April 20 – May 20
You just can’t remove the sheen of the good earth on him.
From the book “Astrology for Lovers” written by Liz Green.
Ferdinand the Bull, in the famous children’s story, is a lovable creature. He amuses himself by smelling the flowers, listening to the birdsong, enjoying the summer breezes. He doesn’t do very much, our Ferdinand; but he’s easily contented, and at home in his pasture. Then one day he sits on a flower, and on the flower is a bee… Well, you can work out the rest. Ferdinand the Bull is a perfect Taurean. And the story of many Taureans’ lives run along those lines – the contentment of the field and the flowers; but there is always that damned bee.
Taurus, the Bull, is ruled by the planet Venus. In mythology, Venus is the goddess of love and beauty. She’s also the most indolent of all the Olympian deities, preferring her considerable pleasures to the nuisance of hard work. All this describes very nicely one side of the Taurean nature. A few words encapsulate it. Peace, serenity, pleasure, calm, stability, placidity. The famous patience of the Bull isn’t so much patience built upon discipline and cynicism, as is Capricorn’s. It’s the patience of nature, of the earth itself, serene and living each day for the pleasures it holds, while tomorrow – so long as it can be guaranteed that tomorrow will be the same as today – is forgotten.
There are other sides to Taurus, of course. In a sense, you can place Taureans at one of two phases in their lives: before and after that most dreaded aspect of life to Taurus, the thing that goes innately against the grain – change.
Among the traditional associations to Taurus is the realm of material stability and security. And there’s no doubt about it, Taurus likes his security in tangible, unchangeable forms – like gold bullion, or valuable antique furniture, or a really superb Ferrari. Abstract wealth, tied up in investments, or wealth of a non-corporal kind (like knowledge, self-understanding, friends, and other less graspable commodities) is not really wealth to a Taurus. Security is what you can trust. What you can trust is what doesn’t change, corrode, leave you, disappear, or depend upon others for its value. Once he has it, he can relax. Often he relaxes so much that he barely moves again.
There’s another aspect to this security-building impulse in Taurus. This has to do with Taurus’ way of looking at life. When we discuss the element of earth in general, we mentioned that it had to do with dealing with reality – concrete, tangible reality. Taurus, the first of the earthy signs, excels at this ‘realistic’ viewpoint. Taurus is never foolishly idealistic. Never naïve about the requirements and demands of ordinary life. A true Taurus always has one eye cocked toward how he can sustain and preserve himself in life. He’s always realistic in his goals, always setting them where he can fulfill them. Taken by itself, Taurus isn’t an ambitious sign. He can quite happily remain the unseen power behind the scenes: the investor, the accountant, the one who keeps the business running without getting the public laurels. Taurus is realistic enough to know that you can’t eat laurels, and they won’t fix a leaky roof.
The other side of the coin with this great realism is that Taurus often misses what’s not visible to his earthy eye. He values simplicity and basic facts; but many aspects of life are neither simple nor reducible to formulae. We might call this the Boring Pragmatist syndrome. He’s boring largely because, if he can’t hold it in the palm of his hand, he has nothing to say about the matter, let alone any appreciation for its nuances. Never mind all those hyacinths for the soul. A scenario might run like this:
FRIEND TO TAURUS: I have the most wonderful idea. You know that novel I was working on? Well, I thought it might go really well as a film script. All the battle scenes staged at night, with torchlight and bonfires and stuff…really dramatic! And the fifteenth-century costumes…
TAURUS: I can’t understand why you’re bothering with that stuff. It isn’t making you any money.
FRIEND: Well, not yet. But if I’ lucky, I can get some help from this friend who…
TAURUS: You’ll never get into the film business. It’s too competitive. It’s dead. I don’t see why you’re wasting so much energy on it.
FRIEND: It’s not dead. It has all kinds of symbolic significance today….
TAURUS: Symbolic? What are you talking about? Something’s dead or it’s not. I don’t understand what you’re talking about. Why don’t you train at something that can make you a little money?
