John Lennon keeps coming to mind, so I thought I’d get him out of my psyche and into this blog. What other use is there for a blog?
While I consider myself a mild fan of the Beatles and Lennon, I’ve never been so enamored of him to put up a poster or anything like that. So it’s odd that he’s so on my mind (and was before the anniversary of his October 9 birthday).
What’s coming to mind is an image from my childhood. One rainy Sunday afternoon I sat with the “Hey Jude” album cover, listening to the song “Rain,” staring at Lennon, face hidden behind a head of frizzy brownish-red hair, mustache, long beard and glasses (aka “Lennon specs”). I couldn’t believe this was the same man who was on the cover of earlier album covers, say, “Rubber Soul.”
I asked my mom what happened to him.
If she had an answer, I can’t recollect it. But now as a middle-aged woman in these changing times, I’m wondering if Lennon didn’t truly transform in a way few do. Until recently, I simply thought of Lennon as a rebel looking for something to oppose.
As we move toward another general election here in the US, I’m having a strange nostalgia for hippies and Lennon-types to say (or sing) about peace and other non-tangible elements of our lives on earth. Hard times often lead to great insights.
Pluto and Transformation
The planet Pluto is associated with transformation. Transformation is so easy to say but so difficult to experience. A friend once compared cooking with baking. Cooking, she said, was creative but baking, in contrast is alchemy.
Transformation is alchemy. If you were a strand of wheat, would you willingly transform into bread?
And let’s say you do decide to become bread (challah, maybe?), how would the rest of the field of wheat respond?
The wheat is the wheat and the bread is the bread.
Transformation isn’t easy.
“Christ, you know it ain’t easy
You know how hard it can be
The way things are going
They’re gonna crucify me
Saving all your money for a rainy day,
giving all your clothes to charity,
last night the wife said,
oh boy when you’re dead,
don’t take nothing with you but your soul . . .”
(From the Ballad of John & Yoko)
Transformation through Partnership
According to this Astrotheme chart, Lennon had sun in Libra, moon in Aquarius and Aries rising.
It’s not unusual for Libra to marry or partner-up at a young age. Libra seeks partnership first and everything else second.
Lennon married his first wife, Virgo sun, Cynthia, on August 23, 1962. At the time, transiting Pluto was conjunct his Venus in Virgo.
Venus in Virgo is a “love me perfect” placement. With sun in Libra and moon in Aquarius, Lennon was seeking not just a partner, but the perfect match along the lines of Virgo, Libra and Aquarius perfection, which is weird, quirky and eccentric.
Transiting Pluto conjunct Venus also creates some serious control issues around this need for a perfect partner. While I haven’t had time in my recent Lennon obsession to read a biography, I have vague memory of reading that he didn’t treat his first wife well and was honest about this in later times.
Lennon’s second wife is the wife of history, the fated encounter that changed Lennon forever. On November 9, 1966 he met the artist Yoko Ono. Ono was different from Lennon in age (she being older) and culture.
At the time of meeting Ono, transiting Pluto was nearing a conjunction to Lennon’s Neptune in Virgo. Venus in Virgo is looking for the perfect pleasure. Neptune in Virgo spiritualizes perfection and sees perfection in whatever is worshiped.
Lennon and Ono split up for a year in 1974, while Pluto was transiting his Mars in Libra. They were together until his death in December 1980 when Pluto had just moved into his 7th house of partnership, the house ruled by Libra.
If the Astrotheme chart is correct, most of Lennon’s fame and public life occurred with Pluto transiting the 6th house, the house of work, health and service.
What an odd house of emphasis for a period of intense rock stardom!
Did Lennon transform work, making rock stardom a valid work path? Was he secretly ill? Was his transform regarding service?
What Transformed in Lennon?
Taking the 6th house to a higher level via Barbara Hand Clow in “Alchemy of Nine Dimensions,” the 6th house is “be here now” while the opposite 12th house is “bliss.”
In the mid to late 1960s, at the height of his fame and meeting of Ono, Pluto and Uranus were both transiting Virgo and opposite a transiting Saturn in Pisces.
Natal Neptune, which was in Lennon’s 6th house, happens to rule the opposite 12th house. Neptune in the 6th can indicate mental health problems of the sort where what one calls “reality” is not the “reality” of those around us. While we all have different perceptions of reality, Neptune can bring visions, hallucinations and all kinds of vague fears and anxieties.
Was Lennon’s transformation deep in the realm of perception? While it seemed that Lennon went from poor Liverpool orphan transformed into drug-using, guru-worshiping rock star, maybe the transformation was from a separate personal reality into a shared social consciousness? Maybe when he appeared to go crazy, he was actually connecting to others for the first time?
Did he transform from garden-variety rebel to spokesperson for a generation’s spiritual longing? If he did, was he aware of his role or riding the waves of a strong current?
Lennon’s chart had only one planet in water – Mercury in Scorpio. Neptune in the 1960s was transiting Scorpio, bringing, to Lennon and others, open talk of sex and intimate feelings.
Lack of water is lack of understanding in the feeling realm. Air, in contrast, can follow the zeitgeist but in an intellectual way, without understanding that what people say and their true motivations are not always equivalent. Lack of water has difficulty both experiencing and expressing feelings. Air relates through shared ideas, not shared emotions.
The Mystery of Transformation
Most of us try to bring what’s inside of us out to share with others. When we go through difficult or unusual times in life, it can be difficult to explain one’s experiences.
Lennon appeared to be a man transformed, ostensibly through his meeting of an eccentric foreigner, but I’m guessing Lennon always had a Yoko Ono within, the bread that could be created from the strands of Liverpool wheat.