From The Way of the World jan. 75

The Prophecies of



It is not unusual that anyone should be anxious to know what lies ahead, especially in a world that is turning through the increasingly turbulent seventies. Nostradamus' prophecy is of extreme interest, as is anything that will cast light in the encroaching gloom.

Sitting alone at night in secret study,

It is placed on the brass tripod.

A slight flame comes out of the emptiness

And makes successful that which should not be believed in vain.

Such an image one would expect from the lines of Shakespeare, or of Goethe; the figure of the alchemist, alone in his study, high in his house, at night, surrounded by his astrological books and alchemical equipment, staring fixedly, in the candle light, at a small bowl of water supported on a brass tripod, appears only now in plays and poems. Generally such topics are pushed towards the more romantic areas of a library, while what has come down from alchemy-chemistry and the physical sciences - has commanded all of man's attention.

What seems to have been lost is the spirit of prophecy, that which seers and visionaries through the ages have claimed to have had. The above passage is a translation of the first quatrain of the Prophecies of Nostradamus. As the spirit of prophecy is commanding more popular attention now, the prophetic works of Nostradamus warrant another look.

One by one his quatrains have become reality. Within 942 quatrains, Nostradamus (1503-1566) prophesied the following clearly: the Plague and Great Fire of London, the French Revolution, the emergence of Napoleon, the Dreyfus Case, the First World War, the Russlan Revolution, and the rise of Hitler. These constitute only a small portion of his visions. He'saw further; he saw the spread of world famine, the rise of Communism, the division of the world and the outbreak of the Third World War. He saw beyond dreadful world-level struggle.... He saw visions which promised ultimate peace and freedom. He prophesied a widespread religious revival, the appearance of a powerful and good man from the East, and eventually Christianity becoming sovereign over the world, centered on a great Christian king. Most commentators have taken this to mean the return of Christ.

Michele de Notredame, otherwise known by his latinized name, Nostradamus, was born at St. Remy, Provence on the 14th of December 1503, of a Jewish famly turned Catholic. After having been given a grounding in Latin, Greek, Hebrew and mathematics by his grandfather, a doctor, he was sent to Avignon, and later to Montpellier in 1552 to study medicine. Once licensed to practice medicine he quickly gained a reputation for his remedies dealing with the Black Plague. His interest in astrology led him in later years to concentrate more on writing and beginning in 1550 he produced a yearly almanac. He became known for his prophetic insight with the writing of The Prognostications, in 1554 and Prophecies in 1555.

Nostradamus' fame quickly spread through Europe on the strength of the Prophecies. He was summoned to court by Catherine de Medicis, the Queen of France, regarding the quatrain predicting her husband's death. He was later honored just prior to his death in 1566 with the title Physician in the Ordinary.

From their first appearance in 1555, the Prophecies generated extraordinary interest. An average of thirty books, either editions of the Prophecies or critical appreciations of them, have been published each century since his death. This is second only to the Bible.

It is as if Nostradamus deliberately buried the meaning of his prophecies, so as to keep them incomprehensible to all but the initiated. His were the days of the repressive lnquisition. Consequently his interest in astrology rendered him vulnerable to attack. However, as the last four hundred years have successively unfolded, his words have become increasingly clear. In fact his quatrains are highly compressed expressions of what he saw.

"There shall be famines. . ." Matt. 24:7

I 67

The great famine which I sense approaching

Will often turn (in various areas) and become worldwide.

It will be so vast and longlasting they will grab roots

from the trees and children from the breast.

"And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars. . ."Matt. 24:6.

VI 62

Blood will be seen to rain on the rocks,

Sun in the East, Saturn in the west,

War near Orgon, a great evil will be seen near Rome.

Ships sunken and the trident taken.

"Take heed that no man deceives you..." Matt. 24:4.


The blood of innocents, widow and virgin.

So many evils committed by means of the great Red One.

Holy images placed over burning candles.

Terrified by fear, none will be seen to move.


The Anti-Christ very soon annihilates the three.

Twenty-seven years his war will last.

The unbellevers are dead, captive, exiled,

with blood, human bodies, water and red hail covering the earth.

