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Preferences and the Spiritual "Appetite"

When contemplating things in life such as our personal preferences, tastes, and “appetite,” how and where do such things develop? The zodiac sign of Taurus has a lot to say about all that. Different people like different things. Some people like strawberry ice cream, while others prefer chocolate chip cookie dough. Some people enjoy singing, others like to dance. Some folks love to write, others would rather do manual labor. All of these distinctions and beyond are some of the tendencies that becomes indicative of our unique personalities that separate us from one another. Nobody out there probably has the exact same combinations of likes and dislikes as anyone else, so this dimension of life sets us apart from others in some way. Some folks can even become particularly set in their ways and stubborn with regards to their taste. They might not budge much, if at all, when it comes to diverging from those sensations and experiences that have become so pleasurably ingrained. Once we’ve gotten a “taste” for something we enjoy, there can be a tendency to totally saturate in it indefinitely, which can sometimes lead to getting a bit “stuck” in that way. Typically, it would then take a rather big disruption to upset things enough to consider developing a new taste, but life provides such when needed. Usually, anytime our “appetite” has gotten too settled and fixed on something that may not ultimately be the best, something will shake and quake to demand a revaluation. Such is necessary so that individual preferences don’t become obstructive to collective concerns, kind of like a universal failsafe. Let’s look at how these themes connect with astrological study. Appreciating the entire sense-based world of matter is the jurisdiction of Taurus. This stage of “cosmic processing” is concerned with how we develop a strong, solid sense of self-value also. It’s where we stand firm on what OUR tastes and values are. Traditionally, coming after Aries as more of an “infant” stage, these values would begin to coagulate based on independent experiences we’ve initiated, where we put ourselves forward in some manner that fully resonated with our passions, desires, and drives. From such, there develops an urge to “soak up” and “own” whatever it is that we physically, materially attribute with such experience and our integrated identity. We work to accumulate more of whatever resources will continue to sustain such a strong, vital drive into action. From another direction, coming after Gemini as the final, culminating stage in a process, Taurus can also even be the “end of the line” for whatever has personally been shaped as one’s tastes. Through navigating and exploring the robust variety of different possibilities that life has to offer, trying a little bit of all of them without judgment, and vacillating between all options with versatile flexibility, certain preferences become established, which then take root as the defining cornerstones of our materially entrenched nature. Either way, the stage of Taurus in any process is irrefutably important, but just like every stage, there are certain pitfalls one can be sidelined by, as well as a core essence that is best to be striven towards. In a general, mundane sense, Taurus is “ruled” by the Venusian energy of love, beauty, pleasure, and value. As such, there is a magnetic quality of attraction present whereby whatever we come to enjoy and value tends to accumulate in our life. We work to develop and grow those qualities, attributes, and related resources, so that we can have more of the material elements of life that we prefer to have an abundant bounty of. Traditionally, things such as tasty food, beautiful art/jewelry, comfortable and luxurious clothing/possessions, and sensually pleasurable experiences like hot baths and massages, all fit the bill. (Sex is also a part of this puzzle, especially with Scorpio being the oppositely complementary sign, but Taurus itself would be more of the “mastrabatory” side of things—content with whatever sensations feel pleasurable, even if self-generated, with no need to incorporate any “other.”) This area would also concern itself with developing the ability to perform practical actions that can help sustain oneself. We craft a skill that we find valuable for attaining those experiences that we desire, and we develop it further, taking ownership of that ability as something that increases our inherent value. Again though, with Venus “in charge” from this level, there is a perpetual emphasis that whatever we’re developing is in some way pleasing. It “tastes” good to us in some manner. The primary problem with such is that we can become “stuck” about what we like, and stubbornly unwilling to budge when it comes to trying new things, sharing, or incorporating other elements; we come to know what we like and we like what we know. When such happens, the sensuality of Taurus’ energy can decay into decadence. Just like too many sweets can give one a tummy-ache, too much of “my preferred way only” can give one a “soul ache” that necessitates a disruption where something new breaks forth. Getting too wrapped up in fancy jewelry, clothing, and material pleasure can make one think that that’s all there is, and a deeper and deeper saturation into physically pleasurable sensations can lead one to abandon, forget, and neglect any deeper qualities. While all these physical, personality preferences, tastes, and appetites may directly be spawned