The Story Behind the Taurus Symbol

Why is Taurus the bull?

Taurus Symbol

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The Taurus symbol is that of the bull. The glyph features a solar disk that represents the head of a bull and on top of that are two horns. In tropical astrology, Taurus dates fall between April 21 and May 20.

Taurus Symbol - Glyph

  • Zodiac symbol: Bull
  • Zodiac element: Earth
  • Zodiac quality: Fixed
  • Dates (tropical, western): April 21-May 20
  • Ruling Planet: Venus
  • Tarot Card: Hierophant
  • Stones: Emerald

Every zodiac sign has a symbol (also known as a glyph) that represents it, most of which have existed for thousands of years.

Unlike some other zodiacal symbols — like the one for Aquarius — Taurus’s is pretty straightforward. Taurus is a bull. The symbol is a bull. Taurus means bull in Latin. Case closed. But, as with all things, there’s a little more to it.

Why Is Taurus the Bull?

It depends on who you ask. In the Ancient Greek myth Europa and the Bull, Zeus came down from Mount Olympus disguised as a bull with the intent to capture the eye of the Phoenician princess Europa. Once she sat on his back, he swam with her over to Crete, where he transformed back into Zeus.

The story from Babylonia is different, and older. The Ancient Babylonians called Taurus 𒀯𒄞𒀭𒈾 , “Bull of Heaven,” and Mulguanna. To them, the strong, wild bull was destructive and “came down from heaven to drink the rivers dry and to parch the land.” In fact, it was the same bull that fought Gilgamesh.

The arrival of the Taurus constellation marked the time of the year when “the temperature starts to rise and the rains diminish.” The Babylonians believed that if they saw the constellation bright in the sky that year it would foretell a good harvest and a fertile year.

Taurus Symbol - Babylonian Star Chart
Credit: Gavin White


As you can see from the star chart, the symbol of Taurus hasn’t changed much in thousands of years. The main change was to replace the rendering of the bull’s head with that of a solar disk.

This may come from a pictorial story from the Uruk period (4000–3100 BC), in which they associated both the constellation and the Sumerian goddess Inanna with the planet Venus. On this cylinder seal, the artist placed two solar disks. One before the bull and one on its horns.

Taurus Symbol - Bull in Grass



What Are Some Taurus Personality Traits?

Taurus’s personality traits are pretty similar to that of an actual bull. Taurus is known for being strong, determined, and for doing things with intensity and passion. But, when they feel restless or frustrated, they can be particularly destructive.

They’re also known for their hedonism in all earthy pleasures, a trait associated with Venus.

Taurus Symbol - Venus