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The Temperament
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Tom
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Posted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 2:14 pm    Post subject: The Temperament Reply with quote

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
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yuzuru



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Posted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two things that may cause confusion in the ones who are coming from modern astrology background.

first is to think that temperament is the "let´s add up" approach of astrology softwares. Say, you have pluto and uranus in libra, quiron and lilith in scorpio, let´s add them all up. You don´t calculate temperment that way.

second is that are many "pop interpretations" of the nature of the elements. Like "fire is creativity, drama, popularity". Air is "cold and intelectual" Don´t ! Stick to traditional definition of the elements. It is not jungian astrology, it is not tarot, it is not Myers-Briggs.

Creativity is one of those words which doesn´t mean anything anymore. And the original "fertility" idea is from water. Drama is also a water quality. Popularity in a choleric ? It may be, but in general cholera doesn´t like people, their weakness and needness. People may be attracted to this, but it doesn´t make a choleric a "people´`s person".

Air is related to thinking, but it doesn´t mean that the person is an intelectual. Air is hot, not cold, if you want to see a "cold intelectual" go for a strong melancholic !

To say a little good things about phleugmatics (as Tom thrashed them Razz )
they are more "dramatic", have strong emotions, have a need to avoid conflict, are caring, passionate and compassionate with others.

Also, the temperament has great reflection in your phisical body, au contraire of the "psychological test" type of fake-temperament. The body of a strong choleric doesn´t resemble in anyway the body of a phleugmatic.

Temperament is a "rough guide" but it does work. In my work with clients, I only use temperament and lord of manners and people are very content with their description. No need to see if quiron is squaring pluto.
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mattG



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Posted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do not think Culpepper had much to say about phlegmatics either when he described them.Not only that, his definitions seem biased in favour of men.I am presently looking at a chart of a female athlete who is quite feminine and self-assured when off duty. I do not have her birth-time and the add 'em up methods seem to rely on things like asc and aspects to them. I think that she has a melancholic streak mixed with sanguine.

Matt

PS Tom - She does not work with me so I cannot assess her office decorations and whether they are made of brass, fake fur or whatever Confused
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Tom
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Posted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I do not think Culpepper had much to say about phlegmatics either when he described them.


He said about as much about phlegmatics as he did the other temperaments. There is another bias held by the earlier writers. They all liked cholerics and sanguines and everything else pretty much stunk. The idea is that heat rises naturally whereas earth, water, and air all need help. Water needs the most help. Traditional astrology is not politically correct.


Quote:
Not only that, his definitions seem biased in favour of men.



Yes they are, as are Lilly's, Gadbury's and every other writer in the 17th century later and before. You'll notice in CA all sorts of horary methods on how to determine if the wife is virtuous and not cheating, but very little to determine the same thing about men. It wasn't right, but it is a fact nonetheless.

Tom
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margherita



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Posted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Yes they are, as are Lilly's, Gadbury's and every other writer in the 17th century later and before.


Unfortunately this is very true.
Tommaso Campanella, the well known author of The City of the Sun, in his prediction for the Great Conjunction of 1603 mentioned as one of the most wicked examples of heresy of his times the fact that Elisabeth I was ruling in Great Britain and Caterina de Medici in France.
I'm sure women don't miss those times.

Margherita
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Papretis



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Posted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yuzuru wrote:
Creativity is one of those words which doesn´t mean anything anymore. And the original "fertility" idea is from water. Drama is also a water quality. Popularity in a choleric ? It may be, but in general cholera doesn´t like people, their weakness and needness. People may be attracted to this, but it doesn´t make a choleric a "people´`s person".

Air is related to thinking, but it doesn´t mean that the person is an intelectual. Air is hot, not cold, if you want to see a "cold intelectual" go for a strong melancholic !

Exactly! It’s funny that in modern astrology Air is related to detachment, intellectualism, theory, etc. though it’s traditionally a warm and moist element. I agree fully that melancholic is the intellectual temperament (cold rationality, dry analysis).

