John Lennon: Beautiful Dreamer

“You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one.”

from “Imagine” by John Lennon

It’s hard to believe that twenty years have passed since the murder of John Lennon outside his Central Park West apartment on December 8, 1980. Lennon was, of course, the founder of the 60s rock group The Beatles, who were catapulted from very ordinary lives to fame and fortune almost overnight. In the U.S., it was called the “British Invasion,” and Lennon was undeniably its general. Probably the most controversial of the Beatles, Lennon once noted that they were more popular than Jesus. For him, it was a curious and amusing matter of fact, a commentary on the values of modern society. But for many of those untrustworthy folks over 30, it was nothing less than blasphemy.

Love, Love, Libran Love

John Lennon, a Libra, was born on October 9, 1940, at 6:30 pm in Liverpool England. Libra, a cardinal air sign ruled by the planet Venus, usually endows one with considerable charm and grace. Librans love the idea of love, and Lennon was no exception. After all, it was Lennon and songwriting partner Paul McCartney who penned “All You Need Is Love,” a chant that became an anthem for a generation of flower children. Remember Lennon’s famous honeymoon “bed-in” with Yoko Ono? While the media watched, the pajama-clad couple enthralled the world with their antics, all designed to showcase the couple’s message: Give peace a chance. You can’t get more Libran than that!

The sign, symbolized by the scales of justice, is noted for its quest for harmony. It must have been a Libran who came up with the idea of a win-win solution. Yet, there was an angry, hard-edged side to Lennon, a trait that is also curiously Libran. They often need to go to extremes, including anger, so that they can eventually learn to strike that delicate balance.

Moon in Aquarius: An Idealist and Humanitarian

Lennon did more for the cause of world peace, however, than simply stay in bed. He led a number of peace demonstrations and was probably one of the first rockers to realize that he could use his celebrity to have a social impact. His Moon in the sign Aquarius, a fixed air sign co-ruled by both Saturn and Uranus, epitomizes the concepts of revolutionary ideals, social justice and humanitarianism. People with an Aquarius Moon can easily empathize with the underdog, but can be far more emotionally detached when it comes to those close to them. They are apt to think through their emotions rather than feel them. Often rebellious, their family life may be a bit unconventional. It is not uncommon for those with Moon in Aquarius to be nurtured in unconventional ways, which was true of Lennon, whose mother Julia eventually turned him over to her sister Mimi to raise.

Lennon’s Moon is in opposition to the planet Pluto, which adds intensity to whatever it touches. The powerful (Pluto) influence of women (Moon) on John Lennon could never be understated—his mother, Aunt Mimi and, of course, Yoko Ono. The Moon-Pluto aspect is also indicative of the profound losses that Lennon experienced in his life. First, his father deserted his mother when Lennon was a baby. In 1958, his mother was struck and killed by a car. Later, there was the loss of his good friend Stuart Sutcliffe (the fifth Beatle) to a brain hemorrhage. And, Lennon clearly felt betrayed and bitter at the end of his partnership with Paul McCartney. Witness his own words in the song “How Do You Sleep,”

“You live with straights who tell you you was king, Jump when your mamma tell you anything, The only thing you done was yesterday and since you’ve gone it’s just another day. How do you sleep? Ah, how do you sleep at night?”

Something Greater at Work: Jupiter and Saturn

John Lennon, in spite of his song to the contrary, was not just an ordinary guy. He was born with a very extraordinary aspect in his chart, a nearly exact conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. This conjunction occurs once every twenty years and marks the beginning of an important cycle for the economy, politics and our social structure. It is not a personal cycle, it is a collective cycle. Many believe that the “star of bethlehem” that the magi saw heralding Jesus’ birth was actually a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. For the ancients, the coming together of these two outermost planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto had yet to be discovered) began anew their longest planetary cycle and portended events of great significance, for good or for bad.

At Lennon’s birth, Jupiter and Saturn were in Taurus, a Venus-ruled sign. Venus is the planet of singers and artists. The Beatles began to take shape around the time of the next Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in 1960 in Capricorn, the sign that rules big business. Certainly, Lennon was both a successful musician and businessman. But, he was so much more—he was the leader of a cultural movement. At the time of his death in 1980, Jupiter and Saturn were again conjunct, this time in Lennon’s own Libra Sun sign. While we had sadly grown accustomed to the assassination of political leaders, the world now had to come to terms with the slaying of one of our most superbly gifted artists.

This year, Jupiter and Saturn were conjunct once again in Taurus. There was a successful exhibition of never-before-seen Beatles art; the book The Beatles Anthology is a best-seller while The Beatles 1, a CD featuring their number one singles, topped the charts. And, Lennon’s killer, Marc David Chapman, requested and was denied parole.

An Ironic and Violent End

Just as with Kennedy and King, we will always remember how we heard that Lennon had been shot. That anyone would want to murder this gentle soul who brought so much joy to the world was hard to imagine. He was poised for a big comeback with the just-completed Double Fantasy album. Lennon was probably as happy as he had ever been in his life. But, as he wisely tells his son Sean in the song “Beautiful Boy” on that album, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Apparently, for John Lennon, so was death.

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