Soothing, Healing Contentment


April 26, 2017 at 5:17am PDT / 12:17pm UT

Sun and Moon conjoined at 06°27' Taurus

picMy favorite place in the world is my garden, especially at this time of year when Nature demonstrates a no less than magical ability to bring forth life.

Just a few weeks ago, at equinox, the garden was only bare bones and stubble; since then it's been green growth run riot. (I took the photo here today, with a few of my hens on garden bug patrol.) After living and gardening in this same spot for almost 20 years, the transformation still astonishes me. Even the most rational minds would have to agree it is a miracle what Mother Earth pulls off every spring.

From seemingly dead canes pruned back last January, the roses are now three-foot tall shrubs crowned with their first buds. The first spring lettuces and the potatoes are both filling their beds, and the snow peas, stretched halfway up their trellis, will soon open their pretty white flowers. Under the Redwoods, the light pink wild roses are already in bloom among towering star lilies and purple wild iris. Across the slope below the garden, Bracken ferns, fully emerged from their winter quarters, have created a forest canopy overnight. An imperial army for which invasion comes naturally, they could easily take over my garden, trading the slope's upland clay for compost-rich loam. Every day I remove one, two, or three comrades on reconnaissance, plucking them out of my cultivated soil, only to find new scouts raising periscope under the roses, or poking up through the onion patch the next day.

My love for this garden, the pleasure I derive from this patch of earth I till and keep, is indicated by one part of my natal chart in particular: my Ascendant. When I took my first breath, 17 degrees of the tropical sign of Taurus was rising in the East, infusing me with a life-long love for the natural world.


"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort."

— J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Tomorrow we begin a new lunar month with solid, stable, comforting Taurus at the helm. Taurus is a feminine-receptive earth sign — a master at enjoying the physical, sensual aspects of life. Sturdy and substantial, bestowing a quiet, practical, common-sensical approach to one's daily affairs, Venus-ruled Taurus raises living to an art form.

Earth signs are rooted in the senses, and like Mother Earth herself, they are soothing, nurturing and supportive without making a big deal about it. Astrologer Stephen Arroyo noted that earth signs are "attuned to the world of forms" picand their innate understanding of how the material world functions gives them more patience and self-discipline than other signs. "They rarely have to be told how to fit into the world of making a living, supplying basic needs and persisting till a goal is reached."

Of all the elements, earth is the most stable and flows naturally in a passive, receptive way. People with earth strong in their charts are resourceful, and have an inborn knack for appreciating and getting by with what is already at hand. They tend to thrive wherever they are planted. Much more content than most humans with their lot in life, earth signs are not too terribly interested in pulling up roots — unless conditions have become truly intolerable. Simple pleasures enjoyed in a peaceful, comfortable and tidy home preferably surrounded by natural beauty, plenty of good wholesome food well prepared, a bit of wine or ale, a comfy chair by the fire, and a warm, cozy bed to rest in at night, is pretty much all Taurus needs to weave her own "hobbity" version of heaven.

Soothing Virgo Trine Rooted Taurus

Looking at the chart for the Taurus New Moon, there is only one major aspect, a flowing, harmonious trine to the Moon's North Node. No stressful squares or oppositions, no thorny quincunxes, just a simple, flowing trine in the stable element of earth from New Moon to North Node. Symbolizing soul growth and evolution, the lunar North Node, as astrologer Clare Martin described it so well, seems to function as a "doorway into other dimensions, where we can sometimes glimpse or sense our soul's purpose and pattern, our entelechy, the deeper purpose and function of our existence."

With this trine connecting two healing, soothing earth signs, it seems to me that the main quest is to unplug, quiet ourselves enough so that we can begin to hear these important "North Node" whisperings of the soul, and to seek out that deeper Taurean contentment, learn to appreciate what we already have, see the beauty in our own backyard. Paul Kingsnorth touched on this Taurus "rooted" wisdom when he shared Wendell Berry's "simple and pleasingly unoriginal formula," as he called it, for a good life and a good community: "Slow down. Pay attention. Do good work. Love your neighbours. Love your place. Stay in your place. Settle for less, enjoy it more."

Over this next month, try to infuse your everyday routines (Virgo) with simple acts that heal and comfort (Taurus). Virgo is associated with healthy regimens that support wellbeing, keep our lives and bodies "ship shape" as that famous Virgo, Mary Poppins would say. Healing herbs come straight to mind, a perfect earthy integration of Virgo and Taurus.


"I'm sorry to say that Peter was not very well during the evening. His mother put him to bed, and made some chamomile tea; and she gave a dose of it to Peter. 'One table-spoonful to be taken at bed-time.'"

— Beatrix Potter, The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Peter's mother had the right idea, for people have been harvesting and brewing chamomile for centuries. In addition to tea, by the way, it also makes a wonderfully soothing, calming bath. Steep a cup or two in hot water for about 15 minutes, allow to cool, and add to the bath releasing its lovely honey-apple scent and medicinal oils. Aside from its calming effect, chamomile is a great anti-inflammatory for the skin and nasal passages, good for digestion too, and aids the body in fighting off infection. The word chamomile comes from the Old French camomille, and further back from the Greek khamaimelon, both of which mean 'earth apple' — a reference to its applelike scent. In Spain, it is called manzanilla which means "little apple." While Chamomile is listed under the Sun's rulership, I would argue that Venus and her earth sign, Taurus, are also rulers, what other planet or sign could rule an herb known as "earth apple"?

Venus-ruled herbs, fruits and flowers you might want to use, eat or plant in your own backyard include (per Rex E. Bill's "bible" — The Rulership Book): apple, apricot, asters, alder and ash trees, blackberries, birch and cypress trees, daffodils, daisies, dandelions, elderberries, feverfew, figwort, foxglove, gooseberries, grapes, hawthorn trees, ivy, ladies mantle, lilies, mallow, mint, moneywort, orchids, pears, pecans, pennyroyal, plums, pomegranates, potatoes, primrose, privet, pulsatilla, quinsy, ragwort, roses, sea holly, selfheal, strawberries, tansy, vervain, wheat, wood sorrel, and yarrow.

ENJOY THIS "EARTH TRINE" MONTH, don't fill it up with busy nonsense! Limit your activity, cut back on the unimportant stuff, and take the time to regain a potent connection to your own center of "Virgo-Taurus" rooted gravity. Slow down enough, stay put long enough for that neglected root chakra of yours to reach deep, deep down into healing Mother Earth.



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The etching, The Shelton Oak, is by Jacob George Strutt, English landscape painter and engraver.

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