Laustrology

Taurus season

April 20 was the start of slow and sensual Taurus season, when the thrill of Aries season gives way to boredom and introspection creeps in. If Aries season is about new beginnings, about re-learning and re-defining who you are, Taurus season is about finding parts of yourself that feel real and sustainable; when the identity pendulum stops swinging so far in opposite directions and slowly moves toward a natural center.

This gives a certain tension to Taurus season—there’s the want to preserve the past, but at the same time the want to jump into the future. There’s the gift of having time to enjoy the stuff you like to do without your hobbies necessarily becoming your career; the gift of how, when you don’t have to adhere to rules, you can learn what your talents are without pressure or fear of failure. There’s the danger of entertaining abstract fears about the future, and the futility of reliving horrible, awkward interactions of the past. There’s the frustration of boredom, the creeping sensation that because “nothing” has “happened” in your life you have no stories to tell, when in fact it’s your unique point of view that will saturate and allow you to glean insight from even the tiniest, most mundane events.

Unlike its sister sign Scorpio, Taurus doesn’t feel the need to constantly assign complexity to any given thought or situation—they take it all at face value. I used to see this lack of depth as a bad thing, but the stagnancy of Taurus season has been the reprieve from my mind that I have very recently felt I needed. I’ve been struggling with the concept of allowing a moment or a feeling to exist as if suspended in time, moving neither forward nor backwards. I want to gain some level of acceptance when it comes to endings, instead of dictating what every experience will be like as a future memory to ensure myself a “perfect life.” I want to actually, finally, experience the sensation that we have no better phrase for than living in the moment.

Taurus season is like what psychologists call “flow”—when you get so focused on something that everything else kind of falls away. (Like meditation, which is definitely a very Tauresean thing to do.) Psychoanalyst D.W. Winnicott used the term “transitional space” to describe the unquantifiable dimension that opens up in play, sex, and other feeling-not-thinking activities. A space in which one can explore what simply can’t be articulated. Winnicott originally developed this idea from his work with infants transitioning from the holding environment created by their mother to the vagaries of external reality. And really, what’s more Taurus than giving into that space, living in the exquisite comfort of knowing there’s no pressure to decide or define a situation? A state of existence completely opposite to my own default, which is a constant frenzy to understand what I can’t control.

After graduating college, I fell straight into working full time at a job that had, about a year prior, introduced me to one of the most traumatic, formative experiences of my life. I made the decision to continue working there despite its looming presence, the ego blow of having to traverse my first moments of “real” adulthood—free of papers and deadlines—with the constant reminder of the abuse I had experienced from a coworker who now blatantly ignored my existence. I experimented with letting everything about this gut-wrenching transition disappear into the ether. I stared at my laptop screen late at night, writing, before asking myself who it was really for, if you can really live for the memories you’ll have to look back on when you’re older if you could also get hit by a bus tomorrow, if your legacy makes any difference to you when you finally lose all consciousness, if commodifying everyone you meet into a fictive character diminishes your potential for love. What was I closing myself off from by trying to decide what everything meant as soon as it happened? While it was happening? Sometimes, even, beforehand?

After work one night, I had dinner with a guy who I ended up seeing about once a week, each of us so skilled at remaining unknowable that it was like a one-night stand every time. Even still, the night we broke it off, I cried in a bar with my friends. It made me feel stupid, but a part of me knew it wasn’t about him—it was the frustration of being unable to control or define his (or any anyone’s) feelings toward me. Of being unable to make somebody love me back.

My friend told me not to be so hard on myself: “You had a secret world together. And that’s not something you can really articulate without sounding mushy.” I felt at a loss. I was already entering the transitional space of a new job, new coworkers, new responsibilities. And now I was forced to go through this transitional space alone, without anyone else to romanticize or project my feelings onto. No one but myself.

Taurus is about personal worth. Knowing what you are worth. Knowing what you stand for. Knowing what you do and don’t deserve, regardless of how others treat you, and putting in the work to get it. It is building yourself up without needing external validation. It is looking in the mirror and knowing that this, you, are enough.

When Carl Jung was attempting to conceptualize the psyche, there came a point where he became stuck. He was already clearly established in his field, and had used everything he had, all of the skills he knew—but he still couldn’t figure it out. One day, he went into the woods and built a stone castle. When he was done, he was able to write his book on how the psyche was structured. Sometimes in order to solve a problem you need to pull away. Stop picking at the wound, stop forcing yourself to just get it already—you need to change your approach and trust that, by doing so, what needs to come will come. This is a good metaphor for Taurus season.

I’m still very much learning how to fully surrender to the impact of an event. How to live in it without immediate reflection. Hopefully my journey won’t involve me fucking off into the woods to build a castle, but if I need to hole up in my room for a week and write thousands of words or knit a really shitty scarf so I can come out on the other side ready to take on a new day, I will happily take that over letting myself obsess over all of the people and things I can’t change.

My hope is that each Taurus season I live through inches me closer and closer to living effortlessly; to trusting that I’ll retain what I need to later, and if not, that I’ll be able to accept the price of a life fully lived.