The Structure of Consciousness, Part One: Archetypes and Circuits

This is the first of a series of posts on how human consciousness is structured. There are dozens of hypotheses from all over the world about how consciousness can be raised, lowered, changed, and so forth. In this series, I’d like to present some of my favorites: mythological archetypes, the Leary eight-circuit model, western astrology, the chakra system, Rudolf Steiner‘s ideas, David Hawkins‘s 12 levels of consciousness, and the Tarot. I’m going to describe them briefly and try to integrate them into a single model. (Then I’m going to try to run a 1.5-minute mile, fly to the moon, and cure cancer. Then I’ll have breakfast.) This is going to be challenging, but fun.

In this first post, I’ll describe Jungian archetypes and the Wilson/Leary eight-circuit model, and show how they may be describing (at least partly) the same thing.

Mythological Archetypes

ire17As far as I know, Carl Jung was the first to suggest that the characters that recurred in the mythologies and folktales of the world were in some way innate to the human mind. These characters — kings, tricksters, warriors, magicians, evil twins — appear all over the world in various guises. It’s as if the human mind loves these characters, loves to hear stories about them, and keeps bringing them back for another sequel. Even true stories are twisted and corrupted to match the archetypical mold: look at the body of legend that grew up around the historical King Arthur, the heroic journeys of the Buddha in his previous lives, the legendary childhoods of Washington and Lincoln.

There are dozens of archetypes that have a credible claim to being part of the human psyche, but I want to focus on four in particular. Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette in King, Warrior, Magician, Lover introduce four archetypes (guess what they call them?) which are putatively central to the human mind. While these writers are recognized as central to the men’s movement, the archetypes they posit are equally applicable to women (other than the word “king”, which could easily be replaced by “monarch”). Monarchs, warriors, magicians, and lovers are found in stories all over the world, and whole societies have been structured around these categories.

Archetypes of the Norse

Consider Norse theology. The Norse had four gods that appeared again and again in the stories recorded by Snorri Sturluson: Thor, Odin, Loki, and Freyr. It’s easy to match these for gods up with a four archetypes: Thor is the warrior, Odin is the king, Loki is the magician, and Freyr is the lover.

  • Freyr is the god of fertility, and he has a number of lovers in different stories.
  • Loki shows tremendous cunning and can change his shape.
  • Thor is the only god who can consistently defeat the giants in battle.
  • Odin is, of course, the king of them all.

Of course, I have simplified things. Odin is actually a combination of the king and the magician. As a magician, he has knowledge of all the passes on the earth, and he created the runes, the preferred medium of Norse spellcraft. In actuality, the magician archetype has two subtypes: the magician and the shadow magician. The shadow magician uses power for his own ends, in immature ways. In Norse mythology, Loki is the shadow magician; Odin is both the king and the mature magician.

The Archetypes in Detail

The Lover

This is the archetype of love — love of others, love of food, love of art. Also, the excesses of love, and the denial of love. Think of Don Juan, but also think of Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Emily Dickinson, and other people famous for their passion. The lover is defined by desire and rapture.

The Warrior

This is the archetype of discipline (and self-discipline), heirarchy, and power. The warrior controls the self, controls others, and is controlled by others.

The Magician

This is the archetype of knowledge and mind, esoteric power, time and space. Nature is bound to the will, and the secrets of the universe are known. Language and thought are the magician’s province and strength.

The King/Queen

This is the archetype of leadership and status, but also of moral force. The true monarch derives status not from strength and force of will alone, but from character, courage, and principled action.

Archetypes in Your Mind

How do these relate to the structure of the mind? Everyone has access to all four archetypes, but they are expressed in various mature/immature ways. You may have no trouble expressing the magician archetype — you are good with numbers, you can program a computer, you can fix cars — but be immature in your expression of the lover archetype — you are hopeless around women, or you abuse them; you cannot express yourself artistically, etc.

If Jung, Moore and Gillette are right, the proportions and maturity of these archetypes can say a great deal about a personality. But of course, there are other ways of thinking about this sort of thing.

The Eight-Circuit Model

This model was first proposed by Timothy Leary, but it has been expanded and expounded upon at length by Robert Anton Wilson and his works (particularly Prometheus Rising). I’ll be using Wilson’s texts as the basis for this discussion.

