The White House confirms stories that President Ronald Reagan’s travel and public appearances are scheduled around astrological data furnished by a mystic, Joan Quigley, in San Francisco. The astrologer also supplies input to the timing of critical international events, such as an arms control summit in Iceland.
She was called on by First Lady Nancy Reagan in 1981 after John Hinckley’s attempted assassination of the president, and stayed on as the White House astrologer in secret until being outed in 1988 by ousted former chief of staff Donald Regan.
Quigley first met Nancy Reagan in the 1970s on The Merv Griffin Show. Nancy Reagan grew concerned after the attempt on her husband’s life on March 30, 1981 and asked Quigley if she could have foreseen, and possibly prevented, the assassination attempt. Quigley answered affirmatively, that had she been looking, she would have known. Mrs. Reagan enlisted Quigley’s astrological advice on a regular basis, and would hold regular telephone conversations with her. Explaining why she turned to Quigley, Nancy later wrote, “Very few people can understand what it’s like to have your husband shot at and almost die, and then have him exposed all the time to enormous crowds, tens of thousands of people, any one of whom might be a lunatic with a gun… I was doing everything I could think of to protect my husband and keep him alive.”
Quigley later wrote a book about her experiences, titled What Does Joan Say?. Quigley writes, “Not since the days of the Roman emperors—and never in the history of the United StatesPresidency—has an astrologer played such a significant role in the nation’s affairs of State.” Although that phrase is certainly debatable, Quigley’s insight was used frequently.
When Donald Regan took over as Chief of President Reagan’s staff in 1985, he was told by Reagan aide Michael Deaver about Quigley. Regan, who frequently quarreled with Nancy Reagan, resigned in 1987 after the Iran-Contra affair and mixed reviews of his job performance. Although some claimed his revelations were meant as revenge, Regan revealed to the nation that Mrs. Reagan consulted Quigley in his autobiography For The Record. After the leak, Quigley was swarmed with media attention, although rarely gave advice to the Reagans again. Of the entire incident, Mrs. Reagan stated, “Nobody was hurt by it—except, possibly, me.”