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. 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 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, nourished by the waters of Baptism as we saw with the sign of Aquarius who pours his refreshing waters directly into the mouth of yet another fish. 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 saved 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.

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."

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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