Taurus Season is upon us once again, bringing with it the energy of desire as it works through form. After the initial pulse of Life in Aries, desire in Taurus becomes the driving force in shaping what form Life will take.
Will we forge ahead driven by our egoic desires and wishes?
Or will we align with Divine Will and shape our primordial Life-force energy into spiritual path and purpose?
Taurus, the sign of the bull, is associated with steadfastness, material possessions, beauty (especially in physical forms), art, stubbornness, security and even enlightenment. It is said that the Buddha himself had six planets and Chiron1, in Taurus, and that the Buddha was born, passed and entered parinirvana all during the time of this auspicious sign. Esoterically Taurus is associated with illumination and the opening of the third eye.
It is under the sign of Taurus that humanity is learning the deeper spiritual lessons of desire and the transformation of the energy of desire. It is through desire that we take a physical incarnation and it is desire that also keeps us trapped in ‘samsara’, the cycle of death and rebirth. Taurus teaches us about the nature of desire, and what needs to happen so we can release our personal attachments and transform the energy of desire into Spiritual Realizations.
“humanity… is beginning to come under the influence of Taurus.
The great question is –
Will this influence …produce the floodlight of illumination
of which Taurus is the custodian,
or will it simply foment desire, increase selfishness
and bring humanity to the ‘fiery heights of self-interest’
instead of to the mountain of vision and initiation?”
– The Tibetan2
Taurus has two planetary rulers3: Venus and Vulcan. Venus is the personality ruler and Vulcan is both the Soul ruler and the Hierarchical ruler. According to Esoteric Astrology2 both Venus and Vulcan are Sacred planets, while Vulcan is a ‘hidden’ planet. Esoteric Astrology tells us that there are ‘hidden’ planets which we are unaware of because we do not yet have the consciousness to perceive them or to be receptive to their energy. Once we have expanded our consciousness to the degree that we are more receptive and aware of these subtler energies we will become aware of these planets. The fact that both ruling planets are sacred (and one is hidden) hints that the inner journey of Taurus is deeply hidden, mysterious, highly significant, and sacred.
“The Soul is our individual link to the essential substance of the Creative Source… Astrology is a system that seeks to interpret the nature of the Universal Life Force as It moves, shapes, and creates human life and all events. The planets, signs, and houses, are not the causal elements of manifestation. They are, rather, the reflections of a transcendental synchronicity manifesting through the rhythms and timing of a cosmic clock.”
When considering planetary ‘influences’ from a Soul Astrology perspective it is more appropriate to think of the planets as lenses, or focalizers, of Divine energy rather than as causative agents. In Esoteric Astrology the basic energies of creation are referred to in terms of Seven Rays. I will say more about these in future articles but for our purposes here it is enough to know that there are Seven Great Rays, within which our Universe aligns with just one, and then within our Universe there are Seven sub-rays2. Just as the sunlight contributes to the optimum conditions for Life on Earth to thrive so Divine energy, in the form of these Seven Rays working through planetary ‘lenses’, is contributing to the optimum conditions for the flowering of human consciousness.
Venus is the goddess of Love: the powerful energy of desire, which translates as romantic love, when filtered through a human mind! She rules both Libra and Taurus. In Libra she endows her subjects with a harmonizing aspect that manifests through the mind: in terms of conceptualizing or idealizing ideas of ethics, beauty, attractiveness and justice. Her work in Libra is more closely linked to harmony in the mental body5. In Taurus the loving energy of Venus has a more sensuous, earthy, influence. She works initially through the physical senses to eventually bring awareness of the bliss body5.
As Venus works through desire in Taurus, she seeks to awaken the senses. She awakens our sense perception through the physical senses of sight, sound, taste, touch and smell. This has the potential to open us to an experience of bliss, and awareness of the bliss body. Herein lies the danger of the Taurean path. If the individual is still centered in the ego-personality the tendency can be towards grasping at more external objects to feed the bliss experience: clinging to possessions of beauty, beautiful people, music, a beautiful body, and losing sight of the spiritual journey. This is a symptom of the lower mind externalizing the bliss experience and projecting it onto outer worldly objects.
The ego-mind uses logic in the extreme. If one chocolate made me feel good, then ten chocolates will make me feel ten times as good, right? Yet we all know this is not so: too much of a good thing leads to lethargy, dullness, weight gain and that uncomfortable (even painful) feeling of being over-full. Then we have the addiction effect: we begin to believe we need something outside of ourselves (the chocolate, new shoes or whatever our craved substance, possession, or person may be) to feel good. We begin clamoring for more of the ‘object’ that we believe will lead to more pleasure (bliss). This leads us to pursue ‘worldly concerns’ (objects outside of ourselves) and the sad part is that while doing so we are neglecting our inner spiritual path, which is the true path to inner peace, bliss, and beyond.
“Desire is the force of the form in nature;
will is the energy of the soul expressing itself as direction,
progress, and conformity to the [Divine] Plan”
In Patanjali’s description of the five energy bodies5 we can see that the bliss body is the closest to our ultimate spiritual goal of “Universal Mind” and so is considered a very powerful (and dangerous) path to enlightenment. Tantric practice is based on the transformation of blissful energy into the path. But this path is fraught with danger, in the form of being ‘seduced’ from our path and getting lost in the realm of sensory pleasures. It is for this very reason that sense pleasures are considered ‘sinful’ in so many spiritual traditions (the origin of the word sin means ‘to miss the mark’6). Without cast-iron will and discipline, forged in the furnaces of Vulcan, (and under the guidance of a qualified spiritual teacher) they are more likely to cause us to miss the mark, miss our spiritual purpose, and miss the point of our Life altogether. If we don’t have such will, we are better to steer well clear of this path.
