Taurus, the Bull
O shining being, become brightness!
Sidereal dates: May 15-June 14 Tropical dates: April 21-May 20
Color: orange Element: Earth Sound: R
Taurus is an earth sign, signifying the power of cosmic forces now grounded on the earth.
Its color is orange, a color that bears both red (Aries) and yellow (Gemini) forces. The orange of Taurus is bold and generous, expansive and active. It creates vigor, movement and vitality.
Whereas Aries forces have created our head, Taurus forces have created the throat, and, most notably, the larynx. Aries is the cosmic word: Taurus is the word that has been entrusted to humanity, our capacity to speak about the world and to speak about our inner selves. Along with this, it represents all of the body forces below the head that are engaged in movement and activity. In short, Taurus has gifted us our human will.
This is the eurythmy gesture for Taurus. Scroll down to find the link for the video showing how to create the gesture and the sound.
Taurus as a spiritual force
In the deepest past, before time, before space, there was only the Creator, pure being.
All beings that developed in time were included in the first Creator being. This includes seraphim and cherubim, archangels and angels, planetary beings and elemental beings, and all other beings who would develop in the course of evolution.
The human being is still an immature being, from the cosmic perspective. For a long time, we lived in the womb of the hierarchies, as their soul. As evolution proceeded, humans began to awaken, to grow, to become spiritually independent. We are still in our infancy: we have been given the possibility of evolving to become fully aware, divine beings even here in this world of matter. The next steps are up to us.
As humans evolved, there were four great cosmic archetypes that guided our destiny. These are represented in the zodiac by four special zodiac signs, the so-called “fixed signs” that are the center points of the spring, summer, autumn and winter constellations. These are known as the “four beasts”: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. These have provided the archetypes for four primary qualities of the human being.
Taurus, the bull, is the second sign in the zodiacal circle is Taurus. Long ago, when the spring equinox stood in Taurus, the Egyptian-Chaldean culture was in its ascendency. The initiate teachers who guided humanity’s spiritual development prodded people’s development by presenting them with the image of the Sphinx. This magnificent being presented them with the question: “what is the difference between the human being and the animals?” Thus there arose the image of the Sphinx. This was the true image of the human being at the beginning of the age of Taurus: the beautiful beast with the Angel-like countenance, the wings of the eagle, the body of the lion. The Sphinx asks silently: what part of you is human? What is winged? What is beast?
The archetypes for the human soul was imprinted in the so-called “four beasts” of the zodiac.
Through Taurus, we receive our capacity for Willing.
Through Leo, the capacity for Feeling.
Through Scorpio, the capacity for Thinking.
And through Aquarius, the harmonious interweaving of the three, which lead us to our true humanity.
Taurus is the sign that engages us to respond to the world we meet through the senses.
Our Taurean will manifests in our digestion, in our limb activity, and in our speech.
This was the riddle of the Sphinx: how are we related to the animals, and how are we different?
This was the key task of the Egyptian-Chaldean epoch: how can we develop the right relationship to the enchanting, entrancing, glittering world of appearance, the sensory world around us? Likewise, how can we move and act in this world of matter?
The hallmark of the astral body it that it can move. In sensing, it moves towards things, into them, around them. In action, it enables us to reach into the world through our limbs and our metabolism.
And, most importantly, it enables us to be active in our throats by producing speech.
Even as Aries rules the human head, Taurus rules the throat, the larynx, and our capacity to speak. That which we hold quiet in the stately head as it rests on our shoulders is freed for activity from the neck downwards. There we find the organs of breathing, and the organs of digestion and movement. Great activity rules in the lower body, and we fulfill our earthly destinies through action.
Taurus as the ruler of speech
In speaking to eurythmists, Rudolf Steiner described the larynx as the “head of the lower body.” The elaborately formed cartilage and muscles of the larynx stop the flow of air from its normal course when we speak. Instead, these muscles sculpt and shape the air into the magnificent micro-movements that create all the different sounds of language. Into these shapes, we send the warmth of our heart with our exhaled air, and the thoughts of our minds with the meaning we impress on our shapes. Truly, the act of speaking creates an entire microcosmic world of activity, a universe of action no less significant than the actions we undertake with our limbs!
This is Taurus activity: the forces of the still head are freed, downwards, and the will is engaged. Through the element of air, movement ensues in the metabolism and in the limbs. We become earth citizens!
Thus, Taurus is both the creator of our Will, manifesting in Deeds, and also specifically of our Speech.
In our speaking, the forces of movement rise again from the lower body, and control the fine muscles and structure of the larynx. Onto the exhaled air, we imprint the formative forces that have made the world and made us, the inner zodiac that we carry within us.
The sound of Taurus: R
R is the sound that is attributed to Taurus. It is the sound of air, freed into movement. With R, we experience how the breath of the Creator lives in the element of air as it permeates the world and creates dynamic and changing relationships. Its movement turns things inside out and upside down, causing reversals and inversions. Nothing can withstand its dynamic force; neither that which is fiery or fluid, nor even that which is hardened and brittle.
R is an irresistible yellow wind that surrounds the glowing red of fire. Through R, we are released from the old of winter, and prepared for the new. R lifts us out of sedentary states and sweeps us along, as the wind tosses tumbleweed or whips through the trees. We are filled with the vibrant joy of movement.
We create the archetypal movement of the R in eurythmy by circling our arms with free, “yellow” energy in circles, which seemingly could go on and on forever.
Click on the link to see the video: Taurus and the sound R
The deep mythology of Taurus
Dating from nearly four thousand years ago, numerous mythologies have been built around the worship of the sacred bull. This powerful beast was often seen as the embodiment of a god, as the given of life.
In ancient Indo-Iranian mythology, Mithras was called the god of light. The first written mention of Mithras in the Sanskrit Vedas dates back to 1400B. The mythology of Mithras spread from India in the east, through Persia, to the west, and was widely popular amongst the Romans in the 3rd and 4th century A.D.
According to myth, Mithras was born bearing a torch and armed with a knife, beside a sacred stream and under a sacred tree, a child of the earth itself. As he grew, he was able to mount the bull and ride it through the heavens, the Man who learned to perceive the entire zodiac out of which he was born. This is the image of the human being beginning to find his way upon the earth.
Mithras then sacrificed the life-giving cosmic bull, plunging its sword into its neck, and its sacred blood fertilizes all vegetation.
How shall we understand this image? The Man-god who rode on the bull represents the human being who rides on his own lower nature. We are to learn to know the sense world, and ennoble ourselves thereby. We are to raising our human heart to become an organ of perception, so that we can in time attain certain levels of clear consciousness.
The sacrifice of the bull means that cosmic formative forces are now available on the earth, blessing the etheric mantle of nature and of the human being.