April 19 - May 20, 2021
To be born under the auspices of Taurus is to hearken in the soul back to the Ancient Kingdoms, when the constellation was the guardian of the spring equinox, and the sacred bull was an emissary of the Sun. Natives will recognize in themselves those many stories across cultures of golden calves, brazen horned gods, and cow-eyed mother goddesses. Manilius says of Taurus: “The bull will dower the countryside with honest farmers and will come as a source of toil into their peaceful lives; it will bestow, not the gifts of glory, but the fruits of the earth. It bows its neck amid the stars and of itself demands a yoke for its shoulders. When it carries the Sun’s orb on its horns, it bids battle with the soil begin and rouses the fallow land to its former cultivation, itself leading the work, for neither pauses in the furrows nor relaxes its breast in the dust.” Taurus, the fixed earth sign, possesses (in addition to its steady strength) a silken voice and quiet determination. It is both pleasure seeker and plow puller, which need not be a contradiction, as long as it can keep what it works for, go at its own pace, and not be sacrificed on the altar of labor. Taurus is here to learn what it wants, what it needs, and what it takes to make a good life.
For all of us, the usually languorous landscape of Taurus this month (and this year) is being churned up and disrupted by a procession of planets traipsing through, some moving faster than others, and some leaving deeper impressions than others. Mercury enters on Monday, just ahead of the Sun, where he has been burning through purgatory in the last degrees of Aries. With his fiery passage, the bull leapers have performed their dangerous feats, we have made the sacrifice to Moloch, paid tribute to the Minotaur, and we may now cross over the threshold into the next sign. Once ingressed, the two join in the Bacchic party that, during the course of the season, will also host Venus, Lilith, Uranus, Ceres, and the Moon. We have also arrived at the cross-quarter phase of the year, and soon the Beltane fires will be lit, and the cattle run through the smoke. It is a time to conceive and to betroth, and to propitiate the life-giving Sun, for the health of the crops and the community. For better or for worse, it’s a shake-up in the psyche for sure, but Taurus knows better than anyone that you must first till the soil to prepare a good bed for your seeds. And so, in the wise words of the quintessential Taurus anthem: if there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed now…it’s just a spring clean for the May Queen. By the end, we will hopefully emerge with our desires, values and convictions clearer and stronger, and embodying more of the Taurus motto, that is, to be a rock, and not to roll.
April 14 - May 8, 2021
Venus in Taurus is a goddess that walks amongst us. She is enthroned in our earthly realm, made manifest in its natural wonders, and ensconced in all the loveliest corners of creation. Now, for instance, we can see her in the early hours, emerging as the Morning Star, her consort, Pan, piping at the gates of dawn. In the sunrise sky she becomes rosy-fingered Eos, who paints the horizon with her pastel palette.
By day, the horned ones reside in the idylls of rustic Arcadia, their sylvan retreat, where they enjoy the pleasures of eternal spring. In the night, they are dryads, disappearing into the trees, inhabiting the groves, glens and fields—sacred ritual sites and portals to other worlds. Here, our lady is known as Titania, or Queen Mab of the fairies, who rides her chariot “through lover’s brains, and then they dream of love” as Mercutio tells us. Through her Druid blood she is the ancestress of such Taurean words as “enduring,” “true” and “trust”. And you know she is nearby when Pan’s flute blows the wind in the willows, whose bark gives us magic, healing and relief from pain.
She has been called Hathor, empress of land and sky and goddess of cattle—ancient symbol of milk and money. And before that, had many other names, now lost to the Paleolithic mists of time. In Taurus, where she rules, Venus oversees the material world, the animal kingdom, and our plant allies. In relationship, she is as possessive as she is patient, as steady as she is stubborn. But give her comfort, security, and timeless beauty, and she will be a happy lover. For the next three weeks, she is bringing a sensuousness and slower pace to the Taurus-ruled parts of our charts; as well as engaging with Uranus, the Black Moon Lilith and Saturn, which may affect her natural poise for a time, and bring out a more vociferous side. This transit is, overall, a welcome one, which encourages us to trust in the rhythms of nature, to appreciate the true blue relationships in our lives, and take pleasure in simple, and sensual, delights.
March 21- April 14, 2021
Something awe-inspiring is happening in the spring sky: our goddess Venus is transforming. She has been bathed and beatified in the unguents of Pisces, and is now gaining in speed. As she travels with the Sun, she begins to overtake him, purified by his rays and fortified now with solar purpose and will. In due time, she will emerge from under the beams in the western sky, ripened, in all the glory of her full-moon phase. What happens to our love goddess when she enters the war god’s home as Evening Star? She becomes the Lion Lady, the all-powerful Queen of Heaven—Inanna-Ishtar.
Thousands of years before she became Venus-Aphrodite, her devotees in ancient Mesopotamia were singing praises to her beauty and quaking in the presence of her wrath. Inanna was the supreme goddess of fertility and war, an enforcer of justice and protector of the land. She took many lovers, and either imbued them with power or devoured them outright. When wronged, she demanded blood. In the words of one hymn to Inanna, she was “mighty, respected and exalted,” blessing us with her “holy thighs.” Consider this imagery from the same prayer as one depiction of our Venus in Aries: When at evening, the radiant star, the Venus star, the great light which fills the holy heavens, the lady of the evening, ascends above like a warrior, the people in all the lands lift their gaze to her. Her celestial drama of disappearance and reappearance was observed closely and with great reverence, as a mystery of nature, and as a significant omen for human life below.
Astrologer Michael Meyer (whose writing on the Venus cycle I highly recommend) describes the Evening Star phase (which lasts until December this year) as a time for the defining of social values and our creative contribution to society; a time for developing our Venusian vision and goals; and for integrating the experience gained during the Morning Star phase to give meaning, direction and purpose to our existence. He cites Dane Rudhyar as saying that the Evening Star Venus in the spring zodiacal signs is “that which gives substance to the Martian impulse and outward initiative…an instinctual power of fertility.” Over the next weeks, let us lift up our gaze, and our hearts, to Inanna. And when we look to the area of life, and the areas of our charts, that are host to this transit, we will hopefully feel our Venusian values and purpose being cleansed and honed in the heart of the Aries Sun, until our goddess reaches her home in Taurus, and our vision—what we are here to birth, and with whom—will become clear.