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The Vision of W. B. Yeats The 28 Phases Of The Moon And The Relationships Among Them

The Vision of W. B. Yeats The 28 Phases Of The Moon And The Relationships Among Them

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The Vision of W. B. Yeats The 28 Phases Of The Moon And The Relationships Among Them

305 pagine
5 ore
Jun 14, 2017


The book is a metaphysical jigsaw puzzle, based on Yeats’ Vision and filled in with the clues Yeats left in virtually all his work. This system brings the cycle the Phases of the Moon, out of general theory into the specific and the particular. This book describes each of the twenty-eight phases of the moon--the motivation of the phase, its goal, and how the phase is lived. It also discusses tactics often used to avoid the phase's required work and the repercussions these tactics bring with them.

Each phase of the moon, each cycle, is unique, never before done, never to be replicated. Only you can judge yourself, and the information contained in Yeats' system actually offers the criteria by which to do so.

Jun 14, 2017

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The Vision of W. B. Yeats The 28 Phases Of The Moon And The Relationships Among Them - Shirley Self


I wish to thank W. B. and Georgie Yeats, whose pioneering work has given me the information I have been seeking for most of my life. My thanks go out to the Harpers who, with their willing cohorts, deciphered Georgie’s automatic writings and W. B.’s notes (no mean feat) and published them just in time for me to use them. Thanks to my friend Dee Davis who handed me A Vision and helped me to understand it and to all the people we interviewed who brought myth and theory down to earth by their openness and honesty. Thanks to Marie-Michele Landon, who appeared on my doorstep (obviously sent by W. B. Yeats, a notorious stickler for perfection) willing and able to edit this book. Thanks to my brother, D. L. Trone, who took me to visit W. B. Yeats. Thanks to Vernon Arnold, Sharon Claybough, and Oro Benson for the books. Thanks to Steve Finkelstein for the much-improved Frontespiece. Thanks to my beloved Jim Self for facilitating everything, and thanks to my Daimon for giving me this work to do, for guiding me every step of the way, and for keeping me ignorant of the common knowledge that it couldn’t be done.


When I came to this material, I confess I was familiar with W.B. Yeats mostly in name or through a few poems’ worth of academic exposure. The story of Grace that brought me to his work is a window onto the very Mystery that pervades A Vision and the intricacies of human existence that it purports to illuminate.

A dear friend of mine had received a draft chapter from the manuscript of a friend. In it was described what the author, her friend Shirley Self, called my friend’s moon phase. She had sent it, I assume, to help my friend better understand some phenomena in her life and also to understand Shirley’s project. After reading it, my friend brought it to me, saying that it seemed to describe me more than it did her.

I dutifully read it and was very moved. I knew immediately that I needed to know more about this system. In my first contact with Shirley, I mentioned my desire to support her work in whatever way I could, offering my freelance editing skills. Thus it was we met and I was drawn in, not only by the import I saw in the work for myself but its potential to support others.

As it turned out, the moon phase described in that chapter I first read was not my natal moon phase, but my creative genius, from which I have drawn heavily this life (perhaps, at times, to my detriment)! I mention this not in the vanity of personal exposure, but to demonstrate what I see as the importance, the gift, of the Vision material.

A Vision seeks to chart a system which reveals the alchemical and minutely orchestrated journey of a soul, and to offer that soul opportunity (in this incarnation) to understand the bigger picture, and thus, perhaps, to make more insightful and compassionate choices. This it shares with a variety of systems: Astrology, the Eneagram, Tarot, Meyers-Briggs—you name it. However, the cosmology it unveils echoes, but never duplicates, those of other recognized systems. It complements many such schema, yet it stands alone to be regarded in its own right.

In our collaboration, Shirley and I have sought to make the information accessible, not oversimplifying so much as distilling and using language less obtuse to a contemporary audience. This book is but an introduction to the great wealth and depth to be plumbed in Yeats’ most obscure work—by those persevering souls inspired here.

The material is presented so that the moon-phase descriptions might be beneficial even if read out of order or without introduction through the explanatory material. I must insist here, though, that the level of understanding available to the reader who takes the time to absorb the expository material first is immeasurably more satisfying. Furthermore, reading the myth material provided, reading descriptions of related or neighboring moon-phases, and rereading all the material greatly richen the perpetually deepening insights.

I bow in thanks to the Yeats’s for their labors in the birth of this material; I further bow to the Daimons of the Yeats’s and of all parties since (including myself and Shirley Self), whose efforts were orchestrated to steward this material and bring it to a new readership, who might need it now more than ever.

