Pluto & Sinead O’Connor

The (recently) late Sinead O’Connor had big-time plutonic vibe from birth and she went with it. Pluto was also the star astrological player in her career-defining, future-determining 1992 stunt, when the musician ripped up a picture of the then Pope on live television.

It’s hard to imagine someone as brave and uncompromising rising in the entertainment industry this century – she’d be ‘managed’ and her various stances spun into wokewashing or ESG piffle.

O’Connor’s birth Pluto was conjunct Uranus, near Mars and the Midheaven, opposing her Saturn, Chiron, Lilith + asteroid Magdalena and sharply square her Sun + Venus in Sagittarius.

It was also the ruler of her magnificent Mercury-Neptune conjunction in the 12th house, reflecting the musician’s spectacular voice, raw compassion and artistry.

If you were born before 1980, you’ll probably remember the year she got big because her cover of Prince’s Nothing Compares 2 U was everywhere in the early 90s. For me it was most memorably played literally on repeat by a neighboring Love Zombie with the hots for my then boyfriend. I preferred the funk.

Then on October 3 1992, Sinead O’Connor’s 28 seconds of utterly unscripted live Pluto-vision live-streamed into the homes of millions.

Saturday Night Live, the show on which she ripped up a picture of the then pope in a statement against church-sanctioned child abuse, had 13 million viewers in the USA at the time, it was syndicated around the world and of course, every news channel replayed the footage.  Collective indignation is always a ratings winner but pre-internet? Gold.

Mars was rising and opposite Uranus in Capricorn. It was an archetypal Mars-Uranus disruption but it also exact squared the Libra Sun/Sinead O’Connor’s natal Mars/Midheaven. She became a lightning rod for global loathing from a significant sector of the population as well as the poster girl for career sabotage.

Watching it again now, her nerve and audacity are even more striking but I’m struck by the spell-like ritual nature of the performance.

Pluto was conjunct her Mercury-Neptune at the time, a fantastic transit for plutonic muck-raking, truth-talking and catharsis but not normally optimal for live television appearances. Still, she did it and wore the consequences.

 In an echo of her sadly abusive childhood, she was shunned by her showbiz peers. Not only that, many spoke out against Sinead at a time when people were burning effigies of her or performatively destroying her albums.

Even the supposedly ‘transgressive’ (and certainly bold) Leo Madonna, whose 1990 Blonde Ambition tour had been called out by the Pope (and nearly banned) for blasphemy, condemned the action.

O’Connor wrote in her autobiography Rememberings that nobody spoke to her afterward. When I walk backstage, literally not a human being is in sight. All doors have closed. Everyone has vanished. Including my own manager, who locks himself in his room for three days and unplugs his phone.”

The stunt had a seismic effect on her career and it arguably never recovered. Yet in classic triple-Saggo style she later told a reporter that she felt the opposite to be true:

“I feel that having a number-one record derailed my career and my tearing the photo put me back on the right track. I had to make my living performing live again. And that’s what I was born for. I wasn’t born to be a pop star.”

“I could just be me. Do what I love. Be imperfect. Be mad, even. Anything.” 

Continued Below…

Unfortunately she was dealing with some mental health issues, along with weed addiction and those factors, along with her often perfectly reasonable outspokeness, contributed to instability and armed her critics. She said she didn’t care how it all played out but you have to wonder how Sinead O’Connor’s life would have gone if she’d had more support, less judgment.

But even in 2013, 12 years since the Pope whose picture she tore up had officially taken responsibility for decades of harrowing actions by his Church, people turned on Sinead en mass for her ‘open letter’ to Miley Cyrus.

It essentially said ‘stop waving your fanny about lassie, because you’re being exploited and it’s not empowering.’ It came after Cyrus had cited O’Connor as an influence for her Wrecking Ball music release, the video which featured nude Miley swinging around on – yes – an industrial wrecking ball.

I can see how it could be infuriating to have the buzz killed on your avant-garde musical release and at 20, it’s difficult to imagine a life in which you won’t have sky-high erotic currency or potentially semi-magical results from intimating you might get your gear off. 

Yet Miley – also a Sagittarius – reacted super-fiercely, sparking her significant social media fan base into a barrage of online snark that Sinead, whose peak-fame had come pre-internet, was probably not psychologically prepared for.

