though they are the most powerless of mortals, they secretly envision themselves as rulers over all. It's understandable enough. It's troublesome and even dangerous if it goes unnoticed and unchecked. Attaturk, when he took over the rulership of Turkey in 1930, massacred an entire nation of Armenians who stood in his path. This kind of universal emperor, who sees fit to wipe out masses of people, is the opposite extreme to the Christian eaten by the lion in the arena. Sometimes the roles reverse, and the lion is actually the Christian.
If a sensitive Pisces is brutalized enough - and they often are, for people tend to see in them the reflections of their own feared weaknesses and vulnerability - then he may turn to cruelty for an outlet. This is a perplexing quality in some Pisceans which is never discussed in textbooks, for the simple reason that it is too disturbing. Yet it is common enough, from the small example of the schoolchild who torments his fellows, or animals, to the large example of the psychotic. But what is this kind of cruelty? Once again, we must remember that Pisces represents not so much a type of person as a rendition of human nature. The Pisces is all of us. That's why he's so often the victim. It's exaggerated; but it's there. Watch the pattern of a Pisces' life, and you will see the reflection of any man's distorted, exaggerated, but a true mirror. It's said that Pisceans make wonderful healers, priests, physicians, counselors. This is undoubtedly true, for they have the innate compassion and wisdom and insight. They can heal because they have been wounded, and because there isn't much in human nature that they haven't already glimpsed in themselves.
But a too passive Pisces is a dangerous creature. The dark fish is bound to break out sooner or later, either in a genuine psychosis, or in self-destruction - whether quick or the slow kind like drug addiction or alcoholism - or in subtle, unnoticed destruction of another, like Harry's wife in The Iceman Cometh. It's rarely overt; unless that Pisces has a more aggressive ascendant like Aries or Leo, or a strong Mars, it's all under the surface, for Pisces is a genius at undercurrents.
There's another side to the Pisces shadow, which is connected to the first. We can call this syndrome the Misunderstood Genius.
FRIEND TO PISCES: What are you doing lately? Haven't seen you in a couple of years.
PISCES: Well, I'm working on a really good novel. I've just got the first twenty pages done, but I can envision the whole thing in my mind. It's going to be the greatest literary work of the century. I always knew I had it in me to write a great novel.
FRIEND: But didn't you have about three others started when I last saw you? I thought…
PISCES: (embarrassed and beginning to feel as though Friend is accusing him of something) Oh, those were only trial runs. This one is the real thing. I'd probably have it finished now, if it weren't for that damned part-time job I've got, in the library. I get so tired that I can't write at night.
FRIEND: How often do you work there?
PISCES: Oh, only a day a week. But, you know, there's so much to do around the flat, and my reading. I mean, you can't write a novel without reading other people's work, and I watch TV a lot, and films, and…
FRIEND: (beginning not to believe) Well, good luck with it.
PISCES: (on the defensive) You don't think I'll finish it, do you? I suppose you think I have no talent. But I do, you know. Just wait. Nobody understands. I wrote a few pieces for magazines, but the editors are these typical fools, they only publish rubbish, they don't know a good thing when they see it. Just wait. You'll hear of me one day. Then you'll be sorry.
FRIEND: Sure, man, I didn't mean…. Well, anyway, good luck.
The Misunderstood Genius, often a Pisces or a Pisces ascendant, most emphatically doesn't lack talent. What he lacks is realism. Pisces, with such a rich, abundant, limitless imagination, often bitterly resents the ordinary limitations of time and space. And those brilliant ideas that