The Sun leaves Aries and enters Taurus on Thursday, April 19, at 11:13 a.m. CDT (4:13 p.m. GMT). It will remain in Taurus until May 20.
Taurus watercolor painting on handmade pink paper by Anne Nordhaus-Bike
This shift is taking all of us from fire to earth, from masculine to feminine: Mars rules Aries and insists on action, while Venus rules Taurus and enables attraction. With this changing of the astrological guard, we gain opportunities to focus on our bodies and all other aspects of our material lives. This also is a good time to explore our values, especially in relation to nature and our place within it.
When the Sun travels through Taurus each year, it brings an earthy, practical energy that urges us to ground ourselves in material reality. We move away from Aries's fiery focus on self and taking action to the Bull's earthy world of physical pleasures, personal possessions, and love of stability.
Our senses also teach us the wisdom of moderation and detachment. Although material activities such as eating and drinking can be highly pleasurable, that very pleasure can lead us to overdo; when our bodies feel the discomfort of our excesses, we learn limits and understand that physical satisfactions must not become ends in themselves. Instead, maintaining a strong and healthy body provides the foundation for spiritual pursuits and inner growth and enables us to manage our own lives effectively as well as be of service to others.
Taurus is ruled by Venus, named for the ancient Roman goddess of love and beauty. This beautiful planet appears in our sky either just before sunrise as "the morning star" or just after sunset as "the evening star." When in her evening star phase, Venus is the second brightest object in the night sky, after the Moon.
Taurus's association with Venus gives this time of year a beautiful, sensual quality. In the northern hemisphere, spring comes into full flower at Taurus time, and color and fragrance abound in blossoming pear and crabapple trees and other spring blooms. This bounty gives rise to Taurus's association with pastel colors, nature, and gardening and reinforces its status as an earth sign.
Its symbol, the Bull, indicates Taurus's quality as a fixed sign that brings slow, steady energy and dependability. Like the Bull, however, Taurus can bring bad temper, stagnation, or stubbornness if out of balance. Taurus is associated with the neck and throat, indicating the importance of speaking up and telling the truth rather than becoming "stiff necked" out of stubbornness or resentment.
Current astrology: Earth Day and earth signs bring powerful feminine energy
Like nature, which alternates daily between the hot, yang, masculine quality of daytime to the cool, yin, feminine energy of nighttime, astrology alternates monthly between masculine or active signs (such as Aries) to feminine or receptive signs (such as Taurus). This oscillation can help us begin to integrate more receptive and magnetic qualities into our lives in order to balance the active and electrical impulses that may stress our nervous systems and push us to overdo and go out of balance.
Mountain at Dawn, oil on canvas by Anne Nordhaus-Bike
Along with the Sun in feminine Taurus, this month's astrology brings several powerful placements in earth signs that encourage us to remain rooted in our physical selves as we undergo increasing pressures on the inner plane in the weeks and months ahead:
. As Taurus time begins this year, we have the Sun joining Jupiter in the sign of the Bull. Also in earth signs are Pluto in Capricorn and Mars in Virgo.
. Just two days after Taurus time begins, we will experience a new Moon in Taurus. When the Moon is new, it occupies the same sign and degree as the Sun; this part of the lunar cycle emphasizes the joining of active or masculine energy (Sun) with receptive or feminine energy (Moon). Their placement in Taurus further emphasizes themes of physical life, material beauty, and nature's abundance.
. The next day, April 22, brings Earth Day. Occurring while the Sun occupies the earthiest of astrology's earth signs, this worldwide observance increases this month's emphasis on our material well-being and what we need to feel secure and comfortable on the planet we call home.
. The next day, April 23, the Sun will reach a harmonious angle with Mars in Virgo. This relationship will make it easier to apply our will and drive (Mars) precisely and analytically (Virgo) to improve (Virgo) material conditions (Taurus).
. On April 29, the Sun will reach the same kind of harmonious angle with Pluto, which is retrograde in Capricorn until September. This relationship will can help us become more conscious of our values and aware of our possessions (Taurus) as we consider what we need to eliminate (Pluto) from our lives and careers (Capricorn) to assist our spiritual evolution (Pluto).
. On May 9, Mercury will enter Taurus, bringing thoughts (Mercury) of Taurean themes including love and beauty, the Earth, comfort, and material security.
. On May 13, the Sun will reach the same degree of Taurus occupied by jovial Jupiter. Since June 2011, when Jupiter entered the sign of the Bull, we have felt powerful pressure to expand (Jupiter) our material security (Taurus) as well as a call to nobler leadership and benevolent stewardship of Earth and her resources. The Sun's joining with Jupiter will shine a light on our efforts and may increase pressure for tangible results.
All this earth energy can help us stay centered in the face of continuing pressure from other astrological placements:
. Taurus's ruler, Venus, will go retrograde May 15 through late June, so her gifts of pleasure, attractiveness, and charm will be muted and life may feel harder and less lovely. Her placement in curious Gemini can help us determine what constitutes mental beauty and harmonious thoughts.
. Now that Mars's retrograde period in Virgo has passed, this fiery, aggressive planet will make us impatient to move ahead with plans to improve ourselves and everything related to our jobs, health, and daily routines. As you launch new initiatives in these areas, remember all that you learned about yourself during the retrograde, which lasted from January 23 through April 13, and be discriminating (Virgo) about your passion (Mars) for change.
. Uranus, symbol of freedom and electricity, remains in hot, impulsive Aries through late 2018 and is further increasing stress and our desire for change, especially regarding our identity and individual freedom. Take note of whatever feels oppressive or intolerable as well as what electrifies you with its exciting potential and do your best to ground these feelings in tangible, practical ways.
. Neptune, symbol of spirituality, dreams, and consciousness, remains in its home sign, Pisces, through early 2026, encouraging us to live spiritually and release addictions and escapism.
. Pluto, retrograde in Capricorn until mid-September, continues our review of hierarchies and structures that must be reinvented or replaced, bringing stress from transformation and change.
. Saturn retrograde in Libra continues to press us to reach maturity in all relationships, to let go of associations that no longer serve us, and to seek fairness and cooperation in all our dealings.
In addition, this summer will bring even greater intensity with the Solstice, a rare transit of Venus across the Sun (not to be repeated until 2117), and the first of several difficult angles between Uranus and Pluto (echoing the most intense energies of the mid-1960s).