A Gospel of the Fishes

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And all your sanity and 
wits, they will all vanish.
I promise, it’s just a
matter of time

– 
Gogol Bordello:
 
‘Start wearing purple’

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Let’s start out with a little lie, a harmless joke about the origin of everything – it’s just a single, sentence to set the matter straight (as if that was something to wish for): When the good old, forever young, hermaphroditic Deity of all that is below and above had made a masterful effort to create the first 11 signs of the Zodiac, skillfully spicing and cooking each of them as carefully selected dishes to be served a hungry audience, nothing in particular remained for the crafting of the Fishes.

It’s not that there were no ingredients left, it’s just that there was no truly unique flavor to be found. Nothing to, really, set this late-born child of the stars apart from all the others, who already stood there staring, hand in hand, dressed to impress, ready to go, and eager to invite their fishy little sister for the dance of all that was to come.  

So, our beloved Commander in Chief thoughtfully scratched its’ neck and gently touched, maybe even caressed, the back of a balloon-like skull, mindlessly contemplating what could now be done to, somehow, form a circle and get that party started. Perplexed, yet peaceful. Calm and careless. Restfully vibrating, thrilled by the perspective of an untold fairy tale to come. A choice was made, and always is: To mix it all – and let it slide. 

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This is the truth: The greatest cook of them all took out the kind cauldron that should only be used on rather special occasions. It’s the one of copper, which in all proper kitchens has a little note attached that simply reads: Handle with care, serving as a professional advice to those who choose to use it, not to heat it all too eagerly, but which, on the other hand, is, was and always will be the only one that really works to roast and boil the kind of dish that heals the World. You know: Cupper is, in a very concrete manner, both a poison and a medicine: A cleansing vehicle for Water, and a deadly venom for the unprotected.

The rest of it was simple, the recipe is not a secret: Just add a bit of everything. Let’s say it once again: Just add a bit of everything. And so, it all began. Just come along.

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Fast forward – let’s return to where we are. Right here. Some say that the Fishes are bound to suffer, eternally condemned to haunt the earth as half-baked monsters of creation, until they are somehow caught up in the net of peace in rest. Some claim that they are to be lauded as unshackled dreamers of this masquerade, the tranced-out saints of lunacy, eagerly ready to depart – and thus the bringers of whatever is to come.

Obviously, both parties are terrifyingly right and fascinatingly wrong in their assessments. There is not just one fish, but always too. The name of the sign, Pisces, is plural. Division is the very condition of those who belong to the cauldron of cupper. 

It’s not just about the Sun Sign. The point is not just to look for the birth date of a so-called individual, but to see the totality of a chart – the astrological sum of affairs, as it is known and shown by the luminous wanderers of the night. Some planets are happy to be in Pisces, some have a tough time. The essence is a choice – so simple that it truly hurts, until it doesn’t: Should I stay, or should I go?

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So, in classical astrology all the signs have a ruling power from the pantheon of the seven planets that are visible to the naked eye of an earthling, and thus mark the primal archetypal fields of energy to be reckoned with on our crooked path of becoming.

The classical ruler of Pisces is Jupiter, the smiling father of Mount Olympus. Some moderners find it hard to grasp what Big-Daddy-Sky-High-Lightning-Lover has to do with the softest of the soft and wettest of the wet, and so they prefer to simply forget about this age-old attribution of rulership, and instead appoint Neptune, the oceanic Lord of longing, who was, as far as science says, discovered back in 1846, as newly crowned, yet one and only rightful ruler of the Fishes.

And sure, Neptune, in all his foggy continuum of Sorrow, Ecstasy and Understanding, really does make a lot of sense as a co-ruler of Pisces – that match truly is (wait for the pun) made in the very waters of Heaven. This, however, does not in any way turnover the possibilty that the ancients might have known exactly what they were doing, and that we might benefit from following their breadcrumbs. 

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Alright, we’ll cut it (rather) short: Jupiter is the happy king, he’s our gentle Lord of light, whose ruling colors always can be seen, brighter than all the others, as he in royal self-assurance, every single night, punctually travels the open sky as someone who belongs right in the middle. And so, this is the riddle: What on Earth might such a fancy father figure have to do with our poisonous mystery dish of demiurgic leftovers?  

Well, as we know, in these most murky waters of illumination all questions necessarily call for (at the very least) two answers – out of which a third might show itself. 

The first one is quite simple: Jupiter is the sacred Guardian of Pisces – the whitest of the wizards, whose songs call for a truly happy destination just around the corner, if only our bewildered little mystic will take the time to read the signs and walk the line, towards the light of lights. In short: In Jupiter we find the kind of helpful hand that should be found and held for Pisces-souls to make it through the night. And the rest is blessed . . . you know what.

If this sounds just a bit too churchy, then please, do come along for quite another kind of answer – but, stay alert, don’t talk to strangers: Jupiter is the very antithesis of Fishes. He is exactly what all honest witches swim, crawl, and cry to fly as far as possibly away from; the jovial delusion of some shallow soul who dares to call himself a gentleman, a self-important imbecile of old, the shiny, all too shiny, knight in untrue armor, whose vain ambition must be purposefully broken, for all the liquids to get flowing. Die, daddy, die. 

