Welcome to Pisces Season!
During Pisces time, we might just find ourselves drawn to:
- Creative, artistic and healing pursuits as a way of understanding what we absorb and meld with
- Avoiding painful experiences or feelings, of ourselves and others, because it can feel like too much
- Fully embracing the difficult times and uncomfortabilities (yeah, that’s not really a word but I love it and use it) because it is through seeing all parts of us with compassion that wholeness is possible
- A personal development or spiritual path infused with the utmost of sensitivity and connectedness to our true selves
- Giving care, taking care as the ultimate act of generosity and bolstering of self-esteem and self-worth
- Spending time and space in illusive, hard to define, in-between states like dreaming, journeying, fantasizing, or escaping
Last month for Aquarius season, I talked about how Aquarius is connected to a constant stream of information coming down from higher realms or higher parts of ourselves. This month continues on the water theme, and then takes it to the ultimate level.
Pisces time is like floating in a primordial soup, everything and everyone sloshing around in a vast sea of connectedness.
The concept of community immunity comes to mind: how we are continually connected to and co-regulating our health with one another’s. The more we look into the repercussions of personal and collective wounds, the more development and conversation there is around the fact that connection is the antithesis and antidote to attachment issues, trauma, ACE (adverse childhood events) and so on.
Gabor Mate said: safety isn’t simply the absence of threat, safety is connection.
For many of us, connection is a loaded word. Instead of feeling reassured by how the power of connection buffers adverse events, I feel a sense of sadness.
How many of us are missing meaningful connection?
How many of us felt isolated in our early years? How many of us were put in front of a screen, felt tied to a desk with a life-sucking worksheet, came home to an empty house and overall lacked true community, instead of sitting face to face with parents, elders, aunts or uncles, friends, animals, plants, spirit help or the Earth herself?
Pisces season is full of feelings like this. Pisces feels into see the most emotionally complicated and painful, scary outcome.
This time of year we are swimming in a vast ocean of super intense feelings – feelings that might make us want to run far, far away.
Each astrological season inherently holds a whole spectrum to work with it. Painful feelings like suffering may surface, and so too may elating feelings, like love, joy and compassion. But mostly, it’s the day-to-day background emotions that trip us up – and also hold the greatest key to self-acceptance.
Each season has its own pitfalls, their own style of avoidance or self-sabotage, too. During Capricorn season, we could definitely over-work to the point of martyrdom, or feel like we are striving for external reasons that aren’t connected to our true heart. In Aquarius, we may want to mentally zone out on media or detach from our bodies, or be overrun with apathy, dread or anxiety at the current state of humanity.
Pisces brings attraction to escapism, through drugs, spiritualism, food – whatever offers a temporary relief or distraction wrapped in some form of short-lived pleasure or checking out. Sometimes we do need to or want to self-medicate, sometimes we want to be extra dreamy, sometimes we want to listen to music and create art, or chase a spiritual high.
An escape can be nice sometimes, therapeutic even.
But we all know there’s a difference between entering a consciousness-expanding, higher-self connecting, oneness-seeking states as a one-time peak experience and lingering waaaaay to long in fantasy-land. During this season we need to remember that both Jupiter and Neptune, the co-rulers of Pisces, can take the seeking of a good time too far, and get lost in the process.
Most of us won’t fall prey to the extreme end of Pisces excessive escapism. But we all will probably experience one of the most challenging aspects of Pisces season: the challenge of being with our heightened emotions.
Upon a meditation into feeling into this season, I came to a place of really feeling deeply and really really REALLY wanting to avoid painful feelings, because my brain literally thought I would drown in them.
Ah, this is so painful! I don’t want to deal with this right now. Too much, too much! This is really scary! I can’t go there. Get me out of here.
Can you relate? This is par for the course during Pisces season.
Unlike the other water signs, Pisces has no hard shell to protect itself. This makes Pisces time more vulnerable of course, but also more connected.
It seems so unfair: Pisces feels super intense emotions AND it instinctively wants to avoid them. If we can rise up to the lessons of the season we can learn a lot and gain a lot. Through the practice of facing and embracing deep emotions, we witness our full range of human vulnerability and cultivate a great sense of compassion and acceptance.
