The overarching principle in AstroMythology can be described by the ancient saying “As Above, So Below.” In the realm of astrology this statement indicates that the traits possessed by the ruler of a particular astrological sign are shared by all those born under that sign. So, those born under the sign of Taurus (April 20 – May 21) share the same essential nature as their ruler, Venus. For the ancients, Venus, whom the Greeks called Aphrodite (meaning “foam born”), is the goddess of erotic love, beauty and harmony.
It is not unusual to find more than one story describing a mythological event and this is true for the birth of Venus. Homer tells us that Aphrodite was the child of Zeus and the Titan, Dione. Dione’s name is the feminine version of Zeus (Dios) and she ruled the oracle at Dodona with him.
Does this tale suggest that the result of the union of that which is equal but opposite is beautiful and harmonious?
In Hesiod’s version Gaia (the Earth), the wife of Uranus (the Heavens), was tired of her husband’s amorous attentions and his refusal to allow their children to be born. So Gaia plotted with her son Cronus (while he was still within her body) who castrated his father during a conjugal visit. This violent act ended Uranus’ dominance (i.e. he lost his virility or power) and allowed the birth of a balancing third force (his children) that stabilized the relationship between the struggling opposites (the parents: Heaven and Earth). Venus is said to have been born from the foam created by the splash of Uranus’ severed genitals plummeting into the sea.
Does Hesiod’s version suggest that Venus / Aphrodite embodies the beauty, balance and pleasure that is the result of the union of desire and feeling (i.e. water)?
The domain of Venus includes all things valuable, beautiful and pleasurable. The cultivation of social harmony, the arts and sensual delights are all within her sphere of influence. Venus’ relationships illustrate this principle. Hephaestus (called Vulcan by the Romans), the master craftsman of the gods, is married to Venus, and as her husband he provides Venus with the finest objects the material world has to offer. Venus also has a lover, the ultra-masculine god of war, Mars. This liaison represents a pinnacle of sensual pleasure, a heavenly union of opposites. These details suggest that the possession of valuable material objects and the pursuit of pleasure are of fundamental interest to Taurus people.
Venus is said to rule both Taurus and Libra. Taureans tend to focus on personal comfort and self-gratification while Librans focus on harmonious social exchange. Both Taurus and Libra people share a laissez-faire outlook. When allowed its full range of expression, this outlook supports a relaxed sampling of life’s joys but can also lead to a kind of moral laxness where exertion is felt to interfere with fun. Some feel that the Venus principle is intrinsically selfish – but in truth Taurus people are designed by fate to desire and cherish all things that have genuine worth. Even the planet Venus echoes this principle more than any other planet in our solar system. Venus receives the Sun’s life-giving energy and keeps it within its steamy atmosphere; and though Venus is further from the Sun than Mercury, it is hotter.
Taurus is a fixed sign (like Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius) and Taureans feel most at ease maintaining the status quo. Generally speaking, they do not seek new sources of gratification like those born under the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn) nor do they try to alter the conventional in order to create tailor-made enjoyments as do the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces). Taureans try to position themselves in situations that allow them to receive satisfaction. And though they tend toward passivity, they can be surprisingly active in the effort to preserve sources of pleasure.
The Taurean desire to possess things of beauty and to experience pleasure is the same force that supports the fine arts, music and institutions that amass wealth. Taurus concerns include the conservation of the natural world and Taurus people often champion environmental causes. They also support organizations that maintain the material expression of cultural achievement and they uphold those beliefs that have a practical impact. Without the Taurean impulse museums that protect and display the treasures of the Pharaohs and the paintings of the Renaissance would not exist and the works of Beethoven and Mozart would no longer be performed. Taurus people are the curators of the Zodiac! They maintain inner standards for the real value of material things.
The astrological symbol for Taurus is the Bull, an apt choice for the sign. In the Mediterranean region the bull was the largest land animal and the quintessential specimen of physicality (materiality). Its behavior reveals a placid comfort in bucolic surroundings, punctuated by a marked interest in food and sex, and a dangerous and stolid aggression when vexed. All of these traits are typical for people born under the sign of Taurus. But Taureans also possess a quiet depth and appreciation for excellence that can barely be comprehended by other signs. They recognize, collect and maintain that which is of exceptional quality, and they do this without fanfare.