Taurus: Live Life Well And Keep Your Feet On The Ground

Our Taurus month has come and gone. For me it was a month of great loss and sadness as I lost an old and very dear friend – a wonderful Taurus Sun whose battle against breast cancer ended shortly after her birthday. So, she was born and died in the Taurus month and as I thought about my dear friend, I realised how she epitomised so many great things about the sign of Taurus. It’s those things I want to share with you in this post.

My friend was described at her funeral service as ‘a force of nature’ and that is such a Taurus thing to be. Taurean strength is legendary and when they put their shoulder to the wheel they are absolutely unstoppable. My friend was no exception. Whatever she was determined to do, she did and she let nothing get in her way. My observations of many Taurus influenced people are exactly that. They have a stubbornness about them that they will persist in the face of considerable opposition, always keeping going until that opposition has bent to their will.

My friend used to do this a lot – particularly with animal welfare – spending time, energy and money ensuring our furry friends were saved from maltreatment (often in countries with lesser animal welfare standards) and finding them new homes with loving families closer to home.

A love of animals, nature and defending the weak are definite Taurean traits – but this determined and protective attitude can manifest in any field a Taurus deems worthy of their attention. It’s often seen in in their attitudes towards the home and family where they can take considerable pride in their homes, children, partners and pets and actively protect their interests wherever they can.

My friend was a typical Taurus in this way too and that’s unsurprising as Taurus is perhaps the most loyal of the Zodiac Signs. They always put the people (and pets) they love first – and they collect friends throughout their life’s journey. Why is that? Not unnaturally I have thought about this over the past few weeks since my friend passed away and have concluded that her unswerving loyalty is a huge reason for this – together with the influence Venus has over this sign.

Taureans are steadfast – they are ‘keepers’ who love nothing more than acquiring people as well as objects. Their Venus influences play out with a love of possessions – and that includes their friends. Once a Taurus has you, they have you for life and, importantly, you know they will always have your back – come what may.

It’s impossible to talk about those Venus influences without discussing the famous material side of Taurus – and yes, I can confirm my late friend was very much a material girl. Taurus women (and men) love trinkets. My friend loved jewellery – as do many Taurus people. Not just because jewellery is aesthetically pleasing but also because it never loses value. Taurus is sometimes regards as quite a ‘stingy’ sign however that’s selling them short. Taurus is more than happy to spend cash – but insists on quality. You won’t find Taurus wasting money on cheap tat any time soon.

This quality often makes Taureans successful business people. They are instinctively shrewd and can spot a good opportunity a mile away. My friend was no exception to this, successful running a real estate portfolio – as well a successful family life and being a pillar of her local community.

Taurus people are often ‘involved’ in their communities and neighbourhoods. Again, I think is comes down to their innate stability – they need to ensure the family/neighbourhood/community unit is kept safe and strong and has a future – and of course – like the other Earth signs – they like to feel useful in the things they do.

Of course, it could be that Taurus simply enjoys being a good citizen. To really get to grips with Taurus you really need to appreciate how this earthy Venus ruled sign works for them. Venus rules things we love – as well as love itself – and the things that give is pleasure. Taurus has historically been regarded as a bit of a parsimonious worthy plodder – but, if my friend was anything to go by, that’s so far from reality – for what people often don’t get about Taurus is their huge appetite for pleasure and fun.

One of the more surprising of Taurus traits is hedonism – sheer physical indulgence. My friend really knew how to let her hair down and was so often the life of the party – even if she was always also the person who you could rely on to get you home afterwards! That physicality is also seen in the way a Taurus will be the first to notice perfume, a colour, your clothing, your hair – there is simply a great appreciation of the body and not just in the opposite sex.

Taurean physicality gives them such presence in a room. At any gathering you are always aware of the Taurus – they will often be the seductive one, whether they have a bubbly or more introverted personality, the result is always the same – they draw people towards them so effortlessly. As I said earlier, there is something protective and dependable about a Taurus. Perhaps we are drawn to these Taurus qualities as we instinctively know they are needed in our lives.

