Michel de Notre Dame (1503–1566). French astronomer and medical doctor. Famous on account of his Prophesies, written in French verse.
Lecture coverage and references
Blavatsky in Isis Unveiled, p 261-262 covers 'the strange prophecy of Nostradamus':
Present events fully vindicate Nostradamus, who has been so much ridiculed by our skeptics. In an old book of prophecies, published in the fifteenth century (an edition of 1453), we read the following, among other astrological predictions:*
"In twice two hundred years, the Bear The Crescent will assail;
But if the Cock and Bull unite,
The Bear will not prevail.
In twice ten years again —
Let Islam know and fear —
The Cross shall stand, the Crescent wane,
Dissolve, and disappear."
In just twice two hundred years from the date of that prophecy, we had the Crimean war, during which the alliance of the Gallic Cock and English Bull interfered with the political designs of the Russian Bear. In 1856 the war was ended, and Turkey, or the Crescent, closely escaped destruction. In the present year (1876) the most unexpected events of a political character have just taken place, and twice ten years have elapsed since peace was proclaimed. Everything seems to bid fair for a fulfilment of the old prophecy; the future will tell whether the Moslem Crescent, which seems, indeed, to be waning, will irrevocably "wane, dissolve, and disappear," as the outcome of the present troubles.
The whole occult striving of the Middle Ages was directed towards nullifying the effect of the Rakshasas. Those whose vision extends to the higher planes have long foreseen that the moment when this could happen might be at the end of the nineteenth century, at the transition from the nineteenth to the twentieth century.
Nostradamus, who worked from a tower which was open to the heavens, who brought succour during the Great Plague, was able to foretell the future. He wrote a number of prophetic verses in which you can read about
- the war of 1870 and
- several prophecies about Marie-Antoinette [note: 1755-1793, daughter of the Empress of Austria, Maria Theresa; became Queen of France in 1774 and ended her life on the scaffold, not heeding the warning of the Count of St. Germain] which have already been fulfilled.
In these ‘Centuries’ by Nostradamus (Century 10, 75) the following prophecy can be found:
- At the close of the nineteenth century a Hermes Brother will come from Asia and bring unity to mankind.
The Theosophical Society is nothing less than a fulfillment of this prophecy of Nostradamus. The annulment of the Rakshasas and the reestablishment of the primal mysteries is an aim of the Theosophical Society.
Rudolf Steiner covers 'Prophecy' in 1911-11-09-GA061, validates the true nature of Nostradamus predictions due to clairvoyance, and links it to the spiritual maturity of Nostradamus' individuality and the forces of the soul that can then be transformed into seership.
.. let us take other examples — not of second-rate astrologers but of really enlightened men. The name of an extraordinarily learned man in this sphere will at once occur to us — Nostradamus. Nostradamus was a doctor of high repute who, among other activities, had rendered wonderful service during an epidemic of the plague; he was a man of profound gifts and the selflessness with which he devoted himself to his profession as a doctor is well known. It is known, too, that when on account of his selflessness he had been much maligned by his colleagues, he retired from his medical work to the isolation of Salon where, in 1566, he died. In Salon he began to observe the stars, but not as Kepler or others like Kepler had observed them.
Nostradamus had a special room in his house into which he often withdrew and, as can be gathered from what he himself says, from this room he watched the stars, just as they presented themselves to his gaze. In other words he made no special mathematical calculations but immersed himself in what the soul, the heart, the imagination can discover when gazing with wonder at the starry heavens. Nostradamus spent many an hour of reverent, fervent contemplation in this curious chamber with its open views on all sides to the heavens.
And from him there came not only specific predictions, but long series of diverse and remarkably true prophecies of the future.
So much so, that Kemmerich, the historian of whom I spoke just now, cannot but be astonished and attach a certain value to the prophetic utterances of Nostradamus. Nostradamus himself made some of his prophecies known to the public and was naturally laughed to scorn in his day, for he could quote no astrological calculations. As he gazed at the stars his predictions seemed to rise up in him in the form of strange pictures and imaginations, for instance
- of the outcome of the battle at Gravelingen in the year 1558, where the French were defeated with heavy loss.
