The Year of Subtle Distinctions

Cosmophilia: You Belong Here for Taurus

By Eric Francis

Taurus Part One

Taurus Part Two

Download mp3 archive.

Cosmophilia prologue

Cosmophilia houses

The astrology for Taurus is so focused on seemingly mysterious or deeply hidden forces at work that you may have to consciously direct your energy outward. It’s necessary to set priorities as a matter of will, based on what you’ve learned and who you’ve become in recent years. This is likely to be someone profoundly different from who you were fairly recently.

Silence Seekers by Cameron Gray.

Silence Seekers by Cameron Gray.

Once you decide to focus and act on your own agenda, you’ll discover that you have developed some unusual creative abilities — that is, the power to change your world in ways that seemed impossible before.

To some extent this is happening whether you focus on it or not; but the more you bring your will into the picture, the more you will be able to choose where you want to make your improvements. Rather than being compelled to respond to situations outside yourself, you get to respond to your inner changes and act as a builder following the architecture of your own personal discovery process.

Being compelled to respond to seemingly external forces has been a theme of the past two years. It’s as if you had to constantly adapt to situations outside of your control. During that time you’ve been going through such profound inner changes that you took these developments in stride. Everything became fodder for your growth. That growth has long been focused on an ongoing, profound reevaluation of everything you believe, everything you took for granted, everything that you were taught by various authority figures.

Many factors suggest that you have the strength, energy and determination to do whatever you want — acting as the initiator rather than as one who is merely subject to external circumstances. Yet no matter how much you strive to arrange, change or improve your world or the world, everything that happens remains the expression of your deep inner journey.

Perhaps the most subtle distinction is that between your inner world and the world around you. Where you are heading is the place where they merge into the same thing — where what is seemingly outer and seemingly inner are expressions of the same reality.

This has many practical manifestations — for example, how do you conduct business or make a living without turning yourself into a commodity? When every ethic or religious doctrine you were raised with turned out to be flawed, how do you guide your life? When your whole concept of self has been up-ended, scrambled and fried, how do you decide who you are?

Yes, you must live with many uncertainties, of the kind that used to make you extremely nervous. What you may be discovering is how much freedom that gives you — mainly the freedom to be exactly who you are.

Pluto in Capricorn, Uranus in Aries

We live in an era of radical change, described by contact between two slow-moving planets — Pluto in Capricorn, which is taking a square (90-degree) aspect from Uranus in Aries. I’ve been calling this the 2012 aspect; its technical name is the Uranus-Pluto square.

This aspect pattern describes the chaos and volatility of the world we live in now, and it describes the sensation of standing on constantly shifting ground. It describes various forms of reversal, such as things becoming their opposite. Perhaps most beautifully, it illustrates the raging identity crisis that is a response to both the rising tide of technology, and the collapse of the prior economic structure.

We can look to this aspect for information about the recent bouts with chaos in banking, government and corporate activities. We see all kinds of activism, from people protesting in the streets to police officers in uniform protesting at a funeral — something that is truly strange and different, despite appearing in news reports as if it was nothing special.

When we look to your solar chart to find these upheavals, they show up in some of the most private dimensions of your life.

Let’s take these transits individually, then as one event. Pluto in Capricorn goes back to 2008. Uranus in Aries goes back to 2010. Their meeting spans from 2012 to 2015, and it will continue to have effects for a long time — indeed, some of its influences will remain permanent fixtures both within you and in the culture around you.

Capricorn is your 9th house, representing your beliefs, your faith in something larger than you, and your connection to your ‘higher self’. It also represents the collected psychological matter imposed on your ancestors through religion and education. You might say that it’s the beliefs of your parents, grandparents and beyond, which have, in the past, set the limits on what you believe is possible.

Then came Pluto: the unstoppable evolutionary force. The initial sensation of Pluto was the impact of some force that challenged everything you believe. It might have been a teacher of some kind. It might have been a relationship. It might have involved exposure to a new system of ideas. The effect was as if a team of excavators arrived — complete with a French archeologist, a forensic psychologist, an eccentric professor and a radical guru.

