UNDERSTANDING NOSTRADAMUS: KEYING THE ARCH
PROPHECY, QUABBALA, THEURGY AND MAGIC
COSIMO DE RUGGIERI vs. MICHEL DE NOSTREDAME
WORLD HISTORY 1503-1524
EARLY SIXTEENTH CENTURY SCHOLARSHIP
NOSTRADAMUS: STYLE, SUBSTANCE AND STANCE
SOME POETRY OF MID-SIXTEENTH CENTURY FRANCE
DUALITY, ILLUMINISM, RELIGIOUS MILITARIES, SECRET SOCIETIES AND TRUE BENEFICENCE
THE NOSTRADAMUS QUATRAINS: ARE THEY ROOTED DEEPLY IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY?
PROPHECY, QUABBALA, THEURGY AND MAGIC
The Centuries are neither closeted codes nor a carton of contradictions. Each and every Nostradamus Quatrain is both a closed text and an open book. Their interpretation is by no means a matter of common consensus, so far at least, although that day may come I hope. Spinoza said that personal freedom was possessing sufficient comprehension to say ‘yes’ to the inevitable. Nostredame said it was having sufficient foresight to say ‘no’ to the inevitable downward path at End Time, thereby delaying humanity’s final and worst disaster for compassion’s own sake.
Almost five centuries after the Nostradamus Centuries were first published we have spun a range of rational philosophies for modern living based on arrogant dogma. Why ‘arrogant’? Because opinion leaders in the species believe we have either debunked God intellectually or labelled the Almighty defeatable in the human arena. Why ‘dogma’? Because we now worship the human will to change the world and frequently recite one ideological creed or another to that effect. This is a baited trap into which we have fallen, replacing the expected religious avatar with an anticipated technological equivalence (both are possibly false but the former is at least pro-humanity while the latter would be definitionally inhuman). Nostredame foresees an inspired human being who might do a better job than either, albeit an unexpected and unusual one.
So is the ‘Opera Nostradamus’ a true work of prophecy? The Catholic Encyclopedia’s concept of prophecy is simple, “the foreknowledge of future events, though it may sometimes apply to past events of which there is no memory”. Sounds close.
(There are both longer definitions of prophecy and stronger justifications for Nostradame in the latter part of the Article BY WHAT STRANGE FACTOR IS NOSTRADAMUS STILL BEING READ? THE NATURE OF PROPHECY)
Where matters Judean were concerned, old France was caught between the Ashkenazis predominately Tosafotist views to the North-East and the Spanish Jews predominately Sephardic ways to the South-West. This left the Provençal rabbis placed mid-way in all senses. Interestingly, the Jewish term ‘Provence’ referred to the landmass within the Southern Coastline of France, not just to geographical Provence.
The ‘Hachmei of Provence’ were the ‘Wise Rabbis’, including Solomon of Montpellier who led the movement against Maimonides. In his Preface to Cesar Nostredame shares with Maimonides their insight that prophecy involves unworldly inspirations routed to the imagination:
to have that understanding through the seeing which is not by severing of the imaginative sense
The Jews of Papal Comtat Venaissin (who were untouched by the expulsion of Jews from France) used the Provençal sacred rite or liturgy which was similarly middling and a tad Italienate, apparently.
(The ‘sacred rite’ appears in the sole non-quatrain of the Centuries, the cursive verse VI 100 where it might otherwise mean ‘schechita’, ritual slaughter by draining of blood)
The esoteric Jewish Kabbalah was conceived and developed by rabbi initiates in Provence and Languedoc at the end of the Twelfth Century then spread to Spain and reached its summit in Safed, Galilee, in the Sixteenth Century.
Nostredame was not a practising Jew. Jacques Chavigny witnessed that Michel was a practicing Catholic. Yet this grouping of Hebrew mystics in his ancient homeland cannot have gone unknown to him. In fact, as Robert Benazra has explained, the Sephiroth system provides the intermediator through which the superior man can perceive a visionary aspect of God. This might help explain the reason why
it is not always crystal clear that the intermediary involved is the prophesizer visited with the ‘perfecting light of prophecy’ and not some ‘heavenly mediator’ as ‘generous arbitrator’ in trine with the Source and the ‘external light’. (From my end note to the Preface to Cesar)
All through the Preface and the Epistle to the King we can find traces of non-Catholic mysticism; even or especially of Jewish mysticism. Nostredame should at least have known the existence of the Yetzirah or Book of Formation, a Fourth Century explanation of the creation of the world via the Sephiroth* (stations on the Three Pillars or the Tree of Life) in association with the Hebrew letter-number system, and the Bahir or Midrash of Rabbi Nehunya ben Hakanahwhichis said to be the primary book of the Quabbala. The disturbing Talmud with its word games, chronological disjunctions and multiple associations of ideas was composed from the schools of old Palestine and Babylon and houses extensive reports of discussions between rabbis over three whole centuries, printed first in Venice between 1520-23. The Zohar, a bible to the Quabbalists, was in Aramaic. It’s earliest print publications were in Cremona 1558 and Mantua 1559.
*Expressed as a linear statement the stations of Sephiroth are the Malkuth (the Kingdom) Yesod (the Foundation) Hod (Glory) and Netzach (Victory) plus the higher Tipareth (Beauty) Geburah (Strength) Chesed (Love) Daath (Enlightenment) Binah (Severity and Compassion) Chokmah (Mercy and Wisdom) and Kether (the Hollow Crown). They are arranged as a central column of five stations with two columnar wings of three stations each. The possible but not probable stage of Daath is only a rank in the system when it is viewed that way by the unenlightened. An Enlightened One would see the plan of this or any other tracking system as aside from their Higher Self and so from Daath. In a way, each Sephirah is related to and a mediator of the others and so this is not a regular knowledge system but a lifelong path to advance from one’s lower to one’s higher personas, so altering or realigning our personal percept of God as we go.