This model says that every human mind is capable of operating eight “circuits”, which I like to think of as wetware programs. Each “circuit” guides the human being in navigating certain situations in life. For example, the first circuit, which Wilson calls the “oral biosurvival circuit”, is in charge of deciding what is food and what is danger, and activating the fight or flight response. (All the vertebrates have this, not just humans.) The second circuit is designed to help the organism navigate through hierarchical social structures; it governs instincts about dominance and submission, pecking orders and so forth. The eight circuits are:

1. The Oral-Biosurvival circuit.

What is food? What is dangerous? This circuit activates as soon as the child is born (if not before), and is the source of the rooting instinct (which causes the child to seek out a nipple). It is so primal and basic that when it activates, the organism responds immediately, with no conscious thought. Also, this circuit can be “imprinted” positively or negatively. A positive imprint predisposes the organism to believe that the world is safe (generally) and finding food is easy. A negative imprint does the opposite: the organism believes the world is unsafe and that the lot of all life is to want.

2. Anal-Territorial circuit.

Who’s in charge? Who are you in charge of? Who’s the big dog? This circuit usually activates during the potty training, which is why defecation is metaphorically associated with territorial disputes among domesticated primates. (See Prometheus Rising for extensive discussion.) This circuit is active in all higher mammals, and probably in a number of birds and reptiles as well. This circuit also acts quickly and unconsciously, but not as quickly and unconsciously as the first circuit. It can take several seconds, for example, for two dogs to figure out which one is the top dog. Imprinting can take place for this circuit, too: a positive imprint predisposes the organism toward dominant behavior; a negative imprint, toward submissive behavior. The imprint affects modes of communication, posture, and even body type.

3. The Semantic Time-binding circuit.

“Rational” thought. Cause and effect. What happened before? What happens after? This circuit activates around the age of five or six. Only humans have this circuit, and it is uniquely associated with language as well as rational thought. In my view, the key is the use of metaphor (in the sense of Lakoff): the child is able to use metaphor to reach an understanding of time. This is done by mapping space onto the time. Metaphorically, the future is ahead of you, the past is behind you; you move through time, just as you move through space; and days and weeks pass you by, like cars on the highway. By using metaphor to map space onto time, the child comes to an understanding which allows him or her to manipulate temporal concepts as if they were spatial concepts. From there, is a short step to cause-and-effect and the unique genius of humanity. This circuit can probably be imprinted as well, but I’ll talk about that in later posts.

4. The Sexual-Social circuit.

Who is a viable mate? Who is not? What are the cultural restrictions on mating? What is “right”? What is “wrong”? This circuit is activated during adolescence, as one might expect. A positive imprint predisposes the individual to a playful sexuality and a “live and let live” morality. A negative imprint does the opposite. My suspicion is that the simple positive/negative characterization given by Wilson isn’t a fair representation of the complexities of this circuit, but I won’t go into that here.

5. The Neurosomatic circuit.

How can I be healthy? How can I be happy all the time? This circuit remains dormant for most people; it is most often activated in healers and spiritual masters. This circuit can be activated by certain drugs or spiritual experiences. It allows for spontaneous healing of self and perhaps others, and a pervasive sense of peace.

6. The Neurogenetic circuit.

What is my relationship to my species? How do I fit in with the rest of life on Earth? Racial memory, and the collective unconscious.

7. The Meta-Programming circuit.

This circuit allows the human brain to reprogram itself. It allows you to change your own beliefs and experiences by force of will. To the extent that your mind determines your reality, this circuit confers absolute power.

8. The Quantum Non-Local circuit.

When this circuit is activated, the mind is unshackled from the physical body, and becomes a non-local phenomenon. Time and space are no longer boundaries to your consciousness.

Wilson suspected that there are further circuits beyond these, but they’re not accessible by the human mind in its physical form.

Evidence for the Eight-Circuit Model

What evidence do we have that the eight circuit model has anything to do with reality? For me, it was most convincing to see the first four circuits at work in myself and in society. For example, take just the first two circuits. Each of these two circuits has two possible imprints, so there are four possible combinations of circuits and imprints. As Wilson points out, these four possibilities correspond very nicely to four basic personality types that have long been recognized in Western civilization:

  • first-circuit-positive/second-circuit-positive (sanguine)
  • first-circuit-positive/second-circuit-negative (phlegmatic)
  • first-circuit-negative/second-circuit-positive (choleric)
  • first-circuit-negative/second-circuit-negative (melancholic)

The second circuit imprint corresponds to the introvert/extrovert distinction: a positive imprint indicates extrovert, a negative imprint indicates introvert. While the introvert/extrovert distinction is not a scientific, cut-and-dried one, it is without doubt subjectively valuable.

