Taurean Magic and The Runes Talk Bull

Taurus the Bull

Purists might complain that I am mixing up two or more separate histories and traditions, and so I am, but I make no apology for it

The Tarot, the Runes, western tropical astrology, eastern sidereal or Vedic astrology etc etc arose from distinctive cultures arising in distinctive landscapes at particular latitudes, looking up at the visible skies of those latitudes, and correlating celestial events with seasonal and other events at ground level.

Obviously there is going to be considerable variation between the iconography of these different symbolic systems used in divination and prediction, but there’s still a great deal of common ground, going all the way back to the Sumerians and long before that.

Bull worship in one form or another has had its place in every polytheist culture where bulls have formed part of the natural landscape.

Tarot ostensibly has its origins as a cultural artifact of fourteenth century northern Europe, but derives out of much older cultural traditions arriving into Europe from Turkey and going way back to the ancient civilisations of the Indus; the Persians, Babylonians and Sumerians.

Tarot uses the Hierophant card in directly correlating the zodiac sign of Taurus the Bull with priesthood and established religion as a general principle.

Popes issued edicts known as Papal Bulls.

The Runes on the other hand, are an alphabet associated with proto-Germanic culture both Scandinavian and Anglo- Saxon.

The Norse, we know, went travelling and trading throughout the Mediterranean and it has been suggested that the ancient Norse alphabet, the runes, derives in part from Greek.

The runes however, which began as an alphabet but were also used in shamanic practices as a symbolic magical system, reflect the landscapes they came from

You’ll notice they are made up entirely of straight lines, designed to be carved into wood, or on bones or stones.

A Tarot deck has pomegranates. The runes have a thorn and a yew tree.

Today marks the start of the third and final decan of Taurus the Bull; a fixed Earth sign, spring in its full flowering, season of wild cattle calving.

Once upon a time the spring equinox occurred a little later than it does now, owing to the movement of the constellations in relation to Earth – an effect called precession, so that one upon a time it was Taurus, not Aries, that was understood as the first sign of the new astrological year – the ‘alpha’ sign represented by the Hebrew letter ALEPH.

In the rune alphabet system, the 24 letters or glyphs of the runic alphabet, are both letters to do with cattle and specifically, bulls.

Here is that FUTHARK alphabet are again:

These letters are F and U ,the first two, top left

It sounds a bit rude…short for, well, you know, ‘Eff You.’

And maybe that’s not so much of coincidence as it seems. Synchronicity and all that.

But let’s take a closer look at these ‘bullish’ letters

Fehu

The first letter of the old rune alphabet signifies wealth,but technically means cattle and specifically, domesticated cattle. The Norse peoples measured wealth in cattle, and this rune denotes wealth earned through hard work and tenacity. There is no good quick buck. There is nothing quick and easy about looking after cattle.

The modern English word Fee is derived from this ancient proto-Germanic root

Fehu

Fehu is about effort. This rune won’t help you or me one bit with winning the lottery. But imagine you are job hunting, or need a business loan.

You could if you felt so inclined ask Fehu to help.

We have other words too, based around the prosperity and virility of bull symbolism; bull markets and bullion.

The idea is not as archaic as it might seem.

The Charging Bull of Broadway, Arturo Di Modica

The bull statue was created in the aftermath of the stock market crash of 1987. Wiki says that Di Modica spent $360 000 to create the Bull, which was cast the bull in bronze in a Brooklyn foundry.

“Having arrived penniless in the US in 1970, Di Modica felt indebted to America for welcoming him and enabling his career as a successful sculptor. Charging Bull was intended to inspire each person who came into contact with it to carry on fighting through the hard times after the 1987 stock market crash. Di Modica later recounted to art critic Anthony Haden Guest “My point was to show people that if you want to do something in a moment things are very bad, you can do it. You can do it by yourself. My point was that you must be strong“-Wiki

The Bull was not commissioned apparently, and was installed without authorization, as something of a guerrilla act. The NYPD duly took it away but there was a public outcry, and it was reinstated in a new site, two blocks away from the stock exchange and seems to be an indefinite fixture.

People sit on it and rub its nose and horns – and other bits too, all of which are now shinier than the rest of it.

They rub the bull for luck.

Read more about this story HERE

To ask for Fehu’s magical protection, help or energy, draw or paint its rune, or carve it, carry it in your pocket, say its name. Speak in 3’s or 7’s. 9 is considered especially powerful for luck work. And when the desired effect materializes; well, it was down to your own efforts, but still…beware of hubris. Don’t neglect to say thank you to the ‘Everything That Is’.

There is a world of difference between having the wind behind your sails or not, and that is what luck work, or talismanic work, – so-called magic – is about.

Lining yourself up so that you have the right wind behind you.

Some years ago Senior sprog, then a vet nurse, had just returned from some years living and working away. She was depressed and desperate for a new job, and then she got the offer of an interview with a vet.

I put Fehu on the case big time, and she was offered the job right away, and that made the most enormous difference to a lot of things.

