EXTRA-NOSTRADAMUS: THE SHUGSBOROUGH INSCRIPT

EXTRA-NOSTRADAMUS: THE SHUGSBOROUGH INSCRIPT
(Inc. VIII 66 & VI 61)

This is not really a Nostradamus subject but I’ve worked-in a couple of Nostradamus Quatrains and deviated in section 7 to the supposed ‘Nostredamvs’ Italian inscription. I think it’s all interesting and presents real challenges to puzzle solvers and enigma revellers.

Aligning The ‘Opera Nostradamus’ And Anson’s Monument Conundrums:

Both Michel de Nostredame and Thomas Anson were travelled figures and writers who attracted a following internationally. Anson was a high-seas naval commander and explorer; he wrote the successful poem ‘Voyages Round the World’ and was later referred to in a French adventure novel. The enduring legacy of each is not those major works for which they were famed in their lifetimes but a lingering logical postulation that repeatedly evades resolution over the centuries.

The closest comparison between the Sixteenth Century ‘Opera Nostradamus’ and ‘Anson’s Monument’ lies in the major decision for the solver as to whether this problem is open or closed in nature, i.e. can it be solved at face value or is it a more deeply encoded message? They are each carefully obfuscated.

Chronologically, ‘frequency analysis’ would seem a reasonable de-cryption method to choose for the Eighteenth Century design especially in the case of it being a puzzle to be solved by letter arrangement, by fulfillments or substitutions. But there are only 9 obvious ‘clueing’ letters, 11 at the most. They are almost certainly in Latin. Alternatively and by a stretch this may be of a preconceived code with answers supplied by the carved monument itself and its surroundings such as by any noticeable slight changes from its inspirations plus some knowledge of its historical circumstances.

All this has little if anything to do with any latter-day pursuit of the “Ordo Sionis”, by the way, despite O-S- appearing in the Shugsborough inscript.

We may yet know how to prove the solution to this enigmatic puzzle but for now the Shugsborough monument holds a place among the top seven undeciphered wonders of the cryptalytical world.

Sections 1 through 8:
On Shugborough’s Shepherds Monument Inscription
Upon Shugborough’s bas-Relief Marble Monument
Overflushing The Nostradamus Quatrain VIII 66
Summary Of The Shepherds Monument
Vivacity, Death and Poussin’s Art
Arcadia And The Wandering Shepherds Of Antiquity
Viz Vaniloquence: Et In Nostre Damvs Ergo
Various Footnotes That Hover Glancingly Around The Numinous Ground Of Existence

On Shugborough’s Shepherds Monument Inscription

There is an unexplained inscription on the 18th-century ShepherdsMonument in the grounds of Shugborough Hall that reads.

O – U – O – S – V – A – V – V

     D –                                                               M –

The Shepherds Monument, a marble tablet in a tallish wall with arching surround, was commissioned by Thomas Anson in 1748 in a near likeness to a painting by Poussin, best known by its Latin motto ‘Et In Arcadia Ego’. The inscription added by Thomas is secret and personal or else was intended to put others to the test cryptographically.

This garden feature or ‘grotto’ was built to his order as a permanent response after the death of Thomas’s wife and a recognition of her worth. Anson was rich and socially successful at a time when rank and distinction were synonymous with overweaning class snobberies.

About the message: we must first of all presume that the Anson’s, or else Thomas alone, had chosen it and that after his wife’s death Thomas had always known the meaning of the 8 mysterious ‘clueing’ letters and that he knew exactly what it was saying when he first dictated it to craftsmen. Indeed, there are so many assumptions to be made here that, in the apparent absence of a key, nobody can be sure they have revealed the truth. It’s a matter of ‘one’s best guess’. It might be masonic, in which case some Master may have suggested it and a well-progressed freemason could well see through it but no-one ever has. Otherwise, we must presume this monument to contain a purely private secret for which the inscription is the heart of the matter. Of course, he may even have felt spiteful when it was devized but concealed his vituperation from others whilst feeling pleased to read it for himself. But we become much better organized once we presume this to have been an ideal marriage and an idealized message. Then why is it a secret? I guess because Thomas put down his personal marker in this lifetime for his intended reunion with her in the afterlife, feeling such matters were so inward and private that they were for a favoured few alone to know.

Thomas Anson was a man of war, publicly rewarded by his country. On thoughts of Heaven and Hell could he be sure that he and she would not stay separated forever? Well, it was typical of the Christian faith that one was encouraged to anticipate such a reunion as if some ‘goodness of the Christian family unit’ would automatically entitle all members to everlasting bliss in each others company. There would be a lot of social confidence coming into play about this monument – so what’s the mystery?

