Silver Apples of the Moon Meaning – Yeats Song of Wandering Aengus

On the journey of self discovery shared here through The Song of Wandering Aengus poem by W. B. Yeats, the ultimate discovery is the union of different but complementary aspects of yourself.

The plucking (and eating) of the silver apples of the moon and the golden apples of the sun is the culmination of this journey of self-discovery. It is the mystical union of the feminine (silver apples) and masculine (golden apples).

This is an inner union.

Do not take the idea that silver (feminine) is less than gold (masculine). Each is needed. One is not greater than the other. Wisdom teachings of all traditions recognize other ways of viewing this symbolic and experiential unity.

  • The Personal with the Universal.
  • Time with Eternity.
  • The Limited with the Boundless.


If this understanding of the meaning of the line “Silver apples of the moon and golden apples of the sun,” remains only another piece of intellectual information then you will remain as a guest on this dark earth (The Holy Longing – Goethe).

Let the invitation from the poem The Song of Wandering Aengus be a guide to your becoming all you are created to be.

Here is a poem about what happens when you eventually find the glimmering girl with apple blossoms in her hair.

The Holy Longing
poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Tell a wise person, or else keep silent
because the mass man will mock it right away.
I praise what is truly alive,
what longs to be burned to death.

In the calm water of the love-nights,
where you were begotten, where you have begotten,
a strange feeling comes over you,
when you see the silent candle burning.

Now you are no longer caught in the obsession with darkness,
and a desire for higher love-making sweeps you upward.

Distance does not make you falter.
Now, arriving in magic, flying,
and finally, insane for the light,
you are the butterfly and you are gone.

And so long as you haven’t experienced this: to die and so to grow,
you are only a troubled guest on the dark earth.

Translated from the German by Robert Bly

The Silver Apples of the Moon – The Return to Love

How to Figure Out What to Do with Your Life

The Lover and the Beloved go to the sacred apple trees.

Apples symbolize Love. Eating of the apples is the symbol of the Return to Love.

It is the direct experience of the union of the Divine Feminine – silver apples of the moon– with the Divine Masculine – the golden apples of the sun. Gold here is not higher or less than silver.

Metaphorically speaking, you return to the Garden of Eden.

This is not a place. Neither is it a place you ever left. Neither was it a fall other than a falling upward into the KNOWING of Love in a more expansive way.

How to Figure Out What to Do with Your Life

Wandering Aengus and the glimmering girl pluck the apples until time and times are done. Here is a major key at the end of the journey that never began and never ends.

It is the experience of the end of time.

This ending of time is the only authentic way to have the time of your life. The end of time is not to be equated with the end of the physical world. Those who preach the end of the world as some kind of last Judgement Day when God visits his wrath on the non-chosen are, to put it mildly, deluded.

I can say one thing about those who teach such nonsense is that they can never have experienced the Timeless within time. Otherwise, they could not declare the ignorance they profess. This kind of declaration comes from the ego – the sense of the personal self that takes the words of the transcendental literally.

Time is construct, in relativity every thing flows, no past or present, only the now.”― Kate Atkinson, Life After Life

When the prophets in the Bible spoke about the end of the world they are referring not to the end of the Earth (which will eventually die when the Sun dies) but the more extra-ordinary experience of the end of time in the individual’s mind and the collective consciousness of humanity.

Time – The Prison of the Personal Mind

when time and times are done

Dream of the Prisoner by Moritz von Schwind

Time does not exist other than as a construct of the human mind. It happens to be a useful construct in many ways although in Western culture it becomes more and more of a prison. The only time there is is the present moment.

The tick-tick-tick of time shuts out eternity, and we live in the field of time. - Joseph Campbell Click To Tweet

It is the personal mind that creates the illusion of time. It divides time into the past, the present, and the future.

The past can only ever be thought about in the present. I can only think about the future in the present. When the future arrives, it will arrive at the never-ending present moment.

Being Tied to Time.

till time and times are done the silver apples of the moon

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

When time and times are done you will be silent. You will stop thinking.

When you can stop thinking then you experience true peace of mind. Peace of mind is never of the personal mind. It arises when sense of the separate person is in the background.