from activity initiated via Aries or congealing out of the variety of Gemini, we cannot ignore the influence of Scorpio, which sits directly across from Taurus, and actually balances it out as the equalizing force alone the same joint axis of value. Curiously, the mysteries of Scorpio may not seem to bear much relation to Taurus at first, but the invisible dimensions of our internal psychology are very much at play in the “power struggle” of organic survival inherent to life. At its most visceral, the preferences, tastes, and appetites of values that Taurus works to own are decided upon because of their usefulness in survival. Before things can reach a point of refinement towards art, beauty, and sensuality, the resources developed must be able to sustain life. Hence, we “lean in” to whatever feels good, while creating space and putting up distance between ourselves and anything that does not. We also may “inherit” a fair amount of our predisposition towards or against certain things due to familial patterning through ancestry, all part of what Scorpio reminds us of. Depending on how one used (and uses) their willpower, certain energetic proclivities can lead to various karmic, and psychological “kinks” that then also push and pull us towards or away from various experiences. As such, Scorpio entails the invisible “background” that echoes out into our physical life according to all the deeply entrenched psychological conditioning we’ve participated in, both in this life and past lives. As such, certain individuals really may be more predisposed towards certain tastes and tendencies in comparison to others. Regardless of where they stem from and originate though, any “appetite” that’s become too ravenously self-serving at the expense of other factors can become a decadent impediment to True soul growth. The remedy for such can be contemplated by exploring the esoteric and hierarchical dimensions to Taurus. In both cases, the ruling planet shifts to Vulcan, which is itself a “hypothetical” (and primarily “energetic”) planet from our current, human viewpoint. The planet’s function is to galvanize (and “vulcanize”) the material world into expressions of spiritual divinity. Basically, everything that physically exists in the material world is a concrete expression of cosmic beauty, and Vulcan helps to both “shock open” the inner potential possibilities of matter so that they can be “hardened” into more articulate and enduring expressions of the universal Love that permeates all. Like the god this planet is named after, Vulcan acts like a craftsman, who melts down and hammers out physical matter so that it can refine the raw materials and resources into some elevated approximation of ideal sophistication. With Venus as the goddess of love and beauty, the “material girl” can becomes a little self-absorbed in the lush environment of Taurus, languishing in the lap of luxury to such a lackadaisical extent that results in laziness, leading to superficial (or material) symbols of beauty being the prizes of idolatry that are sought, while the spiritual values, that may not include any immediate pleasures to be sensed and gratified, get forgotten. Vulcan, the mythological husband of Venus, is the antidote. Instead of the buck stopping with Venus, in which case one lays back to suck up all the pleasure that one can own and embody, Vulcan shifts the focus to one becoming the maker, wielding their tools so as to carve out a creative expression of beauty that has a value running deeper than any surface layer components. While whatever Vulcan crafts will indeed still be a physical object in Taurus, the purpose behind all of their creations is solely to represent divinity in such a way that enjoying and appreciating that which is produced catalyzes spiritual refinement in the beholder, encouraging them toward appreciating and developing True value. (Some of the values that Vulcan would help express, which can also be witnessed in the natural divinity of the organic world, include symmetry, cycles, geometry, balance, harmony, durability, beauty, love, paradox, etc.) While Vulcan acts from Taurus to assist both the esoteric soul development, as well as the way in which the universe applies itself for continual collective unfoldment, this planet also ultimately only “veils” a connection to first Uranus, then Neptune. Those two outer planets represent two level of sacred extension past the space/time boundaries of Saturn’s jurisdiction over the limits of the physical world. To reach beyond such pulls in the transpersonal levels of life, which include the soul and spirit. Basically, the true values which all souls are inevitably incarnating to develop relate to collective concerns. As ambassadors of the 11th and 12th signs, indicating the transpersonal group/whole collective, Uranus and Neptune impress some of the following values. Via Uranus, Taurus is asked to mold things that are unique, unconventional, liberating, outside the box/norm, group/collectively oriented, inventive, etc. Via Neptune, Taurus is prodded for its values to be compassionate, nonphysical, artistic, musical, and spiritual. In a sense, the creative value established through Taurean development first begins at a crude, raw, physical level where all artifacts are traditionally tangible expressions of beauty and pleasure. At the Uranian level, the thoughtforms embedded into products are what matter the most. Rather than simply being an object that is smooth, shiny, well-formed, and traditionally beautiful, Uranian products may be a bit “different” in