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Temperament Text

 
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Tom
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Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 3207
Location: New Jersey, USA

Posted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 3:54 pm    Post subject: Temperament Text Reply with quote

I recently received Temperament Astrology's Forgotten Key by Dorian Gieseler Greenbaum (Wessex Astrologer, Bournemouth, England). We've discussed temperament in nativities a few times on this list, but this is the first time I've seen a book devoted to the subject, and anyone who wishes to truly understand the traditional method of natal delineation needs this work.

Dorian gives the historical development of what would become temperament in astrology beginning with the Greeks (who else?), and taking it through William Lilly. The word "temperament" comes from a Latin word meaning mixture. We are all a mixture of hot, cold, wet and dry. In fact all of Western Astrology is based on hot, cold, wet, and dry.

There are four temperaments: choleric (fire: hot and dry), sanguine (air: hot and moist), melancholic (earth: cold and dry), and phlegmatic (water: cold and wet). Most of us are a mixture of these, but pure types exist. Her example of the pure melancholic is songwriter and singer, Paul Simon. We don't even need a chart; just look at the titles and lyrics of his songs: "Sounds of Silence;" "I am a rock. I am an Island;" "Bridge over Troubled Waters." But see how his temperament manifests in his work. The song "It's a Wonderful World," would not come from his pen.

Temperament is not personality. Although parts of the temperament will be found in the personality. Personality is external; tempeament is internal. So what, in practical terms, does this extra step in delineation give us? Plenty. Take an aspect, any aspect, let's say a Venus - Moon square. How will this manifest in the native's life? Much of that answer can be found by using the temperament. Let's say that aspect, in a man's chart shows difficulty with women in his life. We could stop there, but that doesn't tell us very much. Lots of people, men and women, have difficulties with women. However, knowing the native is sanguine, and depending on other factors in the chart the aspect could be crushing for such an inately social person, or he might use his natural social skills to minimize the problem. The problem will be intensified if the native is choleric, perhaps result in depression in the chart of a melancholic, or lead to overindulgence or complete lack of discrimination in choosing partners in a phlegmatic. No matter which type, we've added depth and understanding to our reading which can only benefit the native.

If you like the history and development of astrological theory, it's here. If you simply want to learn a new technique, it's here. If you like practical examples, they're here. If you like discovering new astrologers from the past (I admit that I never heard of Ramon Lull before reading this book), that's here. If you just like sitting in the back yard enjoying the sunshine with a fun astrology book, that's here, too.

Yes, Dorian is a friend of mine. But friends can write bad books; this one didn't, and any interested astrologer would be depriving themselves of knowledge and fun, if they let that fact stop them from picking this up.

Enjoy

Tom`

European readers can obtain this work right from the source:
http://www.wessexastrologer.com. It is also available through Amazon.co.uk

Americans can get this from Amazon.com or directly from Dorian via her website: http://www.classicalastrology.org/orderform.html

Aussies get to choose either continent
Confused
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Astraea



Joined: 04 Oct 2004
Posts: 300
Location: Colorado, USA

Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are so right, this is a marvelous book. Dorian Greenbaum writes in a conversational style that offers accessibility of information, without sacrificing nuance and subtlety. I will refer to it continually.
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Ben



Joined: 02 Aug 2004
Posts: 151
Location: Minneapolis, MN USA

Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

I have to second (or third?) the praise of this book. I got it a couple of months ago and now use Greenbaum's formula for temperament. It works great, and you have to appreciate the ways she analyzes, compares, and expounds the temperaments. It was always frustrating to read lists of keywords: cholerics are "irascible," and so on. How many people do we know who are "irascible"?

Greenbaum also compares temperament to personality classifications such as that of Jung. She shows how they are similar, but makes the important point that astrology came first, not Jungian psychology -- these tools are already part of our tradition, and we ought to recover them.

Tom's also right: temperament is not exactly personality. It is more like a combination of intrinsic energy level and its social expression, plus outlook on life. But it does have a great bearing on personality.

Ben
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Traditional Astrology Texts and Teaching
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Ficina
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Joined: 26 Mar 2004
Posts: 1807
Location: Kent, England

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would like to add my recommendation. I read the book in one sitting yesterday (excluding appendices) and have been dipping back into it today. It has raised issues and questions in my mind (yet again!) regarding the whole subject of temperament. But if a book does that then it's yet further recommendation of its merits.

Go ye and read it also Cool

Fi
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yuzuru



Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 1360

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This topic is a little old, but I would like to see the opinion of those of you who undertand temperament better than me...

