– Buckminster Fuller
This article might as well be an ode to the innovative architect, inventor and transcendentalist, Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller who was awarded 28 U.S. patents, numerous honorary doctorates, and published more than 30 books including perhaps his best-known work, Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, in which he extolled the virtues of “doing more with less” in order to guide humanity towards a sustainable future. Not only does Bucky have a Taurus rising, giving him a natural affinity with environmentalism and sustainable living, but the quintessential geometric configuration that defined his career, also happens to be a prominent feature in his natal chart: a grand trine, an astrological configuration created when three planets align at 120° angles to each other forming a triangle shape that generates a strong synergy between the planets and signs involved. Bucky had a Sun/Jupiter conjunction in Cancer, Uranus in Scorpio and Moon in Pisces forming a grand trine in water signs that is surely the key to his free flowing, metaphysical, innovative and productive career. The reason to invoke Bucky now is that a six-planet grand trine in earth signs will be strongly radiating throughout this period giving us the option to channel an equal abundance of creative, transformational energy. “Option” being the key word, or as Bucky put it, “for me to tell you that you have an option is not to be optimistic… Time and again, of course I am running into millions who don’t know we have the option, because it’s invisible.”
The Sun, Moon, Mercury and Venus are all in Taurus as this period opens, aligning with Jupiter in Virgo and Pluto in Capricorn to form the grand earth trine that is sustained for nearly a month because of Mercury’s low velocity narrowing the degree range he will be travelling around the time he goes direct on May 22nd. In this physical reality, the triangle’s fortitude, with two times the structural integrity as a rectangle, can be seen in the still standing ancient pyramids as well as Bucky’s ahead-of-its-time geodesic dome design. This potentially productive grand earth trine highlights the “gifts of the spirit” coming through the zodiacal archetypes of Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn, which are respectively, according to Dane Rudhyar, “detachment” (or non-attachment as Jim Sher further refines it), “tolerance” and “personal integrity.” The planets involved tell us what function will be operating: the Sun represents the core of our being, our purpose and will; Jupiter, the philosophical great expander of knowledge; and Pluto, the atomic seat of power that transforms whatever it touches. Together the planets work together synergetically, mirroring the strength of the triangle with their energies circulating without obstruction, operating through the particular lens of each sign, all of the same element but taking on different legs of the modes: cardinal (or initiating), fixed (sustaining) and mutable (transitioning). “Synergy means behavior of whole systems unpredicted by the behavior of their parts taken separately,” says Bucky, who relates the force of synergy to alloyed metal being stronger than any one of the individual metals contained therein. Yet because archetypally trines do not create tension or friction, they are generally taken for granted, not “seen,” and hence are frequently not harnessed for the true strength they contain. Effort is required to take advantage of the synergetic opportunity created by the grand earth trine in operation at this time. We have that option now; it remains to be seen if we will carpe diem. Since a rare five planets are in a reflective retrograde state, this formidable energy could be used to move our own internal mountains.
The New Moon in Taurus on May 6th asks us to get down to the core of what is essential, what we truly value. What do we need to blossom at a soul level? Beauty takes on a much deeper metaphysical meaning from the Taurean point of view as an indispensible conveyor of universal love. To Taurus, that love is expressed by honoring the natural world as a giver of life. Certainly that is essential! Materially, what can we reuse, recycle or re-purpose to sustain our resources for future generations, paying our love forward? As part of the grand earth trine, the Moon conjunct the Sun in Taurus is telling us that by uniting our efforts to do more with less, we invoke the superpower of synergy and align with the purpose of the larger consciousness system, setting the tone for this new lunar cycle: “Take the initiative,” says Bucky. “Go to work, and above all co-operate and don’t hold back on one another or try to gain at the expense of another. Any success in such lopsidedness will be increasingly short-lived. These are the synergetic rules that evolution is employing and trying to make clear to us. They are not man-made laws. They are the infinitely accommodative laws of the intellectual integrity governing universe.” Bucky seems to have mastered the “non-attachment” gift of his Taurus ascendant through understanding that appreciation for and attunement with the natural world rises above the materialism of ordinary consciousness, with the passion for possessions replaced by the honor of stewardship and true partnership with the offerings of the earth.
As the first planet in the Taurus bundle to complete his triangle, the Sun segues from his trine to Jupiter (covered in the last AstroCast) into a trine with Pluto, exact on May 7th. Harmonious Sun/Pluto alignments offer tremendous endurance and frequently bring us into contact with others in influential situations that, again with the trine, we may not even be aware of. As the Sun, followed by Venus and Mercury, move from Jupiter to Pluto through the grand earth trine we may discover, if we pay attention, untapped powers of concentration and stamina to regenerate our sense of purpose and mine them for the greater good.
