Taurus 16 - 20
Awakening, Awakened, Realised, Enlightened
By James Burgess
These terms are not always used clearly and consistently so it may be helpful to consider what they mean for us. There may well be other interpretations and definitions, but for me it is useful to know what I mean when I use them, so I describe them like this.
An awakening person has come to see that the material world is by no means our only reality, that not everything can be measured and counted, that the realm of Spirit exists and is quite real in its own way. Typically they make some effort to evolve spiritually by receiving guidance, studying and improving themselves through consciously working with their negative side. They have more awareness of the subtle forces at play in all situations, they take more responsibility for what occurs in their lives and tend not to blame or experience self-pity.
Realisation and Enlightenment
An awakened person has reached a high level of awareness, which is a constant attitude of being. They are not deceived by what is false; they attend only to what is real, and are also correctly called 'realised’. Realised is a synonym for awakened. There are degrees of realisation, and the highest degree, when one is ‘fully realised', is also called enlightenment.
It is highly unlikely that we will meet an enlightened being because they are very unusual indeed. They exist, of course, and are not limited to such names as Buddha and Christ, yet they only appear rarely and are by no means always recognised. However, we may expect to encounter a number of awakened persons on our spiritual journey, and of course many of our circle of associates will be awakening. An awakened, or realised, being has very often opened the third eye, has a range of somewhat unusual abilities that enable them to know what others do not know – both through intelligent reasoning, and by direct perception or insight.
By this 'definition’ anyone who sets their primary life goal in spiritual terms, and dedicates their life to spiritual evolution, may reasonably expect to become realised during this lifetime; it does however take dedication and sacrifice, yet is not beyond our grasp provided it is the primary purpose of our lives.
Taurus & The Sabian Mystery of
by Heidi Souffriau
“I see, and when the eye is opened, all is illumined.”
How does the expression of Awakening relate to Taurus and its five Sabian Symbols?
TAURUS 16° : THE LIMITATIONS OF LANGUAGE
The first expression of Awakening is An Old Man Vainly Attempting To Reveal the Mysteries. In the tarot, Taurus is represented by The Hierophant, also known as the Pope or the Teacher in other decks. At the feet of The Hierophant, a pair of crossed keys represent the unlocking of the mysteries. Secret knowledge which only he, ‘an old man’, can teach.
The ‘old’ refers to the tradition of passing on knowledge (such as spiritual traditions, religious beliefs, ancient scriptures) as well as to Time itself as a construct. Honouring Time calls for both the respect of the ancient knowledge that has travelled eons of time on the evolutionary plane, just like the light of a star, as well as a respect for the current times and its demands. In his attempt to teach the secrets of the universe, the old man is unsuccessful. We are confronted with the limitations of language. A two-year old child stares in wonder at a butterfly. Then the parent names the miracle ‘butterfly’ and steals the mystery. Does the child know ‘butterfly’ any better?
As such, the first Sabian Symbol of Awakening raises a question: how do we translate the ‘old’ to the modern world? Or more: how can we, by revealing the mysteries, support the global awakening expressed by the air of the time? What do we teach and how?
Revealing the mysteries asks that we bring the subconscious and superconscious to consciousness. Yet a true secret can not be told. Humans feel things to be true through their personal experience. It’s through ‘inner-standing’ rather than ‘understanding’ that we learn. Taurus is the 5-sensory experience –smelling the roses, listening to music, painting, massages, cooking a delicious meal and the art of enjoyment –which precedes Gemini’s language and thinking. Taurus has the ability to experience and enjoy the butterfly rather than to ‘kill’ it with a label.
TAURUS 17° : THE LAW OF DUALITY
Also, we can’t say one thing without saying the opposite. Taurus 17°, A Battle Between The Swords And The Torches, brings in the Law of Duality. The torches represent the inspiration, the lightbulb moments that motivate us on the spiritual path, and the primal truth of fire.
The swords represent the air-element, our thinking, where all the contradictions flow together. Because words can cut like swords, this Sabian Symbol invites us to investigate our inner monologue. The way we speak to ourselves reveals the need to purify our thought body.
Venus, ruler of Taurus, also declares Duality due to her guardianship over two schools: the school of ‘self-love’ through Taurus and the school of ‘love shared with others’ through Libra.
