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HOMER’s ODYSSEY, Ch. XIV- TAURUS II

Posted on June 13th, 2018 by Don Cerow

      Well, here we are at the second examination of Taurus, the archetype ruled by Venus. The Moon is in its exaltation here, Mars it’s detriment. Taurus is a Fixed EARTH sign, bound by a bond of Love. These people can be loyal and steadfast. In contemporary times they are seen to be farmers and bankers. Three thousand years ago, it was farmers and wealthy persons.
         ​”Athena had shown the way-                                                (line 2)
​to reach the swineherd’s place, that fine loyal man
         who of all the household hands Odysseus ever had
         cared the most for his master’s worldly goods.”
   The swineherd is a farmer whose trade is in boars, pigs and goats. His loyalty is a testament to his fixed sign energy. Under scoring his life as a farmer, the lines continue.
Sitting at the door of his lodge he found him,                     (line 6)
there in his farmstead” Our Earth sign makes its way through “a rugged path”        (line 1)
and the loyal swineherd (an expression we will see often
throughout this chapter), constructed the walls of his enclosure out of                         “quarried blocks of stone (Fixed EARTH).                              (line 12)             Material goods, referred to as worldly goods, are what EARTH signs hope for, what they find security in. And the loyal swineherd reflects on what might have been had Odysseus returned home.

He’d have treated me well, he would, with a house (Moon),         (line 72)
a plot of land (EARTH), and a wife you’d gladly prize (Venus).
Goods (EARTH) that a kind lord will give a household hand
who labors for him, hard 
(Taurus), whose work the gods have sped,
just as they speed the work I labor at all day.

He’s a farmer! 

Just as in chapter two we were introduced to the wealth of the estate as Telemachus took stores for the ship, so here we are reintroduced to the value of all Odysseus has. The swineherd continues to wax eloquent:

“Believe me, my masters’s wealth was vast!                  (line 111)
No other prince on earth (EARTH) could match his riches,
not on the loamy mainland or here at home in Ithaca-
no twenty men in the world
 (EARTH) could equal his great treasures!
Let me count them off for you. A dozen herds of cattle

          back on the mainland, just as many head of sheep,
as many droves of pigs and goatflocks ranging free;
hired hands or his own herdsmen keep them grazing there.
Here in Ithaca, goatflocks, eleven in all, scatter
to graze on the island, out at the wild end,
and trusty goatherds watch their every move.
And each herdsman, day after day, it never ends
 . . .”

And once again-

Odysseus                                                              (line 363)
The king told me he’d hosted the man in style,
befriended him on his way home to native land,
and showed me all the treasure Odysseus had amassed.
Bronze and gold and plenty of hard wrought iron,
enough to last a man and ten generations of his heirs-
so great the wealth stored up for him in the king’s vault!

      The Moon is in its exaltation in Taurus, and this is the measure by which the return of Odysseus will be marked.
         “True, this very month- just as the old moon dies
and the new moon rises into life- Odysseus will return!” 

         . . . and again, referring to the same evening . . .

A foul night came on- the dark of the moon- and Zeus   (line 519)
rained from dust to dawn and a sodden west wind raged.”

      There are many additional example of the Taurean archetype that bubble to the surface throughout chapter fourteen. Odysseus yearns to have ‘the strength of a rock‘ back again. As we have already seen there are themes of rich and poor. We have focused on the wealth (everyone does), but these were not the only examples. There are those who seem poor, as Odysseus does in his dirty rags. There’s a rich man’s son and a poor man’s son featured in this chapter, each as a different side of Odysseus in this tale.

      With a Venusian rulership, the heart, love and affection come into play over and over again.

it warmed Odysseus’ heart,                                                (line 594)
Eumaeus cared so much for his absent master’s goods

      And the reverse:

“. . . he’s dead and gone. Aye, leaving a broken heart    (line 159)
for loved ones left behind, for me most of all . . .”

         Such was I in battle, true, but I had no love                  (line 253)
for working the land, the chores of households either,
the labor that raises crops of shining children. No,
it was always oarswept ships that thrilled my heart,
and wars, and the long polished spears and arrows,
dreadful gear that makes the next man cringe.
I loved them all- god planted that love inside me.
Each man delights in the work that suits him best.”
      Taurus represents what people do, and do not, love. Per usual, there are multiple examples of just how Taurus energy manifests in life. There are a few differences, but there are so many more similarities illustrated here. The themes in chapter 14 match many of the themes in chapter 2, each representing a different layer of the zodiac; of one when the master was away, and of one as he returns home. It allows a wider panorama of how this energy may play out under a variety of conditions.
                                                              “As for Father Zeus,               (line 504)
one thing he will give and another he’ll hold back,
whatever his pleasure. All things are in his power.”
      Father Zeus translates as Father Sky. If you ask most folks if they believe in Zeus, they will say no. But if you ask an astronomer and most scientists if we come from the stars, they will say absolutely.
      I guess it loses something in translation.


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