The inscription is O U O S V A V V and if this were possibly poetic it could be the couplet

O U O S
V A V V

Of great interest to me is the inversion of a capital ‘A’ discernible in the carving that is not there in the painting. It seems masonic as the accompanying arm of a shepherd is set at a right-angle, like a set-square, which indicates this as being especially contrived to form the most famous Masonic symbol of all (though omitting the customary solo ‘G’). Of course, the Masons did not invent their borrowed symbols but they are the first choice. So why should disguised compasses look like an inverted ‘A’? This could be telling us something about the representation by ‘A’ in the second line of the couplet.

Should we once reverse it we then get 4 V’s. And the ‘U’ of the first line is positively interchangeable with ‘V’ in accord with the living Latin language. That would give us 5 V’s (and it is only an obvious truth that 5 is the Roman numeral V) which quite neatly raises the old Latin word-play ‘Vi veri veniversum vivus vici’ or ‘By truth in life I have conquered the universe’.

Of course we could not accept an answer that would not explain all of the inscribed letters (excepting the outriders ‘D.’ and ‘M.’ which together represent a Roman salute to the departed found in historic graveyards across Europe and which became an instituted social grace long after Roman domination and the real Latin meaning had been subsumed and forgotten.)

In English O U O could represent Omniscient Universal Omnipotent, or God, which would leave S as the odd one out. It does look somewhat out of place anyway, even as Latin. If this were some secreted fellowship or companionship it could be Solidatas or Socius. If it were intending ‘one at a time into the afterlife’ it could be Singulus. If it be something of substance it could be Substantia (essence or property) or Specus (grotto) or it could be Scriptor (author) Sui (herself) Superus (above) Summa (the whole) or Summissus (lowered down). The options seem endless.

The second letter in each line of my couplet gives us U and A which accords with the grammar ‘utrum … an’, ‘whether … or’, and does this without disturbing the inferred poetic meter. Now this would give us leverage over the opening letter O as its meaning should then be able to stand alone before any further consideration. Candidates could be Omnipotens (almighty) Optimus (noble) Odormio (to fall asleep) Obduro (enduring) Obligatus (under obligation) Oblivio (oblivion) Omnino (all together, certainly) Oportet (it is proper) and even Ovis (sheep).

As for the U; bearing in mind that the scene is Arcadian, the U could be Uberrime (very luxuriantly or abundantly) but as this is his wife it could be Uxor (spouse) or as death is a key to the profoundest mysteries of life it might be Universus (made one).

A picture is emerging: I’ll opt for the span of coherence given by ‘whether … or” as opposed to some arch and non-sequitur study in grey. This could be a statement in remembrance of the intimate relationship, even a reminder of a pact, between a man and a woman. Ruling out the comic – such as “oblivious, in life as in death” – as far too common to require high-class Latin and a semi-public memorial to express it, what is the most ‘domestic togetherness’ in a profound statement that still reflects the mysterious duality-yet-similarity inherent to ‘Et In Arcadia Ego’?

I suggest a paradisical paraphrase of the wedding rite’s “Together for richer or poorer, in sickness or in health, ‘til death us do part” but taken somewhat further up the scale, i.e.

Occurrere (hasten to, meet) Utrum (whether) Opes (wealth) Salveo (health) Valens (vigour) An (or) Victima (death) Vaco (freed of property and tasks)”
and so
Occurrere Utrum Opes Salveo Valens An Victima Vaco
appropriately inflected,
“Hastening together whether in wealth health and vigour or in deathly vacation”

However, loosely approaching the same Latin words as above it could also be taken as “To occur whether wealth be well strong or exceedingly free from work”!

Whereas victus could even mean some manner of living, the Roman usage of the word victima conveys that this person is deceased. Vincire means to wind with a cord or otherwise to bind and probably links to ‘winding sheet’, a shroud, which is possibly from the Latin vitta/uitta which was a distinctive band to wind (ui-/wei-) around the head and brow, worn by all free-born ladies both before and after they married. This is also how bulls were dressed for the ritual sacrifice, hence vitta became victima (meaning unwilling victim in modern usage only).

There are plenty of alternatives available for V such as Vallum (wall) Votum (wish, prayer) or Voveo Vovi Votum (vow to God).

Latin inscription/translation is a linguistic minefield to the under-technique’d such as myself, let alone how Anson may have felt when tackling it by hisself in grief and sorrow. Please have a go for yourself, some well-mannered improvement upon my efforts would be very welcome.

Upon Shugborough’s
bas-Relief MarbleMonument

This Shugborough marble bas-relief was adapted from a printed plate, reversed from an engraving that most resembles the junior of two Poussin paintings of Arcadian Shepherds.

The earlier painting, 1627, is now hung at Chatsworth. It reminds me a little of Hamlet’s “Alas, poor Yorick” scene. In this painting the shepherds are found discovering an overgrown tomb and wearing engaged expressions. The shepherdess standing on the left is suggestively portrayed, an almost disconnected symbol of sexual potential seemingly aimed at reminding the viewer of carefree vivacity in contrast to the mood of these shepherds (and us too) who are ruminating upon a faceless symbol of death. And why not? The real Arcadia was an isolated but carefree and earthy place, close to fertile Nature, that ever danced to the pipes of Pan.