Mix Well

And now for the real coup: the four Jungian archetypes outlined above can be paired up exactly with the first four circuits.

The lover, Freyr, is the first circuit. In its positive aspect, the lover/first circuit is the bounty of the earth and the harvest, a safe home and good things to eat. In its negative aspect, the frustrated lover/first circuit sees a world of want and fear, lifeless and bleak; think especially of the despair of Freyr when he fears he will not have the love of Gerdhr.

The warrior, Thor, is the second circuit. As the defender of Asgard, he maintains order and hierarchy in the world. He serves Odin willingly, recognizing Odin as the top dog.

The magician, Odin and Loki, is the third circuit. The magician’s domain is thoughts and words of power, and this is precisely the realm of the third circuit. Odin and Loki use their cleverness and skill with language to mold the world around them.

The King/Queen, Odin, is the fourth circuit. Since Odin is the king of the gods and arbitrates their disputes, his connection with the ethical forces of the fourth circuit is obvious. Less obvious is his connection with the sexual side of the fourth circuit — but has has numerous children by several wives. Zeus’s dalliances are perhaps a better known example of the connection between the King archetype and the fourth circuit. It is interesting to contrast Odin’s role as serial monogamist with Loki’s long line of lovers — giants, demons, and even a stallion. Loki and Odin may represent different imprints of the fourth circuit, just as they represent different imprints of the third circuit.

What about the other four circuits? Are there archetypes for them, as well? Maybe. But if so, it’s not really obvious. It might be, for example, that the higher circuits are represented in folktales as somehow inhuman; so, for example, the fifth circuit might be represented by supernatural beings such as the sidhe, and the sixth by ghosts or Nature herself.

So What?

If this is true, then the archetypes of Jung are nothing more or less than personifications of the strategies available to the human mind for dealing with different aspects of experience. By hearing a story about Freyr, Odin, Loki, and Thor, we can learn about the different ways the circuits can be expressed and the interactions between them.

It’s important to remember that, even if the eight circuit model is true, its imprints are not branded on our minds forever. All the possibilities of each circuit are available to us all. If we find ourselves lacking in courage because of a negative imprint on the second circuit, we can call upon Thor through meditation or ritual to guide us toward an awakening of that part of ourselves. If we lack compassion because of a negative imprint on the first circuit, we can call upon Freyr. We can use the eight circuits as a map of our own consciousness, to chart out our strengths and weaknesses and see where we need help. We can look to the old wisdom of mythology and folklore; they speak to the subconscious in its own tongue.

Visit the next post on this topic, where I connect this framework with Western astrology.

Comments

  1. I was looking back at the 8 circuit model again, and it occoured to me that the model is trinary in nature. Instead of on/off or positive/negative in a binary system, the 8 circuits have three aspects each, off/positive/negative. The first circuit shows rest/fight/flight, second, non-social/dominant/submissive, third, only able to perceive the present/transcendant of time/fixed in time (most people see themselves as contained in time, and it is very difficult to remove that perception), the third can also be seen as dwelling on the present, future, or past. Fourth would signify asexual/playful ‘live and let live’/harmful, domineering.

    I’m not quite certain what a negative aspect in the fifth, neurosomatic circuit would do, but I imagine it wouldn’t be pretty. Perhaps this would be the domain of drug abuse and other destructive addictions; a lack of caring, rather than the compassion that brings peace for a positive aspect in this circuit. Neutral would be the numbness that television tends to put people into.

    For the sixth, neuro-genetic circuit, a negative aspect would be abuse of things within nature, a choice to cause destruction. A positive aspect would be connectedness to nature, and no aspect would be indifference.

    The negative aspects of the seventh and eighth circuits are very hard to define; anybody making a choice to activate those circuits wouldn’t knowingly activate their negative aspects, or even explore them for fear of being consumed by them. Even though a negative aspect would be theoretically possible, self preservation would prevent it.

