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Astrology According to the Goddess

Robert Fitzgerald, in his article “Taurus Rising; The Overthrow of the Goddess and Modern Astrology” [1] has written that astrology’s rising sign or Ascendant was changed in the middle of the second millennium B.C. from Taurus to Aries.  In effect, the symbol of Taurus, the cow, was changed to a bull and then demoted in favor of the Aries Ram.  According to Fitzgerald, “Aries replaced Taurus on the Ascendant not because the ages had changed from Taurus to Aries, but because all the changes in mythology from the feminine goddess to the masculine god could never succeed without this crucial change in the zodiac.”           

As Fitzgerald further pointed out, this change slanted the otherwise balanced rulership of the signs by those planets known to the ancients.  For example, Figure 1 shows the patriarchal planetary rulership with Aries rising. This imbalance has numerous implications, including the fact that the feminine moon is now “lower” than the masculine sun.  Figure 2, on the other hand, shows the ancient planetary rulership with Taurus rising, a clearly more balanced and rational configuration.  In addition to Venus, The Great Goddess, holding a central position (“the heart chakra”) in the ancient view, the moon and sun are balanced at the lower chakra, and the correspondence of the other planets in terms of their distance from the sun and location in the chart is more evident. 

Fitzgerald’s excellent article clearly demonstrates the bias imposed upon astrology (and society, for that matter) several millennia ago by the shifting of the rising sign from Taurus to Aries.  This bias continues to this day.  It is therefore worthwhile to consider the idea of returning Taurus to the Ascendant in astrological charts, and then evaluate such an effect upon modern astrology!           

For example, what happens when we incorporate into the astrological chart the planets discovered in relatively modern times?  One possible answer is figure 3, which shows the Taurus-rising chart with the added rulership of Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Ceres, and Chiron.  The three outermost planets simply reverse the order in the upper hemisphere of the chart, being added from the top down, and the so-called “minor” planets, Ceres and Chiron, fill out the lower hemisphere.           

Uranus, of course, becomes the ruler of Aquarius, and Saturn now rules only Capricorn (from the ancients’ viewpoint Saturn had always ruled Aquarius).  However, one might also view Saturn as ruling the conscious aspects of both Capricorn and Aquarius, while Uranus rules the subconscious aspects of these two signs.  This idea is supported by the fact that keywords for Uranus include revolution and freedom, aspects which surely apply to Capricorn's rulership of authorities and governments.  Thus the discovery of Uranus in 1781 added a subconscious aspect to Aquarius and Capricorn.  

Jupiter can also be said to rule the conscious aspects of Pisces and Sagittarius, while Neptune rules the subconscious aspects. Neptune’s mystical and metaphysical aspects, for example, could include “divine law” and thereby denote Sagittarius. Neptune’s illusionary and enlightening aspects might be viewed as a philosophy, and thus related to Sagittarius as well.  Jupiter’s rulership of Pisces would continue in the manner of the ancients. Mars rules the conscious and Pluto the subconscious of Aries and Scorpio; Ceres and Chiron would share their rulership with Venus and Mercury; and the Moon and Sun would each rule Cancer and Leo.  It’s interesting, in this regard, that the glyph of Ceres is almost identical to that of Venus, except that a portion of Ceres’ glyph is “eclipsed” (much in the same way, perhaps, that Ceres, “The Great Goddess”, has been eclipsed by the patriarchal society). 

In the case of Jupiter and Neptune, a single rearrangement of the crescent is all that is required to go from one glyph to the other.           

But do these rulerships make sense?  We have already considered Uranus and Neptune, but what of the others?  Barbara Clow has made an good case for Chiron ruling Virgo [2], but its relationship to Gemini may be less clear.  However, Chiron’s key description includes mentor to heroes, someone who helps them to discover their destiny.  Such mentorship undoubtedly would include training in how to think and communicate (Gemini), but probably less in analysis (Virgo).  Therefore, it would appear that Chiron would be more likely to rule Gemini than Virgo (although it’s connection to Virgo would also continue).  Meanwhile, Ceres is nurturing in the Taurus style, but can also be applied to Libra style love affairs.           