Miley Cyrus was born seven weeks after Sinead tore up the Pope’s picture – much of her birth-astro has the signature of that moment and her Pluto is conjunct Sinead’s Mercury-Neptune. This all went down with a Solar Eclipse brewing in, you guessed it, Scorpio, alongside Saturn and near Miley’s Pluto/Sinead’s Mercury-Neptune.

Sinead O’Connor was perfectly capable of generating trouble and controversy on her own but this seemed like a turning point for her, particularly when her reach-out now seems so sincere and well, motherly.

It would have been nice if she’d matured into her second Saturn Return, watched the culture catching up to her in some regards and found peace…or stayed alive raging, whatever.

But as she wrote/sang in The Emperor’s New Clothes 

Whatever it may bring
I will live by my own policies
I will sleep with a clear conscience
I will sleep in peace

She really was the penultimate plutonic Sagg. Thoughts?

Image Below: Mark Borthwick – Vogue Italia

40 thoughts on “Pluto & Sinead O’Connor”

  1. I read a recent humorous/snarky Hard Times post suggesting that Generation X remains “culturally irrelevant”. And a fellow Generation X commenter classically replied, “Who wants to be relevant in this culture? Gross.” I viscerally react and cringe when reading the stories of Sinead, Kurt et al and I desperately want to throw them a lifeline. The hype machine wanted to feed on their souls, particularly when their vulnerabilities and humanity became apparent. Sinead had bigger things to deal with than vapid pop culture – what a complete mismatch.

  2. I have respected her 100% since that effectively religious chant of a Bob Marley song — her “ripping of the Pope” — and the call to arms that accompanied it (“fight the REAL enemy”) — always seemed to me really complex, because she kept the ultra-religious musical form of plain chant — so it’s a philosophical question as well as a call to arms: who IS the real enemy? … I think it’s Saggittarius to the max.

  3. The Lion & The Centaur

    My favorite Sagittarius ♐️ and what a beautiful piece about her.

    I *really* got into Sinead’s life and legacy right after her son died. Somehow I could foresee this. I don’t want to romanticise mental illness or self-unaliving but these fates of so many unapologetic artists make me think if there is something to the ‘fulfilling soul’s destiny’ stuff. Like if you channel intense natal chart in such a raw way, your earthly vessel gets smushed in the process like a grape? And your art is the nectar that lives on?

  4. What a lovely piece. Im not surprised Pluto played such a role.
    I have Pluto on my AC and Uranus & Lilith conj my 1H sun – I totally recognise that alienation, people know deep down when you’re right and hate you for it.
    I think she’d grown into it and come to terms with it until she lost her son.

    I think maybe she’d done what she needed to in this life and calmly decided to move on. That Plutonic knowing of change & rebirth.
    I wish the best to her wherever her spirit dwells and healing to the children that she left behind.

    1. I love that thought! That when the spirit knows we have fulfilled our purpose, we peacefully move onto the next journey ✨

  5. Coming of age in the early 90’s is entwined for me with Sinead’s arresting voice..those howls!! in her song”Jerusalem.” Takes me to the depths. Vale Sinead.

  6. I actually watched a documentary about Sinead a month or so before she died. I watched her dressed in the outfit of her new religion singing a truly haunting song – I can’t recall the name of it – and as reached her hands to the heavens and sung to whoever or whatever he/she/it was that she sang to, it struck me that it almost looked like she was imploring another God for forgiveness. I found it really sad, and I didn’t even know of her mental health struggles at the time. I also didn’t know that she had last a son to his own mental health struggles. I hope she has forgiven herself now she has left our earthly plane.

  7. Thanks, Mystic. Best take on Sinead yet and so glad you did this. The second paragraph in particular gives pause to thought: “It’s hard to imagine someone as brave and uncompromising rising in the entertainment industry this century – she’d be ‘managed’ and her various stances spun into wokewashing or ESG piffle.” I love your quoting of the Emperor’s New Clothes’ lyrics at the end – it really boils down to the essence of our Plutonic Sagg Sinead and is a comfort too to those of us in shock at someone so huge in our formative youthful days passings. Just beautiful. x RIP with an ever clear conscience, Sinead.

  8. Great post! Thankyou for that 🙏 She was inspirational, and while it often gets lost in the fog of controversy – she had an unbelievable voice and was a brilliant, brilliant songwriter. It’s kind of ironic her most famous track was a cover – but she was a great artist in her own right. ❤️

    1. As a Virgo, I’ll take this bait! I am not sure if Mystic intended to use ‘penultimate’ because that implies there is a more plutonic Sagg, as you say. So who are they? Great post Mystic thank you and also the commenters for their thoughts.

