Monday, June 5, 2023

Patterns of People in the Phases IV

 Creating through Opposition

 (This follows from Patterns of People in the Phases Part I, Part II, Part III.)

Creating from opposition

The nature of artistic creation is, according to the Yeatses' system, affected by the operation of the Faculties, especially the Mask. In terms of the artists' lives more broadly, it is Daimons (or Gatekeepers as they are called in The Trembling of the Veil) that engineer the circumstances for creativity.

[The Daimons] contrived Dante’s banishment, and snatched away his Beatrice, and thrust Villon into the arms of harlots, and sent him to gather cronies at the foot of the gallows, that Dante and Villon might through passion become conjoint to their buried selves, turn all to Mask and Image, and so be phantoms in their own eyes. In great lesser writers like Landor and like Keats we are shown that Image and that Mask as something set apart; Andromeda and her Perseus—though not the sea-dragon—but in a few in whom we recognize supreme masters of tragedy, the whole contest is brought into the circle of their beauty. (Au 273, CW3 217)


"Andromeda and her Perseus," without and with sea-dragon...
Edward Burne-Jones, Perseus and Andromeda, 1876. Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

Yeats is expressing in semi-public terms for the autobiography the creation of internal Mask and its embodiment as Image in poetry: Andromeda represents the Image of desire, while Perseus is the Mask adopted by the poet. The dragon represents the dark side of life, the recognition of the negative poles, the Body of Fate in terms of the Faculties.

Thus we find Landor’s shepherds and Shelley’s wanderers at Phase 3 opposite the poets’ phase, Byron’s Don Juan and Giaour opposite his phase 19, and Browning’s old hunter talking with gods or king of long ago, almost opposite. For Yeats, the artists need the polar opposite represented by the Mask whether it is the Image, the object of love—Andromeda—or the projected self, the lover—Perseus: for Shelley, Epipsychidion or Venus Urania and Alastor or Athanase. For Yeats, the greatest artists manage to fuse them into something more complete, the circle of beauty. Furthermore they embrace the opposite impulse represented especially by the destructive Body of Fate, the sea-dragon, the recognition that conflict is inherent in the world, which he calls, idiosyncratically, the Vision of Evil. 

[Dante and Villon] The two halves of their nature are so completely joined that they seem to labour for their objects, and yet to desire whatever happens, being at the same instant predestinate and free, creation's very self.... Had not Dante and Villon understood that their fate wrecked what life could not rebuild, had they lacked their Vision of Evil, had they cherished any species of optimism, they could but have found a false beauty, or some momentary instinctive beauty, and suffered no change at all, or but changed as do the wild creatures, or from Devil well to Devil sick, and so round the clock. (Au 273, CW3 217)

Opposition in creation

Yeats also treats his fellow poets as representatives of different attitudes to life, including religion (something he would later do with his two children). There is a draft for the revised version of A Vision in Rapallo Notebook B, where Yeats struggles to express something of this. He talks of two approaches to Christianity, one of which is lyric and associated with Shelley and Keats, while the other is tragic and Dantean.  

I myself seek a symbol that can thrust Christianity back into the crises where it arose, and there display it not as an abstract ideal but united to its opposite, or thrust it forward into the crisis where the actors must change robes & the defeated Tincture triumph in its turn. An abstract ideal is lyrical.
An ideal separated from its opposite is lyrical acquires a is lyrical; has a phantastic imobility like that of the Greek figures in Keats Ode & palls upon us po, has a phantastic imobility like that of the gr figures Keats saw upon the Urn & therefore xxx palls upon us, the exceptional moment past; whereas but an idea united to its opposite is tragic & stays always like the poetry of Dante
and like the poetry of Dante needs no exceptional moment & always stays like the poetry of Dante. An ideal separated from its opposite is lyrical, & its phantastic imobility palls upon us, but an ideal united to its opposite is tragic & stays always like the poetry of Dante. I am tired of Shellean Christianity.

Rapallo Notebook B, NLI 13,579, [53r–54r]

He appears to reject the lyric form as abstract in favour of a more dramatic approach where the opposing pole brings in conflict. He associates the lyric form with “an ideal separated from its opposite,” something that A Vision deplores, as it is said to “consume itself away” (AVA 134, one of those phrases that Yeats left from the automatic script, partly our of respect for the form of words, and partly uncertain of the full meaning). 

He even goes so far as to compare the lyric mode to “a phantastic immobility like that of the Greek figures in Keats’s Ode” on a Grecian Urn, whereas “an ideal united to its opposite is tragic & stays always like the poetry of Dante.” He closes by saying that he is “tired of Shellean Christianity”—that is, not that Shelley was Christian but the Shelley of the "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty" represents an approach to Christianity as an abstract, unmixed ideal. 

Yeats is writing about religion, but in the aesthetic terms he knows, and there is some implicit belittling of the lyric mode. The later, more succinct redraft in Rapallo A appears to view Shelley’s work as a “song in the air” contrasted with the conflagration of the phoenix and its rebirth. 

An ideal separated from its opposite is lyrical & its fantastic immobility palls upon us but an ideal united to its opposite is tragic & stays always like the poetry of Dante. I am tired of Shellean Christianity—I prefer to any song in the air a Phoenix, that rises twelve times from a body twelve times consumed to ashes.*

Rapallo Notebook A, NLI 13,578, [8r], page numbered 5

Opposition within the creator

Though Shelley and Dante are both representatives of the same Phase 17 as himself, they here represent the two parts of Yeats's creative character, lyric and dramatic. This creation of opposites needs both the polar opposite represented by the Mask, which brings the lyric impulse and aesthetic beauty, but also the opposite impulse represented by Creative Mind, bringing the construction of conceit and universals, and especially Body of Fate, which rounds with the tragic aspect.

It seems all the stranger that Yeats says that the "phantastic imoblity" of the "Ode to a Grecian Urn" "palls upon us," because he opens that same notebook with a description of Rapallo and its bay, comparing the town precisely to the scenes depicted on Keats’s Urn with tender approval. Yet it indicates the tension that Yeats felt and the criticisms directed towards his own practice, that he would express in poems such as “Vacillation” and “The Circus Animals’ Desertion.” However complex it may be, a lyric poem of necessity focuses rather than drawing all in, but many critics have observed how Yeats's poetry resists immobility, often using questions to open the end of poem up, to invite the opposite and avoid any impression of neat conclusion. 



* Yeats complicates the image of the phoenix reborn in fire by bringing in another meaning that he was playing with at this time, where he referred to the twelve "incarnations of Buddha" or avatars of the divine as "twelve Phoenixes." These had been called "Masters" in the automatic script, "Fountains" in AVA, and are not really dealt with in AVB. For this and the material cited above, see my essay "Rapallo Notebooks A and B" in International Yeats Studies 6.  

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Patterns of People in the Phases III

Poets, dramatists, and novelists

 (This follows from Patterns of People in the Phases Part I and Part II.)