    One thing to note, though, is that when we face a choice, the first two circuits are always activated, but the third circuit might not be… This give each of our choices a distinct flavor between fight/flight and dominant/submissive… Matching it up to the elements, fight dominant is fire, fight submissive is air, flight dominant is earth, and flight submissive is water. Throw in the third, trinary circuit, and you have fixed/mutable/cardinal, the basis for all 12 astrological signs. If we take my astological sign as an example, Taurus, I walk away from fights, but my presense is always known, and I live for now, even when I’m building my empire for the future. (For me, the process is more fun than the results, hence the focus on the present.) Aquarius, being a fixed sign, might seem like an exception, but they are always (and fully) in their time, 20 years ahead of their body. Mutable signs are the positive aspect, being able to move and plan regardless of time, and the Cardinal signs are the negative aspects, moving within time, rather than always being in their now. (Negative isn’t bad, don’t worry… It’s just a way to differentiate between the two states. :) )

  2. Sorry for splitting this up into two comments; I was distracted and had to save what I was typing.

    Astrology isn’t just about the signs; we also have the 12 planets (one undiscovered, one demoted, and counting the Sun and Moon as planets), and 12 houses. Each of these groupings of 12 also match the first three of the eight circuits, which are tied directly to a sign; Sun being Leo, fire-fixed, or ++0 (positive first, positive second, off third), the unassigned planet being Taurus (Venus is the placeholder), earth-fixed, or -+0.

    In fact, here’s a handy little chart for each of the astrological signs, and their planets.

    +++ : Aries : Mars
    -+0 : Taurus : Venus, [Chiron, wounded healer]
    +– : Gemini : Mercury
    –+ : Cancer : Cancer
    ++0 : Leo: Sun
    -+- : Virgo : Mercury
    +-+ : Libra: Venus
    –0 : Scorpio : Mars, Pluto
    ++- : Sagitarius : Jupiter
    -++ : Capricorn : Saturn
    +-0 : Aquarius : Saturn, Uranus
    — : Pisces : Jupiter, Neptune

    Debate about Chiron’s placement is still hotly debated, and it certainly won’t acheive scientific planet-status now that Pluto has been demoted.

    Looking at just that pairing, a Taurus and Leo together (as my wife and I are) is going to be a rocky ride. The Leo isn’t afraid to fight and demands to be respected. The Taurus doesn’t respect fighting, and demands to be respected as well. Both of them also live in their own Now, which doesn’t have to be anybody else’s Now… If fights break out and the Taurus walks off (or as I usually do, just sit there and stare), it thoroughly enrages the Leo, because she’s not getting respect. If the Leo continues to fight, disrespecting the Taurean’s love of quiet, it enrages the bull… A spicy combination, I can tell you. ;)

    One thing that I’ve been looking into is an aditional division within the signs. I can tell from experience that an April Taurus is vastly different from a May Taurus. The ones born in the beginning of May are overtly stubborn, and those born in the middle of May are overtly selfish. The April Taureans, however, are overtly experiencial… We touch and feel and taste and smell and *be* more than we are stubborn or selfish; although if you ask my wife, she’ll agree that I’m still very selfish and stubborn, but not quite to the extent that astrology books describe Taurus. I’ve noticed this with several different Taureans, and I suspect that there is the same level of difference within each sign, where its principle qualities are expressed in different ways. (Leo: Bossy, Pleasure-seeking, Extravagent… My wife is more pleasure-seeking than bossy or extravagant. If I could find other Leos to compare her with, I might be able to tell if the July Leos are different from the August Leos.)

    Anyways, sorry to bug you… I just had a lot of time to think these last few days.

  3. Yeah, sure, I think I’m done typing, and I realize that I missed the obvious. The 4th circuit, sexual/social… Negative social = selfish. Positive social = feeling and expressive. Neutral social = stubborn. Each sign starts in its positive social aspect and works through neutral to its negative social aspect. Leo: Pleasure-seeking, then Extravagant, then Bossy.