Mars’ ancient rulership of Scorpio is still relevant (obviously, both are concerned with sex!), but can Pluto rule Aries?  This latter rulership may seem less appropriate, but only if we misinterpret Aries, or, in other words, interpret Aries in terms of a patriarchal viewpoint.  To address this issue, we need to look at how the Taurus-rising chart effects the houses.  Aries key phrase, for example, is “I am”.  The skewed patriarchal version has forced Aries into a degradation of this key phrase, suggesting that it means only that one is an individual.  But in the 12th house position, it could be conceived of as the end result of one’s progression through the complete zodiacal cycle to the stage where one understands themselves enough to identify themselves as the equivalent of God’s statement to Moses:  “I am that I am.”  In this view, Aries takes on a more profound interpretation.  

The altered position of the other houses in the Taurus-rising scenario is also very important.  To appreciate this, we can consider each house as continuing to be ruled by its traditional sign.  For example, the seventh house of the Aries-rising chart, would become the sixth house in the Taurus-rising chart, but would still be ruled by Libra and, furthermore, would continue to involve partnerships, competition, and balance.  Similarly, the Taurus-rising chart would find Virgo ruling the fifth house, the house involving work, employees, and health.           

The adjustment of the houses and their interpretation which results from placing Taurus on the Ascendant, has the advantage of balancing the houses themselves within one of four quadrants.  For example, we might note that the first three houses become: “I have”, “I think” (“therefore I am”), and “I feel”.  These first three houses therefore provide the basis of developing one’s individual personality.  Essentially, the first quadrant becomes “mine”, “learning” and “home, family and nurturing”.             

The second quadrant of the Taurus-rising chart becomes one’s interaction with others on a one-to-one or limited basis.  In the Taurus-rising fourth thru sixth houses, we encounter: “I will”, “I analyze”, and “I balance”; essentially, “relationships with others”, “work and physical health”, and “partnerships”.  The lower hemisphere thus continues as the personal side, the refuge of one’s inner life.           

Crossing the Descendent we encounter the third quadrant which includes: “I desire” (or “I create”), “I perceive”, and “I use”.  These aspects fully complete one’s involvement in the outer, mundane world, where “shared resources”, “religion, law, values, and ideals”, and “authority, status, and career” are encountered.  The fourth quadrant takes each one of us into the mystical and metaphysical realm, where after graduation from the “school of hard knocks” (the external world of the third quadrant) we discover: “I know”, “I believe”, and “I am”.  The fourth quadrant is where “friends, groups, and causes”, “the unconscious, visions, and need for oneness”, and one’s ultimate understanding of their “self and identity” complete the grand cycle.           

With respect to the layout of the houses and planets on the Taurus-rising chart, we might also note that the five planets added in modern times -- Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Ceres and Chiron -- cannot be seen with the naked eye (although under ideal conditions, it is possible to see Uranus without a telescope).  In astrology, the influence of these “hidden” planets is generally reckoned as operating through the subconscious.  If we then assign the primary planet rulership of the various houses as shown in figure 3, the left half of the Taurus-rising astrological chart represents the subconscious, with the “hidden” planets being Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Ceres, Chiron and the Moon (the Moon is, after all, only half seen).  The right hemisphere then represents the conscious -- ruled by the planets we can readily and completely observe.  The Taurus-rising astrological chart is, therefore, again balanced, this time between the conscious and subconscious.

The Taurus-rising view thus more accurately encompasses the four stages of life: individuality, family and intimate relationships, the outer mundane world, and in the fourth stage, the realization of what is ultimately important.  Instead of ending our life’s evolutionary growth in the Aries-rising twelfth house of “visions, dreams, and need for oneness”, we end in a Taurus-rising twelfth house where the primary emphasis is simply “To Be”!  We are, therefore, able in the Taurus-rising chart to complete our destiny!           

In support of this last statement, we might also reference Dane Rudhyar's interpretation of the Sabian symbols [3].  The Sabian symbols were developed in 1925 by Marc Edmund Jones.  Through the intermediary of psychic Elsie Wheeler, the Sabian symbols became interpretations for each degree of the Zodiac.  Dane Rudhyar, perhaps the most profound astrological writer of this century, subsequently provided his own interpretation of this important symbolism.  Below are quoted a selection of these interpretations for various degrees of Aries.  It is worthwhile in reviewing these brief statements to consider them from the viewpoint of Aries ruling the twelfth house, the final house in a life’s evolution, and the potentiality of what lies beyond this life.  

