The Bull
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Humanistic Astrology - Dane Rudhyar
Abstract meaning Concrete and Traditional Meaning Part of Body Ruled
The primordial substance of manifestation for the self.
The synthesis of the past, as inherited tendencies.
All basic possessions.
intertia, practicality, concreteness.
bondage to the Earth and to the energies of the Earth.
determination, energy, fruitfulness.
the female power.
Neck; cerebellum and ears.
New Age Astrology - Alan Oken
I Seek My Self through What I Have
positive natural tendency misuse or exaggeration of trait
steadfast and loyal
intensely sensitive and understanding
composed and calm
affectionate and generous
practical and firm
productive and fertile
stubborn without just reason
overly emotional
aloof, dry, and hard
overindulges sensual appetites
stingy and rigid
seeks only material rewards for all efforts
Traditional - Llewellyn George
Physical Characteristics Mental Tendencies
short to middle in stature
inclined to plumpness
often stoop-shouldered
square face and build of body
short, strong neck
full forehead, nose, lips, cheeks and mouth
heavy jaw, dark eyes
hair wavy, dark and sometimes curling
round and prominent eyes
hands plump, short and broad
persevering, constant
conservative, determined, obstinate
proud and ambitious of power
sociable, affectoinate and loving
can be unreasonable, prejudiced and stubborn as a bull
when angry will not stop an anything
usually slow, but good, steady worker
sometimes very indolent and sensual
Traditional - Manly P. Hall
Emotional Key Words Mental Key Words
amorous, artistic, gentle, loyal, domestic, proud, quick-tempered, self-indulgent, sensual, moods make definite statements concerning emotions impossible.
patient, persistent, thorough, steadfast, conservative, retentive, discriminating, determined, argumentative, stubborn, materialistic.


Turning Aries Glyph According to the A to Z Horoscope Maker and Delineator by Llewellyn George, in Taurus, the Sun makes the native self-reliant, determined, persistent, stable, firm, careful and cautious. Taurians fear pain. They seem patient and will wait a long time for their plans to mature. The are gentle when unprovoked, but can become furious when angered and then headstrong and unyielding. They are usually secretive and reserved with latent energy and mental power; practical and constructive. They are lovers of nature, art, music, literature and amusement, and are usually capable of becoming pyschics, mediums and healers. They also make good public servants, officials and splendid executive workers.

Likewise, those who are born with Taurus rising are self-reliant and have a persistent nature capable of working hard and long in order to accommplish their purposes. Gentle while unprovoked they become "mad as a bull" when really angered and when they are opposed they become stubborn and unyielding. Usually quiet, they are dogmatic and somewhat secretive or reserved concerning their affairs. They have a great deal of endurance, latent power and energy. They are very practical and have organizing ability, and are usually sincere, reliable and trustworthy. They are fond of pleasure and love beauty in nature, art, music and literature, and are influenced greatly by sympathy. Possessing a magnetic quality, they are able to benefit those who are irritable or nervous. They are careful, steady and able to carry to completion the projects they undertake. They have the ability to earn money for others and are also good at all executive work. Matters connected with the earth and its products succeed under their supervision. Vital temperament.

It almost seems a bit odd that the speediest sign of the zodiac, Aries, is immediately followed by the slowest, Taurus - talk about slamming on the brakes. Actually, the Bull's reputation as a slowpoke is exaggerated, especially if "slowness" is to be deemed undesirable (like a slow day at the office). Once word got out that there were more openings available, Taurus - surprisingly the first archetype in line - patiently waited to be picked. Hmmm... the Bull was apparently not all that slow way back then. As Taurus has always been good at quickly spotting the best seat in the house to plop down in, here it somehow knew that being the second sign of the zodiac would be one cushy position that it just had to have!