As many of you who have read my posts will know, I also had cancer very recently. One thing that will stay with me is how concerned my friend was for my wellbeing and how supportive she was to me during my surgery and post operative care. At that time, she herself was suffering from incurable stage 4 cancer that was spreading fast thorough her own body. She was dying. Yet, it was a mark of her typical Taurus selflessness and generosity that she thought of others first and bore her own illness without complaint.

Such stoicism is inherently Taurus – but that trait alone would fail to recognise the wonderful qualities of an amazing person who happened to have her Sun in Taurus. I am sure her Taurus qualities gave my friend strength during the latter part of her life. I suspect however, her greatest support came from those who she had nurtured over the years and who will be forever grateful for the time they, like me, had her in their lives. She lived her life well and kept her feet on the ground.

In memory of Gillian Frances Cooney, 10 May 1962-16 May 2019

© Sara Shipman 2019


Uranus: Brexit? Trump? Chaos Has Come Again

Uranus is the planet of freedom, liberation and overturning the established order. As Uranus enters Taurus don’t expect a revolution – it’s already here.

Transiting Uranus. You only have to look at the news to see transiting Uranus doing what Uranus does best. Right now, it seems, it doesn’t matter where you live in this world, you would have to be crazy not to have noticed that things are… well… a little out of kilter one way or another. All of life’s certainties, the things we seem to have taken for granted over the years, are being undermined, overturned – call it what you will – change is underway and chaos is all around.

In the UK, we’re currently going through Brexit, and wherever your opinion sits on this one, I think we can all agree that chaos about sums up where the country is now. How we laughed on this side of the pond, when our American cousins elected Donald Trump. We marvelled at at the craziness of their democratic decision (the wall, federal government shut down, the hirings and firings and above all, those tweets…) and thought, ‘Well, that will never happen here’. Fast forward about two and a half years and here we are. UK in what seems like a revolutionary crisis, USA the same and a whole host of other nations too. It’s like the world has literally gone mad.

So, What’s that got to do with Uranus? Can the planets really affect world events? Am I really crazy just even thinking that? The answers my friends are 1. Everything. 2. Yes. 3. No. My apologies as that’s a tad superficial – however in my defence, Uranus is always one for a rapid response – so, lets try and put all Uranian impulses aside for a moment and drill deeper to try and work out why things are as they are.

To try and make some sense of this, I consulted an ephemeris to find out where Uranus is currently having an effect. Uranus orbits the Sun once every 84 years. If we are fortunate, that’s once in a lifetime (though increasingly, many of us are still around to witness a Uranus return). So, over that period, Uranus spends around seven years transiting through each sign of the Zodiac, disrupting world events, often in the manner appropriate to the meanings carried within each Astrological sign – or not. Uranus is like that – nothing if not unpredictable.

So, right now, Uranus is finishing up in Aries and about to enter Taurus. However, where Taurus is concerned, Uranus has been there before. For the past couple of years, Uranus has been hovering over the cusp of Aries/Taurus, mostly in the late degrees of Aries, but also passing into Taurus for the first time in 84 years during the summer and autumn of 2018. I’m going to take a moment now to remind you of some of the essential characteristics of Aries and Taurus. Aries is urgent, direct, warlike, assertive, brave yet often reckless. Taurus is materially inclined, stable, concerned with resources and values. It’s not too hard to see how this is working out in the Brexit arguments – ‘Remainers’ accuse ‘Leavers’ of being reckless (Aries) with the UK’s economic future while ‘Leavers’ (paradoxically sore winners!) demand ‘liberation’ (Uranus) from what they perceive as a restrictive EU – a body which is arguably Taurus personified.

When Uranus acts as the connector between the qualities of the two signs, Aries and Taurus, strange things happen. Uranus is essentially about change, and Uranus really doesn’t care about how that change occurs (or what happens as a consequence) the only sure thing is that whatever the change is that it’s revolutionary in some way – it’s rapid, unexpected, chaotic and often social in nature. Uranus encapsulates ‘group-think’ through it’s rulership of Aquarius, so one way or another Uranian change – which can seem so impersonal as it so often operates at a societal level – affects us all and reminds us we are part of the collective too.

