The Sun has just entered Taurus, while the Moon is moving through the sign of Libra, heading toward a square with Pluto and then oppositions with Venus and Uranus.
In an essay called "Imagination is Bull," James Hillman wrote, "When confronted with a great animal power, whether in the shape of an actual animal or an animated image, we in our culture rarely bow down to it, sing to it, or dance in its honor, nor do we even run for cover. Rather, our usual move is to interpret. We have the hermeneutic wand to make the force go away by transforming it into a meaning. Our modern propitiatory rite is to look up "bull" in the symbol dictionary. Bull dissolves into "moon," "father," "fertility," "thunder" ...andtakes on names from Gaelic to Hebrew to Latin to Urdu accruing more mythic tales as we research. Civilized men and women in institutes of humanities and culture have met the bull with their own sort of bull: what they say about the bull. Myth, after all, is what is said about what is said: the bull about the bull. What does this bull about the bull tell us?"
One of the reasons I love this passage is because it so eloquently describes a Taurean dichotomy. Imagination in all of its fecundity is as real, earthy, and sensual as the Bull. I notice this when I take my four month old daughter for a walk on our land. As we walk through the trees in the shade, beams of light spearing through the fresh green buds, the trickle of water running into our little coy pond near an old shed, and I see the full wonder on her little face, I am witnessing the substance of imagination. So tangible we call it "present." Not in the sense of some omnipresent singular substance, but in the sense of many textures and fragrances blending and moving, swimming as it were through the first spring air she will ever breathe.
Taurus has a way of making the imagination that simple, that animate, that lovely, and that "real." Taurus is Venus ruled but earthy, fragrant but stable, solid but youthful.
On the other hand, Taurus also represents the stubborn fixity of our imagination. The tendency to think our imaginative vision of anything and everything is the "simple" truth, or the "practical" truth, or the "earthy" bottom line. This version of Taurus may see the imagination as anything that deviates from this bottom line...calling such deviance impractical, fanciful, delusional, or lacking in substance. They cry "Bull Shit!" without realizing that the substance of anything, no matter how physical, earthy, habitual, steady or simple in appearance, is already the hot black stuff of imagination...as rich and dark and foundational as manure...as "simple" as a pile of steaming "bull shit."
So it goes with Taurus. Taurus is the simple, life affirming, life animating, life supporting stream of imaginative beauty in the natural world. The very "stuff" of imagination. But Taurus also reflects the tendency for the stuff of imagination to become literalized...for imagination itself to be forgotten in the physicality of its simplest and most obvious forms: plants, animals, smells, taste, touch, sight, sounds.
It's also wroth noting that sometimes the Venusian daydreams of Taurus become plastic, like people who say the word "imagination" so many times that it feels like a children's museum gift shop, filled with over priced trinkets just calling your name. Used in this way, imagination itself becomes a vacuous word, ironically pointing toward lifelessness rather than fantasy, depth, or diversity.
When Hillman says that we tend to look at things and then extract or decode their deeper meaning, he is talking about this same tendency we have to kill the ongoing imaginative power of phenomenon...whether we take things too literally and dam the flow of imagination or whether we go making mountains out of molehills in the name of MORE imagination. Of course, Hillman is sort of an anti-Platonist in this regard, and many philosophers will disagree with his point of view. Regardless of whether or not we agree with Hillman's philosophy of psychology, he is right to say that our tendency to constantly decode or interpret experience robs the soul of something important. But what? What does it rob us of? And the answer: it robs the soul of its bull shit. Rich, dark, real, and total bull shit.
Prayer: Help us to feel the bull in our bull shit this Taurus season!
The Moon is in Taurus today. Here are 5 simple truths we can learn from the sign of the bull:
* Simplicity is one of the safest, most durable, loyal, easy, and supportive qualities of nature. If we want to experience happiness in any phase of life then we might consider simplifying our expectations, or habits and routines and methods.
* When you follow a routine and you make sure to include time for resting and playing or small pleasures, then your experiences becomes both stable and enjoyable. Creating some simple/basic rhythms that you stick with no matter what might feel hard at first, but once it becomes second nature there is also an inherent flexibility and sensuality that follows. Taurus is most at home when she knows it's time to graze or it's time to rest and yet within that grazing or resting there is a sense of freedom as well.
* Never underestimate the power of environment to produce good results. If you take a little extra time to make the environment sweet, clean, tidy, and stable, almost anything counts as a good outcome.
* Knowing what to do, how to act, or how to respond is easiest when we can listen to our body. However it's hard to listen to our bodies when we're moving too fast or we're too overloaded with food or chemicals or information. Slowness is creative power with Taurus.
