The Astrology of the INF Treaty

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President Ronald Reagan’s ex Chief of Staff Donald Regan revealed his boss’s reliance on astrology in his scorched earth memoir. “Virtually every major move and decision the Reagans made during my time as White House Chief of Staff was cleared in advance with a woman in San Francisco who drew up horoscopes to make certain that the planets were in a favorable alignment for the enterprise.” The May 1988 publication of Regan’s book marked the end of the Reagans’ association with their astrologer Joan Quigley. Two years later “Joan in San Francisco,” published her own memoir, “What Does Joan Say?” Quigley wrote that the Iran-Contra scandal was the result of “horrendous configurations” affecting the president’s chart. “No human being can prevail when the malevolent movements of Uranus and Saturn go against his horoscope.” In early 1988, the First Lady asked for Quigley’s help planning the Moscow summit. The late May date was “a horrendous time astrologically… I was terribly embarrassed to have anyone who knew anything whatsoever about astrology believe for one moment that I had chosen that time.” Quigley was particularly concerned with the timing of  The Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles. Nineteen years after the treaty was ratified, Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to withdraw from it unless other countries were included in the provisions. On January 30, 2014, Washington briefed its NATO allies that Russia had been breaching the INF treaty by conducting flight tests of ground-launched cruise missiles since 2008.

“I would like to go on record about something that was done for all the wrong reasons and against my best advice. Before I left for the Mediterranean, I only had the chance to analyze one of the times Nancy submitted to me for the week in Moscow. It was June 1, 2:00 P.M., when the ratification documents for the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty were to be signed.  I told her it was a horrible time. She assured me that the signing was of no importance, just a few insignificant details. But I said, ‘If the paper contains anything of the slightest importance, don’t do it.’

The last advice that I ever gave Nancy was as sound as the Rock of Gibraltar astrologically. I said, ‘Go to Moscow if you will. The time I have chosen will guarantee a safe journey. Enjoy your global photo-opportunity, the hands reaching out, the adulation, but for God’s sake, don’t sign anything of importance at 2:00 P.M. on June 1 in Moscow. I’m warning you, signing anything of importance at that time is Roosevelt at Yalta stuff.’

I knew Ronnie wanted to be remembered always as having cemented the historic arms reduction agreement by appearing in Moscow. It was only human for him to wish to do so. ‘But please, don’t sign anything at that meeting,’ I pleaded with Nancy. ‘Leave something for the next person. Ronnie has done enough. His place in history is already enviable.’

Even now, looking at the chart of the signing in Moscow makes me physically ill. I can only hope what was signed was of minor importance, ‘just insignificant details,’ as Nancy had said during our last formal consultation.”

“What Does Joan Say?” My Seven Years as White House Astrologer to Nancy and Ronald Reagan, Joan Quigley, Carol Publishing Group, 1990.

Ruler’s Feasts

State Dinner Reagan White House, Pete SouzaPresident and Mrs. Reagan’s White House State Dinner in honour of Mikhail Gorbachev (United States, 1987): Columbia River salmon with lobster medallions, loin of veal with wild mushrooms, zucchini boats filled with fresh vegetables, honey ice cream with petits fours and champagne.

Coronation Banquet of Czar Nicholas II (Russia, 1896) Borshch and pepper-pot soup, meat turnovers, steamed fish, whole spring lamb, pheasants in cream sauce, salad, asparagus, sweet fruits in wine, ice cream.

2,500th Anniversary of the Persian Monarchy (Persepolis, Iran, 1971): Food flown in from Maxim’s restaurant in Paris: quail’s eggs stuffed with Imperial Caspian caviar, mousse of crayfish tails with Nantua sauce, roast saddle of lamb with truffles, 50 roast peacocks stuffed with foie gras, glazed oporto ring of fresh figs with cream, raspberry champagne sherbert, Château de Saran, Château Haut-Brion Blanc 1964  Château Lafite Rothschild 1945, Moët &Chandon 1911, Misigny Conte de Vogué 1945, Dom Perignon Rose, 1959, mocha coffee, cognac Prince Eugene.

Fourteen Course Meal for Henry VIII (England, 1509-28) Roasted swan, spit-roasted meat, grilled beavers tails, whale meat, black pudding, boar’s head, marzipan, vegetables, spiced fruitcake, wine, ale.

President and Mrs. Eisenhower’s State Dinner in Honor of King Paul and Queen Frederika of Greece (United States, 1955): Shrimp cocktail, cocktail sauce, saltine crackers, sherry, clear consommé, sliced lemon, celery hearts, assorted olives, fairy toast, white fish in cheese sauce, coleslaw, Boston brown bread sandwiches, white wine, crown roast of lamb stuffed with Spanish rice, mint jelly, French peas, braised celery, bread sticks, orange and Roquefort cheese salad bowl, French dressing, toasted Triscuits, champagne, caramel cream mold, burnt caramel sauce, lemon iced diamond shaped cookies, nuts, candies, demitasse.

Robert Mugabe’s Eighty-Sixth Birthday Feast (Zimbabwe, 2010) (Televised) 200lb prawns, 8,000 lobsters, 4,000 helpings of caviar, Johnnie Walker Blue Label and Chevas Regal whiskey.

Photograph of the State Dinner for Gorbachev by Pete Souza, 1987.