May 9th is a busy day in the cosmos with several astral events unfolding within a few hours of each other. Amidst the planets in Taurus activating the grand earth trine, Jupiter stations direct in the early morning. Appearing to stand still in the sky as he ends his review of the 23 to 13 degree space in Virgo over the last four months, his station further intensifies the need for growth, compelling us to see an optimistic big picture of Virgoan service to humanity. In addition to participating in the grand earth trine, Jupiter is concurrently involved in another configuration creating a strong yet subtle undercurrent to movements on earth. A long term developing mutable t-square that will peak in early June between Jupiter in Virgo opposite Neptune in Pisces, and both square Saturn in Sagittarius, is best reflected in the world at large by the many challenges to boundaries of all kinds and the faltering of those with corrupt or weak foundations. Jupiter, in this highly focused state as he changes direction in the precision oriented sign of Virgo, escalates the need for clarity on these issues that easily vacillate (mutable signs) from truth (Jupiter) to illusion (Neptune) in the determination of reality (Saturn). If faced with a problem in our personal lives, the best approach would be to look at it systematically to see what parts are not functioning properly and thus creating a weak link in the flow chain. “A problem adequately stated is a problem solved theoretically and immediately,” says Bucky, “and therefore subsequently to be solved, realistically.” Hopefully the grand earth trine will provide pragmatic insight (Jupiter in Virgo) into solving the crisis level flood of migrants and refugees dissolving (Neptune in Pisces) traditional notions of sovereign borders and what purpose they serve (Saturn in Sagittarius).
Shortly before dawn on May 9th, Venus, strong in her home sign of Taurus, commences activation of the mutable t-square configuration when she sextiles Neptune, emphasizing the illusory nature of the alignment and also the importance of embracing that fluid and malleable quality of other worldliness in our daily lives. “The explicable requires the inexplicable,” writes Bucky on his unifying theory. “Experience requires the non-experienceable. The obvious requires the mystical. This is a powerful group of paired concepts generated by the complementarity of conceptuality.” How can we determine what is reality, the “obvious,” without recognizing the presence of the mystical in our daily lives? The Venus/Neptune alignment encourages us to see, at a highly refined level, the tender beauty and purpose of imagination and spirit as indisputable elements of reality.
Completing the triad of aspects the morning of May 9th, retrograde Mercury conjuncts the Sun, the “Inferior Conjunction” or “New Moon” of the Mercury cycle where seed ideas are planted. In this particular occurrence, Mercury is in front of Sun from the point of view of the earth, in essence creating an eclipse effect, appearing as a black spot moving across the Sun. This rare transit of Mercury “occulting” the Sun enhances the already heightened intellectual faculties generated by this aspect as the Sun infuses Mercury with his divine light. In Taurus, the two planets are in tune with the natural rhythms of life and their telepathic intelligence emanating from the cellular level knows what is necessary to do in order to see the seed ideas come to fruition. As Bucky puts it: “The things to do are: the things that need doing, that you see need to be done, and that no one else seems to see need to be done. Then you will conceive your own way of doing that which needs to be done — that no one else has told you to do or how to do it. This will bring out the real you that often gets buried inside a character that has acquired a superficial array of behaviors induced or imposed by others on the individual.”
May 10th through 13th, Venus and Mercury, travelling in tandem in Taurus, keep the grand earth trine alive as they form an exact conjunction with each other in trine to Jupiter and Pluto. (While Mercury doesn’t make an exact aspect to Jupiter, he remains within a few degrees orb for the last half of May due to changing directions.) Venus and Mercury make beautiful music together in Taurus, finding intrinsic value in their ideas and the stamina to see them manifest. Their connection with Jupiter in Virgo influences them to keep it simple and direct. The plug-in to Pluto gives them persuasive abilities that understand the hidden meaning in their song sent through the cosmic code of attraction. The potential for problem solving is tremendous; again it will take some effort and the solutions are likely not only to be resourceful and regenerative, but also be naturally aesthetic. “When I am working on a problem,” says Bucky,” I never think about beauty but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.” In Taurus, Venus and Mercury will favor sweet lyrics over academic intellectual discourse as the preferred way of communicating, and vibrational sense perception as the way of reading the world around them. Alloyed with Plutonic intensity and Jupiterian confidence, they will use the flowing language of love to express the profound joy of living in an intimate state of connection with all sentient beings. This is what we are evolving to as human beings, to be in a constant state of unconditional love. May we make the effort to experience even a brief moment of that state during this openhearted, intimate, in tune with nature, free flowing time.
“I have been a deliberate half-century-fused inciter of a cool-headed, natural, gestation-rate-paced revolution.”
– Buckminster Fuller
Here’s the data (using Pacific Time and planetary positions rounded to the nearest whole degree, unless otherwise noted):
May 6 – Moon conjunct Sun (New Moon) at 17° Taurus at 12:29 p.m.
May 7 – Sun trine Pluto at 17° Taurus/Capricorn at 6:00 a.m.
May 9 – Jupiter station direct at 13° Virgo at 5:16 a.m.
May 9 – Venus sextile Neptune at 12° Taurus/Pisces at 5:41 a.m.
May 9 – Sun conjunct Mercury (occultation) at 19° Taurus at 8:12 a.m.
May 10 – Venus trine Jupiter at 13° Taurus/Virgo at 12:00 p.m.
May 12 – Mercury trine Pluto at 17° Taurus/Capricorn at 7:51 p.m.
May 13 – Mercury conjunct Venus at 17° Taurus at 12:11 p.m.
May 13 – Venus trine Pluto at 17° Taurus/Capricorn at 7:18 p.m.