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Western Astrology Articles by Julene Packer-Louis

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Temperament Patterns
by Julene Packer-Louis

Marc Edmond Jones Temperament Patterns

Bowl: This pattern exists when all planets are contained within 180 degrees. All the planets are on one half of the chart. Here it is helpful to take in the primary hemisphere the occupied segment of the bowl is on. In interpretation of this temperament pattern, the half of chart that is occupied and represented by the bowl is what is self-contained. The unoccupied segment is a definitive part of the world the person feels set apart from. There is searching in the empty houses for experience to fill up the bowl. The rim planets are also important to consider - those being the planets on both edges of the bowl.

Bucket: This pattern is a bowl with one planet or a very tight conjunction in the otherwise unoccupied half of the chart. The singleton planet is the handle of the bucket and is significant in interpretation. It is the planet that scoops up the experience "out there" and brings it into the bowl section where it is integrated and contained. It is like having a feeler in the half of the world the person would otherwise feel set apart from. Ideally the handle should be 90 degrees away from each rim planet, but rarely is a chart ideal. The rule is the handle must be at least 60 degrees from one of the rims. If it is not, then you must consider a different pattern, usually the locomotive.

Locomotive: This pattern has all the planets within 240 degrees of the chart, meaning there is an empty trine's distance. This is why the Bucket above must have it's handle more than 60 degrees from the rest of the chart. Otherwise it leaves an empty trine and the pattern is a Locomotive. With a locomotive, the lead planet is important. It is the like the engine that drives the rest of the planets. People with locomotive patterns are a driving force and often leaders. Once they lay a path in life, they will forage along making a more marked impression as they go through life along the path to achievement. The lead planet says who is driving the train. The sign of the lead planets tells the way in which the driver operates. The house the lead planet is in says a lot about the area of life experience that initiates the locomotive into driving action.

Bundle or Wedge: This pattern consists of all planets within 120 degrees. Here there you find two-thirds of the chart unoccupied. Rather than feeling set apart from that experience and seeking it as a Bowl does, the Bundle places the focus on the four areas of life experience represented by the occupied houses. This is a power house of self-contained activity that is not likely to be stimulated by outside experiences. Skills are honed here as all the energy is focused into a compact area of the chart.

Bucket-Bundle: This pattern has all but one planet contained in a 120 degree Bundle except for a singleton, or extremely tight conjunction, at least a sextile's distance away of either edge. This planet is again called the handle and is significant in interpretation. There is a difference, however, between the handle of the Bucket and the handle of the Bucket-Bundle. In the Bucket the handle is the seeker of outside experience to bring back to the rest of the chart to contain. The handle of the Bucket-Bundle is the planet that puts the refined skill of the Bundle out into the world. The self-gathering of the Bundle has an outlet for that skill through the handle of a Bundle-Bucket. The house the handle is in tells what area of life receives what the bundle portion develops. The planet and sign are of course significant in what is put out there and how it is done.

Seesaw: This pattern visually has 2 opposing sectors occupied in the chart. There are also two empty sectors in opposition of the chart. There must be at least two empty 60 degree sections of the chart that are also least opposing each other. For example houses 3, 4, and 5 are occupied and so are the opposing houses 9, 10 and 11; the others are empty. This temperament is one that can see both sides. It is polarity in action. There is a seesaw approach to the conflicting way they see things. As a result these people may be on one side one day and the other the next and may have trouble making up their mind. Seeing the world through the eyes of conflict and polarity does make for an ability to reconcile opposing forces. Once they become aligned to a reconciliation of polarity, they are capable of unique achievement. The house and sign polarities give important clues to the opposites they are trying to integrate.

Splash: This pattern has planets splashed all over the chart. The rule is they occupy 8 signs or 8 houses. There is no specific visual arrangement to the chart and the planets seem to be fairly evenly distributed. This denotes a person who has a vast amount of interests. They are often a jack of all trades, master of none. Depending how the person uses their splash they can scatter their energies, due to the fact that there is not a strong concentration of energy in any area to bring intent of focus, or they can have a knack for dealing with diverse situations, due to their ability to easily go from one thing to the next.

