The Value of Your Existence

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Reality Check for Taurus and Taurus Rising | 2012 Annual Horoscope by Eric Francis

The theme of your astrology this year is cultivating actual self-worth. There are other words for this: self-esteem, self-respect, a healthy ego or, skipping the psychology, being real all the time. But let’s stick to self-worth — as in the value you put upon yourself, or the value you perceive in yourself.

Net of Indra. Painting by P.C. Turczyn

Net of Indra. Painting by P.C. Turczyn

I say this knowing that I am describing a global issue. Most of what the world is suffering from is low self-esteem, or a total lack of self-esteem, which explains a lot and I do mean nearly all strange behavior. Think of how many problems of both individuals and our society could be improved if only people placed a higher value on their own lives, and the role they play in the lives of others. Considering that your life really is all you’ve got, I would propose that any question of self-worth comes down­ to a misunderstanding about existence, which is to say, what it means to be alive. This being a bigger issue than most people can consider, I would propose that you can measure it in simple, easily explained ways. Such as this: If you need help, can you ask, and do you think it’s worth someone’s while to offer you some of their time and energy?

Or, if someone else is in need of assistance, are you called to respond, and if so, do you feel that your offer might actually make a difference?

And here is the real question, suitable for bold type: On what basis would you evaluate these things? I mean this, initially, in the most practical terms. In a moment we can go deeper and consider what has influenced you to feel certain ways and not others, for example, why you do or don’t feel confident on any given occasion.

Venus Transit of the Sun: An Emergence of Self-Value

Any questions of self-worth that you may experience have less to do with your ‘total actual value’ (a kind of abstraction), and more to do with the practical issue of a potential conflict about how to evaluate yourself. You have Gemini involved in this house (your solar 2nd, or 2nd by whole sign houses, if you are Taurus rising — which in traditional astrology is about resources, and in modern astrology extends to the self-value themes I’ve just outlined in the paragraphs above). That indicates that there are twins involved, symbolically speaking, each with a different notion of who you are and what your life is about. You live in a world of either-or, and sometimes of neither-nor. If you get frustrated with your black-and-white thinking, this may help you understand why your vision can be so contrasty.

You may be working with two different metrics that are not compatible. I’ll give you an example of how this might look in the world. Imagine an international space project involving the United States and Europe. There is some hidden (at first) confusion about whether the numbers involve imperial measurements or metric; the American scientists use imperial and the European scientists use metric. It’s not that one system is better than the other — it’s that when two systems are used, they conflict, and the results will be components that are not compatible. This has actually happened on several occasions.

You could go a long way toward settling some of your questions if you understood the origin of your measurement system. For most people, the system is, ‘will I live up to my parents’ expectations of me?’ That, of course, is a measurement that is impossible to live up to. There are others that you have, which may relate to feeling loved (or not), how much money you make or possess, how intelligent you think you are and many others — but in every case you are evaluating against something.

The key to this year’s astrology is really understanding ALL of the metrics you use, and initially, getting an idea of the ways in which they conflict. Understanding the conflicts is the key. And one key to that is exploring the idea about serving two masters. But who, exactly, are those masters? What standards have they set, or have you allowed them to set? I can offer you another easy-to-see worldly example. Imagine you’re a writer. You love your writing and moreover the learning process that gets you there. The people you show it to appreciate it. But so far, you have not had any commercial successes. Nobody has bought your work. Are you a success or a failure? How do you decide? This is what I am getting at, only apply this model to much deeper questions.

By the time this year is over, what you will learn is that when you have one solid basis of evaluation, you will feel saner, happier and you will value your life and your contribution that much more. You may be on your way to that basis of evaluation, but when it really starts to come through is when your ruling planet Venus makes its rare transit of the Sun in early June. The months around your birthday will be life-changing — and I suggest you make friends with that possibility, including the possibility of change in any form.

Let’s take a look at the self-worth issue another way, then move on to other subjects that will, in the end, relate back to the central question.

Besides the association with two of something, including dichotomies and false dichotomies, Gemini (associated with your 2nd house of self-worth) is connected to Mercury. While Venus, the planet that rules Taurus, is almost never retrograde (that happens once per 18 months and, by the way, it happens in early 2012), the planet that rules your house of self-worth is retrograde three times a year — it seems to be retrograde all the time. This creates some tension, as part of your psyche relates to the stability of Venus, and then the equally important issue of self-worth goes retrograde three times a year.

The internationally famous Taurean quality of stubbornness seems to be a reaction or defense against that instability on the level of self-value. In other words, the more you doubt yourself, the more you dig in. How do you feel when you reassure yourself, and let go a little bit? You might find it appealing.

What changes in 2012 and what I am describing as a central theme involves the Venus transit of the Sun on June 5. This is a rare event — so rare that it will not happen again until 2117 (not 2017 — 2117). These events come in pairs, less than once per century. The counterpart to the event in 2012 was in 2004. This began a process that is coming to fruition now. A Venus transit of the Sun is one of the rarest predictable events in astronomy (not astrology, but astronomy) and it’s also one of the most beautiful.

