The Pisces Myth
In many fairy tales there is a peculiar and enchanting figure, sometimes called an ondine or melusine, sometimes called a mermaid, who lives in the depths of the sea or a vast lake, and falls in love with a mortal man. This legend may also be seen in the legend of the Swan Prince - although here the creature from the 'other realm' bears feathers rather than scales. And these ancient stories, in all their various forms, have the same basic theme: the union of a mortal, an ordinary flesh-and-blood human, with something from another level of reality. The meeting is fraught with difficulties. There are always conditions attached. And it usually ends in disaster or difficulty, not because it is doomed from the start, but because of the ineptitude of the mortal who attempts to impose his own laws or values on his mysterious, other-worldly partner.
Usually the melusine agrees to live on dry land, and inhabit a mortal body, so long as her mate observes one special condition. He must not ask her a particular question, or look in a particular box, or enter a particular room at a particular time. In other words, there must be respect for the mysteries of this other realm. And the mortal, driven by ordinary human curiosity and lack of respect for this magical dimension, inevitably asks the question or opens the box. So the bond is broken, the melusine disappears into the depths again, and he is left to sorrow. Or, sometimes, she drags him down with her, drowning him in her embrace.
The motif, which we can find in several myths and fairy tales, is am story which has special meaning for Pisces. As we have seen, Pisces is the last sign, the completion of the cycle. Every sign leaves its trace in Pisces; there is not so much a particular Piscean dilemma as that Pisces embodies the human dilemma. In this last of the zodiacal signs is represented all of man's helplessness, his longings, his dreams, his needs, his powerlessness in the face of the universe, his delusions of grandeur, his longing for love, his sense of a mystery or a divine source which he strives for, yet cannot wholly reach without great sacrifice.
You might say that in every Pisces, symbolized by the two fishes trying to swim in opposite directions yet bound together by a golden cord, there is this dilemma of the meeting of two dimensions. There is the ordinary mortal side, which is used to facts and realities of a tangible kind. Eat, sleep, make love, and die - or bread and circuses, as the Romans used to say. And there is also a melusine - or, in the case of Pisces women, the masculine equivalent - which inhabits the dark depths, and which occasionally flashes its tail above the water, catching the sunlight, entrancing the mortal on the shore. How this meeting is dealt with is the story of each Piscean life. Some Pisceans simply follow the mermaid down, forgetting that human lungs cannot survive underwater. Here we have the derelicts of humanity, the lines of the junkies and the chronic alcoholics and the hopeless, the waster, the despairing, the abject. It is these whom Christ, in Christian mythology, declared blessed, for they have sacrificed everything of ordinary life and for their suffering have earned the key to another realm.
For other Pisceans, the fairy tale has a different ending. It is