Taurus belongs to the suit of Pentacles ~ the cards representing the earth element in the tarot ~ and relate to our work, money, status in the world, and any material or physical concerns that we have. When you draw the Taurus cards in a reading, see how they apply to the second house of your chart or the house with Taurus on the cusp.
The Taurus Cards
- The Hierophant
- The Empress
- The Queen of Pentacles*
- The 5, 6, and 7 of Pentacles
When reading cards from an astrological perspective, it’s good to keep a transit chart at hand. Reading in this way can offer confirmation of the energy of a transiting planet and bring ideas about the situation to mind that may otherwise have been overlooked. Mary Greer says, “Mythically, it suggests the presence of that God/dess messing around in one’s life.” (See her blog post on the triplicities here.)
There are two standard ways to read the minor arcana cards astrologically. One is through the decans, the three 10° divisions of each sign. The other is the Golden Dawn system, which assigns a planet in a sign to each of the minor cards. We’ll take a look at the minor cards in part 2 of this article.
A Word about Reversals
If you work with reversed cards, consider reading them as planets in retrograde motion. For example, the Golden Dawn association for the 7 of Pentacles is Saturn in Taurus. When reversed, the card would signify Saturn Retrograde in Taurus and offer a different perspective on what to do. (A big thanks to Josephine at Tarot Mom for teaching me this method.)
With cards that represent planets, such as the Empress (Venus) or Tower (Mars), the retrograde motion interpretations still work. For the cards representing zodiac signs, we have to abandon the retrograde interpretations because signs are never retrograde. They are fixed in time and space. A reversed zodiac sign card could signify an imbalance in the qualities of that sign that needs to be righted. For example, on a scale of 1-10, does the card signify too little or too much? (Please offer your suggestions on reading the zodiac sign cards reversed.)
With cards signifying the Moon or Sun, such as the Sun, High Priestess and the face cards ~ 3 of Wands (Sun in Aries) or 4 of Cups (Moon in Cancer), for example ~ try reading them as eclipses when reversed. An eclipse brings focused attention to an issue related to its sign and house. Because eclipses take a while to play out ~ a year for a solar eclipse; 6 months for a lunar eclipse ~ drawing a reversed sun or moon card could imply that the resolution will take longer to transpire. Experiment with this.
The Major and Court Cards
The Hierophant as Taurus
The sign of Taurus is traditionally designated by The Hierophant. You’ll usually see this card described as being associated with tradition, orthodox religion, and hierarchies of all kinds. In the past, the Uranian in me would rail whenever I pulled this card. I couldn’t stand the idea of being bound by the restrictive rules implied by tradition-bound organizations. The Hierophant can be a heavy influence, but there is freedom that comes with structure and tradition. Understanding the lay of the land and the house rules, we’re able to operate more effectively within them ~ and then go about changing what we can. And sometimes, undeniably, the old ways are the best ways.
The Hierophant is also widely interpreted to be a wise teacher or religious counsellor. Sagittarius and the 9th house are the zodiac symbols assigned to teachers and religion (as well as philosophy), so I encounter a disconnect when reading this card astrologically as Taurus. Nature, Taurus’ greatest symbol, is completely absent in this card, which is another disconnect for me. As a symbol of tradition, however, this card suits Taurus well as Taurus does like the tried and true, relishing the comforts that have proved consoling in the past.
Suggestions for reading The Hierophant astrologically:
- Will sticking to the tried and true serve me better than risking change?
- Am I stuck in the old ways, rejecting the new simply because it’s new?
- How is my relationship with institutions affecting my finances? For example, do you have a savings account, perhaps for a specific purpose such as saving for a new car, college, a vacation, 3 months’ living expenses, things related to the Taurus house of your chart? Are you a member of a credit union? Are traditional stocks more appealing than riskier, faster-earning ones?
- Are you open to new ways to make money or do you solely depend on a 9-5 job?
- Is my environment or personal style traditional? Will more natural elements ~ cottons, linens, silk, green living, organic gardening ~ help or hinder?
If you have ideas for other Taurus related questions, please share them in the comments.
The Empress as Venus, Ruler of Taurus
When associated with Taurus, Venus as The Empress is the original Earth Mother, the creatrix of all things that have a trade value and, therefore, can be bartered or sold for profit. She is extremely fertile and endlessly productive, completely tuned in to her five senses and using them to her advantage. In Taurus, she isn’t the relationship minded Venus of Libra. Here she is the value-conscious, financially savvy goddess of goodies:
- How much is it worth?
- How much bang am I getting for my buck?
- Trendy, sexy, softly, or traditionally ~ how should I dress? What image am I relaying?
- How comfortable am I in my own skin?
- Am I able to offer/receive material things?
When The Empress turns up in an astro/tarot reading, take a look at your transit chart as well as the natal placement. What house is The Empress visiting and what’s happening in that area of your life right now?
Is Venus in retrograde motion when The Empress card shows up reversed? There’s a strong message!! Think twice about spending and overindulging in sensory pleasures. (She does love the good life!) One thing I’ve learned first hand about Venus Rx is that luxury purchases won’t get used. You may have great intentions when you lay down the cash for them, but things get in the way of making them truly usable.
When The Empress appears in a reading, be sure to take a look at your 7th and Libra houses, too. Your message from Venus may be more about your close relationships than your money.
The Queen of Pentacles
*There’s no standard for astro associations with the court cards. I’ve finally settled on the Kings as cardinal signs, Queens as fixed, and Knights as the mutable signs related to their element, with Pages representing the fresh quality of the element itself. Follow your gut with these associations. Let your intuition guide you.
I associate the Queen of Pentacles with Taurus. She’s like another rendering of our Empress in many ways. The King of Pentacles or the Knight may make more sense to you. If that’s the case, go with it. The cards will invoke an intuitive response as well as a logical meaning which you must learn to trust.
If you like the idea of Earth being the ruler of Taurus, consider using The Queen of Pentacles card to represent Earth, or another Court Card that you prefer. (It’s easy to find the Earth in your chart. It’s exactly opposite your Sun. If your Sun is at 7° Pisces, your Earth is at 7° Virgo. If the Sun is at 24° Taurus, the Earth is at 24° Scorpio.) The Queen of Pentacles can be substituted for The Empress as Venus in her Earth Mother role instead of her Libra/relationship role.
Questions in readings using the Queen of Pentacles as Venus would echo questions for The Empress. They can also express themselves in more mundane, everyday ways:
- How can I put my household budget to better use?
- How’s the balance in my everyday life ~ work, home, kids?
- Are 3 dozen cookies for the bake sale enough? Are 6 dozen too many?
- How diverse should my garden be this year? Can I afford to water everything?
The Queen of Pentacles has a soft hand and a warm heart. She understand the aches and pains, the joys and gratitude that comes from everyday living. Reversed, she may be too strict, on the stingy side, or hasn’t or simply can’t make time for the lighter side of life. If that’s the case, she can probably find great release and a good deal of comfort in any pampering she can give herself. And that’s something Venus wholeheartedly recommends.