Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Temper and Anger

"We boil at different degrees", a quote attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson. Respected British astrologer C.E.O. Carter, wrote an "Encyclopaedia of Psychological Astrology" (reprinted between 1924 and 1976) in which he lists, in alphabetical order, psychological traits, spanning "Ability" to "Youthfulness", and describes astrological configurations which he had found often present in people who exhibited certain traits. Under the heading Temper Mr Carter, investigating boiling points, wrote:

"Temper must be judged from the rising sign, Mercury, and the general appearance of the horoscope. The usual characteristics of the signs when rising are:

Aries (rising) ....... Easily angered and then often go to great lengths.

Taurus (rising).......Not readily moved, but may when aroused become furious.

Gemini (rising)...Not bad tempered, but can be "waspish" and malicious.

Cancer (rising)...Not easily angered, though soon hurt. Timid.

Leo (rising)......Often hot tempered, though affectionate.

Virgo (rising)....Temper is usually controlled and seldom violent. Often uses "the retort courteous". Tends to shun conditions that are liable to upset it.

Libra (rising)....Seldom the first to quarrel. Easily appeased.

Scorpio (rising)....Hot-tempered, especially when its affections are touched. Implacable and rarely forgets.

Sagittarius (rising)...Good tempered.

Capricorn (rising)....The temper is generally cold, and the tongue controlled.

Aquarius (rising)...Courteous.

Pisces(rising)...Good tempered.

(Note from me: to calculate rising sign it's necessary to know one's exact time of birth)

In cardinal signs the temper is usually sharp; in mutable nagging, and in fixed, sudden and violent. The above remarks apply, of course, to ordinary everyday persons. Mercury and to a somewhat less extent the Lights or ascendant afflicted by malefics usually corrupts the temper. Fiery signs are usually the most explosive. Mars afflicted by Uranus in Fire generally causes bad temper, and Mars and Saturn are also often evil. On the other hand, Venus conjunct Mercury, the Lights or ascendant will usually cause the moods to be harmonious and equable. Jupiter in similar circumstances, inclines to good spirits and bodily health.

It must not be forgotten how often a bad temper is really the direct result of some functional disorder, such as liver trouble or nervous derangement.

Often the signs of good and bad temper are contradictory and in such cases a person's disposition will vary."

Was C.E.O. Carter correct? I have Cancer rising, natally. That description is accurate for me, or was. I'm no longer as timid. Obtuse with a tendency to come over all cold, determined and menacing when angered would be a better description these days. Husband has Leo rising. He can flare up, usually temper comes and goes quickly. He also has Mercury conjunct Saturn, and a tendency to use sarcasm as a defence, rather than frequent hot temper.

The term "losing temper" has a rather frivolous, selfish, superficial feel to it, and usually indicates a short-term condition, whereas seriously displaying anger on a deeper level could, in some cases, be worthy of more respect.
Do not teach your children never to be angry; teach them how to be angry.
(Lyman Abbott)


mike said...

Anger is a peculiar emotion to me and I perceive it more as an unnecessary reaction. I have felt anger, but anger can always be deconstructed to components such as disappointment, difference of opinion, lack of communication, expectations, withdrawal of other emotions, immature assessment of situations, breach of trust, etc.

I've had interpersonal situations where the other person is provoking an anger response or is directly angry with me. I will not discuss a situation with someone that is angry...they need to cool-down first. I find that individuals with personality disorders often express anger as a means of standard communication and perhaps intimidation...to have any relationship with these individuals is co-dependent, love-hate. Anger is the easiest emotion to displace onto undeserving victims.

Anger, to me, infers uncontrolled volatility...utilization of the reptile portion of the human brain. There are many people that think it is very healthy to express anger, but I'm not one of them...better to analyze the source of that anger and defuse it prior to the explosion!

On the whole, I tend to agree with your astrological presentation of anger assessment by sign, but I think the Sun sign is the better indicator of anger expression than the rising...perhaps because the Sun is the ego expression. Maturity and personal evolution has a lot to do with it.

“When you will not fly into a passion people know you are stronger than they are, because you are strong enough to hold in your rage, and they are not, and they say stupid things they wish they hadn't said afterward. There's nothing so strong as rage, except what makes you hold it in--that's stronger. It's a good thing not to answer your enemies.” Frances Hodgson Burnett, A Little Princess

Twilight said...

mike ~ It depends how one defines "anger" though. I feel angry about US drone attacks killing innocent bystanders and wedding parties. It doesn't mean I go out into the street and rave and throw things - that would be temper.

I believe feelings of anger can be good and necessary, it's how they are allowed to manifest that is important.

All anger isn't volatile or uncontrolled. It can be a proper reaction to a wrong, can it not?

Oh - I'd better underline that the assessments in the post were not my own but those of a well-respected British astrologer of the 20th century, C.E.O. Carter.

I agree that Sun sign will have relation to how temper is displayed, perhaps the fairest way is to say that it's likely to be indicated by a blend of rising and Sun signs - and maybe even Moon position too (emotion).
Mr Carter was quite keen on the ascendant being a "mask" as I recall - I think I have a post on it - I'll fish it out.

I think we probably do agree on this, it's just a matter of words.

Twilight said...

mike ~ No I was mistaken...memory muddled - CEO Carter thought that the descendant is the "mask"


LB said...

