Moira Woods was a campaigning firebrand who emerged from a troubled childhood to spearhead advances in women’s health and oversaw Europe’s first sexual assault treatment clinic in Ireland. She led a hectic, varied and passionate life – all of which is perfectly portrayed in her chart.
She was born 26 September 1934 in London with a colonial civil servant father and a difficult mother, moving constantly abroad with his postings, eventually ending up in various boarding schools from which she was expelled. She was sent to live with her father in Kenya aged 15 and went on to study medicine at Trinity College Dublin, at 16, winning awards for work in psychiatry and surgery while studying.
She ended up in a 20-year relationship with Cathal Goulding, the former chief of staff for the IRA; protested the Vietnam War, posed as a judge while conducting a mock trial of Richard Nixon; during the Troubles she sat in a church pew and set her coat alight in defiance of Catholic violence. And she co-founded the Irish Women’s Liberation Movement. By this time she had six children whom she regularly took on marches.
She opened the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre in 1979, Ireland’s first menopause clinic in 1980 and became director of Europe’s first dedicated sexual assault treatment unit for both women and children in Dublin in 1985. She was found guilty in 2002 of misdiagnosing the sexual abuse of children in three families though many colleagues thought the conviction unfounded. After the hearing she moved to Tuscany and for 26 years lived with an Italian-American partner, who shared her love of cooking, before returning to Ireland in 2021.
An obituary said: “Woods was outspoken, irreverent and dismissive of societal norms — though she still enjoyed the finer things in life, such as haute cuisine and designer clothes.”
She had a Libra Sun inconjunct wayward Uranus. But there were two configurations in her chart that really define her. One was an adventurous, risk-taking and enthusiastic Jupiter Mercury in Libra opposition Uranus in a rebellious/revolutionary square to a controlling Pluto. Such a Pluto would make her run into resistance and she’d be ahead of her time with some of her thinking which would arouse resistance. But she was influential and Jupiter Pluto would give her the self-assurance to push ahead.
The other is a Mars in Leo opposition Saturn possibly square a Taurus Moon. It would certainly indicate experience of an unkind and unfair mother, breeding a simmering anger in her about injustice. She turned her ‘victimised’ child into a helper of those blighted by life with the aid of her pushily confident Jupiter Pluto. Her North Node in Aquarius would seek a cause to focus her energy on.
Intriguing woman – and in Ireland of all places.
Astrologically she is interesting since she turned round what could have been a problematic chart and made best use of the difficult aspects.
Her leaving-a-legacy 17th harmonic was strong linking together Mars Pluto (= rape) plus Venus plus Saturn.