March 15 - April 4, 2021
The season of the fishes this year is full of beckoning sirens, thanks to Venus, Neptune and the nodes. Now, Mercury enters the sign, and we are all in our cups, in more ways than one. For the overseers of this transit I have cast in my mind’s eye a tarotastic assembly of Mercury in Pisces natives. I call on these muses, these sensitive souls and deep-sea divers of the collective unconscious, to guide us courtiers on our three-week journey into the land of poetry.
Our Page of Cups is beautiful and beloved Lost Boy, Kurt Cobain, offering us a heart-shaped box (“I’m anemic royalty, Give me a Leonard Cohen afterworld so I can sigh eternally…”). Charles Baudelaire, mad poet extraordinaire, plays the Knight, surrounded by his Fleurs du Mal (“To escape being martyred slaves of time, be ceaselessly drunk! On wine, on poetry, or on virtue, as you wish…”). And on the thrones sit the Queen Elizabeth Barrett Browning (“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach…”) and King Sidney Poitier (“We all have a capacity for love, for kindness, for passion. We also have the capacity for the opposite, but love is infinitely more effective in the world than hate, although they exist as equal opposites.”) And overhead, our trump card, Billie Holiday, shines as the Moon and sings her haunting tune (“I’ve been told that nobody sings the word ‘hunger’ like I do. Or the word ‘love’.”). She is Lady Day, priestess of pathos, woman in white, who presides over the Piscean night.
Mercury falling through Pisces has the feeling of trying to describe a dream with words—a thing elusive and unattainable that falls flat when bound by two dimensions. Our messenger longs to convey the depth, and the meandering, morphing strangeness—as well as the beauty—that he sees in this realm, but cannot do it justice. He reaches for something that is no longer a part of this world, an Orphic memory that dissolves as soon as he tries to touch it. And so the magician turns to picture, symbol and metaphor to evoke something visceral. Syntax swirls and distorts and sends the voice keening with raw emotion. The mind veers easily into the abyss of Dionysian decadence, of melancholy madness, or of enlightened piety. In this dreamscape, we are travelers only, not permanent residents, but there is a feeling of having been here before and of knowing one day we will return. Nostalgia, the sweet “pain of home,” is strong, so play in the depths, but remember that life is meant to be lived on earth, and, as Aries will soon remind us, the here and now awaits.