Yeats's list of people in the phases is heavily biased towards European male writers and artists, partly because of the bias of his times but also because he is seeking to locate himself within the framework of tradition as a European poet writing in English. 

If we focus on the poets, most of them also write in English, apart from a few figures such as Homer, Virgil, Horace, Villon, the great landmarks of past European literature, as well as more recent figures and influences such as Baudelaire and Verlaine. And apart from Walt Whitman and Ezra Pound, most of the poets are British or Irish.  

Those in red and orange here write in English—those in red are English, and the bright red ones are the leading Romantics. There is a strong group of aesthetes in the two or three phases before the Full Moon, including the poets of the Tragic Generation. By placing Dowson and Beardsley at 13 along with Baudelaire and Verlaine, the arrangement underlines the French influence; with Lionel Johnson at 14, WBY is placed on the other side of the Full Moon from almost all the poets of the Rhymers’ Club. (Arthur Symons was uncertainly placed at 18 or later, more like Yeats and Wilde, perhaps.) Interestingly, WBY is more aligned with the Pre-Raphaelites and the Romantics. I include Rossetti here as a poet, and he was moved from 14 to 17, along with Burne-Jones, and William Morris who is indicated to be from Phase 17 or 18. (Michelangelo is also included here for his poetry, as is Walter Raleigh, despite winning fame for other achievements.) 

Of the Romantics, Keats and Wordsworth make slightly strange bedfellows in Phase 14, but their placement before the Full Moon in the second quarter suggests that, for them, emotion and aesthetic experience are more important than intellect and scheme in their work. After the Full Moon the imagination becomes more intellectual and in the later part of the third quarter it is increasingly more dramatic in its expression. At Phase 16, Blake the myth-maker creates a world that has an independent existence, while at Phase 17, Shelley’s myths are less all-encompassing and more dramatically expressed, including works such as The Cenci and Prometheus Unbound. At Phase 19 comes Byron, who is the most theatrical in his projections of persona and thought of all the Romantics from Childe Harold to Manfred and Cain. Byron is made the kin of Browning, the poet of dramatic monologues, and Wilde, a successful playwright, while the myriad-minded creators Shakespeare and Chaucer are placed at Phase 20, a peak of dramatic power—as is Balzac—before the more didactic voices of poets such as Milton at Phase 21. 

The surprising absence is Coleridge. If Shelley and Blake dominated Yeats's youthful imagination, by the 1920s Yeats probably makes more frequent reference to Coleridge's works in poetry and prose, including his collected "Table Talk." If I feel tempted to hazard putting Coleridge at Phase 18, it is not just to fill the empty phase, but for the importance of philosophical thought in Coleridge's later work and what could be seen as a form of the "emotional philosophy" of this phase.

Moving to the novelists and dramatists, there is some overlap, but the dramatists are almost entirely confined to an arc of phases between 18 and 24, and it is perhaps doubtful that Goethe would be counted a dramatist foremost. Shelley and Yeats (Phase 17) wrote plays too, and it is implied that Maeterlinck would be Phase 17 or close, because of his heroines at Phase 3.

The novelists are rather more widely spread, thoug the main group occurs close to Phase 22, where antithetical creativity is still strong enough, but primary recognition of human realities channels this creativity towards the more realistic forms of the novel. The proto-novelists who are perhaps closer to romance, such as Rabelais and Cervantes, are placed at the mythopoeic Phase 16, along with James Stephens, tellers of tales and creators of worlds, and WBY’s tales may well fall under a similar influence. The other novelists in the earlier phases of the wheel are difficult to classify—does the placement of Defoe at Phase 3 portray him more as a reporter of the Plague Year and, perhaps by extension Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders? Alexandre Dumas is seen as delighting in history, adventure, and action, themes of the wheel's first quarter. But Tolstoy seems out of place, even if one takes into account that he is elsewhere seen as being one of the most "advanced" souls considered, in his ninth cycle of incarnations (only Montaigne and Socrates are more advanced). The polemic of Wyndham Lewis's fiction is possibly less important than his painting, as Yeats placed Cubists at Phase 9.

In the panoply of worthies he assembles, Yeats is effectively reckoning his own position in terms of both his predecessors in the traditions of English literature and of the universal poets of European culture. He sought to define himself with and against his fellow inmates at Phase 17, particularly Shelley and Dante, but also Landor, Blake at 16, Keats at 14, and Villon at 18. As fellow a Daimonic man, Shelley is treasured for his visionary poetry and criticized for his propagandizing—Yeats seems to see him both as a model and a warning about political involvement. In contrast, Dante is the paragon of the poet, tragic and creating a new world out of his tragedy, and in his case, his partisanship is seen as a necessary spur to exile and loss, but Dante comes from an age which had some Unity of Culture, when such things were clearer and, implicitly, a life and genius such as his were no longer attainable in the twentieth century. Neither Landor nor Shelley was unable to attain true Unity of Being, because they lived in a broken age, according to Yeats, which implies that he did not think it truly possible for himself either.



Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Paperback of A Reader's Guide to Yeats's "A Vision"

The paperback of A Reader's Guide to Yeats's "A Vision" is now available

The paperback version of A Reader's Guide to Yeats's "A Vision" is out from Clemson University Press in association with Liverpool Universtiy Press, with a price tag of $49.95 in the US and £30 in the UK — still not exactly cheap, but a little more affordable, and with a few corrections!

Review of A Reader's Guide to Yeats's "A Vision" by Claire Nally in International Yeats Studies

Friday, February 11, 2022

Patterns of People in the Phases II

(This follows on from the first post, which is here)

Assigning the phases

At least at the initial stages, the assignment of people to their phases was done by George Yeats or the voices speaking through her hand. Yeats appears to have accepted what his wife wrote to a large extent—there are tweaks, questionings, and changes, but in general he sought to understand what she gave him in its own terms.

Leaves from WBY's question notebook (L) and the automatic replies in a separate notebook (R), from 21 December 1917 (see YVP1 168–69). The numbering is slightly out here.
Question 44 (in the lower half of the page) asks "How late can one find a measure of artistic beauty" and the answer (at the top of the answer page) is numbered 45: "till 24".
Q45: "How does literary style differ before and after beauty", referring to Phase 15, and the answer is 46: "Before beauty style is created after beauty it is inherent not sought after tennyson is at twelve Goethe at 18 Dante at 17 Wordsworth at 14".


As with the rest of the script, the names were assigned in the to and fro of the dialogue between the couple, and most of them appeared during relatively few sessions early in the automatic writing sessions in December 1917 and January 1918. So on the pages shown above, from 21 December 1917, just two months after the script had started, we have the guide called Leaf assigning Tennyson to Phase 12, Goethe to 18, and Wordsworth to 14, without any prompting to illustrate a question about literary style. Then Rossetti is assigned to 14 and Browning to 19 in response to WBY’s questions.