So, getting back to today’s chaotic events, (particularly Brexit and Trump) where can we see the hand of Uranus in our current affairs? In 2016, a momentous year that saw the Brexit Vote and Trump elected, Uranus spent much of the year making stations in the last ten degrees of Aries. Still some way from the cusp with Taurus but moving ever closer and close enough for one of the most characteristic things about a Uranus transit to become noticeable – Uranus is noted for jumping the gun. When Uranus is approaching a planet or point by transit, there is often an event that is shocking in some way. It bucks the trend, seems to come out of the blue – but really it doesn’t. What Uranus is really doing is bringing something to light that challenges our expectations in some way – and this event is often the signifier of change to come rather than the change itself.

The shocking event becomes identified as the starting point for the changes to come – and right now, we can see how the fall out from those two fairly unexpected events in recent history is getting more chaotic as each day passes and Uranus comes closer to changing signs. Neither of those votes was supposed to go the way that they did, and in true Uranian style, the winning side in each case has become identified as a social, collective, populist movement protesting against that most Taurus of things, ‘the elite’. Yet, we can see clearly the Uranian paradox that both campaigns appear to have been orchestrated by the rich and powerful – so symbolically Taurus with their vested interests to the fore. Uranus has harnessed Arian energy – and sometimes violence – and pointed it at all things Taurus, yet in a typically Uranian fashionis happy to heap all the paradoxes and hypocrisies before us in a morally ambiguous pile for someone else to sort out.

So, right now we have ‘people’s movements’ headed by the ‘uber-rich’; governments that cannot or will not govern, isolationism masquerading as globalism, greed presenting itself as opportunity and opinion presenting itself as fact. There seems, no longer, to be any such thing as truth – blind faith has primacy over facts. It’s a mess, that we can all agree, but where’s it headed? The only thing I can say with certainty is it’s most likely headed to a new way of looking at the world. What that will be or how it will manifest I cannot tell you, however we can cast our eyes at history for clues as to what has happened in the past – and hopefully how we can try and avoid making the same mistakes again.

If we look back 84 years, we find ourselves in the 1930’s. Europe was in the grip of right wing populist movements and the US was pursuing a policy of isolationism. As today, ordinary people were suffering from economic hardship together with employment and financial insecurity. Many people lived hand to mouth while at the top end of the social scale the rich enjoyed wealth unimaginable to the working man and woman. As Uranus transited through Aries towards the cusp of Taurus, Hitler and Mussolini swept to power in Europe, with all the military trappings and power they could muster – and the rest is history. It is, I hope, an extreme example of the kind of ‘zeitgeist’ Uranus can inflame.

So, as Uranus finally moves into Taurus in March 2019, that period of change will be upon us. Unlike Aries, Taurus is slow and stubborn and it seems likely for a while we will remain entrenched in our respective positions unwilling to see the concerns of others from any perspective other than our own point of view. We are already divided and a compromise position seems very far away. Uranus affects the collective unconscious like no other planet and right now it seems we are in a war of social, political and moral values with no clear end in sight. We may even have to wait until Uranus approaches Gemini (another 7 years) before we can face each other again and get talking and listening.

In the meantime, I think we need to focus on what Uranus is really trying to tell us and it is simply this. We cannot go on as we have been doing in the years (if not decades) leading up to this point – and that includes wasting our natural resources and threatening life on earth – including our own. Good stewardship of the natural world is also a Taurean concern. If Uranus does one thing, it is this: it is to remind you that you, the individual are part of something more important than you so get over yourself – it’s not about you. Idealistic Uranus wants you/us to wake up to the issues that are really important for society to deal with and, to use a current and very future oriented phrase, ‘stay woke’. How we do this and how it pans out, none of us can tell. However, one way or another, Uranus will surprise us all, in ways we may find shocking or liberating and maybe not altogether pleasant in the short term – the choice is ours.

© Sara Shipman