Taking much of the country by surprise, and causing a great number of negative reactions, was when it became publicly-known that then-president Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy not only frequently consulted an astrologer, but based numerous important decisions on astrology, such as Reagan's chances in the 1976 presidential election, and his eventual choice of George Bush as his vice-president. While governor of California, Ronald Reagan signed into law a new chapter and section of the government code, which granted astrologers the right to practice astrology for compensation. Even more surprising was learning that a number of previous presidents had also followed this practice as well as such famous world-leaders as Winston Churchill.
Celebrities are also known to believe in and follow the paths of astrology when deciding the course of their careers, often being quite outspoken about their beliefs. David Coverdale, of the popular group Whitesnake, has commented that he and his wife rigorously follow astrology; actor Robert Downey, Jr., and singer Britney Spears are also amongst those who consult astrologers on a regular basis. J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books series, liberally sprinkles astrological symbolism in her material. "Astrologers to the stars" occasionally become as much in the spotlight of the public eye as the stars who consult them.
If world-renowned politicians and stars in the entertainment industry have been placing so much value on the subject of astrology, is it any wonder that many average Americans are doing likewise? A recent Harris Poll has concluded that at least thirty-one percent of Americans have some degree of belief in astrology nearly half of these being in the twenty-five to twenty-nine-year old age group, with the belief in this practice falling to fourteen percent for those over sixty-five years of age.
The highest percentages of American adults who believe in astrology as being a valid and significant influence in one's life are women, democrats, and those who have a high school or less education-- yet even Benjamin Franklin professed and wrote about his own personal belief in astrology, which illustrates that this subject is by no means limited to any certain categories of individuals, and that its popularity is most definitely not new, as it has long been embraced by well-known, respected people in all fields.
Astrology is described as studying the celestial bodies in relation to their influence on natural events and human experiences. It is called pseudoscience, proven science, superstition, anti-Christian, and a host of other descriptions based primarily on individual viewpoints on the subject. But for celebrities, politicians, world leaders, and a large segment of the population of average citizens alike, it is frequently a very strong influencing factor in people's lives.