Despite the Hebrew traditions and the permanent queue for the Messiah both Kabbalists and Prophets are personally moved directly towards the One God and this also underlines the Opera Nostradamus insofar as we are never encouraged towards any indirect group religious experience.
A passage from the Talmud states:
“We learn that all prophets saw the Lord through a dark mirror, while our Teacher, Moses, saw through a clear glass.”
As if in modest response, Nostredame said that seeing is much like, so to speak, in a burning mirror (Epistle to the King)
Yet both these, if they were mundane mirrors, would have been dull metallic as mirror glass over a reflective metal was introduced in the First Century AD in Rome and silvered mirror glass was not invented until the Nineteenth Century in Europe)
In the Preface, Nostredame speaks of angels and a ‘separate light’. This sounds Quabbalistic as “… the fire that serves as food for angels and men … comes from the sephirotic degree called Chesed”. Quabbalism’s Zohar says “The world exists for six thousand years, raised in the first six words of Genesis … and this state of the Earth will be renewed at the beginning of the seventh millennium.”
This periodicity, “God’s Six Thousand Year Plan”, has been subscribed to by many church authorities also down the ages and is echoed throughout Nostradamus. Despite this he opens the Centuries with two very fey quatrains;
that will resonate with professional fortune-tellers who often play upon the expectations of the uninitiated to establish a psychic connection with them – and have done since way back when:
“a basin full of water, which attracts the spirits moving stealthily in the depths (dæmonibus congruentem in profunda repentibus.) The basin then, full of water, seems in sort to breathe (or move) as with sounds”
(from Michael Psellus via Le Pelletier via Charles A. Ward)
Today this evokes the gifted hack sitting at a psyche’s funfair booth. Perhaps it was a neat Medieval way to open a book so as to sell it easily to a publisher. However, Michel might well have opened up to visionary experiences through simple rituals as that’s a quite normal way to orient oneself away from the distracting world of external appearances. And lightbeams in water can certainly undergo changes in both speed and diffusion that may induce altered states of consciousness in the watcher or else something more mysterious.
Nostradamus tells more in his Preface to Cesar,
Because the understanding that is created intellectually cannot see mystically (clairvoyance) if it is not made by the voice (clairaudience) with the limb (dowsing), with the aid of the small flame in that on making the future cases appear it will have suddenly sloped. (Changed yet unchanged in an adiabatic trance)
Elsewhere he suggests that in the divinatory state he had received time-and-space indications, perhaps names. Finding phoneticized spellings in the Centuries could well bear this out. He was definitely a quietly impressive man, his own nature possessing a ‘magic’ quality like all exceptional healers. During his lifetime he enjoyed the favor of the French King Henry II and the Queen Mother Catherine de Medicis because of his well-received labours for them and in May, 1564, these two personages came to the town of Salon and visited him, showing how just how the prophet was respected by his nation’s royalty.
COSIMO DE RUGGIERI vs. MICHEL DE NOSTREDAME
Many kings (and top leaders of industry) have regularly used astrologer’s services, including in France. Even General de Gaulle was repeatedly in touch with astrologer Maurice Vasset and President Mitterrand often turned to astrologer Elisabeth Teissier. Cosimo Ruggieri came to France at the same time as Catherine de Medicis when she brought with her an entourage of close friends and relatives from Florence.
Whereas Nostradamus was, after his own fashion, an astrologer-theurgist; Cosimo Ruggieri was probably a practitioner of astrological magic, a psychic fortune-teller who was not above employing necromancy. Like Michel his astrology gave him influence over Cathrine who may have been his childhood friend and certainly gave him a locked laboratory within the seclusion of the Queen’s Residence at Les Halles in Paris. Apparently when she married Henri of Orleans, who was not first in line to the throne at that time, he predicted sucessfully that she would become the Queen of France and bear ten children. Her grand wedding was in 1533. She remained childless until 1544, eleven years into her marriage.
It is said that Ruggieri used mysterious mirror reflections in a chamber at the Château de Chaumont sur Loire to show Catherine her future sons who were to become François II, Charles IX, and Henry III. However, this might just as easily have been Nostredame. Whichever, it was a clever way of carrying-off the vagueness necessary to this very sensitive subject. This chamber is now named Ruggieri because of a misinterpreted sign on the wall. Actually it was the monogram of Diane de Poitiers but was mistaken for a Quabbalistic sign. Whichever of these astrologue incumbents used the château had also used its tower-top to view the stars. The layout of the Queen’s residence she built in Paris linked around a high tower. After Cosimo predicted that Catherine would die in close proximity to St.Germain she avoided places with that name. The story goes that the priest called to administer the last rites to Catherine was called St. Germain.
Historic Footnote: Through their daughters Elisabeth and Claude, Queen Catherine de Medici and King Henry II of France were each the antecedant of both the King Louis XVI and his wife Queen Marie Antoinette.
(Also see the Article KING LOUIS XVI, QUEEN MARIE ANTOINETTE, LOUIS XVII AND MADAME ROYALE PRE-OBSERVED)
WORLD HISTORY 1503-1524
(Incl. the Nostradamus Quatrain V 68)
What was happening in the outside world for the first 21 years of Michel de Nostredame’s life?
Two thirds of the estimated 400 million population of the world was distributed as 130 million odd in China, Japan, and Korea plus 100 million folk in Europe and Russia together with 70 million living on the Indian subcontinent. The other third lived in South East Asia and other Asian areas including Africa and the Americas– this last region being the least populated at only 15 million people in total.
Holy Roman Emperor Charles V
1519-20 King Carlos I of Spain (d.1558) was crowned as German emperor and elected as Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. He was a fervent Spanish-roots Catholic (obsessed by the Netherland Protestants) and a Habsburg. In his person he combined the rule of the Spanish Empire, Burgundy, Austriaand Germany. His combined empires so spanned the known world.
