Bare Essentials

The Sun shifts into Taurus today at 5:27 p.m., signalling what is typically a calming and stabilizing wave into the astrological atmosphere. But as Mercury’s retrograde motion sets it back into Aries and into the neighborhood of wild child Uranus, there’s bound to be some unexpected activity that makes it challenging to ground down into stillness.

Taurus is an earth sign concerned with maintaining serenity. Symbolized by the bull because of the self-possessed and slow-moving strength of the animal, Taurus likes keeping things uncomplicated and predictable. There’s a strong sensuality to this energy– Taurus is associated with the earth and Venus, relating to the pleasure of the simple things in life, like good food, good music, and the beauty of nature. Taken to the extreme, there’s a risk of  self-indulgence and stubbornness, as that need to hold onto what is comfortable and familiar creates an obstacle for progress.lavender 020

So on the one hand, we have the Sun entering this sign for the next four weeks, assisting us in rooting back into our bodies. Get into nature, into cooking, into exercise– activities that slow down the chatter of the mind and focus us in the present moment. Smell flowers. Plant flowers. Do things that calm you down. Engage with what matters now, and not all the superficial stuff that distracts us from what is essential.

On the other hand, Mercury is turning up the volume. It is at 0 degrees of Taurus as I write this, moving retrograde. When the Sun moves into Taurus tonight, the two will conjoin, and then Mercury will back up into Aries tomorrow afternoon. With Mercury so close to the Sun, our minds are worked up. There’s a mental buzz, perhaps not audible, but going on inside our head. Operating in the signs of Taurus and Aries, the buzz is probably pretty self-centered in nature– concerns about personal needs and wants are at the core. It’s as if we’re trying to sort out information and formulate a plan, and since Mercury is retrograde, we’re trying to correct or improve our course of action.

As Mercury continues its retrograde, it will back up to meet Uranus in Aries, which will affect us all the way through mid-May. This is an impulsive and erratic energetic current that offers possibilities of liberating information and genius new ideas, while also promoting impatience and brash inconsideration. The Taurus Sun can get stressed out by this hectic whirlwind of excitement, especially if we feel swept up by it all. And Taurus’ penchant for stubborn defensiveness can cause problems if we dig our head in the sand and refuse the new opportunities being offered to us.

This is a balancing act of poised, deliberate action with openness to wild insight and unexpected ideas. It’s important to remember that patient consideration is necessary here, because the inclination to jump may be quick with the Mercury/Uranus influence. We need to harness the solid nature of the bull in order to bring these great possibilities down into practical use, and that means not jumping to extremes before caution is taken. Remember that Taurus seeks real, lasting value– not all that glitters is gold, as the saying goes.

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