The Energy of Spring
Taurus, the second sign of the zodiac, is the first of the even numbered signs. Number two has always symbolized duality, the division of the whole, or Spirit manifesting in creation. Thus we have the first of the female signs, the feminine aspect being nature itself. The symbolism of Taurus follows directly from the singleness and unity of Aries and number One. The seeds of Aries here sprout into young and vigorous plants of thought.
Located in the part of the ecliptic occupied by Tropical Gemini, there is a vibrancy, often an animated talkativeness and a certain naivete to those who have many planets in this sign. The more vibrant female energy predominates here. The mood of this zodiac segment is that of youth, springtime, brightness, effervescence, change.
TAURUS AND THE BULL
Taurus is the Bull, and if we explore the mythological connections of this animal in ancient cultures, we find that the bull represents the force which animates forms of all kinds. The bull symbolizes fertility, growth and the season of springtime. Growth is accelerated in spring, and sidereal Taurus displays an appropriate high nervous energy in its thoughts and movements. This sign is foremost the symbol of the joyous expression of life, the fresh innocence of the child enjoying sensory experience and the perceptions of its own young mind.
THE MOON AND TAURUS
The Moon is exalted in Taurus, and the symbol for this sign is sometimes understood as a pictograph of the phases of the Moon, the celestial body linked to growth and fecundity. Whether we see the symbol of Taurus as the full Moon on which the crescent Moon is placed or the face and horns of the bull, the symbol describes the vigor of nature. The ever changing phases of the Moon harmonize with the quick changing thoughts and interests of this sign. The sidereal Taurean qualities of quick perception and adaptability happen naturally when the Moon is placed here. Neither Taurus nor the Moon functions well in an atmosphere of repetition or boredomthe exalted Moon in Taurus allows the mind to be fluid and receptive to new ideas and thoughts. However, the Sun in Taurus loses some of its characteristic stability and is not so good for solar affairs.
In the sidereal zodiac, a planet in its exaltation sign is completely 'out front,' purely itself in every way. Studying the behavior of people with planets in their exaltation signs is one of the best ways to learn what a planet is really like. The Moon in sidereal Taurus gives us one of the best examples of the pure expression of the Moon in human psychology. Remembering that the Bull represents the season of spring, the exalted Moon in Taurus expresses these qualities: Sunlight and rain alternate in quick succession, but provide ideal conditions for the growth of new plants. New plants of thought sprout readily when planets lie in sidereal Taurus.
VENUS AND TAURUS
Taurus is the ancient night house of Venus, which means that eventually we might expect a newly discovered planet to take over the primary lordship of Taurus. Venus was worshiped as a nature goddess and associated with youth, beauty and the springtime of life. Flowers were said to spring up beneath her feet, and she was thought to protect gardens and vineyards and to aid in grain and fruit production. Sidereal Taurus, though often lost in the realm of thought, is sensation oriented, liking the feel of different textures, the touch of fine fabric, the warmth of sunshine, the beauty of nature.
The sensual side of Venus is more in evidence in Taurus than in Libra, the day sign of Venus. It's fascinating indeed that the Zoroastrian Fragment derived from Gregory of Nicaea gave Imeros, the God of Desire, to Taurus alone with Venus. Venus was also the mother of Cupido, a god who was immoderate in his amorous desires. Sex and lovemaking can be important to persons who have many planets in Taurus. Because the sensory response is often sudden and unexpected, natives of this sign can become entwined in relationships with which they are poorly equipped to deal. Sidereal Taurus can have trouble relating deeply to others because, while often keenly observant of surface details, the sign does not respond naturally to emotional undercurrents. Actress and sex goddess Marilyn Monroe had her Sun and Mercury in this sign, and her life was a story of troubled relationships that didnt last. However, the more fortunate Taurus man or woman will find just the right person to settle down with later in life.
Often the intellectual and erotic energies of Taurus are directed into the Venusian artspainting, dancing, writing or the voice-related arts of singing, acting, broadcasting, speech-making or entertaining in general. Though sometimes a poor listener, Taurus loves communication with other people. (This trait is much noted in Tropical Gemini, the sign which overlays starry Taurus.) Venus and Mercury together in Taurus manifest especially well in writing and other artistic fields.
Looking into the future: The Demeter/Persephone Myth
Ten years before Valerie Vaughan authored Persephone is Transpluto I had come to the conclusion that if a planet was discovered beyond Pluto, it would be named either Kore or Persephone, both names of Demeters (Ceres) daughter, and this planet would eventually come to be associated with Taurus. Because Kore spent part of her life above ground during the growing season and a third of the year underground during winter as the wife of Pluto, god of the underworld, this myth is well related to Taurus as a dual sign (Number 2) connected to spring and fertility (symbolism of the bull). Taurus also follows Aries in the zodiac, and Aries has been suggested as Plutos primary sign.
