The Fish and the Lion

“The opposite of courage is not cowardice, it is conformity. Even a dead fish can go with the flow.”

– Jim Hightower

For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated with astrology.

I look for advice and possible next steps regarding life choices according to the pattern of the stars, universal alignments and my birth place among the archives of the galaxy.

I don’t pretend to know the intricate mechanisms of how astrology works; I just know I relate to it on an instinctual level. I embrace and identify with the idea that the universe in all of its vastness is attempting to tell us something.  Encouraging us to explore more about ourselves according to when and where we came barreling into existence. Somehow that makes sense to me.

I acknowledge that relying on the positions of the sun, the moon and the planets when seeking wisdom does require a bit of thinking beyond the here and now. While some may scoff at the idea and wonder why I believe in such mystical nonsense or indulge in wishful thinking instead of focusing on cold hard facts, I partially explain my reasoning by telling them that I am a Pisces.

Whether they believe in astrology or not, most are usually familiar enough with the basic understandings of the major astrological signs and their inherit traits to indulge my whims of mysticism.

I’m proud to be a Pisces.

I have lived the truth of the elusive fish for as long as I can remember and taken it quite seriously. The last of the astrological signs, Pisces are known for being Intuitive, highly sensitive, gentle, shy, and creative. They are deeply afraid of ridicule, empathetic and notorious caregivers. They typically avoid confrontation and seek out understanding and compromise. They are alluring, artistic, agreeable, difficult to catch and even more difficult to figure out once caught.

I have defined myself by these characteristics.

Pisces is my sun sign.

I have never thought too much about my moon sign. The difference between sun and moon signs as far as I can easily summarize is that the sun sign focuses more on our obvious personality traits. It has a lot to do with ego and what parts of ourselves we show to the world.  It is basically who we think we are. Our moon sign depicts more of our basic, primal self. The one we hide from others because we are not even quite aware of its existence.

Sun signs seem to give a more generic overview of specific personality traits. The shallower side of astrology. The facade that most people are aware of while either not knowing about moon signs or not caring enough to dig too deeply underneath the surface to figure it out. Not coincidentally I’m sure, moon signs are considered to be the most accurate representation of our true selves. They offer a much more comprehensive and elaborate look at what is going on inside of us once the ego is removed. Stripping us bare and asking us to take an actual look at who we really are, not who we think we are or who we pretend to be or who others want us to be.

Recently while combing through old photographs I found my baby book among piles of discarded family detritus/treasures. I never before thought to look and see if the exact time of my entrance into this world was recorded. Specific time of birth is essential information needed to find out what the heavens have to say about our astrological moon sign. I assumed I was a fish in my moon sign as well as my sun. That is all I have ever known and the traits that Pisces sun signs display overtly are so strong in me that I could not imagine being anything else.

I plugged my information into an astrology site and waited to see what the universe had to say.


I tried again. Maybe I typed something in wrong? That couldn’t be right.

Same result.

I was staring at a roaring lion.

A Leo?!

I have always been inherently turned off by the astrological lions in my life.

They are fire signs.

They are vain and love the limelight. They Take control. They are Strong-willed. They enjoy entertaining and being in the company of others. They are haughty, rarely indecisive, loud, and they demand to be seen and heard.

The exact opposite of everything I am.

Or so I thought.

Leos are also fiercely protective and loyal. They are magnetic and natural leaders. They are powerful and strong and they make change happen. They have little doubt that they will fail and they forge ahead regardless of overthinking outcome because they are confident in their ability to persevere.

The lion is a known savage predator that runs into danger. Fish dart away quickly as soon as any danger is present. Lions demand to be heard. Their roar is the loudest of any animal on earth and can be heard up to 5 miles away. Fish are predominately silent.

Lions fight. Fish hide.

I’m afraid of these hidden parts of myself.

The parts that are demanding  to be heard. The leader. The strong, defiant and independent fighter. The unbridled ferocity of my actual feelings versus those that are familiar to me or those that others are comfortable with. The side that some in my life have seen glimpses of that I have flat out denied. The inherit traits I possess that have been suppressed for far too long.  The idea of what I should be.

As 2015 draws to a close, I have been reflecting on many of the experiences that have led to where I am currently. Unknowingly, almost every decision I have made over the last several years has played a part in my evolving from a fish into a lion.

I have been making conscious efforts to explore the parts of myself that have been hidden. The parts buried so deep that my ego had to be dissolved a bit to acknowledge their existence. It has not happened over night. Turning from a fish into a lion takes time and a bit of suspended belief. Much the same as looking towards the heavens for guidance. Some might even say it can’t be done at all. It isn’t real. Dismiss it as whimsical fantasy.

Turn a fish into a lion? Impossible.

Luckily for me I choose not to worry too much about what others may think is possible or not.

Believing in the impossible makes everything a possibility.

This is the year for the fish to roar.

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