Most western herbalists have turned to eastern traditions to understand constitutions, and the practical use of humoural temperaments is relatively rare, even as interest in western energetics has risen. To a large degree, this is because humoural temperaments seem stuck to a system to Greek medicine that no longer feels like a living tradition (outside of Unani Tibb medicine), and most modern applications of temperaments come off as little more than shallow personality tests determined by online quizzes. Even when people research the topic, the descriptions of the temperaments can seem contradictory and inaccessible, especially when trying to reconcile varying descriptions from different eras of their 2000 year history.
In the tradition of mongrel herbalism, jim mcdonald will share how he understands and utilizes the humoural temperaments, and how he's adapted them (quite nicely, he feels) to the six tissue states & contemporary culture. We'll look at the ways temperaments influence our physical bodies and our dispositions, how they help us understand the people we work with better, and how we can more be most consciously aware of our own projections. We'll ponder the relevance of physical indicators, spend lots of time musing about combinations, and see how excess, deficiency and blockage of humoural tendencies influence health.
jim mcdonald is an herbalist in southeast Michigan (that cool state that looks like a mitten you can see from space) where he teaches, sees clients, wildharvests, and concocts herbal formulas. His approach to herbalism is a blend of traditional folk and indigenous influences mixed up with a bit of 19th century eclectic and physiomedical vitalism, which he tries to blend with a bit of humor and discretionary irreverence so as not to appear to be too serious about life. jim hosts the website www.herbcraft.org which lists his offerings and conveys his thoughts of plants and herbalism (and if you’ve ever wondered, the lack of capitalization is an homage to E. E. Cummings, who - unexpectedly - did capitalize his name).