Jeane Dixon, famous astrologer to presidents and the stars, has been posthumously inducted into the Omarr-Righter Astrology Hall of Fame. Dixon wrote many books on the subject of the occult and stargazing. She predicted the assassination of JFK, among other notable events. Not all of her predictions were accurate, however, and some of her prognostications were downright controversial. She waded into the waters of psychic and not just astrology. For this reason, her legacy was dubious to many. Despite that, she made awareness of astrology climb and she reportedly met with more than one president in the Oval Office — FDR, Nixon, Reagan.
Jeane Dixon, 79, Astrologer Claiming Psychic Power, Dies
New York Times obit by Eric Pace
Jan. 27, 1997
Jeane Dixon, the astrologer and self-described psychic who gained fame by apparently predicting President John F. Kennedy’s death, died on Saturday in Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington. She was 79 and a longtime resident of Washington.
The cause was cardiopulmonary arrest, the Associated Press reported a hospital spokeswoman as saying. The spokeswoman, Jean Vincent, said the hospital had been asked not to elaborate.
In 1956, Parade magazine quoted Mrs. Dixon as forecasting that a Democratic President, elected in 1960, would die in office. She said he would be tall and young and have thick brown hair and blue eyes.
The journal Current Biography reported in 1973, ”She contends that she actually told her interviewers that he would be assassinated but they refused to print it.”
Mrs. Dixon, who was a devout Roman Catholic, also said she had based her prophecy on a vision she had in 1952 while she was praying.
So great did her fame become after Mr. Kennedy was assassinated, in 1963, that she became known as ”the Seeress of Washington,” and two books about her were best sellers in the 1960’s: ”A Gift of Prophecy” (1965) by Ruth Montgomery and ”My Life and Prophecies” (1969) by Mrs. Dixon as told to Rene Noorbergen.
Mrs. Dixon, the writer of a syndicated astrology column (her zodiac sign was Capricorn), also wrote other books, including ”Yesterday, Today and Forever” (1976, Andrews & McMeel).
Skeptics pointed out that she had said, in the summer of 1992, that the stars pointed definitely toward the re-election of President George Bush. But that fall Bill Clinton beat him by a comfortable margin. One headline said, ”Stars Go Blank for Dixon.”
She predicted that World War III would begin in 1958 over the offshore Chinese islands of Quemoy and Matsu. She also said that Walter Reuther, the president of the United Auto Workers, would run for President in 1964 and that the Soviets would get the first man to the moon.
Stefan Kanfer, a writer on cultural topics, wrote in The New York Times Book Review in 1992: ”The real summa of tabloid sensitivity is not found on earth but in the supernovas. Horoscopes, signs of the zodiac, predictions by Jeane Dixon — these are the vital signs of shlock.”
Mrs. Dixon was born Jeane L. Pinckert in Medford, Wis., the daughter of a businessman who was in the lumber industry. She grew up in California. Admirers said she had a talent for foreseeing the future, which she ascribed to God. When she was 8 years old, the story goes, her mother took her to see a gypsy soothsayer who said Jeane had a gift for prophesying. The child’s mother encouraged her in those efforts.
In 1939, she married James L. Dixon, who went on to be president of James L. Dixon & Company Realtors in Washington. She helped him in the business and also predicted individual’s futures and future events, acquiring a local reputation for accuracy.
Information about survivors was not immediately available.
Starscroll is also inducted into the Omarr-Righter Astrology Hall of Fame and is the first and only inanimate object to earn this distinction. These tiny Starscrolls that I’d pick up at the drugstore first piqued my interest in astrology. I remember anxiously awaiting the new month’s Starscroll. I’d pick up a tube and read it in my car. I couldn’t even wait to get home! I loved the icons that would be on the back calendar section that would give you an idea of the cosmic weather of any given day. It was cool stuff! I don’t remember the standalone Starscroll machines much but I do remember getting these babies every month at the drugstore counter close to the cash register. My mom used to buy these religiously! We miss the Starscrolls! Bring ’em back!!!
Object Type: Monthly horoscope and vending machine
Description: (Michael Grasso)
In the 1970s, public belief in astrology and adherence to horoscopes rose to somewhere between a quarter and a third of Americans, but awareness of one’s own sun sign was quite high, at over 75%. Even those who did not believe Western astrology was in any way a predictive science enjoyed it as a pastime, often paying heed to how sun signs fit together in terms of romantic compatibility. This opened an enormous market in the 1970s for astrological books, jewelry, electronic aids, decorative arts, and even cocktail guides. Many of these mass-produced horoscopes resided in the check-out lines of grocery stores, right next to television digests and tabloid weeklies.
One of the most popular of these retail fortune-tellers was Starscroll, which offered a monthly horoscope, sorted by sun sign, that was displayed for sale both individually (in supermarket check-out aisles) and in visually-striking stand-alone vending machines. Rolled tightly into plastic tubes less than a half-inch in diameter, the individual two-sided scrolls provided astrological information for every day in the month, along with (in later versions from the 1980s) lucky number and biorhythm information as well. The price for all this astrological content? A cool 25 cents (at least during Starscrolls’ ’70s and ’80s heyday).
The Starscroll vending machine featured a large dial that physically shifted the correct sign into place for vending. The machine’s visual design—brightly-colored wedges and tasteful Helvetica-family typeface representing each sign, a male-female couple in a romantic embrace photographed in soft-focus atop the machine, a zodiac crown that would light up on some models—fairly screams a design aesthetic now readily associated with the ’70s. Starscroll machines still turn up fairly frequently on auction sites and invariably gather eager buyers who nostalgically remember spinning that huge chunky dial while waiting for their parents to finish up a grocery run. Starscroll machines followed a long line of prophetic arcade amusements, including earlier horoscope-dispensing machines from the 1950s and the ubiquitous midway fortune-telling machine. The Zoltan machine, a zodiac-based amusement that used audio tapes and a phone receiver instead of scrolls, was voiced by Boston-area kids’ show host “Captain” Bob Cottle (and went on to inspire the “Zoltar” machine in the 1988 Tom Hanks vehicle Big).
Starscrolls were made by XII Signs, a Los Angeles-based company that trademarked the Starscroll name in 1972, and included predictions by famous astrologers such as Sydney Omarr (the “Astrologer to the Stars”) and Joy Mitchell Lisker. While Starscrolls were still being manufactured into the mid-1990s, XII Signs moved online early in the internet era, starting a subscription website called “Starmatch” in 1997. The overall disposability of the Starscrolls themselves means that few of the individual sealed tubes exist, but it’s clear from their popularity on auction sites and nostalgia threads online that lots of folks who were kids in the ’70s and ’80s remember the Starscroll brand and vending machine with great fondness.