It's as if Aries first whips up a firestorm of activity - sending seeds of vital, germinating energy flying every which way - and then Taurus enjoyably contains all that wild, fiery energy ready to burst at the seams; that is, once the Bull has lovingly added a little fertizlizer to its basic soil mix. You know, that richly organic, earthy -smelling stuff that really helps all things take root. Taurus is a fixed earth sign, suggesting a double dose of stability. Fixed energy isn't going anywhere, at least not until it has pulled together and organized all its resources. In addition, methodical earth likes to take its time when building supportive structures that ensure durability. So Taurus has little trouble planting its hooves on the ground and firmly connecting with the world of matter, because it's a tangible substance it knows it can count on to not rapidly change in form. Matter is appealingly solid and predictable to Taurus, a sign that needs to feel safely enclosed by protective and even permanent boundaries.

In Taurus the stability of earth and the perseverance of fixity are blended with the aesthetic sense of Venus to produce a slow, steadfast nature with a deep appreciation of the wealth and beauty of this planet. If Arians are the pioneers and discoverers of the land, Taureans are the settlers and cultivators. They are the ones who roll up their sleeves and till the soil and build houses, bridges, and towns. If Aries is the force of nature, then Taurus is the force of civilization. Taurus natives, as fixed earth, have a special intimacy with the land and a deep understanding of and respect for all forms of matter. They value natural resources and want to conserve them; they value their bodies and usually take good care of them; and they value the fruits of their labor, whether these be food, money or possessions. They also tend to be fixed in their ideas, which are often conservative. As a result, Taurus has a reputation for being dull and unimaginative, but actually this sign is often emphasized in the charts of highly creative people. Taurus rules the five senses, and these natives are tuned in to the subtlest nuances of color, sound, and fragrance. This delicacy combined with their legendary persisitence, has given the world some great atists and writers who illustrate the truth of the saying that genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.

In Archetypes of the Zodiac, Kathleen Burt tells us that there is a double-feminine influence in Taurus since its mundane ruler is Venus and it is the sign of the Moon's exaltation. With the double-feminine influence we have the receptivity of the Earth Mother herself which Isabel Hickey has described as "the freshly plowed earth of springtime, ready for the seed." Passive, patient, and placid, Taurus earth is fertile and fecund sexuality. As the mundane, instinctual ruler of Taurus, Venus, the principle of attraction, has a strong physical magnetism. As Linda Goodman has said in Sun Signs, "Taurus", this energy is not sexually aggressive but prefers to attract others rather than pursue them. Taurus is associated with biological reproduction and other types of creativity. There is a definite inertia in Taurus, the sign of Ferdinand the Bull, quietly grazing away as the years pass. Yet, Taurus feels frustrated, unappreciated at times even unnoticed by those to whom he has given so much and to whom he is so attached. (Moon in Taurus is a doubling of attachment to people, places, and things, because the Moon in Taurus reflects the qulities of the I POSSESS nature.)

"Sustaining" is the principle with which Taurus is strongly connected. Astrology considers Taurus, the sign of fixed earth, to be the most fertile, fruitful, and constant sign. While some might complain of Taurus' slowness to act or its intolerable stubbornness, Taurus, like the bull, steadies and roots itself in one place until ready to move. Then, as if a red flag were waved in its path, it becomes a locomotive. But this process occurs for Taurus only when it is ready, not necessarily when everyone else expects it to be so. This makes the Taurean temperament unique; its fixed, sutstaining power from within likens it to the archetypal feminine principle of the Goddess. There are many mythological figures which can be associated with this sign; indeed, Taurus has a richness of mythic associations which is unsurpassed in the zodiac. Venus is associated with love and fertility, and the worship of the Great Goddess during the Taurean epoch and relates to the artistic abilities with which so many Taureans are gifted. Astrologers who characterize Taureans as plodding and materialistic forget to note the artistic achievements of this sign, expecially in the field of music and in singing. After all, Taurus rules the throat.