Skyscript explains the symbolic connected fish of Pisces swimming in two different directions as such:
“The cord that binds the two opposing fishes shows that although they are open to a wide range of emotions and psychic impressions, they are forever tied to the process of centering themselves and bringing equilibrium to their own lives, and those of others around them.”
“…forever tied to the process of centering themselves and bringing equilibrium…” I really love that, because it shows the constant feeling-processing/centering, feeling-processing/centering of what it’s like to be on a healing path. We never do a healing task then check “Healing” off our list completely. If we are open to continually learning and growing, there’s always more. We never get it done and over with, we simply learn to flow with the direction of the evolution, healing, expression, work, again and again and again.
This brings to mind a quote of Billy Corgan, one of my favorite Pisces (born March 17th, also my Grandma Margie’s birthday).
I’m sort of like a lame, single guy in a red sports car. If I have resistance to something, it means there’s something wrong. The resistance to me is a sign of fear. I feel like I’m always fighting not to repeat myself.
Pisces Season Core Skill: Feeling and Accepting
The skill to be worked through, practiced and eventually cultivated is feeling.
Ideally we would be able to feel, not judge the feelings, not indulge excessively by telling stories about the feelings, and then accept the feelings. This takes some practice. I talk about the basic premise of listening to feelings at the end of this writing.
During the course of our normal, daily life we often feel discomfort or emotional pain. That’s normal. Life is not great 100% all the time. In other instances, because of the surrounding oppressive systems, the circumstances or experiences of our life and/or because of other factors like our unique biology and neuro-hardwiring, we may feel these feelings and their impact more intensely.
Sometimes we are prompted to seek professional help with unpacking overwhelming “negative” emotions, their origins and their repercussions on our lives. That is always a good idea. Some of the most pivotal tools I have ever learned were during a brief round of therapy, when I learned to allow and be with the discomfort and pain of recurring negative emotions without freaking out about the emotions. I stopped stressing about my stress. The things I speak of here are not substations for therapy or working with healing professionals, but additional tools.
I use the term “negative emotions” but I am NOT saying that negative emotions are BAD and “positive emotions” are GOOD. It’s more that we tend to (but certainly not always) turn away from negative emotions of anger, fear and sadness, and we tend to allow positive feelings of joy and love.
An Emotional Avoidance to Emotional Acceptance Story
One afternoon in December I was enjoying some time to myself reading the newspaper in a coffee shop. An emotionally intense story about addiction impacted me – I found myself thinking about it often. All the time, actually.
Eventually I had an urge to pray about these societal addiction pains. And I did, for a few days. When I speak of what is on my heart, I often feel a sensation of those feelings coming through and out. I don’t always feel this way. Practices like prayer, ritual, creation, meditation and the like don’t have to feel amazing all the time, or even feel like anything at all.
Let me interject by defining what I mean by “pray”, because sometimes “pray” is practically seen as a four-letter word. Religion has caused harm to many people, and (understandably so) prayer is most often associated with religion. But there are other reasons prayer gets a bad rap – I won’t go into it, but I bet you and I sat down over a oat milk mocha we could name a dozen reasons right off the top of our heads.
For me, prayer means I sit down and speak (not literally – I mostly whisper or speak in my head because I live with others and have to be quiet) from the heart about what I’m feeling and thinking to a higher self or spirit – or to nobody in general. It is a ritual of conversation, a transformational tool. I sit, light a candle to define space if I really want to be fancy, and begin speaking about what is weighing on my heart, until I don’t have to speak about it any more. Then I give thanks and close out that session of time.
The beauty of prayer for me is that it prayer creates a defined container for my heart to speak. I have trained myself to give voice to what is emotionally and mentally heavy during a specific time. I have challenged myself to LET IT OUT. (If you struggle with this, movement practices are also really therapeutic.)
Then, when I feel sufficiently resolved, I can move on with my day and the heavy (or excited – it doesn’t have to only be “negative” emotions or thoughts) feelings don’t follow me around. They are less likely to be intrusive or enter into my sleeping time, to my dreams, to the times I need to be “on” with my kids or focusing on something else.
It’s similar to time spent in ritual. Maybe you even call it a ritual, or reflection, or journaling or dialoguing with your heart or self. Whatever you call it, it can be helpful to sort and sift through thick feelings and thoughts.
