A sign of great power and influence, Taurus embodies the best and the worst of humanity, from Gautama the Buddha, and twentieth century Indian Gurus Baba Muktananda and J. Krishnamurti to Adolf Hitler, Saddham Hussein, Cambodian dictator Pol Pot, and Iranian theocrat Ayatollah Khomeini. I leave the reader to rank Russian revolutionary leader Vladimir Ilych Lenin and Vietnamese revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh on this scale of value.
Other culturally influential Taureans include the greatest writer in the English language, William Shakespeare; Renaissance artist and inventor Leonardo Da Vinci; roman catholic saint Vincent De Paul; author of the Communist Manifesto Karl Marx; the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud; the original ‘machiavellian’, Niccolo Machiavelli; pioneering advocate of the rights of women, Mary Wollstonecraft; founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingdale; founder of modern botanical taxonomy, Carl Linnaeus; child care ‘guru’ Benjamin Spock; free market political economist, Friedrich Hayek; and lateral thinker Edward de Bono.
Taurean creative artists include novelists Vladimir Nabokov, author of Lolita, Joseph Heller author of Catch 22, and Australian Booker prize winning author Peter Carey; film directors Satyajit Ray, Orson Welles George Lucas and Jane Campion; painters Salvadore Dali and Sidney Nolan; modern dance teacher Martha Graham and Indian polymath, Rabindranath Tagore.
Ida Rolph, the founder of the Rolphing system of therapeutic body work, [like Joseph Campbell in the case of Aries], is a paradigmatic example of how an individual’s life work can so aptly fit their sign. Taurus is very body oriented and true to type, Rolphing transforms the total psyche through aligning the body with the force of gravity. The work is strong, systematic and thorough; requires commitment [to a minimum of ten sessions]; produces powerful, lasting results and is expensive. What’s more, in typical Taurean fashion, Ida Rolph jealously guarded the value of the brand name by maintaining strict quality control over the training and accreditation of practitioners.
As you would expect, many Hollywood romantic leads, both handsome men and beautiful women are drawn from the ranks of sensual, beauty worshipping Taurus. For example, Anthony Quinn, Garry Cooper, Fred Astaire, Dennis Hopper, Al Pacino, and Jack Nicholson on the male side and Katharine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Shirley Temple, Ann Margaret, Shirley MacLaine, Uma Thurman, Penelope Cruz and Australian actress Judy Davis on the female side. Katharine Hepburn embodies the appealing down-to-earth attitude of Taurus in this comment: ‘Life’s what’s important. Walking, houses, family. Birth and pain and joy. Acting’s just waiting for a custard pie. That’s all.’
“If music be the food of love, play on, give me excess of it”
Another area in which Taurus traditionally shines is music. Consider this impressive list: classical composers Johannes Brahms, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and Erik Satie; classical conductor Otto Klemperer and violinist Yehudi Menuhin; Australian opera singer Nellie Melba; jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald; big band leaders Maynard Ferguson and Duke Ellington; song writer Irving Berlin; contemporary composers Brian Eno and Burt Bacharach; popular singers Bing Crosby, Perry Como, Bobby Darin, Trini Lopez, Roy Orbison, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Judy Collins, Eric Burdon, Steve Winwood, Ian Dury, Joe Cocker, Grace Jones, Barbara Streisand, Glen Campbell, Willie Nelson, ‘Stand by your man’ Tammy Wynette, Bono of U2 fame, David Byrnes, former leader of the band Talking Heads, and the influential bluesman Robert Johnson. Taurus rules the throat in the body, hence its association with vocal talent.
Interestingly, as well as Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein, a significant number of the West’s greatest philosophers from acknowledged giants David Hume and Immanuel Kant, to Soren Kierkegaard and Teilhard de Chardin, [mentor to Jean Houston], were born under the sign of Taurus. A trenchant critic of Christianity, Bertrand Russell displayed the sceptical common sense so characteristic of Taurus in his popular works. For example, on the subject of faith he writes: ‘We may define faith as a firm belief in something for which there is no evidence. When there is evidence, no one speaks of faith. We do not speak of faith that two and two are four or that the earth is round. We only speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence.’ And consider this little gem: ‘Aristotle could have avoided the mistake of thinking that women have fewer teeth than men by the simple device of asking Mrs Aristotle to open her mouth.’