Rulers: Mars (Pluto) and Venus
Natural houses: 2nd/8th
On the Taurus/Scorpio axis we meet Mars and Venus again, although this time in their fixed, earth-water manifestations. As a fixed axis, the confrontation between Taurus and Scorpio can be particularly entrenched and unyielding. Naturally associated with the 2nd/8th house axis, the inherent conflict on this axis revolves around issues of resources and ownership, values and possessions, both personal and shared. Taurus is a gentle, peace-loving and practical sign, which prefers to stay within its own sphere of comfort. However, if this axis becomes particularly polarised on the Taurus end of the spectrum, then the simple, biological drive towards stability can become inert and stagnant. This inevitably evokes and stimulates the kind of intense crises that are associated with the sign of Scorpio, which breaks down fixed structures in the interests of growth and new life.
Audience: I have often wondered why Taureans seem to have such battles in relationships. I suppose this is what happens when they are identified with the Scorpio end of the spectrum?
Clare: That's right. When we start to think in terms of axes, then we
will start thinking of a Taurus person as being somewhere on the Taurus-Scorpio
axis, although we don't know exactly where until we have explored this
with them first. But this means that we will no longer be surprised if
we have a Taurus client who is consumed by intense and complex emotional
or relationship problems, sexual issues, power struggles, battles over
money and shared resources, and the like. None of these things belongs
to the sign of Taurus, which is very simple, stable and grounded, but they
are not uncommon themes with Taurean clients. I am using the term 'Taurean'
to describe a person who may not have the Sun in Taurus but could have
several planets in Taurus or in the 2nd house, or Taurus on the Ascendant.
In such cases, the Taurean can gradually restore their equilibrium by developing
a sound sense of self-worth, providing materially for themselves, cultivating
a fixity of purpose, a pride in their own accomplishments, and the courage
to defend themselves, rather than engaging in power struggles which appear
to be caused by the emotional demands of others.
A useful Taurus-Scorpio myth is that of King Midas, who was extremely wealthy. He was, we could say, identified entirely with the Taurus end of this axis. When he was granted a wish by the god Dionysus, he wished that everything he touched would turn to gold, and so it did. However, when he touched the flowers in his garden they turned to gold, and everything he tried to eat turned to gold, so he became increasingly hungry. Worst of all, his beloved daughter turned into gold when he accidentally touched her. Fortunately, and because King Midas was so full of remorse when he realised the consequences of his greed, Dionysus agreed to reverse the spell, and everything came to life again.
Walter Crane, 'King Midas and his daughter who has turned to gold', in Nathanial Hawthorn, A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys (1892), British Library
We could say that he realised that, without the destructive aspect of the life-force that belongs to Scorpio, everything would become static, incapable of change or growth. The point is that Taurus begets Scorpio, retention leads to release, incorporation to elimination, to ensure that nature remains in balance and that the life force is constantly regenerated.
Audience: What happens if this axis is reversed and the identification is on the Scorpio end? Can you give us an example of a Scorpio that needs to find its Taurus?
Clare: In this case the individual may seek to find their security and
self-worth through other people or other people's resources, rather than
their own. If we depend completely on others for our security and sense
of self-worth, then we have given our power to them, and we naturally feel
that they owe us something in return. If we have no sense of our own inner
intrinsic value or worth, we have nothing to contribute to the relationship.
The Scorpio client can therefore be extremely possessive, feeling that
other people are their possessions and that they belong to them, body and
soul. With such a great investment in the other, it is not surprising that,
before long, intense feelings of jealousy, suspicion and insecurity emerge.
The interesting thing about this is that possessiveness belongs to Taurus
and is not a Scorpio trait at all. In essence Scorpio is where we are forced
to surrender and let go. Scorpio does not hold onto things - it purges
and eliminates, because everything which no longer serves life has to die
to make way for new life.
The myth of Pluto and Persephone is relevant here because it harks back to the ancient seasonal rituals celebrating the relationship between life and death in nature. Taurus is springtime, celebrated in the fertility festival of Beltane at the beginning of May, when Persephone is said to make her annual return to the earth from the underworld and all of nature begins to thrive and grow. But at the opposite end of the year, in Scorpio time, marked by Samhain, the festival of death, Persephone returns to the underworld, her earth-mother Demeter goes into mourning, and everything in nature dies. Scorpio and Pluto signify the great organic processes of death and renewal. The life force ebbs and flows on a seasonal basis, since growth cannot continue indefinitely - nature has to be stripped bare in order to ensure renewed life. So the Taurus/Scorpio axis is one entire process, and we cannot really understand one without understanding the other.
Frederick Lord Leighton, 'The Return of Persephone' (1891)