This one happens in Gemini, which is the seat of all the questions I’ve been asking. Venus — the planet associated with your sign — passes between the Sun and the Earth, and is visible against the disk of the Sun. Being so rare, this suggests a rare opportunity for healing and, beyond that, for experiencing yourself in a moment of full expression. You may experience an actual emergence of something totally unexpected. You may discover that your two seemingly different values metrics pointed to a third thing, well beyond both.

Think of it as remembering; think of it as a veil being pulled back on something, the existence of which becomes obvious. But most of all, imagine that you’re about to discover a way to evaluate your existence that 1. does not conflict and that 2. is based on an entirely different scale — direct experience, not a theory or a concept.

The Experiment of Your Relationships

In fact, much of your journey of the next four seasons involves going from concept to experience. Through the first half of the year, Mars will be in Virgo, spending much of that time retrograde. The retrograde is a kind of evaluation that will result in your making many adjustments to how you live. Mars (the traditional ruler of Scorpio, your opposite sign) is one planet that most distinctly represents relationships in your chart.

Virgo is a highly mental sign, often pushing everything that it touches into a world of abstraction. Mars, for its part, wants action. Mars is going to dominate this situation; Virgo is what gives, what must be adjusted. In your chart, Virgo is associated with the 5th solar house (5th by whole signs for Taurus rising) — pleasure, risk-taking, creativity and children. Virgo as the related energy field gives this house a serious cast for you; and you have a way of making into a mental or psychological issue what could be explored in direct, physical experience. You can get lost in the concept of relating, more easily than you enter the experience of the relationship — and Mars is here to teach you how to be direct, and how to appreciate actual experience. I realize that Taurus is supposed to be one of the most physical signs, but in my experience, Taurus is one of the signs most given to turning nearly anything into an abstraction.

Many things that happen in relationships happen in the 5th house, and Mars, your planet of relationships, is going to be present in this dimension for long enough for you to totally evaluate who you relate to and why you relate to them. You will come to understand your cravings and your curiosity and see how you both avoid and actually engage them. Yet the 5th is more appropriately your house of relationships as you experience them internally: what motivates you, the ways you seek pleasure, the risks you’re willing to take, and most of all (because Virgo is involved), how you think about your experiences.

Much like having Gemini in the 2nd solar house, having Virgo here gives you a Mercury-ruled experience, and much of that happens in your mind. Many of the risks you take are risks in theory, or in the form of an idea. Retrograde planets of any kind specifically compel re-evaluation, and in this case, the first question involves what you want. Here again the Mercury influence presents a challenge — what you want has a tendency to change, and sometimes it changes faster than you can keep up with it.

There is another Mercury connection between the 2nd and the 5th: how you may be using your sexual desirability as a way into your self-worth. Having a positive image of your sexuality can be a core theme of how you feel about yourself, but it would be wise to have some boundaries so that you can, at least, know when you’re substituting one for the other.

Mars retrograde is taking you to a deep spot, where you have to really ask yourself what you want and why you want it. There is a healing process implied here, and part of healing means going to the root causes of things, as well as moving from potential to reality. Consider the retrograde an exploration of potential; other transits will do their part to manifest the reality.

Saturn in Scorpio

Later in the year (in October), Saturn enters Scorpio, where it will stay through mid-2015. Scorpio is your relationship house (the 7th), the one opposite your Sun or ascendant. Saturn through the 7th house is a time of deep maturity in relationships. That often comes with a crisis, since our values about relationships tend either to be not so mature, or have unrealistic expectations put on them. Saturn through this region of your chart is about compelling you to make the changes that you need to make in order to have more mature, fulfilling relationships. Note: if you do the work of Mars retrograde, there will be no surprises when Saturn comes along. You will have a solid clue about your agenda, and you will feel good about taking any additional necessary steps.

Think of the Mars retrograde phase, which happens from mid-winter through mid-spring (in the Northern Hemisphere; spring through summer in the south), as preparation for the much longer transit of Saturn in Scorpio. One useful way to think of it is as a systems-check, and that check comes down to determining what you want, how you feel about what you want, and making adjustments that are necessary.

If things go wrong, be glad that that’s happening because small problems now can be corrected to prevent much larger problems later. But correction is the key. There is a purpose to experiments, and that is to get experience.

The World is Your Relationship

One thing it would be helpful to do is to begin to let go of your preconceived ideas about what a Relationship is. I do mean Relationship with a capital R, or perhaps more appropriately, Relation Ship, the vessel with a name of much fanfare.

You can start by broadening your definition of that word, and taking some of the charge off of it. I always laugh when I see that thing on Facebook where the person says, “In a Relationship,” as that implies not having a very high opinion of the FedEx guy or the kid who makes your coffee at the deli, or your cat or your best friend; those are relationships too — your real relationship is to everything that is, and everyone that is.