Poussin’s second version of the scene shows a shepherdess of greater maturity, even an advancing masculinization, whose profile bears only the slightest glimpse of psychological insight. This classical portrayal is sobre and balanced and is closer to the Chatsworth ‘shepherds monument’.

The Eighteenth Century bas-relief has the de-sexed lady on the left side as we face and the kneeling shepherd on the right is tracing with his finger on the block-built lower tomb. (A smaller, more ornate tomb sits above as if in imitation of a casket).  Two of the staffs and a horizontal strip between blocks suggest an inverted capital ‘A’ rather like an upside-down pair of compasses. The shepherd’s arm is at a right-angle just like a set-square. The marble relief’s surrounding arch has itself a squared portico with columns and symbols superimposed and the masonic whole is topped by orbs.

In the Poussin painting the bearded shepherd is touching a shadow on the tomb with one finger. He seems to be outlining the shadow that would be thrown by himself and, perhaps,  the companion shepherd to his left. The shadow might be physically accurate yet here suggests more a too-casual line-shape, an artistic misfit. Possibly its randomness contrasts deliberately with the geometry of the work as a whole. The copular-free title “Et In Arcadia Ego” was a regular Latin expression, not original to Poussin, and today would sit easily as a newspaper headline.

At Shugsborough, above the Poussin-pinching marble relief, there are two stone heads one of which bears a strong likeness, so they say, to the goat-horned Greek god Pan.

Overflushing the Nostradamus Quatrain VIII 66

Upon first reading    O – U – O – S – V – A – V –V
                               D                                                           M

 I recalled theNostradamus Quatrain VIII 66 that first appeared in the 1568 Lyon Benoist Rigaud edition (which I confess that I sometimes feel is a publication that is suspect in parts)

Quand l’escriture D.M. trouuee,
Et caue antique à lampe descouuerte,
Loy, Roy, & Prince Vlpian esprouuee,
Pauillon Royne & Duc sous la couuerte.

Translation:
When the telling representation D.M. is revealed,
And an ancient cave discovered by lamplight.
‘Loy, Roy & Prince Vlpian’ improved,
‘Pavillon Royne & Duc’ covered over OR beneath the surface.

Line 1, OF ‘écriture’ is a graphic representation, i.e. part of a graphic system or language, ‘escripture’. But it could also mean any artistic embellishment.

Line 3. As OF ‘prouvee’ is proven from ‘prouver’, then ‘esprouvee’ should mean improved, for instance ‘éprouver en soi-même’ means to develop greater strength or capacity within oneself.

‘Loy, Roy & Prince Vlpian’ may be an arch expression, self-coined or possibly of the times, as also might ‘Pavillon Royne & Duc’.

It was Roman jurists such as Vlpian that had accorded dual status to slaves (i.e. as humanoid chattels) by applying the Roman ‘dvplex interpretatio’ and so wrecking our Western religious culture for ages to come. Today its sister saying of ‘vtramqve partem’ or ‘for the sake of balance’ is routinely employed by Western Media as if a lofty principle, creepily confusing the massed public as to what is right or wrong until the division between real and metaphorical is moved around by degrees. Through this modern application of the Hegelian Dialectic an ideal dissolves into the faux principle ‘whatever is arguable and politically expedient is right’ in the same way that the Yankee Dollar has transmuted into ‘political money’ since its gold anchor-chain was severed.

Under the Roman jurists, God’s merciful law gave way to strict Natural law which was ruled in turn by the whim of manumissio, i.e. subject to mean or magnaminous gestures from ‘the Great and the Good’. By this peculiar rule of law, spiritual charity had given way to secular power. Thus coercive instruments may defeat established human customs and spawn oppressive social devices with deliberately distorted religious doctrines and arbitrary introductions of ‘current’ ethical values, only vaguely justified by recent historical developments but applied as ‘ius gentium’, the way of everyone, as if some newly-minted ‘necessity’ was of rather long-standing.

A Sixteenth Century Englishman named Vlpian Fulwell wrote a book about the happy life of Henry VIII. Coincidentally, it is ‘Quarto 66’ that survives and – as a whole sheet divided four ways yields eight pages – this might merrily suggest the numerals VIII and 66. Nostredame was interested in the reign of Henry’s daughter Queen Elizabeth I and might have read some of this work; the sections 8 and 9 recite upon “king Henryes Fortunate raigne” and rank him higher than Ceasar or Alexander, more on a par with Hercules due to his having succesfully coped with Barbarossa, the Turk Selimus, the German Maximilian, the Scots, the Papists and Francois 1er and even claimed that the Jews praised him as their messiah. It also rails against other English authors who apparently had not always praised Henry’s blessed attributes as highly as some foreigners.