This scenario has several different versions. It can apply, as here, to the complete lack of understanding of the symbolic, the romantic, the dramatic. Taurus likes his meat and potatoes plain, without sauce. They must, of course, be of the absolutely best quality; but he doesn’t appreciate frills. He also doesn’t appreciate possibilities. For something to be real to Taurus, it must be more than possible. It must be definite.
Other versions to this scenario occur in all areas where the physical reality of something isn’t immediately apparent. Many Taureans are notorious skeptics of anything they consider ‘mystical’ – like astrology, for example. I’ve noticed over a decade of teaching that fewer Taureans enroll in my courses than any other sign. There are also very few Leos. For the latter, of course, it’s probably that they would rather be teaching themselves; and also, Leo doesn’t like to learn from anybody else. But Taurus will be terribly cautious about something like astrology unless he can be shown, definitively and scientifically that it works. And not once but several times, in case the first time was a fluke. I once had a Taurus client who, although he was quite ruffled and impressed by his horoscope reading, doubted that I could repeat such a performance. He wasn’t prepared to accept that the chart worked; he thought (which seemed an even wilder interpretation) that I had somehow acquired my information psychically or telepathically. He asked if he might sit in on several other chart readings for some of his friends. Because he was a Taurus, and I knew there was no other way, I conceded. After about fifteen such sessions he begrudgingly admitted that there must be something to it. And like a good Taurus, once a change of attitude has taken hold of him, he swung into action. Not content with merely accepting it, he decided to learn it. He learned in the way Taureans do when they have finally got moving: obsessively. Now he’s a practicing astrologer.
This pragmatism about things which might be foggy, woolly, charlatan, or false, works to Taurus’ advantage as well. It keeps him out of mischief, and helps him to establish the absolute reliability of anything he allows into his life. This applies to relationships as well. Taurus is the kind of person who prefers to know a lot about you, to ‘check your references’ in a bizarre sort of way, before he makes any commitment. After all, that’s the sensible, realistic thing to do. Although he has a sentimental, gentle, romantic streak, it’s backed up by healthy cynicism. In the midst of the bouquets of roses, he might quietly have a peek at your bank balance and inquire about your family. It’s not that he expects you to provide the riches for him. He just likes to know that everything is stable, secure and reliable. Including you.
Let’s consider the famous sensuality of Taurus. The true Taurean is an undeniably sensuous creature. This means not only in the sexual realm, but in anything that pleases the senses. Colour: Taurus often has a real flair for design, for colour, perhaps for painting or photography. Sound: Taurus is well-known for its love of music, and many Taureans have become famous singers (like Barbra Streisand) or composers (like Tchaikovsky). Touch: this means not only responsiveness to physical touch, but a love of texture. Silk, velvet, satin, fur. Yes, of course, it costs money, but Taurus isn’t interested in anything cheap. Taste: well, that can be a problem. Love of good food leads many a Taurean into weight problems. Lots of Taureans have a sleek well-fed look – not floppy fat, but solid flesh, the sign of the person who eats not only what tastes good but is also good quality. Perhaps a little too much good quality. Your Taurus friend is bound to know all the best restaurants – not the fashionable ones, necessarily (that’s where the Geminis and Sagittarians go) but the really reliable ones with excellent food. Smell: Taureans are terribly sensitive to smell, and usually have a great affinity for luxurious scents to various kinds. From flowers to priceless perfume, Taurus likes to surround himself with good smells. Often the senses of the Taurus are so acute and intense that he finds it unbearable to be around anything that looks, smells, or feels sordid or cheap or ugly. Taurus has a strong instinct for harmony.
