(Mercury + Sun in Taurus, Venus in Gemini, Mars in Aquarius)
The hummingbird is a wonder of evolution. The smallest and lightest of the bird species, it is capable of flying at incredible speed, as well as flying backwards, up and down, and hovering indefinitely. Its flight is studied by aeronautical engineers and its unusual beak and tongue are the subject of much scientific research. But its speed is the result of necessity: the hummingbird must continually seek food to supply its energy, and is therefore in almost constant motion. It may look blithe and carefree to us, but in fact, it is a persistent, hard-working and fastidious creature. Other fun facts about this little powerhouse: it has a huge heart (proportionally speaking), its diet is mostly pure sugar, it hibernates, is curious, inquisitive and unafraid of humans. The hummingbird is also pugnacious and territorial. Unaware that it has shrunken considerably since its days as a dinosaur, it still sees itself as the “jabbing, terrifying monster” of the D.H. Lawrence poem.
The hummingbird is found all throughout the mythology of the Americas and the Caribbean, where is it native. To the Aztecs, he was the image of the Sun God. It was believed that the souls of warriors transformed into hummingbirds when they died. In many Native American cultures, the hummingbird was an ally to humans, bringing rain, or the art of weaving, or the cultivation of crops. It was also a messenger from the Otherworld. And almost unanimously, it was seen as a symbol of joy, beauty and good luck.
Based on all of this, I’d say it’s also a pretty good emblem of the current transits going into May. What can the hummingbird teach us over the next couple of weeks? Adaptability, efficiency and persistence. Protecting your heart and using your energy wisely. Finding enjoyment from moment to moment. Go where you fit. Find beauty in small things. Let curiosity and instinct guide you. Guard your resources with survival in mind (but let it be in the spirit of cooperation, not competition). And finally, celebrate your uniqueness! What is special, if different, about you? Find that thing, nurture it, and it will lead you to the nectar.
The bull, were he given his choice, would lead an uncomplicated life. Most of the day would be taken up with grazing, sauntering around the pasture, a conjugal visit or two with the cows when the time is right, followed by a nap under a shade tree, and then back to grazing. If there is work to be done, a plough to be pulled for instance, then so be it. It will get done in due time, and done thoroughly. As long as his pace is unhurried and his quietude isn’t threatened, the bull is a figure of strength, simplicity and steadiness. Challenge him, provoke him, or endanger his family, however, and he will warn you in no uncertain terms to step off. If you persist, despite his warnings, then eventually he will see red, and his strength will become brute force. And if he comes at you head-on—well, it’s your life.
Those who were born under the sign of Taurus are often described as the salt of the earth. Like the bull, their zodiac symbol, there is a solid trustworthiness to a Taurean, and their stable and grounded nature gives a sense of security to those in their presence. Their integrity, dependability, patience, and commitment to providing for themselves makes them designed for the long game and the good life. You can safely bet on a Taurus, but please don’t take advantage of their strength or take their loyalty for granted. By the same token, get used to seeing their stubborn side every once in a while, don’t expect them to handle change very well, and don’t expect them to do anything in a hurry. They, in turn, must guard against possessiveness and laziness. Rules to live by for this fixed earth sign.
Taurus is ruled by the planet Venus, goddess with many faces and many names. In this case, picture Egyptian Hathor or Celtic Boann. These natives are attuned to the world on a sensory level, operate according to non-verbal truths, and have an awareness of time much older and much deeper than that of the Industrial Age clock. Taurus has an inherent mistrust of over-talkers, a frustration with over-thinkers, and a disgust for pretentiousness. Life in the digital age can be hard at times for the archetypal Silent One: the fast-paced, synthetic, technology-worshipping ways of 21st century life can feel artificial, superficial and unhealthy for Taurus in large doses. They must have refuge in or near the natural world to find calm. The feeling of skin on skin, of hands in the dirt, of food in the belly, of a breeze coming off the water—these are balm for the soul. God is found in the forest, or at the beach, or in the garden. Singing is the best medicine of all: Taurus bestows on the native a powerful, beautiful voice.
Where Taurus lies in your chart is where you can find your animal nature and your physicality. It’s where you go to slow down and where you seek inner peace. Where you find the tangible. With the Sun traveling through that house this month, ask yourself: what is my body telling me it wants? What do I hear when I’m not talking? What animal do I identify with, or, what animal keeps showing up for me lately, and what can I learn from it? What do I want to invest in? What are my values and have I been honoring them? And finally, what is my relationship to my voice, and how can using it be a source of pleasure and healing, both for myself and for others?
Mythology, religion and cosmology are replete with stories of a deity who suffers death, descends to the underworld, and then returns reborn. Inanna, Osiris, Tammuz, Dionysus, Adonis, Attis, the Green Man, Persephone, Jesus Christ are some of their names. As long as humans have been self-aware and observant of the forces of nature, and conceived of these stories to mirror them, we have seen the cycle of life as an ineffable but profoundly hopeful thing. It naturally follows that our gods would reflect our awareness of this eternal sine wave.
“Hope springs eternal.” “Tomorrow is another day.” “Life goes on.” “April, Come She Will.” “To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” We have many sayings that speak to this universal truth.
To study astrology is to study cycles and light. As an inextricable part of the microcosm and the macrocosm, the human unconscious recognizes that life is dependent on the relationship between the light and the dark, and on the cycle of birth, death and renewal. Like a bicycle that only balances as long as it’s in motion, we are all bound to the perpetually spiraling wheel of time. Stop moving and we all fall down.
Whether you see Easter as a lunar holiday—a symbol of earthly renewal and fertility, or as a religious holy day—a symbol of divine resurrection, both imply rebirth. Today, let us honor the old parts of ourselves, the things we’ve lost or left behind, that were themselves new once. And let us find hope in the things in our lives and in ourselves that are growing, emerging and coming to life; and be proud of how far we’ve come.