The Archetype of Taurus
by Jef Bartow
Quite fittingly, the Archetype of Taurus follows the new beginnings and search for a separate identity in Aries. What Aries somewhat impulsively initiates and many times in a scattered way, Taurus brings to earth with purposeful determination and power. As Aries breaks from the past, Taurus focuses to bring about some sense of stability and constancy. Taurus also brings about a "methodical and practical shaping" of Aries impulses. In many parts of the world, once the frozen earth thaws and begins to bring new life to the surface in Aries, the time for cultivation of the soil and other earthly activities takes place in the full springtime of Taurus. Mythologically, the Roman goddess Venus, the ruler of Taurus, is also the Greek goddess Aphrodite. "Venus was originally a goddess connected with agriculture, but when she was identified with Aphrodite she took on a more active and different role in mythology." As the most beautiful of goddesses, Aphrodite was considered the goddess of love and beauty. As the daughter of Jupiter, she had three children by Ares (god of war), who is the Greek version of Mars. Her divine duty is to "make love and inspire others to do so also." She is also connected with "affection that sustains social life." It is further said that Cupid, the god of love, was the son of Aphrodite. Cupid was always in close company of Aphrodite. Taurus is also associated with "earth goddesses." The earth God is the one who is "closest to the lives of villagers and is amongst the most frequently seen on the altars of the common people." As the lowest ranking celestial deity, he is the "protector of the well-being of both town and country dwellers. He has control over the wealth and fortune of the people." Surprisingly, the earth God is "almost universally thought to be an impersonal spirit." Both these gods and goddesses serve to identify key aspects of the archetype of Taurus, weather in conditioning our personality, helping us to individuate a spiritual Self or and fully living a spiritual life. So as before, let's begin in how the archetype of Taurus conditions us personally.
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The influence of the feminine from Venus and Aphrodite endows a sincere appreciation of form and beauty that can be externalized as strong sensuality. In a search for "forms of secure existence," Taurus makes us reliable, loyal, trustworthy and compassionate. On the other hand, this can be expressed as a tendency for possessiveness, jealousy and extravagance. The fixity of Taurus further conditions us toward prudence, "keeping to the known and passivity" and a "lack of flexibility in thought and outlook in life." The steadfastness of Taurus can also be seen as a strong, quiet and deliberate approach to life which can become stubborn and lazy if left unchecked.
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Practical ways of applying the energy of Taurus is to find time to nurture the "inner child" within; to create a balance point between practical work efforts and working on one's own growth through letting others carry the load also. It is also by expressing our innate divine urge for beauty and synthesis which brings about a "free expression of the hidden mysteries found at the heart of all forms."
Living a Spiritual Life through the Will-to-Good
I believe it's fairly easy to understand how the archetype of Taurus helps individuate the spiritual Self through a reorientation of what is of value and meaning in life. The process and efforts described above all help release us from a materialistic desire-oriented pursuit of wealth and possessions. The transforming application of focused will and creative potency opens us to the Will-to-good which is the embodiment of transcendent Will. This Will characterized by divine revelation and illumination becomes the scepter for transmuting dense matter within ourselves and our environment. By applying this directed spiritual Will energy, we become the true white magician and true healer of ourselves and others. Through a usually long and painful process, we become the Wise Old Man or a modern Buddha. For many, we become what is now a popularly termed an avatar. But this avatar is not channeling some distant Being, it is fully expressing our own internal divine nature.
Individuating the Self
The overriding theme regarding Taurus is illumination. In a driving urge to liberate oneself from the attachment to matter, spiritual work with Taurus is an active transmutation of material desire into aspiration and spiritual Will. This is best accomplished through focusing of will in refining of all form and expression. Applying the great artistic and creative potency of Taurus helps fulfill the "divine urge for beauty and synthesis" that signifies the Taurus archetype. Applied transforming will brings about illumination in many forms and also reveals the underlying synthesis in all manifestation. The eye of the bull becomes the eye of revelation and illumination. By using this illumination as an "intensifying of light" in removing all obstacles to the material expression of Spirit, we attain enlightenment and a resolute aspiration which becomes our "will-to-liberation."
The archetypical energy of Taurus is definitely associated with will. At the material level, this means instilling a strong willpower and great tenacity in building and accumulating wealth and material possessions. This will-to-power expresses as all forms of desire. This desire can also be considered our powers of fertility, strength and endurance. Positive expressions of this will include determination, persistence and perseverance. This results in a careful attention to detail which has been termed "determined practicality."