Astrological Connections

The question now is whether the colour-circle and the signs of the zodiac can be linked in some way. The sequence of colours can be portrayed within a circle in two ways: we can either move around its circumference, or across the circle from the centre to the outside. Both of the movement options arising from the circular form can be combined into a spiral, just as the German academic Athansius Kircher had done in his vortex with seven orbits. In 1653, Kircher placed a scarab on this spiral, imparting as it moved a constant change to the colours, which were associated with the planets. Kircher introduced his cosmological system—his “Idea Hieroglyphica explicia”—almost a decade after the formulation of his colour theory. We will also show a square arrangement of planets and zodiacal signs as proposed by Jean d’Espagnet in 1651. D’Espagnet connects spacial and temporal elements in his diagram by assigning the classical heavenly symbols to the four seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. (Detailed text)

Date: 17th century

Related systems: Grosseteste, Alberti, da VinciKircherHelmholtzArchéomètre

Bibliography: J. Godwin, «Athanasius Kircher», London 1979.