Nostradamus: Complete Prophecies for the Future
When I originally wrote this book in 2005 (for a 2006 publication date) I made much of my assumption that quatrain 10/26 – 2006–2008: Assassination of a World Leader, might well serve as a warning to President Bush’s bodyguards to be especially careful of their President’s welfare during the three-year period covered by the quatrain. In the event, although there were a number of plots against the US President during that period, I am very happy to say that none of them were successful. Mrs Benazir Bhutto, however, surely a ‘world leader’ of the first magnitude, and very probably the next President of Pakistan, was assassinated exactly within my time frame, on 27 December 2007 (her assassination occurred exactly two weeks before the 2008 Pakistani elections). I am not proud of interpreting Nostradamus’s prophecy correctly – neither, presumably, would Nostradamus have been. He saw political murder as an unnecessary evil, and his instinct would have been that forewarned is very probably forearmed, and that all world leaders in the public eye would have done well, during that particularly fraught period in international politics, to have taken especial care of themselves.
Four further prophecies that I made in 2005 may now, with the benefit of hindsight, be seen to have hit the spot. They are 3/6 – 2006: Crisis in the Protestant Church; 3/7 – 2007: North Korean Crisis; 4/11 – 2011: Dangers to John Paul II’s Successor, Benedict XVI; and 1/18: Islamic Attack on a Northern French Port. All are fully explained in my author’s notes, which follow the original prophecies. Apart from that I have made only two important changes to the original manuscript – I have moved quatrains 8/28 and 2/28 from 2028 to 2008 for reasons which, when my author’s notes are read, will soon become obvious. The 2008 Credit Crunch has been a world-shattering event, and it is quite clear that Nostradamus called and dated it correctly – it was I who made the assumption that the events would occur in 2028, not him – in fact his quatrain numbers are quite uncannily prescient. So Nostradamus triumphs again – go read the quatrains and see why.
Now back to the Complete Prophecies for the Future. I have begun the commentaries marginally in the past, with the Twin Towers Disaster of 11 September 2001, not only because it coincided almost exactly with the turn of our century, but also because Nostradamus’s predictions about the event are so detailed, and so astonishing, that they will give even further credence to his prognostications for both our future, and that of our planet. Interpreting Nostradamus is very much like working on a detective story. Following his filigrees of meaning through to a final, if tentative, conclusion, is an immensely satisfying work of deduction. I have therefore taken as my starting point the premise that the most esoteric of Nostradamus’s quatrains – in other words those without any obvious reference to the times in which he lived, or to the four and a half centuries immediately succeeding his death – must, by default, refer to the future. I have therefore retranslated these, and approached them entirely afresh, without referring back to past commentaries.
Old French spellings are eccentric, to say the least, and both proper names and nouns can be spelled in a variety of ways. Meanings themselves were considered far more fluid then than they would be now, and an absolutely literal interpretation of any text would have been scoffed at by educated sixteenth-century readers. What is entirely new about my approach concerns the interrelation between quatrains – one feeds from the other, as it were. By adhering to Nostradamus’s own index dates when dealing with prophecies relating to the future, connections were found across The Centuries which threw an extraordinary collective light onto the meanings of individual, often opaque, prophecies.
Commentators in the past have approached all the quatrains individually, as separate predictions, but Nostradamus was an alchemist and a scryer, and he believed in mixing things, and from that admixture, truth would come. Alchemists believed that everything on earth was fused and inter-relatable and that one only had to discover the secret of this to reach hidden codes and morphological secrets. Many of the quatrains, although nominally stemming from different Nostradamian Centuries, are, in fact, closely interconnected and interrelated, and can only be correctly construed when this is borne in mind. This fact, this interrelation, only comes to light when one is in the actual process of interpreting them – one quatrain feeds off the other, and a true interpretation can only be reached when this is taken into account. Previous commentators have simply not listened enough to Nostradamus’s index dating.
