Adolph, Buddha and Me: Rebranding Astrology

I have the same zodiac sign as some of the most monstrous people in history, Adolph Hitler and Saddam Hussein to name a couple. But great achievers and artists also share my sign, which is Taurus. I know astrologers who plan their lives by the movement of the planets, I know scientists who dismiss astrology as a ridiculous joke and I know religious people who think astrology might be evil. None of these models fits my view of astrology. I think astrology can be used by choice, like an art, to enhance and expand one’s life.

In addition to Hitler and Hussein, other “misguided” Tauruses include Timothy McVeigh (the Oklahoma City bomber), Jim Jones (the cult leader who led his community of men, women and children to commit suicide), and Bernie Madoff (the stockbroker who “made off” with billions of his clients dollars). What are the alleged “Taurus” qualities they all share? Taurus is said to be a “fixed” sign;  persistent, and determined, sometimes to the point of being obsessive, and fanatical. In 1923 Adolph Hitler wrote Mein Kempf, exposing his anti-Semitic views. From that point he never wavered in his single-minded vision for Germany. In the mid 90’s,Timothy McVeigh got angry about the way the American government was involved in citizens’ lives. He got an idea in his head and pursued it with ruthless efficiency, finally blowing up the federal building in Oklahoma City and killing 168 people.

Let’s talk about accomplished, good people in history who were born under the sign of Taurus, like William Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth II, Bono, Sigmund Freud, and Stevie Wonder. And for fun let’s throw in some gorgeous people, like Penelope Cruz, and George Clooney. Taurus people are said to be very sensual and attuned to aesthetics. Stevie Wonder became a recording artist at age 11, and has gone on to be one of the most creative musical artists in American history. Barbra Streisand won Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony awards for her huge musical and creative talent. And those other qualities — being persistent, fixed, determined? Those can certainly be positive. At 86, Queen Elizabeth is the longest living English monarch, having reigned for 60 years, with no plan to step down anytime soon. That is persistence. When I found out I had a sister out there somewhere who had been given up for adoption, I did not rest properly until I found her. With not a shred of documentation, it only took me four weeks. That was determination.

Sure, I relate to a lot of these Taurus qualities. But what I find most compelling about this topic is the idea of rebranding astrology as an intuitive art. As an intuitive art, I choose to engage in astrological concepts rather than feeling boxed in or defined by them. As a pseudo-science, astrology gets a bad rap, but I think astrology could hold its head high as an intuitive art. It could be used as a colorful palette, a fun way to enhance life by design. Knowing the purported traits of Taurus gives me opportunities to appreciate and embellish the things I like about myself and to rein myself in if I see myself getting too dictatorial or self-absorbed. And my experimentation isn’t limited to just Taurus characteristics. If there are qualities that I want to develop in myself, like say the Aries quality of bold assertiveness, I can choose it from the palette and find ways to express it into my life.

The Buddha himself is said to have been a Taurus. Astrologers note that he had that famous Taurus “all or nothing” personality. He certainly used it differently than Hitler did. I don’t suggest taking the Taurean the “all or nothing” approach to astrology. I say, make it your own. Take what you like and leave the rest.