Marie-Michele (Michou) Landon

Editorial Consultant, Moon Phase Three




The Source9

The System14

Me and My Daimon16

Imagination and Mercury of the Philosophers18

Desire and Conflict19

The Faculties 22

Earth, Water, Air, and Fire 24

The Myth of Will, the Solar Hero 27

The Myth—-First Quarter28

Voice and Gender31

Phase 1 The Innocent Will32

Phase 2 Begin Energy34

Phase 3 Discovery of Ambition36

Phase 4 Wisdom of Instinct 38

Phase 5 Loss of Innocence 42

Phase 6 Experiments in Individuality 44

Phase 7 The Physical Adept 46

The Myth—-Second Quarter 48

Phase 8 War, The Crossing from Abstract to Personal 50

Phase 9 The Adventurous Ego 52

Phase 10 The Iconoclast54

Phase 11 The Rebel 56

Phase 12 The Hero60

Phase 13 Gathering of Strength63

Phase 14 The Self-obsessed66

The Myth—-Third Quarter 69

Phase 15 Unity of Being, Crossing from Emotional to Intellectual 72

Phase 16 The Positive Will 75

Phase 17 The Daimonic Man 79

Phase 18 The Emotional Man 83

Phase 19 The Assertive Will 88

Phase 20 Triumph of Power 93

Phase 21 Triumph of the Intellect 96

The Myth—-Fourth Quarter 100

Phase 22 Power102

Phase 23 The Technician 106

Phase 24 The Craftsman 110

Phase 25 The Revolutionary 113

Phase 26 The Hunchback 117

Phase 27 The Saint122

Phase 28 The Fool 125

The Principles 127

The Husk 128

The Work between Lives 129

Reincarnation 132


Afterword 135


Focus of the Cycles 136

The Four Conditions of the Will 136

The Four Conditions of the Mask 136

Defects of the Evil Genius that Promote the False Mask 136

Habits that Limit Experience 136

Climaxes of Genius 137

Characteristics of Certain Phases 137

Excess 137

Perfection 137

The Two Directions 137

The Four Contests 137

Motivation 137

The Three Energies 138

Affinities of Souls138

How the Five Degrees of Body Consciousness

Relate to Daimonic Consciousness138

Questionnaire on Moon Phases139


Bibliography 143


In the spring of 2001, I volunteered to help a friend, Dee Davis, research a book. We puzzled over the book—A Vision by William Butler Yeats—for two years before Dee had had enough; I, however, was pulled deeper and deeper into it, until it virtually dominated my life—so fascinating was the system that unfolded. I searched for illumination in everything I could find by or about Yeats.

In the first two years of work, Dee and I used our understanding of the cycle of the Zodiac to help us rough out Yeats’ system. Yeats was constrained from using astrology to investigate the system (more about this later); Dee and I did not use natal astrology, but used the Zodiac because, like Yeats’ system, it describes the unfolding of human consciousness. We conducted hundreds of interviews (the questionnaire is included in the appendices), and we soon realized that the system worked. All the subjects seemed to be doing the work of their phase in the cycle, and many seemed to be working on the next phase as well.

I have often wondered why I was chosen for this work. For a while my being chosen made me feel important and special. I do, after all, have a background in metaphysics, practice simple magic, read astrology and Kabala, and am suited, or so I believed, to explore and apprehend this more unknown side of W. B. Yeats. But now I know that my suitability was enhanced by my ignorance. While I love astrological theory, the mundane workings of it is not my strong suit. It is Dee Davis’ strong suit, and two years into our work together, she hit a wall. That’s the only way I know to describe it. The wall was also there for William and Georgie Yeats, who were excellent astrologers, which is why they were warned not to use it. The information contained in this new system cannot be apprehended through astrology—figuring the Moon Phase is the only astrology needed. The Yeats’ were forced to develop a new way of seeing their fellow man, a more objective way—a way being pioneered by Sigmund Freud and Karl Jung in psychology and Franz Boaz and Margaret Mead in anthropology, for example.

At the beginning of this introduction, I said I volunteered. Now I claim to be chosen. Here’s why. In 1984 I had a dream that I was being chased by two giants. In the dream, I picked up my skirts and ran like hell, but one of them caught me. I was glad it was the good-looking one. Around twenty years later, I suddenly recognized the good-looking giant—W. B. Yeats. (Yes, I would like to know who the homely giant was, but I don’t need another project right now.) Although I didn’t read A Vision until 2001, my dreams about the book started in the 1980’s, and once I made the connection between the two, I was able to use my dreams to good effect.

In this book I have constructed for you a metaphysical jigsaw puzzle, based on Yeats’ Vision and filled in with the clues Yeats left in virtually all his work.

