Knowledge and humour:

The 4 temperament types in astrology:

We have four types of people: we need only four types of people to form a society.

1. We need some warriors: the fiery, active types, the choleric principle. These are the ones who actually do stuff. They chase away our enemies and rebuild the bridge that has blown down.

2. ‘We need some scribes. These are the airy, sanguine types. They’re the ones who write the books, calculate the taxes, issue parking tickets. Most importantly, they tell the warriors what to do, to stop them making a nuisance of themselves. They approach life through the reason.’

‘So they’re the bright guys?’

‘Not at all. They’re the ones who think they’re the bright guys. I didn’t say sanguine types are any cleverer than anyone else; I said that they approach life through their reason. That reason may or may not be in good working order. But if the clearest of thinkers is sanguine, so is the dullest of bureaucrats.

3. ‘Then we need some farmers, because people have to eat. That’s the earthy, melancholic type. Their principle is to have, to hold.’

‘They’re unhappy?’

‘No! The word melancholic has changed its meaning. We might expect a certain seriousness with the melancholics, if only because they don’t get the joke, but they are not necessarily unhappy. Think of a sunsign description of Taurus and you won’t be too wide of the mark.

4. ‘Then we need some slaves, to do all the stuff that nobody else wants to do. They are the watery, phlegmatic type: those who are ruled by their desires. The idea being that if you are ruled by your desires, you are not fit for anything except to be ruled by others.’

‘Is this still a relevant idea today, uncle? Surely we can’t say people are slaves.’

‘Not so much has changed. This is why we have television commercials. The slave hears “You need a new sofa to eat your super-sized burger on!” and leaps up and runs to the sofa store.’

‘If they’re the slaves, then, the phlegmatic types must be hard-working.’

‘Not at all! Phlegmatic types are generally inert, lazy and lethargic. I’ve found that this often puzzles people: like you, they think that being slaves they must be anything but. The problem arises through our modern unfamiliarity with slaves. We think only of their toiling under the hot sun. But Aristotle, who could see slaves all around him, tells us that in a well-ordered household it is the slaves who do less than anybody else._ The others all have their personal agendas: the sanguine ones going around thinking and dealing with correspondence; the cholerics repainting the bathroom and putting up some shelves. The slaves, meanwhile, lounge around smoking and playing cards till someone jerks them into action.’

Very nice ideas by John Frawley – WHAT IS TEMPERAMENT?