“Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius-and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.”
Looking at John Lennon's chart without the influence of his whole, publicized life imposing on us may be an ambitious. In the wake of what would have been his 70th birthday and his popularity seemingly as strong as it was in life, maybe it's as good a time as any.
Let's start with his Sun. He was a super-Libra; "super" because the Sun was right on the cusp of the 7th house, Libra's natural house. He represented the Libran archetypes of peacemaker, diplomat and artist in all its mythological proportions...at least in the public-eye. His middle name, Winston, was in honor of the great diplomat , wartime leader and orator Winston Churchill. Lennon admitted to being a troublesome, provocative youth as well as hitting women on occasion, which he attributed to why he went on the way he did about peace. A pretty bold admission for legendary peace man who staged sit-ins to raise awareness for the ills of the Vietnam War. Yet, for all his passionate idealism in service of world peace (Mars conjunct Neptune in the 6th House / Venus in the 6th) he was quite the complex character in life and on paper. His chart showed the signature of both peacemaker and the bold, contrarian streak which competed for influence. Even the U.S. government tried to deport him let's not forget. Ironically (or not), it was his message of peace from this British native that got under the skin of the Nixon administration desperate to win a losing war in Vietnam and an equally embattled PR game at home. His messages of peace invoked both admiration and antipathy, the "hold" on his green card not disappearing until the presidency changed hands years later.
He had passionate, domineering Aries rising and a Moon in Aquarius. No matter how much "we" as the public audience and fans of his music may have felt connected to him, there is something about Aquarius moons that always feel an emotional distance and sense of being different, separate from the pack. It is this quality of detachment that lends to their peculiar genius of being able to step back from their emotions, analyze feelings and connect to the greater whole. Whether it reads as aloof and detached or progressive and transcendent depends on the individual as does the expression of any particular sign such as his Aries rising. As far as his Aquarius Moon, no matter how "detached" or perhaps a better word would unidentified with his own personal feelings, it seems he was subsumed by the feelings (Moon) of the collective (Aquarius) and became its veritable mouthpiece in troubled times. Planets in the 11th house tend to indicate the sort of persona we adopt within the group or the role we serve. Whether that was in the Beatles or a nation, his ability to identify with and express this sort of emotional rebellion that others were feeling played out to tremendous efficacy and certainly hit a nerve whether it was his popular music or political messages.
Saturn, Uranus and Jupiter all in the first house would lend their formidable power to his cult of personality as well as provide a hulking mask from which the more hidden, yin side of his personality (something to do with Cancer on his 4th house cusp and Chiron (the wounded healer) near the nadir of his chart). For all his imagination and giving peace a chance, it seems his message was born from an intimate knowledge of what the opposites of those ideals were, having grown up in a household afflicted with separation and rejection and siphoning into a youth of rebellion and violence. This warrior-like spirit of his found its ultimate expression in peace and his message was all the more potent because he himself had to fight for it. A South Node in war-god Aries in the 12th house (we look at any South Node somewhat negatively since it is an energetic point which was over-used in the past and from which are ultimately trying to separate) speaks of someone who misused power and ultimately lost or provoked trouble (12th house) for this. Positively, Mars in the 12th can make great sacrifices - surrendering physical strength for great spiritual risks or demonstration which ultimately becomes a weapon of peace. In death, we continue to hear the echoes of a life spent fighting for peace and it seems by the time he took 4 bullets in the back on that fateful day in 1980, he had found peace within in a city he loved, with Yoko Ono, Sean and an extensive family of fans and friends who continue to sing his words in honor of the man, his ideals and a still dreamt of peace.