One reason for calling Fire dramatic or even fertile lies probably in the Astrological Alphabet system: comparing houses 1-5-9 dealing with the body and regeneration with Fire, comparing houses 3-7-11 with Air etc. In the Thema Mundi chart the 1-5-9 trigon goes with Water (fertility, body and its desires, instincts etc.); the 2-6-10 trigon goes with Fire (competition, higher goals); the 3-7-11 trigon goes with Earth (the intellect, compares also quite well with the Jungian thinking type); and the 4-8-12 trigon goes with Air.

yuzuru wrote:
To say a little good things about phleugmatics (as Tom thrashed them Razz ) they are more "dramatic", have strong emotions, have a need to avoid conflict, are caring, passionate and compassionate with others.

Maybe we should establish a society for us trashed phlegmatics… my predominant temperament is phlegmatic but there is a strong Mars in Aries (undoubtedly the Lord of the Geniture) squaring the Ascendant. It helps fighting the inertia but it brings a lot of inner tension too. I tend to take up challenges and I’m usually not afraid to tell my opinion, but that’s detrimental to my mental / physical wellbeing (the Ascendant) which is nourished by a more slow and peaceful atmosphere and I'm often regretting the challenges and disagreements I've put myself into. People who don’t know me well see only that Mars, they wouldn’t see me as phlegmatic at all! But at home I’m slow, lazy and accommodating.

Sari

PS. I’ve finally started to look at tropical charts after all. All of the above is written from the tropical point of view. The traditional idea behind the elements works tropically better (which probably is not a surprise for you).
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yuzuru



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Posted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember that the vedic astrologer also have temperament, but apparently there are only three temperaments in vedic (and also in chinese medicine, I believe).

Maybe if you use the three vedic temperaments you will have better results. Western temperament is a very occidental, "tropical" concept :-)

I also am a phleugmatic, but with an aries asc. So I first want to punch people, and start the flames, but later on I am not ready to take all the bothering, as my cold temperament can´t get all the heat and dryness, and I start feeling very sick.

So, generally, when I see something very stupid and feel aries rising, I try to say "oh, well, live and let live" and just try to get into ignore mode.
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Billy



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Posted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’ve been wondering to what extent the traditional and modern definitions of temperament and type correspond. If anyone has any better definitions than these or feel any of the following is inaccurate I would be grateful if they could let me know.


TRADITIONAL TEMPERAMENTS :

CHOLERIC: QUICKLY ROUSED, EGOCENTRIC, EXHIBITIONIST, HOT-HEADED, HISTRIONIC, ACTIVE

MELANCHOLIC: ANXIOUS, WORRIED, UNHAPPY, SUSPICIOUS, SERIOUS, THOUGHTFUL

SANGUINE: PLAYFUL, EASY GOING, SOCIABLE, CAREFREE, HOPEFUL, CONTENTED.

PHLEGMATIC: REASONABLE, HIGH-PRINCIPLED, CONTROLLED, PERSISTENT, STEADFAST, CALM
(Nb-this differs quite radically from Tom’s 1st post and Yuzuru’s 2nd post descriptions!)


SOURCE – EYSENCK-‘PERSONALITY AND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES’, 1985.
definitions - LINKED TO KANT (1798) AND WUNDT’S (1903) DESCRIPTIONS.


MODERN TYPES

FIRE / INTUITION: ‘VITALITY AND SPONTANEITY’, ‘CHILDREN AT HEART’, ‘LIVE IN A WORLD OF FANTASY’, EXAGGERATED BEHAVIOUR.

EARTH / SENSATION: ‘MAKES ORDER OUT OF THE RANDOM ARRAY OF STIMULI WHICH ASSAULT THE SENSE BY RELATING TO EACH ONE INDIVIDUALLY, SAVOURING IT, LEARNING ITS NATURE, AND MOVING ON TO THE NEXT’, ‘AT HOME WITH THINGS’, ‘USUALLY MANAGE MONEY AND RESPONSIBILITIES IN AN EFFORTLESS WAY’, ‘UNCONCERNED WITH JUDEGEMNT EITHER BY PRINCIPLE OR BY FEELING, BUT SIMPLY TAKE EXPERIENCE AND EXPERIENCE IT’

AIR / THINKING: ‘DETACHED, COMMUNICATIVE, INTERESTED IN THE WORLD OF IDEAS, AND FAVOURING RATIONALITY’.

