Bruno, Louise and the language of colour

In this short extract from her book Astrological Psychology, Esotericism and the Transpersonal, Sue Lewis highlights the influences that led to the Hubers’ pioneering the use of colour in the interpretation of the astrological chart. It begins with the period the Hubers spent in Florence, working with Roberto Assagioli at his Psychosynthesis Institute, helping with documenting psychosynthesis while at the same time researching and developing their system of astrological psychology.

‘Bruno and Louise were bowled over by Florence, especially Bruno, who discovered the language of colour from the American Fulbright art scholars he met there. So he read Goethe’s Theory of Colours (1810) and Wassily Kandinsky’s Concerning the Spiritual in Art (1911), and observed colour tests developed by the Swiss psychotherapist Max Luescher, in 1969. In Florence, he started painting, producing an abstract every full Moon and one every new Moon. Although Bruno chose to focus on astrology in preference to art, and executed only one series of paintings, this engagement with the visual medium is demonstrated in the arrangement of the chart, showing the five levels fanning out from the central circle of the self, through the inner motivations represented by the aspect structure, to the driving planetary energies, outwards to the archetypal signs of the zodiac, and around the periphery are the mundane houses interacting with the environment.

The chart is a mandala whose colours and shapes enable the astrologer to envisage the whole person whose chart is being read, so it is a truly esoteric space. Looking at the charts of Bruno and Louise, Bruno’s might resemble a Himalayan mountain range, such as painted by the Theosophist Nicholas Roerich, with peaks and valleys, while Louise’s opens out onto a broad plateau with tall poplars reaching for the heavens.’

The featured image shows Nicholas Roerich’s Song of Shambhala.