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William Butler Yeats And His Occult Fascination

Although the poet William Butler Yeats is known for writing exquisite poetry, he had a darker side devoted to incessant dabbling in the occult. While enrolled as an art student at the Metropolitan School of Art in Dublin, Ireland, Yeats became fascinated with occultism. His fascination did not dwell on the things pertaining to God. Instead, Yeats was drawn to spirits of the dead and esoteric teachings devoted to the supernatural. His obsession with black magic was even too much for Madame Helena Blavatsky, the founder of the Theosophical Society. After joining the well-known organization dedicated to seeking spiritual answers to life’s perplexing problems via the occult, Yeats was banned. However, some people contend that Yeats resigned.

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Yeats continued to focus his spiritual endeavors on occult practices. Yeats and his wife became ardent fans of the process known as automatic writing in which spirits from the other side supposedly force the human hand to write words. It is debatable whether automatic writing is real or imaginary. However, the imagination wonders whether Yeats actually wrote his own poems or if they were written by spirits.

In 1890, Yeats joined the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, an organization that virtually worshiped the devil. In fact, the motto was “Demon Est Deus Inversus,” which translates from Latin into the English language as the “Devil is God Inverted.” It is no wonder that the author C.S. Lewis, who became one of the most respected authors of Christian apologetics, did not have a favorable impression upon meeting Yeats. In fact, historical documents reveal that Lewis admonished Yeats by informing him that he could not endorse the theory of reincarnation, a belief Yeats had embraced for many years. In spite of his enthusiastic appreciation of beliefs that directly oppose Christian tenets, Yeats wrote captivating poems.

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