In my last blog I explored the impact of astrology upon the emperor Tiberius. Consider this contemporary story of a president who followed the stars!

In 1981 the astrologer Joan Quigley made Nancy Reagan a believer in astrology by showing how astrological charts could have foretold and prevented the attempted assassination of her husband US president Ronald Reagan. From then on, Nancy became obsessed with her husband’s safety and she depended upon Quigley for accurate astrological guidance. For the Reagan-Gorbachev Washington summit, Quigley decided that 2pm on 8th December 1987, was the most auspicious moment for them to sign the intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty. At Nancy’s request, the entire summit was built around that hour. Both Nancy and Ronnie had always been superstitious, observing such harmless rituals as knocking on wood and walking around, never under, ladders.

Astrology is part and parcel of a pagan way of life. The stars and the planets must be appeased and placated. For example, the powerful god Mars is associated with the fourth planet from the sun. Pagan people are terrified of the war god and they are desperate to keep him happy. These gods are invariably depicted as egotistical, vain and capricious. They have no interest in important ethical issues  but, like many television celebrities, are preoccupied with trivia. The pagan gods are addicted to protocol and proper ritual. And this must be done at exactly the right time! What is unimportant has become important and vice versa.

Mark Roques
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Mark Roques

Mark taught Philosophy and Religious Education at Prior Park College, Bath, for many years. As Director of RealityBites he has developed a rich range of resources for youth workers and teachers. He has spoken at conferences in the UK, Holland, South Korea, Spain, Australia and New Zealand. Mark is a lively storyteller and the author of four books, including The Spy, the Rat and the Bed of Nails: Creative Ways of Talking about Christian Faith. His work is focused on storytelling and how this can help us to communicate the Christian faith. He has written many articles for the Baptist Times, RE Today, Youthscape, Direction magazine and the Christian Teachers Journal.