Between July 28, 2005 and Feb 17, 2006, Mars spends the longest time in Taurus since 1973-74. At that time there was a dire oil shortage, long lines at the gas pumps, and a presidency unraveling. Since astrologers look to history to understand an upcoming transit--especially one that seems to nearly identically repeat a previous pattern--we must revisit that fateful year.

But before we do, here's a brief explanation of Mars in Taurus. (Click here for a more comprehensive essay on the subject.) What exactly does Mars in Taurus mean? Planets behave differently in each of the twelve signs. Mars, the masculine planet of drive, action, and aggression, is said to be in detriment, or `weakened,' when in Taurus, the feminine sign of physical pleasure, comfort, earthly riches, and satiation. However, further study of historical events that have taken place during Mars in Taurus transits prove that nothing is further from the truth. Mars in Taurus has been at the helm of countless achievements in the world of sound, communication, transportation, and in place when goals, previously believed to be unattainable, were reached-- especially goals that directly impact the economy and economic policy.

Much of the history of slavery in the modern world and Civil Rights involving African Americans in the United States has played out while Mars traveled through Taurus. (Click here for more.) The spiritual implications of Mars in Taurus are worthy of discussion as well. After all, our spiritual identity is founded on our deepest values. Mars in Taurus says emphatically: "This will happen." And with determination, he hangs in for however long it takes to get what he desires rather than give up because it didn't come easy. Several noteworthy Mars in Taurus breakthroughs include: Edison's invention of the electric light, successful testing of the polio vaccine, discovery of DNA's double helix structure, Time Magazine's first issue, NBC's founding, Elvis Presley's first TV appearance, the USSR's launching of Sputnik 3, Castro's takeover of Cuba, and People Magazine's first issue. The telephone, radio, NASA, and the Internet all came into being when Mars was in Taurus.

Mix the energy of Mars with the insatiable appetite, extravagance, sense of ownership, and endurance of Taurus- and voila! More often than not, you've got the makings of the sumptuous banquet that lasts a lifetime, plus the drive and means to pay for it.

What is it about an earth sign, Mars, in general, and Mars in Taurus in particular, that makes for grounding, discipline, and even reasonable conduct from an otherwise unruly planet? The male planet, delighted to be in Venus' chambers, takes his shoes off and dons his finest slippers and a silk smoking jacket: He's capable of his very best behavior. Perhaps part of a Taurus-Mars' secret to success is alchemical: it's the union of spirit and flesh. Here, Mars' ambition is well-calculated; he's as contemplative and patient as he is determined; he's in less of a rush and more in tune with the sultry rhythm of the earth. And no matter what the goal is, he's in it for the long haul. Once Mars in Taurus casts his or her eyes on any sight, he (or she) digs his heels in deep and inwardly says, "This is mine."

Mars in Taurus is literally and figuratively ground-breaking. Its `unearthing' and `cutting-through' quality, along with its staying power, showed itself in the April 18, 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, the great dustbowl storm of May 13, 1934, the discovery of the Ruins of Pompeii (April 1, 1748), the beginning of the building of the Panama Canal (Jan 1, 1880), the disappearance of Union Boss Jimmy Hoffa (July 30 1975), and now Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Major economic breakthroughs are also common: All four major U.S. gold rushes and the Oklahoma Land Rush all occurred with a Taurus Mars. The very first life insurance policy was issued with Mars in Taurus on May 22, 1761. And the new bankruptcy law will go into effect on Oct 17, 2005.

At his best, he's elegant and enduring--but at his worst, Mars in Taurus is the ultimate connoisseur of cruelty. He's presided over some of the most famous crimes (The Great Train Robbery: May 22, 1868 and The Great `Grain' Robbery: Feb 27, 1972), and the darkest and most violent moments in history. Three young children famous for their murders had Mars in Taurus: the Lindbergh baby (June 22, 1930) whose body was discovered 22 months later when Mars was in Taurus; Lisa Steinberg (May 14, 1981), whose killer, Joel Steinberg, was convicted of manslaughter on Jan 30, 1989 with Mars in Taurus; and JonBenet Ramsy (Aug 6, 1990).

The holocaust unfolded under the insistent hand of Mars in Taurus, beginning with the births of Adolf Hitler (April 20, 1889) and Adolf Eichman (March 19, 1906) and continuing with: Herman Goering's warning to all Jews to leave Austria (March 26, 1938); the Germans' beginning construction of Auschwitz (Feb. 21, 1940); the formulation of the "Final Solution" outside Berlin (Jan. 20, 1942); the first arrival of Jews at Auschwitz and the adjoining Birkenau camp (Feb. 27, 1942); and the uprising at the Nazi Treblinka concentration camp, where some 600 prisoners staged a revolt (Aug 2, 1943).