"Because to him who ponders well,

My rhymes more than their rhyming tell

Of things discovered in the deep

Where only body’s laid asleep."

I pondered, read his works over and over, memorized his poetry, and searched my dream journals. I read the tomes produced by the Harpers, who published all the channeled information from Georgie Yeats. I was immersed, guided, stretched, and tested. The education I have been given is ongoing and almost as demanding as ever.

The bulk of this book describes each of the twenty-eight phases—the motivation of the phase, its goal, and how the phase is lived. It also discusses tactics often used to avoid the phase’s required work and the repercussions these tactics bring with them. Read the book as a flow, or read your individual phase—I have tried to make it intelligible either way. I have included before each section, or quarter, a summary of the myth pertaining to it. Many readers will not need this extra material in order to ‘get it.’ But many of us, especially those whose Will is in the Lunar-dominated side of the cycle, will be much aided in understanding by this extra layer of explanation. Understand, the myth sections are my contribution, not that of Yeats. His use of myth is included in the appropriate chapters.

I have not worked with all the information Yeats included in his Vision. The Great Year of the Ancients section remains a cipher to me. But Yeats included a section he called The Completed Symbol which describes the work of a soul between lives. Yeats explains this between-lives period using diagrams, gyres, and astrology. I am interested enough in this between-life state that I spent the time to puzzle out the sequence, and present it to you using no diagrams, no gyres, and no astrology. The between-lives chapters follow Phase Twenty-eight, the end of the cycle.

Yeats included much information in tables, and material that was not easily incorporated into the body of the text is in the Appendices.

I have used many quotes from the very quotable W. B. Yeats, and all quotes in this work that are not, in the text, attributed to someone else are from him.

One last note: The phases are way-stations, not ‘types.’ J. R. R. Tolken and Elvis Presley both dealt with the challenges of Phase Four. People cannot be compared with one another. Each phase, each cycle, is unique, never before done, never to be replicated. Only you can judge yourself, and the information contained in Yeats’ system actually offers the criteria by which to do so. Relief, revelation, and understanding abounds—denial becomes more difficult (sorry about that).


William Butler Yeats produced in his long life a huge body of work. Although he is most famous for his poetry, he also wrote plays, reviews, commentaries, autobiographies, and, as well, a strange little book called A Vision. The latter is probably the only piece of his work that is no longer in print. Yeats was a very busy man, an active and interesting man: poet, Senator of Ireland, co-founder and director of the Abbey Theater in Dublin, Nobel Laureate, director of the family publishing business (the Cuala Press), lover, husband and father. All these roles and activities have been meticulously chronicled and examined, and although a great deal has been written about him, very little has been produced that addresses the private foundations of his public work, which lie in the occult.

Occult means hidden, and W. B. Yeats did not reveal the full extent of his true beliefs in A Vision, for many reasons. He was in a very public fight with the Catholic Church for the soul of Ireland—fighting for separation of church and state. In the 1920’s, and still today, to be labeled heretic was a terrible handicap. It would have doomed Yeats’ career, beggared his family, and destroyed any influence he might have in forming the Irish State. His ideas were heretical as defined by the dominant Christian religions, for he believed that the body, the physical world, and the act of sex are all holy. These beliefs are basic to understanding the evolutionary journey of the soul as presented in A Vision. These beliefs—to which he alluded but never openly admitted—form the foundation of Yeats’ life as a magician—someone who uses spiritual power to affect a physical change.

W. B. Yeats was an advanced initiate in the Mystical Order of the Golden Dawn. In his own words, Now as to magic. It is surely absurd to me to hold me ‘weak’ or otherwise because I chose to persist in a study which I decided deliberately four or five years ago to make, next to my poetry, the most important pursuit of my life. The mystical life is the center of all that I do and all that I think and all that I write. Yeats’ search for the structure, cause, and forces behind the visible reality began in his teens when he was introduced to metaphysics by his maternal uncle, George Pollexfen. His childhood had already prepared him to study the mysteries, for he had spent years of his life wandering the hills around Sligo, a harbor town on the northwest coast of Ireland that was home to his mother’s family. Ireland is a magical place where, because people believe, the nature spirits do not need to be coaxed out of hiding, a place where the hills, the hollows, and the waters have myth attached to them and where the stories still live of the people who were driven into myth by the recurring invasions of peoples into Ireland.

Yeats was free to roam and to dream until he was ten, when his father confined him and forced him to learn to read. His formal education was meager and mainly in the arts, but he read voraciously and on his own studied metaphysics—methodically investigating and experimenting with spirit communication and with magic. He furthered his esoteric studies in groups, and if he could find no group within which to study and experiment, he started one. Yeats was great at organizing people around a common interest; the groups in which he participated were productive and relatively long-lasting.

