If you want to really understand people, you have to understand temperament. Understanding temperament means understanding the building blocks of personality we are all made up of. And that would be the four elements and the three qualities.
Knowing a person’s strongest element (Fire, Earth, Air or Water) can have you really “get” them and once you know how the people in your life work, you can predict how they’ll respond to things around them and what they’ll prioritize according to their values. Then you can trust them to be who they are and you can relax in your relationships. Knowing a person’s strongest quality (Cardinal, Fixed or Mutable) can make it easy to synergize with them in a team effort. Their quality tells you their style of action and how they can be more effective in projects whether at work or at home.
A person’s signature sign is the combination of their strengths—their strongest quality and strongest element—and it’s just as important and significant a part of who they are as their Sun, Moon and Rising signs are. Sometimes more significant. The only reason most people know their Sun sign is that it’s easy to figure out. The only reason most people don’t know their signature sign is that it needs to be figured out by an astrologer. But this is not really hard to learn how to do and it can improve your relationships with everyone in your life. And this is something I teach in the first session of my Chart Analysis Techniques class coming up in February.
People come to me asking about their relationships a lot and in my 20+ years of practice as an astrologer, I’ve learned that these questions aren’t always about romance or marriage. People care about how they relate with everybody in their life—spouse, parents, children, co-workers and friends. And the elements and qualities have a lot of answers, including:
• what kinds of people are easiest for you to get along with
• how do you spot those people? how does it feel to be around them?
• what kinds of people are you drawn to and why?
• how do you, by “filling in your missing place,” unintentionally end up drawing the very people it’s hardest for you to get along with?
• how can you (with a little positive attention) figure out how to get along with them anyway?
• what’s your operational style and how can you use it to be more effective in all your projects (both at work and at home)?
• how does your operational style impact your co-workers?
• how can you work with people who are different from you—with a sense of respect for their styles?
• how can you get the best work out of people you manage (by knowing their styles) and feel most appreciated by those who manage you?
• and how can you, by living in the way that’s best for your signature sign, access a deep sense of purpose and meaning in your life?
All this is incredibly useful stuff that a client can recognize in themselves and put to use right away. I consider the signature important enough to include it in almost every reading I do and it’s usually the first thing I interpret.
Describing the elements and qualities first thing in a client’s first session serves several purposes at once. First, it gives them golden information and insights about how to optimize their personality traits for both effectiveness and happiness. Secondly, it gives the client ways to organize things they already know about human nature into comprehensible personality traits they recognize in the people around them—and thus affects all those relationships in a good way. So it gives them a modular personality-type system they can see at work in their life—without ever having to consult an astrologer again if they don’t want to (because I believe in teaching the client to fish, rather than spoon-feeding them fish).
Thirdly, it establishes rapport between me and the client, as the client begins to feel “gotten” and “seen” and even validated in ways that really matter. Fourthly, it lays the foundation for our continued conversation about the client’s chart as we venture forward into further details of their personality. Having our shared understanding of the elements and qualities to refer back to allows us to have useful conversations about anything in the chart in a short amount of time, so we can cover more ground faster.
If you liked this teaching tidbit, you would enjoy the class it came from:
Chart Analysis Techniques, beginning Feb 11, 2014.
It makes human personality comprehensible and predictable.
Look here for more information and to sign up.