List of phase attributions, filed with the AS of 2 June 1918 (see YVP1 549n5, The Making of Yeats's 'A Vision', vol. 2, 418, and A Reader's Guide to Yeats's 'A Vision' 303–8). The zodiac signs or numbers in parentheses refer to the people's "cycle"—how often they had already passed around the circle of phases.


More than a few of these attributions were later changed so that, despite the communicators' input, the Yeatses eventually put Keats at Phase 14 rather than Phase 12, closer to the Full Moon or Beauty but no longer the phase of the hero. Tennyson was also moved from 12 to 14. These were brought together in a list in 1918, only some of which were included in A Vision. (Not all of the names in A Vision are on this early list, but most of them are.) Excluding some fictional characters and categories there are about a hundred names in total.


In the amplified Wheel that follows, the inner names here are those that were not included in A Vision. The earlier phases are far fuller, while the antithetical phases are really just "more of the same", just adding more names and data points to the sample.

The Great Wheel including most of the names from the 1918 lists and A Vision.

Though the panoply is a little overwhelming at first, it also has some of the fascination of Judy Chicago's The Dinner Party (1974–79) or of Simon Patterson's The Great Bear (1992)—who is chosen? what are the connections? how do they relate?

Judy Chicago, The Dinner Party

Simon Patterson, The Great Bear

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Homer was wrong...

"Homer was wrong," wrote Heracleitus of Ephesus. "Homer was wrong in saying: 'Would that strife might perish from among gods and men!' He did not see that he was praying for the destruction of the universe; for if his prayer were heard, all things would pass away." These are the words on which the superhumanists should meditate. Aspiring toward a consistent perfection, they are aspiring toward annihilation. The Hindus had the wit to see and the courage to proclaim the fact; Nirvana, the goal of their striving, is nothingness. Wherever life exists, there also is inconsistency, division, strife.
Aldous Huxley, "Spinoza's Worm," Do What You Will (1928)

'Herakleitos', in John Burnet, Early Greek Philosophy (1892),
see Fragment 43.

Much that I say here is in Herakleitos though the form is different. "Homer was wrong in saying 'would that strife might perish from among gods and men!' He did not see that he was praying for the destruction of the universe; for if his prayer were heard, all things would pass away." & again "War is the father of all ; & some he has made gods & some men, some bond & some free."
W. B. Yeats, drafts of A Vision B, late 1920s, in Rapallo Notebook E (NLI 13,582)
conflict... creates all life
(AVB 72n, CW14 53n)

My instructors identify consciousness with conflict.... 
(AVB 214, CW14 158)



Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Patterns of People in the Phases I

[This is the first of a series of posts about the phases assigned to people in A Vision and the automatic script, some of them drawing on a presentation I gave to the International Yeats Society at the York conference in December 2021.]

What's Your Moon Phase?

Even those with only a cursory knowledge of A Vision, or perhaps even only the poem “The Phases of the Moon”, know that Yeats proposes a Great Wheel patterned on the phases of the moon, and that he assigns all human beings to one of the phases. 

Though there are 28 phases, only 26 types of humanity are possible, as "there's no human life at the full or the dark" ("The Phases of the Moon"). It looks a little like astrology or any form of typing, with a spectrum of temperaments where the ends join, like in a colour wheel. It is recognizable as analogous to 12 Zodiac signs or maybe 16 Myers-Briggs combinations, and it is certainly one of the parts of A Vision that most people remember

The labelling, however, doesn't use memorable symbols. Each phase is assigned not an archetypal emblem but a vaguely suggestive title—such as “Assertion of Individuality,” “The Emotional Man,” or “The Saint”—and, in most cases, Yeats includes an irregular assortment of the people who fall under this phase. 

In the Dedication to the 1925 edition of A Vision, Yeats claims that his predecessors like

Swedenborg and Blake and many before them knew that all things had their gyres; but Swedenborg and Blake preferred to explain them figuratively, and so I am the first to substitute for Biblical or mythological figures, historical movements and actual men and women.

It is not immediately clear what the names given share. Most would be hard-pressed to see the similarities between Napoleon and Shakespeare at Phase 20, though Balzac’s kinship to either might be a little easier to discern. George Russell, AE, asked himself whether it was

insight or impishness which made [Yeats] link Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells and George Moore as typical men of the twenty-first phase, or what old lady did he discover in Mr. Galsworthy to make him unite that novelist with Queen Victoria?

Russell was also

a little uncomfortable with some of [his] fellow-prisoners in phase twenty-five. I welcome George Herbert, but am startled to find myself along with Calvin, Luther and Cardinal Newman, as no doubt the last three would be incredulous of their own affinities to associate pilgrim souls.

Like Chaucer’s Canterbury pilgrims, the procession of souls embraces a gamut of types, but unlike Chaucer’s riders the range of professions and walks of life is considerably less varied. There is a heavy preponderance of literary figures in the pageant that Yeats unfolds, and the poets dominate.  

The Wheel of the Phases with the names assigned in A Vision
The people assigned to the phases in A Vision (fictional characters excluded)

Patterns of phases

Arranged on the Wheel, the names are a little crowded and not easily readable, but doing so clearly conveys the imbalances in the examples. The primary half of the Wheel (on the left-hand side here, centred on the New Moon at Phase 1) has some very empty spaces, particularly in Phases 2 to 5, while the antithetical half (on the right-hand side here, centred on the Full Moon at Phase 15) is far fuller. Even the antithetical half is more thinly populated in its early phases (9, 10, 11, 12), while the "early" phases of the primary (23, 24, 25) contain more names. Thus, the phases from 13 to 25 effectively account for the majority of the examples.

Some broad patterns emerge fairly quickly. The antithetical half is home to most of the creative artists: only two poets are placed outside the antithetical half, Walt Whitman and George Herbert, though James Macpherson, the "translator" of the Ossian poems, should probably also be added. 

Of the poets, the Romantics are distributed through the more antithetical phases, with Keats and Wordsworth at Phase 14, Blake at Phase 16, Shelley at Phase 17, and Byron at Phase 19. (Strangely Coleridge is not included, though it is likely he would take Phase 18 along with the more philosophically minded Goethe.) 

Political scientists such as Marx and Spencer are both placed at Phase 22, while evolutionary theorists Lamarck and Darwin are placed at 21 and 22, with Darwin in the more objective of the two. 

Church reformers of various stripes are found at 25, with the iconoclast Savonarola directly opposite at 11, along with Spinoza whose philosophy seemed atheist to his contemporaries, while Nietzsche who proclaimed the death of god follows at Phase 12.

Interestingly three of Yeats's closest collaborators are placed in three consecutive primary phases: John Millington Synge at Phase 23, Lady Gregory at Phase 24, and George Russell (AE) at Phase 25. 

I'll look at aspects of these groups in a little more detail in following posts, including some of the names that appear in the drafts but not in published version.


