Astrology columns and personal star charts claim to predict the future for many, but what did they portend for some of the major events of the Reagan Administration and for the President himself on those days?
While a review of column claims for specific dates paints a murky, sometimes humorous picture in hindsight, a professional astrologer says that some of the events seemingly matched favorable times predicted by the personal chart of the President.
Edward Helin, an associate of the late Carroll Righter, the astrologer mentioned by Reagan in his autobiography, said he has kept a chart on Reagan, an Aquarian, since he was governor of California.
Reagan's chart, the instructor at the Carroll Righter Institute said, is particularly instructive about April 14, 1986, the day the United States bombed Libya.
"Mars, the planet of war, had a strong aspect on his chart then," Helin said, adding that the planet Jupiter, which affects luck and publicity, was also a strong influence. Reagan, Helin said, "could not do anything wrong."
"At that time I wouldn't have done anything to upset him because he's commander-in-chief; he can go out and do that (bomb Libya), he doesn't have to go through a lot of (chain of) command like some of the military. I would say at the time he was very warlike," Helin said. Righter's forecast for that same day advised Aquarians to "arrange a meeting with someone you enjoy very much, but take care you don't overspend later."
Another widely syndicated columnist, Sydney Omarr--whom Reagan also reportedly reads--seemed to come somewhat closer to the mark. "Logic could take a back seat--heart tends to rule head, emotional responses dominate," Omarr wrote for that day. "Focus on children, variety, physical attraction, charisma. Older individual provides boost which enables you to overcome obstacles."
Helin, who said he keeps charts on many political leaders and institutions such as the Federal Reserve as well as politicians he won't name, said he uses these forecasts to help clients with economic trends and other developments they consider vital to their futures.
Because of the timing of other Reagan Administration events, Helin said he suspects that Reagan has kept at least one eye on the stars in determining when to schedule events. The White House has denied this, even though a report from the upcoming book by former White House chief of staff Donald Regan also implied that.
"I don't think he's using it to make every decision but it's a guideline," he said, adding, "Looking at the way he uses Jupiter in his chart I would say he uses it a lot more than people realize. . . . It looks like he's been using Jupiter even more than other astrologers give him credit for."
The 'Teflon President'
In Reagan's chart, the positive influence of Jupiter was the chief reason that Reagan was once called the "Teflon President," Helin asserted. Even on the day he was nearly killed by an assassin--March 30, 1981--Helin said Reagan was extremely lucky.
"He had a lot of really good aspects in his chart," the astrologer said, noting that one favorable sign was the "moon in Aquarius." This juxtaposition brings good luck and also represents "the best time to start something or initiate an action," he said.
The same alignment also took place in Reagan's chart when he met with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in Iceland on Oct. 11-12, 1986, Helin said. The meeting ended in confusion and disarray over proposed reductions in strategic nuclear weapons. Righter's column for the day of the assassination attempt said that Aquarians should: "Show that you appreciate the support of higher ups and gain further good will. Many benefits can come your way."
Righter's column for that day was also published in the Washington Post, which later switched to Omarr.
On Wednesday in Washington, meanwhile, the flap over the report of the Reagans' close interest in astrology appeared to have died down somewhat.
Elaine Crispen, Nancy Reagan's press secretary, was initially quoted as saying the First Lady, a Cancer, often consults someone she described as "a friend that does astrology" in Los Angeles.
Rumor Sweeps L.A.
One rumor sweeping Los Angeles Wednesday was that that mysterious adviser was Malibu psychic Averi Torres.
While the White House was denying it, saying that Mrs. Reagan "doesn't know the name," Torres, who calls herself "Malibu's resident psychic" said she has "met" Nancy Reagan "but I can't talk about my clients professionally. It would be unethical."
Asked whether Mrs. Reagan called her for advice, Torres said, "I can't say. That's like saying (that she is Mrs. Reagan's adviser)."
Torres does say, however, that she has "consulted" for two different Presidents and in fact has photographs of herself with each of them in her house.