How do we reconcile duality? The battle of Taurus 17° stipulates that we are required to choose a direction. Once we made the decision, we are to lay down the sword and commit to the path we’ve chosen. The inner battle served as a teacher: there is no right or wrong, but there is such a thing as what is right for me. We have left the war-stricken land of judgement for the sunlit fields of discernment.
TAURUS 18°: TRANSCENDING DUALITY
What lies beyond duality? What lies beyond binary thinking? This is the mission of Taurus 18°, A Woman Holding A Bag Out Of The Window
Our journey of Awakening is a pilgrimage to wholeness. In contrast to the man in Taurus 16°, this Sabian Symbol speaks of a woman and thus integrates the opposite perspective: the feminine, Feeling. Choosing feeling, she holds the bag out of the window. She lets go of the baggage of the past, the old narratives that limit her experience.
The exploration of duality through experiencing ‘the other side’ teaches that outer reality is merely a reflection of our inner reality. In Taurus, we become present. We learn that our consciousness is spacious enough to hold two opposite perspectives at once in equanimity.
From this point on, Duality only exists to reveal the harmony underneath the binary. Our inner polarities become resources. As we thread further on the path towards union, we can flip the perspective and awaken to the ability to think from the heart and feel from the mind.
Feeling from the mind restores the mind to its essence as a white canvas upon which fresh content can be impressed. Such unbiased receptivity opens the door to the quantum field of infinite possibility that lies underneath our stories and our fiery passions.
TAURUS 19°: ANCHORING OUR AWAKENED SELF
Now A Newly Formed Continent, Taurus 19°, can rise. This new continent provides the playground for us to practise our spirituality in the material world.
How will we direct our energy? What shall we express?
Through Venus’ receptivity, the constellation of Taurus initiates us into the Law of Attraction. We attract who we are, vibrationally. Our thoughts and our emotions shape this vibration which attracts to us the creative opportunities and experiences that will guide us further on the path of awakening. How our material desires and choices – our job, lifestyle, house –reflect our spiritual values, is a Taurean matter. However far ‘up there’ our journey of Awakening hurls us, it’s essential for our evolution to embody and give expression to the cosmic laws within the 3-dimensional world. It’s by materializing our desires that we integrate our values and test the fertility of the intuition.
TAURUS 20°: REVEALING THE INTUITION
Taurus 20°, Wind, Clouds and Haste, confronts the fixed earth of Taurus with the mutability of the air-element: the ever-changing thoughts that drift like clouds through our minds, but also the air of the time. The wavering, dynamic and uncertain weather of our lives requires a unique identity that grounds us in reality. Taurus wants to monetise a unique talent so the individual is able to fulfil its own physical needs and grow self-sufficient. Whichever way the wind blows, establishing our identity in the community and world at large nurtures our self-love and awakens us to our sovereignty. The journey of becoming ever continues, and a strong sense of inner security gives us roots so we can more easily cope with the winds of change.
Legend tells that the Buddha was born a Taurus. Siddharta lived a Taurean life of luxury in a palace when spirit, Wind, Clouds and Haste, called him away. The symbol instructs us to root in self-love and tend to our inner weather, ‘our vibration’, while staying open to divine guidance, because tomorrow Life might have us on the road again.
Human consciousness hastily speeds towards novelty to accommodate our ever-evolving desires. Haste as the antidote of Taurus teaches the technique of Presence, Patience, and slowing down: the art of allowing. In Buddhism, thinking is considered a sense, something we receive, like the song of the birds, the smell of grandmother’s soup… The Buddha is ever depicted seated in meditation, eyes closed, with the third eye. This symbol takes us deeper into our meditation practice. We’re now invited to also let go of the sensory experience and to open the one and unique eye by looking within. When we are still, silent and at ease, we can awaken to our inner voice, our intuition.
Taurus’ mantra: “I see, and when the eye is opened, all is illumined.”
Wind, Clouds and Haste is the womb of the next expression of Taurus, Authority, where we embrace our responsibility to be someone and to care for the planet. In truth, we can not offer our planet anything, for Earth already offers us everything: these bodies we borrow, our food and water, the air we breathe… The only gift we can bring to the table is the purification and beautification of our thoughts, so that we clean the air we share, the atmosphere of our planet.