THE SECOND MESOPOTAMIAN TRIGON
Taurus is the first sign of the second Mesopotamian trigon, which included Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn. These trigons were always connected to the stars (sidereal) prior to the Tropical zodiac being adopted in western countries. These signs are primarily signs of communication and linking with other people. This is most clearly shown by the lords of two of the three signs of this trigon: Sociable Moon and Venus, the planet of relationships are linked to Taurus; and Mercury, planet of communication finds both its domicile (home) and exaltation in Virgo. Taurus is therefore connected to the arts (Venus) that involve communication. A few example:
Andrew Neil, British editor of The Sunday Times. Sun, Venus, Mercury in Taurus; One of Britains best known journalists and arguably the most influential editor in the country. (ADB)
Warwich Deeping, British writer. Pluto, Mercury, Sun, Venus in Taurus; Authored more than 40 novels. (ADB)
Thomas Hardy, writer and poet. Venus, Mercury, Mars, Sun in Taurus; One of Englands greatest Victorian novelists.
Tropical astrologers will see a link to Mercury here because this is Geminis area of the ecliptic. However, it is indeed odd that Virgo, the ancient sign given as Mercurys own and exaltation sign is considered less suited to Mercury, and various asteroids have been suggested as more appropriate rulers for Tropical Virgo. There is a definite lack of consistency here in relation to the ancient assigned planets to signs.
Summary of Taurus Concepts:
Taurus is the second sign of the modern zodiac. Number two traditionally represents duality and division which manifests as movement outward from the whole. Two is the basis of the division of zodiac signs into male and female.
Venus, Lord of Taurus: The principle of association and friendship, reaching out to others, the arts, nature.
The Bull and Exalted Moon: The energy of spring, effervescence, change, adaptability, quick thought.
Persephone/Kore: Nature, growth, duality, the concept of two worlds--may have to do with life into death and back again (reincarnation).
The body: lower face, mouth, jaw, neck, throat (speech)
On the Feminine polarity:
Marilyn Monroe, Actress: Sun and Mercury in Taurus, dispositor Venus in 10th
The ultimate sex goddess, Marilyn Monroe epitomized both the femininity of this sign and the innocent, naive quality of youth of sidereal Taurus. We see this quality displayed in her films. Her life also contained the various and troubled relationships in which natives of this sign often find themselves. (Taurus is the night house of Venus, so Venus generally has trouble being constant in this sign.)
On Venus-Moon symbolism:
Queen Victoria had the exalted Moon in Taurus along with the Sun with dispositor Venus and Mercury just rising in the morning sky. Queen of England by age 18, she bore nine children to her husband, Prince Albert, a full physical expression of a sign where the Moon is exalted and Venus has her domicile. Victoria further displayed the Venus quality of devotion toward her husband, by-passing the often fickle nature of this sign. (Venus is with exalted Moon in the navamsa or relationship chart.)
However, Victoria lost her husband long before her own death, which caused her intense grief for many years. Perhaps due to the prominence of Victorias exalted Moon conjoined to her ascendant, under her reign England became the richest nation on earth with both industrial growth and imperial expansion. (Dispositor Venus is in the ancient sign of wealth, Aries.)
More on Venus and female polarity:
Johnny Depp, Actor: Mercury, Venus and Sun in Taurus
A heart throb to millions with an almost girlish appeal, Depps biography informs us that he had no interest in the usual male movie-star fascinations. Although a thrill seeker, Depp spent his adolescence playing guitar and also put together a band. His unkempt slouch and disregard for affectations of hygiene are far from the ideal of male glamour. (Depp has Saturn opposing the ascendant.) Hes been engaged to a succession of girl friends, displaying a typically Taurean inability to maintain a constant relationship over an extended period of time. (ADB from the Biography by Randi Reisfeld) But as one of the more fortunate Taurus natives, Depp found a soul mate whom he has been with for fourteen years (two children).
On art, nature and the relationship of the Moon and Venus to Taurus:
Neptune and Pluto in Taurus, 1886-96:
This period was the Romantic era in music (Moon-Venus symbolism) where great sweeping melodies were born with the Italian Verdi, Richard Wagner, Gilbert and Sullivan, Tchaikovsky (The Nutcracker), Rachmaninoff as some of the principals.
In art it was the time of the Neo-Impressionists who produced vibrant moving colors reminiscent of life and spring:
Seurat gave his canvases the quality of a shimmering, translucent screen (Moon).
Van Gogh saw nature (Venus) in its sensuous beauty and recorded landscapes as ecstatic movement.
Paul Gauguin believed that western civilization was ?out of joint. His paintings record his retreat to the peasant life of Brittany and ultimately the primitive civilization of the South Pacific, where he spent the latter years of his life. (Naturalness as opposed to technology.)
Toulous-Lautrec recorded the earthy side of Venus in his paintings of Paris night life and frivolous partying.
Chagall produced dreamy and otherworldly paintings which astrology would have placed under the Moon (exalted in Taurus) before Neptune was discovered.
The risque side of Venus crept in with Aubrey Beardleys erotic art, still famous today.
Miscellaneous: In 1888 the Kodak box Camera was perfected (the reflective quality of the Moon transferred to the newly discovered Neptune.)
This was also the time period when the beautifully detailed extremely Venusian art posters were produced, which are still seen in poster stores today.
This article is condensed from the Taurus chapter in The Zodiac of the Stars
© 2004 East-West Publishing, Therese Hamilton; all rights reserved
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