They were followed by the demolition team, which set apart dismantling your beliefs, dogmas and every taken-for-granted idea you’ve been toting around ever since anyone claiming to know something started telling you about right from wrong — probably long before. Initially this was disorienting; then it became liberating.

Suddenly you were free to actually make up your own mind about what you believe. You were no longer subject to the beliefs of others, no matter how sensible, mistaken or rigid. This process is still ongoing, though it’s fully internalized; it’s become part of you. At this stage of your life, it’s natural for you to question what you believe, and to question the beliefs of others on you. What’s interesting is that this includes people who have considerable authority in your life.

One way to look at this is that you’ve been identifying and neutralizing the various forms of social control that were implanted into you as a child, much of which came from previous generations.

Then Came Uranus in Aries

Aries, the sign of self, is located in your house of un-self — the 12th house. The 12th exists as if in a parallel dimension. It’s the world we access in dreams; through art and music; through sex; through theater, photography and cinema; and sometimes through experimenting with psychoactive substances.

To have Aries in this house suggests that you have a kind of double life — a profound inner experience of being, and then an outer one, which can seem oddly detached from your inner experience.

The 12th is something of a karmic storehouse, in a way similar to the 9th house. This particular storehouse is like a psychic pond into which many different streams flow. Unlike the 9th, where you can usually track something that your grandmother said to your mother that got passed along to you, the 12th is a vast mystery. Living with this mystery has created a kind of vacuum in your life, which in turn has led to an uncertainty factor about who you are, which in turn has opened you up to various forces that would try to dictate who you are.

Uranus entering Aries in 2010 and 2011 brought a revolution to this whole scenario. You might say it shocked you into your sense of self; reminded you that you exist; and encouraged you to awaken from a kind of sleep about who you are. Said another way, Uranus in Aries has prompted you to wake up to who you really are — and it’s been a little chaotic. But it’s worked. This profound inner force has pushed you to awaken to yourself.

Combined with Pluto doing a number on all those old ideas you took for granted, you’ve been drawn right into the moment, and invited to confront or engage who and what you are.

This is the kind of thing that people go through years of therapy and workshops to attain. It’s similar to ‘losing one’s mind’ as long as that mind is the collection of old beliefs and stuck self-concepts. The result has been a heightened level of focus on your actual life, now; your actual relationships, now, rather than what they were in the past; and on a creative process that’s directly linked to a self-creative process.

All of this is deeply introspective, but it’s having results in the world. Yet even those worlds have a kind of mystical cast to them. Let’s take something very down-to-Earth, the dynamics of Venus and Mars in 2015.

Three Conjunctions of Venus and Mars

Venus and Mars are planets with special personal meaning to you — Venus rules your sign, and in classical astrology, Mars rules your opposite sign, Scorpio. Whatever may be going on behind the scenes — such as in those obscure and esoteric houses, like the 9th and the 12th — Venus and Mars give you a way to play in the physical world of polarities. Venus and Mars are directly connected to the process of growth and evolution because they give us a way to experiment with others, to share our inner reality in relationships, to procreate and to co-create.

This year Venus and Mars make three conjunctions. This is unusual; most years there is just one conjunction, and sometimes there are none. The triple conjunction is a result of Venus retrograde in Virgo and Leo — Venus and Mars will never be more than 45 degrees apart this year.

The first of the three conjunctions takes place in Aries. This is exciting, physical and passionate. And it takes place in that hidden world, that parallel dimension, of your 12th house! The hint is that your real life is your inner life, at least at this stage of your growth.

Venus and Mars are often projected onto others, including as the ‘opposite sex’. You will experience the conjunction in an interior part of your consciousness, urging you to embrace the opposites within you. This is a beautifully practical exercise in sexuality and personal growth. The message is: call your projections back in, recognize that you contain both apparent genders, and get the union going inside you first.

