Wednesday, August 20, 2014

On Color and Psychology

K
I don't really want to write this (since it will be covering a sad topic).  This is a blog about color after all.   And yet it's also about psychology.  So what can temperament based color analysis tell us about psychology?  We do need to keep in perspective that it tells us only about our temperamental nature, not our full personality, environmental factors or all of our other biological factors.  Read my earlier post about these levels.

Temperament is pretty constant your entire life (probably) and even biological. (Nature)
Personality is a layer above temperament, learned, culturally and experience influenced. (Nurture)

As noted with sadness by the world, we recently we lost a very well loved actor to suicide.   I've been noticing the reactions everywhere: friends, family, clients, in our color community.  It's a very, very painful subject, and to many quite personal.   Robin Williams was so well known and so loved, not only for his genius with humor, but also with emotions.  His acting reached depths that touched so many.  But this post isn't really about Robin, so much as his loss raising the topic of depression and suicide (again) in our consciousness.

I have dealt with depression and suicide in my career and my family. As a part of my career as a licensed clinical social worker and mental health specialist, I have worked as a mental health responder when suicidal patients are being cared for in the ER.

I have had Dysthymia most of my life and two Major Depressive episodes (in addition to PTSD, social phobia and severe PMS), so like many, I have first hand experience with my own mental illness.  I am highly functioning despite continuing to wrestle with this ongoing.  Also, I thought I understood depression for years, dealing with Dysthymia, but it wasn't until I experienced my first true clinical major episode that I realized what so many of my clients were really dealing with.  It is not just emotional, it is intensely physically life changing.

I am also a suicide survivor, though I wish there were a better word for it.  I mean a family member of someone who died at their own hand as a result of mental illness and other pain.  (It's quite personal, and not really what I want to write about here either, just to say that I have witnessed the devastating effect of mental illness on a person's judgment.  I also have personal experience with the powerlessness of having mental health training and it not helping your own family member).

Suicide is always a result of mental illness and pain.

Well, I can't say there aren't exceptions, such as suicide bombing or choosing to die when the alternative would be crippling physical illness, but for the majority of suicides it is due to crippling depression which completely distorts one's sense of options, and it may be gravely influenced by sudden impulsivity, by medications, alcohol, drugs, etc.

I have included information here before about depression and how it may be experienced differently by the four humors.  Why have I done so?  I've shared about my own depression and I believe it takes it's toll on appearance.  But I've also been interested in how everyone can face depression, but the course and form it takes might be slightly different based on your temperament.

Essentially according to temperament author, Tim LaHaye: Sanguines are the least vulnerable to depression because they can divert their attention and are the most skilled at lifting their own spirits and others, but may be more susceptible to mania or hypomania; and the low energy level of Phlegmatics may make them more likely to experience chronic low grade depression (or dysthymia); while Cholerics are said to struggle more with anger and to be achievement driven and thus depressed if they are not meeting their own goals; and finally Melancholics give away in the very name of their humor that their sensitive and perfectionistic natures lead them to be vulnerable to deep sadness.

On the Ptypes site, there is a correlation of temperaments and personality styles, which I've posted before, which also says:

  •  Sanguine & Artisan is "The Hypomanic Personality" (anxious or mildly manic)
  •  Phlegmatic & Guardian: "The Depressive Personality"
  • Choleric & Rational: "The Anesthetic Personality" (insensitive) 
  • Melancholic & Idealist: "The Hyperesthetic Personality" (overly sensitive) 

It seems to follow that Robin's creative gifts came with an almost hypomania (though again we don't really know his diagnosis).  More people are on the bipolar scale than only having unipolar depression also.  Those who are on the bipolar scale tend to have even worse depression.  So even though sanguines are said to have less depression, what if when they do it's actually worse?

If you've read the DYT post about Robin Williams, it is stated essentially that mental illness comes from not living true to your type.  First off, if there was anyone who lived absolutely true to their nature it would seem to have been Robin, the very essence of a Type 1 animated sanguine being.  There is no way to know the full story of his mental and physical illnesses without being his medical provider.  We also cannot know what treatment and healing he sought and integrated over the years.  It seems to be agreed that he was depressed and had Parkinson's according to his wife. He had also had major heart surgery. He was also a recovering alcoholic and reportedly sober at the time, though had been to treatment multiple times, the latest after his last TV series was cancelled.  Even though we still can't really know his truth, that is a lot on one person's plate.  It seems limited and simplistic to attribute this tragedy to whether he was in line with his true nature adequately.

