In the mid-Sixties, “You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling” was a trans-Atlantic hit that catapulted two American white boys to the top of the Billboard charts and other play-lists around the world. Produced by Phil Spector, the single showcased a remarkable duet of voices — Bill Medley’s bass baritone and Bobby Hatfield’s soaring tenor. The Righteous Brothers went on to score another mega-hit with “Unchained Melody” that secured their status in a category that came to be called “blue-eyed soul.”
Hatfield and Medley were born only five weeks apart, so their charts contain many similarities, including a graha yuddha between the two slowest planets, Jupiter and Saturn. And since planetary war often spells problems of some sort, depending on the individual disposition of the warring planets, but also the bhava rulership and location of the two, this is a partnership whose horoscopes merit closer examination.
Bobby Hatfield was the elder of the two, born 10 August 1940 in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. Having moved to California with his family when he was four, he was an all-round athlete in high school where he played baseball, basketball and football. He also organized talent shows, formed his own pop group, and was president of his graduating class. Despite being good enough to receive a try-out invitation for the LA Dodgers baseball team, he decided to devote his career to music.
In his horoscope, Venus in the lagna speaks to his social popularity and love of music. Mars the karaka of sports is in the 3rd bhava of performance, and also rules the 6th bhava of competition, which it aspects. His 3rd lord Sun is with lagnesh Mercury.
While at university, he joined Bill Medley in a group called The Paramours but within a year they decided to try their luck as a duet, The Righteous Brothers. While they were performing at the Cow Palace in the San Francisco area, Phil Spector caught their act, signed them up, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The two were most active as a duet in the Sixties, after which they went their separate ways, although they reunited several times over the following decades until Hatfield’s death. Although he’d lived a relatively quiet life, one night on tour he failed to appear prior to show time. When Medley and their tour manager went to Hatfield’s hotel, they found him dead. An autopsy later determined he’d had advanced coronary disease, and suffered a heart attack induced by cocaine. He was 63.
Note the graha yuddha in his chart between Jupiter and Saturn. As is necessary for planetary war, the two lie within a one-degree span of longitude. There are three factors for determining a winner of any war — brightness, elevation, and speed. Jupiter is distinctly brighter than Saturn. Jupiter’s declination is 15N03, while Saturn’s is 13N53, so Jupiter has greater elevation. And Jupiter is faster, moving at 98% of its average speed, while Saturn is at 88% of its average speed. Thus, by all three measures, Jupiter wins the planetary war.
Note that Jupiter is lord of the 7th and 10th bhavas. Although Hatfield’s first marriage was brief, it produced two children, and his divorce was amicable. His second marriage also produced two children and lasted the rest of his life. His career, needless to say, was successful.
Saturn, first debilitated in Aries, and then losing the planetary war, becomes a significantly-weakened planet. Its malefic aspect upon the lagna threatens physical duress. Its aspect upon the 2nd lord Moon suggests the potential for substance abuse, while its aspect upon 12th lord Venus implies risk of addictions. Finally, its own 8th-bhava rulership, in association with maraka lord Jupiter, threatens the possibility of reduced longevity.
Bill Medley was the younger of the two, born 19 September 1940 in Los Angeles, California. He was raised a Presbyterian by parents who had a swing band, and first began singing in a church choir. In his early teens he was very much influenced by Black artists like Ray Charles, Little Richard, and B.B. King. In his late teens he partnered with a guitar-playing buddy to write and record multi-track recordings in a makeshift home studio. Although Hatfield later joined their group, he and Medley ultimately decided their vocal talents would best by showcased as a duet. And once Phil Spector heard them, his record-production wizardry was a guarantee that the world would also hear them at their very best.
Medley’s horoscope reveals a Kala Sarpa, a Type 2 pattern wherein all of the visible grahas lie on one side of the nodal axis, yet some are still within the same rashi as a node. The basic premise of Kala Sarpa is that it has the capacity to amplify whatever already exists in the horoscope, for better or worse.
In Medley’s chart, lagnesh Venus in the 10th bhava suggests an artistic career, as to a lesser degree does the simultaneous occupation of Moon/Venus in the kendras. Independently, the combination of Moon/Saturn in the kendras is yet another signature for an entertainer or performer.
In this horoscope the graha yuddha, whose house location is sometimes a clue in itself to potential problems, occurs between Jupiter and Saturn in the 7th bhava. Medley had an unsettled love life, getting married and divorced three times by his early 30s, although a 4th marriage in his mid-40s has endured to date.
Re the planetary war, let’s review brightness, elevation and speed to assess the winner. Although both planets are retrograde and therefore brighter than usual, Jupiter is by far the more visible. Jupiter’s declination is 15N07, while Saturn is at 13N40, so Jupiter has greater elevation. And in terms of speed, both are retrograde, and yet Jupiter is still moving the faster.
With respect to relationships, Medley’s first wife was later in life raped and murdered, and it so consumed Medley that he took a two-year break from his musical career, hiring a private investigator to assist the police in identifying the perpetrator and bringing him to justice. This sort of tragedy is presaged in part by the graha yuddha in his 7th bhava, but the theme of relationship trauma becomes more evident if we view Medley’s chart through the unequal bhava system of Sripati, wherein his 7th lord Mars has gone to the 12th bhava.
While we have the Sripati chart in view, let’s also consider the medical ramifications. Medley had two surgeries in his mid-20s — one on his spleen, one on his vocal cords. In this unequal house system, Jupiter the 6th lord and karaka for the spleen gets displaced to the 8th bhava of surgeries. By a similar transference, his 2nd lord Mars which rules the throat has shifted into the 12th bhava.
Happily for the music world, Medley’s vocal cord surgery was successful, and he went on to enthrall audiences with his rich baritone, the perfect complement to Hatfield’s tenor. The irony, however, was that initially The Righteous Brothers’ R&B sound confused radio audiences. White radio stations wouldn’t play them because they thought they were black, and black stations wouldn’t play them because they thought they were white. But eventually, the blue-eyed boys with soul found their audience, and fans worldwide got swept up in that loving feeling.
Alan Annand is a longstanding student of Hart de Fouw. He’s a graduate of the American College of Vedic Astrology and a former tutor for the British Faculty of Astrological Studies. Aside from his consultation services, he provides private tutoring to students of jyotisha.
He’s also the author of several books. Kala Sarpa is a first-of-its-kind reference text on a unique pattern in jyotisha that is not discussed in shastra yet is part of India’s rich oral tradition. Stellar Astrology, Volumes 1-3 offer a wealth of time-tested techniques via biographical profiles, analyses of world events, and technical essays. Parivartana Yoga is a reference text for one of the most common yet powerful planetary combinations in jyotisha.
Aside from his Montreal-based crime novels, his New Age Noir crime series (Scorpio Rising, Felonious Monk, Soma County) feature astrologer and palmist Axel Crowe, whom one reviewer has dubbed “Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope.”
Websites: www.navamsa.com, www.sextile.com