* Some people say that Taurus is earthy and therefore not too imaginative or intellectual. Imagine this instead. The imagination of Taurus is the imagination of simplicity. It's the intellect of a sunrise or sunset, a flower burst or rain shower. It doesn't need more than the phenomenon itself, but make no mistake...this is an imaginative and intellectual choice. It's an imaginative choice that while appearing simple is just as far out as any other. In some ways Taurus is seduced by its own exotic, extra terrestrial perfume. But make no mistake, Taurus isn't any more or less imaginal than any other sign!
Prayer: Teach us to live by the simple perfumes of the cosmic Bull.
The Moon is in Cancer today, applying to sextile Mercury before turning void of course. A brief discussion about Taurus...
You hear a lot of things about Taurus related to simplicity, earthiness, beauty, and peace. Sometimes maybe a few things about greed or lust or stubbornness or possessiveness. But it's rare that we visit the dreamer in Taurus.
Imagine for a minute the most peaceful and relaxing day you've had recently, or maybe a day from an earlier point in your life. If you can't think of one then imagine the perfect day. These days usually feel edenic. Like we've entered the perfect Japanese flower and rock garden, or we've wandered our way back into some golden age. And yet, we all know that these perfect slices of heaven are temporary. We blink our eyes and they are gone. Taurus' polar opposite sign of Scorpio reminds us that everything is impermanent and that beneath every paradise rock there lies the dark secret of death, pain, suffering, chaos, and change. But while we're in that paradise garden...while we're there..it's essential that we feel as though we've been there forever and will stay there forever. This permanent paradise imagination is the mythic offering of Taurus, and it isn't just a naive or simple/animal love of beauty. Let's be real..the animal body or the animal/instinctual body as it exists out in nature is often highly alert, hunting, protective, territorial and fierce. It's not just "at ease" or "natural," in some simple/idealistic way. But herein lies the secret of the Bull. We describe Taurus in these highly simplistic/natural ways because it's part of the Bull's heavy footed insistence on the paradise dream. It's part of the Bull's guardianship of paradise that makes its own descriptions of itself as simple and permanently pleasant as possible.
Here are some descriptions of the Bull that are secretly the Bull's tenacious defense of the paradise dream:
* Taurus is about the natural/peaceful/animal body
* Taurus is about abundance and health
* Taurus is about sturdy, earthy, beauty
In each of these is also an omnipotent sky god whose face is a bull. If we want to dig deeper into the archetypal soil of Taurus, then the more we can step away from these "natural" sounding apple pie images, the better. Because paradise isn't really "natural," it's imaginative. Or at least it's not anymore natural than anything else. So what creates within us this Taurean perma-grin feeling that life is so simple and sweet? Let's consider that it's the sky bull, whose weighty control and omnipotence fantasies lull us to milky bare footed sleep in the middle of spring time. The bull is drunk on the dream of its own sweet and simple power trip. The dreamer of mid-spring is love sick with the illusion of forever at peaceness.
Why shouldn't she be? Every sign of the zodiac intoxicates us with its own mythos. So why not the dream of natural, simple, sweet, and forever abundance?
The reason it's important to "see through" the simplest of Taurean descriptions is because we miss that the simplicity of Taurus is also the result of a fiercely controlling, bull-headed, stubborn, muscle flexing, sky god in the shape of an earthly bull. If we don't do recall the omnipotent god complex within the bull's psychic landscape, then we forget that people like Hitler were born under the sign of the bull as well people like the plump and smiling Buddha.
Within every antique shop there is fascism
Within every yoga studio control freaks
Within every meditation cushion all powerful denial
Within every ounce of positivity a crusher
Within the mid-spring dream a muscular bull whose long and powerful penis we can't take our eyes off..whispering words like joy, happiness, apple pie, and forever, forever, forever....
This isn't about dismissing any of the joys of antique shops, yoga studios, meditation pads, positivity clinics, or mid spring happiness...it's just a simple reminder that the "simplicity" of the bull can also be so much muscle pumping "bull shit," as James Hillman liked to say. A sorority or fraternity house filled with the illusion that all this wealth and class has always and will always be...."natural."
A good list of activities for Taurus season:
* Gratitude... for this paradise too shall pass
* Taking inventory in order to live more within our means
* Thanking and seeing the all powerful bull within these blissful days...recognizing his fierceness as well as his beauty, and staying on guard against his sharper than they appear horns
Prayer: all powerful sky bull...thank you for the bull of your sweaty sweetness...may we enjoy the muscular and fragrant imagination of paradise.
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Adam Elenbaas is a professional astrologer and the founder of the Nightlight Astrology School. Adam holds an MA and MFA in English and Creative Writing and is one of the founding writers at RealitySandwich. To learn more about Adam, click here.