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The Temperament
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woodwater



Joined: 14 Sep 2007
Posts: 151
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Posted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 1:04 pm    Post subject: Re: The Temperament Reply with quote

Tom wrote:
Although this is a traditional technique, we’ve been discussing it in this Forum in a thread that started out as pertaining to the US Presidential candidates. A couple of things came up regarding temperament, so I thought I’d put some information about it here. Sadly, space and time to not permit a full explanation of even one technique used to determine temperament. I refer interested readers to John Frawley’s book The Real Astrology Applied and from there to the chapter on temperament. I also highly recommend Dorian Greenbaum’s work Temperament Astrology’s Forgotten Key. Greenbaum and Frawley use different methods but usually end up at the same place or close enough to it.

“Temperament” is actually the contemporary English word for the most basic part of our psychological make-up. The earlier astrological writers used the words “temperature” or “complexion” (see Christian Astrology page 532) to describe this facet of the native. In addition to any psychological components, it was used to determine physical appearance and the kinds of illnesses a person would be subject to during his or her life (Astrological Judgment of Diseases from the Decumbiture of the Sick, by Nicholas Culpeper).

Frawley compares the natal reading to that of a pyramid. The astrologer builds on the broad base and gradually narrows things down to a fine point. That broad base is the temperament. Everything, therefore, about the native is ultimately based on the temperament. If we put temperament at the foundation, and aspects closer to the top, the choleric native will react differently to a Mars – Jupiter aspect than the melancholic native. This is why it is considered so important in a natal reading and also why one person will experience placements differently than another.

There are four basic temperaments, but most people are a combination of two or more.

Choleric is the fire temperament and it is related to Mars. It is hot and dry. Think of the warrior, or in contemporary society, the athlete. It is the temperament of action and of bringing about a change. Keep in mind we are not simply talking about temperature and humidity. All the descriptive words may be used as metaphors such as “hot head” or “cold shoulder” or “dry sense of humor.”

Melancholic is the earth temperament and is associated with farmers. Its ruling planet is Saturn. It is cold and dry. It is not necessarily depressed in the modern sense of that word, although it can be. Melancholics are persistent once motivated. They are also capable of great feats of memory. Find someone with a great memory and you’ll probably find he or she has a strong melancholic streak.

Sanguine is the air temperament and is associated with scholars. It is hot and moist. Sanguine types are known for their social skills and easy movement among people. People may flock to and gawk at the famous athlete, but they will like the sanguine type.

Phlegmatic is the water temperament and is ruled by the Moon. This is the most difficult temperament to work with. More on that below. If you have an acquaintance that is relatively unmotivated until he or she “feels like it,” they are probably strongly phlegmatic. They are often voted the most likely to end up alcoholic or drug addicted and if they don’t go to that extreme, they won’t be far from it. This represents the desire nature, i.e. a person motivated usually be desire and not by self improvement or responsibility.

As stated above two or more temperaments usually dominate. This is because we determine temperament by looking at several factors and combining them one way or the other to reach a broad composite. This is not precision work. Close is usually good enough. So one can be Choleric/melancholic or sanguine/phlegmatic. This usually means they exhibit the qualities of one or the other at different times or it can be blended.

The biggest problem is divorcing temperament from personality. By “personality” I mean those characteristics of the individual that are readily seen by others. The “class clown” is what we see. The terrible depression or low self esteem is hidden by it. It is possible to be jocular and melancholic if Mercury dominates Saturn for example. It is also true that some people wear their temperament on their sleeve, say, a choleric with Mars rising. The point is to determine the temperament without regard to what we know of the native. We need to force ourselves to be objective. John McEnroe’s sanguine temperament is ideally suited for the announcer’s booth, but what we saw and remember is his hyper-active Mars on the tennis court.

Temperament can be used quite effectively to determine a suitable profession. I’m thinking of a friend of my son’s who graduated from a prestigious university with a degree in engineering. He is an outgoing, assertive, athletic individual with a great sense of humor. I remember saying to my son that I couldn’t see him as an engineer at all. The engineers I work with are prissy, introverted, and think their wives should come with a manual that they could memorize and implement in order to get them to function better (they are said to have one of the highest divorce rates). Engineers don’t understand the difference between an erogenous zone and a check valve. They are melancholic types. True to form this young man, although he graduated near the top of his class has yet to practice engineering and went into sales and is quite successful to boot.