Taste is another quality often to be found in Taurus. Taurus’ tastes tend toward the conventional, rather than the startling; if you want shocking taste, try the fire signs, or perhaps the air signs. Earth, being more realistic and conscious of the demands of society, tends toward things of good quality which are not likely to suddenly go out of style in six months. Taurus is not a ‘fad’ person. But within the confines of his more solid, almost bourgeois palate, his taste is usually impeccable. Never obtrusive. Maybe a really good car, like a Bentley or a Rolls Royce (never something as flashy and unreliable as a Lamborghini, which always has to be in the shop to be tuned). Something reliable that speaks not fashion, but solid wealth. Taurus has strong roots in tradition. And often there’s a love of the old and the antique – antique furniture, antique lace, antique shawls and jewelry, old masters’ paintings. Solid, ageless, valuable.
With Taurus’ love of beauty, he’s bound to create an environment that has as much beauty and pleasing atmosphere as possible. On the other hand, he’s often so occupied with physical beauty that he may miss what lies underneath. Taurus is the original sucker for a pretty face; he can value beauty so much, in objects and people, that he overlooks and underestimates qualities such as perceptiveness, wit, intelligence, and character. It isn’t that difficult to fool a Taurean if you are beautiful. Sad to say, many Taureans are hopelessly ensnared by appearances. It’s one of their great failings.
Taurus is also a collector. Of objects, money, and people. What he collects must have value to him. He will treasure it, take care of it, shower attention on it, and hang on with both tough fists tightly encircling it. This is why Taurus is often the partner people seek when they seek the real security of a stable, unchanging relationship. No matter what happens or what you do, Taurus will stand by you. He may not always understand your motives, but he’ll remain loyal regardless.
The collecting instinct of Taurus can get out of hand. He may collect for the sake of collecting, which is fine for objects – they don’t seem to mind – but very disturbing if you are a person. Sometimes it takes some rude shocks and a few quarrels to convince a Taurus that you have your own individuality and your own private inner life. You have to tell him. He can’t telepath, and often miss subtle signs. And he has a hell of a time trying to disentangle motives.
Because the gods seem to resent complacency, there is usually a bee in the flowers. It seems to be a necessary part of the life pattern. Often the Taurus himself courts this bee without realizing it, unconsciously setting up a situation where he is shocked while thinking it happened by chance or was someone else’s fault. But without the sting, he remains charming and childlike. Many adult Taureans are so childlike that it’s astonishing. Life is terribly simple to them, black and white, with no shades of grey in between. They have it all worked out, logically, systematically, and simply. Good people are good and go to heaven; bad people are bad and go to hell. Childlike and trusting. What the bee offers is a capacity to take this precious childlike simplicity and combine it with a little earthly realism. It’s a lovely combination, once achieved. For you have a person who not only knows the realities of life and can deal with them, but who can also live happily and contentedly in the moment, capable of abandoning himself to his pleasures in the wholehearted way that children have before it’s pounded out of them. Remember the goddess Venus. She is, in many ways, the eternal child.
The Taurus Lover
Let’s deal first with the obvious. Taurus is a very physical sign. It’s a rare Taurean that doesn’t possess a strong, intense desiring nature. Taurus is sensual, loves beauty, and can be entirely sybaritic. This is not the sign for the ascetic, unless you want one hell of a religious fanatic instead.
For many Taureans, the sexual side of a relationship is the thing which takes top priority. Where there’s good sex, there the Taurus remains. It would be a mistake to assign any particular morality to Taurus; it depends on his personal viewpoint, his generation, and his private values. If he chooses to be faithful, he’s very faithful. If he doesn’t, he’ll happily pursue his sensual pleasures on the side, getting enormous satisfaction from them, yet never allowing them to interfere with the stability of a marriage. Remember that stability is really important to Taurus. So, of course, is satisfaction. The way to keep a Taurus in a relationship is not to play sexual games of now-you-can-have-me, now-you-can’t. He’ll just find something more available.
Taurus, being Venus-ruled, has a sense of the romantic. It isn’t stylishly romantic like Libra, or slightly dissipated like Pisces, or intense and shady like Scorpio. It’s good old storybook romanticism, because Taurus has a conventional streak. The old-time honoured rituals and way work best. A true Taurean keeps promises, doesn’t promise unless he’s sure, and isn’t sure until he’s checked all the facts on the situation. No, that isn’t very romantic. But his romanticism, heavy-handed though it sometimes is, is genuine. He really believes in engagement rings and white wedding dresses. They’re concrete representations of his feelings. Taurus is apt to give gifts, to demonstrate emotion. This can be both flattering and difficult, because often emotion doesn’t come easily to his fixed, cautious nature.
