the tendency Pisceans to become the people with whom they are strongly involved causes many of them to be subsumed. Sometimes texts refer to Pisces as 'wishy-washy', because there is a passivity, a kind of inertia in these people that shows most clearly when a crisis is upon them. Watch a Pisces in a dilemma that calls for quick decision and action. You'll go grey waiting for that positive move. Decisions, if it is to be quick, means you have to exclude one choice for another. To Pisces, the problem is that so many choices are available, and if you look at all of them carefully, why, they all contain some truth. How do you choose when every choice is a right - and a wrong - one?
This is one of the keys to Pisces' often enigmatic behaviour: everything is relative. Like all the other zodiacal traits we have explored, this one is double-edged. Seeing the relativity of truth is a great gift, because it breeds tolerance. If men throughout history have possessed a few more truly Piscean traits, there would have been no Spanish Inquisition, no Nazi holocaust, no Salem witchhunts, no bigotry and persecution. If everything is relative, then you can't condemn others for their viewpoints. The problem with this attitude is that it can be incredibly lax. Pisces has sometimes been accused of immorality. But that isn't strictly true; to be immoral, you have to have morals to break. And the calm wise indifference with which Pisces greets human transgressions not only applies to his own. He will sit quietly while his wife leaves, his children insult him, his employer heaps abuse upon his head, the taxman takes half his income, and his landlord throws him out of his flat. It can drive you to frenzy - watching the complete blank acceptance - as though they were born to it, expect it, welcome it. And maybe they know something the other signs don't - that all this suffering, all this misfortune, means little if you're not attached too strongly to life.
Pisces is the sign of the mystic. And this mystical streak means several things. For one thing, many Pisceans are deeply religious - although not necessarily in an orthodox way. But they have a longing for, and a sense of, some other reality, something transcendant, magical, elusive, that makes ordinary life seem drab and meaningless. Truly a vale of tears. For another thing, Pisces has a deep wisdom about the futility of so many human desires. Intense ambition, powerful passion, covetousness, greed - the ordinary human motives that drive us all - pass through him and pass out again, for none of them have that much power over him. He is as capable of these emotions as any other sign. But somehow, somewhere deep down, he doesn't really take them all that seriously. After all, it's only maya, as they say in the East - only illusion.
Pisceans seem to have this strange and cynical wisdom, about life and people, even from childhood. Pisces belongs to the element of water, and, like Cancer and Scorpio, is deeply sensitive to the secret undercurrents that lie behind the mask of ordinary human behaviour. It's hard to fool a Pisces. But the difference between the Fish and his two watery fellows is that Cancer and Scorpio, being more strongly attached to their own emotions, will act on their reactions. Cancer, sensing that someone is a little untrustworthy, will move to protect himself and his loved ones. Scorpio, sensing the same thing, will usually attack the enemy, to teach him a lesson, or withdraw in strong disgust. Pisces will look, see, feel saddened, and forgive. And will generally let himself be taken advantage of or cheated despite his insight. Why? Well, I've asked Pisces people that, when they've got into the classic Pisces bind of being the sucker. 'It doesn't really matter that much,' they say. Or, 'Well, he needed it more than I do.' Or some other remark which reminds you once again that this world is not the real one for the Fish. He hears a different drumbeat.
The Fish is a creature which lives underwater. And Pisces does too. He moves in the depths of a world which is difficult to fathom if you are an airy, earthy, rational type. Everything is seen double, or in quadruplicate, nothing is ever simple or clear. Every thought and action has thousands of associations which ripple out into infinity. Pisces does not understand boundaries. He will frequently eat until he makes himself sick, or drink until he collapses, or get so loud and extroverted that he offends everybody, or go so quiet and withdrawn that he terrifies everyone.