Line 4. Pavillon is a tent for the living, pavillon noir is a tent for the dead. There are other associations: a wind instrument for heralding or a type of megaphone (conical like a tent) a bastion or enclosure (same basic purposes as a tent) a wooden stake (a tentpole). There has been an English Lord named Pavilion and so perhaps there was a French Duc de Pavillon also? The Palais du Louvre has a major section originally called the Pavillon Sully after Maximilien de Béthune Duc de Sully, right-hand man of Henri IV and a member of the Queen Mother’s Council of Regency. And then there’s the 1573 ‘Epistre presentee au Tres excellent & invincible Roy de Pologne … par le sieur de Pavillon pres Lorriz’. (Lyon, Benoist Rigaud, and Paris, de Nyverd.) This was a satirical effort by Antoine de Couillard, the Nostradamus mimic who in 1556 had written his own ‘Les Prophéties’ for the fun of it, some of it being direct quotation.

‘Royne’ = ‘Reine’ = Queen

‘couverte’. To the artisan, ‘cover’ can mean anything from hard glaze to soft upholstery.

(As cited by Canon Wace, Twelfth Century,.‘couverture’could mean dissimulation, pretence – a little like our ‘covert’. It could be to cover or else to envelope or it could mean anything from the material used to cover something to false semblance or covering outgoing expenses – ‘couverture des frais’ (deffrayment) – or an allocation in advance for expenses envisaged as necessary to guarantee operational success. Or an ongoing guarantee. Or else money to compensate for an adverse eventuality. In French economics it can mean coverage against certain social costs, as calculated, making ‘Pavillon Royne & Duc’ a close semblance to the annual Queen, Duke and Household allowances from British Public Funds. ‘Sous la couverte’ = under the cover (of something or someone). It is possible though not probable that ‘sous la couverte’ could even be intended to imply redemption of sins ‘under the cover of the crucified Lamb’.)

This Nostradamus Quatrain VIII 66 starts with the words ‘When the telling representation D.M. is revealed’ and it seems that we shall have to wait until then to apply our final deduction. However, on first viewing the Shugborough Inscription,

                                    O – U – O – S – V – A – V –V
                               D                                                           M

the words ‘obduro vacuus’ flashed into my mind. Well, that’s so very marginally logical that I can’t represent it to anybody as a solution to this graven mystery. However, my word pair contains an interesting if random paradox. As obduro meansto be hard-fixed or to persist whilst vacuus meansempty or devoid of substance, the two words cannot sit side-by-side and make sense in terms of the material world but will sit more happily together once we consider the state called death. We should remember that the earliest Jesus Worshippers held the Jewish view that all aspects of the person remained dead until the Day of Judgement when they will be raised from the dead, body and its soul. Conversely, we must also bear in mind that ‘Et In Arcadia Ego’ can be reinterpreted as meaning  the ‘I’ or ‘I am’ in life as also present in the land of the dead, should we take Arcadia as representing an aspect of the Underworld or Afterlife.  Poussin’s 1672 biographer Bellori stated the cryptic key as being that the ‘I’ is the tomb itself, that death is “to be found even in Arcady … in the very midst of delight.” However, Poussin’s 1685 biographer Felibien disagreed. He held the script on the crypt to mean  “the person buried in this tomb has lived in Arcady”.

Margaret, Countess of Lichfield had an experience that goes way beyond mine. She was staring at the inscription one day, wondering at its meaning, when this came to her out the blue, “Out of your own sweet vale Alicia vanish vanity (twixt Deity and Man, thou Shepherdess the way)”, possibly a partial recollection of a poem written either before or after the inscription and that had buried itself in her psyche. Or maybe not. Alicia was one known as a truly modest shepherdess in a valley amid Rome’s hills, the Countess has explained. Convinced?

Searching for a logical answer to the Shugsborough problem we must consider first that the ‘wing’ letters D and M were normally applied to Roman gravestones all over Europe and that conquered peoples had adopted this practice, even into the Middle Ages despite the Catholic Church’s social stranglehold. It is a strictly pagan sentiment meaning ‘dedicated to the Manes’  who were the ‘protector gods’ or ‘spirits’ from the Underworld, though use of the carved letters D.M. had become institutionalized long after the true meaning had been  aneathatized away by convention. D.M. could have become other things such as Deus Maximus, the greatest God, or Deus Maximes, divine rules or instruction. It is enough to eliminate the pair of them from our enquiry (although the fact that the letters of the inscription occupy eight spaces and this is the number of letters found between D and M in the alphabet may yet prove to be a particular clue.)

