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W. B. Yeats's A VisionExplications and Contexts$
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Neil Mann, Matthew Gibson, and Claire Nally

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780983533924

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780983533924.001.0001

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Shifting Sands

Shifting Sands

Dancing the Horoscope in the Vision Papers

(p.194) Shifting Sands
W. B. Yeats's A Vision

Colin McDowell

Liverpool University Press

Although the final versions of A Vision contain little traditional astrology, the automatic script and drafts contained in W. B. Yeats’s Vision Papers include several areas where the Yeatses attempted to incorporate astrological elements into the system. This essay seeks to elucidate three areas in particular:  the division of the planets in the individual horoscope according to the primary and antithetical tinctures, the alignment of the horoscope with the phases of the moon using the Yeatsian Will and astrological ascendant, and the relationship between the planets and the Moments of Crisis. The attempts by some modern astrologers to fit the Yeatses’ scheme to the cycles of the physical sun and moon are briefly considered, and the paper concludes with suggestions as to the wider implications of the astrological elements explored by the Yeatses in the script and those of the final iteration of the system of A Vision in general.

Keywords:   astrological elements, A Vision, horoscope, moments of crisis, phases of the moon, primary and antithetical tinctures, Vision Papers, W B Yeats

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