©1999 Vincent Bridges
As I sit this Saturday morning watching to the news and pondering my week’s work on the prophecies of Nostradamus, I am left with the eerie sensation that 445 years ago the Seer of Provence watched the headlines unfold just as I am now watching his prophecies unfold. Never mind what the 16th century philosopher thought of the marvel of Television (“Good Heavens, what changes!” he exclaims in one quatrain), he would have understood the name and perhaps even the ubiquity of its images. The prophetic news from the past, Nostradamus’ quatrains, are deciphered by the images on the magic mirror of our television screens. As I watch this, I am struck with a strange sensation, not deja vu exactly, but more like a deja tu, a shared experience of a temporal moment outside of its space/time frame. Nostradamus in the past comments on his future is such a way as to explain my present.
Michel de Nostredame was born in 1503 to a prominent family of recently Christinized Jews in the small village of St. Remy de Provence. His father was a prosperous grain dealer and notary named Jacques, or perhaps Jaume, and both his grandfathers were learned men, court physicians to Good King Rene of Provence and his son, the Duke of Calabria. Michel was something of a prodigy and at 14 his paternal grandfather Pierre de Nostredame sent him to school at Avignon, Provence’s Papal enclave. At 19, Michel left for the ancient medical college of Montpellier, his grandfathers were probably alumni, where he passed his baccalaureate examinations in 1525.
And then came the plague. Successive waves of the Black Death, le charbon, still swept through Europe, and Michel’s schooling was interrupted for four years when the University closed and sent its students off to fight the plague as best they could. In the midst of this emergency situation, the young Doctor Nostredame honed his skills by focusing on what really worked, and learned from any source that seemed promising. By doing this, he leaped beyond the confines of medieval medicine and incorporated the ideas of the whole range of the Renaissance’s underground stream, from alchemy to Sufi healers, from the remnants of pagan traditions to the inner teaching of the cabalists. By 1529, when he returned to Montpellier for his doctorate degree, and Latinized his name to Nostradamus, Michel was already far beyond his peers.
He stayed at Montpellier for a while, then, when his conflicts with the establishment grew too profound, he departed for Toulouse, and after that Agen. He seems to have established a friendship with the alchemist and hermetic philospher Julius-Cesar Scaliger, and even married a relative of his wife’s. But the plague struck again in 1537, and this time not even Nostradamus’ skills were enough. His young family died, and he departed on a seven year odyssey for which there are no solid records.
What is certain is that by 1544 he had set up his practice in Marseilles, the ancient port of Provence. When the plague broke again in 1546, he was summonded to Aix, the capital of Provence, where he fought the disease with such success that the grateful citizens gave him a pension for life and showered him with awards and gratuities. The story remains that he gave these gifts to the families and dependents of those he had not been able to save. The Hero of Aix was next called to Salon, and then to Lyons, where a mass of pharmacist’s prescriptions document his success.
Nostradamus returned to Salon in 1547, and soon after married a young widow named Anne Ponsard Gemelle. For the next eight years, Nostradamus concentrated less on medicine and more on his cosmetics recipes, and started a successful cottage industry based on them. At the same time, he began to seriously study the occult and the practice of prophecy. In a secret room at the top of his house in Salon, he began to compose an annual astrological almanac which contained a few cautious stabs at prediction. When this was well received, he embarked on an ambitious project, a future history of the world written in the Green Language of the adept.
He began work on Les Propheties on Good Friday, 1554, almost exactly 445 years ago as I write this. The first three Centuries, or groupings of 100 four line quatrains written in a ployglot of French, Provencal, Latin, Italian, Hebrew, Arabic and Greek, were published in May of 1555 and become an instant hit. By 1556, they were the rage of the French court, perhaps because one of them seemed to predict the death of the King in a jousting accident. The Queen, Catherine de Medici, summoned Nostradamus to court for an explanation. Nostradamus not only explained, he converted the Queen, who from that moment on became his most noble follower.
Centuries 4 through 7 came out in 1557, along with a wildly psychedelic letter to Henry II himself. The final three Centuries were composed during this period, but withheld from publication until after Nostradamus’s death. Meanwhile, Nostradamus had become famous.