Friday, September 4, 2020

Astrology of A Vision V: Blending the Phases of the Moon with Astrology—Mundane Astrology

Mundane Astrology

One of the ways that astrologers seek to understand the year ahead—or to look into the patterns that have played out in the past—is to look at the chart for the equinoxes and the solstices. In particular, the Spring or Vernal Equinox is taken to characterize the astrological year to come and it needs to be set for a particular place, usually the seat of government of the country that is of primary concern.*
    The Vernal Equinox is the point where the Sun's apparent path (i.e., Earth's orbit) intersects with the Earth's equator, and it marks the start of the tropical zodiac, called the First Point of Aries or 0°Aries.† Due to the phenomenon of the Precession of the Equinoxes, this point appears to slip backwards in relation to the "fixed stars". At some point early in the first millennium the First Point of Aries was at the beginning of the constellation of Aries, but because of precession it is now actually located in the constellation of Pisces and is receding further from the constellation of Aries every year. It shifts about1° every 72 years, and all the "fixed stars" appear to advance at the same rate.
    There is considerable dispute about where the actual starting point of the sidereal zodiac is located or when the two zodiacs coincided, but the difference between the sidereal and tropical is currently taken as somewhere between 20° and 28°, with the year of coincidence ranging from 1BCE to 559CE.

All this is by way of a preamble and background to examining the sessions where the Yeatses sought to explore the development of the Great War in the automatic script, and in doing so adumbrate a scheme in which the phases of the moon are mapped onto the zodiac. The zodiac the Yeatses use appears to be basically sidereal, but expressed in terms of the tropical zodiac they were familiar with.

*See, for instance, Alfred J. Pearce, The Science of the Stars (1881)—this book is not in the Yeatses' library, but another of Pearce's works was. Depending on the sign rising, certain rules are sometimes applied as to how long the forecast lasts, but the Yeatses only appear to have consulted the Vernal Equinox chart.
† Astronomically it is 0h00m00s of Right Ascension, which is also still known as the First Point of Aries. On a practical level it is one of only two points on the zodiac that rises due East every day at all points on Earth, the other being diametrically opposite at 0°Libra (12h00m00s of RA).
‡ Though I refer to "constellations" to designate the sidereal zodiac in contrast to the tropical zodiac, I am actually referring to the regularized notional constellations that are all 30° long, as used in astrology rather than the irregular length of the actual constellations.
The tropical zodiac (left) is determined by the sun's turning points (tropoi). At the current date, at the Vernal Equinox, the Sun is actually located against the constellation of Pisces.
The sidereal zodiac (right) is a regularized version of the constellations. Its exact starting point is a subject of dispute, as the constellations overlap.

The Automatic Script in February 1918

As a kind of preliminary indication of the possibilities that they were to explore, in January 1918 the script gave concentric circles labelled as those of horoscope, phases, equinoxes (YVP1 275, 310) and these are recorded in diagrams in the card file (YVP3 281, 296). The script of 9 February 1918 repeated these three wheels again and then instructed the Yeatses to draw up planetary charts for the Vernal Equinoxes of 1650, 1790, and 1850. Some of the charts that George Yeats created are preserved separately in the Yeatses' papers, cut out so that they are just a disc. These three years were explored inconclusively on 18 February 1918 (YVP1 344, 356–57). Later that month, the script examined the positions of the planets in recent years with respect to stars and phases—for 1914, 1916, 1917, 1918, and 1919—to analyse and predict the course of the Great War; again some of these are preserved in the form of cut-out discs.

It is not always clear which year’s chart is being discussed, and the analysis is vague and inconclusive. The scripts apparently predict "1919 announce peace" (though I transcribe this differently from the "Vision" Papers) and the "Restoration of [C]zar" (YVP1 362–65), so the modern reader is left with no illusions about the spirits’ powers of prediction. Yet such comments are mixed in with enough contradictions that the Yeatses could no doubt overlook them. The sessions do, however, also make use of an alignment of the zodiac with the phases of the moon, much of which can be worked out from the way it is applied in two or three scripts.

In more detail

(Some of the treatment here may get a little technical. I have explained important terms; however, I have not given full explanations of all elements, as this post is long and involved enough as it is. As I reorder some of the questions and answers, I also include almost all of the script for 23 February, even though not all of it is commented on or used directly. There is a "too long; didn't read" summary at the bottom.)

On 18 February 1918, the Yeatses sat down to examine the charts they had been told to draw up for 1650, 1790, and 1850. The session was one where no questions are preserved; though some were clearly asked, the automatic script came relatively spontaneously and independently from the instructor Artemidor.* Although this script does not bring the phases of the moon in directly, it importantly sets up much of the structure and the parameters for the subsequent treatment.

* Looking at the script, Artemidor or Artemidore seems a better reading than "Astemidor" given by the editors of Yeats's "Vision" Papers at YVP1 335, and more logical as the"instructor" signed as "AR".

Chart for the Vernal Equinox 1790
Chart in GY's hand for the Vernal Equinox of 1790, the astrological new
year, also called the "Aries Ingress" chart, used to predict the year ahead.
It omits the Sun, as that is by definition at 0°Aries.
The chart has been cut out, apparently to be placed inside a circle
marked out with the phases of the moon.
5.35         February 18.   1918
[squiggly lines]
R   AR [squiggly lines]
—give me circles difficult to begin writing—make them to get current clear
1790 at S
sit down

the houses should be taken as 30 degrees & marked off as such taking [Pisces] on meridian marking off all degrees 1 to 30—
then [Gemini] falls at E  [Pisces] S [Virgo] N [Sagittarius] west &
so on but not done now
[diagram (see below): half circle containing the signs of Gemini, Taurus, Aries, and Pisces
with a line between Aries and Pisces marking "place of Equinox 20"*]
take a year without interception
yes  I will wait ten minutes
(YVP1 355–56)

*This is the YVP reading. I actually think that the diagram reads "place of Equinox 22°20"—see below.

An astrological chart places South at the top (the noon or 12 o'clock position), with the rising signs and planets on the left and the setting signs and planets on the right.

The Year 1790

It's not entirely clear what the Yeatses had calculated prior to the session, but, as calculated by computer, the Aries Ingress chart for Dublin in 1790 has Gemini rising—Gemini 26°15'—as does London, just, with 29°42'. Unlike the distorted houses used when looking at personal horoscopes, they were told to use a form of Equal House division, where each sector measures 30 degrees of the zodiac, and, in fact, with Mercury, at just 2° Pisces, to the left-hand side of the vertical, it looks as though they were using Whole Sign Houses where the houses coincide exactly with the signs of the zodiac and start at 0° of each sign (as used in Indian and Hellenistic astrology). They are also told to put Pisces at the meridian or top (though the actual Meridian or MC was in Aquarius—17°55' in Dublin, 24°18' in London).

