Martha Gellhorn – one of the 20th Century greats



‘Love and Ruin’ is a new novel about Martha Gellhorn, the writer and war correspondent, and her relationship with Ernest Hemingway which sparked up during the Spanish Civil War and led to a brief marriage (his fourth).  She was a major figure in the 20th Century with an instinct for being at the centre of events, reporting on the devastating and heart-rending effects of the US Depression in the 1930s; and later on virtually every major world conflict that took place during her 60-year career. Her relationship with Hemingway was always fraught and she refused to be tied down by him, embarking through her life on multiple liaisons.

Born 8 November 1905 in St Louis Missouri (no time sadly), with a suffragette mother and an unbending medical father, she was a Sun Scorpio with a Taurus Moon – emotionally intense, stubborn but always ambivalent about what she wanted. She had the generational, highly-strung Uranus in Capricorn opposition Neptune squaring onto a feisty, impulsive and pro-active Mars in Libra, drawing her into high-risk situations. Her Neptune Uranus was also trine/sextile her Sun.

Her Mars was further emphasised being widely conjunct Mercury in fair-minded Libra and both being in a courageous, high-adrenaline and probably quite ruthless trine to Pluto North Node in Gemini. The North Node is associated with the zeitgeist or spirit of the times and she’d be drawn to the darker side with Pluto Mars. Oddly enough for someone attracted to danger she had only one Fire sign – Saturn in self-reliant Aries – so wouldn’t be as trusting about her survival as her lifestyle suggested.

Her Venus in Libra opposed Saturn and squared Uranus so she’d be constantly searching and never finding what she wanted emotionally.

She was adamant in later years that she wouldn’t talk about Hemingway since she didn’t want to be ‘a footnote’ in his life. She was very much her own woman.

Born 21 July 1899 8am Oak Park, Illinois, he was a Cancer with a Capricorn Moon so at a simplistic level it wasn’t a bad match. Her Sun was in his 3rd for intellectual rapport and her Jupiter was conjunct his Virgo Ascendant so she’d brighten his life. But her defensive and independent Saturn was on the cusp of his 8th and square his Moon, and her Uranus was conjunct his Moon and opposition his Venus for an erratic mix.

Their relationship chart was adventurous with a composite Mars Uranus in a hard-edged trine to Saturn, so would do well in risky situations. But the composite Sun squared an unstable, constantly-changing Uranus opposition Pluto. Passion with the composite Venus sextile Pluto, but not for long with Venus trine Uranus.

Her leaving-a-legacy-for-history was heavily aspected; as was her writer’s 21H.

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