So, what’s it gonna be? One or the other, between them an abyss of nothingness. Clearly, no living soul will ever tell you what it is that lies between. Why so? You know: It is for everyone to find, and thus for no one to reveal. Just go and pick your poison. Follow the Moon to find that narrow path into the woods – and whirl into your spiral. 

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In the astrological-alchemical system of correspondences we find two metals associated with the sign of the Fishes. One is tin, which is the metal of Jupiter. The other is the already the copper of our well-tempered Mistress, Venus, who is exalted in the sign of Pisces, and thus, as the exquisite artist of the balance, always is here and there to play her part as nothing less than half of the equation.    

First things first: Among the holy seven, Jupiter and Venus, father & daughter, are honored as the two beneficiaries – that is, as the two planets that seem to be the clearest indicators of a so-called fortunate fate. However, none of the two are as easy going as they appear to be. Investigating their metals is a most clarifying exercise. 

So, father goes first: What’s with the tin? Just look at it. It glows like over-polished silver, easily outsparkling all lesser flashy competitors, exactly like the planetary body of this royal show-off. But – there is a catch. Tin bends, almost, like butter. A beauty to behold, yet never to be trusted by those who wish to forge the kinds of ornaments and tools that ought to last. The toys of boys, all lined up for heroic warfare, but easily, so easily, melt away in fires of the real. 

And the Venusian copper – well, truth was already told: It’s just like her, deadly when over-heated, a purifying agent when respected.

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Enter the kitchen. Here is a well-known recipe for more than just disaster: Cupper and tin go very well together – when Our Lady takes the lead. Bronze is a workable admixture of the two, primarily consisting of copper, with the addition of a little bit of daddy’s phony silver, something like 12,5% of tin. We use it for candleholders. She likes that. We use if for jewelry. She loves that. 

So, there you have it: Alchemical imagination is the name of our game. Objects between your hands, coagulations deep inside. This-is-4-real. Just keep the fire flickering. Beauty is all she wants. Let’s try to make her happy.

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And thus, we are approaching our end. Deeply inhale the incense, don’t be all too hasty. A romance should be savored, kiss by kiss, and bit by bit. Apply your best perfume. Dress up for dancing. Put your classy makeup on. Make ready for a final, primal act of inversion – here comes the juggler with a cloak for every day, and fancy faces for all kinds of nights. 

Say my name

A metal or a liquid – why would we ever bother? Little miss Mercury should never be distrusted. We asked for signs, the signs were sent. It’s Venus as a boy – the well-known glyph of woman, with horns to clarify that (s)he means business.    

Tradition informs us that just as there are certain planets who are happy to live in certain signs, as rulers and exalted ones, there are also those combinations of energies and environments that are said to be of a most ominous, ill-fortunate nature. 

In the case of the Fishes, this goes for Mercurius – the keeper and transgressor of that kind of thresholds, we as siblings of the craft always should aim to sanctify and cross. Technically speaking Mercury is both in its’ detriment and its’ fall in Pisces, which means that it should be the worst possible environment to meet and greet this speedy messenger of mind. 

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This could, however, be just another slight of the hand, a trick to scare the faint of heart, and thus an open invitation for the lonely to come closer, foolishly lift the veil – and know what’s in the bridal chambers, safely concealed behind the doors of obfuscation. 

Here is a postulate for all of us not just to ponder, but to mindfully taste as something that might be a stream of youthful essence slowly dripping from the fangs of our loving teacher: Maybe the sign in which the genderbending bending Merchant and Magician appears to be the weakest is exactly that kind of sacred space where our day-clear secret of a unified experience can be pricelessly revealed – for everyone to touch. 

You see: Perhaps, in Mercury we glimpse a hidden ruler of the Fishes, a true redeemer of the dissonance? Feel free to use another gender – it’s not a sin for us to turn this world a little upside down: Mercuria is just as good a name to call out in the bliss of joyful dissolution. It’s not just an expression: Salvation is surrender. To pull the string, become the arrow, and let go. When all is one, and one is all, we lose our grip and gracefully bewildered slip – into the masterpiece.

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Now, that could easily have been the end, but this is kind of like the living dance of all that dies. It’s never really over. There always is another cord to strike – a wonder work to venerate. So, please, my friends, let’s give it up for someone near and dear, a very special boy of old acquaintance. His name is Ganymedes. They say that he was of such a fairness to behold that Zeus himself, as he laid eye upon the child, unwaveringly understood that this marvelous youngling was exactly what he had been longing for and should be brought where mortals never are to step – to serve, up on the Mountain, as the one of those who pour the nectar of undying pleasure.

Some praise it as a mutual seduction, while others claim the boy was brutally abducted. But really, who are they to judge? Magick is art in action. A cupbearer has no time for discussion. He is the unarmed lover of a God and knows about the blessed ending where everything finally begins. Jupiter is dignified by the intensity of willful passion, and thus becomes the king he is. That truly is a Gospel of the Fishes – as far as ‘I’ have seen. 

Beauty is all that ever lasts.