Initially, it therefore looks as if they were anchoring the chart on the Ascendant, but, as we shall see below, they tended to use the same layout for all of the Ingress charts, whatever the actual rising sign, so the orientation may be more connected with placing the equinoctial point at the top of the chart. (However, the comment "take a year without interception" implies that they were looking at a full chart with the houses drawn up, as interception refers to the "oversize" houses of quadrant house systems, such as the Placidean one they normally used—see the horary charts they drew up in this earlier post.)
Diagram in automatic script, 2 February 1918.
cf. YVP1 356

A point is indicated in the diagram, with the phrase " place of Equinox 22°20 " (I am emending the reading from Yeats's "Vision" Papers in the light of looking at the script [shown above], though it does not make a huge difference). This would mean either that the sidereal zodiac differed (at the reference date) from the tropical zodiac by 22°20' or that the starting point of the sidereal zodiac (its 0°Aries) was at 22°20' of tropical Pisces. A value of roughly 22° (or 20°) would be broadly in line with general values for the difference between the two zodiacs ca. 1800 (the ayanamsa), while a position of 22° Pisces would fall far short of the value calculated by most astrologers.* However, the position seems to be what the Yeatses intend, as the neater version of the chart that they drew up (above), marks out a point at "24 32 [Pisces]", with individual degrees counted out along the edge of the circle. So, although it would be more in line with astrological practice to give the discrepancy between the two zodiacs as 22°20' or 24°32'—starting the sidereal zodiac (its 0° Aries) at the tropical 7°40' Pisces or 5°28' Pisces—we must take what the Yeatses understood in the first instance, even if it puzzles us.
*As noted with the diagram of the two zodiacs, the question of where the sidereal zodiac should start is a complex and disputed issue, so the ayanamsa varies. Most of the exact values used nowadays were established/created in the 20th century. For a contemporary reading, such as might have been available to the Yeatses, see, for instance, The Theosophist 4:43 (Apr. 1883), 176ff and The Theosophist 7:75 (Dec. 1885), 184ff. which suggest a value of 20°24'15" for 1883.
An attempt to reproduce the 1790 Aries Ingress chart drawn up by GY (from Astrodienst).
This chart does not include the mark at "24 32 [Pisces]".
As GY was probably using historic tables for calculation, her chart does not include the planets that are only visible with a telescope.
The "fixed stars" are those GY gives but labelled with abbreviations based on the stars' Arabic names
Abbreviation in computer chart — GY's chart above
Mekb[uda] — [zeta] Geminis 12°14 iii
Poll[ux] — Pollux 21°1 i
Asel[lus Borealis] — North Ascellus
5°18 iii
Asel[lus Australis] — South     "          6°29 iii.
Alge[di] — 1° Goats Horn iii
[ " ] — 1°45 [alpha] Capricorni iii
Dene[b Kaitos] — [illeg] Whales Tail ii
Alge[nib] — 6°3' Algenib ii
Alph[eratz] — 12°[?] Caput Andromedae i
The stars selected are not at all obvious choices by most criteria, apart from the two first-magnitude stars, Pollux and the
Head of Andromeda (Alpheratz), and even these are not included among the 15 "Behenian stars" of traditional astrological power.

First notice what signs stars & planets are at the [?3] points of circle then aspects then phase planet or star is nearest
No  planets show tendency & events fixed stars & whether tendency will become sufficiently general to produce events
Signs show countries
The fixed stars are only of vital importance when on an angle near other planets—a fixed star alone unless on an angle is not important
The sensitive points are equinox  [Aries] ([Venus]) [Taurus]([Moon]) [Leo] [Jupiter Mars] [Pisces] [Venus Saturn] — [Saturn] affects [Aries] being near
The greatest stars should all be in if lat[itude] lon[gitude] etc permits
Those you have are right but some are left out — I do not know what you call them but this is quite enough now
This is much more difficult because facts--that is why I am so slow
Give me 1850
(YVP1 355–56)
Obviously there were questions that are not recorded. However, although the script explains that the planets represent "tendency" while the fixed stars are "events", the examination says little or nothing about the significance of these stars, planets, signs, how they played out in 1790, or even why 1790 was selected. Once the treatment moves on to 1850, it becomes even less focused until the comment comes, "Yes you will have to work it out in detail by yourselves because it would be too much unnecessary work for script" (YVP1 356). The script does, however, refer to countries: "Events center in [Cancer Gemini Aries Pisces Virgo]" (effectively almost half the zodiac) is interpreted to mean that "This is the political climax of Italy & England socially etc — Germany military beginning etc". It does not identify which signs relate to which countries, implying that they are the traditional ones,* though this is complicated as both England and Germany are associated with Aries, for instance, making it hard to separate their fortunes by this means.
* See Pearce's Science of the Stars or Wilson's Dictionary of Astrology (1819) (YL 2284, WBGYL 2301).

And, important though this session was to setting up the structure and to our understanding of the Yeatses' basic approach, there is no actual reference to the 28 phases of the Moon beyond the phrase "aspects then phase". This connection came when examining the contemporary years from 1914 to 1919.

The Years 1914 to 1919

In session of 23 February 1918 (YVP1 362–65) the editors of Yeats's "Vision" Papers had the difficulty of sorting out the questions and answers of the script kept in two separate places, as only one answer was numbered. Transcribing the automatic script is often nearly impossible, and even attempting these few pages gives me enormous admiration for the dedication and focus of the editors of YVP. Focusing here on just one day's script, and looking at the charts concerned, I would alter a few transcriptions and in particular redistribute how the two pages of questions in W. B. Yeats's hand are applied to the eleven sides of automatic script (connecting to a PDF of the original YVP transcription).
The voice is that of Artemidor again, and—after being séance-bombed by Anne Hyde—the examination starts with the year 1914.
Aries Ingress for London, 11:11am, 21 March 1914.
Unlike GY's charts, this chart contains the Sun, as
well as the as-yet-undiscovered Pluto.

AR — I will take 1914 to 1919 but first I must give a message from a spirit who has been very persistent for some time — I do not know anything about her — She calls herself Anne Hyde Duchess of Ormonde and gives you both her dear love
1681 married James — now I will try and send her away yes
now give me 1914
died in childbirth
please have all other in hand
There is not much to say because it is so plain in looking at the figures
Martial — Stars at 22 — in [Cancer Gemini Leo] with [Mars Moon Saturn] & so on — now 1916

in 1917 no planets in [Gemini] only F[ixed] S[tars]
[Neptune] in leo
The script sometimes claims things are plain, and they may have been to the Yeatses, but less so to us. Most important here is the first clue that Phase 22 corresponds in this scheme with stars in Cancer and Gemini, though, by the phrasing, it seems the Yeatses may already have known this. Indeed, charts that survive—1916 and 1919—have been cut out, presumably to place them within a bigger circle with the phases marked out. Mars is found in Cancer on the eastern horizon, giving a "martial" cast to the chart, and Saturn is in Gemini, as indicated; the Moon, however, is rather far away in Aquarius but may be involved because it is the ruler of Cancer. The comments on 1916 and 1917 are cursory, so the next major examination appears to be for 1918.

