Sinead O’Connor – a haunting voice in a tortured life – a trailblazer for Ireland

The sad but not unexpected death of Sinead O’Connor has brought a raft of poignant accolades –  “Supremely gifted, terrifyingly vulnerable and hilarious – even at her bleakest she’d make you laugh.” “A heroic talent who spoke truth to power – and found redemption in art. Her music made everything worthwhile.” “A complicated, sensitive, erratic woman from a very difficult, abusive background, who led a life beset by controversy, confrontation, mental health problems and terrible personal tragedies.” “ She was a volatile person, passionate, intelligent, contrarian.”

  She was born 8 December 1966 in Dublin with no verified birth time, with a kleptomaniac mother who abused her physically and sexually about which she spoke openly. She had issues with the Catholic Church and nearly wrecked her career by tearing up the Pope’s photograph at one point. She compared the Ireland she grew up in to Iran: “a theocracy, slightly less potent but the same situation.” She ricocheted through several marriages, had four children, became a priest and then converted to Islam and spent a good deal of time in mental hospitals with a bipolar diagnosis with two previous suicide attempts. She never recovered from the suicide of one of her sons, aged 17 last year.  

 “A reputation as a crazy self-destructive person pursued her down decades of erratic and polarising behaviour, whether declaring then retracting lesbianism or being ordained as a renegade Catholic priest whilst campaigning against sexual abuse in the church, then converting to Islam.”

  She had the rebellious, chaotic Uranus Pluto in Virgo of the mid 1960s – it’s energy so visibly lived out it must have been on the angles of her chart or in her 8th house. It opposed Saturn in Pisces and Chiron square an outspoken Sagittarius Sun. Her Chiron conjunct Saturn and opposition Pluto and Uranus would have made her psychic wounds deep. Depression, a grinding sense of betrayal, grief and loss of power would come from Chiron Pluto. Chiron Saturn hints at fear, deep insecurity, an over-compensation in work to stave off sorrow.

  Her Taurus North Node in a different way hints at a turbulent life searching for peace and different values. The recent May Lunar Eclipse was exactly conjunct her South Node.

   Her Mars was sparsely aspected being only sextile Jupiter which would make her  overly-energetic and uncompromising.

  Her Moon was late Libra or Scorpio and the latter sounds more likely.

Her singing touched the hearts of many and her courage.

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‘The huge outpouring in the Irish Republic since the death of Sinéad O’Connor reflects a late realisation that she helped the country confront its own trauma, writes Una Mullally.’

‘She was part of a generation intent on dragging Ireland out of theocratic oppression, and towards a sense of empathy and liberation.’

‘O’Connor was a lighthouse for those who felt adrift in Irish society. She offered a new moral compass beyond the lie of societal piety, one that pointed towards an uncharted direction of authenticity.’

‘O’Connor had been right all along, and everyone knew it. As Ireland became a more secular country, she was one of the leading voices for confronting the Catholic Church while maintaining a personal spirituality.’

‘In recent days, people have recalled her attendance at reproductive rights marches in the early 1990s and her kindness towards the Traveller community, refugees, trans rights organisations, and the Dublin Aids Alliance.’

  Her rebellious revolutionary, status-quo-upsetting Uranus Pluto falls in the Ireland 4th – 6 December 1922 5pm Dublin as she set about uprooting the country from its reactionary past. Her Saturn Chiron fell in the Ireland 10th conjunct their South Node as her pain and anguish set the country on a new road, pushing it into unfamiliar territory and away from old damaging securities.   

16 thoughts on “Sinead O’Connor – a haunting voice in a tortured life – a trailblazer for Ireland

  1. The wonderful writer James Lee Burke once wrote: “Those who create history are often ignored in their own era.”

    A perfect summary of Sinead. I suspect she would be nodding her head in agreement, wherever she is now.

    The Lioness has found eternal peace.

  2. Her solar chart alone highlights the major aspects of her life: Uranus – Pluto in 10th, Saturn – Chiron for a wounded, sacrificial 4th (& related to patriarchy?). Sun – Venus in the first & Sag, outspoken and beautiful. The whole in a T-square. Her musical Neptune in the 12th as both an escape and expression (conj Mercury), aspecting the other planets in the T-square.