The main purpose of determining temperament is learning the best way to direct the life in profession as well as in other areas. Fire temperaments will usually end up well as fire rises naturally. Melancholics need a push, but like a boulder going downhill, once it starts it is difficult to stop. Phlegmatics are a problem. And here the moderns, once they have risen from their swoon, realize traditional astrology is not politically correct. Some people just have a harder time with life than others regardless of circumstances. I can’t help but think of young men who become instantly wealthy and famous by dint of their athletic prowess who then waste no time in throwing it all away. We all make mistakes, but some people never tire of it.

John Frawley explains the problems with the phlegmatic temperament in an old Astrologer’s Apprentice article on Janice Joplin. (No. 15). Janice is strongly phlegmatic, he tells us she needs the presence of a strong malefic in her chart or else she ends up just another anonymous dead junkie. Drop the anonymity and the result was the same. Janice did have a strong angular Saturn ruling her ASC. After all she did sing the blues. The most striking feature in her chart was the negative mutual reception between Saturn in Gemini (detriment of Jupiter) and Jupiter in Cancer (detriment of Saturn). Saturn as ASC ruler represented the depression in her life. Jupiter in his exaltation in the 5th house represented the excess. The mutual reception represented one feeding the other. The depression fed the excess and the excess fed the depression and the cycle continued until her death. A strong sanguine would not have reacted to the configuration that way or a strong choleric. She was phlegmatic. She gave into her desires.


Temperament can be used to help with interpersonal relationships. The strong sanguine is not going to remotely understand the strong melancholic and vice versa. But one who has sanguine as slightly dominating might be attracted to an individual who has melancholy in slight predominance. They will compliment each other rather than oppose each other. This astrological match making is far more likely to produce positive results than “synastry” alone. It will work with professional relationships as well as sexual relationships and friendships.

I’ve only skimmed the subject and much more remains to be said. Again I recommend Greenbaum and Frawley as they are the two astrologers who seem to be doing more with this than anyone else. It is worth the study and effort. Moderns will be further shocked to discover that neither Frawley nor Greenbaum use the outer planets for the assessment of temperament: traditional rulerships only. Once the shock passes, it isn’t too difficult to handle.

If there are questions or comments, please feel free to post them here.


Tom


Ive always struggled to find my type. There seems to be some sanguine in my clown-joker persona but it doesnt last very long cause i have a strong Melancholic or Phlegmatic side. I need a strong push to get motivated, and even then i have to be motivated over and over again.
But i have strong desires and find it difficult do to anything if i dont feel like doing it,thus the doubt about phlegmatic-melanchoic.
Physically things are aso blurred. I have a lot of body hair for my type of face- soft, pale, somewhat feminine, full lips, that i even thought of removing them with laser.
Im a capricorn Sun,Venus ,Mars with Gemini rising and Moon in Pisces.
Mercury,saturn and Jupiter are in Aquarius close to MC in house 9 and 10 in lacidus
Do you know a link with a good temperament test?

thanks
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Papretis



Joined: 27 Feb 2005
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Posted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodwater,

according to the Greenbaum method you're predominantly phlegmatic/sanguine.
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Tom
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Posted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Woodwater,

As you might have been able to tell from my incorrect guesses about George Washington, and engineers (according to Steven), this work is best performed properly rather than guessed at. I need to heed my own maxim: temperament is not personality.

Dorian Greenbaum gives an explanation here: http://www.classicalastrology.org/temperament.html

Her book is called Temperament Astrology's Forgotten Key.

John Frawley has written about it in two places: The Real Astrology Applied has a chapter devoted to it. That chapter was taken from an article written in the Astrologer's Apprentice No. 18. Back issues of The Apprentice can be downloaded in pdf format for a few dollars, if you don't want to buy the book or books.

http://www.johnfrawley.com/mag.html

Frawley's method is a bit more difficult to grasp, although, in my opinion, it is very accurate. Not foolproof - just accurate.

The physical descriptions given by Culpeper and others are guides. They are not absolute and they are also affected by the ascendant, aspects to the ascendant etc.

We also must remember that most of us have a little bit of everything as part of our makeup. It's just that one or usually two dominate. We all have phlegmatic moments and choleric moments even if we are melancholic sanguine. The methods try to determine what dominates. Also age is a factor. The choleric isn't as choleric at 65 as he was at 25.

Most importantly the temperament is rough work. It is not absolute. It is the foundation not the star at the top of the Christmas tree. If the bottom of the tree isn't bound somehow, the star falls down with the rest of the tree. One cannot look at the results and accurately say: "I'm phlegmatic, I'm doomed, or "I'm choleric; I'm going to have a heart attack." It's not that simple or that deterministic. If Frawley's method comes out sanguine melancholic and Greenbaum's comes out melancholic choleric, it just means that fire and earth dominate in one way or another. That's all the astrologer needs.

