Navigating the Tides of Pisces

Pisces, the 12th and final sign of the zodiac calendar, is a mutable water sign ruled by the planet Neptune. The tides of Pisces are intense and nearly impossible to contain, flowing powerfully in opposite (or even all) directions.

As the cosmological Master of ebb and flow, of permeation and slow seepage, of overflow, evaporation, and crystalization, Pisces naturally rules the element of water, and the deep tides of creativity and dreaming, perception and vision, imagination and intuition. As such, the sign is associated with the archetypes of Healer, Psychic, Mystic, and Artist.

Pisces is depicted symbolically as two fish swimming in opposite directions, visually representing the division of Pisces’ attention between the fluid realms of fantasy/dream, and that of material reality. In myth and folklore, we see the archetype of Pisces best represented by half-human, half fish/serpent figures like Melusine, sirens, lamias, naiads, and rusalkas—Fae-like figures who dwell in or navigate the deep waters of lakes, rivers, and oceans.

These water-beings generally represent the relationship between rational and unconscious states of mind—particularly, the numinous current of creativity that dwells in the watery reservoir of our unconscious, that glistens just a bit with danger, the taboo, and magic—at the same time as it promises an inspired upwelling of divine inspiration and wisdom. Because of its close association with the unconscious, Piscean figures range from the angelic to the demonic, or may be figured as a blend of both—threatening equally a chaotic, irrational creativity, as well as a powerful upsurge of clear-eyed vision.

Colors associated with the sign range from frothy white into watery blues into light greens, which neatly coincides with the fact that Pisces season bridges late winter into early spring—like snowfall slowly morphing into a brilliant carpet of fresh green, dotted by the whites and blues of the earliest blooming flowers.

Our Pisces blend taps into the energies of these archetypes and myths with its alchemical blend of Neptunian and Piscean plants—winter nilgiri tea, jasmine, white lotus blossoms, blue cornflower, and blue butterfly pea flower. Each helps to nourish and open the crown and pineal gland (third eye), and can help dissolve perceived barriers between time and space, mind and heart—allowing our minds to open to higher and lower levels of creative consciousness that we often lack lucid access to.

However, balance in all things. Given Pisces’ general penchant for ailments associated with an excess of “water” or the energy of water, such as fluid retention, edema, oozy (wet) and rupturing skin disorders, bloating, psychic and nervous overwhelm, indecisiveness, and chronic fatigue, our Pisces blend also utilizes herbs that help balance these constitutional tendencies with a harmonizing warmth and dryness that support the earth element—like orange peel, sarsaparilla root, sweet cinnamon, and a very special black tea—Winter Frost Nilgiri.*

* Winter Frost Nilgiri — this rare tea is grown at very high elevation in the Nilgiri region of Southern India—also known as the Blue Mountains of India.

Winter Nilgiri is one the earliest types of tea to be made in the new year, and is produced during the coldest nights of winter where temperatures hover at just above freezing. Where most tea-growers abhor the cold and frost in fear that it may damage the tea plants, skilled Nilgiri growers embrace these climactic challenges for the unique complexities they lend to winter Nilgiri teas.

The cold climate at very high elevation forces the tea plants to grow more slowly, which concentrates their aromatic compounds. The buds and leaves are harvested in the darkest hours of the morning—when the plants are laden with frost—then carefully defrosted and withered before sunrise. The result is a deeply complex tea with high floral aroma and beautifully balanced layers of astringency, honeyed sweetness, and soft minerality.

The limited lot of Winter Frost Nilgiri we were able to secure for Artemis this year tastes of stone-fruit, honey, tea rose, pink peonies, clary sage and mineral, with a hint of grassy bergamia.

In every way, this beautiful tea stepped forward as the chosen Muse of Pisces, and it flows like a kind of dreamy, aromatic poetry throughout the blend, helping to weave a subtly beautiful taste-tapestry with Sri Lankan white lotus blossoms, earthy vanilla, true cinnamon, dark berries, and the taste of moonlit water.


a reflection
on dark water

as if this cup were a siren’s song
set, resting by a rock,
with lustrous eyes
and flowing hair,
what else could be done
but heed thirstily? Drop in
like a divining stone
to meet the nascent depths

The moon lives down here
spooling out filaments
of light like night-spun
pooling down and down
as a glistening ribbon,
a tether in dark water.

At its edge
night flowers open so quietly
and fierce, with exhalations
white and otherworldly-
tasting, like bruised orchids
or deep gloaming, like
old myths dipped
in honey-wine that echo
darkly on the tongue:
songs thought lost
to memory are rising up here
to breathe again, reborn.

Copyright © 2024, Andrea Lawse. All Rights Reserved.

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