Splay: This pattern looks like spokes of a wheel. There are three to five groupings of planets that hold the wheel together. Out of these groupings you can have a single planet as one spoke. Also a spoke can span two houses or signs, as long as it is visually obvious they are one grouping. There cannot be an empty trine, or it would be a locomotive. If there are two opposing empty sextiles, consider a seesaw. In interpretation, a Splay temperament is one who has several distinct areas of interest in life. These areas are represented by the groupings. If you are unsure if a pattern is a splay or not, try to discern if the planets you are grouping as one spoke denote a specific area of interest or aptitude and talent in the person's life.

Wheelbarrow: This pattern is a specific type of Splay pattern. There will be a bundle or wedge of 8 planets with 2 singletons. The singletons will oppose the bundle and be at least a sextile's distance apart from each other. The two singletons represent the handles of the wheelbarrow. These two planets work to balance the load of the bundle.

Analysis of the temperament pattern and any key planets therein, is an important piece of the underlying matrix from which the personality springs forth. It shows not only how you see life, but also how you interact with it.

Modern Psychological Astrology's Temperament Analysis

Temperament analysis takes into account the chart as a whole, whereas the many distinct pieces of personality expression are apparent in planetary placement and aspect dialogue with each other. This article focuses on the sum of all parts in determining underlying temperament, the synthesized matrix from which the personality's expression springs forth.

Factors to consider in temperament analysis

1. Hemisphere emphasis: East or West AND North or South
2. Quadrant emphasis: NE, NW, SW, or SE
3. Element & Modality emphasis: Fire, Earth, Air or Water AND Cardinal, Fixed or Mutable
4. Temperament Pattern: Bowl, Bucket, Bundle, Bucket-bundle, Seesaw, Splash, Splay or Wheelbarrow

Hemisphere Emphasis

There are two major axis's of the horoscope, each diving the chart into two quadrants. The Horizon, which is the Ascendant/Descendant axis (the cusps of houses 1 and 7), separates the north and south hemispheres. The Meridian, which is the Midheaven/Imum Colei axis (the cusps of houses 4 and 10) separates the east and west hemispheres.

Northern Hemisphere: This is the realm of subjective consciousness and consists of houses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Persons with a dominance of planets in this hemisphere are introspective, inclined to learn from their own experience and tend to lean toward realism and at times pessimism. As it is dark in this hemisphere, they learn and assimilate information by relating things to their own experience. If the Sun is in this hemisphere, the person was born at night and has a nocturnal chart.

Southern Hemisphere: This is the realm of objective consciousness and consists of houses 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12. Persons with a dominance of planets in this hemisphere are social oriented, learn by watching others and are more outgoing and optimistic than their northern counterparts. As it is daylight in this hemisphere, these people are into what is going on in the world at large; they take in and learn from information that exists outside of their inner world. If the Sun is in this hemisphere, the person was born in the day and has a diurnal chart.

The next thing to consider in hemisphere emphasis is on which half of the meridian the majority of planets fall.

Eastern Hemisphere: This is the realm of awareness of self and consists of houses 10, 11, 12, 1, 2 and 3. People with a dominance of planets in the eastern hemisphere are independent and more likely to be self-initiating go-getters. They believe in the possibilities of the future and their attention is geared toward a self-awareness focus.

Western Hemisphere: This is the realm of awareness of others and consists of houses 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. People with a dominance of planets in the western hemisphere are dependent upon others; they can be co-dependant or just realize that things are sometimes done quicker and more efficiently with the help of others. This hemisphere begins as the day is half over. All the hope for the possibilities of the day that the eastern hemisphere so eagerly sought after is fading and coming to realize that help is needed to achieve the goals. People with a dominance of planets in this hemisphere are adept at working with others. They understand the values of compromise and teamwork.

Quadrant Emphasis

The First Quadrant: This quadrant consists of houses 1, 2 and 3. It combines the northern and eastern hemispheres and therefore equates to subject awareness of self.

The Second Quadrant: This quadrant consists of houses 4, 5 and 6. It combines the northern and western hemispheres and therefore equates to subjective awareness of others.

The Third Quadrant: This quadrant consists of houses 7, 8 and 9. It combines the southern and western hemispheres and therefore equates to objective awareness of others.

The Fourth Quadrant: This quadrant consists of houses 10, 11, and 12. It combines the southern and eastern hemispheres and therefore equates to objective awareness of self.