One of my friends in the color community said I could share her statement: 

"Ideally when our minds, hearts, bodies and emotions are clear, aligning with our inner truth can be possible. Unfortunately there are many people with mental illness who due to their illness cannot access that place within themselves. The illness gets in the way and for some people willpower is not even enough. Of course there are always a few people with less severity in their symptoms who may be able to do that but to generalize that all people with mental illness would be able to do that would be like telling someone with a broken leg to run a marathon. What would seem like an empowering path could be considered disempowering which could make a mental illness worse. Hope is not a bad thing to have but it takes so much in terms of internal resources to access a path of inner truth that even a person without mental illness would be overwhelmed. Fear, beliefs, stress, and other factors can block the ability to find inner truth. Honoring people who can't access it is important."

I think this also raises a whole series of questions about assumptions we make about the temperaments that diminish them or put them into boxes that are too small.  With regard to the sanguine nature, and the lightness they are gifted at bringing, does that mean they can never be heavy, or down, or sad?  That is ridiculous.  But if you don't think about it, isn't it sort of a lazy implication?  I have had many sanguine clients in my office who are anything but glib or happy in the moment they are processing something deeply.

I guess what I'm also saying here is that your type can actually have it's specific susceptibilities.  And actually, I feel that the advice to live in line with your authentic nature is a bit limited.  In part, knowing your true nature may make you need to counterbalance certain aspects of your tendencies, as a part of your healing.  In fact, that is a part of the overall DYT message, I just think it got sorely truncated in the tribute post.

In my post with excerpts from Dr. Haushka's Awakening Beauty, I share how she mentions that each temperament has a "positive and negative pole" which we need to balance.  So, for example, sanguines have an all or nothing quality, sometimes lacking connection to their body, if they are moving between many points of focus, and vigorous exercise keeps them grounded and strengthens the nervous system; and  phlegmatics can become sedentary and bored, and should of course avoid phlegm and stagnation causing dairy and take up hobbies that are uplifting and inspiring; while  cholerics' firey nature, which can lead to frustration and anger, benefits from attention paid to relaxation and avoiding spicy foods and alcohol; and finally melancholics tend to worry and wallow at their worst, and live in their heads moreso than their body as well, they need to work on warming their body with their food choices and keeping active.

So I think living in accordance with your type is certainly the goal, but that has to mean living in the healthiest manner with both your gifts and your tendencies towards specific imbalances caused by your nature.


A few notes on his Human Design  & Astrology 
As a Generator Aura Type (see his chart below), Robin's motor was the Sacral center and it looks like he had Emotional Authority.  His head, ajna, throat and G centers were open.  Having an open head and ajna probably made him very open to inspiration and variety in the way he thought, and having an open throat certainly seems to have contributed to his amazing ability to not only speak a lot, but quickly and with so many different characters and voices.

Karen Curry shared in her email newsletter about Robin Williams' Human Design.  One thing she emphasized was his open G center. (Note below that his is white, rather than yellow).   She wrote: "When the G-center is undefined (colored in white on the chart), it is very common for people to question their own lovability.  Often people with an open G also struggle with self-awareness.  It's quite possible that Robin had no clue how deeply loved and adored he was."
His full human design chart.

Robin had a cardinal Tsquare in his chart, which usually show major karmic challenges.  Where Jupiter and Neptune were in opposition, both squared by his Mars.  In Cardinal T-squares "...impulsiveness is a prominent feature. Planets in Cardinal signs feel a need to act immediately. Patience is not a priority here. The Cardinal T-Square tends to be the most active of the T-Squares, although not the most productive. Coercing the three placements to work together can be the challenge. The nature is for each energy to do its own thing, causing conflicts and disjointed activities to become the main focus." source