Commentators of Nostradamus have grown away from the understanding of the Anti-Christ as an individual. Erika Cheetham in her book on The Prophecies of Nostradamus agrees that AntiChrist is more understandable as a way of life, and is inclined to accept "Great Red One" as the Communist Party. In After Nostradamus, A. Woldben writes, "Anti-Christs, not one but many, are not only forces, tendencies and ideologies which are destructive and movements of hate and violence, but they are also peopie who draw this negativity to them and express it."

From Alexander Solzhenitsyn's Letter to the Soviet Leaders, "As Sergel Bulgakov has stated, atheism is the chief inspiration and emotional hub of Marxism. And all the rest of the doctrine has simply been tacked on. Ferocious hostility to religion is Marxism's most persistent feature."

If Communism is the external ideological Antl-Christ, then perhaps the growing pleasureseeking and decadence of the West could be classed as its internal complement.

V 53

The law of the Sun contending with that of Venus,

appropriating the spirit of prophecy.

Neither the one nor the other will be understood;

The law of the Great Messiah return through the Sun.

According to astrology the sun is the most dominant heavenly body and one of the most powerful influences in a horoscope. Its qualities are hot and bright, giving warmth of emotion and great vitality. Venus is naturally a female planet, named after the goddess of love, and so is concerned with matters of love, beauty and sexual harmony. However when badly placed on a horoscope, the planet produces selfishness, laziness, lustfulness, and effeminacy in men. It is also associated with worldly wealth.

In the above quatrain, Venus is placed in opposition to the Sun, or "the Great Messiah returned through the Sun." Then the negative attributes of Venus would be expressed throughout society. The Western world is being increasingly warned of the decay that sets in when moral standard's slide. The Roman Empire fell because of decadence and the prevalence of self-indulgence. Leaders of Communist countries are aware of the controls that must be placcd on national morality. The openness and freedom allowed by democracy gives freedom to decay, and all signs indicate that this is happening now.

" For as the lightning comes out of the East, and shines even to the West, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be. . ." Matt. 24:27.

II 29

A man from the East will come out of his seat

and will cross the Apennines to see France.

He will cross through the sky, the seas, and snows,

and will strike everyone with his rod.

X 73

The previous time together with the past

will be judged by the great man of Jupiter.

Too late will the world be tired of him,

and disloyal, through the oath-taking clergy.

(The Roman god Jupiter is known for his fatherly qualities.)

X 74

The year of the great seventh number accomplished,

It will appear at the time of the games of slaughter,

Not far from the age of the great millenium,

When the dead will come out of their graves.

X 75

Long awaited he will never return in Europe.

He will appear in Asia;

One of the league issued from great Hermes,

He will grow above all other powers in the Orient.

(In Greek mythology, Hermes is the messenger of the gods.)

Nostradamus repeatedly used images that have appeared in Isaiah, the Book of Daniel, the Gospels and the Book of Revelation. Many of his quatrains depict a cataclysm as great as that prophesied in the Bible. But unlike prophets of doom, he also envisages the end of all struggle.

Jesus promised that he would return, and since that day, Christians have been waiting, unsure of the time when that would take place. The words of Revelation are perplexing, so Christians are urged to always be aware and attentive to the voice of the spirit.

Nostradamus prophesied that Christ would come from the East, not Europe, where be has been long awaited, and that his influence would be felt by everyone. He will come as the standard by which past and present will be judged, and as well as being a judge, be will have the heart of a father. He will be a messenger from God, and his appearance will herald the great Resurrection ("when the dead will come out of their graves"). Nostradamus puts this as happening not far from the year 2000, and as "the year of the great seventh number accomplished."

Whereas the years 1995 and 1999 had been previosly beleaved to be the time of the fulfillment of all prophecy, commentators are now placing this time in the 1970's.

Many people are now losing faith and are very close to despair. There is violence and hatred everywhere. It seems as if the storm is about to burst forth. Yet, this is just as was promised.

Nostradamus saw very much suffering amongst those people he cured of the plague. He foresaw a 400-year history of misery and of struggle, yet at the end of it he envisaged the fulfillment of a promise that was made 2000 years ago, a promise of peace, freedom and happiness.

"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.... Behold the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them and they shall be His people." (Rev. 21:1-5).

Se also Russian interpretation

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