  9. This is one of your best posts Mystic! I don’t want to get into too much of a rant, but what the media did to Sinead was a modern day media witch hunt without the hanging. The church has power that has evolved with the times, but is still just as potent…… all women should be appreciative to the courage it took to publicly acknowledge the horrors and large scale abuse perpetrated by the Church. I wasn’t aware of the Miley response but seems very on brand for the child of a famous musician to act in this manner, but then pretend they are a strong ally to all minorities and marginalized groups. Sigh…… we have so far to go. RIP to Sinead 🤍

  10. Just realised it’s not quite right to describe what Mystic has done here as ‘capturing.’ Really she has illuminated Sinead’s astro✨

  11. Unicorn Sparkles

    She always seemed like she was made of a billion atoms all fighting each other under a porcelain shell.

    Mileys response to her was so cruel and dismissive. Pure ego and arrogance. It felt like miley had used her for attention or clout and then was raging at her for daring to actually presume she had a say.
    miley turned out to be the type of person sinead was warning about.

    1. BOOM MIC DROP! Thank you!
      Miley’s response was childish and bratty. Sinead was actually trying to give her good advice.

    2. In 100 year’s time everyone will know who Sinead O’Connor was. Miley will be buried under a wave of similar performers.

  12. So interesting! I love the way you’re able to capture her mutable nature Mystic. You’ve really captured that Saggitarian calling to truth telling and the way that truth and its tellers are both extraordinarily vulnerable and powerful simultaneously.

  13. History remembers the brave in retrospect. At the time, the ordinary is uncomfortable with the mirror shown to us. Sinead was brave and all praise to her for her outspoken advocacy, which made so many uncomfortable. In another era, she would have been called a witch.

  14. Thanks Mystic, I too had been wondering what her astrology looked like. I have always chosen to not listen to all the noise (old and new) about Sinead- just the voice of an Irish angel. The most raw, real, brave and beautiful voice that touches my soul and will continue to. Wherever you are now – I hope you are happy and at peace. Thank you for the music X

  15. Sinead O’Connor is one of those singers that I learned to appreciate long after their fame. One day, I heard her hauntingly beautiful rendition of “She moves through the fair”. That caught my attention. I have not heard anything so piercingly beautiful since. I hope she has found some peace now. Brave, brave woman. She will be missed and I doubt soon forgotten. She will live on in her music and in the hearts of many.

    1. There’s something about contemporary Irish women singers that just reaches right to my soul. Her voice is one of those, ‘piercingly beautiful ‘ is so true

  16. Hmm. The famous people called her out maybe because they wish they could have been so radical by biting the media hand that fed them. Not to mention a then-untouchable cultural figure (the Pope). Could Britney arguably have been facing a similar path..? Pluto and Sadge wimmin, you know. No planet can keep a good Sadge down.. escape by any means necessary.

    I googled the letter too. What I interpreted was that she was saying “these people are greedy pricks down to the marrow and they will keep getting you to exploit yourself as long as you are kept believing that all that you are, all your power and talent as a free human being, must be reduced to your body and your sexuality as the only way to gain visibility, money and cred” and she also praised her talent throughout the letter and reaffirmed that she had what it took regardless of wardrobe choices.
    (These days we are clearer that nudity is not the same as sexuality ig)
    To me, that stance possibly also comes from arriving at the other side of abuse – when you see abuser behaviour for what it is. ( Like think of Billie Eilish. No famous musician/performer would have been able(?) to dress like her and receive that much label etc support if it was 1993 or even 2003? Surely.)
    Although I get that when you’re young and hot, a la Miley, it sounds like someone’s being a wet blanket and so imho the only way to learn about that shit is living it for yourself.. Mostly because everyone has different set points and it was a different era
    Also if I was O’Connor I might have been affronted by a somewhat callow treatment of my artistry, where I made a carefully chosen approach to my music video. But the ‘homage’ was more like an aesthetic ..sampling? I haven’t watched either clip for ages so idk.
    Pluto though. Jeez. Like BBQ coals, when they’ve turned grey and you think they’ve finally gone cool you’ll still get second degree burns if you try and handle them.

    Ok words stopping now

    1. Also (whoa) I checked out her chart, that Saturn – and Chiron! – in Pisces opposite the pluto Uranus in Virgo on a close T square with her first house sun Venus in Sadge. Saturn aspects make it look like it has all the other planets on a leash. If that isn’t a constant fight against the Institutions re her freedom and identity.

