Taurus Animal Totems and Archetypes

The Sun enters Taurus on Tuesday 19th April 2016 at 15.29 Hrs in the U.K.  This is the last in the series where I look at some of the animal totems and Archetypes for the various signs. Do you, or someone close to you, have Sun, Ascendant or Moon in Taurus?


The Bull of course is the traditional animal for this sign.  The Taurean nature is more often associated with placidity, a quality of  the cow, female counterpart of the bull.  Taurus in fact comes under the female signs in Astrology, and is ruled by the planet Venus, associated with the Goddess.  There are contradictions in the Taurean make up and it has long been said that Taureans have a long fuse, and can eventually lose their temper.  This is in contrast to the previous sign Aries which has a short fuse and is of the warrior breed. The symbol of the bull also gives Taurus its reputation for stubbornness and digging its heels in.

Country: The chart of Spain, associated with the tradition of bull fighting, has Ascendant in Taurus with Jupiter rising in that sign, and Chiron also in Taurus.


The cow is seen as having the patient virtues of this sign, and as the giver of milk, is also seen as a nurturer (also the province of the Cancerian).

Nicholas J. Saunders sums up the high esteem in which they are held in India: “Primitive pastoralists’ reverence for their herds survives in Hinduism, where cows are protected as sacred and revered as nourishers of humanity.”

Taureans are also known for having a talent for growing plants, and cookery.  Here is a list of some well known chefs born under this sign:

Famous Example: Jamie Oliver, Antony Worrall Tompson, Brian Turner, John Burton-Race, Ken Hom, Phil Vickery, Simon Rimmer


Related of course to the cow and the bull, Buffalo “was the major source of sustenance for the plains Indians.  It gave meat for food, hides for clothing, warm and soft buffalo robes for long winters, and hooves for glue.  The medicine of buffalo is prayer, gratitude and praise for that which has been received.  Buffalo medicine is also knowing that Abundance is present when all relations are honoured as sacred.” (Jamie Sams and David Carson).

Money is one of the acquisitions of the acquisitive sign of Taurus, so this is apt, and Nicky Scully echoes this theme: “”White Buffalo woman can work with  you on your issues around manifestation, helping you get over blocks and barriers that keep you from the abundance and joy she represents.”


I have long associated Elephant with Taurus, because of the experiences of various Taureans in my life.  Elephants have a reputation for removing obstacles, and having a prodigious memory.  Two zodiac signs are associated with memory: Cancerians through emotional association, and Taureans in the way they store experiences and never forget.

Nicky Scully equates elephants with manifesting goals, and problem solving.  She writes: “With Elephant, you love and celebrate the Earth on which you stand.”

Nicholas J. Saunders points out: “A belief in the wise nature of the elephant is nurtured by its great gentleness despite its size and strength.”

Elephants have an extraordinary social sophistication in the way they organize their society.  Ted Andrews describes this eloquently: “Those who have the elephant as totem will usually find themselves in a position where the opportunity to re-establish powerful family and societal ideals will occur.  Mutual care of the young, respect for the elderly and the sick, being strong in your own self – these are the foundations of a great person or a great society.”


Many people regard pigs with affection.  Nicholas Saunders puts to bed some negative associations:: “Depictions of the Buddhist wheel of existence show the pig (ignorance) as one of the three animals binding mankind to sensual desires.  Although pigs are certainly hearty eaters, the link with ignorance seems based on nothing more than the pig’s habit of keeping its head low to the ground.”


Nicky Scully equates Walrus with our relationship with money: “Walrus is comfortable with the idea of money and views it as one more tool to be brought into balance, both personally and on a planetary level…Walrus can help you with your investments by showing you how to manage your monetary assets properly. He can assist you in negotiating business deals and is very helpful for people managing their own businesses.”

She also addresses the idea that they are normally placid, and only attack humans when they feel threatened.

Slow Creatures

Taureans can be lethargic and sluggish when feeling a little below par.  I hope the following section does not offend those who are Taurean and quick creatures (probably those who have Aries planets), or those who are absolutely incensed by slow creatures.

 The Tortoise and the Snail

 I must confess, through my Ascendant in Taurus (as well as other astrological factors), to having always felt an affinity with snails and tortoises.  I was always known for my slowness, always being last on the school cross country run and the country rambles.  I always had my fair share of eye rolling on this account.  Taureans cannot be rushed, they have to follow their own inner pace.