1521 HRE Spanish and German and Papal forces beat the French troops and occupied Milan. An eight year trophy war between Francis Ier and Charles V fought out over Italy starts with France supporting rebellion in Spain. The length of the conflict and the enormous funds made available allow early versions of modern military armaments to develop and new methods such as musket cavalry to experiment.
1522 Emperor Charles V appointed Frans van Holly as the Inquisitor-General of the Netherlands. Nostredame writes obliquely yet praisingly of HRE Charles V, even as a personal hero, perhaps to defer his potential influence over the foreign Inquisitions active in France that may have unnerved Michel.
1522 HRE Charles V divested himself of some of his responsibilities by the Treaty of Brussels by which he assigned the Habsburg’s Austrian hereditary lands to his brother.
1524 HRE Charles V’s troops besiege Marseilles.
1503 On a voyage by which he had reached the Panama Ismuth and St. Luciaand Honduras, Christopher Columbus (who first discovered Santiago-Jamaica in 1494) was actually refused harbour by their Spanish governor even after warning of a giant storm at sea. (They were just then dispatching a gold fleet to Spain, which sank). He then beached his sinking ships in St. Gloria/St. Anne’s Bay and spent a year marooned before returning to Spain. This was the last of the voyages by his fleets to the unexplored Western Hemisphere, which he always claimed was the unexplored East. In fact he had discovered many parts of the Caribbean and Central America, as it was to be named.
1506 Christopher Columbus died aged 55 in poverty in Spain, still disbelieving that he had discovered America. Columbus was a foremost collector of predictions and prophecies and compiled a book of these. Few people are now more famous than this very daring and gifted sailor (yet such a manager as could set all Hispaniola against hisself).
1503 Nov 28, Giuliano della Rovere (d.1513) was crowned as Pope Julius II.
1506 Jan 22, The Swiss Guard (still the oldest non-combat regiment active in Europe, the Honourable Artillery Company in the City of London being the oldest combat regiment extant) arrived in Rome.
1506 Pope Julius II (d.1513) laid the first stone for the new St. Peter’s Basilica. It was to take over a hundred years to complete.
1509 A defeat of Venice led to the annexation by the Pope of Faenza, Rimini, and Ravenna.
1511 The papacy joins militarily with the Holy League, Aragon and Venice against the King of France. Papal forces take Mirandola and Modena from the French.
1512 Julius II convenes the first Lateran Council.
1513 Pope Julius II laid to rest in a tomb carved by Michelangelo. Giovanni de’ Medici made Pope Leo X.
1521 Catholic King Henry VIII of Englandawarded the legend ‘Defender of the Faith’ for condemning Luther at length in writing. Thirteen years later the papal authority in Englandwas nullified and some very valuable Catholic possessions/lands seized and redistributed.
1522 Pope Adrian VI (d.1523) is the last non-Italian pope elected for over four centuries to come and the only Dutch Pope ever.
1523 Pope Clement VII (d.1534) a Medici family member is elected.
Further Steps On The Long March To Social Slavery (the legal nullification of a human being’s cultural identity)
1510 A Florence banker finances the King of Spain’s first shipment of African slave labour.
1514 Pope Leo X issues an anti-slavery Papal Bull.
1517 Florence merchants are granted monopoly over the African slave trade.
1522 The first of the new great slave rebellions gets crushed in Hispaniola.
The Great Artist-Engineer-Scientist Leonardo
1503 Leonardo begins the Mona Lisa, one of the select few paintings that he actually finished. His intricate knot signature, placed on the back of some canvases, may on its own have taken weeks.
1506 Leonardo shares his time between Florence and French-occupied Milan. It was in this period that he compiled his illustrated treatise on the motion of water. It becomes the lengthy notebook ‘Codex Leicester’.
1510 Leonardo designs the horizontal water wheel (the turbine).
1519 Leonardo dies aged 67 at Cloux, France, where he has been the honoured guest of the King of France for some time.
The Downside Of European Jewish Existence (the upside being ‘Court Jew’ opportunities for participation in Royal financing which could and did accumulate enormous wealth for those syndicated)
1503 Colombus drops-off dozens of émigré Jewish families at newly-named Costa Rica.
1505 Jews are expelled from Orange and Burgundy.
1506 Riots in Lisbon lead to the slaughter of around 3,000 converted Portuguese Jews.
1509 Strangely, a converted Jew leads the persecution of Jews in Germany initiated by HRE Maximilian I.
1510 Jews are expelled from Colmar in Germany.
1510 Nearly 40 Jews are burned at the stake in Berlin.
1516 Venetian Jews compelled to live in a ghetto.
1520 All Jews expelled from Rothenburg in Bavaria.
Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli and the Northern Reformation
1507 The monk Martin Luther is ordained.
1510 Martin Luther becomes a Professor of Theology at the University of Wittenberg.
1517 Burning at the stake of Protestants in the Netherlands.
1517 Reverend Doctor Martin Luther nails his Thesis on the door of a prominent Wittenberg Church, signalling the Protestant Reformation in Germany. He will have the German Princes on his side.
1518 Martin Luther is interrogated by a papal ambassador. Luther refuses outright to recant at the Diet of Augsburg.
1518 Ulrich Zwingli, a Swiss clergyman, initiates the Swiss Reformation in Zurich.
1520 Pope Leo X excommunicates Martin Luther by a Bull called ‘Exsurge’. Martin Luther publicly burns the papal edict.
1520 The Anabaptist movement (against baptism of the unaware) starts in some North European states.
1521 Under the protection of Frederick the Wise of Saxony, the excommunicated Martin Luther faces HRE Charles V at the Diet of Worms and refuses to retract. Luther is banned from the Diet but his actual detention is unenforceable. He was absolved of charges of heresy but the Inquisitor-General bans all Lutheran books.