      On the pope-photo-TV day, Her progressed chart shows her prog moon conjunct her MC, she would only have just been coming off progressed moon transiting conj her natal Pluto and Uranus (and mars, for a turbo boost), and also connecting with that natal T square. Holy cow. So yes, embers 🧡
      Peace ✌️🕊️

  17. Yah this one was bad. For a few years now, I suppose since I realized via some dickish Millenials and Z’s I am required to deal with, that there is a “90’s revival” happening (and my lesson hard-learned here is that, unlike us in the 90s with actual hippies, these bratz do not want to hear from us what the 90s were actually like), I have posited that the Madonna / Whore complex of the then-newly-named “alternative” scene is best represented by Sinead / Courtney (deliberately leaving out actual underground female musicians). I know many who love Courtney (none of whom, btw, were musicians on the West Coast during her early days, when she left behind a trail of drama and stories of bad faith up and down Hwy 1), but will reject Sinead out of hand. I feel Sinead is the true singer / songwriter (or, rock star), and Courtney is a great actress who should come clean that she’s been *acting* like a rock star. Reading Sinead’s book (gifted to me on my own 50th bday) confirmed this to me. The weekend after I was visiting old friends, now living in the Midwest’s Gay Riviera (snap!) and we howled Sinead at the moon. I rarely agree with Morrisey, but here, he was right: All these a**holes crawling out of the woodwork to praise her now would have done well to say something while she was alive. As a Plutonic Uraniac myself, I can attest to the alienation after truth-telling and utter frustration of watching everyone change their minds 15 years later, and they never give you any credit for having been right, or say sorry for not listening. Sinead was perhaps a bit more prepped for the martyrish feelings that came with such a dynamic than myself, but I agree with Mystic. What if she hadn’t been the canary in the coalmine?

    1. LOve this hearing the zeitgeist first hand SheRat. Never liked Courtney Love.
      Nothing compared to you never did it for me though as love songs not my jam.
      Nevertheless Sinead was one brave woman.

  18. It hurt my heart when Sinead died, that she could not survive all of it.
    Sinead had the fortitude to stick up for her own convictions and was not afraid to express herself, on and off the world stage.
    Her beautiful soaring voice was a gift to us all and she has left us with so many memorable and timeless songs.
    Be at peace our Irish songstress.
    I’ve been wondering about her astrology, of course.
    Thanks so much for putting this article together MM.

  19. Sinead’s death hit me really hard, unlike any other artist that I can think of. I’m from an Asian culture where women are expected to be very quiet and conservative, yet I have Uranus in my first house and Pluto rising so I’ve never fit into it. I adored how stunningly beautiful yet fierce and tough Sinead was. Her voice seemed to express everything I had locked inside me and couldn’t say out loud. It’s still astonishing to me how much of a warrior she was at such a young age.

    What upset me about Miley Cyrus was that some of her actions at the time were so cruel. At one point Miley tweeted, “Before Amanda Bynes there was…” and included screenshots of Sinead’s social media posts when she was desperate for mental health support. Sinead rightly called out Miley for dragging Bynes into it and for mocking both of them for their mental illness. I’d like to think that society has at least become more compassionate now about mental health and that Miley’s callousness wouldn’t fly these days.

    Sinead narrated the audiobook of her autobiography and it’s so worth listening to it in her own voice.

    1. I, too, have Pluto Rising and 1H Uranus (conj Moon)! Greetings, fellow traveler! I didn’t know she’d read the memoir herself, will have to check it out! I live in Ireland now, FWIW, and no one around me seemed like they were too bothered about it. But I left the country a few days later…

      1. Greetings! Yes do try to get the audiobook of her memoir…it’s a very emotional listen but also has many moments of feistiness and humor. I love her voice no matter the medium.

  20. Everyone in the industry mocked her for years and yet the same arseholes sang her praises when she died.

  21. That is a great piece on Sinead, Mystic!
    I have always loved Sinead. In fact, mainly for her “weirdness” and sticking it to em.
    I love the song Nothing Compares to You. How awesome Sinead made that song BETTER than Prince’s version!!?? Sinead’s version and that video are etched in my brain.
    I absolutely loved her letter to Miley.
    Her knack of starting a revolution way before it starts. Sadness for her that she continued to be burnt at the stake for speaking up.
    And her quest to speak the truth.
    RIP Sinead …I hope you are running through the fields of joy

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