If it turns out that the individual is a strong single temperament type, it is probably more obvious to the observer. It should also send the astrologer to the chart to find out what is missing. That can be important, too as the native might try to overcompensate for the missing element.

Temperament is one tool in the toolkit. It is not the finished product.

Tom
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woodwater



Joined: 14 Sep 2007
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Location: lisbon

Posted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks a lot folks Thumbs up
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Billy



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
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Posted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi again TOM

It’s a brave man who says Kant is irrelevant, thankfully we aren’t on a Philosophy forum.
Eysenck says that Kant’s chapter on Temperament ‘was widely read and accepted in Europe’.

I don’t see any point in debating with you what sources Kant, Jung, Greene and Zondag are relying on because neither of us knows. Jung was quite fond of reading esoteric hermetic, alchemical and perhaps astrological (?) tomes. Did he speak Latin, Greek and Arabic sufficiently to read some of the earlier astrological texts? Greene has a reputation for being methodical and meticulous so I’d be reluctant to dismiss her research out of hand. Although this was one of her early books so it may have been a bit more impulsive.

Anyway my objective here is to try and trace this linear relationship, or lack of, between specifically phlegmatic to this modern feeling/water type. We now have Culpepper in the mix. I’ll ignore the biological/physical stuff for now, as this would require some medical studies to confirm. Looks like a long shot to me.

dull heavy slothful, sleepy, cowardish, fearful, covetous, self-lovers, slow of motion, shamefaced, and sober.

So again we have some word issues, for example what did ‘sober’ mean in the 17th century.?

Sleepy (a bit like lazy), plus cowardish, fearful again a bit Piscean. Shame is a solar emotion so I’m told. Slow of motion makes me think of Taurus. Covetous maybe Scorpio? Self-lovers, is this narcissism ?

I thought of Joni Mitchell as a good example of the modern water-feeling- type.

born November 7, 1943 at 10:00 PM in Fort Macleod (Canada)
Sun in 14°53 Scorpio, AS in 19°52 Cancer,
Moon in 24°36 Pisces, MC in 22°27 Pisces

Putting her through the Greenbaum Temperament system she comes out as :
5-choleric
4-phlegmatic
2-melancholic



I agree you come over as a bit choleric. Touch of Leo maybe?
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margherita



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Posted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Billy wrote:
Jung was quite fond of reading esoteric hermetic, alchemical and perhaps astrological (?) tomes. Did he speak Latin, Greek and Arabic sufficiently to read some of the earlier astrological texts? Greene has a reputation for being methodical and meticulous so I’d be reluctant to dismiss her research out of hand.


Hello,
well Jung surely knew hermetic tradition. And I'm quite sure he knew Kant and Nietzche.
I believe they had enough sources even without reading Lilly, but I'm not sure they were true to them.
I have Greene's Relating and it seems very different from Galen, it's just a book about sun signs to me.


Quote:
Sleepy (a bit like lazy), plus cowardish, fearful again a bit Piscean. Shame is a solar emotion so I’m told. Slow of motion makes me think of Taurus. Covetous maybe Scorpio? Self-lovers, is this narcissism ?


But what about the modern Pisces' compassion and empathy with the world? Phlegmatic temperament, at least as I know it's the most detached one, if there is empathy it's just for himself Smile

And what about Sanguine temperament? I think it's very different from modern Air temperament.
And the modern Fire one? I think it's a mix btween Sanguine and Choleric.

I can't see many similarities, I'm sorry.
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Billy



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Posted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have Greene's Relating and it seems very different from Galen, it's just a book about sun signs to me.


Book about sun signs?

This issue camed up earlier that the modern types appear to have been generated from the modern understanding of the signs.

So the Water/Feeling type is a blend of Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.

I imagine a modern system would go something like this (very roughly):
SUN-8 POINTS
MOON - 5 POINTS
ASCENDENT- 5 POINTS
MERCURY, VENUS AND MARS- 2 POINTS
MIDHEAVEN - 3-4? POINTS
IC/DESC - 1-3? POINTS
ANGULAR PLANETS - 2 POINTS (WITH THE MODERN RULERSHIPS)
RULING PLANET (OF ASCENDENT)-2-4? POINTS

PLUS LOOKING AT ASPECTS CONFIGURATIONS AND SIGNIFICANT HOUSE PLACEMENTS - A FEW POINTS HERE AND THERE, DEPENDENT ON THESE.

Although I'm not suggesting Greene, or a similar type of Astrologer, would find much value in any temperament/type system these days.

