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Understanding the Prophecies of Nostradamus



Since his first predictions found a page in 1555, people have tried to understand what the prophecies of Nostradamus actually mean. Given the great French prophet penned his quatrains in cryptic verses to protect himself from persecution by the Catholic Church´s Inquisition which struck fear into medieval society across Europe, his predictions are open to interpretation. Given that no scholar has offered an answer to confirm Nostradamus had a code, perhaps it is implausible for anybody to understand his writings.

Century 1 Quatrain 1

 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.

Nostradamus begins his collection of “Les Propheties,” by describing how he sits staring into a flame in his alone in his study. He also alludes to the fact that his practices were secret as if the authorities were to find out he had special abilities he would surely have been trialed as a heretic and put to death.

His quatrains continue in what appear to be no discernible order, and considering he wrote 948, it would have been nigh on impossible to have given the book a chronological timeline. His visions would have come to him randomly. What we are left with are pieces of history for commentators to pick and attempt to decipher.

Many scholars have put a lot of effort into understanding Nostradamus and have created elaborate systems in order to make their theory fit. Some commentators, you would expect have been right whilst others seem to far-fetched to even contemplate. But understanding Nostradamus is not easy.

First of all commentators would have to know about astrology. The Frenchman had a strong interest in the energy of the stars and planets and given they are mentioned in numerous quatrains it would appear he had a deep knowledge about their affect on earthly events and how they can be used to identify specific times in history. A lack of knowledge in astrology is where most commentators fail with their interpretations.

Scholar would also need to know something about life in 16th France and Italy where Nostradamus lived and traveled during his lifetime. The terminology they used during this period would not be something his modern day commentators could know a great deal about unless they had studied the region in that area. However, a knowledge of European historian does help to pinpoint places – even if not time necessarily.

Another skill you would need to understand Nostradamus is knowledge of clairvoyance. This rare ability often comes under scrutiny and it pays to keep an open mind as to whether it is possible and it functionality. Given Nostradamus would take hallucinogens to help induce his visions it is very easy for critics to pass his ramblings off as “trips.”

It is easy to argue that the prophecies of Nostradamus are vague and that anybody can make them fit a theory. Whilst this true they have stood the test of time and hundreds of commentators and interested parties turn to the French prophet for clues about present day circumstances around the world. It is human nature to want to know the future so they turn to a prophet they believe holds the key to events during their lifetime. But rather than trying to understand Nostradamus, perhaps it is better to try and understand events of the current world.


Read more about nostradamus, quatains, prophecies and 2012.

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