    Well, yeah… Seems that I’m just filling up your blog with trivia, instead of working on my own. ;)

  4. No worries, Adam. Lots of neat stuff here!
    I remember reading somewhere that it has been noticed before that each of the signs are divided into three parts of ten degrees each, each part having its own character. I have not looked at that in detail, primarily because if you have, say, two Tauruses (Tauri?) that are very different in character, there could be any number of explanations for that — positions of the planets, the placement of the houses, progressions, etc. It seemed to me that a difference in character between two Tauruses would be much more likely caused by having different moons, or different ascendants, than anything else. For example, my father and I are both Geminis; I was born in May, he in late June. We are vastly different people; neither of us fits the Gemini stereotype particularly well. He has Saturn sitting right on his sun, and I don’t. Is the difference between us due to the Saturn, or the different birthdays? It seems to me you’d have to look at a huge number of examples to get a good answer there.
    You did read “The Structure of Consciousness II: Astrology”, right? I suggested the trinary nature of the 3rd circuit there. I’m not sure I agree that the 1st and 2nd circuits can have “off” positions. Wilson and Leary concieve of these circuits as being very, very basic, quite subconscious. We’re talking about IMPRINTS on the circuits, like a baby animal imprinting on a mother figure — the default way of acting. If the default is “off”, then when the circuit should be activated, it doesn’t. This would mean death at the first circuit level, and autism at the second circuit level.
    You can see this in children before their circuits activate. The first circuit is on immediately. The second circuit activates around age 2-3, when the child starts to participate in society, and recognize others as beings like themselves. If the 2nd circuit had an “off” setting for an adult, it would really be like autism. The third circuit activates around age 6-7, when the child begins to really grasp the concept of time. If an adult had the third circuit off, it would result in severe retardation.
    Understand that I’m just reporting Wilson and Leary’s theory here. You’re free to disagree with them, of course! :-)
    In the system I suggest, Taurus is –f, meaning (1) negative on the 1st circuit (tending to instinctively believe that the world is hostile / dangerous / unsupportive), (2) negative on the 2nd circuit (tending to instinctively allow others to dominate), and (3) fixed on the third circuit (tending to be focused on the past, i.e. using the past in particular to make decisions and influence mental models). Leo, meanwhile, would be -+f — almost identical with Taurus, but dominant instead of submissive.
    Note that the fixed nature of Aquarius, say, is not a problem. The Aquarian may be a very original thinker, but still focus on past experience when formulating thought. Many Aquarians I have known (and I do love them — my wife is one) are quite attached to past thoughts, especially their own. :-)
    Something to consider is that these circuits may not correspond to sun signs. For example, astrology may be bunk. One must keep an open mind… :-) Or, possibly, the circuits may correspond to some other aspect of astrology. My experience suggests that these circuits may actually correspond more closely to the MOON sign. For example, even though I’m a Gemini, I’m pretty solidly phlegmatic, which should be a water sign. But — surprise! — I have a Pisces moon. Where is your moon? :-)
    Through studying the Tarot, I’m beginning to think that the 4th circuit may have a rather large number of possible imprints — maybe as many as 8. I’ll be posting on that soon.
    As for lining up the planets and the signs — did you read my “On Pluto”? :-)
    By the way, I want to thank you for all the effort you put into your comments, and your great insights. It’s always wonderful to see another point of view.

  5. Moon = Virgo. As with anybody’s moon sign, that pretty much sums up my public self…

    To be honest, I had only skimmed through Structure of Consiousness II… Not sure why, though, since I love looking at figures and patterns. Looking at it now, though, would have definitely saved me some time in writing my last few responses. ;)

    There are a couple of things that I’d like to clear up real quick… I’m looking at the first circuit as the fight-or-flight instinct, not whether a person feels the world is safety or suffering… The question is, is it better to get your licks in now and not worry about it, or wait until the other person tires themselves out? Either choice is just a risky, in the end, but which is a person pre-disposed to? I’m putting fight-or-flight as the first circuit, because it is the most basic choice we can make, and all vertebrates, as well as many invertebrates, also have that instinct.

    I think that we both agree that the second circuit deal with whether a person is dominant or submissive… again, the world needs both types of people for society to function, and neither is a bad decision.