            Aries 1o:  “Emergence of new forms and of the potentiality of consciousness.”

            Aries 2o:  “The capacity to look objectively at oneself and at others.”

            Aries 3o:  “The sustaining power of the Whole, as the individual identifies himself with Its life.”

            Aries 5o:  “The capacity for self-transcending.”

            Aries 7o:  “The first realization of the dual nature of man and of the possibilities it implies.”

            Aries 8o:  “Protection and spiritual guidance in the development of consciousness.”

            Aries 9o:  “The development of an inner realization of organic wholeness.”

            Aries 10o:  “Revision of attitude at the beginning of a new cycle of experience.”

            Aries 12o:  “An idealistic reliance upon a mental image of universal order.”

            Aries 15o: “Projecting into everyday living the realization of wholeness and fulfillment.”

            Aries 24o:  “Openness to the influx of spiritual energies.”

            Aries 25o:  “The revelation of new potentialities.”

            Aries 29o:  “Attunement to cosmic order.”  

By interpreting the Sabian symbolism of Aries as if these degrees were in the twelfth house and thus the culmination of coming full circle through the Zodiac, we encounter a more profound view of the deeper meaning of Aries.  And with the power of Pluto as its ruling planet, it seems inevitable that we will find such meaning at some point in our lives.           

We might also note Dane Rudhyar has described Aries as “a foundation for spiritual living”, a life which “fundamentally implies an emergence from usually quite binding and possessive psychic and social matrices: family, culture, religion, tradition, way of life.”  Furthermore, in Rudhyar's view, an acceptance of such a spiritual life “must be conscious, even if it surges from a depth of being which transcends everyday consciousness.”  [4]           

In Celtic traditions the Goddess assumes control of the world on Beltane (normally celebrated each year on the first day of May) [5], or just after the Sun has entered Taurus. In addition, the male God assumes control at Samhain (October 31st), just after the Sun has entered Scorpio.  In this regard the Goddess may be said to rule the lower hemisphere of the Taurus-rising astrological chart, while the masculine God rules the upper hemisphere.  The two relevant ruling planets become Ceres and Mars, which may imply that we benefit from the bounty of nature during the Goddess’ nurturing reign, and then utilize the focusing ability of the masculine God to carry us through the winter.  At the same time, we need the lower hemisphere’s foundation in order to develop beyond the mundane world of the third quadrant, where the key phrases have been “I desire”, “I perceive”, and “I use”.  (These latter three phases may also be said to encompass the basic tenets of the patriarchal society.)   

It may indeed now be appropriate to give equal time to the Goddess, if only to heal ourselves of the “natural” development we may have missed in the first and second quadrants, continue the development of the third quadrant to its completion, and thereby allow us to benefit from experiencing the fourth quadrant in all its glory.  The Aries-rising astrology is probably still relevant to those individuals who continue to be immersed in the patriarchal society.  But with the increasing consciousness of the flaws, bias, and inherent instability of a hierarchical, man-over-nature, man-over-woman, man-over-man society, it appears inevitable that the Taurus-rising astrology will again have its day.  


Dance of the Seven Veils         Descent into Hades         The Great Goddess

Forward to:

Recommended Reading         Hierarchy of Values         It’s in Every One of Us



[1]  Robert Fitzgerald, “Taurus Rising; The Overthrow of the Goddess and Modern Astrology”, The Mountain Astrologer, October/November 1991, pages 14-16.

[2]  Barbara Hand Clow, Chiron: Rainbow Bridge Between the Inner & Outer Planets, Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, MN, 1990.

[3]  Dane Rudhyar, An Astrological Mandala: The Cycle of Transformations and Its 360 Symbolic Phases, Vintage Books, Random House, New York, 1974.

[4]  Dane Rudhyar, Astrological Insights into the Spiritual Life, Aurora Press, New York, 1979.

[5]  A traditional call for help and/or assistance from airmen and sailors is “Mayday”.  Inasmuch as “Mayday” is May first or Beltane (when the Goddess takes charge), one may wonder if this cry from (allegedly macho) men in distress might be a subconscious appeal to the Goddess for assistance.


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