International Star Registry

All Constellations

Pisces - Fishes

Pisces is represented by two fishes tied considerably apart from each other at their extremities by a long, undulating cord or ribbon.

The sun passes through this twelfth sign in March and April. Pisces is not an easy constellation to locate. The connecting knot of the cord tying the fishes, Al Rischa`(the Cord) is its brightest star.

The ancient Greeks, who have a fable to account for the origin of almost every constellation, say that Venus and her son Cupid were on the banks of the Euphrates on day when they were greatly alarmed at the appearance of the terrible giant Typhon. Throwing themselves into the river, they were changed into fishes and thus escaped danger. Minerva immortalized the event by placing two fishes among the stars.

According to Ovid, Homer and Virgil, this giant Typhon had a hundred heads like those of a serpent or dragon. Pernicious flames darted from his mouth and eyes. He was no sooner born than he made war against heaven and so frightened the gods that they fled and assumed different shapes. Jupiter became a ram, Mercury an ibis, Apollo a crow, Juno a cow, Bacchus a goat, Diana a cat, Venus a fish, etc. The father of the gods put Typhon to flight and crushed him under Mount Aetna.

The fable implies that some men’s mouths are so full of cursing and bitterness, derision and violence that modest virtue sometimes is forced to disguise itself or flee from their presence.

No sign appears to have been considered of more malignant influence than Pisces. The astrological calendar describes the emblems of this constellation as indicative of violence and death. Both the Syrians and Egyptians abstained from eating fish out of dread and abhorrence of Pisces. When Egyptians hieroglyphics represented anything odious or expressed hatred, the symbol for fish was used.

In the Hebrew zodiac, Pisces is allotted to the escutcheon of Naphatali. The Chinese called Pisces, Tweu Tsze, the pig. Christians assigned it to St. Matthias, the successor to Judas Iscariot. Some refer to the miracle of the loaves and fishes.
Right Ascension 12:37
Diameter (°)33
Area (square °)889
Opposition Oct 03
Size Rank 14th
Brightness Rank 42nd