If you've already read the first three parts in this series on inconjuncts (quincunxes) then you can continue reading otherwise you can click here for a general introduction to inconjuncts.
Taurus and Sagittarius: Key Concepts
Slow, plodding, methodical Taurus is akin to Venus/Vulcan/Earth and exalted in Cancer’s ruling planet (Moon). Sagittarius is brash, larger-than-life, fast, effervescent and quick-witted. Many astrologers suggest that it is actually the Earth that rules Taurus in traditional astrology, which, interestingly, is the Esoteric ruler of Sagittarius. So these signs have a lot more common “ground” (no pun intended) than it seems and this means that, spiritually and karmically speaking at least, Sag’s “power” and effectiveness is found in Taurus’ natural domain/habitat (the Earth) .
Sag’s famous carefree and freewheeling attitude must eventually give way to a conscious adaptation to reality. “Reality” (whatever that really means) is the domain of Taurus, the earthiest of all the Zodiac signs, while abstraction and “unreality” is a comfortable place for Sag, however, Sag must eventually learn that dreams, schemes and “unreal” abstractions are only useful if they are applied to the here and now, that is, to life on Earth. Sag likes allegory and symbolism, Taurus likes something meatier –something it can sink its teeth into.
Pain and Suffering: Vulcan and Chiron
Chiron is the Centaur who forms the astral emblem for Sagittarius. In Greek myth he was wounded in his thigh (his animal side) by one of Hercules’ poisoned arrows and despite having an encyclopedic knowledge of medicine, magick and herbs, he could not cure his own wound despite being a celebrated wise-man who was constantly sought out as a great diviner and healer who could cure others of their ills.
Besides being a herbalist and doctor he was also an expert astrologer and fighter and trained legions of heroes and gods to become masters at their crafts. He eventually gave up his own immortality to free Prometheus from being chained to a rock in the Caucus mountains and was thus rewarded with a constellation in the heavens –the constellation of Sagittarius.
The story of Chiron reminds us why Earth is such an apt esoteric ruler for Sagittarius for it is his leg that is wounded, i.e. the part of him that takes a stand here on earth and in material reality.
It also reminds us that Sag is often wounded in its relationship with physical reality and it is because (rather than in spite of) Sag’s suffering that compassion and empathy is awakened. Chiron is trapped by his wound and his physical body in the same way that the grand and lofty vision that Sag has of life must often be scaled down to meet the laws and realities of Nature. (Interestingly, Sagittarius rules the thighs in medical astrology).
Vulcan (Hephaestus) is the son of Hera and Zeus and is flung out of Olympus for being born ugly. He lands in the sea, badly hurting his leg and becomes crippled. He is fortunate enough to be taken in by the sea-nymph Thetis and, after finding a fire on the beach one day, teaches himself the art of metallurgy and learns how to fashion the most beautiful artifacts and showers Thetis with fine gifts. Besides making gifts her his adoptive mother, he also makes jewelry, chariots and many other ingeniously beautiful things.
When his mother Hera (Juno) sees what fine things Thetis owns she asks Vulcan back up to Olympus and gives him an even nicer smithy than the one Thetis had given him. Hee is eventually thrown out of Olympus again by his father for taking Hera’s side in one of their arguments.
Taurus, along with the other earth signs (Capricorn and Virgo), are about learning about different facets of self-sufficiency. Nothing is simply handed to us and we must work hard for what we want.
When Vulcan is lifted up to Olympus to rejoin his god-parents he is thrown back to earth with a bang and breaks his other leg. This shows us that it is Earth Magick that is Taurus’ specialty and he mustn’t get to close to the fire of the gods lest he burn himself and forget where his true value lies.
Poor Vulcan is cast out of Olympus by Zeus/Jupiter not once but twice, suggesting that it is only through relating to mundane and earth-bound tasks that Taurus can find their glory and god-like status.
