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 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
R AR [squiggly lines]—give me circles difficult to begin writing—make them to get current clear
1790 at S
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
*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, alt
hough 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 lovein 1917 no planets in [Gemini] only F[ixed] S[tars]
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
[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
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
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
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. |
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
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.|
[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—
these countries will be so busy reconstructing within themselves that
one cannot give a world horoscope for 1919 because they are so to say
Regulus passing into Virgo
At 28 war enforced
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 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.
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
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
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
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.
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.