Week 46  -  11.11.12 - 11.17.12  -  Pisces

Materials:   Copper, Sterling Silver, Diamond

Ring Dimensions:   1.01” H x 1.00” W x .396” D

The constellation Pisces, the Latin plural for ‘fish’, lies between Aquarius to the west and Aries to the east. The ecliptic and the celestial equator intersect within this constellation and in Virgo. The Vernal equinox is currently located in Pisces, due south of Omega Piscium, and due to precession, is slowly drifting below the western fish towards Aquarius. Deep sky object Messier 74 (M74) is a loosely wound spiral galaxy in Pisces and has many clusters of young stars and the associated nebulae are showing extensive regions of star formation. Robert Evans discovered a type II-P supernova in the outer regions of Messier 74 in June 2003. The star that underwent the supernova was later identified as a red supergiant of 8 solar masses.

Those personalities born between February 20th and March 20th are in the twelfth sign of the zodiac. This mutable, water sign has a natural adaptability but this positive trait can be taken too far by becoming overly accommodating and trusting. Just like the ocean, Pisces hold hidden depths and the ability to flow around obstacles. Their energy really has two main outlets, the desire to aid and inspire others or the desire to escape from them. Receptivity to their environment is pronounced but without the moodiness associated with the other two water signs - Scorpio and Cancer. This can be a blessing as well as a curse as it allows Pisces great insight and an almost cosmic perspective. Such insight can lead to depression though, as much of what occurs in the world today can weigh upon their caring heart. Traditionally, Pisces are regarded as generous and their good nature and listening ability enable them to make friends easily. They can even garner a following, but will fear somehow failing them unless they develop faith in themselves too. Esoterica holds a strong appeal to many Pisces and they may also have an abiding interest in religious or spiritual matters. The less serious Pisces may simply be superstitious, interested in astrology, tarot, and be regarded as kooky but fun by their peer group. Pisces can often spend more than they can earn by not paying full attention to mundane matters like budgets. They can also be regarded as something of a gossip and not prone to keeping secrets.

The mythological events concerning this constellation are said to have taken place around the Euphrates River, a strong indication that the Greeks inherited this constellation from the Babylonians. The story follows an early episode in Greek mythology in which the gods of Olympus had defeated the Titans and the Giants in a power struggle. Mother Earth (Gaia) had another nasty surprise in store for the gods. She coupled with Tartarus, the lowest region of the Underworld where Zeus had imprisoned the Titans. From this unlikely union came Typhon, the most awful monster the world had ever seen. Typhon was said to have had a hundred dragon’s heads from which black tongues flicked out. Fire blazed from the eyes in each of these heads and from them came a cacophony of sound. Sometimes the sound would be ethereal voices which gods could understand, while at other times Typhon bellowed like a bull, roared like a lion, yelped like puppies or hissed like a nest of snakes. Gaia sent this fearsome monster to attack the gods. Pan saw him coming and alerted the others with a shout. Pan himself jumped into the river and changed his form into a goat-fish, represented by the constellation Capricornus, also inherited from the Babylonians. Aphrodite and her son Eros took cover among the reeds on the banks of the Euphrates but when the wind rustled the undergrowth, Aphrodite became fearful. Holding Eros in her lap she called for help to the water nymphs and leapt into the river. In one version of the story, two fish swam up and carried Aphrodite and Eros to safety on their backs. In another version, the two refugees were themselves changed into fish. Mythologists say that because of this story, the Syrians would not eat fish. In the sky, the two fish of Pisces are represented swimming in opposite directions, their tails joined by a cord. The Greeks offered no good explanation for this cord, but according to some historians the Babylonians visualized a pair of fish joined by a cord in this area. Evidently the Greeks borrowed this idea although the significance of the cord was lost. Alpha Piscium, called Alrescha from the Arabic name meaning ‘the cord’, is described as the star lying where the cords joining the two fish are knotted together.