the bull

    .     .
    .'   `.
   :       :
   :       :

quality: fixed
element: earth
ruled by: venus
The second sign in Western Astrology. Fixed sign, feminine sign, earth sign, logical sign. The bull is a lovely thoughtful creature, who is very interested in the beautiful things in life. Exceedingly good with money and finances, they could tuck themselves into bed every night, counting their wealth. Protective, unassuming, stoic, patient, artistic, and procrastinating. A good strong rock in a sea of fluctuation.

Their colors are azure and emerald, their stone is also the emerald, their planet is Venus (which they share with Libra), they rule the neck, so either this is very pronounced or they are likely to have injured it sometime in their lives. Warning! Tauri must watch their food intake, as they can be given to excessive weight gain. But they are excellent cooks. Their tarot card is The Hierophant, and their historical leaders are Buddha, Catherine the Great, ... and Hitler.

(April 21st to May 21st)
The Bull
Colours: Cream, Madonna Blue, Spring Green. Blue is the colour of Venus, ruler of Taurus.
Stones: Emeralds, coral and lapis lazuli.
Metals: Copper
Trees: Ash, Cypress and Apple
Flowers: Rose. Poppy, violets and foxgloves.
Countries: Cyprus, Eire and Iran.
Cities: Dublin, Leipzig and St. Louis, Miss.

Constellation Taurus, which is Latin for "bull", is the second sign of the zodiac. In ancient astronomy the Chinese called it "White Tiger" or "Great Bridge" and for the Egyptians it represented the bull Apis, one form of Osiris. In Egypt and also in ancient Babylonia it was the first sign of the zodiac and they Babylonian astronomers subsequently called it Aleph, after the first letter of their alphabet. The reason was that four thousand years ago, at spring equinox (vernal equinox) the sun would stand in this constellation. The spring equinox marked the start of the new year and it was an  important time in the year, when it was time to start working in the fields with plowing and sowing. 

In Greek mythology, there are many stories about Taurus. According to one story, the bull Taurus is in place to protect the Pleiades, which are inside the constellation itself, from the hunter Orion. Perhaps the most famous story is the one about when Zeus/Jupiter fell in love with Europa, daughter of Phonecian king Agenor. Europa was guarded day and night, so Zeus could not find a way to approach her. One day Zeus took the form of a giant white bull and hid inside a giant royal herd grazing by the sea. As Europa walked by on the beach, she spotted the beautiful beast with the golden horns and climbed to its back. Zeus then snuck down to the sea and flew away to Crete, where they became lovers, after Zeus returned to a more human form, one have to assume. 

In modern astronomy, the constellation is an interesting object to study. It lies on the ecliptic and the sun passes trough it in May and June. There are about 130 stars inside Taurus, the most notable the alpha star (Alpha Tauri) Aldebaran, which is one of the brightest stars of the night sky. Aldebaran is a red giant about 50 times larger than the Sun and have a magnitude of 0.85. Inside the Taurus we also find the two open star clusters Hyades and Pleiades (M45). Hyades make out the head of the bull, and inside them you can see the double star theta Tauri which is divisible by the naked eye sometimes. The Pleiades are a group of stars (seven sisters, actually), that usually appear as a blur, but can be easily divisible with binoculars. Another interesting object in Taurus is the famous and picturesque Crab Nebula (M1). It is the remnants of an old supernova that was recorded by the Chinese in 1054, and it was a spectacular show. The supernova was so bright that it was visible in full daylight. The Crab Nebula is 5000 light years away, compared to 68 for Aldebaran.

This is what the constellation looks like, ascii wise. The dots are just to connect the stars. Beta tauri and the star below to the left make out the horns of the bull. The Hyades are supposed to be the head and the other stars make out the torso.

            Alnath   o 
Crab Nebula     *                            oooo    Pleiades
               o            .                 ooo 
                      .        .     
                            .    o 
              Aldebaran       O   o     Hyades
                                o o

Tau"rus (?), n. [L., akin to Gr. , and E. steer. See Steer a young ox.]

1. Astron. (a)

The Bull; the second in order of the twelve signs of the zodiac, which the sun enters about the 20th of April; -- marked thus [&taurus;] in almanacs.


A zodiacal constellation, containing the well-known clusters called the Pleiades and the Hyades, in the latter of which is situated the remarkably bright Aldebaran.

2. Zool.

A genus of ruminants comprising the common domestic cattle.


© Webster 1913.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.