Bull tied to Tree

The book released in this year (2010) by R.Ramachandran (Hinduism, Smrithi and Vedas) states in page number-82 states that Bull sacrifice (generally male calf) is done by tying the bull to a sacred tree. (The same narration is given in the wrapper abstracts on the backside cover of the book also). But, Ramachandran has not given any reference to this narration. It is likely that this procedure of tying up Bull to the sacred tree before sacrifice is given some where in the Rig Veda, because this point is being described by the author, while discussing about the Rig Veda. (Source of this information is yet to be properly verified). The relevance of this discussion is that most probably this scene depicts the narration given in Rig Veda, which indicates the link between Indus civilization and Rig Veda.In practical terms this Indus seal illustrates the heavenly constellation of Taurus being tied to Pleiades.

The below given seal depictions also shows similar scene:

This Indus seal depicts a pole of Ficus religiosa (Pipal Tree), on which some cloth is tied around. The cloth rounding up is something like women tying a sari. This pole is identified with the goddess Inanna and there by the Auriga constellation. The square with the wheel in the right side lower corner is the symbol of sun calendar (as per Benght Hemtun). Over all this seal depicts the beginning of the year as well as planting season. 
An Asherah pole is a sacred tree or pole that stood near Canaanite religious locations to honour the Ugaritic mother-goddess Asherah. (wikipedia) This worship looks like the worship of Inanna (Mother goddess- Kali) by a priest in the goat seal. The constellation Auriga seems to be an important one and is shown as the tree of heaven. Most likely the religious idea is that Inanna lives within that tree. Most probably this constellation was visible at the time of heliacal rising of rainy season at some point of time; it may not be relevant now. That tree is symbolically planted during the marriage ceremony of the agricultural communities even now in India. This shows the importance given to this constellation because it signalled the arrival of monsoon season and starting of agricultural season which is very important in the life of any agricultural community.

refer to narration on Asherah pole under chapter Indus Valley civilization by following the link.

 Unicorn symbol is the most discussed symbol and no conclusion is arrived at on its meaning. Benght Hemtun says that the unicorn symbol indicates the Taurus constellation and the horns of unicorn points towards the star Aldebaran. His explanation seems to be correct and the picture in the seal beautifully coincides with the star constellation. The International Astronomical Union website has an interesting observation on this Taurus constellation. The narration on the topic “origin of constellations” starts with the remark that the cave paintings at Lascaux in southern France could have been the earliest known sky map depicting the Taurus constellation (The bull figure in the painting). The Pleiades constellation (six stars cluster) is also depicted by way of six dots near the bull head. The painting is 17,300 years old and it shows that the study of constellations have started a full 10,000 years ahead of the emergence of farmers in Anatolia. Man was at hunter stage of civilisation at this time period (20,000BC). (Rappengluck., 1996)

 There is a possibility that the ritual vessel shown before the bull (In the fourth illustration shown here) could be actually the ritual pole indicating some constellation nearer to Taurus.  (or) It is possible that  the ritual vessel before the bull in the below given illutration is the Orion constellation in horizontal direction. 

See the narration about bull and ritual vessel by following the link given below--