The Sun enters the middle decan of Taurus on April 30th, and will reside within that portion of the Bull’s sign until May 10th, when it enters the third and final face of Taurus. During the previous decan, the Sun’s light fell on fields both cultivated and wild. The Full Moon in Scorpio and the Mars-Pluto conjunction saw the plow’s action turn up bones, buried treasures and reveal miniature hellmouths.
The Sun’s time in the second decan of Taurus is less dramatic, and provides us the proper space to equilibriate the sunlit portion of our realm with the underworldly upwellings which have recently emerged. That we have a little breathing room during the Sun’s passage through the second face of Taurus is particularly useful, as the following decad of days is stocked with Uranus’ micro-epochal entrance into Taurus and Mars’ portentous ingress into Aquarius.
Indeed, it is fitting that the Sun’s time in the central decan of Taurus this year is not rife with planetary action, as the nature of the second face is stabilizing and equilibriating. As the Sun strides into it, we approach the dead center of the season, Autumn in the South, and Spring in the North. This is one of the eight great spokes on the wheel of the year, and it is recognized variously in different traditions.
The images found in historical texts for the second decan of Taurus have a decidedly agrarian bent, and many of the figures have the body parts of farm animals. The images variously describe a face like a ram, shoulders like an ox, fingers like hooves, and other such features. Some of these beast-people are male, some female, and Ibn Ezra describes a couple, both of which have bestial features.
While the previous decan of Taurus had the fields as its landscape, the second is decidedly more animal than vegetative. While the productive duad for plants is soil and seed, in the animal realm both soil and seed are composed of flesh. There is a randy, procreative quality to this slice of time.
Agrippa’s image for this decan stands out as one of the few with no agricultural references. Instead, it is a nude man with a key, said to bring power, nobility and authority. The RWS tarot card linked to this decan, the 6 of Pentacles, is rather consonant with Agrippa’s conception, as it shows a nobly dressed man distributing alms and is titled “Success.” The key the nude man holds is no doubt the secret to his nobility and power, that is to say, success. But what does the key signify?
Perhaps it is the procreative union of land and labor, masculine and feminine, yang and yin, rajas and tamas, matter and spirit. Yet the congress suggested here is by no means a quickie, as the second decan of Taurus is as fixed and steady as zodiacal terrain gets. It is extended and ongoing, like the cyclical intercourse of the earth and heavens.
The key to the potential fecundity found here is consistency. The crops do not grow right if they are watered twice as much but half as often as they should. Skill does not develop by means of a sprinter’s effort, but through effort over time. To make things real, it is more effective to spend one hour a day on them rather than seven hours once a week.
The light of this face thus smiles upon consistency, and to be consistent one’s efforts must be sustainable. Sustainabililty requires the balance of yin and yang, effort and recovery, labor and leisure. Ask a weightlifter how they came to lift half a ton, and they will describe to you a steady schedule of carefully balanced exertion and rest.
There are certainly times when we must throw such balance to the wind, and give everything to the moment, but if we make this level of effort our baseline, we will eventually have no more midnight oil to burn. In order to sustain heroic efforts, we require legendary rest. The further you would push yourself, the more important good sleep, good food, and regular self-care become. To improve your activity, refine your inactivity.
Additionally, look to those between periods, where we neither accomplish nor heal. Chief among these is procrastination, where we carry the stress of exertion without accomplishing anything of value. It is neither rest nor labor. The internet’s virtual world offers us a thousand ways to do this. There is much legitimate leisure which taskmasters refer to as wasted time, but much of what people do on social media well and truly qualifies.
It is thus sometimes necessary to separate work from play, and activity from passivity, so that we don’t end up with a nonfunctional mixture of the two which provides neither the satisfaction of achievement nor the rejuvenation of leisure. Though Caesar salad and chocolate ice cream are both delicious, they are best served as separate courses, rather than mixed together and served simultaneously.
Indeed, the procreative images which line this decan point toward the generative dynamics possible between clear polarities. We cannot breathe in and out at the same time. The unification of opposites is one formulae. It is the Coagula of alchemy. But so too is the separation of disparate elements in order to refine them individually. This the Solve step.
So consider both your efforts and your rest. Refine them individually, and bring their proportion into balance. Inspect your life for the truly wasted time — those activities which bring no joy, no healing, and no accomplishment.
These small redistributions make for a more balanced life, and it is our equilibrium that determines our ability to absorb shocks without toppling over. The next decan, the third and final of Taurus, holds within it Uranus’ ingress into the same sign and square with Mars, a configuration certain to distribute a variety of jolts. So do yourself a favor and make a few adjustments during this small respite in what is an anything but restful year.
