Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Idealism & Perfectionism

Opening C.E.O. Carter's Encyclopaedia of Psychological Astrology at random, I landed on paragraphs headed "Idealistic Temperament", content includes:

"The idealistic temperament has least affinity with Saturn and the earthy element, and most with the fiery (especially Sagittarius) and with Libra and Aquarius. At the same time idealism cannot be limited to one type, nor can we say that any sign invariably produces it. ...."

Nothing to argue with there!

But this surprised me:

"Possibly Virgo and Taurus are the least idealistic and most matter-of-fact, but exceptions can undoubtedly be found even under them........"

Virgo-types, I'd have though were likely to strive for the ideal.....or is their tendency to perfectionism something different... don't perfectionists aim for THE ideal, as opposed to AN ideal?


Perfectionism relates to practical matters rather than airy fairy philosophical ideas and ideals. So yes, while some Virgo-types could possibly be both perfectionists and idealists, that is not likely to be found in the majority of cases. Meticulousness, practicality and attention to detail are commonly associated with Virgo, and all are ingredients of perfectionism.

Conversely, while Sagittarius-types, Libra-types and Aquarius-types could be both idealists and perfectionists - it's not going to be the norm for them. They tend to live in their minds, or within their philosophies of life and visions of an often unrealistic, ideal, world.

As always, when investigating a particular facet of personality, the whole chart has to be taken into consideration. In the case of idealists especially, the position of Neptune merits close attention. That planet's reputation for casting illusions could contribute much to idealistic visions.


gian paul said...

Thanks, T. for this opportunity to change my mind away from all the havy rest of present world circumstances:

Give you the gist of my "personal experience input":

Idealism (beig Ascendant Sagittarius): often combines with dreams, aspiration for a better world, conquest of higher values and understanding (atrology?).

Perfectionism (having Moon in Virgo): not as easy an experience as Idealism for me. That Moon and what I do too quickly - and often therefore must re-do - drives me nuts, too frequently for a Sun sign Aries.

But have to learn to be patient too, isn't it?

Astrology Unboxed said...


I think Virgo types aim for the ideal from of service to humanity which requires them to be perfectionists in all the details.I think they don't aim for THE ideal, but rather for the perfect service to others.
I guess it is a rather obtuse subtlety, but one that exists, at least in my mind. But then, I am not sure if I am explaining this very well. Sorry.

Wisewebwoman said...

My father was a typical Virgo, an idealist who practised his public charity to the point of awards and never, unfortunately, brought that attribute home with him.
And you have given my favourite quote from our Mr. Cohen. Splendid post, T!

Twilight said...

gian paul ~~~ Turning away from the disaster for a while is a necessity, for comfort and sanity I think GP.

You have both "afflictions" then! With Aries Sun to chase them around.
Your patience is your virtue.

Twilight said...

Astrology Unboxed (Fabienne)~~
Hmmm. It depends on the context of the conversation or train of thoughts really, as to how these terms would be defined. Your idea would fit in many situations.

I tend to strive for accuracy (often missing my aim, I have to say), but I wouldn't call myself a perfectionist.

I have a view of an ideal world, one much more equal in every respect than the one we inhabit, but I accept it's not a practical or likely scenario to ever exist because of the way we humans are hard-wired. It's a vision to wish for. My ideal would be some tiny steps towards more equality, but even that seems l;ike a pipe dream these days. Maybe I'm an idealist, but a realist also.

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ I love that quote too.

Your father probably represented a pattern common to many so-called perfectionists and/or idealists who see no need to extend their ideals and aims for perfection into every corner of their lives.
Faux idealists?