If you think of the houses as areas of the psyche, you can tell a lot about where a person comes from underneath it all. Is there a dominance of the north or south hemisphere - does the person come from a subjective, introspective frame of reference or do they come from an objective, social oriented frame of reference? Then do they look out from a perspective of self-awareness or awareness of others - is there a dominance of the east or west hemisphere? Finally the overlay of the quadrant emphasis narrows it down some more. If they are introspective (northern), are they looking from the perspective of subjective awareness of the self in a given situation (north-east), or are they introspecting on the feedback they get from others (north-west)? If they are inclined toward social, objective consciousness (southern) are they watching and learning how they impact a situation (south-east), or are they watching and learning from the social behavior of others (south-west)? Determining the dominant hemisphere and quadrant emphasis helps determine the frame of reference the psyche operates from.

Element & Modality Emphasis

Now that we've gained the perspective of the window through which the temperament operates in the psyche, we can go on to how an individual takes an overall approach as they look out through that window. Understanding the dominant element and mode of the chart shows the dominant mode of operation of the person.

Fire Element: This is initiating creative life force energy. Fire signs are Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. The corresponding houses are the Houses of Life - 1, 5, and 9. People with a dominance of fire signs tend to do things on impulse or flashes of inspiration. They want to create and make an impact.

Earth Element: This is solidifying energy. It takes what fire creates and makes it concrete. The Earth signs are Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn. The corresponding houses are the Houses of Wealth - 2, 6, and 10. People with a dominance of earth signs tend to approach things in a practical manner. They want object constancy and material stability.

Air Element: This is mental energy and the exchange of data. It takes what Earth has manifested and conceptualizes it. Air signs are Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. The corresponding houses are the Houses of Relationships - 3, 7, and 11. People with a dominance of air signs tend to conceptualize things. They want to know how or why something works. They acquire, assimilate, exchange and disseminate data.

Water Element: This is emotional energy. Water signs synthesize all that has come before it in the fire, earth and air element and retain it in the emotional memory. Water signs are Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. The corresponding houses are the Houses of Endings - 4, 8, and 12. People with a dominance of water in their charts tend to feel their way through life. They are aware of things "feeling" right or not, on an emotional/intuitive level beyond mental comprehension.

By noting the dominant element in a chart, you can tell what the person's approach to things is. Do they operate on impulse (fire)? Do they approach things in a practical, stable manner (earth)? Do they analyze things and like to acquire information (air)? Do they operate from an emotional perspective (water)?

Cardinal Mode: Cardinal energy indicates beginnings, it gets things started. This is evident in that the cardinal signs begin our seasons - Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. These correspond to the angular houses 1, 4, 7, and 10. People with a dominance of cardinal planets in their chart tend to start a lot of projects, but lack the follow through to finish them. They are often on the go. Their approach to things is to dive right in and get started.

Fixed Mode: Fixed energy provides the follow through to what cardinal began. Fixed energy has focus to stick to the task at hand. The fixed signs are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius. The corresponding succedent houses are 2, 5, 8, and 11. People with a dominance of fixed planets are finishers. Often they won't start anything else until they have finished what they are already working on. They are resistant to change.

Mutable Mode: Mutable energy reshapes things. It is inconstant, likes change and understands duality. The mutable signs are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces. They correspond to the cadent houses - 3, 6, 9, and 12. People with a dominance of mutable planets tend to have several irons in the fire at once. They are adaptable and like change. Often their changeability is mistaken for flightiness or erratic behavior, but really these people have an understanding of duality of perspective, which allows them to consider things from all sides and reshape them.

If you've ever had a friend, sibling, or significant other and the two of you clash when it is time to leave the house, you may be well aware of the difference in your primary modes of operation. For instance cardinal will jump up and go when ready. Fixed will say "hey wait a minute, let me finish this first". Mutable will probably just go with the flow and either jump up with the cardinal or wait for the fixed, possibly getting sidetracked while waiting.

By noting the dominant element and mode of the chart, you come up with a signature way of operating. For instance, does the person like to begin things but does not always finish them before beginning the next thing (cardinal)? If so, what kind of beginnings are these - creative, inspirational beginnings of an impulsive nature (cardinal-fire), or beginnings of a practical, material kind geared toward object constancy, stability and material security (cardinal-earth)? Notice the overlay of the elements and modes is unique to each sign. The combination of the dominant element & mode equals the chart signature and the primary way the person operates or approaches things.

© Julene Packer-Louis, 2003