The psychic, or spiritual meaning of the Taurus bull, and especially of the Moon Goddess and the bull, comes through the association of the Apis bull of Egypt with prophecy. The Bronze Age civilization of the Nile Valley in Egypt is very similar to that of the Indus Valley in India, Stonehenge in England or the Minoan culture of Crete. The goddess reigned supreme over the fields with her creatively potent consort, the bull. This very special bull was considered an oracle, and thus, symbolically there was a strong connection between the lunar bull and the gift of prophecy. Many Taurus Moon people have psychic gifts as well. There is a lot of psychic talent as well as spiritual recpetivity, devotional potential to be opened and artisitc ability latent in Taurus, Taurus Moon and Taurus rising. It helps a great deal when childhood has been a positive experience - when Mother (symbolically, the ideal exalted Taurean Lunar Goddess) has believed in and encouraged the gifts of the Taurean child.

One interesting thing about the Taurean civilizations - there is a Venus presence in the arts, from the grace and bauty of the frescoes in Crete and Mycenae to the lines of the palace in Knossos. The gold work in the jewelry from Crete in the Athens Historical Museum has a real Venusian delicacy, a feminine feeling. There are no hordes of warriors (heroes on horseback) riding roughshod in the Age of Taurus. The countryside is realtively quiet. The island of Crete, for instance, is isolated and free of invaders, except of course from those invaders beneath the surface - volcanoes and earthquakes. If we look on the materialistic/mundane side of Aphrodite ruling the Earth sign Taurus we do see some decadence, rather like the decadence of the last stages of Bronze Age art in Crete - the ladies wearing luxurious jewelry and rich fabrics at the Knossos Court, as depicted in the frescoes.

Source:Microsoft Clip-Art The Age of Taurus (c. 4300 BCE to c. 2150 BCE) was the age of the material establishment of a civilization. This fixed earth sign's vibrations produced the need to settle and identify the tribal consciousness within a given geographical context. In essence, this entailed merging the resources of the people with the resources of the land, and thus is established the concept of a national home, transcending tribal differences and providing the foundation for the creation of a civilization. Taurus is a fixed earth sign, focusing on the material, and these descriptions closely associate with the fundamental changes of this period that brought on an important evolution in the human experience. It is during this age that several groups of peoples began to settle (fixed), and grow from the cultivation of the land (earth) through extensive agriculture. Instead of tribal groups wandering around searching for food, the material aspect of food was conquered, so it could be in supply all year long. This development led to another characteristic aspect of Taurus: the love of beauty and the massive production of art. The ruling planet of Taurus is Venus, who is among other things, the patroness of the arts, an influence which imparts a great sensuality and creative inspiration to the cultures under its rays. Since these early cultures no longer had to spend all their time collecting food, there was time to develop art and other pursuits which greatly enriched their societies. Thus the age of Taurus saw the first true material establishment of civilization.

Of course the best known civilization of this period is ancient Egypt, and later the ancient Greek historian Herodotus once wrote of the Egyptians and their earth:

They gather in the fruits of the earth with less labor than any other people, for they have not the toil of breaking up the furrow with the plow. When the river comes of its own accord and irrigates their fields, and having irrigated them, subsides. Each man sows his own land, waits for harvest time, and then gathers it in. The Histories, chapter 2

This passage is an interesting observation, since it points out that perhaps one reason why the Egyptians were so successful in their agriculture was simply because it was so easy. If so, this would suggest another attribute often associated with Taurus, the desire for ease (which is sometimes seen as laziness), was important for the development of agriculture.

Source:Microsoft Clip-Art Taurus is, of course, the sign of the Bull, and during the age of Taurus, bulls and their worship were prevalent in many cultures, among them the Bull of Minos, and the Minotaur of the Cretan Labyrinth. At certain times of the year, young boys and girls were ceremoniously sacrificed to the Bull god through sport. During these religious festivals, young people jumped through the horns of the bull, and sometimes even danced on top of them. It is actually from this practice that modern sport of bull fighting evolved. The bull was also a major figure in the religion of the Chaldeans, and in many of their temples one can still see the winged bulls that were carved and painted on the walls. In the Middle east, many of the nomadic tribes worshipped the "golden calf" as described in the old testament. During this time the Hindus had the legend of Krishna - the "Christ" of his era - who was said to have been a herder of cows, and that the holiness of cows - and of course bulls - in the Hindu faith was formed, which still exists even today.