So far on this thread there appear to be some similarities between temperament and type but none of this 'hand in glove' as Greene suggests. But I think we are only skimming the surface so far.

I'm hoping my copy of Psychological Types shows up so I can look at it again in more detail.
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Tom
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Posted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Billy,

Quote:
It’s a brave man who says Kant is irrelevant, thankfully we aren’t on a Philosophy forum.


Context, Billy context. I did not mean or even imply that absolutely everything Kant ever said was irrelevant. It was Kant's opinion of the meanings of particular words when he was alive that is irrelevant to what others thought of those words who lived a couple of hundred years before he did. What is important is that we realize that words change meanings over time, and that in order to understand an author we must understand what he meant when he used particular words. Robert Hand has made an astrological career understanding astrology by understanding language. It is important in places other than astrology, too.

I'll give you a simple example. Almost everyone, traditional and modern uses the word "jovial" when describing Jupiter. It may surprise you to know that when Lilly used the word jovial, for example, it did not mean what you and I try to convey when we use that word. Santa Claus is jovial and his generosity fits that meaning, too. Jovial to Lilly and back through the middle ages meant noble, reserved, magnanimous. It was a word used to describe the best characteristics of the nobility. Jupiter rules nobles. A nice etymological study could trace the development of this word, but it is more important that we understand how Lilly meant it than it is to try to somehow discredit Lilly for using it "incorrectly."


Quote:
Anyway my objective here is to try and trace this linear relationship, or lack of, between specifically phlegmatic to this modern feeling/water type.


Culpeper meant what he meant. Whether that can be traced to a modern concept or not isn't that important when trying to understand Culpeper. This is my point in a nutshell. There is no point is trying to understand the pre Enlightenment thinking with post Enlightenment sensibilities. What possible difference could it make if Culpeper's definitions are the same as Jung's?

Quote:
“the greatest lie of all in the sciences and metaphysics: that we are the product of a process of maturation, in which all our knowledge is superior to that of all other cultures; and that we have refined ourselves out of and beyond most of the nonsense that held back previous cultures.” -- Historian John Morrill



Tom
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Tom
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Posted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Morning Steven,

It is true that my work puts me in contact with far more public sector engineers than private sector ones. And you're right, they are bureaucrats. I wish more people could see the ones I see. They might wonder if they want these kinds of people managing their health care.

Have a good one.

Tom
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Papretis



Joined: 27 Feb 2005
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Posted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Billy wrote:
I thought of Joni Mitchell as a good example of the modern water-feeling- type.

born November 7, 1943 at 10:00 PM in Fort Macleod (Canada)
Sun in 14°53 Scorpio, AS in 19°52 Cancer,
Moon in 24°36 Pisces, MC in 22°27 Pisces

Putting her through the Greenbaum Temperament system she comes out as :
5-choleric
4-phlegmatic
2-melancholic?

Hi Billy,

where do you get that much choler for Mitchell? I have the chart in front of me and what I see is:
- Cancer rising: 2 points for phlegmatic
- The ruler of Cancer the Moon: 2 points for phlegmatic (I don't use almuten here as Greenbaum does because I don't believe in the validity of "5 points to the domicile ruler, 4 points to the exaltation ruler, etc." system, but give both 2 points to the Asc ruler)
- The Sun in Scorpio, the melancholic quarter of the year: 2 points for melancholic
- The Moon in Pisces: 2 points for phlegmatic
- The ruler of the Moon Jupiter in Leo: 1 point for choleric
- The II lunar phase: 1 point for sanguine (I'm convinced that Ptolemy's system of lunar phases - I phlegmatic; II sanguine; III choleric; IV melancholic - works better than the renaissance system that Greenbaum uses).

We have:
- 1 for sanguine
- 1 for choleric
- 2 for melancholic
- 6 for phlegmatic = a predominantly phlegmatic type.
The points in the Greenbaum system should always make a total of 10.

Gjiada wrote:
Phlegmatic temperament, at least as I know it's the most detached one, if there is empathy it's just for himself

Sad This is a bit exaggerated, but the detachment part is unfortunately true. Sanguine people are the warm and social ones. Phlegmatics are cool and prefer to be left alone.
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Billy



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Posted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What possible difference could it make if Culpeper's definitions are the same as Jung's?



They aren't going to be the same as Jung's for a number of reasons. In the same way if this type of Personality assessment is retained in 200yrs time Jung is probably going to seem quite antiquated, redundant and need some translating. After all Jung's ideas have gone in many directions, been modified and refined over the last 50 or years or so.

My aim here is to find out if the words in their original meaning(s) correspond to the current types both astrological and psychological.

