What is the use and usage of studying medical astrology? If you regularly invest your time and energy in your well-being, through exercise, diet or whatever you do for your mind/body equilibrium, integrating astrological or universal considerations in such practice has a profound meaning. With concrete results. I’ll explain how in these posts.
Element and Temperament type
We know that 12 signs of the zodiac can be classified according to 4 elements: Fire, Air, Earth and Water. Fire being Aries, Leo and Sagittarius, Air being Gemini, Libra and Aquarius, Earth being Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn, and Water being Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.
There are 4 Temperament types that correspond directly to these 4 elements. They are:
– Sanguine [Air]
– Choleric [Fire]
– Melancholic [Earth]
– Phlegmatic [Water]
Your temperament type can be calculated through the placements of your Ascendent and the Moon (prevalently) in your natal chart. For example, I am by type Choleric. But what is Choleric like? What does that mean for my well-being? In other words, what are the qualities of the choleric type?
Each of 4 elements has intrinsic qualities. Aristotle introduced the elemental qualities of becoming as well as being, thus adding the possibility of transformation. If Fire is just hot, there is no possibility for it to become dry. You notice the dryness of ashes, more than its heat, as it has gone through transformation, i.e. hot becoming dry.
So adding qualities to the above scheme:
– Sanguine [Air] = Wet (becoming) Hot
– Choleric [Fire] = Hot (becoming) Dry
– Melancholic [Earth] = Dry (becoming) Cold
– Phlegmatic [Water] = Cold (becoming) Wet
The cycle completes itself and repeats itself. The same transformative cycle is reflected in 4 seasons (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter) as well as 4 phases of the Moon (New to 1st Quarter, 1st Quarter to Full, Full to last Quarter, last Quarter to New).
Hippocratic medicine and Humour
Hippocrates defined disease as excess or deficiency of humour. i.e. bodily fluid. When our humours are not in balance, we experience the opposite of well being, i.e. disease. In order to restore our healthy state, we need to get rid of the excess of humour or correct the deficiency thereof, putting them back in balance. “Being more solid and substantial, the humours hold the temperaments in place, and affect the organism on a deeper level.” (‘Humoral Pathology: Adjustment and Regulation’ Md Tanwir Alam et al)
Again, there are 4 humours corresponding to 4 elements. Hence the scheme further expands by adding the humours:
– Sanguine [Air] = Wet (becoming) Hot = Blood
– Choleric [Fire] = Hot (becoming) Dry = Yellow bile
– Melancholic [Earth] = Dry (becoming) Cold = Black bile
– Phlegmatic [Water] = Cold (becoming) Wet = Phlegm
Imbalances in humour are not limited to your temperament type. In other words: as choleric type, I am not only having excess/deficiency problems of Hot and Dry. I could manifest problems in any humour. Antagonistic symptoms (in my case, opposite of hot and dry = cold and wet) can manifest easily.
Which is why you need to strengthen your temperament type further, rather than neglect it, thinking your type can take care of itself. It doesn’t, and it needs your help to sustain you by being your innate temperament.