Twilight ~ I think in some cases our anger can serve as a very healthy *guide*. Much depends on why we're angry and how constructively (or in a negative sense, destructively) we channel it. Like you, I feel angry when I witness cruelty, greed, injustice and sometimes even indifference or carelessness/incompetence, though I try to always speak and act respectfully or not at all.

Knowing invisible, powerless people continue to needlessly suffer because of a lack of concern or compassion (Virgo Pluto in the 12th) while people ignore, diminish, intellectualize and/or benefit from their suffering (retrograde Gemini Mars in the 9th) bothers me a great deal. And naturally, I don't like to be dehumanized in that way either - which is how my awareness was born.

Interesting how the writer didn't mention Mars/Pluto aspects when it comes to anger. I think my own Mars-Pluto square has played a significant role in shaping my awareness and fueling my anger, as well as the ways in which I try to put those feelings to good use by making a difference. When I was younger, my anger was far less constructive, with lots of angry, biting words, occasional door-slamming and other mostly self-destructive ways of venting. Glad I'm not young anymore!:)

It also took years for me to finally begin to speak up publicly, I think because I've known all along how the truth expressed through practical action means more than empty words anyway. Maybe my Virgo rising combined with my practical 2nd house Libra Sun and other aspects:)

Now, no matter how angry I might occasionally feel, I try not to dehumanize others or treat them with the same level of contempt they've shown to me or others. About the only person who ever sees me angry is my husband and that's become rarer as the years have passed (South Node in Aries/8th). Friends have called me 'fierce' in expressing and acting on what I care most passionately about. Maybe that's the most we can hope for. If it's pointless or causes more damage, I'd rather walk away and not feed the beast. Contrary to popular thinking, not everything can be resolved through communication.

Depending on the situation, sometimes I'm not so much angry as I am profoundly disappointed, as mike mentioned in his first comment.

Twilight said...

LB ~ Thanks for your thoughts on this.

Yes, the astrological assessment in the post isn't the whole story by any means - a quick rule of thumb is all, something all levels of readers might be able to relate to, initially.

It's even difficult to untangle our own reactions to events, situations : disappointment, annoyance, irritation, discomfort anger, pain, confusion,delusion...there's often a mixture of those, and more.

Lost temper, though, as I define it is an extension - an immediate and negative outward reaction to some of those complex inner feelings. I think that's what astrologer C.E.O. Carter was getting at - trying to see indication of our individual "boiling points", the point when inner anger becomes outward bad temper.

LB said...

Twilight ~ Sorry if my comment came across as disagreeing with you - I wasn't:) I was just sharing my thoughts on the nature of anger and adding my two-cents worth as far as other astrological signatures that might play a role.

I still think Mars-Pluto (as well as other Mars aspects) say something important about anger, if not the anger we express then at least the anger we've been on the receiving end of(!!!), usually some combination of both, I think.

And I can appreciate the difference between anger (as a feeling) and losing one's temper. I'd also agree how different astrological signatures (which can be complex) seem to have different outward expressions - among other things, rising signs can definitely make a difference.:)

mike (again) said...

I'd rather be appalled than angry...LOL

"appalled: to fill or overcome with horror, consternation, or fear; dismay: He was appalled by the damage from the fire. I am appalled at your mistakes. Never have I been so appalled and shocked by the world's cruelty.

Synonyms: offended, shocked, dismayed, sickened, disgusted, nauseated, frightened, scared, scandalized, alarmed, horrified"

"Anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned." Buddha

Twilight said...

LB ~ No - your comment didn't come across as disagreement at all - just additional thoughts - best use of comment sections! :-) We all have 'em and they're all different.

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Well, yes - if one feels all or any of those about a situation, then should one not, eventually, begin to feel.....anger?
Angry that whatever brought on those feelings should be happening in your name, as a US citizen/voter, or by whomsoever's hand.

It all depends how a person defines "anger" and how an angry person allows the anger to manifest.

My opinion only of course. :-)

A lot of this relies purely on how we each understand/translate certain words......semantics - isn't that the proper term?

LB said...

mike ~ Buddha was right. It's a very bad idea to throw hot coals at someone, which is why it's wise to make it our aim to *not* lose our tempers, *not* speak or act out of anger, and *not* return one wrongdoing (or insult) for another.

Maybe not for you, but for me it can sometimes be a challenge to let go and forgive (which isn't the same as forgetting), while maintaining focus on creating something positive.:)

I'd rather be the master of my anger rather than a slave to it. Otherwise I feel diminished, small and disconnected from what matters.

Christopher Funk said...

Interesting. I don't want to get into a discourse about the effects of anger and whatnot, but I would like give my thoughts on those who have a degree of anger that is dysfunctional. A dysfunctional degree of anger is a behavioral disorder characterized by extreme expressions of anger, often to the point of uncontrollable rage, that are disproportionate to the situation at hand. Impulsive aggression is unpremeditated, and is defined by a disproportionate reaction to any provocation, real or perceived. Some individuals have reported affective changes prior to an outburst (e.g., tension, mood changes, energy changes, etc.).

When you find such a situation, you will invariably find Mars to be afflicted. Granted this seem obvious, but Mars in a hot sign and afflicted will cause destructive anger. You will find the worse tempers in those whose Mars is in Aries and poorly aspected. The overall characteristic of the chart will describe how well the person handles that anger, but, to some level, it will always cause challenges to the person in his or her life.

Twilight said...

Christopher Funk ~ Hi there!

Good points, thank you for your contribution!