    By that figuring, I would aruge that Taurus is not natively – - -, or passive, submissive, and past-based. Neither is Virgo – - 0, passive, submissive, and present based… While I agree that I’m as passive as a rock, I do have to argue that I’m no more submissive than a stone wall, especially with my sun and moon both being earth signs. ;) Maybe I can be broken, but I’ll make a lot of noise when I fall. :)

    Looking at what I understand of the differences between cardinal, fixed, and mutable, it makes more sense to me that the cardinal signs are more representative of the present, rather than the future; especially looking at Aries, the eternal child. A fixed aspect tends to either be fixed in a specific time, slipping back, or fixed outside of the movement of time (which gives rise to the Taurean stubbornness, since he’s only working in his own time, and eventually everybody will catch up to him, or the Aquarian timelessness, which is pretty freaky in just how accurate it really is compared to how far into the future the Aquarian looks), and mutable aspects tend to be able to connect two times together, as can be seen with the Sagitarius, and their ability to always be right at the point of everything. Cardinal = in time, Fixed = out of time, Mutable = within many times. At least, if I had to put the aspects together with the 3rd circuit, that’s how I would categorize them.

    I would also argue that Air is not + +… except that you’re an Air sign yourself, so would love to have as many plusses next to your sign as possible… ;) I think that a more fitting description of the stereotypical Air would be active, submissive (+ -); or as you put it, phlegmatic. You’re slow to anger (submissive), but you know how to win right away (active). If we throw in Gemini’s mutable aspect, I would say that you can easilly connect to several different concepts of time, rather than your wife’s Aquarian tendancy to connect to one time at a time, even if that time happens to be twenty years in the future. ;) Please let me know if I’m wrong, I’m only working off of half-baked ideas here, and I’m just testing the theories.

    With Earth and Air assigned, that leaves Fire and Water. This may just be my high esteem of my wife talking, but it seems to me that Fire should be + +, since Fire is neither passive, nor submissive, and Water, being the polar opposite of Fire, would be – - (just as Earth, – +, is the polar opposite of Air, + -)

    Of course, I’m just talking about the concepts behind the elements, not the actual implementation, or any person in real life.

    The word for a person who’s sign is Taurus is Taurean, so Taureans would be the plural form… I also realize that it would be extremely difficult to get any sort of study to back up my theory on each sign having three different aspects, especially since a person’s moon sign would make a short interview impossible to determine a person’s actual sun sign trait, not to mention the various other planets casting their influence. It’s just an idea to play around with and be observant of… I just found myself around a large number of Taureans a few years back, and was able to make some observations that I haven’t been able to confirm or deny yet.

    I also agree that the 1st and 2nd circuits aren’t off while a person is faced with a decision, but it’s my nature as a computer guy to see binary as being always only on or off, so if a person isn’t faced with a choice, the circuits aren’t being used, hence a trinary representation when a person isn’t thinking. Just semantic hair splitting that I should have ignored in the first place… ;)

    As for the 4th circuit having eight states… that sounds like it could be three binary circuits that are very closely related, if we want to follow the same pattern as before. Then again, that’s just me looking at the number 8 and seeing the computer representation. ;)

  6. You make good arguments. Let me throw a little more data into the mix.
    * It may be that fight vs. flight is the best analogy for the first circuit, but Wilson and Leary go a little more basic than that. They suggest that a positive imprint basically means GO_FORWARD and a negative one means GO_BACK — the two basic thoughts of, say, a paramecium or a worm. “Fight” would be a subtype of GO_FORWARD, I suppose, and it’s available as an option to animals that can handle that kind of advanced response. :-) Is it possible that “fight” is actually associated with the second circuit? I think this would fit in better with Wilson’s model, but I don’t know. I can recommened Wilson’s “Prometheus Rising” without reservation if you want to get deeper into it (although it’s quite irreverent and has graphic language — just a warning ;-) ).
    * The primary reason I associated -/- with earth, -/+ with fire, +/- with water, and +/+ with air is because that is the association suggested, indirectly, by Wilson himself (who is a Capricorn!). In “Prometheus Rising”, he pairs up the four settings with the four personality types recognized by the medieval Europeans: melancholic, choleric, phlegmatic, and sanguine, respectively. He does not associate each of these four “humours” with elements, but I happened to read elsewhere what the association was usually considered to be. Wikipedia’s article on the “four humours” is a place you can read up on that, if you’re not already familiar with it.
    * As for your being stubborn rather than submissive :-), I think Wilson would argue that, since you are not driven to dominate a social order, that counts as submissive. As you say, “submissive” is not at all a bad thing; it simply means that you are not instinctively driven to take over the group of mammals you are associated with (either by dominating the conversation, taking others resources, stealing away mating partners, etc.). I also seem to remember that the famed stubbornness of Taurus comes from a combination of earth + fixed; and in my experience, at least, the fixed signs are more stubborn than the earth signs. I haven’t found Virgos to be stubborn at all. But Leos!…
    * You make some good points about the semantic time binding. The only thing I’m really attached to is the association with the three kinds of aspect found in all human languages (completed/perfective, ongoing/imperfective, non-associated/irrealis; in English, “I have walked”, “I am walking”, “I will/should/could/… walk”). That seems very suggestive to me of how people instinctively think about time. Every event you can talk about in any language has to be associated with one of those aspects. Doesn’t that seem very basic? What do you think?
    * I’ll see if I can dig up any info on breaking a sign into three parts. I know I read about that somewhere!
    * You’re absolutely right about the 8 states corresponding to three binary options. But if I say any more there’d be no point in writing a blog entry about it! :-)

