Everyone has a story about a Pisces who got away. That’s not to discount the deep emotional presence and unqualified love that is part of the signature Pisces trademark, but there’s some degree of truth here. A slippery fish is a slippery fish, but that’s an adaptation you acquire when water is your only home.
If you’re into modern rulerships, you can attribute this to the planet Neptune, which is categorically not of this world and continually tempting us to tune out and float away from the things we’d rather not have to deal with. But way before we knew about Neptune, Pisces was considered a bit of a space cadet thanks to Jupiter’s rulership. Both Pisces and its other Jupiterian cousin, Sagittarius, are prone to ballooning like a gas giant and spreading themselves in every direction rather than remaining tethered in place. In mythology, Zeus literally changed into different animals and birds so he could ho with more lovers. As mutable signs, they are also both easily distracted and are constantly blowing around on the winds (or the waters, or the fires) of divine “now”ness. Some people call that flakiness or perhaps just escapism if they’re being nice, but in all fairness, it’s also extremely demanding to exist in such a relentlessly liminal state at all times. Just think about how much weed that would require.
The nice thing about being a child of Jupiter, though, is that whether they know it or not, everyone thinks of you as their priest. Sagittarius is the outspoken kind, but Pisces is the “I loved you before I knew you” kind. This is partially a feature of being a Jupiterian water sign. Jupiter is all about inclusiveness and cohesion, which means everyone gets fed and no one is left out; water binds us emotionally to one another, as rain droplets have a tendency to swallow each other and become larger in their unity. But also, Pisces is unique in that it’s the only sign where both benefics have essential dignity. When Jupiter is king and Venus is an honored guest, of course charisma and love flow freely here. Pisces loves everyone and everyone loves Pisces, and this is both a salvation and a suffering.
Another frequent trope among Pisces traits is that of the sacrificial martyr who can never seem to resist a person in need of saving. Virgo, its opposite sign, can never seem to resist a person in need of fixing. This is a potential consequence of being a person who not only cares way too much, but whose lived experience also very much dictates that there is no “me” or “you” — only “us.” Jupiter is the antihero to Saturn’s great love of boundaries, and it’s precisely because of this boundlessness that Pisces is so often moved by the pain and suffering of others.
Not everything about Pisces necessarily has to make sense or check out on the level of a balanced spreadsheet, though, and that’s just how things are when you live in Mercury’s fallen place. Facts and details quickly devolve into blotted ink. Linear logic is not the animating principle here, which can be both deeply disorienting and profoundly freeing. Mercury in Pisces is the stamp of a poet, not a mathematician. We can tune into the ambient noise and ecstasy of metaphor to circle around the ineffable. Pisces is a mute sign, which is to say fishes don’t “speak” in the conventional sense — they imply and suggest.
If its opposite sign, Virgo, is about refinement, Pisces is about embracing entropy and mess. Virgo is analysis; Pisces is acceptance. Virgo is acts of service whereas Pisces is acts of devotion and presence, and it’s also a quick departure from the Aquarian tendency to not get fully involved in whatever all of that is. In Pisces land, we’re all here because we’re not all there.