Walking the Zodiac – Part 2: Taurus

The Taurus Figure - by Yuri Leitch

The Taurus Figure - by Yuri Leitch

Our alchemical foray into Glastonbury’s temple of the stars this month, led so expertly by Anthony Thorley, took us into Taurus the Bull, one of the most stunning walks on our zodiac tour, and at such a beautiful time of the year. Everything about it resonates with the sensuous, abundant gifts of nature.

Each month we imagine ourselves walking the images of the sky on the earth, tracing the outlines of the zodiac figures, revealing rich synchronicities for people. The Zodiac seems to possess a distinct divinatory power that can help shift our perspective, providing us with inspired guidance, or offering an answer to a question or concern.

This year we entered the Taurus figure just prior to the ingress of the Sun into that sign in the heavens. The figure stretches from the edge of Butleigh Wood, tracing the contour of Collard Hill to the junction with the B3151 and incorporating the ancient village of Compton.

Hathor: Sacred Cow of the Crescent Moon

Hathor: Sacred Cow of the Crescent Moon

We’d already spent the previous day immersing ourselves in the Taurus perspective, exploring Minoan myths, Beltane and other Taurean traditions and ceremonies. And we embodied our learning through music, movement, guided imagery and a number of alchemical processes related to Taurean themes – and we ate cheese, of course! So as we arrived at the tip of the bull’s horn at noon, we were more than ready for a vivid encounter with this most earthy and sensuous of zodiac signs.

Perched on the horn tip, above Combe Hollow, we stood for several minutes, soaking up the sounds and smells of this fertile season, and taking in the most spectacular view over the village of Compton Dundon, and the twin hills of Gemini. From there we walked slowly and deliberately – as Taurus demands – in silent reverie along the length of the horn, skirting Hatch Hill, and drinking in the beauty of this sumptuous landscape through our senses.

View over Gemini Figure, photo by Sarah-Jane

View over the Gemini Figure

Conversations resumed as we walked further down the hill along the profile of the bull’s head, which follows a little lane that leads into the village, but we soon succumbed to our hunger pangs, stopping off at a friend’s community allotment, where we feasted in fine Taurean style! How apt to find a group of people working the land together and growing food in a sustainable, evidently enjoyable way on the sacred ground of this earthy zodiac sign. Our presence did not go unnoticed by the bird kingdom either, as a beautiful white owl flew elegantly across our path – a rare sight indeed during broad daylight, and one that was especially meaningful for several members of our group.

Three Pilgrims in Bull Territory

Three Pilgrims in Bull Territory

Our walk then took us along Compton Street, once home to a remarkable concentration of five cattle farms, and we passed Laws Farm with its fabulous longhorn, situated proudly above the barn door. We walked up as far as the old market cross on the bull’s snout following an ancient paved pilgrim’s path that still runs all the way from the old chapel at Trays Farm, to St Andrews church in Dundon. The cross approximately marks one of two sacred crossover points where the milky way meets the ecliptic in the heavens, this one being between the constellations of Taurus and Gemini, mirrored here on our landscape zodiac in the corresponding figures.

View from the Hood Monument

View from the Hood Monument

Our route then took us to the bull’s eye at Tray’s Farm (with a rifle range nearby until recent times!), followed by a steep climb along an ancient trackway. We passed through a “lovers arch”, woven between two trees, which Venus herself might have sanctioned – only to be met by the Hood monument, a rather overstated protrusion at the base of the bull’s horns. We enjoyed a clear view from here across to Glastonbury Tor, before walking back to our cars along the top part of the horn, again in silence, again soaking up the sublime pleasures of this beautiful place.

I entered this zodiac figure with questions relating to classically Taurean issues around money and security, and I came out of it much more settled in myself, with a more grounded sense of “having enough”, and being very grateful and appreciative of the simple pleasures of life. Thank you, Taurus!

Our next Alchemical Journey weekend is Gemini: The Alchemy of Communication on 22nd / 23rd May – and we’re at the Goddess Hall in Glastonbury.

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