This does not preclude relationships with others. You don’t have to become a monk, though if you choose to be ‘alone’ or ‘celibate’ with others, that would make sense — but it’s not a requirement. This inner meeting will happen no matter what, and it would help if you paid attention to it, honored it as real and noticed the effect it’s having in your life. If you take full ownership of male and female, that gives you a lot of freedom to move in the world of emotions and sexuality.

Then comes the Venus retrograde from July 25 through Sept. 6, which has a similar inwardly-focused quality. The central question of this event for you is, what is the connection between your sense of safety and grounding, your sense of self, and your ability to express yourself as an artist or lover? The retrograde starts in Virgo, your 5th house (art, sex, fun, play), and tracks back into Leo, your 4th house (security, grounding, home space).

Shortly after the retrograde ends, Mars meets Venus again in a fire sign (Leo), which is your 4th house — deeply interior territory. But the 4th house at least lends itself to real-world experiences, and unlike the 12th, it has a physical location — your home.

The third conjunction takes place in Virgo — an earth sign associated with healing and integration of the mind and emotions. This series of Venus-Mars conjunctions represents the evolution of a relationship and/or your ideas about relationships. There may be many twists and turns, though the whole experience is heading in the direction of resolution and of aligning yourself with a concept of gender more inclusive of both genders in both parties to the relationship. It’s a topic you can feel confident bringing up with your partner or partners, and the more consciously you explore this, the more fun and the more meaningful it will be for you and for the people in your life.

There is a lot — and I mean a whole lot — of energy in these conjunctions. One reason for that is how intense your internal process is, and how it’s overflowing into your life. You’ve done a good job at dismantling many of your inhibitions and you now know you want to explore.

And on the physical level, even for a Taurean, you’re in rare form. You have so much sex drive operating that you could walk into a room and have the approximate effect of dosing everyone with Viagra.

In case you’re inclined to think this somehow lacks for ‘spirituality’, I would propose that the interplay of opposites, within you and in your relationships, is the living essence thereof. This is the means by which you take the process of your growth and spiritual development out of your own internal reality and experience it outwardly on the stage of your life, with others present.

One thing I suggest considering is that while sex and sexuality are things people tend to want, do and experience, I would encourage you to keep the dialog going. The integration process indicated by the last of three Venus-Mars conjunctions landing in Virgo means: talk. Listen. Exchange ideas. Get your secrets out into the open — your fantasies, your plans and your ideas.

Saturn in Sagittarius

Amidst all the inner changes you’ve been experiencing, I trust you’ve figured out you have to establish your own ethical ground to stand on. It matters less what your ethics are and more that you have them. Once you’ve got the process going, you will naturally evolve it and tune it up.

That really comes to the forefront with Saturn in Sagittarius. This is a new transit, and it’s a transit in transition — Saturn will spend some of 2015 in its prior sign, Scorpio (from June 14 through Sept. 15), and the rest of the year in its new sign.

Saturn leaving Scorpio is a relief from external pressure and the need to conform. It’s like getting an emotional cast taken off of your soul, setting you free to make your own choices and to follow your conscience. Everything that Saturn represented is now distilled down to something fairly straightforward — the agreements that you have with others in intimate relationships. This is a truly significant form of autonomy — the ability to decide, with someone else, what is right for you.

The key here is the mutual agreement; the constitution in your private country; the customs that you follow. Saturn in Sagittarius will guide you in the direction of conscious agreements. It may also provide a sense of direction for your relationship life; a framework to exist within. You are likely to crave some form of conscious structure, though I suggest you keep it light. Let Sagittarius point you in a direction, and let the circumstances of your life, and the elements, carry you in the right direction.

You may need to travel some distance before you have an idea what that direction is, though you’re still likely to feel guided, rather than drifting, along the way.