Aries Ingress for London, 10:26 am, 21 March 1918.
— now 1918
[Gemini Jupiter] [Venus] [?conj] to 22  peace for England — [Moon] & Pollux
Germany France & Italy famines etc
1919 universal peace

now detail is impossible unless you question
1.  What do you deduce peace for England from.
   no planets or fixed stars of evil nature in [Aries] or [Gemini] [Venus Jupiter] approaching 22 in [Gemini] [?ucs] of London
[Venus conjunct Uranus] Russia

The instructor's demand for questions is where I place Yeats's first question, asking what indicates "peace for England", a phrase taken from the previous comment. And the answer responds directly as England (and most of northern Europe in some schemes) is assigned to Aries, while London is associated with or "ruled by" Gemini, so the absence of malefic planets such as Saturn or Mars from England's main signs is seen as positive. Russia was attributed to Aquarius, hence the reference to the conjunction of Venus and Uranus in Aquarius.


Five lines down here comes the script
"1919 universal peace" or maybe "1919 announce peace".

    The transcription in YVP gives "1919 announce peace"; though I am not seeking to bolster the instructor's credibility, I read "1919 universal peace" which seems a little more in keeping with the progression from "peace for England" in 1918. This is connected to the two most positive planets, Jupiter and Venus, associated with Phase 22 (the word that I have transcribed as [?conj] for "conjunction" is given in YVP as "[?coming]", but the meaning is effectively the same). Though Venus is in Aquarius in this chart, it would come to Gemini and Cancer in the summer of 1918. Timing was obviously crucial here, but there was little help:

2.  Can you make time measure from this figure.
Attempted political peace frustrated by Antares but [Jupiter] pollux [?trn] soon

it transits over the place of [Mercury]
July & August
3.  How do you arrive at July & August

I cant tell you but for one thing

[Jupiter] transits 22 in July 

The greater benefic, Jupiter, evidently brings some benefit to Gemini-ruled London therefore, although it is opposite the martial (and therefore negative) star Antares, which may be the reason for the frustration of political peace.* During July 1918 Jupiter entered the (tropical) sign of Cancer, moving from 27° of Gemini to almost 4° Cancer over the month. This is identified with Phase 22 and the possibility of peace. Since Jupiter takes some twelve years to go round the zodiac, this is a significant alignment that would not be repeated for another twelve years. Venus, in contrast, is closer to the Sun than Earth, so effectively tied to the Sun, and usually goes through all the signs of the zodiac every year. Though a long way from Jupiter in March, the fast-moving Venus arrived in Gemini and then Cancer in July, conjoining Jupiter in early Cancer at the end of July 1918. 

    Also interesting is the selection again of the star Pollux (the second star in the constellation of Gemini, but located in Cancer in the tropical zodiac because of precession), which is closely conjunct the Moon in the Ingress chart. Here it is connected with Jupiter and it is possible that Pollux or its degree is connected with London.†
William Lilly's "astrological hieroglyph" from 1651 appears to associate Gemini with London and an imminent fire.
    Since Mercury can only ever be in Aries or Pisces at the Vernal Equinox, the reference to Jupiter transiting over the place of Mercury in Gemini or Cancer must indicate another chart (probably for a country or state), but the combination would indicate diplomatic talks or negotiations (mercurial activities) to those like the Yeatses versed in astrology.‡

* Opposite Antares is the star Aldebaran, which is not mentioned but features in GY's chart for 1916 (below).
This day's script ends with the instruction to "Find out exact degrees ruling capital towns" (see below) and, since William Lilly apparently predicted the Great Fire of London using a particular degree of Gemini, it has been associated with London.

‡ Transit refers to a planet's current movements in relationship to the chart associated with a birthtime or, for a city/country, its foundation/creation, which remains fixed at that moment.

    Significantly, the next exchanges use the meanings of the system's Phases of the Moon to interpret the changes, connecting Phase 22 with its attribution of "temptation through strength".
4.  What is especial significance in the matter of 22.
   temptation through strength means
    war at 22 — civil war 8
5.  What do you deduce from phases where [Uranus] & [Venus] are?
There seems to have been no answer to this question, evidently looking at the two planets' presence in Aquarius—associated with Russia—which then led to the following prompt:
Aries Ingress, 21 March 1916, GY's chart, cut out

6.  Surely some great sign of Russian troubles
This is not the significant figure for Russia — give me 1917 & 1916
1916 [Uranus] exactly at eleven

With Uranus at 18° Aquarius, this clearly aligns Phase 11 with the centre or late centre of Aquarius.

     The next section considers 1917 and starts by attributing Italy's entrance into the war to the ingress of Neptune into its ruling sign, Leo. Italy declared war on different combatants between May 1915 (Austria-Hungary) and August of 1916 (German Empire), and Neptune entered Leo in July 1915, went retrograde back into Cancer, and then entered Leo for good in May 1916. (Strangely, the United States' involvement in the war is not mentioned at all.)

Aries Ingress, London, 21 March 1917.
now 1917
Italy came into war with entry of [?Neptune into] leo neptune 
Sirius affects [?Aquarius] 15 20
[Uranus] passing through [?those] degrees
all phases 1 to 15 internal & civil war  all phases 15  28 war of military
This is very difficult — you had better question on another subject & I will work this in later

The script also refers to Uranus's passage through Aquarius, which has already been referred to in the context of Russia. But another detail causes a few problems, as it appears to refer to the fixed star Sirius. Sirius is some distance from the ecliptic, so its zodiacal position is not totally straightforward, but it is generally considered to have a longitude equivalent to ca. 13° Cancer (in the 20th century). This script appears to have it "affecting" degrees that Uranus is passing though in Aquarius (though the symbol used is less than clear). The simplest solution would be to identify a different star with a similar name, but "Sirius" is one of the clearer words in the script, and there is no obvious candidate for a star in the region with a name that could be confused. Another would be to take the word as referring to the Ascendant (located at about 12° Aquarius), but there is no clear connection. Nor is there any obvious astrological means of "affecting" this region, such as aspect or antiscia. (I'll be very grateful for any suggestions here—and here is the relevant script to consider.) 

Script with the [?]Sirius question.
I have read the symbol in the first line as a spaced out Aquarius glyph, though this
may be wrong (the "Serius region" is later related to Aquarius).


Previously Phase 8 was linked to civil war and Phase 22 to war, but here the whole wheel is divided into two halves relating to civil war and military campaign, probably in reference to the Russian Civil War. After the instructor's complaint, the script redirects and returns to the year 1918, moving back to the prospects for peace and the astrological reasoning behind it.