Prayer is a release valve for emotional heaviness in the heart, just like journaling is a thought-downloading process for the mind.
They both clear things out and keep things flowing, they both help me get a LOT less hung-up on feelings and thoughts.
Enough about prayer. Back to the story…
During this time of praying, I felt that a large cloud of painful feelings were flooding through me and out, and it was huge – as big as the United States and thirty years deep. I am not sure, but it was almost like because I was inspired to speak the feelings out during regular and intentional prayer, more of those feelings filtered through. It was like they had a place to go.
This was an interesting experience for me. I have heard stories about healers processing the pain and wounding of others or groups of people, like their ancestors, through their own bodies as part of a healing. I didn’t feel like any healing was happening, but there was something flowing through me. I felt neutral. Like a supportive witness. Like a doula – which I used to be, so I’m not surprised that I used those skills here.
I tell this backstory because it demonstrates how I fully allowed myself to feel those heavy, painful feelings. Part of it was that they didn’t scare me: I knew they weren’t my feelings and I knew I didn’t have any agenda with them. They didn’t freak me out, and I as able to follow their lead.
Another opportunity to process feelings
In February, I came across a beautiful photo spread about one woman’s unwanted miscarriage. The photos were breathtaking. A death and a birth. It was powerful to witness. I thought of that woman, and all the other birthing people who have gone through the same experience. The story stuck with me. I thought about it for a few hours afterwards, very viscerally.
Instantly, I started avoiding the feelings that arose in my body and being about unwanted miscarriage. I felt a pushing away of these feelings, and it felt like I was shunning them. It was subtle and it wasn’t intentional. It felt like a natural, unconscious reaction that I could kind of see in the background.
Yet I knew this wasn’t ideal, and I knew that I could very easily make a conscious choice to tend to my emotional reactions with more maturity and responsibility, I did a couple months ago.
I told myself I was too tired and worn out.
My body was quite ill and I didn’t want to take the time to sit down, create intention and pray about miscarriage and loss.
My mind was really scattered, I didn’t think I could focus enough to intentionally create space and pray anyways.
It wasn’t my business. It’s not my job.
Am I being inspired to do this? (I doubted the guidance)
Or am I having bad empath boundaries? Ugh, Celia, you have such bad boundaries. Picking up on things that are not yours on Instagram. You don’t need to feel the feelings of everybody. See how unskilled and ungrounded you are?
That’s what I told myself. Hey – NOTHING wrong with telling myself this, it was part of the process. And some of it IS true.
A few days later, I felt a heavy, hard constriction in my heart. I felt into it, because it was painful and forced me to lay down. I couldn’t not feel it. I felt grief and pain. I thought maybe NOW I should address the feelings I had about the miscarriage photoshoot. But I didn’t.
Another day went by. Same pain in the heart. Grief steadily built.
At this point something very interesting occurred.
I was compelled to listen to music by someone who died of addiction, someone who I studied a lot during December emotional experience, and I started to cry. Grief came. I was sad that this person died, as if I missed him. This is odd, because I never felt like that before.
I was witnessing myself displace a type of grief onto another type of grief. The sadness needed a way out, and it took the road I had already traveled in December when I processed feelings about addiction. What happened in December proved a safe and successful way for emotions to be released, so I tried to place this new grief into that old system. Good try, Babe – except it didn’t work.
Okay…It was time to tend the painful feelings, even though I was quite fearful of those feelings breaking me.
It was not overly scary. It was not overly painful. It was okay to sit next to those feelings. I made much ado about nothing. The dread of the feelings was much much much worse than the actual feelings. I made assumptions as a way to make this bigger and more dramatic than it was. Creating emotional chaos was a part of my avoidance tactics.
I say this with respect of myself and my own emotional process. No guilt, no shame. Afterall, there was a part of me that, based on past experiences, was afraid that I would have to process a huge cloud of unwanted, un-grieved womb events through my very own cell tissue.
This is not to say that there may be times where the intense feelings you or I are shying away from MAY actually be as painful and intense as we were afraid they would be – listen to yourself and proceed in the way you deem fit.