1522 Luther and Zwingli issue practical aids for pastors. Zwingli attacks Lent fasting and priest celibacy.
1524 Zwingli abolishes the Catholic mass in Zurich.
1503 The city of Seville is awarded all trading rights with the New World.
1510 Spain to take in gold shipments from the New World at the rate of 3,000 lbs. a year for the next 40 years. King Ferdinand tells his officers, ‘Get gold, humanely if possible’ so inferring ‘I leave the methods up to you’.
Selim the Grim and Suleiman the Lawmaker
1509 Spanish armies invade North Africaina crusade against Muslim rulers.
1512 Selim I becomes the Ottoman Sultan.
1514 Selim the Grim’s force overuns the Persian army at the Battle of Chaldiran.
1516 The Turks beat Syria in the Battle of Marj Dabik (Aleppo). Selim the Grim vanquishes Egypt’s Mamalukes with artillery support. The capture of Aleppo and Damascus opens four centuries of Ottoman Turkish rule in most of the Middle East.
1520 Selim the Grim dies aged 53. At Constantinople his son Suleiman I becomes Ottoman Sultan.
1523 Suleiman the Magnificent, Ottoman Emperor, dislodges the Knights Hospitaller of St. John (who, together with Knights of the Red Cross, had received confiscated lands of the Knights Templar) from the Aegean island of Rhodes but the HRE Charles V gives them Malta instead. They become the Knights of Malta.
1529 Suleiman, an Islamic version of ‘renaissance man’ called ‘the Magnificent’ by outsiders and ‘the Lawmaker’ by his own, met the limits of his Alexandrian aspirations at the Siege of Vienna. Despite his best-worst efforts he could not take on a Europe which his fame had unwittingly united.
The Ottomans possibly inspired ‘the great Camel’ in Nostradamus Quatrain V 68:
1557 Lyon Du Rosne
Dans le Dannube & du Rin viendra boire,
Le grand Chameau ne s’en repentira:
Trembler du Rosne & pl’fort ceux de loire:
Et pres des Alpes coq le ruynera.
In the Danube and the Rhine it will come to drink,
The great Camel nigh will regret it OR The great Camel will not regret it:
The Rhône to tremble and much more so those of Loire:
And near the Alps the Coq of France will be the ruining of it.
Line 2, OF ‘repentira’ only really meant repent if this was penance for a broken vow, say ‘clers repentiz’ for a cleric’s broken vow and so on. Otherwise it’s plain regret or one who has regrets such as in ‘puis s’en repentirent trop lor fu eschis’, ‘then shall regret their being excessively hostile’ (1541, ‘Rou’ by Wace).
Which brings us to the use of ‘ne’ as a negative, indicating ‘The great Camel does not regret’. Well, it soon will when the Coq absolutely devastates it near the Alps! Could this be an arcane use of ‘ne’ that attaches to ‘Chameau’, Camel, and not ‘s’en repentira’, regret, such as ‘the great Camel nigh will regret it’?
Line 4. The OF definitive article ‘le’ – which here looks turned to mean the same as ‘it’ – has an alternative twist connected to the old Bruges May Fair and meaning a fee charged to foreigners, fully expressed as ‘tort le comte’.
This event has never happened, nor does it seem likely (but if there are ‘water wars’ then anything could happen) yet all of Europe was gripped with largely ungrounded fears before the dispersed 1529 Siege of Vienna, very much how America is today as a result of playing upon the fear of an almost unimaginable enemy. Otherwise I think this Nostradamus Quatrain V 68 could be an allegory for the upcoming confrontation with Islam that is masked by pervasive P.R. and corrupt reportage and so is not yet clear enough for widespread acceptance of its central currency causation.
1506 Machiavelli, a career diplomat, establishes the Florentine Militia, an early kind of Italian national troop.
1512 The English ‘invent’ the double-deck ship displacing 1,000 tons, much as the US will later ‘invent’ the Jumbo Jet.
1512 Navarre annexed by Spain to Castile.
1512 Newfoundland cod fished by England, France, Holland and Portugal for transporting dried to Europe.
1518 The Barbary states of Algiers and Tunis in North Africa are founded.
1519 Prussia passes through a monetary crisis.
1521 Magellan reaches Guam in the Western Pacific on behalf of Portugal. Today Guam is a non-voting ‘organized territory’ of the USA. Like most of East Asia, it has a traditional cultural undertow that has been several thousand years in the making.
1522 Albrecht Durer, German artist and engraver, designs a military flying machine for the future.
Ancient anthropology suggests that most people were dead by their early 20’s and the majority of the populations were children guided by a few ‘teenagers’ who had already done procreating, with only a very small percentage living to a decent age. By 1500AD living matters were, of course, much more advanced in all directions and rapidly expanding due in part to Arabian inputs which, in turn, benefited from their dealings with China. Things like paper and printing had arrived that way. Now the relatively newly-cultured Europe was poised to overtake both of these antique blocs in matters of science and engineering. The top-down excesses and plunderings by Monarchy and Church, however, were heading for a fall as the peasantry started to shake off its happy poverty and to look sideways at the indulged local aristocracies, as did some aristocrats themselves. Despite the ravages of contrived wars and unexpected epidemics, this was an exciting time to be alive with the unfolding future a little unknowable and soon to be swimming with new possibilities.
Enter the apothecary Michel de Nostredame, later to be known as dear doctor Nostradamus …
EARLY SIXTEENTH CENTURY SCHOLARSHIP
Hundreds of years before the Sixteenth Century arrived,Italy and France had set up major universities. By contrast, England was just getting going. Continental Europe’s universities were establishments with rights, privileges and localized legal standings – sometimes even as a Public Court although ever-biased towards their membership in disputes between their own and the townspeople.