The Bright Fire of Sagittarius and the Green Earth of Taurus
Olympus is Zeus/Jupiter’s realm and Jupiter is the traditional ruler of Sagittarius (a sign that feels right at home in this glamorous, lofty world of the Gods). Vulcan (a metal smith) is only granted an audience with the gods through a steely dedication to earth-directed goals and aspirations and, although Sag may initially try and dissociate from his animal side (the horse), his attention and focus will eventually need to be redirected towards Earth so he can learn to accommodate and align both the bestial and divine within his own being.
Similarly Vulcan only steps into his true power and potential by “playing with fire.” If he hadn’t found that fire on the beach he would never have been able to teach himself the art of metallurgy.
Vulcan thus became known as "the smith-god" and "the god of fire and volcanoes" (hence the name Vulcan as Vulcan has the same etymological root as the word volcano). Chiron, on the other hand, is known for his superior knowledge of roots and herbs (things that grow in the dark, moist soil of the earth) and the name etymologically stems from the Greek word "hand" or "to be handy."
So, by finding strength and glory in each other’s natural elements, each sign can gain its true power and glory for too much fire can burn us to a crisp and too much earth can suffocate the life and the spark out of us.
Temperance is the Tarot card that rules Sagittarius and is the key to learning how to live in moderation as well as learning the art of alchemy.
Temperance is something that all good metal smiths must learn in order to become adept at their craft and so a little bit of Sagittarian fire goes a long way in learning self-mastery (and in igniting Taurus’ innate potential).
The Temperance card highlights the importance of alchemy and moderation and shows us another undiscovered link between Taurus and Sagittarius.
The Hierophant is the Tarot card that rules Taurus and is sometimes depicted as a Centaur in more modern decks. The Hierophant is a priest-like figure that bridges the gap between the mundane with the divine (as with the figure of the Centaur).
Taurus is about adapting to material reality and making the best of what life throws at us, even if it seems “unfair.” It is about learning to control and redirect primal life energy (the Kundalini), which is elegantly symbolised by the Vulcan myth and the small fire that Vulcan finds on the beach, which he eventually learns to “temper” and control so that he can make objects of lasting practicality (and beauty).
Sagittarius is also about learning to adapt its fiery vision to material reality, however, the difference is that Sagittarius’ element is fire; the fire and passion of the spirit -but what good is a bright and fiery spirit if it isn’t shining its path to guide and inspire others here on the Earth plane?
Earth and Ether
Taurus is a fixed Earth sign and Sagittarius is a mutable Fire sign. Mutable signs are about learning to navigate and fuse two different levels of experience. (Sag’s astral emblem is a Centaur after all), while fixed signs are about consolidating and enshrining core beliefs and values into day-to-day living.
Myth and folklore are full of beings that are half-man, half-animal who must learn to unite and acknowledge seemingly disparate needs while not denigrating and devaluing their less favourable attributes and glorifying their more “acceptable” and “glamorous” sides.
Sagittarius usually expends a lot of energy trying to cover up its foibles and “humanness” and spends a considerable amount of time living in the rich world of imagination, possibility and adventure. It revels in the life of the spirit yet recoils from too much “reality” and earthiness.
Since our Higher Selves do not usually tolerate such “splitting” for very long, there comes a time in every Sag’s life when their "special luck" runs out and they are forced to focus on reintegrating their “lowly” animal side that has been disowned for too long.
Taurus on the other hand is given the astral emblem of the bull –a solid, headstrong animal that is the quintessence of strength and perseverance as well as abundance and sacrifice.
Abundance is the gift of sacrifice for a bull must first be slain in order to give its nourishing and life-giving properties to others. This means that Taurus’ gift of Earth Magick, of accruing material wealth and abundance, should never be for selfish reasons. It should be shared with others for it is the divine inheritance of the All rather than the One.
Taurus and the Vulcan myth also show that we don’t necessarily need famous god-parents or “luck” or a life of privilege to make something of ourselves; we must create our own luck. We can use our own inner fire to light the way and that fire needn’t exclusively be found in the heavens. It can –and should- be found here on Earth, too. The bull, after all, is also synonymous with passion and desire and passion and desire are, elementally speaking, synonymous with fire.