In 1559, Henry II was killed in a jousting accident that followed the scenario in quatrain 35 of Century I to the letter. Overnight, Nostradamus became one of the most famous, or infamous, men in Europe. On the night of Henry II’s death, crowds gathered to burn Nostradamus in effigy and to urge the Inquisition to burn him in earnest. His friendship with the Queen saved him. Through the turbulent years ahead, Nostradamus relied on the support of royal and noble patrons to stay ahead of both the Catholic Inquisition and the Calvinist mobs.
From the early 1550′s to his death in 1566, Nostradamus published a series of yearly Almanacs, of which only fragments remain. In the Almanac of 1566, he predicted his own death. On July 2 1566, he was founding sitting with his foot propped up in his secret study at the top of the house in Salon. His wife Anne had him buried standing up, as he had wished, and inscribed on his tomb an epitaph that declared that “Michel Nostradamus, alone of all mortals judged worthy to record with his near divine pen, under the influence of the stars, the future events of the entire world.”
The notoriety gained by his correct prediction of the death of Henry II has hardly dissipated through the centuries. In our time, he is recognized as the popular Seer of the masses, with his image splashed across the tabloids advertising the latest Nostradamus prophecy on the end of the world or the winter’s snow storms. One recent publication even trumpted that Nostradamus had foreseen the latest diet fad. (Personally, I’m still waiting for Nostradamus’ Guide to Your Cat’s Love Life.)
However, in the course of researching a book on that other master of the Green Language, the mysterious 20th century alchemist known as Fulcanelli, my partner, Jay Weidner, and I blundered into the heart of the Nostradamus mystery. Without going into too much detail here, suffice it to say that if the secret of alchemy, as Fulcanelli suggests, is really the secret of time, then Nostradamus, the man who saw through time as one famous biography styles him, must be a master of the astro-alchemical process. In that case, the question becomes: what can we learn from him?
The answer, as I discovered in the last few weeks, is mind-boggling in its implications. First of all, let’s do the math on this question of accuracy.
If I were to write 4000 random sentences, including basic plots, happenings, disasters, and so forth along with plenty of proper names, both common and strange, and a smattering of pure whimsy, then I might statistically expect 4 to 6 incremental hits, that is, descriptions that match reality in my present, of say one year. This means that one line might reflect fairly closely something that was happening that year. This random hit rate goes down over time, so the chance of making a hit, in say 445 years, is about one in 1,776,000. That’s one hit, like a name or an event in the right place. The chance of a whole line being correct is something like one in 8,880,000, and so on.
But of course, Nostradamus wasn’t writing pure randomness. He had some sort of knowledge, some gnosis, that allowed him to actually chart the future, or rather, the possible futures. The fact that he got one whole quatrain right within five years, at odds of better than half a million to one, is fairly conclusive proof of this knowledge. The fact that the quatrain describes an accident makes the fact even more astonishing because it precludes prior warning through political channels. It could only have been described with such accuracy by means of clairvoyance. As the Foundation for Research into the Nature of Man, the former Rhine Institute at Duke University, uses the same statistical analysis for its ESP studies, we may be fairly confident with our conclusion.
OK, so if Nostradamus is actually seeing the future, no matter how he achieves such a goal, then what is he telling us about that future? From his long Epistle to Henry II, we can glimpse how Nostradamus’ mind worked. On fire with the significance of his visions, Nostradamus is also cautious. Not because he is afraid of being understood, he can speak plainly enough when need be, (he gives the exact date of the French Revolution in the letter) but because of something inherent in the process, something that Nostradamus had discovered through insight and initiations.
(I must pause here and note an unusual circumstance. I have been struggling over the next few paragraphs for almost an hour now as my computer inexplicably freezes up when I go to copy/paste a quote from the Apocalyptic Sequence explaining the secret of inter-active time and our discoveries about Hendaye. I can only conclude that Nostradamus himself, who seems to have been hanging around since our visit to his birthplace a few weeks ago, doesn’t want me to reveal the secret that openly. I hereby concede to his wishes and direct anyone interested to the apocalyptic sequence itself, and I/16 & III/46.)