The voice in your head that ties you to time and to suffering will cease. You will experience a peace that passeth understanding because there is no one who is looking to understand it.

You will live as a Timeless Presence.

When you need to think then you will do so. Mostly you won’t need to because Universal Intelligence is acting through you and as you. You live in the two worlds of time and the Timeless.

To know the timeless is to enter into the world of bliss. You are the ancient one, the timeless one, the eternal one. So no need to be worried about small things, no need to be too concerned about mundane things. – Osho

The difference is that for those who have eaten of the silver apples of the moon and the golden apples of the sun, their primary dimension is that of the Timeless. In the Western world, time becomes an experience of poverty.

Having the Time of Your Life

and pluck till time and times are done.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

To experience the REAL time of your life is having the ability to abide within the Timeless. In Ireland this is referred to as Tir Na Nog time. It is where you live as one of the Forever Young.

Then you will not think that time is the primary reality.

Is this the real life, is this just fantasy. Caught in a landslide no escape from reality – Bohemian Rapsody – Queen.

Living outside of time is the real way to live creatively and expansively. This is because you are living as Creation intended and not from the dimension of the limited persona or mask. You still have a personality but it is animated from Presence.

You feel so alive.

The silver apples of the moon represent the experience of the Divine Feminine.

The soul is feminine before God, waiting in a state of surrender for the Beloved to come. – Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

The golden apples of the sun represent the Divine Masculine. When you, metaphorically speaking, pluck the silver apples of the moon, the golden apples of the sun these energies are unified within you.

You experience the sacred marriage of opposites. You no longer live from the dualistic mind that is always in opposition. The two sides of the brain are in harmony.

And They Lived Happily Ever After

the golden apples of the sun

You now live from non-duality, which is the KNOWING of union. You have eaten of the fruit of the Tree of Life. You return to Eden.

This is the real meaning of the phrase that ends many fairy tales, “And they lived happily ever after.” This is not the happily ever after of a romantic relationship within the boundary of time.

Time, by its very nature, excludes ever after because time cannot encompass the ever but only the after – the past. Only the experience of the Timeless, the eternal’ can encompass that which has no beginning or end.

When you know this as your experience you have discovered your Essential Self. You will KNOW what it is to live happily ever after.

Wandering Aengus reaches the end of the journey in time that never began or ends in the Timeless. He has realized what it is to be a true human being – one who lives in the boundary of time and the Timeless.

This is the individual who lives in the boundary of the personal while KNOWING they are arising from the Boundlessness of the non-personal.

When the form of the body, that is time bound, ends Wandering Aengus knows that he still is.

He is that which is never born and thus never dies. He has taken the journey of Companioning the Greatness of which he is a part, but never apart from. He has discovered:-

The Secret of Secrets is  inside me again. – Anna Akhmatova from A Land not Mine

Such is the journey of self discovery beyond the limited idea of the personal self.

Song of Wandering Aengus Reflections

For a fuller understanding of how the Song of Wandering Aengus may become  A Guide to The Journey of Self Discovery, I share a list of twelve steps on the journey.

  1. I went out to the hazel wood because a fire was in my head – Finding Inspiration for the Journey
  2. And picked and peeled a hazel wand and tied a berry to a thread – Practicing Sacred Intention
  3. And when white moths were on the wing and moth like stars were flickering out – Entering the Twilight Zone.
  4. I through the berry in a stream and caught a little silver trout – Going Fishing for the Gift of Transformation.
  5. When I had laid it on the floor and bent to blow the fire aflame – Getting Ready for Transformation.
  6. Something rustled on the floor and someone called me by my name – Experiencing the Breakthrough.
  7. It had become a glimmering girl with apple blossom in her hair – Meeting with the Transcendent.
  8. Who called me by my name and ran and faded through the brightening air – Losing the Transcendent.
  9. Now I am old with wandering through hollow lands and hilly lands – Leaving the Ordinary World.
  10. I will find out where she has gone and kiss her lips and take her hand – The Search and the Road of Trials.
  11. And walk among long dappled grass and pluck till time and times are done – Overcoming Time.
  12. The Silver apples of the moon the Golden apples of the sun – The Sacred Marriage and Return.
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