Now, here’s the thing before someone shouts at the screen that this is just plain daft.

She got that job on her own merits. Of course she did.

But it wasn’t my first experience with Fehu. And having the best experience or the best qualifications is no guarantee of getting the job, as I discovered working in the recruitment industry. The CV may well get them the interview but that takes the candidate only so far. Now they have to stand out at interview. They have to feel like a good fit for the individual employer who has to like them, and above all feel confident that they can work with them.

When it comes to these subjective aspects, the best candidate in the world has no conscious control whatsoever. That’s where the luck aspect comes into it.

There is always a gap.

I have had occasion to thank Fehu on other occasions. You could always give it a go. There’s no rule says you can’t. Just remember, these are very ancient human algorithms, and not to be commanded.

They demand respect.

Uruz

Health

Uruz, the second letter of the rune alphabet means physical power, primal strength, and it is inspired by that powerful wild animal, the auroch; predecessor of the first domesticated cattle as represented by Fehu.

Cattle were domesticated about 10 000 years ago, migrating into Africa about 5 000 years ago, and the auroch lives on in the genome.

Hitler got his scientists on to it,and tried to bring them back, but succeeded only in creating a mightily dangerous and bad-tempered animal, let free to roam and terrorize the forest inhabitants of Poland. Though that was at least partly the plan in any case..

Auroch. Lascaux Caves

Touching once again on the Taurean connection, The auroch were hunted during their annual migration starting April and May – Taurus season.

A hugely dangerous business.

Auroch burger anyone? There is the auroch.

Who, me? Would you look at it? Just look at that Fehu-cking thing?!

Yeah. So let’s go get him then. Because -auroch burgers!

You first. I just turned vegan.

Is has been suggested that the siting of Stonehenge marks a significant spot on an ancient auroch migration route.

The bones of auroch have been found there, and Amesbury may have been a sacred hunting ground before the site itself was built around 5000 years ago.

Uruz

In luck work it may be used the same way as Fehu; write it, carve it, carry it in your pocket

Say its name (pronounced Oooo-Rooooz) asking for a surge of extra strength or stamina, or to request health and healing for yourself or for another, after an injury or illness.

There we have it. Two practical applications of Northern European bull magic

Toro!

Words and symbols. That’s all it is on the face of it. Something and nothing. The matching piece of this magic puzzle is not a missing piece.

It is you

Says this Taurean subject.

Until next time 🙂

Or perhaps I should say ‘moo.’

The Seasons in the Stars- Hey Toro! The Star-Bull Taurus

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Taurus Symbol
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The Black Bull by George Bellows 1919

Common Associations

  • Dates: April 21-May 21 The cusp is April 19/20
  • Element: Fixed earth (mid spring)
  • Ruling planet: Venus
  • Body: neck, throat, tonsils
  • Birthstone: Emerald
  • Metal: copper
  • Flower: the Daisy; innocence, sanctity
  • Tree: the Apple Tree; youth, beauty, happiness, immortality. Avalon, resting place of King Arthur went was the ‘isle of apples’
  • Colours: pastel blue, green, pink
  • Famous for: strength, stamina, stubbornness, practicality, thoroughness, duty, honesty, sensuality, money sense, a pleasant speaking voice, artistic/singing ability, green fingers, good cooking, independence
  • Professions: Politics, Banking, (also think Bull markets) Agriculture, Construction, Arts, Musician, Entertainment, Beauty, Fashion, Restaurants
  • Tarot card: The Hierophant- Tradition, Received wisdom, Books

Astronomy

Wiki

Taurus (Latin for Bull) is a large and prominent constellation between Aries to the west and Gemini to the east. It ranks 17th in size of the 48 Greek constellations recorded by Ptolemy in his introduction to the Mathematics of the Heavens, the Almagest, written AD 150.

The stars of Taurus depict the face, horns and forepart of the bull’s body. His face is made up of a triangular cluster of stars called The Hyades. There are no legs. The bull is imagined half submerged. He is the mythical Bull from the Sea.  A second cluster of stars, The Pleiades, known as The Seven Sisters, swarm like bees above his back.

The best time to observe Taurus in the night sky is during the months of December and January. By March and April, you might see it in the west in the   twilight.

To find Taurus first the three stars of Orion’s belt. That’s usually easy on a clear winter’s night. Now look up to the right, looking north- east, See that bright orange-red star? That’s Aldebaran, ‘The Follower,’ a red giant, the biggest, brightest star in the constellation, the red eye of the Bull, glaring in the direction of Orion.

Should the Bull escape his heavenly pen, said an ancient Arabic legend, he would stampede the universe to pieces, and it would be the end of things for all time. Let’s hope nothing upsets him.

Wiki Commons: the horns, face and the giant red star, Aldebaran, the Eye of the Bull, glaring menacingly in the direction of Orion the Hunter  

Taurus has been recognized as a sky bull since at least the Early Bronze Age. Historians think the figure of a bull was first discerned in the stars by the Sumerians around 3000 BC and was recorded in cuneiform by the Babylonians.