As mentioned, for a brief period Saturn returns to Scorpio. The main Saturn in Scorpio phase spanned from late 2012 to late 2014. There will be one last revisit with this placement between mid-June and mid-September 2015. Think of this as a reminder of what you went through those years, as well as an opportunity to do some final touch-up or clean-up work on whatever that emotional process represented.

You are not backsliding! Saturn’s brief return to Scorpio is an opportunity to get clear on a few remaining questions about a partnership, and your emotional response to it. It’s also a reminder that you really want to be the master of your own destiny, which you can most effectively facilitate by having clear agreements with others.

One interesting thing about this transit is the recent history of Sagittarius — it’s been near total chaos, for years. Saturn in this sign represents a stabilizing influence, which I think you will find reassuring given the depth of movement, inner changes and at times turmoil you’ve lived through. Sagittarius, with Saturn’s help (and that of planets moving along to Capricorn), is cooling off. These factors suggest that if you keep clear with others and make adjustments in your agreements as the need arises, you will be able to find some sense of stability.

You And Your Community

Perhaps the most interesting thing about all of these developments, taken as a whole, is that you’re emerging as a kind of teacher. The thing to remember about being a teacher is that it really helps to remain a student; to keep challenging yourself to learn about new things as you learn about yourself. By teacher, I mean someone who is sought-after for information and guidance. I also mean someone who has an enlightening influence on their community, even if in an informal role. Your inner development process has so much momentum that others are going to pick up on your signal.

As with every other facet of your life, your inner world and your outer world are directly related. One of the ways your internal process is finding expression is in Pisces, your 11th house — your house of community. This is a natural place for you to express yourself, since Pisces is the sign in which your ruling planet, Venus, is exalted. If there is an astrological image of the social talent of Taurus, this is the one.

Pisces has become quite a place over the past few years. Three of the more influential minor planets have gathered there, along with Neptune, the modern ruler of Pisces. This heightens your relationship to your personal public, whomever that might include — certainly your circle of friends and well beyond — maybe a lot further than you think.

We live in a world where to some extent, everyone is a public figure. There is very little privacy, and everyone acts as their own publicist. Then there are those people whose purpose and being resonates into a wider consciousness; that’s you. You don’t need to do much to facilitate this, except be true to yourself. The more true you are to yourself, the more your ideas will resonate with others.

This position allows you considerable freedom to explore, express yourself and share — that is the theme of your life: integrity equals freedom. In this case, the freedom resides in your ability to experiment socially in ways that are more meaningful than your average get-together. However, what starts as your average get-together can take on other dimensions. Social events can be the starting point for social movements, in the humblest sense of that concept: a society that is in motion rather than stuck.

I suggest you take this up as a conscious action, at least two or three times. Experiment with events. Spend as much time in public as possible, and notice what’s going on. Due to your potent inner movements and developments the past few years, you are likely to be ahead of the curve and ahead of the crowd. When something meaningful happens, you will notice it, whether it’s subtle or obvious.

Final Thoughts: QB1 and Sedna in Your Sign

There are currently two newly discovered outer planets in your sign. One is called 1992 QB1. It does not have a name, though its significance is partly found in that it was the first planet discovered in our solar system beyond Pluto. As its provisional name implies, it was discovered in 1992. It arrived in Taurus in 2013 and will remain in your sign until 2035. These outer planets move slowly.

Moving even more slowly is Sedna. Interestingly, that’s not a name officially accepted by the astronomical registry; its provisional name is 2003 VB6. Sedna is one of the most interesting planets — it has an orbit around our Sun lasting more than 10,000 years. Its time in Taurus spans from 1968 through 2023.

While it’s not possible to give a full reading on these planets in a few paragraphs, it is possible to point out a few salient ideas, and at least it helps to be aware of their presence. What they have in common is that they take us beyond the realm of Pluto, which was first a planet that carried an obsession with death, and then with the evolutionary imperative. Pluto’s influence is gradually tamping down as the decades unfold and we understand it, and part of why is because there are now many discoveries that reach beyond the limitations of Pluto.