Please Sir, can I have some… More?
Both signs can lean towards selfishness if the individual isn’t careful. Taurus has powerful security needs that can lead to acquisitiveness and a “more is more”/ hoarding mentality while Sagittarius can collect thousands of “interesting” and unique experiences and insights without sharing them with others or without seeing each one through to the end.
Sag can become so obsessed with “collecting” new experiences that it doesn’t stop to reflect on the meaning and extract the lessons and wisdom from said experiences. This can lead to a provisional life where “more” is never enough and where there’s always a new experience or philosophy (or whatever) just round the corner waiting to be experienced but never fully digested or assimilated.
Taurus can become obsessed with material acquisition and it can lead to a hunger where, again, more is never enough and there’s always some beautiful new object that can take its place or pile up in a corner collecting dust. The true meaning of “possession” is not understood and they lose the true core behind the lesson –that real power doesn’t come from owning things, it comes from self-possession, which is at the very heart of Taurus’ karma.
Again, this is where moderation (temperance) steps in and when the Hierophant, the Priest, must build a bridge between the mundane and the divine. Note that the word "priest" literally means “builder of bridges” and so it is important for the Sag-Taurus native to actively and consciously build bridges between divinely inspired ideas and earthy reality.
"The Fuzzy End of the Lollipop"
While there is a feeling that Sag is simply “given” one lucky break after the next (especially in early years), Taurus, in sharp contrast, isn’t “given” anything and must work hard for what it wants. As in the Vulcan myth, there is a feeling with Taurus that one has been short-changed and not given the same opportunities that others have. Vulcan, after all, is cast out of Olympus by his parents for being ugly and he becomes crippled when he lands on earth. So he must literally build up his life from scratch. Nothing is handed to him “on a silver platter” so to speak. Life may swing between "lucky breaks" and "dry spells" (i.e. times when one is forced to consciously adapt their skills and insights to reality) and it is important for the Sag-Taurus native to use both luck and hard work so that one can augment and compliment the other.
The Scope of Focus
Taurus and Sagittarius both have a completely different focus and a different way of approaching and grasping life situations.
The symbolic, all-encompassing focus of Sag vis a vis a narrower more concentrated focus in Taurus can lead to a certain amount of tension in how to address certain problems as well as what archetypal issue Taurus-Sagittarius should concentrate on and tackle first.
Taurus needs to disassemble things piece by piece while Sag is a top-down thinker that tends to tackle things in a more sweeping, haphazard way. Taurus is about consolidating and defining in tangible and practical terms while Sag is about spinning new worlds out of concepts and ideas that are not necessarily rooted in nature and/or “reality.”
Abstraction and philosophies that bridge the gap between non-tangible reality and physical reality -or that attempt to “make sense of it all” -may illicit a certain amount of anxiety in Taurus who is more at home in the nuts-and-bolts of life. The nuts-and-bolts of life, on the other hand, will bore Sagittarius and be deemed too "of this world", conventional and mundane to hold their interest or to generate any real solutions.
As with all inconjuncts, each sign has something the other one doesn't and so with Sag-Taurus, the native needs to form a working relationship between practicality and abstraction.
Oil and Water/ Earth and Fire
Earth and Fire are known not to mix well but as we’ve seen, the Taurus-Sagittarius quincunx can be a tremendously powerful celestial ally if we find it in someone’s chart for it can imbue the individual with a tremendous imagination, tenacity and fighting spirit
Conflict stimulates the imagination (or “necessity is the mother of invention” as the saying goes) and there is certainly no shortage of conflict or spirit of ingenuity and inventiveness in this powerful and stimulating inconjunct.
Articles, vignettes, news, reviews and views on all things Astrology, Rune & Tarot related.
© 2015-2020 www.sednaastrology.com All Rights Reserved