The Tao of Taurus
THE SUN ENTERS TAURUS
April 19, 2018 at 8:12pm PDT / 3:12am UT (20th)
When the Sun, our central, life-giving star, departs the cardinal fire sign of Aries to enter the tranquil pastures of Taurus — it is the beginning of a new solar month flavored by this sensual, stabilizing sign.
A fixed, earth sign, Taurus could not be more UNLIKE bold, on-the-go Aries. Well known for being rather stubborn and somewhat inflexible, Taurus the Bull's higher purpose is not to irritate but to consolidate — to identify the nonessentials and start snipping away. There are four things the Bull detests the most and they are: clutter, complications, distractions, and being rushed. I probably should have listed "being rushed" first, for Taurus will immediately dig in her heels if anyone, however charming, tries to suggest any course of action she hasn't already thought through completely and deemed worthy. Taurus's raison d'être is to shepherd what has already been initiated further along the road to completion. In order to do this, she must be practical, realistic, and most of all focused on what really matters, focused on the priorities — for example, finding that luscious clover patch....
"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated."
— Confucius, speaking fluent Taurus
A sensual Earth sign ruled by languorous Venus, Taurus is the epitome of down-to-earth practical simplicity. Bulls are beautiful body and soul, lovely in a pure and simple, unpretentious, potato salad kind of way. For Taurus, heavenliness comes from an inner radiance, a deeply rooted earthy peace and tranquility. There is nothing more hypnotically alluring, nothing that stands out so prominently in today's intensely buzzing world, than a still pool of serenity at one's center. Everyone wants more of that.
Venus-in-Taurus James Taylor is an example of this Taurean simplicity rooted in tranquility, which comes out so effortlessly in his music. His song Secret O' Life is Taurus simple wisdom through and through. "The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time / Any fool can do it, there ain't nothing to it."
Taurus is concerned with the basic comforts of life, getting your work done of course, but a reasonable amount, and then having ample time to relax, and enjoy yourself. Time each day to do, well, nothing at all. Time for peace and quiet away from the distractions of life, time to just simply be.
"Remember being? Be here now? Whatever happened to that?" laments Taurus. Seems we have forgotten all about it.
In the late 70s, when I graduated from high school, Ram Dass's book, Remember Be Here Now, was the standard, post-Nixon, hippie spiritual primer. On the nightstand next to every waterbed you could find "the bible." And while it's easy to dismiss it as some funky relic of a long ago era, I recently rediscovered the pure kooky fun of its pearls of wisdom and charming, hand-drawn illustrations, such as these two examples:
Ram Dass is an Aries by the way, with the Sun conjunct both radical, do-it-my-way Uranus and the North Node of the Moon (associated with soul growth and life purpose). In his chart is a "cosmic love" Venus in Pisces and soaringly philosophical, freedom-loving Moon in Sagittarius. Ram Dass is a Uranian "awakener" for sure and spiritual warrior as well. Like Confucius, he also speaks fluent "earthy wisdom," and no wonder, Ram Dass's natal Mercury — the planet that astrologically represents our cognitive processes, our thinking and speaking "style" — happens to fall in Taurus, and in a harmonious earth trine to transcendental Neptune.
Here are some of Ram Dass's "Taurus Mercury" gems:
"The quieter you become, the more you can hear."
"We're fascinated by the words — but where we meet is in the silence behind them."
"The heart surrenders everything to the moment. The mind judges and holds back."
"Everything changes once we identify with being the witness to the story, instead of the actor in it."
Ram Dass was a successful Harvard psychiatrist (Richard Alpert) until his explorations in human consciousness led him to some very controversial experimentation. (His Sun-Uranus conjunction in derring-do Aries shows very clearly doesn't it?) It was this subset of experiments — that included the use of a variety of psychedelic substances — which led to his dismissal by Harvard in 1963. So he ditched the suit and tie and set off on a pilgrimage to India, and the book Remember Be Here Now is a journal of his adventures in enlightenment.
While others have since taken up his "power of now" message and crafted it in their own unique way, it was fun to hang out in the "here and now" with Ram Dass once again and be inspired by his sincere and playful invitation to be. His message of cultivating presence struck me as more important now than ever before in our "age of the electronic device."
"The Empress" of the Tarot deck corresponds to the Taurus archetype in its association with Venus and the earth element. The Empress is Mother Earth, representing the rich bounty of nature, and the organic rhythm of life that women embody. On the card shown here, from the Rider-Waite deck, the Empress sits on a comfortable, cushioned chair in a fertile field of ripening corn, evoking Demeter, the Greek goddess of the harvest. A flowing stream ends in a waterfall that supplies her fields with this life-giving element. On her shield is the glyph for Venus and she holds a sceptre topped with the globe of earthly power. She wears a crown of 12 stars, yet she is not the Queen of Heaven, but Goddess of the Here-and-Now, the lush, fecund Empress of earthly Eden. The Empress represents life before "the Fall" She represents the healing of a rift that has persisted far too long between Mother Earth and her human children. Our fates are intertwined on this beautiful blue-green planet and we must reverse the "modern condition" — a joyless, devastating split from source — this "Nature Deficit Disorder" — and re-forge a vital connection to Mother Earth and Father Sky.
Taurus Keywords: solid, reliable, resourceful, pleasure-seeking, sensual, epicurean, deliberate, cautious, thoughtful
Famous Taureans (in no particular order): Al Pacino, Albert Finney, Audrey Hepburn, Barbara Streisand, Bill Paxton, Bono, Carol Burnett, Cate Blanchett, Charlotte Brontë, Cher, Donovan, Ella Fitzgerald, Enya, George Clooney, George Carlin, Harper Lee, Henry Fonda, Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeild, John Muir, Katharine Hepburn, Kirsten Dunst, Martha Graham, Michael Moore, Michael Palin, Michelle Pfeiffer, Omar Khayyam, Pete Seeger, Orson Welles, Pete Townshend, Søren Kierkegaard, Stevie Wonder, Tina Fey, Tony Blair, Uma Thurman, Vladimir Nabokov, William Shakespeare, Wolfgang Pauli, Zubin Mehta
Gemstones: Emerald, Topaz, Boji Stone, Lapis Lazuli, Malachite, Rhodonite, Rose Quartz, Sapphire, Selenite, Tiger's Eye, Tourmaline, Black Spinel
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I'd like to close with a poem that has always struck me as especially Taurean, mixed perhaps with a pinch of Sagittarian optimism. Taurus represents that state of grace and gratefulness that comes from really appreciating and taking joy in life as it is, the good and the not-so, and really seeing that what we have is enough. The Taurus season each year is a reminder to find joy in life, no matter the circumstances, no matter how difficult your troubles are or how dark the world may seem. And that, I think is exactly the deepest wisdom and strength of this sign: accepting life as it is, and being empowered and renewed by this quiet acceptance.
— ee cummings
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The illustration of Taurus the Bull is from a 15th century text on astrology.
The Empress Tarot card, shown above, is from the Rider-Waite deck. Authored by A. E. Waite and illustrated by Pamela Coleman, it was originally published in 1909 in England by Rider and Company. The image of the constellation of Taurus at the beginning of this article, is from: A Familiar Treatise on Astronomy by Jehoshaphat Aspin (nom de plume) published in 1825. Digital scan of this image was obtained from the Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Washington, DC. There are no known restrictions on publication.
The poem i thank you god by e. e. cummings is from his volume of poetry, Complete Poems 1904-1962.
© Elaine Kalantarian, all rights reserved