As we continue to celebrate the Christmas season in much of the world, I thought this would be a good time to revisit the origins and astrological significance of this Christian holiday.
Believe it or not, this is one of the most searched-for posts on my personal blog, The Pisces Chronicles. The original post ran on December 18, 2005.
Much love to all in this holiday season …
Jesus and the Age of Pisces
For many people around the world, the winter holiday is Christmas and the birthday of Jesus.
The year of his alleged birth was very close to the beginning of the Age of Pisces. That alone is noteworthy, but there are plenty of other startling coincidences, such as early Christians’ use of the image of the fish to identify themselves. If you’d like to know more, here is an excellent article by Ray Grasse, who has written a book about the Age of Aquarius.
Whether you believe Jesus really existed or was just a symbolic figure, this is as good a time as any to look back on the Age of Pisces. What did it replace? What was its promise? What have been its primary manifestations?
The Age of Aries was ending just as the Roman Empire had extended to its farthest reaches. Aries is ruled by Mars, the god of war, and it was Rome’s military innovations that allowed it to conquer lands on three continents. Rome invented the idea of a trained military unit that attacked and fought as one, with a pre-planned strategy. That might sound like a no-brainer, but until the Romans came up with the idea, warfare was more like schoolyard gangs beating up on each other.
Jesus lived in an outpost of the Roman Empire, and according to some historians, he was a rebel (if George Bush had been the emperor of Rome, he’d have called Jesus a terrorist, but that’s another story for another time). Yet his message was of peace, compassion, and oneness with God – all concepts that astrologers strongly associate with Pisces. Indeed, these are the best attributes of Pisces.
So how did a message of peace and compassion get turned into the Crusades, in which “infidels” were killed in the name of God? Or into the war in Iraq, in which “terrorists” or “insurgents” are being killed in the name of democracy or oil or eradication of WMDs or whatever?
The answer lies in the flip side of Pisces, which is fear and blind faith. As the Age of Pisces draws to an end, the worst traits of the sign are coming to the fore in a way that we no longer can ignore.
I went to a Unitarian service this morning during which the visiting minister admonished everyone to remember our divinity, to turn toward what’s beautiful and good, and away from what’s ugly and bad. Well, in my mind, therein lies the problem. In deciding that certain behaviors are “bad” and “ugly,” to be feared and hated, we renounce an essential part of ourselves. When society as a whole represses behaviors or thoughts, they emerge in overt, physical form. The more repressed, the more in our faces they get.
Before we can reclaim our divinity – and our power as divine beings – we must own our dark side. We are all capable of being selfish, greedy, petty, resentful, narrow-minded, self-indulgent, stubborn, and limited. And most of us live in fear of something, and the antidote to this fear is blind faith, whether in a supreme being, a political leader, a religious or political ideology, a scientific theory – whatever. To live with uncertainty, to be in a constant state of “I don’t know,” is more than most human beings are willing or able to handle.
As the Age of Pisces dwindles, our beliefs are falling away. Lately, this is happening with mind-numbing speed. As a result, we are entering a period of intense confusion. Nothing makes sense. The behaviors and reactions of people, governments – even nature – are inexplicable. Chaos reigns.
Eventually, when the dust settles, we will enter a new age of peace and stability. But we’ve got a way to go yet. . .
Image: Night of Peace, watercolor illustration for Milton’s On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity, by William Blake, 1809.