A major influence in Yeats’ education was the work of William Blake, for he found in Blake an intellect that was much like his own. Blake was born in 1757 in London and was an uncompromising rebel—a man of his times. His times saw the Gnostic rebellion of Swedenborg against the organized church, the publication of Thomas Paine’s The Rights of Man, and the American and French revolutions. Blake was also a man ahead of his time, for he repudiated the moral edicts of church and state in favor of his own interpretation of Natural Law. For Blake the only law was Thou Shalt Love. He perceived that the ‘rational’ government was a rationalization of brutality and greed and that the religious systems of the time were anti-Christian. Blake recognized that the might of church and state and their moral laws, which they enforced with heavy hand, were used to oppress and enslave the majority for the benefit of the few. Blake further believed that every human has a soul, a divine inner connection, and has a divine potential lying dormant within—a spirit that is loving, imaginative, creative, and unique. W. B. Yeats also believed in this deeper nature, for he had found it within himself. Magic deepened and strengthened the native genius of W. B. Yeats. It changed him and he believed that it could change the world for the better.

Every poet needs a muse and, for Yeats, that muse had been Maude Gonne. His love for her was, however, unrequited. He could have won her if he had been willing to take up arms and fight for Ireland, but his weapon was words. He believed that poetry and truth were honorable tools of combat, which he used in a futile attempt to prevent Ireland’s descent into civil war. Maude found this to be an unacceptable flaw in Yeats’ character, but his attentions and friendship were useful to her and she kept him hanging as long as she could. This frustrating state of affairs was set up for Yeats by the most exacting conflict in his natal horoscope—a square aspect between Venus and Mars. This conflict produced a state of tension in him that was inspiring of great poetry, but by 1917 this inspiration had been exhausted, and he wrote these Lines Written in Dejection:

"When have I last looked upon

The round green eyes and the long wavering bodies

Of the dark leopards of the moon?

All the wild witches, those most noble ladies,

For all their broomsticks and their tears,

Their angry tears are gone.

The holy centaurs of the hill are vanished,

And now that I have come to fifty years

I must endure the timid sun."


His Sun needed revitalization, renewal. He wanted to create children not only of his mind but of his body, as well, and he saw the potential for this in a Saturn transit. His Sun had, by progression, moved into conjunction with his natal Mars in the house of partnership. In the late summer and fall of 1917, Saturn was slowly moving across this powerful Sun-Mars conjunction. It was time to settle down in a stable relationship, one that would renew his creative powers. This window of opportunity would close by Christmas.

Saturn in the Seventh House indicates stable relationship as well as denial of relationship and Yeats was to experience both. The denial came when Maude Gonne again refused to marry him, and her daughter, Iseult, also spurned him. However, Georgie Hyde-Lees, who had been a friend of Yeats for six years, accepted him. She is a student of all my subjects, he wrote to a friend. Yeats had been Georgie’s sponsor in occult studies, especially of astrology and the Kabala, and, by the time of their marriage, Georgie was only one degree behind Yeats in the Golden Dawn. The Mage had found his Apprentice. In spite of his reservations about a man of fifty-two years marrying a woman half his age—a woman he greatly admired but did not love—they were married October 20, 1917. He would learn to love her deeply, but at the time he felt only uncertainty. Georgie had been confident all along that this marriage was right, but four days after the wedding her confidence was beginning to crumble.

Yeats was deeply concerned that he had made a mistake and it was making him physically ill. Georgie had tried to reach him, to reassure him, but all her efforts had been in vain. Now she too was beginning to doubt the viability of their union. By the evening of October 24, Georgie had reached her limit and she did what anyone with her talent and training would do—she resorted to divination. She took pen in hand and, talking to Yeats all the while to distract her conscious mind from the movement of her hand, she wrote, with the bird all is well at heart. Your action was right for both in London (referring to Maude and Iseult Gonne) but you mistook its meaning. Yeats knew at once what the message meant and thought to himself, when shall I have peace of mind? Georgie’s hand wrote in reply to this unspoken question, you will never regret nor repine.

The writing continued and, as Yeats described it, what came in disjointed sentences, in almost illegible writing, was so exciting, sometimes so profound, that I persuaded her to give an hour or two day after day to the unknown writer, and after some half dozen such hours offered to spend what remained of life explaining and piecing together those scattered sentences. No was the answer, we have come to give you metaphors for poetry." But much more than metaphors came, and the relationship between Yeats and Georgie took on a dramatic and mystical content, as their communicators advised them on ritual, diet, exercise, and the best times to make love to produce exemplary children.

Yeats was also given advice on how to relate to and care for his

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