Solar Ingress into Taurus

My Notes on The Magical Carousel by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, second chapter, Taurus.1


The very first thing the children notice when entering the new “land” of Taurus is how different it is from Aries. The description is of a garden paradise as opposed to a wild forest. Greens and browns specifically, and we might sense, shades that are earthy. As they arrive and take in the sights, sounds, and sweet ambrosia of the Taurean landscape PomPom puts Hunter’s handkerchief away in his pocket. He was reminded when he noticed himself holding it in hand when the realization dawned on him that he forgot to return it. Readers wonder what the significance of the red handkerchief might mean, or if it is some incidental article that is not significant at all to the plot of the story.

The second paragraph clearly alludes to the Garden of Eden mentioned in Genesis, in the Bible. There are lush pastures and fruit trees within a walled garden, and a lone tree in the middle of everything. The sense of a pastoral sanctuary and abundance whets the travelers’ appetites, plus they are famished from their journey. So, once inside the garden Val and PomPom are compelled to eat the fruit of the tree. The adventure begins with them hoisting themselves up over the fence and into the garden to gorge on green apples until they are overstuffed, and then, overcome with satisfied hunger, “they fall into a peaceful and profound sleep.”

Next, we are introduced to the main character of the land, the Bull. His hot breath and snorting wake Val up out of her slumber, and TIME is introduced as being immeasurable with traditional means or understanding because clocks cannot count that high. Val is frightened by the enormity and size of the bull and leaps up to hide behind a tree, and beckons PomPom to safety. But there is no need since Bull is only interested in lying down in his customary space, his favorite place for resting.

Bull catches on to the fact that these strange visitors are trespassing, and in a sense invading his privacy on his private land, but not wanting to be impolite about it, he makes small talk and tries to discover what their motivation is for wandering around on his private property. So, the children answer his inquiry with gusto and gumption, regaling him in such a wondrous adventure that he thinks his “mistress” might be equally entertained by listening to the re-telling of their story.

He shares that there might be a reward in store for bringing such “charming” guests to an upcoming banquet. As the chapter unfolds the main two activities in Taurus are eating and sleeping, and if anyone can stay awake long enough, then storytelling and song are also mainstays on the menu of good living.

The children set off mounted on the back of the bull for the distinguished home of Malamulapaga. There are excited little creatures afoot and much commotion because it is a big event whenever Malamulapaga wakes up from her nap.

A curious feature of Taurusland are the minions of “elves” scurrying around and the burdensome sense of needing to get somewhere in a hurry but feeling weighed down by a heaviness in the air. The scene switches to Malamulapaga reclined on the couch, looking mountainous, and the children gawk at the size of her just like children are apt to do when seeing an enormous person for the first time. The mood is joyous and happy, there is music in the air. The awakening of Malamulapaga is an event marked for celebration. As soon as she wakes, this is when the party really gets going, but first she wishes to sing, which is no small wish, because she will need to stand up to perform, and this will take a great deal of effort. Mala and all the elves work together until she is upright and such energy was called for that everyone in attendance burst out in applause just for the fact that she got up to her feet. But then that voice! Her voice revealed what was above and within all of existence and her harmonious vibrations were felt everywhere and in everything. Nothing was left untouched by her magical voice, and there was complete adoration and appreciation for the gift Mala shared to open the ceremony. When she was finished the banquet began.

The banquet in Taurus is a festival of abundance that gains everyone’s full attention. What the guests notice first is that the terribly slow and stolid manner speeds itself up with purpose and intention, to feast and dine until the heart is content. And in the moment of gluttonous rapt attention to the feast, Time is mentioned again amid the action, as something beyond measure. But it is nary a care since bellies are full and getting fuller, what else could be more important than that, than feeling comfortable, safe, and secure, with a full belly?

There is a pause in the action and Bull takes advantage of the moment to introduce the children as if they were a present, and Mala is overcome with joy. They are encouraged to share their tale with Mala, and as advertised she is enthralled, breaking into eruptions of laughter that quake and shake everything in the vicinity. Like tremors before “the big one,” the tableware gets upset and dislodged from its setting, shattering on the floor.

The act of Bull sharing such an original and entertaining present stirs up tremendous gratitude in Mala for which she is compelled to return as a favor in kind, according to her own desires. So, it is arranged for the children to lay their eyes on something rarely ever seen by others, as Mala put it, “MY POSSESSION.” She expresses pride and wonder about her treasure and emphasizes the extraordinary quality that makes her treasure stand apart. The pieces do indeed prove to be superb and the most magnificent the children have seen… But Mala screams for the lids to be closed when she feels that the time spent feasting their eyes on the treasure was done. “Enough,” she cries. And the lids close with a thud…

Readers get a sense that a harsh and stubborn possessiveness lies behind Mala’s intent. But in the very next act she proclaims that she wants to satisfy each of their deepest longings and desires. Val’s answer to Mala’s request is that she would like a storybook, but Mala summarily shoots this idea down because she thinks that anything with “words” is just a silly idea. Val settles for a book with pictures. The book she presents is so special that the giver of the gift ends up receiving more attention than the receiver of the gift. Inspired, PomPom springs up and shouts that he wants a red balloon, and all havoc breaks loose. Elves run to support Mala who has gone into a swoon, and attendees make an uproarious commotion over the young boy’s request. For some unexplainable reason just the idea of a red balloon threw everyone into a tizzy.

After a spell Mala has regained her composure long enough to explain how there is not one thing in Taurusland that is red, and No Red is allowed since that is the only color that has a way of setting off Bull and sending him into a beastly rage of fury. Mala’s calm explanation helps settle matters down and without missing a beat announces her own wish for the year… which to the children’s surprise is for them to become her own “live” prized possessions. Of course, the children unbeknownst to Mala are on a tight schedule and plead with her to let them go, but it is too late for that, she has invested too much in them already and is insulted by them indicating that they do not want to belong to her. She places them in a golden cage and gets very VERY upset, which gets the children upset to the point of crying… {pause} remember the red handkerchief? PomPom removes the handkerchief, not even thinking about it, to wipe his eyes and blow his nose.

Sheer mayhem snaps the serenity of the place in two, and it becomes a place where it is everyone for themselves, trying to save themselves. Mala falls in a heap and is out like a light. The party moves from a happy carnival-like atmosphere to full-on hysteria.

Bull has lost his mind and fixes his sight on the red handkerchief. Nothing can stop him and everyone in attendance ducks for cover. Everyone except Mala, who has fainted, and the children of course because they are locked away in the cage Mala placed them in. The collision between Bull’s horns and the cage sends the cage along with the children in it, hurdling high into the sky. They seem to travel faster and faster, and higher and higher, and are not coming down in the way one might expect, because it is only logical that what goes up must come down. Suddenly they realized that a bird assisted their ascent because they found themselves perched on top of one who just so happened to be flying into the next land, leaving the upheaval and confusion behind them, and beneath them. As the story flies ahead, things are quite literally up in the air.

1 Norelli-Bachelet, P. (2017). The Magical Carousel and Commentaries: A Zodiacal Odyssey (2017th ed.). Notion Press, Inc.

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