The shadow expressions in the personality are the results of unconscious patterning. We come to know the shadow by what upsets us, where we feel disempowered. The shadow has a defense against being discovered as long as it can project onto something outside of itself, and can be transmuted when it is accounted for by the individual. Pisces has a resonance with the Soul grappling with visions and perceptions of very large, potentially overwhelming nature, and the potential for neglect that comes alongside with what it means to feel so small in comparison. So in Pisces shadow, Pisces may develop a victim psychology, in which it is victimized by forces much larger than itself, whatever these may be, whether the individual has pinpointed what these forces are, it is a sense of inner-defeat.
Pisces is mutable water, and tends to take the path of least resistance unless Pisces understands there is a reason to go against the flow. Pisces will require some motivation, something to believe in. Without that, the Pisces shadow can gravitate toward attitudes of apathy. In apathetic states, one is not really asserting for themselves what they desire in any given situation, but just going along with whatever presents itself. If this is done not intentionally or to excess, or from a state of confusion, there is a kind of drowning feeling involved, like being underwater, like a person who never tells anyone anything that’s on their mind (because they can’t translate their own feelings), and then realizes how perpetually misunderstood they are, which keeps them from even trying. But because of the nature of Piscean vision, the Pisces-influenced individual will most likely also know types of highs that feel illusory, not of this world, but there is something very private about it also. As long as the individual doesn’t believe that the two worlds can meet, that perhaps the whole reason they see what they see is to make it real, then between the real world and the fantasy a divergence grows deeper and deeper and causes dysfunction and dissatisfaction, despair even, in the individual. This frequency I am describing is the a Piscean malaise – a type of Piscean laziness that one has to contend with when it piles up.
Pisces can receive the criticism that their ideals or fantasies are just that – fantasies – but the opinion of others should not discourage them (perhaps they really don’t understand, but they often do after Pisces becomes. Not everyone has Potential-Vision like Pisces does). By putting ideals into practice on the physical plane, the reality ensues. It really does work that way. It requires WORK and EFFORT (Virgo). The trick comes down to how is the essence, feeling, ethereal matter (Pisces) translated to something tangible (Virgo, Earth). Each of the Earth signs have something valuable to teach Pisces. Capricorn for example, gives Pisces structure. Taurus gives Pisces self-worth and stability.
Before a position of empowerment, in which Pisces has the motivation and alignment it needs to make use of its gifts, a victim mindset can creep in in very subtle ways the individual is not even aware of. It’s like assuming defeat before there is one – not doing something because “it won’t work anyway” or “no one will understand”. It’s the mindset around giving into the desires or wishes of others around them out of an inclination to be accommodating, and then getting upset when it has all gone too far, and Pisces feels very lost or drained from having expended itself in such a way, or gone along with things it began to increasingly not resonate with.
Pisces martyrdom, in relationships (romantic or otherwise), is when a person sacrifices their own needs to attend to the other’s. This is usually not a conscious choice! There are a lot of reasons and other things in the chart that can indicate WHY a person has this tendency. For example, if a person has Venus in Pisces in aspect to Pluto, the individual’s deep sense of security is linked up with their relationships, and the Venus in Pisces placement may have an expression of the individual morphing (Pisces) to be what the partner or friend wants them to be, so as to not lose (Pluto, fear of loss or abandonment) the partner or friend. In an empowered expression of this, this same influence could point to the capacity for deep, transformational relationships.
Look to your chart where you have Pisces, your natal position of Neptune, any planets in the 12th house, or the sign on the cusp of the twelfth house. This is where you experience the Pisces archetype.
Each shadow or lower expression of an archetypal energy has a power on the opposite side of the spectrum too, it’s just a matter of making the most of and channeling one’s frequencies. Pisces has a path of getting to know itself and know the Universe in such a way that Pisces can be in alignment with what is REALLY true for them, not a delusion they hold about what is true. This may take time, experience and yes, a lot of work. The first step is pulling ourselves out of mental trappings of disempowerment – such as believing we are destined for a life of sadness or that things just didn’t line up for us the right way and that’s it — Pisces relates too, Source, the ocean of all things, of Unconditional Love. The power of that love is such that it exists for us just as we open our eyes to it and our arms to receive it.