I have always imagined that Paradise would be a kind of library.
Jorge Luis Borges

So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?
Saint John, Letter to Galatians 4:16

Freedom of Religion - Freedom from Religion - Freedom of Public Display of Religion and Traditions

We establish no religion in this country, nor will we ever. We command no worship. We mandate no belief. But we poison our society when we remove its theological underpinnings. We court corruption when we leave it bereft of belief. All are free to believe or not believe; all are free to practice a faith or not. But those who believe must be free to speak of and act on their belief.
Ronald Reagan (Temple Hillel Speech, 1984)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Michel De Nostradame: The Nostradamus Prophecies

Nostradamus In an article I wrote previously, Prophecy of 2012, the Mayan Calendar Prophecy, a French apothecary turned prophet was mentioned. His name was Michel de Nostredame (Latin = Nostradamus).
Michel de Nostradamus was born on December 14th 1503 and died July 2nd, 1566. He was a French Apothecary and a seer who published collections of his prophecies that have become famous around the globe. He is best known for his book Les Propheties, the first edition published in 1555. This book has rarely been out of print since his death and it has attracted cult popularity among millions throughout its history.
Nostradamus was part of the French Renaissance and his prophecies have been applied to the alleged Bible Code and other prophetic works, such as the Mayan Calendar theory.
Nostradamus’ birthplace is questionable, but it has been established by scholars as Saint-Rémy-de-Provence in the south of France on December 14th, 1503 (though it still is “official” among circles as December 21st). He was one of nine children of Reyniére de St-Rémy and grain dealer and notary Jaume de Nostredame. The family had a Jewish background, but Jaume's father, Guy Gassonet, had converted to Catholicism around 1455, taking the Christian name “Pierre” and the surname “Nostredame”. His known siblings included Delphine, Jehan (1507-1577), Pierre, Hector, Louis (born 1522), Bertrand, Jean and Antoine (born 1523). Not much else is known about Nostradamus’ childhood, although it is surmised that he was educated by his maternal great-grandfather.
When Nostradamus was 15 years old he entered the University of Avignon to study for his baccalaureate. After one year he was forced to leave Avignon when the university closed down because of an outbreak of plague. In 1529, after some years in the field of apothecary, he entered the University of Montpellier to study for a doctorate in medicine. He was expelled shortly after when it was discovered he had been an apothecary, a trade banned by the university. The expulsion document still exists in the faculty library. After his expulsion, Nostradamus continued working as an apothecary and became famous for creating the “rose pill” that supposedly protected people against the plague. 

180px-Nostradamus_prophecies A leading Renaissance scholar, Jules-César Scaliger, invited Nostradamus in 1531 to Agen. There Michel married a woman (possibly Henriette d'Encausse), who gave birth to two children. In 1534 his wife and children died of the Plague. After their death, Nostradamus continued to travel in France and Italy. Nostradamus continued his fight against the Plague upon his return to France in 1545. In 1547, he settled in Salon-de-Provence in the house that still exists today, where he married a rich widow named Anne Ponsarde, with whom he had six children – three daughters and three sons. Between 1556 and 1567, Nostradamus and his wife acquired a one-thirteenth share in a huge canal project organized by Adam de Craponne to irrigate Salon and the nearby Désert de la Crau from the river Durance.
Nostradamus once again visited Italy, and it was then they he moved his efforts from medicine to the occult. He wrote an almanac for the year 1550, and it was then that he Latinized his name from Nostredame to Nostradamus. The almanac was so successful that he wrote/published two more consecutive annual editions. Within the pages of those almanacs they contained 6,338 prophecies. He then began to write a book of one thousand quatrains, which makes up largely the prophecies that are read and became famous today.
Nostradamus obscured the meaning of the prophecies to discourage religious fanatics by a method he devised and called “Virgilianized” syntax, which is word games and a mixture of languages such as Greek, Italian, Latin and Provençal.
The quatrains, published in a boot titled Les Propheties (The Prophecies), received a mixed reaction when they were published. Some people thought Nostradamus was a servant of evil, or a fake, or just insane – while many of the public elite thought it was well-written and spiritually inspired and compared to some post-Biblical literary sources. One of Nostradamus’ best admirers was Catherine de Médicis, queen consort of King Henri II of France. After reading his almanacs for 1555, which hinted there would be threats against the royal family, she summoned him to Paris to explain them and produce horoscopes for her children. When he was summoned he thought his life was in danger and possibly be beheaded for heresy, but instead Catherine made him Counselor and Physician-in-Ordinary to the King.
180px-Nostradamuss_house_at_Salon-de-Provence Biographical accounts state that Nostradamus was fearful persecution by the Inquisition for charges of heresy – but his prophecies nor his astrological charts ever fell under the category of heresy. Soon his relationship with the Church was as a prophet and healer. His brief imprisonment at Marignane in 1561 came about because he had published his 1562 almanac without the prior permission of a bishop, according to a royal decree made since its publishing.
Nostradamus suffered from gout in his later years, which plagued him until his death. He was buried in a tomb in the Collégiale St-Laurent, Salon.
In Ned Halley's Complete Prophecies of Nostradamus he writes in the introduction:
Many prophecies have been attributed to Nostradamus, but this book concerns itself only with those that are known without question to be from his own pen. They were first published in 1555 as The Centuries. The title causes confusion, because it makes the predictions appear as if they are a chronological series, presented century by century. But this is not the case at all. Nostradamus's Centuries are ten volumes each consisting of a hundred (thus a century) verses, in no sort of apparent sequence. Nostradamus wrote down his prophecies as they came to him, and there is no patter of time, place or events in the order which he ascribes to them. But many of them can be dated, and to make these remarkable verses as accessible as possible, this book arranges them in chronological order. Those that cannot be confidently dated appear in a separate section.
Further Reading:
The Mask of Nostradamus, James Randi (1993)
The Nostradamus Encyclopedia (1997), Peter Lemesurier
Oracle of Nostradamus, Charles A. Ward
The Complete Prophecies of Nostradamus, Ned Halley
Nostradamus Prophecy Linked to Mabus by Peter Lemesurier
Morgana’s Observatory – paranormal website
Nostradamus Prophecies Linked to Nazca Lines, Gersiane De Brito
Nostradamus: I Vie de Nostradamus II Historie, Eugene Bareste
Complete Prophecies of Nostradamus, Michel de Nostradamus

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