As for the ‘clueing letters’ as seen, I will accept them as straightforwardly representing Latin words. (Although Ancient Greek or some ‘secret alphabet’ might also deserve thought, though there is no V or VV readily available in Greek.) The beginning could be omnipotens, umbra, omnino or omnis or ovis (sheep) or suchlike: perhaps in formal Latin, perhaps not. The middle section could be secedo or seorsum or semper or sensus or sepulchrum or any number of s-words (including stoic). And the trailing assemblage could include the the descriptive absentis, the withdrawn abduco, the emphatic vos or the prayerful votum.

Really, it is easy and interesting to make your own most sensible selection. Whatever that may come out as, this procedure concentrates the mind upon the rational versus our religious expectations of death and where one’s own deepest thoughts lie upon that subject. At the very least it brings us back to our senses, reminding us that there is nothing voluptuous in the death pose and “you cannot take anything or anybody with you when you go”. Embracing the material joys in life – sweeping aside the decay inherent in the process – is seemingly worthwhile most of the lifetime yet proves pretty pointless in the end. Entropy, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, wins out repeatedly.

According to cryptography’s brightest minds, a puzzle with letter clues set as low as ten cannot be decisively solved without knowing the key that was pre-established for it. Nevertheless, many attemptee solvers have somehow seen the name Jesus in here. More than one has spotted a connection with the esoteric belief that the real-life Jesus was not and is not the literary Christ of religious doctrine. ‘Jesus (H) Defy’ is one erudite restatement by the most famous code-breaker of Signal Intelligence, Mr. Oliver Lawn. The H here is thought to represent the lofty socio-religious and presumptively glorious Christos. Incidentally, H appears also in the German title for Poussin’s painting, “Hirten in Arkadien” or ‘Here in Arcadia’. Jesus Here Defy? However, the great Goethe  employed only the words “Auch ich in Arkadien” to the Poussin paintings.

Summary Of The Shepherds Monument

It’s in carved marble, an “Emblematical Basso Relievo” (similar to painting in oils insofar as textured relief occurs naturally in the latter and its slow-drying nature allows for sculpted modifications in low relief, as practiced by Leonardo at the end of his artistic life) and is based on one of the two versions of The Shepherds of Arcadia painted by Poussin or else a drawing owned by Lady Anson  which may have been prepared for the under-painting of the variation that is now housed in the Louvre. This has the apparently mysterious inscription, ‘Et In Arcadia Ego’. It all depends what you mean by ‘Arcadia’ and ‘Ego’ and why the attendants should be shepherds. (We may guess this to be so from their staves, but really we only know so because the French title ‘Les Bergers d’Arcadie’ confirms this). There are two hung versions known because Poussin painted this theme early and late, changing angles and positions whilst this 1750 bas-relief has then added a dynastic ‘storey’ to the height of the original tomb.

In the painting this tomb is strictly a plain slab contruction, engineered with very smooth, well-fitting planes and only one or two cracks from age. (Modern engineers attempting to duplicate Ancient Egypt’s extreme pyramid-building precision over block-fitting failed to match it even when gluing together laser-cut Styrofoam copies.) It stands-out clearly from its naturalistic surroundings. Although the shepherds are examining it as if for the first time, there is a sawn-off tree trunk close to it as evidence of close proximity to MachineMan. (Trampling herd drivers and our much more static and orderly planters-extractors have never seen eye-to-eye it seems.) The carved Shepherds Monument, though, has a more ornate and expressive, possibly less confident but prettier, tomb and feature’s an ornament.

Vivacity, Death And Poussin’s Art

“Et in Arcadia ego” is the title of two paintings by Poussin well figured in Art History. The later version, less Baroque and more geometrical, has the figures contemplative and conforming to classical Greek art. It is held that a shepherd is tracing a silhouette with his finger around the shadow of his fellow upon the austere tomb. By European art lore this is the moment in which the art of portraiture is incepted – plus the shadow is itself an icon for mortality, suggesting that art is mankind’s challenge to the ultimacy of death.

There is no real proof that the painting or sketch copied, in a mirror-image such as engravature produces, was more than a casual inspiration, one of several from which the carved design was finally chosen, nor any proof that the original Poussin was based on a measured pentagram. (Poussin did sometimes compose paintings in such a way that a pentagram was inferred but without regularity as to the dimensions.)

According to art historian and cryptic messenger, Anthony Blunt, “…Poussin’s conception of Reason … was closely bound up with mathematics, and especially with geometry. For the seventeenth century, mathematics was the supreme achievement of human reason because of the absolute certainty of its demonstrations … ” and it is widely held that the enigmatic ‘Bergers d’Arcadie’ has a key that explains its subtle meaning. If so, the key died with Poussin. The phrase ‘Et in Arcadia ego’ pre-existed the 1640’s painting and is thought to be an antique memento mori on the nature of death. It is not of an awkward Latin construction despite the missing verb that in its translation has spurred so many to assume some enigmatic meaning of peculiar depth.

Arcadia And The Wandering Shepherds Of Antiquity

Arcadia in Greece is a rural region associated with classical antiquity and myth. Hermes Apollo, the son of Zeus, was said to have been born there. It tends to symbolize a rural Utopia. The Arcadian or Pastoral state is idyllic: many trees have been cleared and fields created, even elegant temples erected. In reality this activity would be symbiotic and contiguous with at least an urban sprawl where the landscape has been covered over by magnificent marble entrances and buttressed walls as the contented bucolics give way to opulent merchants and proconsuls in their fineries amid a madding crowd of demanding yet despairing consumer citizens. When comes the moment of its destruction, the abomination of utter desolation, the sprawl will retain only a few disjointed overgrown and decaying colonnades to mark the spot for a future archeologist‘s great discovery.

The female figure to stage right on the painting is to stage left on the relief. Could O-U-O-S-V-A-V-V be a response to or a rewriting of ‘Et In Arcadia Ego’, a reversal or even a refutation of the power of wandering bands to destroy the civilized order? Or the otherwise contrariness of human egocentricity in placing hewn blocks upon an idyllic spot? Machine-man, with his accumulated capital wealth, shall erect his unnatural tomb even in the middle of Arcadia it seems.

It may be worth mentioning that our cozily woven historical view of herders is not necessarily the Ancient Middle Eastern one. In the days when Egypt was top-dog (Poussin’s slabs look as smooth-sided and tight a fit as those laid then in Ancient Egypt, which is another mystery altogether) the cities lived in perpetual fear of nomadic shepherd tribes, great in numbers, who were known to descend on farm-encircled cities and desolate them abominably before wandering on. The story of Cain in Genesis stresses that being banished to wander the Earth is a terrible fate and so the permanence of sowing, reaping and harveting must therefore be superior. However, farming (after an interim slash-and-burn phase) was the essential source of capitalism, storing more than we need and investing profits raised to make yet more, whereas hunting-gathering does little if any harm to the Earth. Certainly the ‘skeleton record’ shows a marked deterioration in human health when the world changed over from one to the other.

The “abomination of desolation” is possibly an enduring cultural reference to a very ancient occurrence rooted in the general turn of events around 8,000 BC when hunting-gathering was displaced by landed farming across much of the globe. This contrasted with the earliest form of farming that had developed, herding over open countryside by nomads. (Genesis 46:31-34 states, “for every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians”.) Two major groups emerged, peasant landholders and drifting shepherds. Both groups grew to whole nations and the huge flocks of the latter roamed randomly across areas devastating the ecology. The shepherds occasionally made war and destroyed the cultivated lands and civic societies that were then developing obstructively. Shepherdic nomads with giant dusty flocks were a frightening group of clouds to spot over the horizon, bringing both abomination and desolation to more rooted peoples of a cultivated civility.

Viz Vaniloquence: Et In Nostre Damvs Ergo

The standing tomb-plates of Michel de Nostredame included the convention D.M. (incidentally, both letters are also Roman numerals plus, ironically, the first letters of De Medicis) but the extension D.O.M (D.opt.M.) has also appeared elsewhere, most probably inferring Deus Optimus Maximus although the O.M. just might be inferring ‘the Order of Melchidezek’, echoing Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews, 6.20. Who knows?

Another ‘D. M. Stone’ altogether is said to have been left in Turin by a visiting Michel Nostredame though I doubt that this is what we are waiting for. But rather than me suffer from prepossession by my own particular brand of logic, let’s take a look:

It has also been called the ‘Domus Morrozo stone’ and first surfaced publicly as photographs published in the 1920’s. Last time it was so seen was in the 1970’s, in the Italian mystery magazine ‘Clypeus’ apparently, but then it disappeared from public view. Here DM is said to mean House of Morrozo, a family of old Turin who had bought the VictoryMansion, Lessona Street, Turin, and this plaque had been found hanging in a cellar nearby. An object of curiosity, it is claimed to be dated from a supposed visit to Italy by Nostredame in 1556.

The inscription reads

I.S.S.6.

N O S T R E  D A M V S  A L O G E  I C I

O N  I L I I A  L E  P A R A D I S  L E N F E R

L E  P V R G A T O I R E  I E  M A  P E L L E

L A  V I C T O I R E  Q V I  M H O N O R E

A V R A L A  G L O I R E  Q V I  M E

M E P R I S E  O V R A  L A

R V I N E   H N T I E R E

This is too bad a read and so I’ve updated it as best I can

1556

NOSTRE  DAMUS A LOGE ICI

ON IL Y A LE PARADIS L’ENFER

LE PURGATTOIRE

JE M’APPELLE LA VICTOIRE

QUI M’HONORE

(AURA) AURAIENT LA GLOIRE

QUI ME MEPRENDRE (OVRA)LA

RUINE EN TIERE

The Latin ‘NOSTRE DAMUS’ could well be a form of the name Nostradamus but may simply mean ‘we give’.
A ‘LOGE’ is a cave, burrow, cellar, gallery, loggia or other covered place. Also a Masonic Lodge.
AURA = auraient?
OVRA = oeuvre, i.e. a work, opera (implying ‘fit for its purpose’)
OR ouvraison,i.e.in the manner of some persons
OR ouvre, to prepare, in a certain sense

(“Les oeuvres tant en oraison prose que tournée”, Nostradamus researcher Jean-Aimé de Chavigny introducing “l’Androgyn né à Paris”.)

