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  • Writer's picturePeggy O'Donnell

First Meeting

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

William Butler Yeats as a young man

One of the ways to know if a first meeting of two people will develop into a long term relationship is to look and see if one person's progressed planets or angles of the chart are contacting the natal planets or angles of the other person. This method is quite uncanny in its accuracy.

Two people who formed a long and complex relationship over 30 years, that of author and muse, W.B. Yeats and Maud Gonne, illustrate this point. They met on January 30, 1889 in Bedford Park, London. On that day, Yeat's progressed moon (which symbolizes women in the chart) was 29 degrees Sagittarius 38 minutes. The natal Sun of Maud Gonne was 29 degrees Sagittarius 40 minutes. This is the exact conjunction of the Sun and the Moon, the male and the female. Richard Ellman, a biographer of Yeats, describes in his biography of the poet titled *The Man and the Mask* the effect of the meeting upon Yeats as *a meeting which reverberated in his life like the sound of a Burmese gong in the middle of a tent.*

Maud Gonne was an English born wealthy woman who fought for the rights of Irish peasants. She was 6 feet tall and was reputed to have been the most beautiful woman in Ireland. Neptune in the 10th often confers that kind of heart stopping glamour, and her Neptune was trine to Venus in Sagittarius.

Yeats fell instantly in love with Gonne and this passion lasted for almost 30 years, a Saturn cycle in the chart of Yeats. Saturn was at 17 Leo when he met her, transiting his 7th house and opposite to his moon in Aquarius (idealism) in the first house. Yeats repeatedly proposed to marriage to Gonne over the course of the next 28 years. His hopes were dashed when she married John MacBride, an Irish revolutionary, on Feb. 21, 1903, when Saturn was in his first house, and halfway through the Saturn cycle that started when he met Gonne, but likely rekindled when MacBride and Gonne divorced quickly. MacBride was abusive. While Yeats continued to pine, he wrote some of the most beautiful love poetry ever penned.

With Mars in the 7th square to Pluto and trine to Neptune, Yeats was really lovesick when it came to Gonne. His last proposal to her was right before his marriage in October of 2017. He also proposed to her daughter Iseult around the same time. Both women turned him down.

When Yeats finally married Georgie Hydes Lee he was 52 and Saturn was at 13 Leo, almost completing the cycle that started when he met Maud Gonne almost 29 years before.

WB Yeats did not have an easy chart for marriage. He had Moon in Aquarius in the first house oppose to Mars in Leo in the 7th, square to an exact Venus Pluto conjunction in the third house. Yeats studied astrology at the Astrological Lodge in London, but the existence of Pluto was not known at that time. He did possess a great chart for a writer, with Sun in Gemini conjunct Uranus in the 5th house and Mercury in Gemini in the third house, conjunct the nadir. Mars in Leo is also very creative, and is trine to Neptune.

Yeats had Sun in Gemini oppose to Jupiter in Sagittarius, and Maud Gonne had Sun in Sagittarius conjunct the Jupiter in the chart of Yeats, and Moon in Gemini conjunct his Sun and Uranus in the 5th house. Her moon conjunct Uranus gives her the independence (unusual for women at that time) to match his Sun conjunct Uranus with Aquarius rise and Moon in Aquarius. So there was an astrological basis for the attraction, and she did string him along. They did meet *on the astral plane*, which Gonne preferred to being his lover on the physical plane. She was not averse to sex in general, as she had two illegitmate children with a Frenchman who was also interested in fighting against the British empire.

Nor did Maud Gonne have an easy chart for marriage, born at the full moon with Uranus involved in the opposition. Her Venus in Sagittarius was quincunx to Pluto and to the Ascendant, so the focal point of a yod. It seems that Venus as the focal point of a yod can cause problems in the love life, requiring work to integrate the disparate energies.

Maud Gonne was a great fighter for the impoverished in Ireland and an inspiration to two winners of the Nobel Prize, Yeats for literature in 1923, and her son Sean MacBride in 1974 for peace and the fight against injustice.

You can read some of the poetry of Yeats which is now in the public domain here.

Maud Gonne as a young woman
Maud Gonne

horoscope of Maud Gonne

Horoscope of William Butler Yeats

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