Within my own aching heart muscle and chest wall, there was a big piece of personal healing work related to mothering and the weaning of my youngest. True, it was uncomfortable, but just a tiny fraction of what I projected and avoided. I am so glad I asked my heart what was up and listened. Part of it was simply anatomical, no stories or drama energy necessary – my chest needs some bodywork and my heart muscle needs a good hike!
Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill. Or in celebration of Pisces season, making an ocean out of a puddle.
I think we all know this, but to sum it up: During Pisces season, be aware that the pain and dysfunction from avoiding of addressing the feelings of grief can be MUCH greater than the actual feeling of it.
Avoiding Pain and Work Through Spiritual Bypassing
We can’t talk about avoiding feelings without talking about spiritual bypassing. In short, spiritual bypassing is using so-called spiritual ideals of positivity and oneness, seeking of spiritual highs and adhering to the maintenance of peace as a means to avoid negative emotions and experiences (and the work needed to overcome these) of ourselves and others.
This could manifest by holding spiritual ideals over the reality of yourself or others, feeling entitled to spiritual results and positivity, forcing compassion even in moments where it isn’t representing the true emotions of yourself or others, pretending everything is okay when it’s obviously not, being overly detached, or spending too much time in the spiritual realm as a coping mechanism.
Psychologist Robert Masters has written about spiritual bypassing in a book, but in this article he really boils it down to the basics. Here are some quotes from him:
“Authentic spirituality is not some little flicker or buzz of knowingness, not a psychedelic blast-through or a mellow hanging-out on some exalted plane of consciousness, not a bubble of immunity, but a vast fire of liberation, an exquisitely fitting crucible and sanctuary, providing both heat and light for what must be done.”
“To truly outgrow spiritual bypassing — which in part means releasing spirituality (and everything else!) from the obligation to make us feel better…”
“Spiritual bypassing is commonly occupied by the idea of wholeness and the innate unity of Being—’Oneness’ being perhaps its favorite bumper sticker—but actually generates and reinforces fragmentation by separating out from and rejecting what is painful, distressed, and unhealed; all the far-from-flattering aspects of being human.”
The last quote illustrates how spiritual bypassing can inflict extra harm onto marginalized people when it is combined with white fragility or strict cultural norms. In the effort to keep a sense of spiritual peace above the reality of others, white people and/or people in a superior role within a spiritual setting or conversation may all too easily “reject what is painful, distressed, and unhealed” about the effects of racism, homophobia, heteronormativity and the like on the bodies and lives of oppressed people.
Master first began speaking about spiritual bypassing after an explosion of emotionally repressed, wounded and spiritually immature and disconnected white people desperately seeking Eastern spirituality, often to help them feel better. Without letting oneself feel into ones real feelings, the full range of self is denied.
“The overdone niceness that often characterizes spiritual bypassing strands it from emotional depth and authenticity; and its underlying grief — mostly unspoken, untouched, unacknowledged — keeps it marooned from the very caring that would unwrap and undo it, like a baby being readied for a bath by a loving parent.”
After reading about spiritual bypassing, I began to wonder about the nuances of healing.
What is the difference between healing and detaching from pain?
When we are working to heal something, at what point to we switch to simply accepting it to wanting it to shift?
At the end of this question period I felt a sense of clarity. Yes, you can diagnose and treat with healing as a goal while still holding acceptance and non-judgement. The key is in the feeling and the acceptance of those feelings, and using any and all means to address your needs.
When we fully accept the ill, wounded, dysfunctional parts of ourselves that acceptance, in and of itself, is a form of healing, and further healing can come much more readily when we are aware and accept the parts we wish to heal.
It comes back to the never-ending feeling-processing/centering, feeling-processing/centering wisdom held within Pisces season, and the applying of compassion to ALL of ourselves, the spiritual highs along with the pain and grief.
Pisces Embodiment for Well-Being
Woah – Pisces season has a LOT going on with all the feels. During this time, we have an opportunity to get leverage out of getting into our bodies and being by follow the dreamy, feely, fishy, imaginative Pisces style.
Pisces rules the immune system, the feet and governs all fluids of the body and fluid metabolism. Now is a good time to tend to the feet and toes, to bolster any weaknesses in our primary defenses and tend to balancing waters in the body.
