Last week we covered the sanguine temperament and this week we’re going to continue on with coverage of the choleric temperament.
Choler is classically associated with the Summertime season and this time of the year is classically thought of as hot becoming dry. The heat of Spring continues and intensifies, and as a result the moisture evaporates and dryness begins to set in. According to the Aristotelian idea of Natural Place, Fire naturally sits at the top of the universe (in the form of stars) and so the combination of this and the qualities of choler make it the most desirable temperament in classical literature as the children of this temperament are seen as naturally successful and motivated.
There are two planetary rulers for choler; Mars and the Sun. These two planets embody the positive and negative manifestations of this temperament. The Sun is considered to be “temperate” hot and dry because he is classically considered to create these qualities himself and therefore is unharmed by them. In this way, some positive solar terms that the choleric individual displays are ambition, honor, glory, strong willed, and leadership qualities. Mars, on the other hand is classically considered to be intemperate and has excessive dryness due to his proximity to the Sun in the Ptolemaic Universe scheme. This is where we get our more negative traits with choler involving recklessness, anger, aggression, and impatience. Cholerics tend to be impatient and detail oriented, and tend to get overwhelmed by too much “big picture” type talk. They also have a strong nonsocial streak that stems from a general dislike of people, this combined with the choleric ability to separate and categorize can create someone with a very black/white worldview that can lead to even more unfortunate social interactions.
The dryness inherent in the choleric temperament keeps it from having the social tendencies and connections that sanguine has, but it also allows choler to be detail oriented and accomplish things in a way that sanguines would find repetitive and boring. At the same time, the heat of choler gives it an active quality that melancholic lacks. This allows the cholerics to achieve, be noticed, and successful in ways that melancholics have difficulty accomplishing. It’s the old active/passive dichotomy where melancholy will think about doing it, but choler has already done it. There’s also a self-esteem issue as choler’s heat naturally wants to rise and think well of itself, whereas melancholy’s cold likes to second guess its own abilities.
Physically, cholerics will suffer from conditions that arise from an overabundance in heat or dryness, but they typically suffer from heat as it is their primary quality. This can lead to physical overexertion, headaches and migraines, fevers, and burns or other physical injuries due to clumsiness or recklessness. It is very important for a choleric to slow down as self-inflicted injuries are all too common. It’s also important to reduce the amount of hot, fatty, and salty foods, as in classical medical astrology the seat of the choleric temperament is the gallbladder and it’s important to keep foods that overstimulate this organ or reduce the water in the blood out of one’s diet.
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