There’s a movie that, for me, elegantly sums up the Scorpio/Taurus struggle to transcend difficulties while continuing to live fully. Fearless tells the story of Max, a man who survives a horrific plane crash. His survival has convinced him that he’s immortal and this belief has made him utterly (and dangerously) fearless. He does seem almost supernatural – for instance, his life-long and deadly allergy to strawberries seems to have miraculously disappeared since the accident. But he’s also become harsh, utterly intolerant of dishonesty, and frighteningly blunt. Having come so close to death, he’s shattered—and he can only seem to connect emotionally with people who are in great pain. He seems cold to his own wife and son, yet shows remarkable tenderness to a fellow survivor who lost her baby in the crash.
Gradually, both the shock and his sense of immortality begin to wear off. With his help, the crash survivor with whom Max has formed an attachment finally overcomes the worst of her grief, returns to her life, and urges Max to do the same. As the film reaches its conclusion, Max has decided to rejoin his life and reconnect emotionally with his family – but he’s still not sure he can find his way back. He tests the waters of mortality by indulging in a fat, tempting strawberry—and promptly falls into anaphylactic shock. His wife manages to save him, and his final line, gasped through ecstatic, sobbing laughter, is “I’m alive.”
Living through traumatic events can make us as harsh, unforgiving, and angry as Max. These traits can be Scorpio’s shadow side, natural reactions to constant exposure to hard truths, mortality, and lessons about the limits of personal power. The work of Scorpio is transcendence—but sometimes, in the process of facing and overcoming fear and weakness, we lose track of the simple human connections, joys, and frailties that tether us to life on earth. In other words, the Taurus experience.
Each year while the Sun moves through Scorpio, the scene is set for facing fearsome realities and possibilities that we’d rather avoid. The days are short and the shadows long, the trees are losing their leaves, and melancholy easily gains a toe-hold. But at the Full Moon in Taurus, life regains some of its flavor and color. We are reminded of life’s blessings, not just its perils. We find ourselves opening a window to simple, happy pleasures, letting go of obsessive angst and allowing the world to simply be what it is. We are alive.
Nurturing and caring for living things, an unshakable, unshockable stability in the face of life’s challenges, are Taurus’ birthright. The Taurus souls among us help us accept the world as it is and to commit to being part of it – to celebrate experiences and knowledge that can only be gained through being embodied. Transcendence is all well and good, Taurus might say, but you still have to get food on the table and make sure everyone has clean socks for the next day.
When we were first getting to know one another, many years ago, I showed a Taurus friend a flash of my legendary crankiness. She looked at me and calmly said, “I’m not afraid of you.” Taurus is as fearless as Scorpio, but in a subtly different way. Scorpio sees everything, including things that aren’t visible to the naked eye, and fears nothing. Taurus’ vision is confined to what is before her, and unless you’re being chased by a saber toothed tiger or a tsunami, there is rarely anything in the present moment that’s worth being afraid of. (Imperious Leo divas don’t count!) That’s a comforting attitude, one that, whenever I encounter it in someone, immediately makes me feel as though life is a lot more manageable.
I still remember a long-ago episode of Frontline that profiled patrons of a hair salon in New York City, all of whom had lost jobs, businesses, homes, and retirement savings in the past year. These are people who have had all sense of normalcy and security ripped out from under them. The owner of the salon is exactly the sort of sensible Taurus type who, for an hour or so every few weeks, provides these lost souls with comfort, continuity, and the sense that everything will somehow work out. I could understand why they kept making appointments with her, even though for many it meant charging her fee on their credit card. She was providing something much more than a haircut, and much less expensive than therapy.
Times are difficult. That Uranus/Pluto square just keeps rearing its ugly head and throwing civilization into ever more violent tailspins. The Solar Eclipse on November 3 was a bit rough, and we’re not completely out of the woods yet.
But at this Full Moon in Taurus there are opportunities for inspiration and joyful release, for community through music, art, and fellowship. So set your harvest table for dear friends and family, share simple food and drink, and laugh together – because where there is laughter, fear is impossible. The Full Moon in Taurus invites us to get out of our heads and to commit to being and living in the moment; to enjoy everything we have – and maybe to wash a load of laundry.
© 2009, 2013 by April Elliott Kent
Painting by Claudia Fernety. See more of Claudia’s work at her website.