With the sign of Pisces, the fish symbolism that began with Capricornus
and continued with Aquarius, is fully present. These two fishes have
long been seen as the children of the Southern Fish that makes for
Aquarius's first decan, the fish that drinks the baptismal waters.
It's fascinating that
there are two fishes that make up this sign, that they face away from
each other, and that they are bound together by a cord. One fish
represents the righteous of the Church era, and the second fish
signifies the just who
lived before the coming of Christ, those whom He saved from Sheol on Holy Saturday, in an event we call "the
Harrowing of Hell."
That the just who lived before Christ came to earth are saved is
evident from Sacred Scripture. Consider what Jesus tells the Roman
centurion -- the author of my favorite prayer, "Domine, non sum dignus ut intres sub
tectum meum, sed tantum dic verbo, et sannabitur anima mea"
("Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst enter under my roof, but
just say the word and my soul shall be healed"). In
Matthew 8:11, He says to him, "I say to you that many shall come from
the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and
Jacob in the kingdom of heaven." In the Parable
of the Unjust Steward, Christ refers to "the bosom of Abraham," one
traditional Catholic name for "the Limbo of the Fathers," or that part
of Sheol to which were sent the souls of those who were just, in spite
not having heard the Gospel because they lived before those events came
about. In his letter to the Ephesians -- Ephesians 4:9-10 -- St. Paul
writes, "Now that He ascended, what is it, but because He also
descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is
the same also that ascended above all the heavens, that He might fill
Yes, Christ is merciful, and, praise God, a man isn't condemned for
simply not having heard the Good News. He knows who belongs to
Him. He alone has the authority to judge.
The souls of the just who lived before He took on flesh are now in
Heaven, members of the Church Triumphant, a part of the Church that
will endure forever and forever, unto the ages of ages.
The other fish symbolizes those of us who live in the Church era, the
"Age of Pisces" which began, undoubtedly not coincidentally, in the 1st
century. But we are bound together, by grace, to our spiritual
ancestors, never to be separated.
To sum things up, this sign represents the Church, born of the
Baptism. It signifies our
oneness with Christ as we
saw with the sign of Capricornus. And it signifies our spiritual
connection to those whom Christ has given the graces of Baptism in
spite of their having
lived before He was born, suffered, died, resurrected, and ascended
Decan One: The Band
The first decan of Pisces is the band that ties the two fish together,
signifying unity, one of the four marks of
the Church. All who are saved belong to the Church, the only ark of
Decan Two: Cepheus
This constellation is named after King Cepheus, father of Andromeda,
whom we'll meet when reading about the next decan of Pisces.
This symbol of royalty can be seen as denoting the Headship of Christ
Church, against which the gates of Hell will never prevail, as He
promises us in Matthew 16. We will, though, suffer, are charged to take
up our crosses and follow Him, and are pitted against the world,
something the next decan symbolizes.
This constellation is named after Andromeda, the daughter of King
Cepheus and his wife, Queen Cassiopeia, who is symbolized in the first
decan of Aries. According to Greek myth, Andromeda was offered to
sea-monster whale symbolized by the second decan of Aries, because
Cassiopeia bragged about her beauty, saying she
was even more beautiful than the sea nymphs. The nymphs, consumed with
jealousy, asked Poseiden to attack her parents' kingdom. Andromeda's
father, Cepheus, consulted an oracle and was told that the only way to
save his realm was to offer his daughter up to Cetus. He did so, but
she was saved by Perseus, who slew the monster by showing him the head
of Medusa, thereby turning him into stone.
The innocent Andromeda can
be seen as
symbolizing the Church and is depicted as chained, as she was when
offered up to the monster. The world hates the Church, and the Gospel
according to St. John is clear about it. In chapter 15, verses 18
and 19, he writes, "If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated
Me before you. If you had been of the world, the world would love its
own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of
the world, therefore the world hateth you." So great is the hate of the
world that the Church will follow Christ in His Passion. Apocalypse 12:
And being with
child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered.
And there was seen another sign in heaven: and behold a great red
dragon, having seven heads, and ten horns: and on his head seven
diadems: And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and
cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman who was
ready to be delivered; that, when she should be delivered, he might
devour her son. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all
nations with an iron rod: and her son was taken up to God, and to his
And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared
by God, that there they should feed her a thousand two hundred sixty
days. And there was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels
fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels: And they
prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And
that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the
devil and Satan, who seduceth the whole world; and he was cast unto the
earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying: Now is come salvation, and
strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ:
because the accuser of our brethren is cast forth, who accused them
before our God day and night. And they
overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of the
testimony, and they loved not their lives unto death. Therefore
rejoice, O heavens, and you that dwell therein. Woe to the earth, and
to the sea, because the devil is come down unto you, having great
wrath, knowing that he hath but a short time.
In the end, Christ -- depicted as Perseus, a decan of Aries,
which comes next in the Zodiac -- will save "the chained lady," His
Church, and will do so as the Sign of Aries depicts: by the Blood of
Note that this constellation is home of the Andromeda Galaxy, the
nearest galaxy to our own. It's 2.5 million light years away, but
visible to the naked eye, appearing like a nebulous cloud.
Pisces can be
seen best in October through December.
to other stars in the Autumn sky: