VIII 48 THE MOST ELUSIVE QUATRAIN OF ALL
1568 Lyon Benoist Rigaud
Saturne en Cancer,Iupiter auec Mars,
Dedans Feurier Chaldondon saluaterre.
Sault Castallon assailly de trois pars,
Pres de Verbiesque conflit mortelle guerre.
Saturn in Cancer, Jupiter with Mars
in February (Aquarius, Pisces):
Chaldon’s Salvation Road.
Saluat Castle near to God OR San Adrian close to cacophony,
Assailed on three sides, that there are conflicts death and war.
Line 1 has Saturn in Cancer and Jupiter with Mars but Nostredame does not confirm the Sign under which this conjunction occurs. Does February suggest at the calendar turn from Aquarius into Pisces or is this simply the month of the quatrain’s fulfilling?
Line 2, ‘Chaldondon’ contains the word London and looks like something derived from the Latin ‘chaldeus’ meaning an Assyrian soothsayer or astronomer-astrologer. However, the church of St. Peter and St. Paul in the English village of Chaldon, in London’s Home Counties, contains an important Twelfth Century wall-painting called The Ladder of the Salvation of the Human Soul and the Road to Heaven. Salvaterre? A strong card held by pre-Reformation Catholicism was predestination which guaranteed survival after death to every soul, one way or another. Avoiding eternal damnation was the meaning of OF ‘salva’ from ‘sauveur’. In ‘salvaterre’ we probably find ourselves on hallowed ground, the Salvation Road to Heaven.
Line 3, Sault Castallon is today a personal name. Sault is also the name of a village in South East France or else the Medeval Priory at Saint-Benoit-du-Sault which looks down on a calm river. But Sault is from Latin saltus, a leap, in OF a waterfall or river rapids. Castellon is in Valencia Spain on the Mediterranean Sea. OF ‘casteillon’ is ‘petit château’, little court or manor house. OF ‘pars’ is here a share, trois pars = three shares, perhaps three quarters.
(also see Epistle to the King which refers to ‘Castulum’)
Line 4, ‘Verbiesque’ seems to me like a commentary on the Basque, Catalan, Galician or Valencian languages. It conveys the sense of a language barrier existing, perhaps a cacophony of languages as one might expect at a place on an old and international pilgrims way. Or it might be a printer’s error. Perhaps the particle ‘-iesque’ should have been ‘y es que’, that there are, and ‘Verb’ is a misprint unless this be ‘le divin verb’, God. ‘Pres de Verb’ could then suggest ‘So high that it is near to God in Heaven’. In fact the pilgrims Way of St.James, the trail to Santiago de Compostela through Basque Galicia, has a high section which uses a natural tunnel in the rock carved by water erosion and big enough to house a hermitage. The area is snow-covered so water must cascade from occasional or seasonal melts. Sault? In a sense, this stony tunnel-cave is a natural castle protecting people. Castallon? It’s called San Adrian, a name associated with worship. Sault Castallon = San Adrian, the people’s castle in the rock carved by running water?
(On this international route there is also a town called Salvatierra that sits on a plain in Spain alike to the Meseta table that is home to Castile and León – Castallon? – and Burgos which is a major city on the Camino pilgrim trail and has seen much conflict, death and war down the ages. And a map of Fifteenth Century occupied Bordeaux under Henry VI of England shows a ‘Castillon’ beyond Blays and Bourg. Today the Fourteenth Century’s ‘Castelhoo’ in the Aquitaine is again known as Castillon.)
Lines 3 and 4, ‘assailed on three sides’ could be figurative; the echoing cacophony off the sides of the stone cave (a sound of voices seemingly in turmoil for a lack of understanding their words) on some occasion that Nostredame knows all about. Maybe because he was there.
Otherwise, this is a piece of nostradamusing that defies present explanation. At first sight each line seems a separate subject to the other three. Are the three images – Chaldon’s Salvation Road wall-painting (the religious path) San Adrian the pilgrim’s castle (the Higher Self living in external turmoil yet liberated from it) and this scene from the ever backward-wheeling Zodiac – poetically representative of three key influences over this troubled human world, even as it passes from Pisces into Aquarius?
In my translation of the Epistle to the King may be found
And there will be a new incursion made via the coast, leaping up to Castulum (Cazlona on the navigable Guadalquivir River in Andalusia) delivering it from the first recapturing of it by the Mohammedans.
Another translation is out on the net that reads differently to my own, “to deliver Saultus Castulonensis” but I am unable to verify this Latin name. However, from highgrounds the Castle Salvaterra and the Castle Calatrava stand guard over the low flat Almuradal Pass through the Sierra Morena Mountains and if the former once was ‘Saluat Castallon’ then that could tie up a loose end. ‘Saluat’ is more likely etymologically as L. ‘saultus’ is leap, jump (the Provencal ‘sobresaut’ = somersault) a reasonable name for a height like “Lover’s Leap” but with no imagineable connection to a miltary keep.
Of course, some of Nostredame’s words that we try so hard to explain in advance may seem clearer once the foretold yet woefully unexpected event has actually happened.
Nigel Raymond Offord © 2011