Humours - Traditional functions of the body, first expounded in ancient Greece by Galen: sanguine (blood), phlegmatic (phlegm), melancholic (black bile) and choleric (yellow bile).
The four are perceived within the blood using each of the four elements in turn. As can be seen in the diagram below, the melancholic humour (Gk. melanchole = black bile) corresponds to Earth; the phlegmatic humour (Gk.
There are four different qualities; moisture, dryness, heat, and cold and the mixing of two of these four qualities give us the humours and the elements which in turn give us the rest of astrology.
The four elements are also known as the four . Each relates to a type of person and their basic make-up. This is particularly used in Medical Astrology to provide a holistic basis for treatment.
The Tansy cakes were made from the young leaves of the plant, mixed with eggs, and was thought to purify the humours of the body after the limited fare of Lent.
According to Galen, these elements were used by Hippocrates in describing the human body with an association with the four : yellow bile (Fire), black bile (Earth), blood (Air), and phlegm (Water).
Holistic Medicine or AyurVeda is built upon the theory of the 3 humours (Vata, Pitta & Kapha).
He presides over Swati (q.v.), the 15th asterism. In Ayurveda, Vayu (or Prana) is one of the three of the physical system of the human body, the other two being kapha (phlegm) and pitta (bile).
See also: Planet, Sun, Astrology, Venus, Moon