The basic platform for almost all subjects was Aristotelian-style observation coupled with formal categorization. Universities held in common the curricula and degree requirements for courses like Medicine, Law and Philosophy making for maximum student mobility. In fact, many students quit mid-course either to move elsewhere to study or to take up private teaching positions without bothering to graduate. A degree was not as important as university attendance.
These empowered establishments were really Medieval teacher-training centres. They hired teachers (whom they quite distrusted) who would then accept or reject their new students by interview alone. The student primarily went to learn the teaching of the subject with a view to becoming a tutor themselves; a minded and gain-making occupation which could give them a roof over their head. The university teachers, in turn, rather distrusted their students but were more aligned with them than with the univesity establishments. Paris suffered a very lengthy strike by both its teachers and their students.
NOSTRADAMUS: STYLE, SUBSTANCE AND STANCE
Myself, I do not know anything about ‘French Chaotic’ language but I do hear that those highest Freemasons with English as their native tongue had once preferred their most important utterances to be in ‘English Chaotic’, a mingling of native English language with Norman French and Vulgar Latin interspersed with odd words lifted from more exotic languages. As masonic ceremonies are mostly derivative this format suggests an arcane pan-European tradition of considerable age that perhaps resembles Michel Nostredame’s inconsistent language selection for his quatrain compositions. I would guess that Michel was influenced most by the temporally unstructured Jewish esoteric writings, as mentioned above, yet he may have been influenced by some odd word selections out of Chaotic Language that he encountered ‘on his travels’.
As Michel Nostredame was aware, “`To you it hath been given to know the secrets of the reign of the heavens, and to these it hath not been given … Because of this, in similes do I speak to them, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor understand … And happy are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear, for verily I say to you, that many prophets and righteous men did desire to see that which ye look on, and they did not see, and to hear that which ye hear, and they did not hear.” Matthew 13: 10-17 (Youngs Literal Translation Bible)
The Church’s banning of unwanted social behaviours was sometimes total and always pervasive. These extended to the creative processes, e.g. dissonance in music was outlawed but the clerical law enforcement officers did not have big enough ears to recognize all discords – some of which can be disguised in set composition – and it was deliberately sneaked past them as a sort of game. Even certain types of notes breezing over chords can cause a dissonance that slips straight past overt recognition (through our having assimilated at speed their bent logic without consciously questioning this) or perhaps we are sluggishly over-familiar with the music and auto-correct a small error absent-mindedly or else we could confuse a discordance with a chaotic performance, the improvisational cascadeur resetting the accidents of spontaneity faster than we can follow.
Which leads us back by contrast to the firm and deliberate yet always fresh and spirited ‘Opera Nostradamus’. There was a wide choice of final sounds in the tongues of the South and selecting similar syllabic accentuations for his smatterings of foreign words would allow Michel great ease of rhyme and rhythm. It would have been fairly simple to reproduce this familiar poetic style yet the content of each Nostradamus Quatrain seems somehow alien to us. Not once does Michel vie with the Poésie Provençal (which in its fairly sensuous aspects was at distinct variance to the tone of the Universal Church) and his compositions are relentlessly ‘off the wall’ although within a tight metric box.
It was Michel Nostredame’s loyal friend the poet Pierre de Ronsard, 1524 -1585, who introduced novel variation of metre to his graceful use of ‘Middle French’. Notwithstanding their deifferences, Nostredame aligned with Ronsard and Jacques Bellay in their faith for the future of French as a language of expressive literary value; as affirmed by the latter’s 1549 ‘Defense and Illustration of the French Language’. Nostredame fully expected all his quatrains to survive the centuries, so to speak.
Outside of literary fantasia, a faith-based and non-empirical analysis or critique of content is not an academic option today (not, at least, until recently when conspracy theories rose to become pre-emptive over solid, substantive information as a result of the latter becoming suspect, politicized at source by compromised research institutes and spun in unison by mainstream media). The ancients, though, were never so constrained:
“Porphyrius says that … of certain vapours due to fire under favourable stellar influences, forms the images of gods spontaneously appearing in the air, in a certain degree like the gods themselves, and possessing a very similar efficacy” and “The sibyl at Delphi received the god … sitting on a brazen seat … where she was exposed on two sides to the divine influx, whence she was irradiate with a divine light” (Charles A. Ward)
Iamblichus Chalcidensis, d.325, was a Syrian Neoplatonist and writer on matters Pythagorean who compiled ‘De Mysteriis Ægyptiorum’ or ‘The Theurgia’ on the Mysteries of the Egyptians, Chaldeans, and Assyrians. This book was a justification of theurgy, a mixture of philosophy-theosophy and yet invocative like magic. Although the goal of Iamblichan theurgy was the ascent of the soul with a view to unification with the divine and involved a kind of esoteric insight into the brain-mind-heart continuum based on self-knowing, it’s boldest step was in the soul being seen as a fraction of the universe, a fragment of the whole hologram and possessing the macrocosm inside its microcosm. Theurgical exponents of external stimulus of the gods refuted ‘magic’ and yet embraced similar methods themselves. Is this what Nostredame meant when he rejected ‘execrable’ magical practices whilst presenting hisself in a similar light in his first two quatrains? There seems little doubt that Nostredame knew this book well and plenty of the works of other philosophers too. His knowledge of the early tribes and the long history of Rome is also impressive.
My personal view is that he was cleverer than we give him credit for (or was inspired by a higher intelligence) and that key quatrains in the Centuries were expressly intended for only one future personality to grasp fully the hidden message.I suspect that mathematical and code-breaking approaches will be less effective (yet fun to try) and that the truth will dawn upon a rather non-academic personality whose mind is less fettered by presumptions and methodologies than most. This may well be the very ‘king’ Michel claims to have foreseen in the Epistle to the King. I do not say that this is preordained beyond the point of failure as that would suggest an expected Messiah atop some messianic hierarchy and a hierarchy suggests organization and all organized systems to-date have proved aggressive and lacking their founding principles (in favour of practical contra-decisions based on benefiting the survival of that organization). And a ‘supreme leader’ of a ‘heterogenous society’ or ‘heterotopia’ is almost a contradiction in terms. As ‘leadership’ goes, we might remember that ‘a happy king does not know his own kingdom’.