According to Matthew Currie, on Robin's chart: "Moon in sensitive Pisces opposite Venus in Virgo. A Moon in Pisces is sensitive enough to life’s discomforts as it is, without any oppositions. The Moon’s ruler was Neptune, and Robin’s Neptune was in the 12th house. This is always the mark of someone who could stand to have some form of spiritual retreat in his life. It seems unlikely that the nature of his busy Hollywood lifestyle would allow for that sort of thing a lot, although he did end up in rehab a few times. The potential for something alone does not guarantee it will definitely happen. There was more to this suicide then simply indicators of depression in the birth chart. There were difficult transits happening when he died..."
Read this article by Matthew Currie about his astrology:
http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/ohmystars/2014/08/the-astrology-of-robin-williams-behind-the-mask-of-comedy.html# 
Here is Astrolada's comments also: http://www.astrolada.com/robin-williams-astrology-perspective

... but hey, don't listen to me, EXPRESS YOUR TRUTH! Jane


Monday, August 18, 2014

Colors for the Signs

Color characteristics taken from Linda Brady’s book, “Discovering Your Soul Mission 
 

Colors ruled by the Aries sign: The fiery color "Red" is ruled by the Aries sign. It symbolizes will, power, assertiveness and at times anger. The Arian color red:
1. Stimulates. Warms, excites, and cheers
2. Counteracts feelings of depression
3. Provides quick energy
4. Encourages constructive anger
5. Increases strength

Red Color Therapy: http://www.astrolada.com/color-red-and-astrology-color-therapy



 

Colors ruled by the Taurus sign: The serene color "Green" is ruled by the Taurus sign. It symbolizes growth, love, springtime, and prosperity. The Taurus color green:
1. Provides inner balance and harmony
2. Enhances desire to evolve
3. Promotes serenity
4. Encourages prosperity
5. Increases fertility

ELSEWHERE PINK
and White: http://www.astrolada.com/color-green-and-gemini-color-therapy
"The planet Venus rules Taurus which means that the color white of Taurus will be very soothing for an inflamed Venus: An overstimulated planet Venus in a horoscope usually manifests as too many sensual desires and strong appetites, sometimes reaching to over-indulgence and gluttony."
 



 Colors ruled by the Gemini sign: The cheerful color "Yellow" is ruled by the Gemini sign. It symbolizes clarity and intellectual stimulation. The Gemini color yellow:
1. Promotes communication
2. Enhances ability to be open-minded
3. Stimulates creative potential
4. Encourages a cerebral approach
5. Fosters educational enrichment

Elsewhere Turquoise & Sky Blue
http://www.astrolada.com/color-green-and-gemini-color-therapy
 





Colors ruled by the Cancer sign: The soothing color "Silver Blue" is ruled by the Cancer sign. It symbolizes serenity, calmness, and deep feelings. The Cancer sign color of silver blue:
1. Promotes relaxation
2. Aids in accessing emotion
3. Calms anger and agitation
4. Encourages creative expression
5. Shades against negative emotional influences

Elsewhere: white, sliver and grey
Pink & Purple: http://www.astrolada.com/cancer-and-the-color-pink-color-therapy-with-pink


 

Colors ruled by the Leo sign: The illuminating color of "Gold" is ruled by Leo. It symbolizes authentic connections made from the heart. The Leo sign color of orange-gold:
1. Promotes courage
2. Creates self-confidence
3. Builds self-love and self-respect
4. Provides warm connections to others

Elsewhere: Yellow
http://www.astrolada.com/color-of-leo-yellow-gold-color-therapy-with-yellow
"Wearing yellow will increase the Sun qualities in a person. The Sun is our vitality and immune system, so if you find your self anemic, easily tired, catching many colds or lacking sparkle and joy in life, then integrate gold or yellow in your life. You can do this by wearing such accessories, painting a wall in your living room in yellow hues, or having your screen saver in gold."



 

Colors ruled by the Virgo sign: The energizing color of "Orange" is ruled by Virgo. It symbolizes healing and revitalizing powers. The Virgo sign color of orange:
1. Manifests feeling of well-being
2. Decreases fears
3. Decreases depression
4. Increases physical healing when emotions have caused pain
5. Creates self-confidence

ELSEWHERE GREEN, NAVY, OPAL
http://www.astrolada.com/virgo-and-the-color-opal-opal-therapy
"Virgo is ruled by a very unusual color-Scintillating, Opalesque. It only comes to show Virgo is one of the most unusual and misunderstood signs, equal in quirkiness and mystery to no other!"