some respect, with an intention to make one think or see from an elevated perspective, considering some ideology in a totally new and unique way. Rather than being a mere unit of beautiful expression in singularity, Uranian craftsmanship will be societally relevant and make some sort of comment concerning values related to the state of the collective. In short, Uranus’ influence encourages the work to be more radical, avant-garde, and push the envelope as far as how the physical world can be molded to shape Beauty. Neptune amps this up to the next level, where the resources and expressions may not be physical at all, nor may it be something that makes conscious sense; products may be more abstract and designed to evoke more of an emotional response than anything clear and definite. Thus, even while Taurus will always ground down into something physical, the idea of permanence is no longer as essential with Neptune, allowing for more of a fluid flow to creation’s impermanence. Art forms such as sand or ice sculptures, which melt or wash away fit the bill, as does any expression which continually morphs and changes in some manner. Music is another realm where physical crafting seems more immaterial. One must develop the resources for recognizing and articulating various sounds in patterned sequences, but all of this is not a very tangible ordeal, so one can “carve out” a song that can be played in some span of time, before the space where it is played becomes filled in once more by silence. Overall, Uranus and Neptune simply act as the “reminders” that physical expressions ought to “ASPIRE” upwards towards more collective, universal, transpersonal forms of representation that will be timeless in a sense beyond whatever finite immediacy is deemed to be sensually appreciated. Ultimately, when the energetic drives and tendencies of Uranus and Neptune are mastered through the “lens” of Taurus, we understand that, while the material world is made of finite matter, which comes condensed in particular forms, True Beauty transcends the parameters or limitations of any vessel, as the physical world is just a container for conveying the most all-encompassing attributes of the universe that find their way into divine design through material means. While different people may have different personal preferences and tastes, which could change over different spans of time, anything with True Beauty that lasts is such that it represents, sustains, and embodies a holistic sense of life in a manner that ALL can appreciate more impersonally. All of these understandings help one to arrive at the juncture, from which they can consider the inevitable downfall that ensues if preferences and one’s personal appetite are allowed to run amok, versus being disciplined and refined to be more inclusively-pleasing. While having a strong sense individual personality is a requirement for advanced work, if one’s personality atrophies to an extent that one stubbornly refuses to veer away from their personal tastes whatsoever, it becomes difficult for that person to work in any other manner. They lose a certain amount of diversification and differentiation. Selfishness may also bloat, while one begins to hoard any resources and experiences that they become consumed with “permanently” owning. Another potential problem is that, depending on one’s experience (in the past or present), various psychological “kinks” could have built up causing an individual to indulge certain pleasure(s) hedonistically, or in perverted forms that are detrimental to others. (For example, eating or buying clothes out of necessity is much different than doing so to excess…When one overreaches beyond what’s duly called for, it begins to become a “mistake” as one “takes” something “our of turn” from a proper sequence of necessity.) Hence, if one develops an “appetite” for anything which causes harm or infringes upon the free will of others, such demands of satiation (provided one has accumulated the resources to continue perpetuating their decadent preference) can becomes corrosive to the collective, necessitating some experience where holding onto such an ill-placed value can be more clearly seen as what it is. As such, while one’s stubborn willfulness and resources can be directed to hold onto some excessive pleasure unduly, just like too many sweets will lead to a tooth cavity, too much of such indulgence will weaken one’s constitution and make them more susceptible to entropy, as whatever is not maintained with True value cannot indefinitely endure, so it will decay. However, if balance and moderation are maintained, along with a mindful eye on how the material world is being used to highlight and exemplify the spiritual life of liberation, the outer form remains supple and able to transform as called to (just like the phantasmagoric nature of Neptune, and the radical changes of Uranus). However, while we continue to incarnate in situations that will develop a strong personality that’s able to work in and serve the whole, until we fully embrace such ideal values of total freedom and surrender, we must learn to distinguish and discern our wants from our needs, eventually realizing that our preferences only point us towards the calling of our craft and are not something to get stuck in fixation upon. Everyone has a skill to develop, and it definitely ought to be enjoyable to activate, but don’t forget to then apply it with an elevated aim towards making the kingdom of heaven shine upon Earth ;)

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