Taurean Reflections

So we’re into the sign of Taurus, the first of the three earth signs and what a contrast to Aries! While the impulsive Ram goes chasing after what it wants with wild abandon and irresistible charisma, Taurus quietly draws toward itself what it needs for its own sustenance and well-being. Taurus draws on the magnetism of Earth, and the attractive power of Venus, our brightest and most beautiful planetary neighbour and fabled goddess of love, also known as Aphrodite. So through connecting to the energy of the sign Taurus, we can learn to attract and magnetize things to us, by being really attentive to and appreciating what is right in front of us. Taurus teaches us about abundance by teaching us the value of “enough”; that we actually have everything we need to live a happy and fulfilled life already, if we could only appreciate it! The power of manifestation from the Taurean perspective, then, requires us to fully embody and inhabit an experience of gratitude and appreciation for what is already here.

Taurus is the Spring Bull, focused on sensuality, pleasure, enjoyment, ease. Pleasure-seeking and pain-avoiding, Taurus favours what is nice, what is sweet and what is easy. It stands for that basic drive within us to pleasure, satisfy and gratify the body, bringing an acute awareness of the five senses: Of Sight, of Sound, of Touch, of Smell, Of Taste. The Bull is a horny beast, erotic and sensual. Taurus desires cornucopia – the horn of plenty in all things. Taurus is expectant of the Great Full-Ness of Life; voluptuous, fertile, seductive, embodied, rich in spirit and gratefully abundant. Taurus has great affinity to food and sustenance and enjoys the best of culinary delights. This is a slow, deliberate, stubborn and conservative sign. Taurus is concerned with appreciation and what you appreciate appreciates. Taurus is concerned with money and security, assessing assets and resources, taking care of what it has and is concerned with the prosperity of life. Taurus is a sign of beauty. Physical beauty, artistic beauty, beautiful music. Taurus is associated with the throat, with the dulcet tones of the voice. We find Taurus well-expressed in the professions of farming, banking, accountancy, fund-raising, music, massage therapy, sports which involve physical prowess and patience, beauty and nursing to name but a few. We meet Taurus in the kitchen, in the garden, in the accounts department, in the art gallery, in the auditorium, in the restaurant, in the well-kept home, in the gym, in the dressing room, and in the bedroom!

Lessons of Taurus

Everything I’ve written above sounds great, of course, but then every sign has its shadow perspective, the perspective that is rooted in fear, rather than love. The shadow of Taurus can be seen in the tendency toward acquisitiveness and the hoarding of money and resources, driven by fear of poverty and the belief in scarcity and lack. Security expressed in such a way becomes a way of closing down from the natural abundance, or “enoughness” of life and acquiring as much stuff as possible and feathering your own nest, to protect yourself from the uncertainties of life. This may be culturally acceptable of course, and considered shrewd, sensible budgeting and so on, but if it is driven by the fear of scarcity, then it is actually closing down relationship and shutting off the possibility that the universe will naturally meet your needs. I think Lynn Twist’s perspective in “The Soul of Money” is really valuable here.

The Story of the Buddha

One of great lessons of Taurus, then, is non-attachment – and this is famously woven into the story of that great Taurean figure of Gautama Buddha. The teaching of the Buddha emphasized the nature of desire and attachment and how, by trying to secure the pleasures of the senses, and the desire for more, we perpetuate suffering. The Buddha was fabled to have been born on the full Moon of Taurus (when the Sun is in Taurus and the moon in Scorpio), also known as Wesak. If we think about the Buddha’s life, it really sums up the Taurus-Scorpio tension very well. Born into outrageous Taurean affluence, he is taught how to appreciate what he has and is protected from harsher aspects of the world outside the walls of the royal palace. It is only when he leaves the safety of the palace and ventures out that he realises the suffering of the world, and this compels him to renounce the stuff of the world and he famously decides to live on a grain of rice a day. Importantly though, he renounces this too and decides he can enjoy the wonders of the phsyical experience without becoming attached to it. So the fat, happy Buddha, as we often see him represented, comes to stand as a symbol for that condition of joy and abundance that we can experience through the sensuous experience of being in a body, fully engaged in the world, but without attachment to it. Circumstances will continually change, as we learn from the wheel of life, and nothing of the physical world can truly be possessed or owned. The physical experience is not permanent and if we identify with it alone, we cannot achieve lasting security or real happiness. The story of the Buddha teaches us that when we come to embody this realisation and inhabit this way of knowing a deep level within us, then we have access to true joy.

The Taurus Enquiry

So what I’m finding is a really good way to engage with the Taurus enquiry then is to really let myself experience the pleasures of the body this month, to experience myself as a physical, sensuous being, to really explore my relationship to money and wealth, to really look at my relationship to what I have, to what I own. And, even if what is revealed is uncomfortable, let myself acknowledge how attached I am to the desire for money, stuff, or physical pleasure. That’s why the money exercise we did is so great, because it throws up those dynamics that we often try to keep hidden from others in our attempts to “look good” and look like we don’t succomb to such things! So the enquiry is to notice our reactions and responses to all these themes, but also to notice what we really value beyond the money, the stuff, the physical indulgences. What we we really place value on? What are our true assets? What’s it like to trust at such a deep level of knowing that all our needs are being met perfectly by the universe? Can I trust at such a deep level that I can release the need to own, the need to know where the next pay cheque is coming from, and remain grateful and appreciative even when the evidence for my abundance doesn’t seem to be obviously forthcoming? Easy to be grateful when things are going in my favour. What about when they’re (apparently) not?

In many ways, this month is a meditation on the experience of ownership. When we say that we own something, what do we mean? It’s a good question to ask ourselves. What do I own? What can safely say is “mine” in this world? And how do I define “mine”? The common cultural defintion would define “mine” as ‘belonging to me, not you’. We confront this question again very directly, and with more depth and stark consequence when we get to Scorpio in October, but it is an important enquiry for us to open up here, lest we become too smug in our Taurean affluence, too cosy inside the safe walls of the royal palace.

Looking forward to your comments and reflections on this.

love John x

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