Two planets are making long-term transits through Pisces (Chiron arrived in 2010-2011 and Neptune arrives in February). This is opening up a world of relating that is different from the typical notion that the only kind of relationship is that between you and one other person. In truth, relationships exist in complex constellations. The boundaries between friends and lovers are never as simple as most people would make them out to be, and the social environment itself tends to be charged with all kinds of insinuations.

While the Mars and Saturn transits I’ve described will certainly compel you to ask the deepest questions about dyadic relationships, that is to say the boyfriend, girlfriend, fiancée, spouse, household kind of situations, Chiron and Neptune in Pisces are opening up another world for you, or they certainly can do that. It is a world where the rules are based not on traditional assumptions but on situational appropriateness. It’s a world where it’s possible to have a vision for your experiences, and where you can be a bee who gathers pollen from many flowers rather than from within a limited (and potentially outdated) context of some kind.

Pisces, the 11th house of Taurus, holds the key to much of what you want the most from life; it’s the house of your highest vision of your life. You will have two planets there for the long run, and those are helping you gather energy and focus your vision. This is best done in the truly egalitarian spirit of Pisces. But you will need to be realistic all the time, and use your discernment all the time. Neptune will feed your vision but it can also put you to sleep. Chiron will focus your vision and keep you awake.

The Uranus-Pluto Square

Let’s end with one of the two centerpieces of 2012 astrology — the aspect between Uranus and Pluto. I suggest you update yourself on this, particularly by listening to the audio presentation on this subject in the Top Five Events series. There are two ways to understand it — as something happening to society, and as something happening to you.

The older of the two transits, the one that started to phase in during 2008, has been about challenging your belief structures. This transit is more challenging than you might think, as Pluto gradually dismantles all of the beliefs that you inherited from your parents, and in particular, from your mother and her side of the family. This is another way of saying that your personal religion is being dismantled and replaced by something more direct, visceral and at the same time intuitive. Who needs religion when you have contact with your soul? Remember what the wise Dr. Jung said about religion being a substitute for religious experience. To make this work you have to figure out the difference between a belief and something you’ve learned from direct experience. Most people don’t know the difference, and many others are misinformed by their experiences.

More recently, the introduction to A Course in Miracles put it this way, saying essentially the same thing: “The Course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance.”

So you could describe Pluto through Capricorn as removing the blocks to awareness, most of which come in the form of dysfunctional, outdated or plainly false beliefs. (There is something about this that is dominating the world — notice how politics [an issue usually described by Capricorn] and religion [usually described by the 9th house] have become interchangeable ruses for one another. Why the holy heck is anyone debating reproductive rights, when the world’s systems are totally stressed, and when we need real leadership?)

On the other side of this there is the inner reality of self-awakening. At a certain point we recognize that form is merely form for soul to come through. Form can get lost in all kinds of fantasy, but then fortunately there is the underlying reality.

Who you are is not a fantasy and you cannot wake up in fantasy — you can only wake up in reality. As the Native American expression goes, you cannot wake up someone who is pretending to be asleep. But pretending to be awake does not work, either. You are being called by Uranus in Aries to be awake to your own existence: first, awake within the lucid dream of existence, then fully awake within existence itself. Aries is your 12th house, which I explain in the audio section is an odd placement because your whole function of I Am can, and often is, swimming in a kind of lucid dream. And Uranus is jolting you to consciousness in the midst of this dream — the message being that it’s time to face the day, no matter how strange or wonderful it may seem.

Your astrology comes with the reminder that awake is what awake does. By ‘does’ I mean the work you do in the world. The result of, evidence of, and experience of your awakeness has its most obvious home in the work that you do. You have always been pulled toward a career that is at least humanitarian, or perhaps what some would consider idealistic. There must be some aspect of your work that is socially progressive and for sure, that is about people as much as it is about ideas.

Said another way, your work must be in harmony with your actual values, rather than a separate set of ‘work values’ that get you by until you resume ‘real life’ after the end of the day. There can be no faking this, either — not with the potency of the aspects you are under right now. Everything, and I do mean everything, is pulling you in the direction of unifying your existence with your desires; your concepts with your actions; your curiosity with your choices — and it’s all pointing to taking concrete action that reveals the validity of who you are, what you want and what you feel. The time has come to go beyond concepts, and to experiment with what is so, and with what can be.

Your 2012 annual interpretation also includes an extended audio reading. That is available at the top of this page.

Don’t forget to read and listen to your rising sign. Use this link to purchase additional signs of Revelation. Revolution. Reality Check.

Read the past three years of Taurus annual interpretations for just $19.95. Includes Next World Stories, Cosmic Confidential and Light Bridge. These were designed to be multiple-year interpretations, preparing for and extending into 2012.