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Little Animals in a Circle


Taurus the Bull The constellation of Taurus (The Bull) is the second sign of the Greek zodiac. It is associated with the myth of Zeus and his abduction of the beautiful maiden called Europa. To seduce the young girl, Zeus assumed the form of a majestic white bull, lovely to behold.

While his wife Hera was at the Mount Olympus Spa, getting her semi-annual Virginity Restoration -- I'm not making that up! Goddesses did that! -- lusty Zeus was killing time oggling the nubile nymphs down on earth. Then he spotted Europa, confirmed with the Seasons that Hera wasn't due back for a few more days, and set out for earth, amorous mischief on his mind. That Zeus!

Here's how Taurus the Bull joined the exalted
Little Animals in a Circle:

TAURUS - The Bull
April 21- March 21

SYMBOL - The Bull
PLANET - Venus



LUCKY DAY - Friday


Artist Unknown

The Rape of Europa
by Noel Nicola Coypel

The Rape of Europa
by TIzian

Taurus, the second sign of the zodiac, is all about reward. Unlike the Aries love of the game, Taurus loves the rewards of the game. Think physical pleasures and material goods, for those born under this sign revel in delicious excess.

They are also a tactile lot, enjoying a tender, even sensual, touch. Taurus adores comfort and likes being surrounded by pleasing, soothing things.

Along these lines, they also favor a good meal and a fine wine. The good life in all its guises, whether it's the arts or art of their own making (yes, these folks are artistic as well), is heaven on Earth to the Taurus-born.
(c) astrology.com

Sometimes Hera, Queen of the Olympian gods, was pre-occupied, and her husband Zeus was free to do as he pleased. One morning, as he idly surveyed the earth from atop his lofty perch high up at Mount Olympus, he saw a young maiden named Europa  (Εὐρώπη), daughter of the King of Phoenicia.

The young beauty was troubled; Just before dawn, she had the strangest dream, that two continents, each in the shape of a woman, had tried to possess her. One of the continents was Asia, but Europa couldn't determine what the other one was.

Unable to get back to sleep, Europa roused her companions, noble girls her own age, and told them that they were going to pick some flowers in the blooming meadows by the sea. Often they went there, to dance and bathe their fair bodies and gather flowers.

They filled their baskets with sweet-smelling narcissus and hyacinths and violets and yellow crocus, and most radiant of all, the crimson splendor of the wild rose. The girls delighted in gathering the flowers, wandering hither and fro over the meadow.

Zeus in heaven watched with lust the young maidens, each one more fair than the other, yet none as radiant as Europa. It was no secret that the King of the Olympians had a passion for beautiful maidens, much to the chagrin of his jealous wife.

Well. Who should chance by but Aphrodite, goddess of love, in the escort of her mischievous son Eros (Cupid).

One well-aimed arrow from Cupid, and Zeus was instantly in love with Europa. He just had to have her! Even though wife Hera was away, the naughty god had learned to be cautious, so to be safe he transformed himself into a bull.

But not just any bull, but one beautiful beyond all bulls that ever were, pure white, with a silver circle on his brow and horns like the crescent of the moon.

Struck by his beauty, and finding him gentle as a lamb, Europa mastered her fear and began to play with him. She put flowers in his mouth and hung garlands in his horns.

I'll let the Alexandrian poet Moschus paint the scene:

He seemed so gentle as well as so lovely that the girls were not frightened at his coming, but gathered around to caress him and to breathe the heavenly fragrance that came from him, sweeter even than that of the flowering meadow.

It was Europa he drew toward, and as she gently touched him, he lowed so musically, no flute could give forth a more melodious sound.

Then he lay down before her feet and seemed to show her his broad back, and she cried to the others to come with her and mount him.

"For surely he will bear us on his back,
He is so mild and dear and gentle to behold.
He is not like a bull, but like a good, true man,
Except he cannot speak."

Famous last words, or what? 'Good true man' indeed! 'Trust me dear, I'll respect you in the morning.' Ha!

Smiling broadly, Europa climbed upon his shoulders and let him amble down with her to the edge of the sea. But when he reached the water, before the others could join them, the bull at full speed rushed into the wide water.

As he went the waves grew smoother before him and a whole procession rose up from the deep and accompanied them - Strange sea gods, Nereids riding upon dolphins, Tritons blowing their horns, and all kinds of similar creatures.

Even the god of the sea, Zeus' brother Poseidon, showed up to see if there was any action for him. Europa, scared silly equally by the wondrous sea creatures she saw and the moving waters all around, clung to the bull and shouted to her friends for help.

However, once she realized that her companions were useless, she turned her attention to the abductor. This can't be an ordinary bull, thought Europa, but most certainly a god.

Having descended from Io, who had been transformed into a heifer by Zeus to hide her from Hera, and knowing that woman's long and peripatetic torment, she spoke pleadingly to the white bull, begging him to take pity and not leave her in some foreign place all alone.

Zeus then revealed his identity and assured her that she had no cause for fear. He said that out of love for her, he was taking her to his place of birth, the island of Crete, and there she would bear him:

"Glorious sons whose scepters shall hold sway
Over all men on earth."

Sure enough, Crete came into view. They landed, and the Seasons, the gatekeepers of Olympus, received Europa and prepped her for her tryst with Zeus.

Their passionate union produced many famous sons, including the fabled Minos and Rhadamanthys, who were rewarded for their justice on earth by being appointed judges in the Underworld, as well as Sarpedon, who was killed in the Trojan War.

Zeus loved his Europa, but his 'incontinence' when it came to Hera eventually moved him to return to Olympus.

But not before bestowing a number of fine gifts upon his lover, including a dog, Laelaps, which could outrun any animal; a javelin which never missed its mark; and the bronze man, Talos, to act as her guardian.

Talos was a man of bronze, made by Hephaestus, whom Zeus gave to Europa after he kidnapped her and took her to Crete.

It appears Crete was a gated community; Talos became its guardian, circling the island three times each day and throwing huge stones at any ship which approached its shores.

He had a single vein, which ran from his neck to his ankle and was closed by a single bronze nail. When the ship Argo approached Crete on the way back from stealing the Golden Fleece, Medea cast a spell on Talos and then removed the bronze nail. All of Talos' blood ran out and he died, thus enabling the ship to land, and Jason and the Argonauts to find refuge. Just thought you'd like to know.

On the recommendation of matchmaker Zeus, Europa afterwards married Asterius, the king of Crete, and presented him with a daughter named Crete.

Europa had two brothers, Cadmus and Cilix. Some writers add a third brother called Phoenix. When Europa went missing her father, King of Phoenicia, ordered his sons to search for their sister, and to not return without her.

The brothers wandered for years, never finding Europa, but establishing significant colonies and blood lines of their own. Cadmus was known for bringing the alphabet to mainland Greece.

To commemorate the bovine love affair, the continent of Europe was named after the beautiful Princess, and Zeus placed the image of the bull in the heavens as the constellation Taurus - which means 'bull' in Greek - joining the honored and exalted Little Animals in a Circle.

Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo
Libra Scorpio Sagittarius Capricorn Aquarius Pisces


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