    I did not know her music but have been reading about her life with great sadness and horror at what she endured, whether from her mother or music fans who shunned her for speaking the truth. (At a Dylan concert, no less, would have thought they’d be cooler than that…)
    Coincidentally a friend of Irish heritage had just written to me about how women could be the ones perpetuating violence – physical or psychological – on their own daughters.

    But understandably the worst cross to bear was her son’s suicide (Lilith in the fifth – one of the worst positions for it according to one astrologer)

    May Sinead truly rest in peace.

  3. An unforgettable figure for the era following the fall of the Berlin Wall where everything seemed possible and world peace was on the horizon.

    Her chart echoes the era of change in the late 60s including the Cultural Revolution in China which laid the groundwork for our current order. So much of her emotional struggle can be seen in this chart and the Saturn, Uranus, Pluto lineup with her personal planets makes her life a channel for the discontent and unprecedented change felt by so many of her generation.

    Radical economics, identity politics, the search for self expression and personal truth on the stage of a rapidly globalising world make her battle against the powers that be seem an almost superhuman struggle. Perhaps someone had to stand up and make an example for what so many others were feeling? Like a moth into the flame she was eventually consumed by an impossible agenda. Probably she was aware of a deeper peace inside and beyond the struggle of life, and perhaps now free of every day concerns she has been able to grasp that essence more completely!?

  4. Her t-square of Saturn opp Uranus both square Venus would have been emotionally draining, isolating and heart breaking at times. Neptune has been activating the t-square over the past two years – not an easy time. You could always feel her anguish in her music.

  5. Amazingly I only just watched this documentary two weeks ago ( highly recommend it) and thought how much I didn’t know about her life. Agree with JP, Sinead was ahead of her time in so many ways. activism being one. What she she stood up for in so many areas where few dared to. With little support. I wont spoil the doco but there is a scene in it that after what I occurred. Who wouldn’t be affected by that. some people can be beyond cruel to others.
    Watch and learn another side to Sinead, truly inspiring
    For those in Australia the doco is on SBS

  6. Thank you Marjorie. I was born in the first week of August of 1966 and I have struggled with depression along with deep psychic wounds like Ms. O’Connor. I empathize with her struggles because my life has been messy at times. I believe we choose our path in this life before we come here. But in dark and painful times, I do wonder what the hell I was thinking. Anyway, I hope Ms. O’Connor is at peace now. Thank you for your work Marjorie.

  7. I think it’s difficult that most commentators focus on her mental health when really Sinead is synonymous with profound activism and an incredible, unparalleled catalogue of multi-genre music. I grew up in Ireland and left in the early 90s and it’s hard to imagine what life was like there then. Sinead was an inspiration to a whole generation of people and campaigned on many social causes (abortion, women’s rights, gay rights) well ahead of them being legal or fashionable- I saw her perform at a World AIDS Day benefit in 1990 in Dublin when families were shunning their sick sons and daughters (heroin was a big problem then). Sinead was the bravest of the brave and was totally unsupported by Ireland, the music industry and the wider world. She, along with other incredible women like Mary Robinson and Veronica Guerin will be remembered as a major driver of social change in Ireland. May those who turned their back on her hang theirs heads in shame. Heaven truly has gained an Angel.

  8. I rectified her birth time to 2:51:49 PM, Ascendant 22Taurus37. Venus elevated
    gives singer and Neptune on the Dsc gives music. Venus rules her Taurus Asc,
    common for singers. In numerology #22 gives fame, immortality and at death
    this number shows up as “death of a famous person.”
    Below is her rectified natal in a triwheel with solar arcs and transits at death.

  9. Her corpse is barely cold – couldnt this wait? Sometimes I think we as astrologers lack profound respect and disturb their transition with our digging into their psyches.

  10. Marjorie
    What do you think about the Great Attractor (14 deg Sagittarius) and the Galactic Centre (27 deg Sagittarius), in aspect? Do they make the native’s experiences more intense? She has conjunctions to them.

  11. An icon for founding oneself in turbulent times. She traced the move of Ireland itself from a backwater dominated by an old religion and old mores into the confusing world in which we now live in.
    So much pain to be expressed in musical terms, the power of art and music to give a way forward to deal with each other.

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