From a planetary perspective, the modern co-ruler Neptune tends to depress the system through overwhelm and merging energies murkily, making lethargy very possible and hard to overcome. Extra naps can help, but at some point we may have to experiment with working through the discomfort of applying effort with a sleepy-feeling body. At the least, know that lethargy is typical this time of year. Maybe it can be a month dedicated to therapeutic napping and dreaming?
Eating and food and drink:
Pisces really loves pleasure through good feelings, and we may be drawn to sweet foods and drinks, and possibly extra alcohol if that’s already in your repertoire. Remember the tendency to excess.
Because Pisces time is often a tired one and the immune system may feel stressed, add in extra nourishing and strengthening foods, simply prepared foods, and comfort foods associated with emotional meanings.
Indulge in whatever is good for you with fats, proteins, sustaining complex carb produces, seaweeds and seafood if you are omni or pescatarian. Oysters are known as an aphrodisiac and are a sustainable seafood, low in toxins and high in immune-boosting Zinc.
Water anything! Ecstatic dancing late in the night, but also tranquility- inducing movements, like meditative walks or gentle exercise or stretching with ambient soothing background music.
Pretty much covered that…but just remember that during Pisces season we need regular emotional releases.
During Pisces time we are mentally prone to a general depressed state in thinking and cognition. It may take a lot of effort to overcome a mental slump. If you need to be mentally “on”, try interspersing a period of focused work with imaginative meditations or artwork.
Although the emphasis for the season is on our emotions, there is a tendency towards avoiding and escaping difficult decisions or thoughts, too. The Fish hold a great capacity for creative conception, but then easily drop plans on following through.
However, it’s not all mental rough going. This is a time of great imagination. Entering a state of mental flow and staying there is possible, as long as we apply a little effort to plan and stay on top of our commitments. Remember your dreams, and imagine what it feels like to hold them – that is more effective than simply trying to be disciplined.
Spiritual and Energetic Bodies:
Highly spiritual time of year, but it can be hard to register exactly why it is so spiritual. It is hard going to put spiritual or energetic experiences into words, or even mentally catch what is going on. It’s like having an amazing, powerful dream that slips away, but yet you can still feel it, and it feels incredible.
Energetically, this is an excellent and important time to reinforce your own boundaries.
Pisces loves to love and tend. During this time, we love to give care and compassion, because we are feeling the connection between us and others. The key is to apply that tending to oneself. Apply compassion to your own heart and accept your own emotions.
Accepting Feelings Basics
There are so many ways that we can become aware of our emotions — and so they don’t take us down with dread, overwhelm or anxiety.
Even though Pisces season is perhaps one of the best times to listen to our emotions, I feel strongly that to make an emotional awareness and acceptance as useful as possible, we must keep it simple, relaxed and totally guided by the feelings themselves. We do not need to get overly mental about feeling out feelings, which dilutes and distorts the purpose of feeling into an unconscious realm of ourselves period.
In 1949, a neuroscientist named Donald Hebb said, “Neurons that fire together wire together”. Currently, I am in a limbic system retraining program called DNRS to help me get out of excess and unnecessary looping of some of the symptoms that come up during the Lyme recovery process, and it is all about using neuroplasticity to our advantage, not our detriment. With this in mind, the key point about the following emotional awareness and acceptance exercise is to notice and hopefully release any emotions, stories or judgement that surrounds our feelings.
What I mean is that if we can learn to have our feelings without attaching extra and excess feelings to them, then we can truly be in the flow with how we are feeling. It’s not about total neutrality, it’s not about justifying or agreeing with the injustice in the world or in your life, but about releasing the dread, anxiety, pain, judgement or whatever in response to the feelings.
Rage is rage – it is a useful feeling for many reasons, it prompts us to stand up and take charge for our life and for others/the Earth. And we don’t need any shame, guilt, anger, judgement or whatever because we are FEELING rage.
Anxiety is anxiety – although it’s not terribly comfortable and perhaps we wouldn’t choose to have it, or value it as highly useful, it is present as an emotion and is no better or worse than any other feeling. It is a part of us, and it too has a use and a message. However, what I’m talking about is having anxiety about anxiety, or having excess anxiety about the fact that a situation is coming up that might make us feel anxious.