What I do say is that any communicator who states definitively what some part of the Opera Nostradamus means, without allowing for any other point of view, is implicitly claiming his or herself to be that Grand Monarch who alone can understand fully and that is why I supply some clues pointing up alternative interpretations from my own.
The main mystery to me is how Michel Nostredame could have seen into the distant future and understood that future in small or at all! Even if he made up his warnings vacuously, they still fits so well to divers futures (in fact, that’s the main complaint about them). And yet no Medieval man could have foreseen, say, Americanized thought processes sinking-in around the world.
If, centuries ago, you had encountered the computer file name “ ~WRD1” as an iconic symbol of the future. what would you have made of it? Or else a cinematic mix of real and imaginary warfare? What would you have thought, back then, of futuristic remote-control aircraft loosing-off rockets against Afghans in traditional garb that is identical with your own era? A bloodthirsty god sending fire down from heaven? How about some underesourced TV broadcasting – as is still viewed in Third World bamboo huts today – lifted from channels all over the world and soundtracked with multiple layers of acquired foreign voice-overs? A speaking in tongues? The TV Aerial of Babel?
Even though Earth broadcasts are carried universally in photons and we can view both past and present at once, technologically, it is simply not possible to see into the future and interpret it accurately from the mindset of today.Short-term fortune-telling, like any art, benefits from serendipity.But prophecy over the long-term?For that you need a highly-informed guide for each view you see or else an omniscient and comunicating co-pilot seated next to you.It seems then that Nostradame must be a fake predictor – or else this is God-given prophecy. He’s a quirky, edgy choice for a Prophet but perhaps that’s precisely what makes him a prime choice. After all, who knows the mind of God? No one, repeat, no one. Legendary King David had been a blood-letting young war-monger, Moses was a mature murderer, and many other figures in the OT had been convicted criminals or dodgy dealers who despite their dire failings had each held it quite beyond doubt that there was indeed an Almighty God. Most of the global population is deadened by a bias towards conformity and a routine rejection of whatever happens to be most non-conformist on the day. The remainder are typified as rootless or gullible/uncentered and innocent. Isn’t that exactly the odd-shaped stone that the builders had routinely rejected and yet would reclaim to fit as the keystone of the arch?
SOME POETRY OF MID-SIXTEENTH CENTURY FRANCE
Here are the first three out of four contemporaneous poems of Mid-Sixteenth Century France, in fact a quartetpicked by me more or less at random to help initiate a longer investigation into Nostredame’s position as a poet of France. The fourth is briefer and has been inserted into the Article STORED UP IN THE NORTH WIND as it illustrates the psychological importance of the River Rhone running through the French heartland.
The recueil ‘Délie, objet de la plus haute vertu’ was dedicated by Maurice Scève in 1544.
‘Délie/l’idée’ is the pseudonym by which Maurice Scève wrote of the young married poetesse Pernette du Guillet (d.1545) who along with Louise Labé was one of the best known Renaissance Neo-Petrarchans in France and the noble object of this true poet’s idealized attentions. In turn she wrote of him as ‘ce vice mueras’, possibly suggesting ‘this would-be vice’ or even ‘this vice, readily substituted’! After her death at age 25 her poetry was published as ‘Rymes de Gentille et Vertueuse Dame, Pernette du Guillet’.
‘Plus tost seront Rhosne et Saone desjoincts’
by Maurice Scève
Plus tost seront Rhosne et Saone desjoincts,
Que d’avec toy mon coeur se desassemble ;
Plus tost seront l’un et l’autre Mont joinctz
Qu’avecques nous aulcun discord s’assemble :
Plus tost verrons et toy, et moy ensemble
Le Rhosne aller contremont lentement,
Saone monter tresviolentement
Que ce mien feu, tant soit peu, diminue,
Ny que ma foy descroisse aulcunement.
Car ferme amour sans eulx est plus, que nue.
The Rhone and Saone will sooner be parted,
Than my heart shall flow from you asunder;
More likely that (the proverb’s) unmeeting mountains conjoin
Than any dispute could develop between us:
Rather what they will see is you and I as one
The Rhone would trickle gently upstream
And the Saone dash devastatingly away
Than the fire within me would diminish but a little,
Never will my pledge in any way decrease.
Love closes lovers in for to be without is
to be more than undone.
‘Épitaphe de Pernette du Guillet’
by Maurice Scève.
The first thing for me to point out – as this page is on a Nostradame website – is the scrambling of letters of names found scattered around the text. I have noticed this so many times in Nostradamus Quatrains and often remarked on it but I have not gone further than to state that this is some curiosity or coincidence. Now I see that the ‘Épitaphe de Pernette du Guillet’ composed by Maurice Scève in 1544 has all the letters of the name Pernette du Guillet available in combined Lines 1 through 3 and again in combined Lines 4 through 6 and once more in combined Lines 8 and 9 and also in combined Lines 10 and 11.
This leaves Line 7 and Line 12 which are independent of each other and do not form a couplet. In reverse order, Line 12 contains the scrambled letters of the name ‘du guillet’ whilst Line 7 falls short of ‘pernette’ by just the letter ‘p’ (unless a subtle substitute for the ‘b’ in ‘subtile’ can be allowed, as that slightly softened ‘b’ sometimes sounds like a ‘p’).