QB1 and Sedna are both very significant firsts among astronomical discoveries.

QB1 was the first planet to take us beyond the veil of Pluto. Its role as a teacher and mentor is to take us beyond the “life or death” quality of Pluto and into a realm of gentle transitions. One of its properties is helping to establish the inner relationship, which your current charts speak about numerous ways. In this regard, QB1 has a teaching mission, which is about helping to get humanity past its obsession with death — and its obsession with learning that is somehow enforced at the point of a gun.

In other words, the role of QB1 as I see it is a new influence in astrology, designed to get us past the perception of the seemingly threatening lessons of Pluto — that evolution, learning and growth are do-or-die affairs. On some level they may be. Yet QB1’s role is to make the same kinds of growth available in gentler ways. I think that as our perception of Pluto as a minor planet, rather than as an “official” planet, begins to take hold, this same idea will help us have a gentler concept of Pluto as well.

There is considerable sexual healing implicit in the action of QB1, just as there is sexual damage and injury implicit in death obsession, in the conflation of sex with death, and of violence with death. To many this is either a subtle distinction, or an impossible one. The connections and the associated confusion are too deep. Your role, first, is to un-hitch things that bear no real relationship to one another. You can read more about 1992 QB1 at this link.

Sedna has a similar message from a different point of view. Named for the creation goddess who lives at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, Sedna’s message is to keep your heart open, here on the human plane, where so much goes wrong, so often — especially with human emotions.

Sedna has been in your sign all or most of your life. You have discovered the teachings of Sedna many times. They are difficult to embody, much less to express. One way to express them is to practice looking at people as your equals. Look at all difficult situations with compassion. Remember that those considered intensely beautiful or attractive can turn themselves into victims of their own qualities; resolve to be mindful of this.

QB1 seems to be the embodiment of the teachings of Sedna, what Melanie Reinhart described as “keeping your heart open in hell,” but addressing many other more ordinary times in life and ordinary transitions. QB1’s wisdom is based on a deep understanding, or desire for understanding, of what people go through in life, and how challenging it is to keep one’s heart open. QB1’s practice is about the demonstration of empathy in all facets of life, especially relationships and sex. QB1 is bigger than sex, and and is bigger than our ideas about our relationships — and so contains these things rather than seeing them outside herself. [You may read more about QB1 in this article.]

Nobody is too good or not good enough, and that is what you can teach, by becoming that very idea. We are all in this together. There are days when this is more obvious and days when it’s less obvious. Every day, it is the truth.



Taurus chart.

Taurus chart.

Taurus sketch.

Taurus sketch.

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4 Responses to The Year of Subtle Distinctions

  1. Sandra Davidson says:

    Thank you very much . I have to take time off and sit down and read this with
    the necessary concentration . So good bye until another time !

  2. Karen ziadeh says:

    Eric as a Taurean sun rising as well as moon I find your reading particularly resonant. It Gives me courage to continue on the path. Many thanks

  3. Leslie says:

    Eric, Your readings are incredible. It is amazing how they dictate the unfolding of my life. As a Taurus sun and moon everything seems to be play by play. I want you to know that you did a perfect job with the interpretations. All of the information is mind blowing, especially if you go back a few years. If you ever want to compare the events in my life to your readings I think that you will be astonished yourself. Thank you for the healing. With much love and appreciation.

  4. Water Tiger says:

    Your annual readings are always thought-provoking, and I’ve been buying the all-12-signs version for several years now, out of interest; but I do wish you’d do just-written or just-audio options. I’m sure there are people who love having both, or might prefer simply audio; I take in stuff best while reading, and I *never* use the audio files. (I have tried, but I just drift off…)

    With money tight (and I appreciate that it’s tight for you too), I may not be able to afford to do this any more. A cheaper, written-only version would extend the options in harder times.

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