Anxiety is not easily “released” simply whenever we want it to. It has a tendency to be stubbornly hardwired, because it is fear-based and the brain and nervous system respond very strongly to fear-based stimuli and thoughts. If it were so easy to simply make it go away we’d be all over that. I’m not at all implying that this emotional awareness and acceptance exercise is “Emotion-be-gone”.
Rather, what this exercise is doing is encouraging that you witness anxiety (or whatever feelings you have) with a bit of awareness at the judgements, feelings or stories you tell about yourself, others, the world and your life and even the feelings of anxiety themselves (or whatever comes up). Watch what is wired in with the emotions. The playful and curious researcher in us can take a peek at what’s going on and then, maybe someday, we can untangle the well-meaning, understandable but yet untrue stories about ourselves out of the socket it shares with that particular emotion.
Whew! That was a lot. Here is the exercise.
Practice this any time you wish, but to take advantage of the emotionally rich Pisces season, and to make some real and lasting headway towards emotional awareness and acceptance, try this 3-5 days in a row.
Journal about your findings, and note where the feelings were in or around your body, what they felt and looked like, the stories or responses or judgements that came up, any intuitive insights or any other messages that came through.
Emotional Awareness and Acceptance Exercise
- Awareness – How are you feeling, physically and emotionally? Take a couple minutes to scan your body for feelings, notice what you feel.
- Feeling the feelings – Now that you noticed the feelings, simply feel them. Park your consciousness in that feeling and stay with it.
- Non-judgment – See the feelings as they are. If you want to judge them or change them, just notice that desire but remind yourself that you will not judge the feeling.
- Non-indulgence – Listen to the feelings as they are. If you start to think of stories around this feeling, or the people/experiences associated with a circumstance involving the feeling, notice the desire to tell as story and remind yourself and the feeling that right now you are listening and not telling stories.
- Acceptance – Name the emotion again and feel and state an acceptance of it. Give thanks for spending this time with yourself and your feelings.
High Time for a Dream Journal
Pisces Season is perhaps one of the best times of year to recommit to working with your dreams. No matter your awareness or involvement in your dreaming, there is one thing we can all do – and one thing I think we should all do – keep a dream journal.
Do you have a dream journal? At the very least do you write or record your most interesting and meaningful dreams in a doc or voice memo on your phone or computer?
I have been dream journaling for years. I started when I was 7, although I have since lost my dream journals from 2nd to 12th grade. But, because I wrote them down, told my friends, and re-read my dream journal, I still remember many from my childhood.
The value of a dream journal is what you make it to be. For me, it is much more interesting and telling to read past dream journals than it is to read regular journals or notes. In fact, I often recycle my regular journals, but I’d never get rid my dreams. They are some of my most prized memories. Their stores concentrate the themes of my life down to the most essential core elements. I can easily track my physical and mental health though my dreams, because in hindsight they say much more than confused and tired me could possibly reflect upon my wellbeing and expression of my true self in a journal.
After having kids and the experiencing the sleep-deprivation that comes with night parenting, I have neglected recording my dreams. But yet, I still occasionally try, and I intend to make a commitment to do more during this Pisces season.
This dreamy, unconscious-steeped season calls us not to just pay attention to your dreams, but to work with them.
If your dreams tell you something, thank them, acknowledge it and act on it. And ask your dreams to tell you the next step, too. When you build a rapport with this type of guidance, they become even more practical and supportive. Remember Hebb’s quote: “Neurons that fire together wire together”.
In fact, last night I had a dream about a spirit living in my house that is preventing my family from fixing it up and moving on with our lives – a powerful dream alerting me to tend to all sides of my life. Not only am I recording this dream, but I have clear objectives to work with it. I will address getting this energy out of my home and claiming ownership so we can envision the next iteration of our restoration and improvement of our little fixer-upper.
So feel the feels, dream the dreams, connect to all parts of yourself as an act of compassion and acceptance. We need more imagination time, more letting loose, more herbal cocktails (on eat a time, please), more naps. Above all, we need more emotionally-embodied and less emotionally judged people on this planet, and now’s our chance to flow with our full range of innate whole, worthy, accepted and valuable selves.
Thank you so reading, astro nerds.
Sweet Pisces season dreams,