Apis, Egyptian bull god of flocks, herds, and virilityIn the Egyptian religion a living bull was a representative of the god Apis, who presided over the underworld (the domain of Scorpio which is the polar opposite of Taurus). In the same way monks in Tibet have their teacher reincarnated through various lives, the Egyptian priests believed that Apis would come to them occasionally as a bull. This was said to have occurred when the bull had the markings of the other three fixed signs of the zodiac: a white triangle on his forehead (Aquarius), the mark of the eagle on his back (Scorpio), and in his mouth, a beetle (the scarab), a creature who was associated with Leo during this time. The pharaoh of Egypt had two elements which symbolized his power, and the one representing religion was closely associated to the influence of Taurus. On his head was the crown which represented his unifying political leadership, (which had been divided earlier into an Upper and Lower Egypt - a leftover from the duality of the previous Age of Gemini). In his hand he held the Ankh - the symbol of life - which represented his leadership in religious affairs. The Ankh closely resembles the symbol for Venus (the planet that rules Taurus), for it is a circle on top of a cross. The Bulls of Egypt are usually depicted in drawings with the disk of the Sun between their horns, symbolic of the One permeating Life-Force which was manifesting itself through the form of the Taurean age: the Bull.

In the ancient Egyptian cults of the dead, the national deity was Osiris, God of the Dead and the Underworld (Apis was one of many names for this deity). During the age of Taurus, Osiris was often depicted as a man with a bull's head. Later on, interestingly enough, this was changed to the head of the Ram when the AgeSource:AAAnimations changed into that of Aries. The power of Taurus held the people to the earth, and the Egyptians built their vast agricultural empire through an economy based on slavery. Among the many peoples the Egyptians kept in servitude were the Jews, who would develop a very important concept in the evolution of religious thought - monotheism. It is in the history of this ancient race that we find the transition period between two other world Ages, that of Aries and Pisces.

Back to Gemini Bibliography Ahead to Aries

The Bull has only half a body, its hindquarters seeming to disappear into the depth of space. The Hyades form the great V of the Bull's face, the most noticeable feature of the V being the large reddish star Aldebaran, the Eye of the Bull

Image courtesy of Astrology
Image courtesy of Astrology

A number of notable objects suitable for binoculars are found in Taurus, none more notable than the Pleiades, although the star cluster around Aldebaran known as The Hyades is also quite magnificent. On the other hand, the Crab Nebula, also found in Taurus, will only appear as a dim fuzzy patch of grey; a large telescope is needed for this famous remnant of a supernova.

Image from JAMES B. (JIM) KALER 
Professor Emeritus of Astronomy, University of Illinois; 
Click to visit site
Copyright James B. Kaler, all rights reserved.

The vee-shaped head of Taurus, the Bull, dominated by the reddish star Aldebaran, is to the right of center. Taurus's northern horn, represented by Elnath, lies at center left, Zeta toward lower left, down and to the left of the bright body, which is Saturn, which was moving through Taurus when the picture was taken.

Image from JAMES B. (JIM) KALER 
Professor Emeritus of Astronomy, University of Illinois; 
Click to visit site
Copyright James B. Kaler, all rights reserved. These contents are the property of the author and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the author's consent except in fair use for educational purposes.

The Constellations web page is  1996-2005 by Richard Dibon-Smith.
The Constellations web page is 1996-2005 by Richard Dibon-Smith. Any use of this material without written permission by the author is an infringement of this copyright.


Taurus, the Bull, from Bayer's Uranometria of 1603. The Hyades cluster makes the head, Aldebaran the Bull's eye. The Pleiades is just up and to the right. The top portion of Orion appears at lower left. The Milky Way runs down and to the left just to the left of Taurus. The horizontal dashed line is the ecliptic, while the broad dark band at the top centered on the ecliptic shows the region in which the Moon and planets can be found.

Image from JAMES B. (JIM) KALER 
Professor Emeritus of Astronomy, University of Illinois; 
Click to visit site

Courtesy of the Rare Book Room and Special Collections Library of the University of Illinois.


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