According to notable Taurus myth; the Greeks explains that Zeus, the leader of the gods and god of the sky and thunder, fell in love with Europa, the Phoenician princess. Europa was always guided by her father’s solders.
In order to beat the watchful eyes of the soldiers, Zeus transformed himself into a beautiful white bull with a pair of golden horns and wandered towards her while she was in her garden.
Europa on seeing the white bull, was mesmerized by its beauty and made him her pet. They became instant friends. One faithful day, Europa climbed onto the back of the white bull, who making use of the opportunity, carried her away to Crete. On reaching Crete, Zeus revealed himself and latter married her, and thus, fathers Minos.
Minos inspires the name given to ancient Aegean civilization of Crete. This culture predates the rise of ancient civilization on the Greek mainland. Common traces of image of the bull can be found in Minoan culture and is attributed to the Ancient Near Eastern world whose courts, tombs and temples are filled with images that tie their power to that of the bull.
Another version of Greek might for Taurus writes that Zeus falls in love with Europa, the daughter of the king of Tyre.
She was constantly guarded by her father’s solders. Zeus changed himself into a beautiful white bull with golden horns. He then mixed with the royal herds that was grazing in a large filed by the sea. Europa noticed this beautiful animal while working along the beach….could not resists going up to it and feeding it.
So friendly and gentle was this splendid bull that she climbed unto its back and grasped the golden horns.
Gradually the white bull wandered closer to the sea and when near the beach ran into the water and began swimming towards the island of Crete. By this time it is too late for Europa to climb off. When they arrived to Crete, Zeus changed himself back into his form. Realizing he could not marry Europa, Zeus gave her in marriage to Asterius, king of Crete.
So as Greek might for Taurus goes, when you look for Taurus in the sky, don’t expect to find the entire bull. You are supposed to see only his fore front. The explanation is that his hind quarters are underwater since he is busy carrying Europa across the sea to Crete. Don’t really expect to see the shape of the fore quarters of a bull……except in your imagination.
Hyades and Pleiades also played special role on Greek mythology for Taurus.
Hyades are referred to as the five sisters of Atlas. They were also believed to be half sisters of the Pleiades. When the wife of Zeus and mother of Dionysus died, Zeus appointed the Hyades sisters to take care of his son. Later they were immortalized into stars and placed in the Taurus constellation by Zeus.
Pleiades were also known as the daughters of Atlas and Pleion. They were grief-stricken when their father was given the task of holding the world on his shoulders.
Feeling sorry for these girls, Zeus placed them as stars in the Taurus constellation.
However, in another Greek might for Taurus, Orion the hunter fell in love with them. He pursued them constantly. To save them from the hunter, Zeus placed them along with other stars in the constellation.