7.  Do [you] think peace will be political?

8.  Why do you judge political?
because there is no [Mars] element — only [Jupiter Mercury Saturn Venus Neptune]

9.  You say peace for England — do you see reason for connecting other countries with the peace besides of course Germany.
Germany will make advance in March

neither she nor France & Italy will be able to go on after

10.  Do you mean advance towards peace or an attack?
no  on front — peace offer about June

11.  What do [you] deduce from Castor & Pollux with [Moon] at 24
immense military effort very [Mars] stars

12.  any significance in 24
final ambition of military party — after no success the people will lose faith & compel peace

Here again is the identification of late Cancer with Phase 24, and with the attribution of some of Phase 24's establishment characteristics—"The End of Ambition", it includes those who follow a code, including Queen Victoria, John Galsworthy, and Lady Gregory.

13.  What do [you] deduce from [Venus] passing over Serius region at phase 12.
Restoration of [C]zar 
14.  Why phase 12?

If we ignore the name Sirius, for the moment at least, the alignment of Venus at 18° Aquarius in the 1918 chart and Phase 12 is more or less congruent with the rest—though earlier the so-called "Sirius" region had been linked to Uranus's passage through Phase 11, so this may indicate significant extent. Phase 12's characteristics—"the hero’s crescent is the twelfth"—are definitely brought into play, if completely inaccurate in terms of the czar's character or fate.

15.  Why do [you] select March as date of advance?
because the [Moon] etc at [conjuntion] Castor & Pollux 
16.  What is the time law?
16.  There is only that of an exact aspect of a fixed star to either a planet or the ruling degree of a town
17.  Do you mean exact aspect instant event.

18.  What made you say Germany France Italy couldnt go on after March.
  [Neptune] & [Saturn] in leo — famine & poverty

Answer 16 is the only numbered answer, which helps to fix the dialogue at least here. Evidently the ruling degrees of towns, as mentioned above with respect to London, are a matter of traditional associations, though the relation of a fixed star to any given degree will be in operation for over a century as precession takes effect. Traditionally, Leo is said to rule Italy, while Aries rules Germany, and both signs are associated with France, but Saturn is traditionally a malefic presence, and Neptune was regarded as generally unfavourable, so the combination appears to bring famine and poverty here.

19.  Where do [you] get "advance"?
 [Moon] & C[astor] & P[ollux] I explained 

I desire to go on progress effort expansion etc 
20.  Did you mean a success by "advance"?
  I said before no success 
21.  Do you find anything in figures to indicate nature of peace?
22.  Why do you say "Draw"
 stop 20 minutes —  I am worked out
[Apple] another five minutes please

Fixed stars are often characterized by the planetary influence they are most akin to, so that George Yeats has marked next to Castor on the 1916 chart above "Mars/Venus/Saturn", while Pollux is marked more simply as having the nature of Mars, meaning that neither is particularly favourable.* These influences could well be seen to be urging the Moon on to advance. Beyond that, the instructor seems to have foreseen the war's ending in a draw or stalemate rather than victory for either side.
After this break there are no more questions, so we have to follow the script by guesswork. I include the whole of it for context, but will focus now on the parts that relate directly to the alignment of zodiac and phases.‡

* Cf. Vivian Robson, The Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology (London: Cecil Palmer, 1923). This book was published after the automatic script, but was in the Yeatses' library (YL 1772; WBGYL 1786).
GY's cut-out chart for the Aries Ingress, 21 March 1919.
No import
[Jupiter] in [Cancer] key to figure

Since Jupiter entered Cancer in the summer of 1918, this appears to refer to the Vernal Equinox of 1919, not 1918. Traditionally, Jupiter is "exalted", in other words is particularly strong and positive, when it is in the sign of Cancer. So the implication is generally positive for what the planet or the sign is associated with.
    There are also certain fixed stars to take into account. The script continues, in answer to an unrecorded question:

skill in all mechanics great advance of socialism — manufacturing & chemical etc advance
[Jupiter] geminorum γ and 23
Going towards 24 — between 23 & 24

The star gamma Geminorum (Alhena) is also included in the chart in George Yeats's hand at 8° 2' of Cancer (above). The script appears to indicate that this position corresponds to Phase 23, as it has earlier indicated that Castor and Pollux (alpha and beta Geminorum), at 19° 3' and 22° 3' Cancer respectively, correspond to Phase 24, so Jupiter would coincide with each of them in succession between April and June 1919.

[Neptune] entering leo great spiritual & ecclesiastical revival
Regulus & [Saturn] passing away
Not a very close aspect — no good looking at aspects with F[ixed] Stars unless in three degrees of each other

Saturn at 23° Leo is close to Regulus, but not within the crucial 3 degrees of distance or "orb", so "Not a very close aspect". Yet Regulus is an important star, one of the Four Royal Stars, and the one that McGregor Mathers used as the anchor star for the Golden Dawn's version of the sidereal zodiac.* In the tropical zodiac of 1919, marked by George Yeats, it is placed at 28° 27' and, despite what is said a little further on in the script, would not actually pass into Virgo until the 21st century. 

* In GD practice, Regulus marked 0° Leo in their sidereal zodiac. This is idiosyncratic, though Regulus is taken as the anchor of the zodiac at 5° Leo by some modern siderealists.

No — yes
yes  a planet has effect but of a general tendency not a movement centralised
no  fixed star &  planet
War & spiritual
entry was war because of other aspects but it is spiritual especially [Jupiter]
That is what I mean by [Jupiter]
She will recover sooner
No  go back to where she was before very soon — some disturbance in 1919 but isolated—
[Mars] —
All these countries will be so busy reconstructing within themselves that one cannot give a world horoscope for 1919 because they are so to say subjective—
Regulus passing into Virgo
At 28 war enforced
28 phase
unable to resist

Without the question or more context it is impossible to tell whether the instructors placed Regulus at Phase 28 or due to pass into Phase 28. However, the fated quality of the very primary phase 28 is evident in "At 28 war enforced", and was reflected in the characterization of the 12th gyre of history (26-27-28) in A Vision A 213–15 (see also "WBY tells Stephen Spender of the Coming Times").

Yes  within 5
Always brings war first then the construction of military power
It affected France before — long ago — 1790
Always exhausted — no time for military construction
β Tauri [Gemini] 2120 — exactly at 22
Find out exact degrees ruling capital towns
I am
I am going now

One final marking (or fiduciary) star is given before Artemidor leaves: beta Tauri (El Nath) is placed at 21°20 Gemini and exactly at Phase 22.
There are a few more lines of script before the session ended (see the PDF of the original YVP transcription).

Focus on the Alignment of Zodiac and Phases

To summarize the information about the zodiac and the phases of the moon from these scripts.

