The 18 Stages coincide with the 18 columns of the Periodic table.
Process, cycle of life
The eighteen stages are stages in a cycle. Each cycle consists of the beginning of a project, the successful accomplishment of this project and then its eventual decline and final breakdown. It describes the rise, the success and the fall of any undertaking, project, business or kingdom. The stages can be seen as separate moments fixed in time in this overall process. It is as if the process of life and evolution is digital instead of analogous.
The Phases represent more a kind of perception and feeling. The Stages have more the aspect of action. They represent how the situation has to be handled. There is also a perception connected to it. But the action aspect is the strongest in the Stages.