One step slower than the tortoise and the snail, almost at a standstill, comes the Sloth.  In Davina McCall’s recent “Life at the Extreme” wildlife series she communed with and appreciated some sloths close up, in Costa Rica.  I felt a personal sense of gratitude!

There is an ironic postscript to this theme, in that now in later life, with dodgy knees, my mother and my hubby are now able to walk at my pace.

“Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow” – Plato

Bird Totems


Angela Wansbury assigns the message of abundance to Turkey, with its association with feast days perhaps.  She assigns the Archetype of Midas to this bird, too (see later).

Jamie Sams and David Carson explain the role of the give-away in North American Indian culture in relation to this bird, and make some comments pertinent to our present dilemma over the rich storing away their wealth in tax free havens:

“A tribal member may gladly give away all he or she owns, and do without in order to help the People.  In present-day urban life, we are taught to acquire and get ahead.  The person with the most toys wins the game.  In some cultures, no one can win the game unless the whole of the People’s needs are met.  A person who claims more than his or her share is looked upon as selfish.”

 Guinea Fowl

The guinea fowl provides a rich and luxurious feast (for meat eaters) and was regarded as a particular luxury by the ancient Egyptians and Romans. For Angela Wansbury the issue for this bird is support and stability, very much Taurean terrain.  Taureans are often referred to as the rock of the family or friendship circle.  She gives “Builder” as the Archetype, and builder is one of the professions for Taurus: “A guinea fowl is asking what areas of your life are not built on solid ground and are, at best, a little bit shaky…  Stability begins with knowing  you can support yourself, no matter what, and with knowing that your life should be built on a stable foundation of positive beliefs and faith”.



Again this totem has been observed over the years in association with Taureans I have known.  The honey which they produce is the sweetness of life, and associated with the ruling planet Venus.  Nicky Scully points out that apparently, “Priestesses of Aphrodite were called melissae, a word meaning ‘bees’.”

She goes on to say “This journey is for people who would like to work with the Earth in a more productive and healing way, utilizing natural processes and giving back to the Earth.”  It was good to hear this week that, in common with tigers, bee numbers are on the rise again.  I have a Taurean friend who is a bee-keeper, a good hobby for Taureans who are not allergic to bee stings.

Religious Deities


 The birthday of the Buddha, the fount of placid wisdom, is usually celebrated during the month when the Sun is in Taurus.


Ganesha the Hindu God has the head of an elephant.

Nicholas J. Saunders says: “Regarded as the god of sagacity, …he is frequently invoked at the beginning of a task since he is believed to remove obstacles.  Ganesha is widely revered as the patron of business people.”

Mythological Creature


 I cannot leave out the Minotaur, subject of the myth of Knossos/Crete.  Taureans are possibly the most centred of the zodiac signs, and  the object of the labyrinth is to find the Centre.  The Minotaur of course was the creature with the head and tail of a bull and the body of a man, who dwelt in the centre of the labyrinth. In the Greek myth, Ariadne helped Theseus reach the minotaur with the aid of a ball of string, and he subsequently was able to slay the creature.



The Artist is one of the most basic of Taurean archetypes.  In my Past Life Archetypes, I go back to the cave paintings of bulls for my Taurean archetype.  That is in itself such a basic image and imbued with such meaning for this sign.

In previous centuries there was a prevalent Archetype of the talented artist starving in a garrett in his lifetime, and possibly gaining success posthumously.  The memory of this may unconsciously hold you back if you are an aspiring artist in this lifetime.

Caroline Myss brings the Archetype much more up to date in her book on the subject.  She observes: “In our society, art is generally regarded as a risky, if not altogether reckless, occupational choice, and any activity that isn’t financially rewarding is automatically classed as a hobby.”

She is very encouraging to the budding artist, and her final thought is: “The Artist/Creative archetype has an inborn calling to contribute to life creatively.  It is a privilege to possess artistic gifts and talents.  Cultivate yours.  To deny them is true suffering.”

Midas/The Moneylender

The Taurus/Scorpio polarity has a cluster of Archetypes around the theme of money.  Taurus generally represents one’s own earnings and possessions, and Scorpio (its opposite) represents dealing with other people’s money, e.g. through banking or insurance.  But of course money has to flow between these two ends of the polarity, and as has already been mentioned the current crisis over the Panama offshore tax havens highlights aspects of this relationship.  Is the rich man hoarding wealth the Midas?  The literary archetype of the moneylender is embodied in Shylock in the Merchant of Venice.  The moneylenders of the Bible have also coloured our perceptions of the profession.  More recently, the banking crisis of 2008 adversely altered the reputation of those who have monetary power.