Because he’s very conscious of stability, it’s a rare Taurean that flies in and out of relationships. He may fly in and out of sexual encounters, but ‘relationship’ to him has a heavy sound. Often his sense of responsibility, coupled with his need for security, will keep him in a relationship which has long since lost its charm. In this case he’ll very likely find the charm elsewhere, so long as it doesn’t rock the foundation of the secure home. And Taurus can be maddening in his simplicity. Relationship means you’re physically present. It’s difficult to talk about deeper nuances with a Taurus. You must be literal, because Taurus often has trouble with inferences. He’s likely to believe what you say, and be equally blunt himself. When you talk about things like unconscious hostility and emotional blackmail and other undercurrent stuff that a Scorpio would take like a duck to water, Taurus will often turn his head away in disgust. What are you talking about? Show him. Put it in the palm of his hand. Often he won’t look at the forces building up underneath that so often wreck the best relationships, simply because his vision is tied to what is in the shop window.
Taurus can be poignantly gentle, tender and affectionate. Because it’s a very physical sign, most Taureans need tactile expression of love. Once again, this can either be flattering and nourishing, or it can be suffocating. You may have heard about the famous possessiveness. Taurus is indeed a possessive sign, though for different reasons from Scorpio, also notorious for his jealousy. Taurus possesses, which means that like treasured paintings, the valuable antiques, the rare old books, you’re his (or hers) and that’s that. Taurus will often demonstrate this in public by physical gestures of the property-ownership variety. It depends upon your taste. Taurus is not the sign to get involved with if you like detachment and open relationships, not if he’s in love.
It takes a lot to goad the Taurus in anger. The endless patience and easygoing calm in this sign are a blessing and a relief to anybody who seeks tranquility and peace in a relationship. On the other hand, push him too far, and you have the proverbial angry bull. And once he’s angry, Taurus can be physically violent. He’s rarely subtle enough to deliver verbal bites like Virgo and Gemini, or manipulate poisonous atmosphere like Scorpio. His language is simple: smash the china, or punch you in the face.
One way to observe the violence is to flaunt your freedom from him. Once an agreement has been made, it’s a sure way to anger Taurus. Another is to threaten his material security. Taurus women, in divorce or separation, are apt to hang on to the house, the car, the furniture and the bank account with teeth bared and fingernails poised for the attack. Take away his possessions, his stability, and you have a very angry – and a very insecure – bull.
For loyalty and steadfastness, no one beats a Taurus. For calmness verging on complacency, too, no one beats a Taurus. Like all sign combinations, matches for Taurus depend upon your personal taste. Taurus is often attracted to fiery temperaments, who possess the daring, childlike abandon, gambling instincts, love of danger, imagination and rashness that he himself doesn’t dare express. Taurus needs fire to warm him, loosen him, show him that other dimensions of reality exist. He needs fire for faith in life, since his own faith is largely built on what’s in the bank. He also needs fire for creative inspiration, as a muse. And the more volatile temperaments, the gypsies and the wanderers, the visionaries and the prophets, need Taurus, because like the earth he supports and sustains, protects and cherishes, and because his strength in coping with the ordinary problems of life is endless. And because, unlike more complicated signs, he simply wants to be happy; and happiness for him is not so difficult to find. And his simplicity and love of the natural make it a little easier for others to find too.
The Taurus Man
The bull is an extremely masculine animal. Although Taurus is considered to be a feminine sign, the male version doesn’t much display femininity – unless you consider as feminine the qualities of gentleness, sensuousness, and love of beauty. But Taurus tends to run a little macho in many men – largely because it’s so physical, and also because Taurus is a sign that’s very sensitive to the collective roles which society offers. So the Taurus man is apt to collect the accoutrements of what society considers masculine, from clothes to stance to his possessiveness of his woman.
