Information on Taurus History and Myth
The History of Taurus
Due to the precession of Equinox, the zodiacal sign of Taurus does not coincide with the constellation of Taurus. It is a continuation of the sign of Aries and represents the second 30 degrees of the zodiacal circle. The sign of Aries represents the beginning of spring and with it the beginning of life, while Taurus is a fixed sign that continues what Aries has started. Life is in full bloom in the sign of Taurus.
The stars in Taurus constellation host two open clusters, the Pleiades and the Hyades and are mostly located at the end of the sign of Taurus and the beginning of the zodiacal sign of Gemini. In the Early Bronze Age it marked the location of the Sun during the spring equinox, just like the constellation of Aries represented the equinox over 2000 years ago. The constellation of Taurus was linked to it 5000 to 1700 BC, before the precession of the equinox moved our perspective to the sign of Aries.
Taurus is one of the oldest known constellations. It is thought that it was presented in cave paintings, dating about 15000 BC but not until the Babylonian astronomy was it represented as a bull, named “The bull of heaven” or “The bull in front”. Its importance to the agricultural calendar influenced various bull figures in the mythologies of ancient Sumer, Akkad, Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, and of course Greece and Rome.
The myth of Taurus
In the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the earliest works of literature, Taurus is sent by the goddess Ishtar to kill Gilgamesh for spurning her advances, while in early Mesopotamian art it was closely associated with Innana, the Sumerian goddess of sexual love, fertility and warfare. Although many cultures have had a story connected to the sign of Taurus, the most vivid myths are those from ancient Greece. There are two of them, both linked closely to the king of gods, Zeus (his Roman equivalent was Jupiter).
The first myth links Taurus to Zeus abducting Europa, a legendary Phoenician princess. While she was having fun with her friends on a sea shore, Zeus fell in love with her and approached her disguised as a while bull. Europa was attracted to the beauty and the meekness of the bull kneeling in front of her, and jumped on his back to ride him. With her on his back, he swam and took her across the water to Crete, where she gave birth to his three sons. After this, she married the Crete king Asterion from whom these children inherited the rule of the island.
The second myth is in relation to Zeus’ first infidelity to Hera, with Hera’s personal priestess Io. When Hera realized she was being deceived, she got really angry. Zeus turned Io into a heifer in order to protect her from Hera’s rage. Thanks to Argus, the all-seeing monster, Hera found out about this and cursed Io to wonder the world enchanted, as a cow, stung by a gadfly continuously, so she would be forced to wonder forever. After some time, Io finally crossed the Ionian sea to Egypt, where she was restored to human form by Zeus and gave birth to his two children, a son who is to become the king of Egypt and a daughter.
The connection between the Taurus myth and the Taurus zodiac sign
Taurus tells a tail of an influential man pretending to be something he is not, in order to win the affection of a loved one. It is a tale of abduction, travel across the sea and the show off of a tender but strong side to a man that isn’t real. The second myth is more maleficent and it is usually manifested when planets in this sign, or in touch with this constellation, are in difficult dignity and aspects.
It signifies adultery, romantic relationships of a married man with his wife’s close friend, or even a sister. It leads to rage of the wife, who is going to do anything to hurt his husband’s lover who won’t have any peace until she crosses a great distance, moves to another country or travels across the sea. There is always a possibility of pregnancy and birth of a son out of wedlock, who is to become influential later on, as well as a woman’s marriage with a man who is not the father of her children.