WATER / FEELING: ‘IMPORTANCE OF PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS AND HUMAN VALUES, AND WITHOUT THEM THE WORLD IS BARREN, DEVOID OF HOPE OR JOY’.

SOURCE – GREENE- ‘RELATING (1977)
Nb- Greene may well have refined these since this time.

Greene says that ‘ Jung’s four function type fit hand in glove with astrology’s ancient division of the four elements’.

If these temperament descriptions are accurate Greene’s merging of them with Jung’s types seems to create a 20th century type/temperament very different from the traditional descriptions. Almost unrecognisable for Phlegmatic. Papretis has already pointed out how Melancholic seems to fit the THINKING type more than SENSATION.

Another interesting aspect to this is how Jung was known to have been influenced by the humors, as well as other aspects to astrology, prior to writing his Psychological Types.

Finally, which interests me the most, the modern meanings of the signs resemble Greene’s types so presumably we have seen an enormous shift in meanings for these?
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Papretis



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Posted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Billy wrote:
Greene says that ‘ Jung’s four function type fit hand in glove with astrology’s ancient division of the four elements’.

I cannot understand how Greene can say this. Anyone who has read what Jung actually says in Psychological Types can see that those types don't fit with the four temperaments in the way Greene suggests (and the way Jung has suggested himself before). Warm and moist, sanguine Air is not like Jung's strict, disciplined Thinking type at all, neither is cold and dry, melancholic Earth like Jung's exuberant, epicurean Sensation type.
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Billy



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Posted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree it’s very interesting. Greene sees Jung’s thinking type as being your superior function indicating a rational mentality and perhaps more extroverted (interested in the object) than introverted. For her Air is masculine like Fire.

In ‘Relating’ she is talking about it in relation to the commonalities found amongst Gemini, Libra and Aquarius.

For me her ‘detached, communicative, interested in the world of ideas, and favouring rationality’ says more about these 3 signs than ‘playful, easy going, sociable, carefree, hopeful, contented’. However I’m biased in terms of being familiar with the modern meanings of these signs and have little knowledge as to how they were seen in the past. For example, which of these 3 signs was linked to hopeful, carefree or contented. These strike me as being qualities more linked to Fire signs today

Psychological Astrologers are seeking to understand a person’s orientation primarily through the Sun, Moon, Asc, Ruling Planet, and Angular planets. Whereas looking at for example, Greenbaum’s temperament analysis Season, Moon Ruler, Moon Phase, and Almuten are seen as relevant to determining the temperament/type. So we have quite a profound shift in focus and weight here.

The only Temperament that I can relate to, albeit very superficially, is Melancholic. Yet when I put my chart through the Greenbaum analysis I come out 9-Phlegmatic, 3-Choleric and 0 for the other two. I fit Greene’s water type very precisely and the earth type second to this. So I’m really wondering about what Phlegmatic might have meant in the past and have I, we, misunderstood it somehow? The dictionary says a ‘slow and stolid’ temperament. What does this have to do with Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces? Sounds like Taurus to me? Or ‘ dull and apathetic indifference’ , I can’t think of any sign this resonates with. Water signs are rarely indifferent I’d have thought. So I’m still lost with this humor.

I looked at Zondag’s ‘Astro-Psychology’ (1978) another Jungian Analyst (from memory?), I’d assume her and Greene have studied Jung more than me at least. She describes ‘AIR/THINKING’ as ‘harmonious, friendly and agreeable…spoilt by a lack of firmness and consistency’, ‘intellectual pre-disposition’, ‘seeks logical relationships’, 'life is lived in the individuals own abstract and ideal world’.

She cites Jung as saying about this extraverted thinking type ‘someone who is orientated towards objective phenomena in the form either of concrete facts or general ideas’.

So Zondag and Greene tend to agree on the relationship between Air signs and Jung’s Thinking type from what I can see here!

