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Nostradamus’ Method Part I
In what one day may become known as his greatest gift to humanity, Nostradamus revealed to us his method and preparation for gazing into the future. Without obscure words or secrets, Nostradamus rather plainly details his prophetic method. Beginning in Century First, Quatrain I and continuing to Quatrain II Nostradamus tells us:
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
The wand in the hand is placed in the middle of the tripod’s legs.
With water he sprinkles both the hem of his garment and his foot.
A voice, fear: he trembles in his robes.
Divine splendor; the God sits nearby (1:1-2)
In part I of the explanation of his methods we will deal with this first quatrain alone. The second will follow in part II.
As shown in the first line, Nostradamus began his prophetic work at night in a secret study. In understanding why he chose this, we must grasp the fact that great spiritual work must be undertaken without disturbance due to the concentration necessary in order to attain to a state of meditation and communion with the unknown. To achieve this elevated state of consciousness and connection to the spirit realm, profound quiet and isolation is a must. Night is the perfect time for such workings as the night, especially in Nostradamus’ time, is a period in which the hustle and bustle of the day stops and one can regularly expect to not be disturbed. The night also provides direct access to a vision of the stars that is absolute necessary to time the appropriate period for such work, in line with astrological sympathies and their magical importance. Likewise, a secret (closed off) room allows one isolation from disturbances of others in one’s house. Nostradamus did not live alone, and being able to seclude himself without being interrupted by his family or servants was a necessity for his work.
Continuing to the second line, we find here Nostradamus’ usage of a bronze tripod. Why this? The answer is that the tripod was employed as the seat of the famous Delphic oracle. Known throughout antiquity for her strikingly accurate, but entirely cryptic (how similar to Nostradamus!) clairvoyant utterances in a state of ecstasy, the priestess of Apollo atDelphiwould speak “in the spirit” while seated atop a bronze tripod. Nostradamus’ employment of the tripod as his seat of prophecy is then to mimic the success of the greatest of the ancient soothsayers. Moreover, the symbolism of the tripod serves as a sympathetic link with creation itself, being as it has three legs, which reflects the three-fold division of the world the Elementary, Celestial, and Intellectual realms (according to Agrippa). We need not even mention the importance of three to Christianity as well.
The nature of the flame in the third line is perhaps the most peculiar of all references in this quatrain, but even then it is explainable with a little understanding of basic occult principles. What Nostradamus is here describing is the beginning process of the vision process that is common to all contemplative/meditative methods of discerning the future. Often when the soothsayer begins to discern the pathways of the future, the first inkling of the vision to come will be in the form of a spark of light or tiny flame. This flame will come closer and closer, expanding as it does, until within the light the vision will be seen. The fire itself may even be said to be a feature of the immanent divine energy (and often the actual presence) that the prophet is able to tap into in order to exact his miracles. More on this will be forthcoming in part II.
The last line is no great mystery: The opening of the vision allows one access to that which should heed as it represents the understanding of the future. Nostradamus was a seer who in seeing saw what was and what would be. The divine powers he tapped into revealed these secrets to him from the purity of his purpose and dedication in his practice. Refusing to believe what one sees under such a state would then be a denial not only of the powers he invokes in order to gain such knowledge, but also himself and his great purpose in life. Trust must be had in the vision if one is blessed with finally reaching an understanding of it!
In part II we shall join our understanding of the first quatrain with that of the second. A more complete grasp of how Nostradamus prophesized will then be attained.
Frater Auguror Rex
April 25th, 2012
Read more about nostradamus, quatains, prophecies and 2012.
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