Many of the characters in romantic historical fiction appear to be Taureans. The strong, silent hero – a sort of cross between Clint Eastwood and Hercules – is a Taurean figure. He’s usually terribly handsome (and Taurus usually is – if not in the conventional, regular-featured way, then in a pleasing, earthy, sensual quality) and also beautifully dressed. That last is one of Taurus men’s frequent traits: sometimes known as vanity, other times known as good taste. Taurus likes elegance, and many Taurus men – although not necessarily ‘foppish’ – spend an awfully long time with hair, shoes, fingernails, aftershave. These are all physical pleasures, signs of physical beauty and physical style. It’s a rare Taurus man who hasn’t got that streak of vanity tucked away somewhere. After all, Venus rules them – and Venus was perpetually before her mirror.
The powerful passions are another fictional hero’s trait apparent in many Taurean men. If you like strong sensuality, Taurus possesses it in abundance. Many Taurus men also pride themselves on their sexual prowess; physical love, like physical beauty, is important to them, and not something to be either hurried or done badly.
On the other hand, you may not like strong, silent heroes. You may like a lot of chatter now and again, or a little ambiguity. In that case stay away from Taurus. He’s not good at games. And even when you find him in the worst possible situation, somehow he seems wholesome. You just can’t remove that sheen of the good earth itself from him. D.H. Lawrence ‘natural man’ (you can find him in Lady Chatterley’s Lover and other novels), must have been a Taurus. The explicit sexuality, the complete absence of embarrassment over any aspect of the human body, are typically Taurus.
You may, however, like a little more flair, or something a little shadier. Try a Libran, a Scorpio or a Pisces. Taurus men can be infuriatingly simple. When they don’t wish to understand something, they block it out. They tell you you’re being unreasonable, irrational or silly. And they patronize. This is one of the more irritating qualities about the Taurean man: he can be smug. Because he’s not easily ruffled himself, he often has contempt or a blank response to someone else’s anxiety, fear or nervousness. Then you get the pat on the head and the suggestion to take an aspirin and get a good night’s sleep. Or a good night in alternative ways, a great cure-all in Taurus’ health handbook.
When you’re a mess, he can be a rock of strength and calmness. On the other hand, he probably won’t understand your mess, so don’t bother attempting to explain it unless you can explain it simply. He has no patience for ‘female hysterics’. Everything should have a simple solution. Some things unfortunately have no solution. In these cases Taurus refuses to see the dilemma.
And be careful not to betray him. Expecting understanding for convoluted games gets you nowhere. Taurus is terribly vulnerable where his more romantic feelings are concerned; if he’s invested in you with his romantic ideal, he will simply be wounded and bewildered if you give double messages. It’s possible to string a Taurus along for a long time, because he tends to love with fixity; but once you’ve pushed too far, he’s equally capable of throwing you and all your belongings out of the house and never speaking to you again. Fixed is fixed, in love or hate. And Taurus isn’t terribly good at forgiving. Forgetting, perhaps, or simply not discussing. But forgiving, no. He’ll remember, for a long, long time.
You also may have heard of the famous laziness of the Taurus male. Yes, it’s true. Taurus can be incredibly, overwhelmingly indolent. His idea of relaxation may be a can of beer in front of the TV watching Match of the Day, while you have more glamorous things in mind. He also has a tendency to sit with feet up on the table waiting for dinner to be served: not an attitude calculated to win the heart of the feminist. He loves being spoiled, and often takes it as his due. It depends once again, on your taste. Remember that, no matter how lurid his past or iconoclastic his views, deep down he’s conventional, and probably will always have a touch of the male chauvinist about him. But that isn’t really so bad, if you remember that it’s nice to have an identifiably male male around. Taurus men have a way of making women feel very female. Who can complain?
