Issued: April 21, 2011
Article published in
Canada's Stamp Details (Vol. XX No 2; April to June 2011)
In the months of April, May and June, Canada Post will launch three more Signs of the Zodiac stamp issues, each one on the day in which each particular constellation takes its place of prominence in the zodiac calendar.
Signs of the Zodiac: Taurus, the bull
When the ancients looked to the sky in the spring, they saw a constellation they thought resembled the head of a bull, which is why they named it Taurus, the name of the sire of the Minotaur—the half-man, half-bull creature—of Greek mythology. They were taking note; a prehistoric painting on the wall of the Lascaux cave, in southwest France, is believed to resemble Taurus.
The sun is in this constellation from roughly April 21 to May 21. The zodiac's second astrological sign, Taurus is an earth sign and said to be ruled by the planet Venus. Individuals born under this sign are placid and patient, and known for their practicality and persistence. While staying in balance is a central tenant of their lives, they can endanger their much prized emotional equilibrium with their unyielding determination and wilfulness.
Taurus' desire for stability keeps their yearning for material possessions and property in check; they're far too fearful of chaos to risk going into debt. Dependable and steadfast despite whatever comes their way, this rock of the zodiac's only real vice is the extremes they'll go to keep to routine, which often makes them rigid and feeling stuck in a rut. Those born under this sign need to be validated and praised for their desire to adhere to the rules and can become obstinate, even self-righteous, when it's suggested that their way of doing things might not be the only way.
In these three stamp issues, Paprika Design of Montreal continues the multi faceted design themes they first revealed in the Signs of the Zodiac: Aries issue, which became available this past March. According to Paprika Design's Creative Director and Associate Louis Gagnon, "as more stamps in the series are released, the layering of the various thematic elements becomes more and more apparent. For example, when we add the OFDCs of these stamps to the one issued in March for the Aries stamp—we see the wheel of the zodiac begin to emerge. One gets a stronger understanding of the totality of the design."
Getting creative with the cancel locations
With a dozen stamps in this series—and a highly integrated overall design with a strong thematic influence—Stamp Program Manager Elia Anoia and Stamp Services Writer/Researcher Joy Parks wanted to ensure that the cancel locations would add yet another layer of "theme," one that was sufficiently broad that it could be adapted to the entire series. By combing list after list of the country's post offices, the two assembled a dozen locations that provided one more element of wit to the issue.
Signs of the Zodiac: Taurus
Little Bullhead, Manitoba, in reference to Taurus the Bull