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Nostradamus’ Method Part II
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 II of the explanation of his methods, we will now explore the second quatrain. Part I can be found here.
In the first line of the second quatrain, Nostradamus speaks of a wand. Putting images of pop-culture aside, the wand represented here is indeed a magic one. Knowing that Nostradamus was well versed in the mythology of the classical world (as evidenced by his mimicking of the Delphic Oracle) his employment of the wand is most likely in imitation of the Goddess Circe. In the Odyssey, Circe uses her wand to transform Odysseus’ men into animals as an expression of her great magical power. Alternatively, there are phallic implications in the usage of the wand, and the placement within the legs of the tripod may represent a sympathetic rite reflecting sexual intercourse. The implication would not be erotic, but more in line with completing a “circuit” with the divine energies that are being invoked. In a sense, Nostradamus would be connecting himself into the magical rite by penetrating the space of the tripod with the wand.
The employment of water in the second line is a reference to both purification and blessing. In the sense of purification, it recalls the bathing of the feet of the disciples by Christ (John 13). In the sense of blessing, it speaks to the common practice of blessing oneself with holy water upon entering a church. In both instances, Nostradamus’ purpose is found in seeking to sanctify his person for the connection with the divine he will be making soon. As he is entering into the presence of God by way of this rite, it is necessary to maintain ritual purity and to bless oneself lest one appear blasphemous in the face of the divine.
Lines three and four are best to be taken together as they represent the culmination of the rite: the communication with God. Here Nostradamus describes the mixture of fear and awe that must surely follow from such a direct approach of God. Indeed, he is “trembling in his robes” while “the God sits by”. Of course, by sitting by means that the divine presence is near, not that God is literally sitting in any place near him. This proximity is to facilitate the prophetic work: by being so near God, his knowledge of the future can be imparted to the sage. Metaphorically speaking, God is whispering in Nostradamus’ ear and providing him with the words that will convey the truth of the future. More literally, it is likely the flame itself (from Quatrain I) that is expanding in awareness to provide a visual representation of what the future holds, as is common with visions.
The detailed instructions provided here by Nostradamus give us an intimate view of how the sage worked his miracles, and as such are a gift to any of those who might wish to serve humanity as Nostradamus has by seeking precognition of the future. However, they should not be mimicked in vain. Magical rites of the sort that are enacted here require years of practice and rigorous purity of heart in order to function properly and without danger. As anyone with knowledge of the occult will attest, an unprepared magician runs the risks of profound danger from the spiritual world. Demons and other malignant entities can defraud the mind and imperil the body if one has not exercised the proper precautions. One must cling to and actively seek the protection and assistance of God in all one’s undertakings of this sort, and this can only be established by long-term practice that connects the sage with this divine source. Moreover, many of these practices will not have anything to do with magic at all, but will be found in such things that will foster moral and spiritual education and growth. These will necessarily take much time and effort on the part of the would-be-prophet, but the labour will prove fruitful when the time finally arrives to work magic.
Frater Auguror Rex
May 26th, 2012
Read more about nostradamus, quatains, prophecies and 2012.
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