Colors ruled by the Libra sign: The gentle color of "Rose Pink" is ruled by Libra. It symbolizes balance, harmony, and relaxation. The rose pink color of Libra:
1. Promotes creativity
2. Encourages cooperation
3. Enhances understanding in relationships
4. Creates air of refinement
5. Increases harmony and balance

Elsewhere Light Blue, Pale Green
http://www.astrolada.com/libra-and-green-green-color-therapy
"Ancient seers ascribed the green color to Libra. The most soothing and balanced color! How appropriate! Green is a exactly in the middle of the natural rainbow gamut between the cold and the warm colors. Green is a balancer, just like Libra divides the 12 signs in two-southern and northern hemispheres."



  

Colors ruled by the Scorpio sign: The penetrating color of "Dark Red" is ruled by Scorpio. It symbolizes power, sexuality, and passion. The dark red color of Scorpio:
 1. Releases old karmic anger
2. Encourages intensity
3. Enhances sexual passion
4. Increases determination and drive
5. Provides an increase in enduring energy

Elsewhere: Maroon, Burgundy, Brown
"Eating natural burgundy foods like cherries and wearing dark red/brown stones(Garnet, Fire Agate, Ruby, Dark Carnelian, Tiger's eye) will increase your will power which helps you overcome your inner demons and face the world emotionally stronger! They also are very protective because the battle you are embarking on is with powerful psychic energies! These stones and colors are strongly recommended for all kinds of counsellors, astrologers, psychic readers and therapists to strengthen their emotional resistance to foreign pain and negative energy influences. I personally wear a bit carnelian on my neck when doing readings and I no longer feel emotionally drained and vulnerable after a reading(which was the case)"



  

Colors ruled by the Sagittarius sign: The enlightening color "Purple" is ruled by Sagittarius. It symbolizes transcendental experiences of all sorts. The purple color of Sagittarius:
1. Promotes enhanced intuition
2. Encourages cooperation
3. Enhances spiritual awareness
4. Advances communication with the soul
5. Encourages optimism

Elsewhere: Orange
"Sagittarius is one of the fire signs which increases excitement, enthusiam and the fun of life, so if you are short on these, bring in some orange into your life by eating natural orange foods like oranges, papayas, carrots, peppers etc or dressing in orange. If your child or loved ones are not particularly excited about gaining new knowledge, expanding their mind or exploring the world around them, then Sagittarius is the energy they need, because Sagittarius is the sign which gives enthusiam for all these activities which come from keen interest in understanding and paricipating in life(especially love of knowledge and discovery)."



 

Colors ruled by the Capricorn sign: The earthy "Brown" color is ruled by Capricorn. It symbolizes being grounded and reliable. The brown color of Capricorn:
1. Encourages discipline and responsibility
2. Promotes connection to body for all healing to occur
3. Concentrates on reality




Colors ruled by the Aquarius sign: "Electric Blue" is the color ruled by Aquarius. It symbolizes individuality and originality and stimulates the following characteristics:
1. Encourages uniqueness
2. Stimulates need for humanism
3. Creates innovation
4. Enhances ability to be open-minded
5. Promotes being rational

Elsewhere: Turquoise, Indigo Blue
http://www.astrolada.com/aquarius-color-indigo-blue
"Aquarius has two rules-the traditional and serious Saturn and the innovative, radical Uranus. The Saturn influence of Aquarius has indigo blue nuances, while the Uranus influence has more electric blue such. Both of these colors are associated with Divine wisdom and intuition, indigo blue brings more of the Saturnian wisdom-one of a deep serious thinker who has gained his wisdom by having passed life's vicissitudes while the electric blue thinker is intuitive and gets flashes of knowledge fully formed! "





Colors ruled by the Pisces sign: The majestic color "Lavender" is ruled by Pisces. It symbolizes spirit and connection to god. The lavender color of Pisces:
1. Increases spiritual awareness
2. Promotes attunement with a higher consciousness
3. Encourages self-forgiveness
4. Promotes communication with the soul
5. Creates meditative states that encourage rest and healing

Elsewhere: Sea Green, Pea Green, Indigo, Violet
"Colors are surprise creations of the sea or forest like iridescent, luminously lit from within, moss green, pearly, pure pink of the conch shell, sky blue and ocean green in magical places."

 Soft seagreen is highly favorable for a Piscean as it reflects the water in their sign and their tranquil nature.








... but hey, don't listen to me, EXPRESS YOUR TRUTH! Jane


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