1. L’heureuse cendre aultresfois composee
2. En un corps chaste, ou Vertu reposa,
3. Est en ce lieu par les Graces posee
4. Parmy ses os, que Beaulté composa.
5. O Terre indigne : en toy son repos a
6. Le riche Estuy de celle Ame gentile,
7. En tout sçauoir sur tout aultre subtile,
8. Tant que les Cieulx, par leur trop grand enuie,
9. Avant ses iours l’ont d’entre nous rauie
10. Pour s’enrichir d’un tel bien mescogneu :
11. Au Monde ingrat laissant honteuse vie,
12.Et longue mort a ceulx qui l’ont congneu.
Line 1, OF ‘cendre’ is essentially a powder produced by combustion, ash, yet it could also mean ‘human remains’ either after cremation or in simple decomposition. Otherwise it would be ‘Phoenixash’ which was an ointment said to be wonderful for raising corpses from the dead.
The cheery optimist of the past is consigned to remain
In a joyless corpse, where virtue reposes,
Put into this place by the Graces
Amidst these bones, as in the ballad ‘Flour de Beaulté’.
O earth unworthy: in you is her repose
Enriched are you by that noble-born soul,
Who knows all things and in delicacy above all others,
As Heaven, in lofty contrariness,
Snatched away such days as those before with her amongst us
For your enrichment which is so well misguided:
This ingratitudinous World allows life for the shameless,
And long after death has removed those who possess fine understanding.
Here’s another piece with the self-same dedication to this dame with a hidden name, although in this lament it turns its trick up-front.
‘Épitaphe de Pernette du Guillet’ (poétesse de Lyon, 1520 – 1545)
by Jean de Vauzelles
Onc Perle nette en vif, & petit monde
Son per n’eut tant en sçavoir, & faconde,
Que ceste n’ayt amoindry, qui gist cy :
De qui l’esprit par Mort non obscurcy
Demonstra bien, durant sa maladie
Quelz sainctz propos, sçavoirs, & melodie
Elle avoit sceu, & apprins de soymesmes,
Tant qua sa fin proposa si haultz thesmes,
Qu’on la disoit, comme le mourant Cygne,
Se sentir jà immortelle, & voysine
Des bienheureux : si vertu, & sçavoir
Font aux humains la place aux Cieulx avoir.
Rare neat shining pearl/Perle nette/bright Pernette that this small world
Had not long enough to know nor praise lyrical,
She who was helped by it to grow weak, here now lies at rest:
That the spirit of Death by holding back the darkness
Demonstrated well, during her illness
What saints, savants and bards
She had cognizance of and had learned of her own self.
As here be her end, consider such lofty themes
Of which people speak such as the dying swan, Cygne,
Sensing in herself the immortal touch and close proximity
Of the blessed: so virtuous and wise
Fluxing gentle as do those who have their place in Heaven.
Line 1, OF adverb ‘onques’ was like jamais, never, but here can be stretched to rare, nonesuch or never so
Line 3, OF ‘ayt’ is ‘aid’, help or its outcome, a support or auxiliary. OF ‘amoindrir’ is to reduce, moderate, weaken. OF ‘gist/gésir’ meant to lie at rest
Line 5, OF ‘mélodier’ is to sing or proclaim, suggesting a balladeer or a bard in this context
In these last two seems the proof, if such be necessary, that major examples of spoken poetry and minor games of the written word had come together naturally during the Late Medieval Age/French Renaissance and so should be expected in the Opera Nostradamus.
DUALITY, ILLUMINISM, RELIGIOUS MILITARIES, SECRET SOCIETIES AND TRUE BENEFICENCE
Day and Night merge into and emerge from each other. Humanity has inside its whole appearance two separate states linked, it is said, by a single strand. The Sphinx progresses from representing the head of a young female into becoming the body of a mature male. Sun and Moon can appear separately or together in the sky. And what is above is, in a most profound sense, the same as what is below. All religions have had an outer show of logically acceptable fancifications and an inner path representing the unreasonable truth. It is our primary state that we see duality everywhere, everyday, and can draw identity from it. (Oppositely, we can achieve the singular non-duality by a long stroll that commences with the question “Who am I?” and a refusal to accept any superficial name or title or anything insipid that comes to mind as we progress.)
The more mysterious side of Duality has ever been the driving force behind religious assemblies and even drives our science cosmologies today. Yet the Age of Reason simply does not fit directly onto Truth without us loading ourselves up with tools of rationality and entrenching our laws of basic math, based on an arbitrary numericism, as if they were the laws of Nature. It may be a phase.
Macrobius said that Janus was a fusion of Artemis the maiden huntress and Apollo, the national divine of the Greeks. The Greek Orthodox monks tore down the ancient temple of ‘Artemis’ on Patmos in order to erect a monastery to Saint John. The Johannites took John to be the founding spirit of their occulted church, and erstwhile leaders of the sect have presumed upon the title of Anointed One, Christos or Consecrated One. In other words, they have assumed neo-pontifical prerogatives. Possibly Hugues de Payens was initiated into their Mysteries which may have offered him a sort of spirited Super Royalty, the newest incarnation of the Crowned Priest.
“Thus the Order of the Knights of the Temple was at its very origin devoted to the cause of opposition to the tiara of Rome and the crowns of Kings, and the Apostolate of Kabalistic Gnosticism was vested in its chiefs. For Saint John himself was the Father of the Gnostics, and the current translation of his polemic against the heretical of his Sect and the pagans who denied that Christ was the Word, is throughout a misrepresentation, or misunderstanding at least, of the whole Spirit of that Evangel.” (Excerpted from ‘Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Freemasonry’ by Albert Pike.)
There have been various Illuminist groups with different but similar names, one arising at Avignon around 1760 (followers of the philosopher Swedenborg, then seen as a Messiah of sorts, that swiftly reordered themselves as the Theosophists) and even a Fifteenth Century Luciferian group in Germany that preceded the Eighteenth Century Illuminati of Adam Weishaupt (or White Head), possibly birthed out of the Hellfire Club by a notorious arch-sadist marquis via Meyer Rothschild (or Red Shield). Other ‘Illuminated Ones’ came from out of Afghanistan, branching-off as the Alumbrados of Spain (ex-Franciscans and ex-Jesuits including a battle-struck Ignatius de Loyola) and spread yet further as the Guerinets of France in the Mid-Seventeenth Century.