To protect the secret he had discovered, Nostradamus created his oracle of the future in such a way as to make sure it couldn’t be understood and used ahead of time. Each quatrain is designed to be inexplicable until the moment when it begins to unfold on the world’s stage. At the present, we have an unusual opportunity to watch the process of prophetic unfoldment happening right before our eyes. If the events themselves weren’t so scary, the process itself would be fascinating.
In the enclosed sections, Balkan War and Balkan Terrorism, we present a selection of emerging quatrains all having to do with the current Balkan crisis and its connections to the start of a possible third world war. As you read through our translation, closely based on John Hogue’s stupendous work, and our interpretations, you can actually see the future unfolding from the words of a man far in the past.
But why? Why go to so much trouble in writing a predictive history of the future that can’t understood before the event which it predicts actually happens? It contradicts all logic, and seems so irrational that there must be another explanation.
And there is. Nostradamus predicts that his prophecies will be fully understood only as the Aquarian Age dawns. Only then will his secret be revealed. However, in Nostradamus’ view, the Aquarian Age’s beginnings are shrouded in dire prophecies and grim alternative futures. To create a true golden age requires participation, the true participation that comes from seeing the broad patterns of history as Nostradamus did. Therefore Nostradamus is cleverly telling us that his prophecies will be understood when they are most needed to effect a shift in the flow of time. To choose, when the moment arises, between extinction or enlightenment.
Watching a crop of quatrains hatch into historic fruition this week has led me to believe that the moment is now or never. If we can understand Nostradamus’ hidden message, then, when the time is right, we can change history. With Nostradamus’ help, it just might be possible to surf this monster probability wave and arrive at the golden age described in X/99, which points to 1999 as the shift point, and IV/25, which suggests the spirtual potentials of a species wide alchemical transformation.
Let me close with these two quatrains as a point of reference as you wade through the other prophecies examined in the inclusions below. These quatrains delineate a future that is possible, if we make the right choices, right now.
The end of the Wolf, the Lion, Bull and the Ass,
Timid deer will be with the mastiffs:
No longer will fall upon them sweet manna,
More vigilance and guarding of mastiffs
Bodies sublime and infinite, visible to the eye,
Will become clouded over by their own reasons,
Body, including the forehead, senses, head and invisibles,
Will diminish the sacred prayers.
Index of Pertinent Quatrains:
Apocalyptic Sequence of Events: I/16 – I/30 – I/55 – I/69 – I/70 – II/19 – II/46 – II/62 – II/96 – III/19 – VI/6 – VI/10 – VII/6 – VIII/17
Aquarian Age: PF/83 & 106 – I/44 – I/62 – II/65 – II/8 – III/46 – V/24 – V/31 – V/41 – V/79 – VI/8 – VII/17 – EP 166 – EP 215 – VIII/56 – X/75 – X/99
Axis Shift: II/41 – II/54 – II/81 – II/95 – II/10 – III/12 – X/67 – X/72 – In the Spring: VI/88 – EP 88-90 – IX/31 – IX/46 – IX/83
Third Balkan War in the 1990′s (Bosnia): I/47 – II/32 – III/7 – III/18 – III/23 – III/81 (Mostar bridge) – IV/55 – IV/70 – IV/91 – IV/95 – IV/99 – V/85 – V/91 – IX/55 – IX/60 – X/63
Dayton Peace Accords: II/22 – III/7 – III/23 – IV/95 – V/70 – V/91 – IX/60
Next Balkan War, late 1990′s: I/74 – II/3 – II/52 – II/32 – II/84 – II/97 – III/3 – III/7 – IV/38 – IV/55 – IV/98 – V/48 – V/70 – V/91 – VI/21 – VI/62 – VIII/4 – IX/75 – IX/99 – X/58
Balkan Nuclear Terrorism: V/90 – VI/98 – VII/6
SOME QUATRAINS: Aquarian Age / Apocalypse / Balkan War / Balkan Terrorism