When correctly focused and disciplined the path of bliss can lead to the higher octave of Taurus which brings spiritual illumination and the knowledge that bliss arises from within. It is not ‘caused’ by external objects but is part of our very own inner nature. Once Taurus has mastered the lower desire nature, through meditation, patient effort and discipline, she is open to receive the transformative energies of Vulcan. Whereas Venus brings the energy of desire and sensuality, Vulcan is more aligned with will. Divine Will in particular.
Once Venus has done her job of opening our senses to the presence of blissful energy within our physical form, it is Vulcan’s job to guide us in the correct use of that energy. The dangers of addiction and being ‘lost’ in the bliss would arrest our spiritual development and bring our journey to a premature end. The path is one of transcending all five energy bodies to arrive at our true nature and Universal Mind7. The energy of Vulcan brings the gift of steadfast willpower: that allows us to continue our spiritual path. Blow by blow, like Vulcan’s hammer, forging the personality into something that is useful for our Soul’s purpose. Driving us forward on the spiritual path, although there is always the danger that we could go either way. While the ruling planets may provide the conditions, how we react or respond to them is up to us.
The path of Taurus involves strong will, and strong choices, for desire has the habit of leading our attention outwards towards worldly concerns. It is part of the Soul’s journey through Taurus to learn to focus this energy inwards toward the spiritual path.
“One reaction produces the onward rush of the materialistic
systems of life, thought and desire, dashing blindly forward
in the force of their own momentum
and producing a stage of powerful expression and active movement;
the other demonstrates in a far vision of possibility
and a steady movement forward
in spite of the immediate dangers and difficulties…
The question is:
Will the Bull of desire or the Bull of illumined expression succeed?”
Vulcan is known as the blacksmith of the Gods. His job is to shape and fashion substance: forging physical matter from light in the heat of his furnace. Once the illumination in Taurus has been realized, it is also Vulcan’s job to then shape that energy into some tangible practical shape, in physical form, to fulfill Divine Will, or spiritual purpose.
One thing that happens to metal, once it is melted down in the blacksmiths forge, is that it can also be purified. In a liquid state anything that is not gold, for example, can be removed so that pure gold can be poured out and fashioned into shape. This alchemical function of Vulcan gives a clue to one of the deepest mysteries of Taurus: the opening of the third eye. There are many references in esoteric writing to the “Eye of Light”, the “Eye of the Bull”8 and even the consciousness of Buddha has been referred to as the “Diamond Eye”. In nature, natural diamonds form in conditions of high pressure, and high temperature, deep within the Earth. So we have the energy of Vulcan at work: transforming ordinary rock through fire and pressure into something which is pure, clear, and revealing: it illuminates by showing us the nature of light9. These higher octave properties of illumination and revelation are hinted at in the esoteric keynote for Taurus:
“I see and when the Eye is opened, all is light”
- The Tibetan2
Venus brings us the power of Love, and the potential for Higher Love, but if the Love of Venus is not to be degraded into worldly desire, we also need to pass through the fiery forges of Vulcan. This purification process transforms primordial love and desire, through Divine Will and revelation, into Higher Love, Compassion and Illumination.
As we discipline ourselves to eliminate the undesirable aspects of our lower ego-personality so we become aware of, and aligned with, our Soul. The Soul begins to take shape and becomes the true vehicle for the fulfillment of our spiritual purpose. We begin to realize, and know ourselves to be, a Soul. To recognize that our physical body is only one part of our Soul, and to recognize that all physical forms are manifestations of One Great Spirit.
Ruth Hadikin is a Soul Path Coach, Author and Soul Astrologer.
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- “Buddhist Astrology” by Jhampa Shaneman
- “Esoteric Astrology” the wisdom of The Tibetan (Master DK) as channeled by Alice Bailey.
- The term ‘rulership’ is not intended in the commonly held sense of ‘exerting force’ and ‘power over’ another. In this context, the meaning is closer to nurturing-custodianship, in the sense of providing those conditioning factors necessary for Divine seeds to ripen, grow and flourish.
- “Soul Centered Astrology: A Key To Your Expanding Self” by Alan Oken
- See the bliss body and Patanjali’s ‘five bodies’ in my previous article “Mars, Mercury and the Inner Journey of Aries”
- The English word sin is a translation of the Greek word harmartia which literally means to miss the mark. This phrase in itself is interesting in terms of the path of Taurus, because in archery to miss the mark means to miss the bullseye or the Eye of the Bull.
- Five, seven or twelve energy ‘bodies’, depending upon your school, tradition, and/or level of study. The anatomy of the Human Energy Field has been described through many different schools, too numerous to mention here. For example in the Tibetan tradition five major chakras are commonly identified and in the Vedic tradition there are seven. The differences in emphasis are due to different spiritual paths, and taking account of our varying levels of understanding and awareness. For example to a five-year old you might describe your hand as having a palm, four fingers and a thumb; but to a medical student you would probably include skin, bone, muscle, ligaments, fascia; hormonal, endocrine, lymphatic, immune, nervous and circulatory systems, and then explain how they all relate to one another to create a functional whole.
- “Esoteric Psychology, Vol I” The wisdom of The Tibetan (Master DK) as channeled through Alice Bailey.
- A diamond can show us the nature of light by revealing it’s many rainbow colors.