There is even an argument, to which I give some credence, that Nostradamus may have intended the quatrains as a sort of rolling commentary on history – that he meant them to be used over and over again, in other words, and that they were only fully interpretable after the event.
Nostradamus organized his quatrains into Centuries of one hundred quatrains apiece (save for the seventh in the series of ten, which stops at number forty-two). It is probable that he originally intended the quatrain numbers to correspond directly to years in the calendar, but then chickened out for fear of the Inquisition. However the skeleton of his original structure still remains. Very often quatrains that may seem rather insipid if taken alone, gain in interest and clarity when taken in the context of other quatrains, appearing in different Centuries, but with similar index years. This is particularly true of quatrains that foretell (in Nostradamian terms, of course) the distant future. By the use of these parallels, a picture can be summoned up of a time far in the future, and of the events which invest it.
Many of the index dates link together categorically, in terms of meaning, with similar index dates in different Centuries, for even though many years may separate the time of writing, they still apply to the very same events. A good example would be the global war scenario in quatrains 10/69, 5/70, 9/70, 2/70, 8/70, and 3/71, which predict events in the years 2069–2071. Another would be the French Crisis sequence of 10/98, 6/99, 1/100, 2/100, and 10/1, which cover the years 2098–2101. Or how about the Crisis in the Roman Catholic Church series, in quatrains 2/56, 5/56, 4/56, 10/57 and 2/57, with a year span of 2056–2057? Or the End of Monarchy in Britain cycle, of 10/40, 4/40 and 5/40, year span 2040? Look at the index dates – they are absolutely specific. As are the connections between the quatrains. And no one has noticed this before!
Far too little account has been taken, in the past, of classical references and mythologies in Nostradamus’s writings. These would have formed the fundamental basis of Nostradamus’s thinking processes – even the concept of the Oracle, which Nostradamus personified, was taken from that of Delphi. Nostradamus would, like any educated man in sixteenth-century France, have had a vast body of classical learning at his fingertips, and would have considered its use, and his readers’ understanding of classical myth, as a sine qua non. A similar wellhead of knowledge needs to be used when interpreting the quatrains today, and negates any half-baked ideas that Nostradamus wrote in a secret code, or Green Language, accessible only to privileged initiates, or to those versed in the secret lore of the Akashic Chronicle. He was, quite simply, extremely well read and well educated.
The French are traditionally fond of word play, and in Nostradamus’s time no one would have dreamt of assuming that a word meant simply what it was purported to mean within the context of a single sentence – the larger context, too, would need to be taken into account. I’ll give you an example. An apparently straightforward Old French phrase such as ‘En Normandie l’on vendange avec la gaule’, which, taken literally would appear to mean, ‘In Normandy they harvest with a pole’, can also mean, ‘In Normandy, they even harvest beside Frenchmen’, or, alternatively, ‘The Poles are the vintagers in Normandy’. Irritating for translators, yes, but also enormously rich in potential seams of gold and hidden meanings.
The key to Nostradamus, in my opinion, is in the actual process of translation – the act of translating opens the commentator’s mind to what Nostradamus, through the centuries (both literally and metaphorically) is trying to tell him. The most important thing for a translator is never to translate line by line. The whole quatrain must always be considered, and one is often forced to return to the beginning when the final meaning becomes clear. Wishful thinking is the translator’s greatest danger – the temptation to plump on one possible answer because it appears obvious. Because we commentators are not, by default, Nostradamus himself, we are condemned to approach him retrospectively. This, needless to say, sets us up for accusations of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. By addressing only the future, I am secretly rather hoping to avoid that criticism, but I acknowledge that any commentary on Nostradamus that invokes such a future is invested by the commentator’s own, inevitably limited, knowledge of the present, and the limits of the commentator’s own innate imaginative capacities.
The only answer to this dilemma is for the commentator to approach the quatrains with an open mind, and the capacity to be surprised in a serendipitous manner. I trust that, when you read the commentaries which follow, you will feel that I have done this.
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