Fish Eaters: The Whys and Hows of Traditional Catholicism

"Praise ye Him, O sun and moon: praise Him, all ye stars and light''


With the sign of Pisces, the fish symbolism that began with Capricornus and continued with Aquarius is fully present. These two fishes have long been seen as the children of the Southern Fish that makes for Aquarius's first decan, the fish that drinks the baptismal waters.

It's fascinating that there are two fishes that make up this sign, that they face away from each other, and that they are bound together by a cord. One fish represents the righteous of the Church era, and the second fish signifies the just who lived before the coming of Christ, those whom He saved from Sheol on Holy Saturday, in an event we call "the Harrowing of Hell."

That the just who lived before Christ came to earth are saved is evident from Sacred Scripture. Consider what Jesus tells the Roman centurion -- the author of my favorite prayer, "Domine, non sum dignus ut intres sub tectum meum, sed tantum dic verbo, et sannabitur anima mea" ("Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst enter under my roof, but just say the word and my soul shall be healed"). In Matthew 8:11, He says to him, "I say to you that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven." In the Parable of the Unjust Steward, Christ refers to "the bosom of Abraham," one traditional Catholic name for "the Limbo of the Fathers," or that part of Sheol to which were sent the souls of those who were just, in spite of their not having heard the Gospel because they lived before those events came about. In his letter to the Ephesians -- Ephesians 4:9-10 -- St. Paul writes, "Now that He ascended, what is it, but because He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended above all the heavens, that He might fill all things."

Yes, Christ is merciful, and, praise God, a man isn't condemned for simply not having heard the Good News. He knows who belongs to  Him. He alone has the authority to judge. The souls of the just who lived before He took on flesh are now in Heaven, members of the Church Triumphant, a part of the Church that will endure forever and forever, unto the ages of ages.

The other fish symbolizes those of us who live in the Church era, the "Age of Pisces" which began, undoubtedly not coincidentally, in the 1st century. But we are bound together, by grace, to our spiritual ancestors, never to be separated.

To sum things up, this sign represents the Church, born of the waters of Baptism. It signifies our oneness with Christ as we saw with the sign of Capricornus. And it signifies our spiritual connection to those whom Christ has given the graces of Baptism in spite of their having lived before He was born, suffered, died, resurrected, and ascended into Heaven.

Decan One: The Band

The first decan of Pisces is the band that ties the two fish together, signifying unity, one of the four marks of the Church. All who are saved belong to the Church, the only ark of salvation.

Decan Two: Cepheus

This constellation is named after King Cepheus, father of Andromeda, whom we'll meet when reading about the next decan of Pisces. This symbol of royalty can be seen as denoting the Headship of Christ over His Church, against which the gates of Hell will never prevail, as He promises us in Matthew 16. We will, though, suffer, are charged to take up our crosses and follow Him, and are pitted against the world, something the next decan symbolizes.

Decan Three: Andromeda

This constellation is named after Andromeda, the daughter of King Cepheus and his wife, Queen Cassiopeia, who is symbolized in the first decan of Aries. According to Greek myth, Andromeda was offered to Cetus, a sea-monster whale symbolized by the second decan of Aries, because Cassiopeia bragged about her beauty, saying she was even more beautiful than the sea nymphs. The nymphs, consumed with jealousy, asked Poseiden to attack her parents' kingdom. Andromeda's father, Cepheus, consulted an oracle and was told that the only way to save his realm was to offer his daughter up to Cetus. He did so, but she was saved by Perseus, who slew the monster by showing him the head of Medusa, thereby turning him into stone.

The innocent Andromeda can be seen as symbolizing the Church and is depicted as chained, as she was when being offered up to the monster. The world hates the Church, and the Gospel according to St. John is clear about it. In chapter 15, verses 18 and 19, he writes, "If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated Me before you. If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." So great is the hate of the world that the Church will follow Christ in His Passion. Apocalypse 12:

And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered. And there was seen another sign in heaven: and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads, and ten horns: and on his head seven diadems: And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered; that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her son. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod: and her son was taken up to God, and to his throne.

And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, that there they should feed her a thousand two hundred sixty days. And there was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels: And they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduceth the whole world; and he was cast unto the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying: Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: because the accuser of our brethren is cast forth, who accused them before our God day and night.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of the testimony, and they loved not their lives unto death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you that dwell therein. Woe to the earth, and to the sea, because the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, knowing that he hath but a short time.

In the end, Christ -- depicted as Perseus, a decan of Aries, which comes next in the Zodiac -- will save "the chained lady," His Church, and will do so as the Sign of Aries depicts: by the Blood of the Lamb.

Note that this constellation is home of the Andromeda Galaxy, the nearest galaxy to our own. It's 2.5 million light years away, but visible to the naked eye, appearing like a nebulous cloud.

Pisces can be seen best in October through December.


Pisces relative to other stars in the Autumn sky:

Table of Contents

The Zodiac


A Tour of the Heavens

Envisioning the Celestial Sphere

The Constellations of the Zodiac












Summary and a Few Odds and Ends

The Traditional Catholic View of Astrology

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