My version of Psychological Types is hidden or missing so I can’t check this out but looked at some of Jung’s comments in his Tavistock Lectures and Jacobi’s outline of his ideas and I can see where Greene and Zondag are coming from.
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Tom
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Posted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
For me her ‘detached, communicative, interested in the world of ideas, and favouring rationality’ says more about these 3 signs than ‘playful, easy going, sociable, carefree, hopeful, contented’. However I’m biased in terms of being familiar with the modern meanings of these signs and have little knowledge as to how they were seen in the past. For example, which of these 3 signs was linked to hopeful, carefree or contented. These strike me as being qualities more linked to Fire signs today


I don't ever recall meeting a "hopeful, carefree contented" Aries type. Aries seems to be the antithesis of contented in modern as well as traditional astrology. The same can be said of Leo and Sagittarius.

Quote:
"Arians are full of energy and enthusiasm (because Aries is a fire sign ruled by Mars and Pluto); and because Aries is a cardinal sign Arians initiate new activities, which will keep them occupied until the novelty wears off." The Astrologer's Handbook by Sakoian and Acker

"Aries are like commandos; they charge right in and wipe out the opposition" Secrets From a Star Gazer's Notebook by Debbie Kempton Smith

Leo Desirable Characteristics, Loyalty, outspokenness, ardor tolerance, generosity philanthropy inspiration, magnetism, inspiration, hope industry fearlessness, ...

Leo Undesirable Characteristics: Arrogance, dictatorial manner, overbearing, condescension, impetuousness ... The A to Z Horoscope Maker and Delineator LLewellyn George 1981 edition


And for the traditional:

Quote:
"Aries is a masculine, diurnal sign, moveable, Cardinal [not sure what Lilly is doing here: moveable and cardinal are synonymous in traditional astrology - tc] equinoctial; in nature fiery, hot and dry, choleric, bestial, luxurious, intemperate and violent: ..." Christian Astrology by William Lilly

Aries:Laughing and talkative, kingly and haughty, fond of poetry, sharp tongued, lustful, brave The Elements of Astrology Al Biruni

Sagittarius:
Kingly, reticent, liberal, tricky, prejudiced, a capable mathematician, surveyor, thoughtful about the next world, fond of horses, ... virile." Al Biruni


Most traditional texts list for fire signs "hot and dry" and then move on to body parts, diseases, places, minerals and animals ruled by the signs. How this plays out in the life is derived from that. The point is that traditional astrology would not delineate fire as "sociable, carefree, hopeful and contented" and neither do any moderns that I can find. Admittedly, I no longer have many sources for modern astrology.


Quote:
The only Temperament that I can relate to, albeit very superficially, is Melancholic. Yet when I put my chart through the Greenbaum analysis I come out 9-Phlegmatic, 3-Choleric and 0 for the other two. I fit Greene’s water type very precisely and the earth type second to this. So I’m really wondering about what Phlegmatic might have meant in the past and have I, we, misunderstood it somehow?


In this and other parts of your post I wonder if you're using contemporary definitions to understand how older authors used these words. Contemporary definitions may not have been how older astrologers understood the words. For example today we would (correctly) use "depressed" as a synonym for "melancholic," but that word would not have necessarily meant "depressed" to Lilly, Culpeper, et al., if they understood "depressed" the way we do. Then there is the problem of translation from the Greek, Latin, Arab and other languages. But sticking with English, melancholic meant earthy, difficult to get moving, persistent, and practical to Lilly et al. This is the astrological temperament. If these words are taken to mean something else by contemporary readers it is understandable that the astrology will not make sense to them.


Quote:
The dictionary says a ‘slow and stolid’ temperament. What does this have to do with Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces?


What does a contemporary dictionary have to do with traditional astrology? Words change meaning over time. The word "awful" used to mean "full of awe." That definition no longer holds.

Phlegmatic is the water temperament and it is difficult to direct. A melancholic type may be difficult to rouse, but he will be directed once he gets going. Directing water ranges from difficult to impossible. While older astrologers might have agreed with contemporary astrologers that it indicates a certain sensitivity (I can't imagine they would, but one never knows), they would also have quickly added "lazy," "self-indulgent," and "cowardly." Our modern sensibilities might find that a bit harsh, and it probably is, but judgments were more harsh in the 17th century and before. In Lilly's day, people may have seen a lazy, self indulgent, cowardly person as beyond salvation or close to it. 21st century folks might be more hopeful about such a person's prospects for positive change. Neither would see such characteristics as desirable.

