot of these qualities. My sun squares neptune,what would give more of these traits i guess. but after a lot of study,i think i keep the ruling of pisces with artemis. one interesting thing is that i have moon in virgo opposite my beloved venus in pisces.That gives me some trouble. Like,i wish to be all compassionate but i can´t stop being judmental. sometimes i think the best way to help ( what i surely want with all my heart) is having no mercy in making critics. Also,i must say,i have contempt for what i see as being “fake suferrers”. like this people with any self-steem but who has almost no reason to reclaim. i wish to save my energy to the ones who are really suffering. actually,when i am not giving love to these who really need it i feel empty.


    • Silvestra
      Nov 06, 2012 @ 12:07:22

      I’m so glad you liked my description of Pisces! I’ve not got any Pisces in my chart, but plenty of Cancer and Scorpio. My heart has always gone out to Pisces, which as a “ultra-feminine” sign has fared so very badly in traditional astrology. And it’s just so not true! It’s definitely worth remembering that Artemis-Jupiter was the original ruler of this sign. Blessings and all the best, Silvestra.


    • per Mahogany
      Feb 28, 2014 @ 05:21:53

      I am just amazed at how much you sound like me!


  2. susan
    Jun 19, 2013 @ 14:32:34

    Your goddess research is very comprehensive. Pisces can read minds.


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