Some of these groups seem to be rather ‘un-illuminated’ as they were initialized out of negative reactions to others. This is not in itself so awful but rooting down into the ‘good vs. bad’ lower dimensions means social schisms are very likely to become linked with them. Each group looked forward to a world regenerated by their own-brand equivalent of Nostredame’s Great Monarch; their own unassailable anti-Pope.
Yet others expected illumination over the deep and mysterious Book of Revelation. There are probably several ‘Johns’ named in the NT and this particular author called himself ‘John the exile at Patmos’. The Lyon illuminists thought of him as ‘John the Evangelist’ and saw in their St. John a forward-looking saint, a potential patron of apostles yet to come. Other Illuminist groups held John to be still alive, in some equivalence to the Spirit of Truth promised us by Jesus.
Throughout the ages such groups had a two-layered information transmission system. Only the Adepts had core information made available to them by special use of language and initiatory experiences. The notion of John the Baptist as a Dual Messiah alongside Jesus was sometimes accepted. (Surprisingly, it would seem that this exceptional man had been better-known and more widely popular in his lifetime than Jesus.) It is a common belief today that various early and Medieval spiritual movements were using the ambiguously simple name ‘John’ to cover whichever John it was that they truly followed: John the Gospeller/John of the Epistles, I and II/John the sole Ambassador-Disciple who never died/John the favoured Apostle/John the Revelator of Patmos/John the beheaded Baptizer.
They sometimes maintained Gnostic or Quabbalist associations and some ‘brothers’ undertook to physically combat corrupt monarchies and popes when the time came to create a New World Order. It may not be true, who can tell, but some investigators believe a Roman Catholic Order like the Templars to have been actually the opposite: covert Johannites or head-worshippers. Equally it is a living parody that some of the greatest secular authorities are ecclesiastical by title, being neither Avignon nor Avalon at heart.
Did Nostredame belong to a Secret Society? He may have heard something whispered, some hints about the mysteries that envelope them. He would have freely learned or read about local legends as he went around and had at least some of the credentials to be invited to study closely. Specialist groups like alchemists or Quaballist angelologists might well have treated others of like mind as equal insiders. Also, Nostredame was most likely on good terms with at least one closed order.
In its religiosity, the Languedoc-Provence had been like a place apart. The so-called Cathars or Albigensians (revived much later in the form of remarkable old ladies called the Beguines or Beghards) lived there under the genuine ministrations of Toulouse. Their’s was a simple problem and they faced it; either the One God was responsible for creating everything good and bad in the world or He was not the only god.
Mainstream Christianity has attributed god-like powers to lesser orders – the Devil, Satan or Lucifer or the Saints including the Earthly Mother and Father. The so-called Gnostic Christians simply went to the logical conclusion and had one good god and one bad god, each responsible for their own. Of course both sides to this religious divide are much more likely to be wrong than right. But it has some currency here insofar as Nostredame resided in the very region of Western Europe that had lived and breathed alternative and supposedly heretic religious ideas. Wittemberg (later East Germany’s Lutherstadt) was a contemporary hot house of dissent. Zurich and Geneva were other places that challenged Rome as the undertow of a rebellious form of Jesus-worship went sweeping through the Western nations. Yet there is nothing in Protestantism that is so fundamental a separation from Catholic Christian ideas as had once inhabited the Languedoc. No wonder, surrounded with tales of their tolerance of the new and of the goodness of these old Counts of Toulouse, that Michel held tenaciously to the notion of a truly beneficent Great Noble bringing defrayment of spiritual indebtedness and great increases in spiritual bounty, modified to fit his own vision which was most likely non-dualist: a Grand Unifying Monarch.
THE NOSTRADAMUS QUATRAINS:
ARE THEY ROOTED DEEPLY IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY?
Of course, yes. Yet in another sense no, not at all. There is both a revelation or two about the past and a future historical progression to be found throughout the ‘Opera Nostradamus’. Yet there is also an eventual change in the human spirit too, at least for some who wish this. The great transition in human development is not so much the fire-curtain finale of grouped human destruction but something individual to be found described right here in this ultra-positive Nostradamus Quatrain:
1555 Lyon Bonhomme
Le corps sans ame plus n’estre en sacrifice.
Iour de la mort mis en natiuité:
L’esprit divin fera l’ame felice,
Voiant le verbe en son eternité.
The body without soul no longer to be sacrificed:
Day of death put for birthday:
The divine spirit will make the soul happy,
Seeing the God in His eternity.
Line 1. Christianity and Judaism have differed about the fate of the corpse (when the soul leaves the body) with Jews believing that they will roll underground towards Jerusalem one special day. Presumably any extra pain is the payback for deserting the homeland. Now it seems that the times are changed and either every human body is absolutely useful or quite unecessary. Or else this is every peace-lover or vegetarian’s fulfilment day, with no more slaughter! Take your pick. My guess, which stems from experience, is that Michel means that we will be born again without the body being involved – it does not have to die separately to set our soul free (and we will not miss it if it does). But exactly when will this be?
Line 2. To be reborn immediately, without any waiting around, does not necessarily mean to be revived; it implies enlightenment and expansion of consciousness with a sense of true Self and a ‘goodbye’ to one’s acquired layers of false identity and personal history, in a deep sense.
Line 3. Because of this or some other God-bestowed blessing, a soul will feel both inner bliss and increased joy.
Line 4. The Divine (‘the divine verb’) will be seen clearly outside of Time
Nigel Raymond Offord © 2012/14