Perhaps "phlegmatic" in the traditional sense is best explained by the greatest of all astrologers, William Shakespeare, through his character Falstaff, the corpulent hanger-on, expecting favors from his friend to carry him through his life of self indulgence. This is the phlegmatic "archetype (did I really use that word?)" in traditional astrology. Henry changes. Falstaff does not. Henry's temperament is different and he ultimately is no longer ruled by his base desires. Falstaff never overcomes his weaknesses. He lives for them.

I strongly advise avoiding modern texts and definitions when attempting to understand the past. Look at the Online Dictionary of Etymology, or (best) the OED. If you're really lucky and can find one, try Johnson's Dictionary. It is only about 100 years after Lilly's time.

We have to understand older astrology on its own terms and worldview. We are not, of course, required to accept it as correct, but if we don't understand it, criticism is pointless as it is not based on informed knowledge, and therefore the criticism is little more than prejudice. That traditional understanding of temperament differs from Jung is not surprising. But just as moderns are not required to accept the tradition, traditionalists are not required to accept Jung on astrology or anything else.

Tom
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Billy



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Posted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Tom

I was wondering about ‘content’ being linked to Fire signs more than the others after I posted. Perhaps it’s more accurate to focus on how each sign obtains contentment than to say one, or a group, is more likely to be in this state. It’s not a word I would use in relation to any sign today by the way just trying to work out these humors.

I don’t have the Sakoain, Kempton-Smith and Llewelyn books but by reputation I understand these are quite superficial popular type books. The quotes you provided support this impression.

I only have the Concise Oxford here and it gives for Phlegmatic ‘ Unemotional and stolidly calm’. For phlegm ‘ a thick viscous substance…. produced in massive quantities during a cold and one of the 4 medieval humors ‘ believed to be associated with a calm or apathetic temperament’.

So not much joy here as the ‘modern’ water signs are hardly seen as calm, unemotional, apathetic, or stolidly calm’.

You have brought in lazy, self-indulgent and cowardly. The first and last resonate with the modern Pisces and the middle with Cancer to a lesser extent. Although Pisceans can be very brave in certain circumstances.

Kant’s 1798 description of Phlegmatic
‘Phlegma means lack of emotion, not laziness; it implies the tendency to be moved, neither quickly or easily, but persistently. Such a person warms up slowly, but he retains the warmth longer. He acts on principle, not by instinct, his happy temperament may supply the lack of sagacity and wisdom. He is reasonable in his dealings with other people, and usually gets his way by persisting in objectives while appearing to give way to others’.

Wiki gives this:
A phlegmatic person is calm and unemotional. Phlegmatic means "pertaining to phlegm", corresponds to the season of winter (wet and cold), and connotes the element of water.
While phlegmatics are generally self-content and kind, their shy personality can often inhibit enthusiasm in others and make themselves lazy and resistant to change. They are very consistent, relaxed, rational, curious, and observant, making them good administrators and diplomats. Like the sanguine personality, the phlegmatic has many friends. However the phlegmatic is more reliable and compassionate; these characteristics typically make the phlegmatic a more dependable friend.

It strikes me as probable that Jung, Greene and Zondag would have researched Phlegmatic to the extent that they felt it was related to the genesis of meanings given to the 'modern' water signs. But I at least don’t know their sources. I can’t see Kant helping them much but the Wiki gets more watery in the modern sense, but only marginally.

The other way of doing it is to go from modern to traditional so I’ve picked some terms used at Wikipedia for the Water signs, which seem to crop up regularly even in the more advanced literature.

Protective, Shrewd, Clinging, Intense, Reserved, Compassionate, Impractical, Gullible.

So in your opinion which of these wiki water words, if any, relate to any (not just phlegmatic) of the old humors?

