Getting to know Taurus

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As people were outside picking up roadside litter or digging in the garden to celebrate the earthiest of holidays, Earth Day, the sun moseyed out of the fast and hot astrological sign of Aries and into the headstrong, chill and earthiest of earth signs, Taurus.

Happy birthday to all of those Taurus-born bulls, bovines and calves.

When a person comes into this world, the sun, moon, planets and nearby comets each sit in one of the 12 signs in the astrological zodiac. Newspaper horoscopes have handed the sun a particular importance in pop culture, but the moon and rising sign are revealing, too.

The sun hangs out in the astrological Taurus from about April 21 until May 21. Taurus season once marked the spring equinox and the farming it brought. The sun, however, passes in front of the actual constellation of Taurus from mid-May to middle of June. The discrepancy is caused by the multi-thousand-year wobble of the earth on its axis and the slow change in perspective it causes.

Like many of the 88 constellations recognized today, the origins of Taurus rest in the Babylonian world that was centered in modern-day Iraq.

In the epic of Gilgamesh, the goddess Ishtar wants to marry Gilgamesh, divine king of Uruk. But the king blows off Ishtar's romantic advances with a series of insults, instead choosing as friend and lover, Enkidu, the wild man-beast raised by the animals of the steppe. The spurned goddess turns to her father in the sky and asks that he send the mythical "bull of heaven" to kill Gilgamesh. In an intense battle, Enkidu and Gilgamesh fight and defeat the earth-shaking creature.

The constellation is one of the largest. It's brightest point is Aldebaran, the "eye of the bull" and a star much brighter and bigger than our sun.

In astrology, the sun does just fine in Taurus, but the moon is at its highest vibration in the sign of pleasure and smiles. The moon has been in the sign most of the month.

Tender and affectionate Taurus is slow to start, slow to get going and also slow to stop. The bull is said to be dependable like the domesticated animals we rely on for food.

Its endurance comes from knowing where it stands on certain issues, but when in an awkward or inharmonious relationship to other planets, the bull can be downright stubborn to the point of causing the very hurt, harm and gross injustices it abhors. Uranus, the planet that drives our desire for liberation, will be spending the next seven years in Taurus, rooting dreams for radical transformation in the earth so that they can grow.

Get to know other signs of the zodiac by visiting taosnews.com.

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