My husband and I recently moved to a small town on the outskirts of Los Angeles County. We’re only twenty minutes from the North Hollywood Home Depot but it feels like a world away. The temperature is always about ten degrees cooler than the city proper. Wild peacocks roam the streets of the neighborhood. Ground squirrels and spry green-gray lizards pretty much own the land we live on. As of writing this, I’ve seen two owls up close, hundreds of giant crows and ravens, hawks a plenty and these cute little blue birds that lap up the puddles our sprinklers leave behind in the morning. But the real stars of the show are the graceful bobcats and sly coyotes that have graced us with their presence, both in person and late night lurking on our doorbell camera. I have jokingly said to my husband: We bought a Zoo.
Two Sundays ago I found myself in the ravine below our house. I’d been putting off coming down here since we moved in because there was just so much trash. Both the sheer volume of garbage plus the steep incline daunted me. Water damaged boxes, plastic bottles and styrofoam food containers littered the hillside. It was clear no one was planning to pick it all up; it was up to me. I mean, I do live here now after all. So in full on Sunday-Afternoon-Dad mode, gloved, masked and tank-topped, I made my way into the ravine. For a couple hours I gathered up the debris, including a tragically haggard magenta fleece zip up, left over roofing tiles and one very sad volleyball. I filled bag after bag with these remnants of construction, and meals and neglect. Later, as I made my way out of the ravine with that first full bag of trash, I spotted the most pristine Owl feather I have ever seen. It was just lying there, glinting in the sunlight. I was surprised it hadn’t flown away on the breeze. But also, I knew it was a message from the ravine: Thank You. You see, I saw the ravine not as a just a place but as a being, an abandoned and suffering being and I wanted to do right by her. I think she wanted me to know that she saw me too.
This is a small but powerful example of what can happen when we open ourselves up to communication with the unknown. These sorts of encounters are what Pisces Season is made for. It’s a time to remember there’s so much more than what you can see. Another story, if you’ll allow me. Last Friday, I found myself on a new hike near home. It was nearing sunset and I had to make it back home to teach a 6:30 class but I’d just stumbled upon a hidden trail and was desperate to see where it led. As I scrambled up the rocky path I knew I was cutting it close on time. All the sudden, truly out of nowhere, I thought: Ok, Brandon, 300 more steps but then you turn around. So I counted each foot fall until I hit three-hundred. And there she was, a Deer, still as starlight, high on the hillside, framed in the spotlight of the magic hour glow. If I had only walked two hundred and ninety-nine steps, I wouldn’t have cleared the bend and been able to see her. That last step revealed her. She, too, like the Owl feather, was waiting for me.
I could tell you about the hike I went on yesterday where two Crows kept following me for about an hour. They were on the other side of the canyon when I thought to yell out to them: Hey Friends, how’s it going? Immediately one made a bee-line for me. It’s little Crow legs dangling as it danced aggressively all around me– a little too close for comfort to be completely honest. I could tell you how they were both waiting for me a little while later, on a white wooden cross that marks the top of the peak. I could tell you about the Owl that landed on the electrical pole in my backyard at dusk. The same night I was planning to hang the Owl shaped mezuzah we purchased for our new home. When you open yourself to these inter-species communications it can easily become overwhelming.
Pisces Season can be a lot. Like a lot, a lot. That’s why I’m telling you all these little tales in the first place. It’s like a doorway you crave to walk through and simultaneously fear. And this sense of the vast unknown, so close by, can make us want to reach for things to stable ourselves, to control the uncontrollable. As a recovering Marijuana addict, I know about reaching for things all too well. I used to reach for joints like life-rafts. Even in recovery I still find myself reaching for things: a latte, a cookie, new earrings, vintage rugs, porn, you name it. But the thing I’m really reaching for, through all these other things, is Spirit. I have been trying to reach directly for the Goddess more and more these days. Which is exactly why I find myself out in nature, on epically long hikes, trying to connect to that larger, ephemeral source that might help me remember I belong here.
You see, as the last sign of the Zodiac, Pisces is when the boundaries blur. That brings both blessings and challenges. In some ways it’s easier to connect with the invisible world, your imagination and the hidden depths of your heart. But on the other hand, you can easily feel swallowed up by all of these things. It’s a season in which we can easily feel out of control. And there’s nothing wrong with that, in fact, that truly is the medicine of this current moment. Letting go is the reason for this season. Consider that we are now approaching the end of another year, Zodiacally speaking. It’s a time to reflect and release. Some dreams came true, others turned to dust. Some relationships grew stronger, others withered away. Some goals were achieved, some were forsaken or thwarted. It’s a Season of endings, caring for endings, gratitude for endings. The cosmic waters of this mystical fish called Pisces ask us to surrender to the source of all things and prepare to begin again.
Of course, we are always beginning. Each breath resets our system. Each nights sleep clears the slate. The New Moon that comes moonthly reminds us that it’s never too late to start over. But there’s a bigger invitation coming through: Are you letting go now? Are you ready to release everything that’s come before? There are new adventures just beyond our grasp, waiting for us– and the best way to encounter them is without the heavy baggage of our past. This New Moon is a bright one, pure, sparkling, full of compassion, vision and grace. The chart shows Venus, Neptune, Sun and Moon all gathered together in the invisible sanctuary of Pisces. It’s a jam packed portal to prayer, imagination, intuition and spiritual exploration.
The essence of Pisces is communion with the divine. It’s so easy, in this physical world, to forget that you are the divine, embodied. And that makes sense because some days we feel more like trash in the ravine than the living body of the Goddess. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t the living body of the Goddess. Who can say why (Capitalism, the Patriarchy, our own insecurities)– who can say for sure why we are constantly pressured to reach outside ourselves for spiritual connection? But it’s not untrue, the Goddess is out there, too. She’s in the rainclouds and the thunder, the spring flowers and the weeds, the gnats and the butterflies. She’s in Oprah and Rihanna, Cher too– she’s in Venus, the Moon and the Pleiades. She’s in seeds that never root and burnt homemade bread. But she’s also in you. She is you.
I reach for nature because nature reminds me of myself as a perfect divine creation. But even without access to majestic mountains and trickster crows, I could still find the Goddess within. And wherever you are, you can too. You don’t need a view. You don’t need to have bought a zoo. After all, this world is a grand illusion, built to remind us how divine we are. It’s not trying to distract us or confuse us. It’s just that we keep reaching out when everything we reach for is a mirror trying to nudge us to reach back in.
The Pisces New Moon is a mirror too, she’s the face of the divine showing you your own face. You, dear one, queer one, you are a divine spirit walking. And before you begin again, you must meet yourself, as you are, in purity and shadow and exquisite soul. You must forgive yourself and let yourself be forgiven. Drop the heaviness, grieve the disappointments and set yourself free.
BRANDON ALTER is a spiritual healer, Tarot reader, Astrologer, mystic and writer living in Los Angeles. He is passionate about sharing spiritual tools that have helped him reconnect to the wisdom of his heart. Brandon is a thoroughly trained healer and teacher who co-hosts The Spiritual Gayz with his husband, a twice-monthly podcast dedicated to exploring the wide reaches of spirituality, without pretending that it all makes sense. Brandon’s mom took him to his very first psychic when he was seven and gave him his first Tarot deck when he was eleven. Since then he has devoted himself to the study of Tarot, Yoga, Pilates, Reiki, Astrology and the myriad ways one can work, heal and grow with the help of the spirits.