The yearīs seasons have a classical effect over temperament: I think Frawley putīs the season of the year and the phase of the moon as primal factors... but I always get in doubt who to deal with our problems here in the south hemisphere.

I mean, of course the "power of the sun in Leo" is an analogy with the north hemisphere summer, but I can live with that. But the temperament seems to be in other level of significance.

For example, there is an old psychological research who showed that the IQ seems to change with the season the person was born (donīt ask me what is the brightest sign... I only saw this research second hand)

Any thoughts ?
Yuzuru
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Sue



Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 945
Location: Australia

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Yuzuru,

I attended a workshop of Dorian's when I was in the UK last year. I spoke to her after the workshop about the issue of the temperaments in the Southern Hemisphere. She said that she often gets asked about this issue but as yet has no real answer. The issue arises in her point scoring system that calculates temperament from the natal chart. But from what I can understand, it may not have a big impact either way. Most of the scoring is not reliant on hemispheres or seasonal variation. She attempted to research this by using a database of well known Australians but unfortunately didn't know who most of them were. Very Happy She did know where Australia was though. Anyway, the upshot of the conversation was that I would look into this at some stage being somewhat more familiar with the Australian names. I don't have her book yet (for fear of being further distracted from my current primary goal) but have done quite a bit of research on temperament. I would still like to have a look at this but the big issue, as for most other people, is finding the time to do it.

Maybe Tom would be so kind as to look in the book to see if Dorian mentions the Southern Hemisphere. Yes Thomas, there is a Southern Hemisphere, perhaps better known in your part of the world as Not the Northern Hemisphere. Laughing

BTW, temperament was one area of knowledge that Ficino made an outstanding contribution to, even if he was a little obsessed with his own melancholic temperament. He did, however, point out quite correctly the idea of the melancholic being the most likely temperament for genius.
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yuzuru



Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 1360

Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, sue
thanks for your reply
personally I think it is the kind of question we will never have an answer.
the only way I could prove or disprove would be by giving a psychological test to large amounts of people... but who can prove that the test is measuring the same thing as the temperament ?
the validation of a test is very hard, and some people, myself included, donīt think is really possible... and which to choose between FP16, Big 5, MBTI, etc...
It is hard to use temperament when you are always wandering, hmmm, is this right, but I was very amused when I found out that my chart says I am choleric, as I always tought I was melancholic or fleumatic Razz

Yuzuru
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Astraea



Joined: 04 Oct 2004
Posts: 300
Location: Colorado, USA

Posted: Sun Sep 04, 2005 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sue wrote:

Maybe Tom would be so kind as to look in the book to see if Dorian mentions the Southern Hemisphere.

Hi Sue and Yuzuru. Though I'm not Tom, I'm re-reading the book and just finished the paragraph on p. 80 in which she discusses this issue.

Ms. Greenbaum basically says that more work needs to be done in this area, and suggests several lines of inquiry, including the possibility of switching season/sign attributions in Northern and Southern Hemispheres (i.e., spring births in the Southern Hemisphere might refer to the signs Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius, rather than Aries, Taurus and Gemini, as is the case in the Northern Hemisphere). Ms. Greenbaum bases this suggestion on the fact that the hot/cold and wet/dry segments of the seasonal cycle coincide hemispherically at some points (with parts of Australia coming into bloom in the autumn, which is spring in the North); so growth patterns might offer a useful model for studying season-and-temperament relationships.

Ms. Greenbaum also raises the idea that those who live in the tropics might respond particularly to hot/wet and hot/dry issues.

On reading this book for a second time, I am doubly impressed with it. There is so much food for thought within its pages, expressed cogently and in a spirit of genuine inquiry, with emphasis on usefulness.
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Sue



Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 945
Location: Australia

Posted: Sun Sep 04, 2005 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Astraea,

Thanks for that. Only mentioned Tom because I knew he had the book.

It would be interesting to know if there is a difference that should be noted in this area. You'd think there would have to be variations given the allowance for seasonal differences in the calculating of temperament. One thing with much of Australia though is we don't have the strong variations in seasons in the same way that Europe and North America have. Some places have obvious seasons but where I grew up, there was only a small difference between winter and summer. All I know is that I'm voting for the method that gives me the least melancholy.
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yuzuru



Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 1360

Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for your replies.

The only thing makes me worry about the idea of "turning the seasons" is that there will be some point along the equator that will not be ruled by any rule, as a transition point !

This kind of thing make life uneasy :-)

Yuzuru
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