Also do you have any alternative traditional descriptions for Phlegmatic? I’m conscious that Kant, as far as I know, wasn’t an astrologer.
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Tom
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Posted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It strikes me as probable that Jung, Greene and Zondag would have researched Phlegmatic


It strikes me that none of these authors ever did any anything like this since the resources to do this sort of thing were not available to them. This is what I see as a serious deficiency in modern astrologers: the lack of knowledge and understanding of their own past. Let's take a quick look at a chronology that will put this in perspective:

The opening salvos from traditional astrology in the late 20th century were fired in 1974 with the publication of two translations of Morin's volume 21 of Astrologia Gallica and Clara Darr's publication of Gadbury's Nativity of King Charls (sic). This is roughly the same time that what has come to be called "modern psychological astrology" began to emerge (although its roots can be traced back farther). "Psychological" astrology took off and there was very little traditional astrology in English to speak of until Robert Zoller published The Arabic Parts in Astrology in 1980. This is an original work so the only contemporary publications of traditional works were there the three mentioned above, and two of them were translations of the same book..

In the mid 1980s the traditional movement finally got moving when Olivia Barclay and others published and taught Christian Astrology. Our own Deborah Houlding was one of Barclay's students. At about this time Project Hindsight was formed and more and more original traditional texts were discovered and published, and more people started studying them and began to understand how different astrology was when it was part and parcel of everyday life.

Notice this this the time the more prominent moderns were studying, developing their own methods, and teaching them. They did not, despite some of their claims, spend a lot of time, if they spent any, studying traditional astrology or researching it. They couldn't; they didn't have the resources available to them. I have a text somewhere around here by Stephen Arroyo where he claims he studied all forms of astrology and didn't like any of them so he developed his own system. To call this hubris is an understatement, particularly since Arroyo's idea of a traditional astrologer was Marc Edmund Jones.

Modern astrologers grab a couple of stereotypes and persuade themselves of their knowledge of the tradition. They call it "deterministic" and dump it. In propaganda analysis this is called setting up a straw man. It has no value.

Jung doesn't enter into this at all as far as I'm concerned. I wish I had hung on to the quote I once saw where he made fun of astrologers. Greene, Zondag, Arroyo, and others like them are a terrible source for knowledge of traditional astrology.

As for phlegmatic:

That you found a near 19th century definition of phlegmatic that does not coincide with the definitions given in 17th century astrology might beg the question, if I was sure what the question was. The definitions and examples I gave are what astrologers meant when they used the expression “phlegmatic temperament” regardless of what anyone in any field said afterward. I know you’re not arguing that the older astrologers are somehow using the word incorrectly.

For the record, the practice of what is now called “traditional astrology,” and there are several varieties, but that’s another story, ended roughly 1700 or with the Enlightenment. This, obviously is not a firm date, but an arbitrary one, and it depends on how one defines “traditional astrology.”

Nicholas Culpeper (1616 – 1654) defined “Signs of a Phlegmatick (sic) Man” this way:

Phlegmatic men are shorter of stature for although much vapours and superficiality is ingendered in their bodies, yet by means of coldness the substance is bound and staid from stretching in length; nevertheless moisture, dealith itself in breadth and maketh them grosse and fat. Their veins and aeteries are small, their bodies without hair; they have little beards, and their hair is flaxen; their colour whitish with smooth skin and cold in touching; as concerning their conditions, they are very dull heavy slothful, sleepy, cowardish, fearful, covetous, self-lovers, slow of motion, shamefaced, and sober. In them the virtue of digestion and appetite is feeble (through defect of natural heat) their pulses are little and slow, and their urine pale and thick with dreaming of water etc.” (Astrological Judgement of Diseases from the Decumbiture of the Sick, Ascella page 162 originally published 1655)

Notice a few things. First temperament has an effect on body type and diseases as well as the psychological make-up. Even today we make those connections between psychological types and disease, e.g. hot tempered (choleric) people tend towards heart attacks. Nervous types (sanguines) towards some kinds of cancers. Notice the references to their being overweight (although I don’t’ know how that squares with feeble appetites; perhaps the poor digestion is associated with being “grosse and fat”). This is the way a traditional astrologer views the phlegmatic temperament. Kant is irrelevant.

