On This Day

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Nancy and Ronald Reagan

On This Day: Book Reveals That Nancy Reagan Contacted Astrologers for Advice

May 03, 2012 06:00 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
On May 3, 1988, former Reagan cabinet member Donald Regan claimed in his memoir that first lady Nancy Reagan had used astrological advice to help schedule President Reagan's activities.

Reagan Turns to Astrology After Assassination Attempt

Having relied on the guidance of astrologers’ advice since the early 1960s, Nancy Reagan was forced to admit the full extent of its involvement after the publication of former Chief of Staff Donald Regan’s memoir “For the Record.” The tell-all book, published in early 1988, stated implicitly that the first lady often relied on “a friend” to help organize the President Reagan’s schedule.

Regan didn't name the astrologer in his memoir, and several names were suggested for the identity of the Reagans' astrologer “friend." Astrologer Joyce Jillman claimed that she had been the astrologer in question, and that she had contacted by both the Reagans and their advisors to help select George H.W. Bush as a running mate in 1980. The White House denied these claims.
Ronald Reagan denied that his official schedule had been determined by astrology and said it was something the first lady had turned to help her through the trauma of his 1981 assassination attempt.

In 1989, following the publication of her own memoirs, Mrs. Reagan said her reliance on astrologer Joan Quigley’s advice had begun as “a crutch” following the assassination attempt. She noted that while the President was aware of her practice, he warned, “It might look a little odd if it ever came out.”

Mrs. Reagan insisted that her reliance on astrology emerged solely from her desire to protect her husband. Quigley had told her that she could have foreseen the assassination attempt and prevented it; “I could have predicted it—it was very obvious,” said Quigley in 1988.

The “Presidential Death Cycle” and the Reagan Assassination Attempt

President Reagan was shot in March 1981, just two months after he took office, by John Hinckley, a mentally disturbed young man who hoped that assassinating the president would impress actress Jodie Foster. Reagan survived after undergoing emergency surgery to remove the bullet and repair a damaged lung.

The previous seven presidents who, like Reagan, were elected in a year ending in “0” all died in office, a trend that dated back to William Henry Harrison’s election in 1840. Nancy Reagan was concerned by what astrologers called the “presidential death cycle,” and turned to astrology to help end the pattern.

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