As a practicing astrologer, I am always struck by how much I learn from my clients. Last week, after a reading, a client told me how much I blew her mind by explaining the importance of her rising sign, instead of only her Sun sign, which she had been trying to fit herself into. This started my thinking about my own rising sign, 29° Taurus, especially now that we are in the Taurus New Moon, and Jupiter has been there for the last year with Venus still so beautifully bright in the evening sky. I have always known I was Taurus rising (my North Node is there, too), but the quality of my expression has changed significantly over the years.
Food has always been important to me; taking in substance seemed comforting. I went so far that, at age 13, I became bulimic, which lasted for 20 years. This dysfunction permanently sensitized my throat and, later, caused the loss of some teeth, because the enamel eroded from the stomach acids in the mouth. In high school, I sang in an award-winning choir and spent two years, once a week, telling a doctor what I ate and why (she would fall asleep). Although I was not much of a shopper, when I did purchase something, it was a handbag or purse of some sort, or a pretty box to put things in. I liked containers — places in which to hold something else. In my 30’s, I was attracted to a Taurus man who stayed in my life for 25 years. He could be described as a true “couch potato.” I marveled at his ability to lay on the sofa, watch TV, and “do nothing” for long periods of time. He worked one day a week and seemed so completely satisfied. Of course, he was a good cook and we ate well and often.
This past year I have been a companion to a very elegant woman with natal Moon in Taurus conjunct her North Node, which is exactly conjunct mine. Her Moon and our North Nodes are at 2° Taurus, the degree of this month’s New Moon. She has a beautiful home full of antiques and fine art. She dresses in her mother’s museum-quality jewelry and hand-me-down dresses and suits. (Her mother was a friend of Coco Chanel’s.) We talk over cocktails and watch Edwardian England miniseries. In some ways, I’ve noticed that my life is becoming more like the lives of the English upper class, the “Taurus” in our world. I have begun to wear essential oil perfume (particularly for abundance), and diffuse my house with aromatherapy candles. I am wearing jewelry. We go out to eat in the nicest places, or I cook. We have seats at elegant fundraiser dinner parties and go into NYC to hear the Philharmonic. I am gardening more, and recently found myself taking a soil sample for the first time in my life. I practice yoga and feel comfortable in my body for the first time in my life. My “inner space” is being nourished. We play bridge. I am getting my piano tuned, taking art lessons, and am ready to join a choir again. I still have to watch my neck in yoga, but now, with a new pillow, my cervical spine (neck) is completely relaxed and I am sleeping better.
I do not know whether these feelings and experiences of deep satisfaction are coming because I’m 63, and looking downhill (or upwards, as the case may be), or if they result from my notion that, as I have 29° Taurus rising, I have to get Taurus “right” in this lifetime. Or perhaps this is just a result of the intensification of the Taurean energy at this moment in time. I do know that identifying with all the positive attributes of one’s rising sign feels comfortable. Margaret Hone, in the Modern Textbook of Astrology, says the Ascendant is “of greatest importance…every trait of character deduced from any other part of the chart must be considered in relation to the type of person evincing it, as shown by the Ascending sign.” Charles Carter says that the first thing one sees about a person is the Ascendant, as does Isabelle Pagan.
Recently Neptune has squared my Ascendant and, as it is sesquiquadrate my Ascendant natally, I’ve been reliving the idealization and delusion inherent in that aspect. It seems to me, though, that as the clouds have parted, I am connecting more deeply with my Taurus Ascendant and living a far richer, soulful life as a result.
Kate Plumb is a certified NCGR Level 4 Counseling Astrologer. She was also certified by Jim Lewis in A*C*G. She first studied astrology in 1971 (thanks to her sister) with Rod Chase and Alan Oken in Brooklyn Heights, and later with Zoltan Mason in his bookshop on Lexington Avenue. She has written for TMA, teaches classes, and sees clients in her home office in Sag Harbor, New York. She has recently started a blog at offtheplumbtree.blogspot.com