The Taurus Myth
Mythology abounds with motifs about bulls of one sort or another. For about two thousand years the bull, the symbol of Taurus, was one of the main religious symbols for the Taurean Age - which occurred roughly between 4000 and 2000 B.C. In pagan religion of this time, the bull and the cow were symbols of the fertility of the earth, for the epoch coincided with the emergence of the great agricultural civilizations of the Tigris and Euphrates of the Nile.
Of all these motifs, one of the best known and the most apt for Taurus is the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. It is a complicated myth and with many facets; but it helps to illustrate both the main difficulties and the main challenges of the deepest journey of the sign.
Minos was the King of Crete, and had a herd of exceptional bulls which were dedicated to the god Poseidon. He made a deal with the god, and promised him a particularly beautiful white bull in offering if Poseidon could give him mastery over the seas. The god agreed to the deal, and Crete flourished.
Minos, however, was covetous and greedy (a characteristic Taurean problem) and when the time came to sacrifice the bull, he decided to cheat the god and keep it for himself, offering a lesser specimen in its place. The god, in revenge, asked Aphrodite (Venus), goddess of love, for aid in a plan for retaliation. Aphrodite afflicted Minos' wife, Queen PasiphaŽ, with an uncontrollable lust for the white bull. (Uncontrollable lust is another virtue ranking high on Taurus' list.) PasiphaŽ, unable to suppress her desires, enlisted the aid of Daidalos, the palace master craftsman, to make her a wooden bull in which she disguised herself so she could mate with the white bull. The offspring of this union was the Minotaur, a dreadful beast with the body of a man and the head of a bull, which fed on human flesh.
Now, the Minotaur in our story is a symbol of Taurus run amuck. With human body and bull's head, his humanity is completely overshadowed by his rampant desires. The Minotaur, being a mark of Minos' shame, was enclosed in a labyrinth which was so complex and so impenetrable that the beast could not escape. Into the labyrinth regularly were thrown a quota of youths and maidens from Crete's conquered vassals, to feed the endless appetite of the Minotaur for human flesh.
Theseus, the son of the King of Athens, volunteered to join the sacrificial quota to slay the Minotaur. With the help of Minos' daughter Ariadne and her famous ball of thread, he found his way into the labyrinth and killed the Minotaur with a club, and found his way out again through the skein of thread. Having completed his quest, he was made King of Crete - marrying the King's daughter and adopting the hereditary title of Minos.
Both Theseus and Minotaur are aspects of Taurus. Like every myth, this one portrays many things, and can be peeled for meanings like an onion. But one way you can take it is that within each