Ancient History

In modern astrology Aries is the first sign of the western zodiac, ushering in the spring (vernal) equinox along with the first lambs.

However, 4000 years ago it was Taurus, not Aries that coincided with the vernal equinox, and for Babylonian astronomers Taurus was the first sign of the Zodiac, ‘the Bull in front,’- leading from the front.

The Bull was also the first sign for the early Hebrews, who called it Aleph, as in A, the first letter of the alphabet.

Taurus coincided with the start of the calving season.

The bull, like its ancestors, the wild aurochs, is a potent symbol of strength and fertility, but where Leo the lion, represents wild strength, Taurus the bull is domesticated, controlled strength, as harnessed in oxen or a bull with a ring through his nose. One of the several archetypes associated with Taurus is ‘The Farmer,’ and many a bull has worn a ring through its nose for the sake of the farmer’s safety. The dairy bulls, breeds such as the Charolais for instance, are especially to be handled with care where the famous black bulls used in bullfighting are by comparison, more easygoing.

The bull has exerted a magical influence on human imagination even before the dawn of agriculture. Aurochs, the fiercer, wild ancestors of the modern bull, were painted in the Lascaux caves in France, in paintings thought to date from 15000 BC.

The most famous section of the Lascaux caves in the Dordogne in France is the Hall of the Bulls, featuring four black bulls, or aurochs.  One of the bulls is 5.2 metres (17 ft) long, the largest animal discovered so far in cave art.

It is thought that the aurochs migrated at this time of year; a dangerous but potentially highly rewarding hunting opportunity. Not only did the aurochs provide the luxury of meat, but the horns and hide had many uses.

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Lascaux

Hunting gave way to farming of animals, guaranteeing supplies with less risk attached. The first ever cattle, goats, sheep, and pig- farming began in the so-called ‘Fertile Crescent;’ a region covering eastern Turkey, Iraq, and south-western Iran about 12000 years ago.

These farming practices spread westwards, and in time had a genetic effect on the human population, with the sudden appearance of a gene mutation that enabled humans to digest raw cow’s milk. It’s not known when this first occurred, but it probably happened first in Northern Europe and today 35 % of the global human population can digest the milk sugar, lactose. Click on this link to find out more on this subject.

The Cult of the Bull and related Worship

Bull Leaping in Knossos

The bull was considered a divine animal throughout antiquity and was a symbol of the moon, fertility, rebirth, and royal power, while today, the Lithuanian word ‘taurus’ means ‘noble.’

There is evidence of bull cults throughout the Mediterranean starting in Anatolia, dating from at least 70000 BC. From the worship of the Apis bull in Egypt, to bull-leaping in Knossos and the sacrificial portrayal in Roman Mithraism, the bull has been an integral part of many diverse and important religious traditions.

Greek legend associated Taurus with the legend of Zeus and Europa, in which the god Zeus, up to his sneaky tricks yet again, disguised himself as a beautiful, gentle white bull, coaxed the princess Europa into climbing on his back, then abducted her, swam away with her to Crete, and made her one of his mistresses. The many gifts Zeus gave Europa included a pet dog that later became the constellation Canis Major. Their children supposedly included Minos, King of Crete, the builder of the Labyrinth and the famous palace at Knossos where the bull games were held.

Bull worship, or rather, the concept of the bull as divine concept gradually migrated ever westwards and northwards. The Celtic druids held Tauric festivals at least 2000 years ago, and there is archaeological evidence of bull worship near Newcastle and York in the UK.

The Buddha was born when the Full Moon was in Taurus (Vesak) and his birthday is celebrated at the Vesak Festival which occurs on the first Full Moon in Taurus.

Beware of the bull

Like the Bull himself, the classic Taurus subject, male or female, is generally peaceable, pleasant, even placid. But Taurus will not be disrespected, pushed or driven. Other people can get a shock when Taurus suddenly sees red …and they don’t give a lot of warning.  The mistake of the other person was in underestimating them, taking their good nature for granted once too often.

Bulls cannot physically see red. It is the movement of the toreador’s cape that provokes them, and not the colour. But when the human bull ‘sees’ red, they  either dig in hard, or may charge head on.

Taurus in a full-on rage is a ‘bull in a china shop’ – the Earth sign that will withstand or demolish the opposition of  other more famous ‘fighting’ signs, Aries, Leo, and even lethal Scorpio, its opposite number in the zodiac.

Taurus doesn’t like to fight but doesn’t lose in a fair fight. The bull ring is not a fair fight; that’s the tragedy of Taurus. But if a Taurus is being unreasonable, misbehaving, or being a ‘bully’ quietly stand your ground.  It should pass. Taurus is not at all vindictive as a rule.

But why upset the Bull? Look at him, quietly grazing. Taurus is not a saint, and can be difficult or grumpy sometimes, but he’s really not looking for trouble. Do as you would be done by, and everything should be buttercups and daisies in your everyday dealings with the Taurus subject, man or woman.

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