The first decan of Pisces, which began on February 18th, brought us to the sea-shore and provided an introductory inundation. The second decan, which begins on February 28th, and lasts until March 10th, sees us riding the floodwaters, our home established as an ark upon the waves.
Within this ark sits the satisfied figure pictured on 9 of Cups, a card often called “Happiness.” He is king and captain of the boat, and it is his job to manage the relationship between solid and liquid, between form and formlessness. His art is the equilibration of the subtle and the gross, the marine and the terrestrial, the dreaming and the waking.
The result of this balancing act, an art well-practiced, is happiness. Happiness is not the product of the amount of pleasure or wealth a person obtains, but instead the coherence of those external conditions with the inner demands of the psyche. Those who do not acquire this formula will not attain happiness, as material wealth and sensory pleasure will not provide lasting satisfaction if they are not in right relationship with one’s inner needs.
Both inner and outer, visible and invisible, must be sufficiently understood if one is to bring them into harmony. Though equal in some respects, in others they are not. While one can come to possess and lose many material things, one’s spirit and the content of the soul changes slowly, if at all. Our order of operations thus begins with the invisible and proceeds outward to the visible. The soul determines the external criteria for happiness — not the reverse.
The Picatrix gives for this decan the image of a man upside down, his feet rooted in the clouds. This inverted figure offers a plate of food to those below. Here the heavenly nourishes the earthly — a subtle buffet.
The Full Moon in Virgo
Thus our primary task for this decan is the re-establishment of right relations between the body and soul. Yet the Full Moon in Virgo, which arrives on the 1st, complicates this work with an additional set of considerations.
While the body cannot dictate what the soul hungers for, the mind’s contents are to a large degree comprised of mundane matters, and it is the state of the mind which determines our capacity to know the soul’s needs, and thus to nourish it appropriately.
The art which the Full Moon in Virgo asks us to practice is a separate one. The mind must be utilized to maintain sufficient order in the material layer while reserving a portion of its capacity for soulful contemplation.
The Full Moon asks us to stretch thoroughly before engaging in ecstatic dance, and to remember to pay rent before going on a vision quest. Insufficient material maintenance is neglect, and invites entropic decline, yet excessive preoccupation with material order leaves no place for deeper concerns. To navigate these two errors we must determine what labor must be done to preserve our bodily and financial standing, perform it, and then move on (and in) to more subtle things.
Mercury and Venus
Mercury and Venus both change signs during the second half of this decan. Mercury enters Aries on the 6th, and Venus, close behind, ingresses into the Ram’s sign later the same day. This pair of shifts changes the elemental balance of planetary positions, taking us from overwhelmingly watery toward a relatively balanced ratio of fire to water. Things will get increasingly fiery and martial as the month progresses, with an increase of pace which will leave little time for the nuanced work of happiness, so take advantage of this time upon the waves, as it will soon give way to a very different set of parameters.