Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Metabolism V - Physiognomy (Adrenals)

We will now discuss two of the physiognomical characters in tandem as they arise from the same gland but from different hormones - namely adrenaline and cortisol.

Adrenaline and cortisol are two important hormones secreted by the adrenal glands which sit on top of the kidneys - they mediate the flight or fight response (in the case of adrenaline) and 'stress-control' (in the case of cortisol).  The gland is split into two sections the medulla and the cortex with each responsible for one hormone.


This is the Jay - (the original title was Semi-Psychic Jay) - the physiognomical character of adrenaline.  These people typically have the lithe bodies of hunters, bodies shaped by their adrenaline, are very quick to lose their temper, and have some kind of avian face (although bear in mind that there are 'owl' forms of this face as well as narrow beaky forms). 

As you will recall from the diagram of the metabolism of Time, the Jay character is associated with 'remembering' - an interesting correspondence here is that adrenaline enhances memory recall.  Now what are the effects on the personality - in my observations Jay characters are very keen to not be 'forgotten' - they remind their friends that they are constantly there and they can be quite jealous in their relationships - they do not let go of grudges easily and are tempted to revenge.

Qabalistically this character relates to Hod, the Sefira of 'Logic', traditionally associated with Mercury (note the adrenaline link with the winged feet and speed in general) - and these characters, gifted with the power of remembering often appear as intellectuals or pseudo-intellectuals.  If not an academic, they will remain on the ball by reading critical essays or popular science, and of course commenting on it to their friends.


The Mime on the other hand is the physiognomical representation of the hormone cortisol.  Cortisol rises in response to stress and causes a whole host of problems - these characters are fairly easy to identify by them.  Typically cortisol causes skin conditions when it rises (inflammatory), but these characters will take on vast amounts of stress because they are naturally designed to handle it - normally this stress will be acquired by heroic multi-tasking on the part of the individual.  This 'multi-tasking' is represented by the Mime on the pillar juggling (the reference is to the stoa of the stoics).  The side effects of rising cortisol can seen in the two Mime characters at the base of the pillar, where the vast stress taken on by these characters results in an eventual emotional breakdown and typically some kind of 'smoking' like behaviour (or something else associated with 'relaxation') after the blowout.  Physically the Mime tends to be 'fleshy' in opposition to the lithe build of the Jay, but not fat persay.

In the Metabolism of Time, The Mime is related to the principle of 'forgetting' and as a correspondence cortisol is involved in 'forgetting' in the brain - high cortisol levels which occur in trauma (because of the stress) cause damage to the architecture of the memory (a kind of scarring) and impair its recall.  What kind of behaviour can we expect from someone who is more typically likely to forget than remember?  The learning of such an individual is often intuitive or natural and comes from mimicking behaviour as opposed to dedicated book learning and rote memorization - they recover from relationships more quickly as the cortisol helps blot the recall that so curses the Jay.

Qabalistically, the Mime is related to the Sefira of Netzach traditionally associated with the path of Venus - the patron of artists.  The Mime has a gift in representational art, art which involves copying or mimicking nature as opposed to interpreting it - it should also be noted how much she likes to dance.

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