  7. l need help my parents are extreme strong in the faith of christianity and even l belive so of what they say l know with every fiber of my soul lm a druid. My parents would never accept me if l told they some of my other family member arent christians l heard of them but my family never talks of them they have be complete ignored and denied from the family one of them is my half-sister and lm worried if i tell my parents they reject me from the family. Im only 5 months away from turning 18 and l think if they found they would kick me out. Every day l live with them and every thing is just getting worse and worse every day something bad happens and now l try to think of the good things in my life from my family and to tell you the truth the there isnt much plus l have to think really far back to see some good things in my life. Because for that my sould and mind are confused and lost l am sure of so little. I have been seeking advice and guidance for 5 years now and its about to be 6 years and dont know how lm going to fit in society and where am l in the world l believe that every one is in this world because they want to be here which brings the question of why l want to be here. Some know the answer consciously and they are lucky but for the others the answer is subconsciously and we have nor know the answer well we do but not consciously. l guess you could said lm having the problem of finding myself and l dont know what to do because some things my parents try to teach l know that what there saidning isnt true l cant explain why but l just know it. Anyway l have so many question and so little answer so l was searching the internet to try to find answer but no luck so far but l saw this site and strangley for some reason l decide to write this commet l dont know what to do and my mind is cloudy by some fog of unknown any way. Im seeking answers from any one so if you wish you can email me and l would love to find someone who could advice me or guide in some way l dont know want l want nor need this fog seems to have no end

    Sincerly, Enyoch

  8. Jeff – I’m currently beginning to read your entire blog chronologically. Look out for random comments – and also me sharing quite a few of your posts on social media…

    Thank you for introducing me to temperaments! I have seen other beings through all kinds of filtres and personality models over the years, but somehow, I never got to grips with this good old system. Today, you gave me a wonderful and memorable start on this. I was so excited that I stopped in mid blog post to read some others things on the choleric type (um – that would be me!) and will continue to follow up on this.

    Wonderful ideas!

    Kris

  9. Jeff Lilly says:

    Kris — oh my goodness, the whole blog, chronologically?! That’s quite a project! :-) I do hope you enjoy it. If you do carry through with it, you may want to keep in mind that the blog started in 2006, and I don’t agree with my past self on some things…!

    Anyway, I’m so glad you’ve found some of these ideas helpful. I do still agree with what’s in this post, and use the information just about every time I do a reading. Let me know what you find!

  10. Uh huh – the whole blog is what I’m planning. And it would be really weird if you still agreed with everything you wrote in the past – I get that.

    Of course, whether I make it through the entire blog, we will have to wait and see. …

    As for temperaments, I’ve barely scratched the surface (y’know, I had laundry to do and stuff) but I read a couple of articles I liked on this site http://temperaments.info/default.htm It’s a Christian counseling site, wouldn’t normally be my first port of call, but what I read was well presented.

    Kris

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  1. [...] We spoke of a blog. It was clear he had great plans for it. He tried to show me a visual representation of it, but all I could make out was a complex digital web of information. He wanted it to be infused with his presence. Not necessarily about him, I think — except perhaps as a symbol — but dedicated to the principles he is passionate about. This would include history and the future as well, since he is the embodiment of time-binding… [...]

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