Again, the last word goes to Caroline for the description of this Archetype: “Entrepreneurial or creative ability to turn anything to gold.  Delight in sharing life’s riches…look for a pattern of creating wealth and/or confronting how far you’re willing to go to create it; also for a pattern of difficulty sharing wealth”.

Chief Sitting Bull

I asked a close friend who is a Taurean if she identified with any particular archetype. Quick as a flash she came back with Chief Sitting Bull, and the more I thought about it, the more apt I found it. She herself had a past life as a Native American chief (not sitting bull), so the archetype is perfect for her personally. The historical figure must have had the qualities of the bull, as his totem animal. Taureans, as mentioned previously, are like a rock for their immediate friends and family. And Sitting Bull represented the oneness with the land (another Taurean feature) which gave rise to many deep sayings.  The theme of the long fuse of the bull comes up again, for Sitting Bull was a reluctant warrior, goaded by the unjust actions of the white man, into being a defender and protector of his people and his land.

“Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!” ~ Sitting Bull


 “The Golden Cauldron” by Nicky Scully

“Medicine Cards” by Jamie Sams and David

 “Animal Speak” by Ted Andrews

 “Archetypes” by Caroline Myss

“Animal Spirits” by Nicholas J. Saunders

“Birds Divine Messengers” by Andrea Wansbury


We start this morning with a powerful trine between Mercury and Pluto.  It’s a good day to receive psychological insights and make perceptive observations, as well as to discuss serious in-depth issues.  The clock is ticking on the inner work, because within 24 hours Pluto will be turning retrograde.

Around lunchtime today Mars will be turning retrograde, and this will affect active projects (which may temporarily come to a standstill) and the expression of energy, passion and feelings of anger.  If you did not speak your truth this morning, you might find it more difficult later in the day.  The early bird catches the worm today.

Tomorrow Pluto is stationary prior to turning retrograde (a process which is slower than for Mars).  That means that psychological processes are going to go through a period of further unpicking.  You may have settled for a convenient level of truth on Sunday, which then requires a further period of re-evaluation by Monday morning.  That is not to say Sunday’s insights have gone to waste, because they were needed in order to get to the point of knowing the next stage.

Venus trines Saturn in the afternoon, so it is another serious aspect, but stabilizing for relationships, e.g. there may be professions of commitment and loyalty.  It is a good day to be realistic within a relationship, and to communicate where you are psychologically in relation to the other.

The Sun enters Taurus on Tuesday (19th), and there again your activities may go from manically fit Aries to the more gentle pace (e.g. Tai Chi) of Taurus.  During the month of Aries you may have been intent on getting things done, inspired by the thought of Spring.  Now you may find more artistic expressions for your energy such as music or pottery, but also productive work in the garden.

In the evening (in the U.K.) Venus squares Pluto, and feelings may be running high.  It is important to talk things through with your nearest and dearest earlier in the week, because tensions could become impossibly volatile on Tuesday evening if issues between you have been ignored.  Finances too could suffer under this aspect, and may to some extent be the cause of tension.

Although some tension may ease after this point, a different set of tensions may be building up to the Full Moon on Friday (22nd), more emotion-based rather than feeling-based (you may get the chance to notice the distinction).  This Full Moon is in Scorpio, which is one of the most difficult of the year’s round.  The tension does reflect some of the themes of earlier in the week, and there may even be a tension between feeling (Sun in Taurus) and emotion (Moon in Scorpio), as well as money earned (Taurus) and money shared (Scorpio).  There may be more tax revelations, for instance.

On Friday evening, Venus conjuncts Uranus at 21 degrees Aries, which is sparky for the social side of life, perhaps holding the possibility of unusual meetings.  It is the element of surprise allied to feelings and relationships, and there may be an element of risk (with no guarantees of outcomes).  However, it is probably the most exciting aspect of the week!

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – psychological perception, and activities stalled
  • Tomorrow – psychological re-evaluation, and loyalty
  • Tuesday – congenial activities, and volatile feelings
  • Friday – high tide of emotion, and social excitement