During this span of days, take a moment to inspect your finances. Not because there is some ungodly catastrophe just waiting to be discovered, but because our finances, like every other part of life, do well with a little regular review and maintenance. Even if you find no changes are necessary, simply getting up to date on how much is coming in, how much is going out, and where that pace will take your bottom line, is very useful.
While the Sun strides through the middle of your sign, take a step back and consider the pace at which you’re taking life, and at what speed that’s moving you toward your goals. A few corrections — little more effort here, a little less there, should serve to strengthen your equilibrium. Taking a moment to get your balance is not only generally smart, it will also put you in a better position to adjust to whatever changes and challenges Uranus intends to bring when it arrives in the Bull’s pastures in mid-May.
Those born to the Twins are not generally known for their ability to pace themselves in a moderate and sustainable manner. Quite the opposite. While the a capacity for fast starts and sudden stops has value, there is also something to be said for practicing arts for which one has little natural talent. Sit, for just a moment, and take a good look at your pace and pattern. You can bring a little more balance to it without making it boring, I promise.
In additional to general issues of pacing, you may want to look in particular to your social life. How much energy and time are you putting into your relationships with people? Although some friendships are hardy, and will remain healthy no matter how long they’re left unattended, other connections require more from us in order to remain in good health. Spending enough time with the right people is also key to your own well-being, as is avoiding others. Consider the balance between personal and social time, and whether a little adjustment may, in fact, be called for.
This decan’s span of days asks you to take stock of the current pace of your professional efforts. Although it’s possible you already possess the ideal equilibrium between work, play and rest, it’s rather unlikely. Consider how you’re recovering from your energy expenditures, both mentally and physically. If your work does not ask so much from you, consider what you might invest that unused potency in. In any case, look at both labor and leisure, and figure out a way to better balance the load.
This decan asks you to assess the pace of your pleasures. Leisure is certainly important, but the various gratifications we seek can easily slide out of balance. Conversely, there are periods of life where we do not make any room to enjoy ourselves. Look at the space you currently make for pleasure, and then imagine you kept that pattern for the rest of your life. If the result is even slightly horrifying, consider enacting a few adjustments.
It is upon the exchanges of time, money and energy between yourself and others which the Sun shines upon while it saunters through the second decan of Taurus. It will illuminate the back-and-forths of giving and receiving, paying and borrowing, in your life. You may find a few imbalances here, either in your checkbook or your heart. If so, consider not just this little debt or that, but the patterns that they are a result of. It won’t change overnight, but a little effort will help balance the scales.
The Sun’s time in the second decan of Taurus shines a light on your relationships, and the amount of space you make for them. Although it is common wisdom that one’s relationships prosper, in part, due to the amount of attention and effort you put into them, more is not necessarily always better. People can feel crowded and cramped by having too much attention paid to them, just as they feel neglected when there is a deficit thereof. Consider whether you tend to air on the side of excess or deficiency in this area, and make a small adjustment in the direction of balance.
As the Sun makes its way across the central decan of Taurus, it bids you inspect the health of the physical layer of your life — your body, your finances, and the state of your possessions. All of these things need consistent maintenance to operate in an optimal fashion. Health in any of these areas is not obtained by means of furious but occasional efforts, but by the regular allocation of small ones. As you do the dishes, pay your bills, and exercise your body this week, consider whether there are ways you could improve the pattern of these little labors.
While the Sun strolls through the second decan of Taurus, it shines its light upon the pace with which you move toward your long-term goals. This is a good opportunity to bring effort and rest into equilibrium. A big goal, a particular vision of your future, is by its nature always distant, and the journey there by definition a marathon rather than a sprint. While a marathon rewards speed, it punishes wanton haste, as energetic expenditure must be regulated to be optimally maintained over time. The key is sustainable and consistent effort, and that pace will look different for everyone.
During this decan’s span of days, consider your living situation, as well as your familial relationships. The more balanced your foundations are, the better they can support you, and the more resistant they are to shocks. A root sunk deep into stable terrain enables the tree to stand against mighty winds. This root is both physical and emotional, financial and relational, and must therefore be fed both love and labor.
For tweaks to the sustainability of your program, look to the pacing reflected in your calendar. Though Uranus’ upcoming ingress into Taurus is likely to toss a bolt or two of disruptive lightning at your schedule, that’s all the more reason to establish a healthy, productive and fun baseline. It is easier to deal with shocks when we are in a balanced state, while something perched precariously can be knocked over by little more than a gust of wind.