If they don't then various possibilities arise. The most obvious one is that 'Psychology' is very young (150yrs or so)and perhaps traditonal astrologers, effectively the then psychologists, didn't have the skills to determine these temperaments/types all that precisely. Shakespear may have been an astute observer of human behaviour but he didn't have access to the experimental methodology of modern psychology nor had he done a 6 yr Child Psychotherapy course. If he reappeared today his next play may contain some very different characters.

Or, perhaps they did have some quite advanced skills and in some way peoples temperaments have changed. This may seem a bit far fetched but why should a Piscean in 08CE closely resemble a 2008 example?
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Andrew



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Posted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greenbaum states that Greene goes against temperamental principles when she writes that air and water are opposite types, as are earth and fire: since air is hot and wet and water is cold and wet, they are not true opposites.

I once tried to correlate the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment with traditional temperament theory (dominant function, auxiliary function). It fell flat: worthy of consideration, but ultimately incorrect. I have had lots of ideas that are worthy of consideration, but which prove wrong nonetheless.

There are plenty of examples of new models being developed for perfectly good reasons but which nonetheless prove to be not quite as robust as their predecessors. Greene et al. have misunderstood temperament theory and ought to abandon their inadequate ideas. They do not need to uphold ideas that are incompatible with traditional astrological theory. They can admit their mistakes and revise their views. It's not as if they're infallible.

Quote:
The most obvious one is that 'Psychology' is very young (150 yrs or so)and perhaps traditional astrologers, effectively the then psychologists, didn't have the skills to determine these temperaments/types all that precisely. Shakespeare may have been an astute observer of human behavior but he didn't have access to the experimental methodology of modern psychology nor had he done a 6 yr Child Psychotherapy course.


Uh-huh. I have a graduate degree in developmental psychology and was trained to design and implement personality inventories and intelligence tests. What do they measure? They measure whatever they're designed to measure. That's it. How well they measure is another matter entirely.

Modern psychology is not the ipse dixit of human existence. There are many competing models and theories. I find traditional temperament theory capable of delivering far more insight into human behavior that any modern theory of human typology. I don't reject the observations of behavioral psychology nor do I think Jung is irrelevant (though I do think some of his ideas have been misrepresented or misinterpreted by some of his latter-day disciples). But I do think that some traditional insights into human nature have far more merit than has been generally afforded them.

It is not that people's temperaments have changed over time, it is that our understanding of what constitutes temperament has become so incredibly impoverished over the past few centuries.

We want to mix apples with oranges: it can't be done. Sign rulership is not based on affinity, though this is what every modern astrologer seems to believe. Temperament theory is not derived from the insights of analytical psychology, but some of the insights of analytical psychology have been derived from traditional temperament theory, and usually bowdlerized in the process. Hello, Jungian astrologers! They're wrong. Just wrong. They should admit it and write some new books, or revise some old ones. The failure to recognize one's mistakes suggests a dogmatic stance, an investment in a fixed idea, which most modern ("new age") astrologers claim to find repugnant (ironically).

You might wish to check this out:

http://www.personality-project.org/perproj/others/heineman/home.htm
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Andrew



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Posted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a follow-up to what I've written above, asteroid aficionados usually assign earth to Ceres, air to Pallas, water to Juno, and fire to Vesta.

Well, sanguines are talkative, lively, vivacious, and congenial; cholerics are confident, positive, self-reliant, inventive, and aggressive; melancholics are pensive, analytical, profound, faithful, and orderly; phlegmatics are serene, content, peaceful, and detached.

If you read the descriptions of the alleged influence of these asteroids, you will find that Pallas comes across as hot and dry, i.e., fire (choleric), whereas Juno comes across as hot and moist, i.e., air (sanguine). Ceres comes across as cold and wet, i.e., water (phlegmatic), whereas Vesta comes across as cold and dry, i.e., earth (melancholic). This is just another example of the disconnect between traditional temperament theory and modern astrological typology.
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Tom
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Posted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Greenbaum states that Greene goes against temperamental principles when she writes that air and water are opposite types, as are earth and fire: since air is hot and wet and water is cold and wet, they are not true opposites.

Andrew gets it. Greene does not.

Tom
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margherita



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Posted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom wrote:
Quote:
Greenbaum states that Greene goes against temperamental principles when she writes that air and water are opposite types, as are earth and fire: since air is hot and wet and water is cold and wet, they are not true opposites.

Andrew gets it. Greene does not.

Tom

Hello Tom,
it seems to remember that Jung did this in Psichological types. Greene just follows her teacher.
I should search that book, I should have it somewhere - in the basement Smile maybe someone could check more easily than me.
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