I 28 & Presage 65bis A RELIGIOUS WAR
1555 Lyon Bonhomme
La tour de Bouq gaindra fuste Barbare,
Vn temps long temps apres barque hesperique,
Bestail, gens, meubles tous deux seront grant tare
Taurus & Libra quelle mortelle picque!
Heretics/Islamists force suffering upon the the tower (or steeple) of Bouq,
A time a long time after the Western barque, (either a boat or the papal ‘ship of state’)
Both people and possessions will be greatly reduced
Taurus & Libra such deadly combat!
Line 1, OF ‘gaindra/geindre’ meant to give expression to physical or mental suffering or otherwise to produce inarticulate sounds. But the 1557 Lyon Du Rosne edition has this as OF ‘craindra/creindre’, feeling fear. OF ‘fuste’ meant a wooden beam (‘gaindra’ is related to gantry?) although the martial meaning was a light and fast boat designed for war. (But the modern Fr. meaning is foist: palm off or push forcefully.)
OF ‘barbare’ here means Moslems or other members of a non-Christian faith. It flies close to ‘heretic’ which could include the non-papal forms of Christianity. Indiscriminately compounding the true meanings of ‘Barbare’ and ‘heretic’ may seem a bit much for Michel Nostredame to consider but we should remember that each publication of his depended upon express agreement from a religious Censor at least partially selected by Rome (who could summon secular law enforcement against him in and around Provence.)
(Also see the section BARBARE in the Article UNDERSTANDING NOSTRADAMUS: EXPLORING SOME SUBJECTS RECURRENT IN THE CENTURIES)
On first reading this line, Nostredame seems to have seen the tower as representing a general fear for the barbarian/Moslem fast boats of war from Mediterranean Africa. This is a quite unbelievable logic leap. (But the Tarot Card symbolism still uses a picture of a tower to represent a sudden incursion into our lives.)
The geographical Boucq is in the Meurthe-et-Moselle of North Eastern France which was neighboured by German lands. At a high point of Toul in the Forest of Reines (Queen’s Forest) is the Castle of Boucq which was built in 1340 as a defensive structure, now residential. The ‘Tour carrée de Boucq’ or ‘Square Tower’ forms the top corner of the castle near to the church steeple.
Where or what else is known as Bouq? The Gallish ‘bou’ meant cow (matching Line 3’s ‘bestial’ and perhaps echoed by Line 4, ‘Taurus’). I gather that ‘Bouq’ may be classical and ancient Arabic for ‘war horn’ but I have no verification of this. A ‘bouq emissaire’, however, is a scapegoat, originally a horned animal of undeserved suffering which was later supplemented by the device ‘a whipping boy’. Bouq = livestock or goat?
Line 3, OF ‘bestail/bétail’ means livestock or else persons bestial and brutish or even a fish the size of a beast. OF ‘tare’ is a loss sustained, a decrease in a value such as weight, quality, quantity.
Line 4 is prefaced by a zodiacal time-marker (roughly April and September) or else a qualitative starsign combination and ends with an uncharacteristic exclamation mark. Michel is shocked by his vision/interpretation of the future ‘tour de Bouq’.
If ‘after the the Western barque’ means after the papacy then we might be talking about something like a Goat’s Tower, a pleasure climb for domestic goats that got started as a European garden folly in the Nineteenth Century, which if symbolic would widen the scope of this remotely reported violence between the brutish and the balanced aspects of human nature. Or it could be any cattle-driven wheel servicing some lofty castle with well water. Or the 1509 Magdalen tower at Oxenford in England. Or the tower at turbulent TurjakCastle in Slovenia which bears a slab with a bison engraved upon it, once gilded. Or the high and massive Ochsentum (ox tower) at Oberwesel on the Left Bank of the Rhine Gorge, this being a river big enough for most types of barque to navigate. In the Middle Ages the Jews were the prime choice for a collective scapegoat. The sainted Catholic boy martyr Werner was rumoured drowned at Oberwesel in 1287 by Jews who wished to stop him partaking the sacrament fragment/was widely acknowledged as having been drowned by Jews who wanted his blood for their Passover(!) Feelings ran higher than rational thoughts and progroms followed in this region on the Rhine.
An alternative use of ‘Barbare’ may be apparent in the Presage 65bis for November, 1561:
(I must comment in passing that ‘65bis’ looks exactly like a house address from the alleys of Sai Gon, the Vietnamese ‘bis’ meaning ‘standing just behind’ or ‘next to’, say, adjacent to the house number 65.)
Par le retour du voyage Barbare
Exalteront la protestante entree.
Le stratageme simulte sera rare.
La mort en voye, rebelle par contree.
Line 2. OF ‘protestante’ is a noun and almost certainly means of Protesant persuasion but possibly could be derived somehow from the verb ‘protester’ (Modern Fr. ‘ils protestaient’) to declare or protest in opposition to something. Line 2, OF ‘exalteront’ means being raised above others or awarded the highest dignity – astrologically, in your peak environment.
Line 3, OF ‘simulte’ is familiar-looking yet obscure. By seeking out similar words it could have a meaning like tumult or moulting or as the old Occitan phrase ‘si m’ajut (Dieus)’ might mean something like ‘if God wants to help me’. Or it could be simultaneous (‘simultanée’) but this is too easy a choice and too difficult to fit in except meaninglessly unless this be medieval astro tech-talk. (The Latin ‘si multe’ doesn’t fit.)
The return trip of the ‘Barbare’
Lifts the efficacy and standing of/Celebrates and honours the inception of Protestantism.
The strategy of relying on God’s help will be used but little.
Death itself looms into view, rebellion by the country/the nation.
In its wider application the term Protestant indicates any follower of non-papal Christianity. It is all apostasy, the Churchmen say, or else Roman Catholicism was the original apostasy leading to a journey away from truth, the return part of the voyage marking the launch of Protestantism in its several varieties. Here is possibly a concealed criticism of the Church foisted within the word ‘Barbare’ and subtly suggesting it to have become paganized (including by its encounter with the Mithra faith beloved by the Roman Emperor and sometime Pontiff of Mithra, General Constantine). There are some shadowy indicators elsewhere in the ‘Opera Nostradamus’ that Michel may have been a closet Lutheran. Or the terms ‘protestante’ and ‘Barbare’ are Old Astrology that herein do represent a planet entering its exalting Sign.
Footnote: much has changed in the last few years most noticeably the criminal destruction of parts of the the Middle East and the urging of their migrants towards Europe. Should ‘Bourq’ in Line 1 be instead a Sixteenth Century stab at transliterating the Arabic word ‘burqa’ (with perhaps the slightly off observation that a woman so dressed looks more towering or maybe more like a pillar than a person) we could conjure up a secondary translation as follows,
Islamists enforce the wearing of the Burqa,
Well after the days of the Western Church,
Both populations and possessions will be much altered
Upon Earth and Sky such deadly combat!