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King Midas and the Power of Gold

Author: Mirjam

Brought to you by Archetypal Astrology

The story of King Midas is the classical story of what can happen if somebody acquires all he ever wished for.

According to myth, king Midas once took care of Silenos, the drunken follower to Dionysos, and housed and fed him when in a drunken state he had strayed into the king's gardens. After a short time Midas helped him back to Dionysos, who wanted to thank Midas by granting him a whish. Midas then asked that everything he touched would turn into gold. Dinoysos approved but thought this was an ill considerate whish.

Midas was eager to try and as soon as he returned home he broke a branch from a nearby tree, and instantly he held a golden branch in his hand. Then he picked up a stone from the ground and it turned to gold as he touched it. Overjoyed he ordered a meal to be laid out for him, with wine and all kinds of delicacies, for he was now sure that he would be the richest man on earth.

But as soon as he lifted the cup to his lips, it turned to gold and became impossible to drink. And when he broke a piece of bread it too became a golden lump in his hand. Slowly he began to realize the foolishness of his whish. There was no way for him to satisfy his hunger or his thirst. And everywhere he went, everything he touched, it all turned to numb, solid gold, which he could not use for anything. If he tried to sell it, what would be the outcome? What he acquired in turn would also turn to gold.

He began to hate the riches that surrounded him and he began to despair. He fell to his knees and prayed for Dionysos to have pity on him and withdraw the whish. And the god took pity on him and told him to walk down to the river Paktalos and bend his head down into the water. Thus the power that created the gold was washed away from Midas´ head and he returned to his former state. but from that day he detested gold and riches and spent his life in a simple way, wandering around the country and enjoying his freedom.

The connection to Taurus

This may sound very far away from the issues that often hang together with Taurus in the zodiac, and there are also several other myths connected with bulls, that equally well have something to tell us. But although this is a very simplified way of looking at Taurus, I have chosen the story of king Midas for the clarity it displays.

Taurus as the second sign of the zodiac is an earth sign that has to do with the reality and the experience of existence. It seems to want to define its relationship with the world around it, the body it inhabits, and the questions of making existence a safe and stable place to be in and to enjoy. So we have here issues of security and of possessions, and on a deeper levels they are connected to the inner sense of value and feeling of security.

Different things can represent security to different people. Some feel they need a large bank account to feel secure, others collect property or even knowledge, depending on the placements in Taurus. This is where I think Midas shows us something important.

When the hunt for property, of any kind, becomes obsessive and turn into greed we run the risk of experiencing the same fate as Midas. If everything we "touch", or reach for, gets the same value as gold to us, if we amass possessions to the degree that they will become suffocating and we become owned by them, then we might do better to ask ourselves some serious questions. Where can we find nourishment and a sense of security and true value. Money is fine, it will solve many problems, but if we can't say enough is enough, then the bull, the Taurus within is no longer a peacefully grazing animal - he has run amok.

This is, I think, one of the dangers we can encounter in Taurus, that we become so obsessed with building a comfortable, secure life filled with so many possessions and so much property that it starts to tie us down and limit us. Everything has in a sense turned to gold, we can't move for everywhere our own doings and belongings stand in the way and stop us. In Taurus we might need to realize the necessity of "purifying" ourselves by dipping into the river of our inner feelings and instincts to see that real value and security starts from within.

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