The noun of the verb MEPRISE/MEPRENDRE is ‘mépréhension’ or misapprehension

The final word ‘tiere’ had the meaning ‘au ligne rangée’ in the sense of ‘ordinance’ or uninterrupted/eternal in the sense ‘ordained’. Or HNTIERE could just mean ‘H.N.III’.

Seems to me that this commemorative stone stood on the wall of an underground meeting place of a Lodge, possibly called ‘Our Lady’, which could explain its extended survival in situ. However, it could yet prove to be some other kind of pious boasting curse. (Note; Nostredame’s famously eccentric warning to his doubters is VI 100, the only verse in the Centuries not written in rhyming couplets.) A prime suspect would be Antoine de Couillard or his associates (see notes to VIII 66) who swiftly published his own mocking ‘Les Prophéties’ in 1556. (I.S.S.6?)

Apart from claiming D. M. to be a historical time-marker, as in Dux/Duce Mussolini, Italian researchers such as Boscolo have sought after both a key to the Nostredame Centuries and to the pictorial Vaticinia Nostradamus – that some have attributed to Cesar Nostradamus – by decoding this stone inscription they call the D.M. Lapid. (Using the palindrome ‘ICI’ as a starting point; as was discussed by the webzine ‘Red-Turtle’ on tripod.com)

Various Footnotes Hovering Gracefully About The Numinous Ground Of Existence

Footnote on Pareidolia-by-Numbers:

Ottavio Cesar Ramotti, apparently a former analyst-programmer at the Italian National Police Interforce Electronic Centre, has effectively rewritten some quatrains with his method; part Kabbala-based and part asserting a movable value to the key number on the Lapid, we are told. He is predicting for the early Twenty-First Century with his new findings, e.g. “the emergence of a new dictatorship in Russia, the coming of a brilliant new pope who will transform Christianity across the planet, the arrival of ET’s who usher in a new era of peace and enlightenment.” (This papal prediction contradicts the warnings of ‘Malachy’, ‘The Third Prophecy of Fatima’ et al. Possibly this is not a Pope as such, more a political variety of the Vicegod. And maybe the ET visitors will be but bogus bogeymen.)

If his computation method should prove correct then some (not all, it seems) the Nostradamus Quatrains are at least double-sided or at worst grossly distracting whenever their surface meaning alone provides the ground for interpretation. Many investigators, including myself, cannot agree with that. Too many fascinate a fusion of intellect with intuition, even when difficult to understand at first, without needing the math.

Ironically, Ramotti has taken personal inspiration from the

Nostradamus Quatrain VI 61  

1557 Utrech Du Rosne

Le grand tappis pité ne monstrera,
Fors qu’à démy la pluspart de l’histoire:
Chassé du régne loing aspre apparoistra,
Qu’au faict bellique chascun le viendra croire.

Footnotes on this Nostradamus Quatrain:

Line 3, OF ‘aspre’ = a small siver coin from Turkey or else it could be a harsh-edged thing as with the verb ‘aspregier’, to treat roughly, to abuse someone.

Line 4, OF ‘croire/creire/credere’ means to believe in or acknowledge the existence of or to extend credit to (and, by extended usage, to borrow). OF ‘chacun’ is a statement of equal distribution.

This is not an easy quatrain to comprehend. Here’s my best ‘help yourself’ translation-interpretation aid:

The great rolled carpet/tapestry/scroll fails to demonstrate,
The greater part of history by half OR the greatest part of the story being halved:
Driven out of the far kingdom will appear harsh OR Chased far away from a harsh realm then will appear,
Which warlike deed each comes to believe
ORSo that the warlike matter becomes financed. (To coin a phrase, “The war weights the war chest’.)

Ramotti claims that ‘le grand tappis plié’ is not actually the standard translation of ‘great folded carpet’ – at first glance it certainly looks more like ‘great pliable tapestry’ or ‘big carpet roll’ to my foreign eyes – but is his actual computed paper output in a lengthy continuous strip containing the quatrain numbers reset from  their sinusoidal original groupings (an earlier revelation of his) into a strict chronological order over about a 500 year period.

Footnote on Great Scrolls:

As it happens, the longest of the Dead Sea Scrolls is the important TempleScroll – the last to be discovered at Qumran – that is preserved at almost its entire length (over 9 metres). It was excavated in 1956 by tented Bedouins investigating a cave, which could bring us back to Nostradamus Quatrain VIII 66 in the third section of this webpage.

