What are the characteristics of the sign Taurus in the myth?
The opposition between Taurus and Scorpio forms the so-called Axis of Possessions in astrology (more about it in The Polarity of human consciousness and the six axes in astrology, part I). Taurus is an earth sign and as such is responsible for everything that can be considered as material possession – through things and people (most often from the family), to the very body that inhabits our soul. It is believed that under the rulership of Taurus are all the traits that someone “possesses”, and which define someone as a unique set of qualities. Taurus is associated with the pleasures and things that bring pleasure to the senses, and their bodily nature is most closely connected with the nature and all the goods it gives birth to in the form of matter. He likes his eyes to see a combination of shapes and colors that bring him aesthetic pleasure, his palate to try flavors that combine in a balanced way, and his body to touch and be touched so that they experience physical pleasure. Ruled by the planet Venus, he is the embodiment of what the French call “le bon vivant” or one who lives well, using the full potential of the senses of his body and turning pleasures into the greatest value and meaning of life.
The myth the abduction of Persephone begins there, in the pure manifestation of this earthly sign, oriented to the pleasures of matter. Persephone, or as she was originally called Kora, is the goddess of fertility (Taurus) and the daughter of Zeus and Demeter – the goddess of the earth and harvest. She is on the verge of adulthood, but she is still too inexperienced, carefree and infinitely attached to her mother. Her protection brings her peace and security with which to live a peaceful life on the surface – experiencing only pleasures and pleasant emotions in the female company of her mother and other girlfriends. At first glance, this idyll is completely satisfactory for Demeter and Kora, and therefore stable in time, until, however, Aphrodite (Venus) sees something infinitely artificial and flat in the attitude of the virgin to life. She decides to put the naive girl in a situation in which to take her out of her comfort zone (Taurus), offering her the temptations of love in another form, beyond that in the symbiotic relationship between mother and child. Thus, she sends Eros to shoot Hades (Pluto) – the god of the underworld, with one of his arrows to fall in love with Kora.
What are the characteristics of the sign Scorpio in the myth?
In astrology, Pluto is the ruler planet of the sign Scorpio and is associated with the most shadowy aspects of our psyche, which are so unpleasant or more unacceptable to human consciousness that they are usually automatically pushed into the darkness of our own unconscious dungeons. In Greek mythology, the realm of Hades is where souls go after meeting death. In the language of symbols, this means that it is related to transformation – the process in which something old goes away and something new comes in its place, or more precisely, one entity is transformed into another. The underworld that Pluto rules is a place of passion and intense emotions that most people would describe as unpleasant, and their impact usually has a destructive effect, giving the feeling of death. However, this is a symbolic death, after which nothing will be the same as before, because it incinerates everything old, unnecessary and untrue, carrying with it the potential for transformation and renewal.
The meeting between the two signs Taurus and Scorpio
Back to the story, one sunny, bright day, while playing innocently and contentedly with her girlfriends in the field, Kora notices a narcissus flower and inadvertently walks away from her company to take a closer look. She is captivated by its beauty and does not even suspect that it is connected with the underworld when she decides to tear it apart. In the next moment, the earth dissolves and Hades / Pluto jumps out of its bowels in its chariot, abducting the unsuspecting Kora into the darkness of her kingdom. This is the moment in the story when the life of a virgin, unfolded on topics related to the sign of Taurus, turns 180 degrees to meet its opposite, namely the experiences of the sign of Scorpio. From an emotional point of view, she encounters her shadowy side in the face of despair and sadness after losing her freedom, and subsequently the true and deep love for the other, the one that, among other things, brings feelings of anger, jealousy, envy and uncertainty. Below, she tastes six pomegranate seeds, which, with their deep red color, hint at the loss of her innocence and entering the deep emotional world of sex – another topic related to Scorpio and its ruler Pluto. In myth, the acceptance of food in the land of the dead means that one cannot return to the upper earth. From this point in history, Kora (the maiden without a name) becomes Persephone or the one who loves darkness and becomes the queen of the underworld.
