Colors of the Tropical Zodiac


with Chris McNulty (he/him)

Light and dark are fundamental concepts in astrology. The Tropical Zodiac is a yearly path marked by the interplay between light and dark. The interpretive meanings of the signs of the zodiac can be determined by their place in the cycle of light and dark, with the summer solstice exhibiting the height of the light and the winter solstice exhibiting the height of the dark.

However, pure light and pure darkness are abstract concepts. The way that we experience these concepts in concrete reality is through a playful and constantly shifting experience of color. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe presented a theory of color in the 19th Century that offered a understanding of color that simultaneously critiqued the color theory of Newton and the Enlightenment scientists and understood color as a phenomenon with intrinsic meaning.

By analyzing both the signs of the Zodiac and colors as “the deeds and sufferings of light” (Goethe), our conceptual understandings of the Zodiac and color can inform each other.

In this lecture, we will explore Goethe’s color theory in conjunction with more modern understandings of color, how the interplay of light and dark over the course of the year elicits the meanings of the Zodiac signs, and how we can understand the Zodiac and color in relationship.

Prerecorded and available for instant download

1hr 12 min | includes video

Chris an astrologer living in Key West, Florida. He is a white, cisgender, gay man who is passionate about new paradigm thinking, social justice movements, and knitting as a practice for focus and self-care. He considers himself a life-long learner who is both skeptical and open to a universe that is replete with mystery and love.

His path to astrology has been slow but sure, and his natal Sun-Saturn opposition is quite happy with that. He received his Master’s degree in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness from the California Institute of Integral Studies in 2013, where he had the great pleasure of studying in community with many astrologers who were learning directly from Richard Tarnas. At the time, his studies were focused on the metaphysics of quantum physics and process philosophy, areas of study that he is still very much interested in. During his three years of grad school, he was immersed in astrological conversations with fellow students, and he first looked at his own birth chart during that time. In 2015, he took his first astrology course with Jessica Diruzza of the Trustpsyche school, and he has continued his studies with her over the past five years. He is also currently studying Hellenistic astrology with Acyuta-bhava Dasa at the Nightlight Astrology school. He started his own practice, The Hearth and The Herald Astrology, in September 2020.

As he’s been studying astrology, he has worked in the Waldorf school movement as an administrator and as a first grade teacher, utilizing the methods developed by Rudolf Steiner for education. He also served as the Community Engagement Coordinator at the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland before moving to Key West in 2019.


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