Astrologers Say First Lady and President Longtime Stargazers With PM-Reagan-Astrology, Bjt
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Syndicated stargazers say it was an open secret that President and Nancy Reagan consult their horoscopes, with their interest in astrology dating to the years when Reagan was governor of California.
The White House confirmed Tuesday that Nancy Reagan follows astrology and consults it for some of the president’s activities, but the president said no policy or decision he’s made has been influenced by the stars.
″I refer to it as the world’s worst-kept secret that President Reagan relies on astrology. There’s nothing new about it,″ said astrologer Sydney Omarr of Santa Monica, whose syndicated daily horoscope is distributed to more than 300 newspapers, including The Washington Post.
Omarr said he has never consulted with Reagan, but received congratulations via a phone call from former White House spokesman Larry Speakes when Omarr noted his 25 years with the Los Angeles Times syndicate.
″Franklin Roosevelt relied on astrology. Theodore Roosevelt did. George Washington’s diary said he kept track of the position of the stars,″ Omarr said.
The confirmation of the Reagans’ interest followed reports that Donald T. Regan, the former White House chief of staff, plans to reveal in a book that Mrs. Reagan turned to astrologers in shaping the president’s schedule.
″It’s an input that they receive. I don’t like to use the word rely,″ said Joyce Jillson, an astrologer from the San Fernando Valley whose daily horoscope is distributed to more than 100 newspapers nationwide by Tribune Media Services.
Interviewed on CBS’ ″This Morning″ show today, Ms. Jillson said she was not surprised at the sudden controversy over the Reagans’ interest in astrology.
″This has been sort of in the offing for the last two weeks. . .. I have been hearing rumblings about this through various channels,″ she said.
″I think they handled it beautifully. And frankly I think Donald Regan, who is a Sagitarrius, tried to use this to get much more attention than it really got.″
The question of Reagan and astrology surfaced more than 20 years ago, when he chose to be sworn in as governor for his first term shortly after midnight on Jan. 5, 1967.
Outgoing Gov. Pat Brown said Reagan picked the time because he relied on astrology. Reagan’s aides denied that, and said the unusual time was picked because of constitutional questions regarding transfer of power.
Ms. Jillson said the Reagans regularly consulted astrologers throughout the Reagan presidency and gubernatorial tenure in California.
Lyn Nofziger, a former White House political aide and longtime associate of the Reagans, dismissed the sudden interest in Mrs. Reagan’s stargazing.
″I have never once heard her allude to astrology or to the stars or to the moon or to the sign of the ram,″ he said.
He said the president liked to read his horoscope and ″laughed about it and kidded about it, but I have never seen him take the stuff seriously.″
Ms. Jillson said she was at the White House after Reagan’s assassination attempt in March 1981, and helped the GOP choose George Bush as vice president.
″There was talk that I did charts for all eight (vice presidential) candidates. I don’t deny that. I determined the only winnable choice was George Bush.″
Asked if she advised the Reagans, Ms. Jillson said, ″I never discuss my clients.″
She said Reagan has used astrology to pick his inauguration and other big events. ″Look at when he holds his news conferences. They’re usually during a full moon. He chooses those times to do it.″
However, White House deputy press secretary B.J. Cooper said the Reagans did not know Ms. Jillson. White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater, traveling with Reagn on Air Force One to Chicago, said today that Miss Jillson was ″crazy for trying to fabricate a White House relationship that doesn’t exist.″
Mrs. Reagan’s interest in the stars was renewed after her husband survived the assassination attempt, Fitzwater said. Ms. Jillson said Reagan’s charts indicated danger for that time, and he should have been more cautious.
She added astrology was used in planning last December’s summit between the president and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, but things didn’t go smoothly with Mrs. Reagan and Raisa Gorbachev because the Soviet leader’s wife’s birthdate is not known in the West.
″The problem with Nancy and Raisa would never have happened if we had her birthdate,″ she said.
The Washington Post said one of the astrologers that Mrs. Reagan consulted was Carroll Righter of Los Angeles, who was mentioned in Reagan’s 1965 autobiography, ″Where’s The Rest Of Me?″ Righter died Saturday at age 88.