1. All the references are to tropical zodiac, but often relate to fixed stars and to an equinox point, which appears to refer to the shift entailed by the Precession of the Equinoxes.
a. The script about 1790 refers to "place of Equinox 22°20".
b. Each of the year charts in George Yeats's hand marks a point in late Pisces
1790: 24°32',
1916: 22°15',
1919: 22°.

2. All the references to phases are related to the positions of planets at a particular date or to fixed stars.
a. Uranus, in 1916, when at 18° Aquarius, is said to be "exactly at [Phase] 11".
b. [problematic: there is a region called ?Sirius from 15–20 ?Aquarius associated with Phase 12.]
c. Beta Tauri-El Nath's position at 21°20' Gemini (position 1918/19) is said to be "exactly at" Phase] 22 (start? centre? or just aligned?).
d. Jupiter's passage through late Gemini and early Cancer is said to correspond to Phase 22.
e. Gamma Geminorum-Alhena's position at 8° 2' Cancer (position 1919) is close to Phase 23.
f. Alpha Geminorum-Castor at 19° 3' Cancer and beta Geminorum-Pollux at 22° 3' Cancer (positions 1919) are said to be close to Phase 24.
g. [uncertain: Regulus at 28°27' Leo (1919) may be close to Phase 28.]
1. The actual equinoctial point is, by definition, tropical 0° Aries and remains unchanged. Therefore, what would shift is either where that point falls in the sidereal zodiac (usually 10–5° Pisces in recent centuries) OR the starting point of sidereal Aries (by common consent somewhere between 20–25° Aries) . 
a. Logically this would mean that tropical 0° Aries, the equinox point, is the same as 22° 20' of sidereal Pisces (or Aries). 
b. If the values are taken as accurate, rather than differing approximations, the fact that, with the passage of the years, the point is moving backwards would be consistent with its being related to a sidereal point or fixed star. The shift is rather fast, though, as the difference between 1790 and 1916 is 2° 17', and if it were related to the equinoxes it should be 1° 45'.
It seems that this point was marked out in order for the Yeatses to align it with Phase 15 on the lunar chart in some way. 
Yeats himself, however, seems to confuse or conflate various elements when he writes about the equinox and precession in A Vision (both A and B). If we take not the actual Equinoctial Point but the fixed star or its equivalent that is considered to mark the beginning of sidereal Aries, when 0°Aries (tropical) has slipped back to, for example, 5° Pisces (sidereal), then 0°Aries (sidereal) aligns with 25°Aries (tropical). As time went on and as the equinox slipped back in relation to the stars, the 0°Aries (sid) would progress to 26°Aries (trop), then 27° and so on. This does not square with (b), where the values are decreasing with time, but it does fit the arrangement of the zodiac signs in the diagram on page 13 of AVA.*

* Though it is unexlpained in AVA, in AVB that we are told that "the sign of Aries between Phases 18 and 19" (together with the label "Head") refers to the position of "the Vernal Equinox at the central moment of the next religious era", ca. 3300CE (AVB 254) However, the diagram on AVB 81 has been changed to show the zodiac running in the opposite direction (clockwise; see "Spot the Difference"). 
A Vision A, 13. Aries is placed between Phases 18 and 19, but at the current date would
align with Phase 17. This orientation, with South and Phase 15 at the top, is not the most
widely used, but may well reflect the practice of placing South at the top with the charts.

2. With these markers, whether planets or stars, even when the word "exactly" is used, it is unclear where they fall with respect to the phase mentioned—the beginning or centre or just somewhere within the range? Nor is it clear whether Yeats is using an equal division of the phases (with each phase roughly 12° 51') or assigning Phases 1, 8, 15, and 22 a full 30° each, while limiting the others to 10°.
    As with the various division methods used by those trying to make A Vision more astrological (see "Astrology of A Vision III"), although the principles are very different, in some sectors the differences are not huge, though they obviously affect the transitions and borderline cases. Given the evidence assembled above, a case could be made for equal divisions or for 4 large and 24 smaller divisions. A case can also be made for aligning the start of Phase 15 with the point indicated by George Yeats, or placing that at the centre of Phase 15. The diagram below, though confusing at first sight, includes the four basic alternatives for comparison.
Multiple wheels:
The inner,  ring, with the zodiac symbols, is the tropical zodiac, and the red arrow marks the approximate point placed by GY in her charts. The planets mentioned in particular connections are inside this.
The second ring with the zodiac's Latin names is the sidereal zodiac;
and between the two are the "fixed stars" mentioned in the script.
The third ring (red) has 28 equal phases, with the centre of Phase 15 aligned with GY's marker
The fourth ring (blue) is also 28 equal phases, with the start of Phase 15 aligned with GY's marker.
The fifth ring (green) has the four cardinal phases allotted 30 degrees and the other 24 phases 10 degrees each, the centre of Phase 15 aligned with GY's marker
The outer ring (yellow) has the unequal division but with the start of Phase 15 aligned with GY's marker.

I have given the main alternatives so that all readers can make their own minds up, but on balance I favour the second, blue ring: the equal divisions with the point at 22° Pisces (or thereabouts) as the start of Phase 15. This seems to fit the descriptions and evidence best. El Nath is placed right at the beginning of Phase 22, Alhena aligns with Phase 23, while Castor and Pollux are clearly aligned with Phase 24, as in the reference to the moon's conjunction with them in the 1918 chart. Uranus's position at 18 Aquarius is close enough to Phase 11, though also overlaps with 12, linked with Venus's passage through the problematic "Sirius" region.
All this actually ends up very much with the actual equinox point (0° Aries of the tropical zodiac) close to the middle of Phase 15, which is one of the alignments that Yeats mentions (unfortunately, he is not consistent). 
The alignment of zodiac and moon phases that seems to fit best
with the automatic script of 23 February 1918.


Too long, didn't read

The exchanges in the automatic scripts in February 1918 and the extant charts drawn up by George Yeats seem to indicate that astrologically, for mundane questions, there was a fixed alignment of the zodiac with the phases of the moon, in contrast with the flexible alignment proposed for individuals and their natal charts. The exchanges indicate a strong sidereal element, referring repeatedly to fixed stars and the equinoxes, though expressed in terms of the tropical zodiac. These appera to indicate that the Yeatses aligned the start of Phase 15 with a point between 21° and 25° Pisces, such that the start of Phase 22 aligns with a point between 21° and 23° Gemini.

Does any of this appear in A Vision?

There is no evidence of the Yeatses pursuing this scheme any further in terms of incorporating astrology into their system or vice versa, so there is little to go on. However, it does correspond to the assignment of the four points marked with the symbols of Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn, “the cardinal signs,” on AVB 81, CW14 60 (cf. AVA 13, CW13 14). The mid-point between Phases 18 and 19 would correspond to 15° Taurus, and the notional first star of sidereal Aries will reach that point at some date around 3150CE, “the central moment of the next religious era,” as explained on AVB 254 (CW14 186), though not, in this arrangement, the position of the Vernal Equinox itself, which stays at Phase 15.