As for the definitions from my modern texts, yes they are superficial. I think almost all modern texts are superficial. That’s why many of us switched. I don’t find Liz Greene particularly enlightening either, just verbose and meandering, a style of astrological writing pioneered by Dane Rudhyar. I’m predominantly choleric. I take the straight approach. Fire is hot and dry: enough said and I expect that of my non-fiction authors. Make your point and move on. Furthermore I didn’t see any examples of profound definitions from any moderns in your post that support your definition of the fire signs.

Finally, when I refer to signs I am not referring to Sun signs. Just the signs themselves and the types they represent. George Washington had his Sun in Pisces and was anything but phlegmatic. In fact he was probably closer to an Aries type. If I had to bet, I’d say his temperament came out choleric melancholic or vice versa (warrior – farmer).

Hunting around old dictionaries is not a bad way to get a grasp on how the older astrologers used words, but reading the texts for understanding is better.

Tom
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margherita



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Posted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It strikes me that none of these authors ever did any anything like this since the resources to do this sort of thing were not available to them. This is what I see as a serious deficiency in modern astrologers: the lack of knowledge and understanding of their own past.


Hello Tom,

I believe you are very gentle with Liz Greene or others Smile
If they could not read ancient astrological texts, they could read Hippocrates, and Galen, and Regimen Sanitatis, and Della Porta and so on.

Moreover Jung knew hermetic literature, so maybe they were not interested in using the old temperaments but they tried to associate them with the modern meaning of elements, or as you wrote they were just superficial. It's difficult to say, at least I have no idea.
Margherita
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Posted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry Steven. My remarks were, to me anyway, obvious hyperbole, but the basis for the hyperbole is experience. You haven't lived until you've been told, straight faced, that the spec says "all steel" shall be abrasive blasted" and our engineer will not sign off on the job (which, as you know, means no one gets paid), and that includes the back to back steel plates, which, in order to be blasted, and thereby fulfill the letter of the specification, will require dismantling of the bridge.

I've spent, literally, full days writing letters explaining the obvious to engineers. My most recent experience has to do with a paint spec. The specification requires a total dry film thickness of x, i.e. the total thickness of all three coats of paint is a defined amount. Fine. Then they approve a repair procedure for damaged areas (all steel gets damaged during shipping and erection) that requires, requires mind you, sanding and applying another full coat of paint on the affected area, and this is fine, too. In fact, it is standard. Then they rejected the work and their own repair procedure, on the grounds that the additional coat of paint makes the total thickness of the paint thicker than the maximum thickness of the original three coats. Duh Four is more than three. No one can apply more paint and without adding more thickness. I am going to spend two days at a fab shop this week to try, for the third time, to get them to understand this and stop saying "You'll just have to do it," as though I can make 3 + 1 = 3.

Think I"m making this up? Off site I'll give you the name of the State and agency. Hell I"ll send you my report of my upcoming trip. Here's the logic. As more and more coats of paint are added the total system becomes more brittle and if enough material is added, the system will eventually crack and peel. By adding an extra coat they are shortening the life cycle of the coating system and therefore they will have to strip and paint the bridge sooner than they would if they didn't add the coat of paint. Of course at some ethereal level the theory is true. But there is no definitive evidence that this will happen prematurely on the repaired areas by the addition of one repair coat on small sections of the steel, much less any studies on the topic. It is all theoretical and we're talking about adding an additional 3 thousandths of an inch of paint. This agency has three people on this self made problem full time this week. My company has two and the fab shop has four or five working on it, which costs he will have to recover somehow in order to stay in business. Mind you the specified procedure from their specification is being performed all over the USA without so much as an eyebrow being raised. Your tax dollars at work solving a non-problem. Maybe engineers in the private sector have more common sense.

I can go on and on.

True they're not all like this, but enough of them are to give me an occasional ulcer. I could be helping people who genuinely need help, and by so doing get the job done properly, on time, and everyone will get paid. Instead I'm doing this.

No offense meant. I've had a few really positive experiences with engineers (like when one told another to get off his job and stay off - thereby permitting the contractor and me to get the job done in a correct and timely manner), but the many of my experiences are less than sensible.

Enjoy your day and your children Steven. They are a blessing.

Tom


PS Hey Steven. How many of your engineer buddies are astrologers?

Tongue Out
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