This Scroll is about a sect and is for that sect – probably the Essenes of 2 or 1 B.C. It’s composition is legal (halakalic) and performs a rewrite of the Pentateuch. It is local and re-interpretative in that it differs from the dicta of the mainstream Pharisees. The bodily laws are Stoic in severity. The re-write includes YHVVH speaking directly in the 1st person singular and not via Moses. Apart from detailing feasts, the festive sacrifices, regal statutes and purity laws this carpet-roll of a scroll fantasizes over an idealized Temple of major proportions that does not exist. The JerusalemTemple (I or II) had each spawned a temple cult in itself (and the unattempted III still does) causing the Essenes to reject it as impure by their lights. Further, according to this scroll, Essenes had their own calendar and additional celebrations including First Wine and First Oil Festivals (‘see thou hurt not the oil and the wine…’ excerpted from the Book of Revelation 6:6 springs to mind).

The ancient Chinese mythical serpent – derived from the super-spiritual dragon, a transcendant and auto-protected kin of Man that effortlessly climbs up the invisible steps to Heaven – is a coil much like a scroll. (Scrolls seem to have existed long before paper-making was invented!) A serpent is coiled up yet it may be opened to display a beginning, a middle and an end, just like the timeline of the story of life. The Garden of Eden may have been the Thirteenth Constellation – Aesclepius and Ophiucus – alpha and omega. The riddle here is that this zodiacal male figure either divides his serpent or it is wrapped whole around his body (the convention). It’s not clear from looking at the stars. Does the deadly scroll represent pre-formed acquisitive knowledge? Is the divided scroll symbolic; the obviating of the need for acquistional knowledge by the power of spiritual knowing? Aesclepius knew how to overcome death itself. The legend is that Zeus killed him for this with lightning (to support his brother-in-law who was the god of death) and placed his constellation – Ophiucus or offis the snake holder – in the heavens as a token of respect. I find this distressing. It feels like antique re-editing. I suspect that the story probably was that Aesclepius the immortalizer of humanity was put a distance away – a great distance in space and in time – but will revisit at the turn of an era when we are better equipped to ‘receive his truth’.

Footnote on the Serpent Unscrolled:

The ‘Kundalini awakening’ whereby the spirit snakes up the spinal column and out through the top of the head is recognized as significantly spiritual/spiritually significant. It’s name is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘kundal’, coiled. It’s presence when felt starts at the base of the spine in the os sacrum, Latin for sacred bone. In Western astrology the sacrum is symbolised by Aquarius, bearer of the vessel of the water of life or Holy Grail. (The ancient Greeks were also aware of the triangular sacrum or ‘Hieron Osteon’ and recorded it as the last human bone to burn in a total immolation. In  Ancient Egypt it was called the Mooladhara bone; the base, root or fundament; the Yesod or Sacrum.)

Footnote for Hindus:

The churning of the Milky Ocean (the foundation of the Universe) is by a Naga-snake often depicted wrapped across the body of Vishnu Incarnate that is pulled by opposing teams of light and dark working in co-operation to churn the milk so as to produce the Elixir of Life. Should there then be a Thirteenth Constellation of the Zodiac, called Aesclepius or Ophiucus or Serpentarius?

Footnote for Antiquarians:

Ancient Greece and Rome had the mythological Asclepius, the god of Healing. He is usually seen holding a staff (the spine) which is entwined with a rising serpent or two. Rome’s ‘Aescaluius’ came to represent Mercury holding the Caduceus, a staff of healing. Mercury’s serpent is an alchemical symbol for the process of metmorphosis/rebirth. Mercury was Hermes of the Greeks and Thoth of the Egyptians.

Footnote for Jesus lovers:

There are varying strengths of Kundalini experiences that snake up the spine, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so also must the son of man be lifted up…”

Footnote for Egyptologists:

Horus is often promoted as the proto-Christ and the Eye of Horus was once called Edjo amongst other names. To Greeks and Romans this was from ‘Wadjet’, the green goddess, and ‘uraeus’ from the Egyptian ‘iaret’ or ‘the risen one’, a reference to the kingly cobra that rises up provoking our due respect. Horus, god of the Sky, connects with the Sun god Ra by one eye. In some countries such as Vietnam an eye is still painted upon the prow to bring worldly/unworldly protection to boats in this region of giant storms. Et In Arcadia Edjo? The place of Light that will not know the Sun?

Footnote for ‘Sun Ra’ lovers, taken from the sleevenotes to his 1960’s album ‘Monorails and Satellites’:

In some far off place
Many light years in space
I’ll wait for you.
Where human feet have never trod,
Where human eyes have never seen.
I’ll build a world of abstract dreams
And wait for you.

NIGELRAYMONDOFFORD©2012

 

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