The Taurus Woman
As the bull is a supremely masculine creature, the cow is supremely female. Sometimes, in modern usage, cowlike is considered to mean dull, slow, boring. But the Greeks saw the cow differently; they named the goddess of love and desire, Venus, the Cow-Eyed. And the Egyptians also had a cow-goddess, Hathor, a symbol of the fertility of the earth and of woman. The female Taurus is often the epitome of the instinctual feminine – the dream-image of many men, and with all the softness, strength, wisdom, patience and passion of her goddess antecedents.
There seem to be two distinct types of Taurus woman. The first is the real Venusian Taurus. These are the lovely ones, with perfect complexions, surrounded by beautiful scent, dressed in sensuous, expensive clothes. Janet Reger probably does a thriving business in glamorous pure silk, underclothes for the Taurus women of this world. Pampered, indolent, sensuous, and very concerned both with their own attractiveness and their capacity to please a man, they owe a lot to the old temple priestesses in the days when the power of the earth goddess represented the power of life itself. This kind of Taurus woman is the ideal feminine for men. Her problem is that she often doesn’t do much, or think much, of anything else.
The Venus Taurean woman is devoted, and usually loyal – provided you give her security, and take care of her, and pamper her. She will offer everything of herself, and her tenacity and faithfulness is admirable. Sometimes it’s too admirable; try to release yourself from a relationship with a Taurean woman like this, and you have to be either very callous or give up, since she’ll hang on with that incredible Taurean tenacity until you give up and come back out of sheer exhaustion. Taurus women can wait; and they often do wait, and wait, and wait, for the commitment or the promise. As we mentioned earlier, Taurus is attracted to fire. Many Taurus women are fascinated by the fiery types – unfortunately, the least reliable of all the men of the zodiac. They love glamour and success and a little dash, a little fleet-of-foot unpredictability. They themselves are willing and ready to play earth mother. Be sure you want an earth mother. Flirtatious at the beginning, Taurus settles into stability very easily and quickly. The benefits of the care and love of a Taurus woman are inestimable. If you prize your freedom, however, try another sign, like Gemini or Aquarius.
The other type of Taurus woman is the ‘natural’ type. She is still an earth-mother and her qualities of devotion, gentleness, steadfastness and strength are as much present here, perhaps more so. But these are the women who eschew make-up, eat healthily, live in the country, despise cigarette smoke, and want to go back to the old ways of life. If you have that secret fantasy of the cottage in the country covered with climbing roses with your own horse stabled in the field behind, and the lovely smell of fresh-baked bread wafting out from the kitchen, this kind of Taurus woman is for you. Be careful, though, if you get fidgety easily. If you like to travel, give her at least three months’ notice. And don’t, for God’s sake, change plans at the last minute.
Taurus women are often very literal. That is, they believe what you say, and hold you to it the next day. If you’re one of those people who change their mind a lot, be careful. Taurus is capable at hurling at you, ‘But you said you loved me.’ ‘But that was a year ago,’ you reply. So what?’ retorts Taurus. ‘You promised.’ And so it goes. If you promise, mean it. She simply doesn’t understand, otherwise. And you get cast in the role of the bastard.
No matter what the Taurus woman goes through – from expensive call-girl to business manager – there is an innate naïveté and wholesomeness, a naturalness, that experience doesn’t seem to be able to quench. Even the Taurus woman, whose practical abilities and business acumen and persistence have led her to build a career for herself in the world, possesses this naïveté. Simplicity is perhaps a kinder word. It can be both – charming ingenuousness or infuriating literalness. But the great gift of the Taurus woman is her ability to keep things within the realm of common sense, whether it’s in a domestic environment or at a job. Her eye for the realistic, the stable, the reliable, is inerringly accurate. She’s a poor judge of people, because people are more complex and have layers. Her eye for facts of a tangible kind is fantastically accurate. And her common sense is a wonderful elixir for the jaded visionary who has seen so many possibilities, and dissipated so many talents, that he can’t see the point any longer. Taurus brings things down to earth. And because it’s a gentle sign, it’s likely to be a soft landing.
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