Achieving a balance between the opposites
Meanwhile, Demeter, enraged by the loss of her daughter, falls into a deep rage followed by sadness that leads to the onset of eternal winter on earth. People lose their crops and are left without food, and the gods of Olympus are left without sacrifices in their name. This leads Zeus to make a decision to pardon Demeter, ordering his brother Hades/Pluto to release Persephone to hер mother for six months, as many as the pomegranate seeds, she has swallowed. Thus, in the first half of the year, when Persephone is with her mother, it is spring and summer, and the sun shines on the earth from above, causing nature to blossom in all its beauty. In the second part of the year, however, when it is autumn and winter, she leaves Demeter and stands next to her husband as queen and goddess of the land of the dead. It is interesting that around this myth, at some point in the ancient Greece history, people began to practice the Eleusinian mysteries as a leading religion, according to which each year people celebrate the return of the goddess of fertility to the upper earth and the renewal of nature after a long winter.
The shadowy side of Taurus in the myth
The myth of Persephone’s abduction (or rape) is an archetypal story in which countless women see their reflection because it tells of the transition from childhood to adulthood and the emotional path one takes to get to know herself better and achieve greater inner wholeness. On the one hand, it presents life on the surface, under the light of sun – the one that many of us experience as children – filled with earthly pleasures and carefreeness. This is the world lived by the themes of Taurus, and its shadowy side is embodied in the goddess Demeter, through the feeling of possession of a mother to a daughter and the artificial retention of “things” in life, remaining in the comfort zone when it’s time for change. Their relationship at the beginning of the story is a relationship of dependence, in which the mother takes full responsibility for her child, takes care to the extent of eliminating any possibility for her to feel pain, providing at first glance a dream life. For her part, Persephone has no sense of herself and her own needs, but instead plays the role of a sequel to Demeter, as if her only task in life is to bring her joy.
The lessons of Scorpio and the potential they bring
The archetype of Persephone is that of the woman in a relationship, because first she is the daughter of her mother, and later the wife of her husband. She is like a chameleon that changes according to other people’s expectations, as it perfectly reflects the projections of the person in front of her, giving them what they need to “see” in order to feel albeit illusory more whole. Prior to her abduction, Persephone had no sense of the density of her body, of her sensuality and sexuality, to such an extent that in order to meet this side of hers, she was “raped” in the myth. Although she likes male attention, she lacks passion and depth, as if her body lacks density and content, and she faces the task of building an independent sense of self, beyond the passive role she plays in her relationships.
In order to be able to connect with her body and awaken its sensual nature (Taurus), she confronts against her will the archetypal image of Pluto, to dive into the depths of her unconscious (Scorpio), which are revealed through her love for him. The symbolic meaning of the underworld is that of the deeper layers of the psyche, where our unconscious complexes, feelings, images and fears are “buried”. This journey down could happen at our will, within the framework of an analysis, when this content becomes available to the mind through dreams. Whether we want it or not, however, each of us sooner or later descends into our underworld, where one must deal with the feelings that strike when external circumstances arise related to the loss of a loved one or profession. Activating the archetype of Persephone, who lives in both worlds, usually gives a woman the ability to dive into both her own and another person’s unconscious (like a therapist) and mediate between the world of matter and that of dreams and symbols, revealing an endless potential for healing and development.
In the transits of Pluto, man often inadvertently encounters the underworld of his own destructive emotions, which are aroused mostly in an intense, sexual and love relationship (Scorpio). This happens because only then, each one sees/projects his lost Paradise, where the other fulfills their endless desires, like a mother-child relationship, and even the slightest discrepancy with our expectations leads us to a state of rage, despair and insecurity. In the myth, Pluto clearly shows that he has his own desires and, unlike Persephone, does not want to melt into a relationship with a loved one, thus encouraging her to do the same, to get to know herself and her own desires in depth.
Achieving a state of love and inner wholeness
What Scorpio energy teaches us is the transience of feelings and the potential to change and become more whole, because love is not a feeling, but a state of connection with the Other and everything around. When a person wants to keep only pleasant emotions in a relationship and does not want to go out of his comfort zone (Taurus), he blocks the flow of feelings within himself and keeps the relationship on an extremely surface level, where there is no life because there is no real emotional exchange. The state of love and the feeling of a kind of Paradise are not something that can be maintained through requirements to the partner. At best, when (unpleasant) feelings in a relationship are not suppressed or neglected, they naturally change into each other in order to get to know yourself, thus becoming a way of growth for both partners.
Thus, at the end of the story, all three archetypal images accept (through their agreement) the transience in the relationships and feelings they have for each other. Each of them must deal with bringing back the joy and euphoria of shared moments together, and subsequently each must accept loss, anger, sadness, and insecurity the rest of the time. This dynamic in the emotional world of relationships is broken down every year before our eyes, by the changing seasons and the natural cycle of birth-death-renewal in nature, similar to what happens in us.