- Another prediction, made long beforehand, for the year 1559, was to the effect that King Henry II of France would succumb “in a duel” as Nostradamus put it. People only laughed, including the Queen herself, who said that this clearly showed what reliance could be placed upon prediction — for a King was above engaging in a duel. But what happened? In the year predicted, the King was killed in a tournament.
And it would be possible to quote many, many predictions that subsequently came true.
For insight into the soul of Tycho de Brahe reveals a certain similarity with that of Nostradamus. Nostradamus, however, does not need to make calculations at all; he sits up in his attic and gives himself up to the impressions made by the stars. He ascribes this gift to certain inherited qualities in his organism, which for this reason is no cause of hindrance to him. But he also needs that inner tranquillity of soul that arises after he has put away all thoughts, emotions, cares, and excitements of everyday life. The soul must face the stars in purity and freedom. And then what Nostradamus prophesies rises up in him in pictures and images; he sees it all before him in pictures.
If he spoke in astronomical terms of Saturn or Mars being injurious, he would not, in predicting destiny, have been thinking of the physical Saturn or the physical Mars, but he would have pondered in this way: Such and such a man has a warlike nature, a temperament that loves fighting, but he also has a kind of melancholy making him subject to moods of depression which may even affect him physically. Nostradamus lets this interweave in his contemplation and a picture rises before him of future happenings in the man's life: the tendency to melancholy and the fighting spirit intermingle — “Saturn” and “Mars.” This is only a sense-image. When he speaks of “Saturn” and “Mars,” his meaning is: There is something in this man which presents itself to me as a picture but which can be compared with the opposition or conjunction between Saturn and Mars in the heavens. This was merely a way of expressing it; contemplation of the stars evoked in Nostradamus the seership that enabled him to see more deeply into souls than is otherwise possible.
Nostradamus, therefore, was a man who by acting in a certain way was able to waken to life inner powers of soul otherwise slumbering within the human being. In a mood of devotion, of reverence, he completely put away all cares and anxieties, all concerns of the outer world. In utter forgetfulness of self, with no feeling of his own personality, his soul knew the truth of the axiom he always quoted: “It is God Who utters through my mouth anything I am able to tell you about your concerns. Take it as spoken to you by the Grace of your God I ...” Without such reverence there is no genuine seership. But this very attitude ensures that those who have it will not abuse or make illicit use of their gift.
This conception of world-history suggests the thought of “surplus” forces in men who play leading parts in the evolution of humanity. Whether they apply these forces for good or ill is another matter. Such men work upon their environment out of the surplus forces within them. These surplus forces, which need not be drawn upon for the affairs of personal life, may express themselves in deeds or they may find no outlet in deeds; but with others, some kind of hindrance always seems to prevent this.
Nostradamus is an interesting example: he was a doctor and in this capacity brought blessing to very many human beings. But the thought that someone is doing good, often goes against the grain! Nostradamus became an object of envy and jealousy and was accused of being a Calvinist.
To be a Jew or a Calvinist was looked upon askance and circumstances therefore forced him to withdraw from his work of healing and abandon his profession. But were the forces used in this inspiring work no longer within him when he had retired? Of course they were! Physics believes in the conservation of energy or force. What happened in the case of Nostradamus was that when he threw up his work, the forces in him took a different direction. If his medical activities had continued, these forces would have produced quite other effects in the future. For where can our deeds really be said to end? If, like Nostradamus, we withdraw from some activity, the flow of our deeds is suddenly stemmed — but the forces themselves are still there. The forces in Nostradamus' soul remained and were transformed, so that what might have expressed itself in deeds at some future time, rose up before him in pictures. In his case, deeds were transformed into the gift of seership. The same may be true of human beings endowed with a faculty for prophecy today; and it was true in the case of the ancient Hebrew prophets. As biblical history indicates, these men had a real connection with forces belonging to the past and to the future of their people; their own soul, their personal life, was nothing to them. They were not war-like by nature but had within them surplus forces which from the very beginning took the same form as those of Nostradamus after their transformation. Forces, which in others poured into deeds, revealed themselves to the Hebrew prophets in the form of mighty pictures and visions. The gift of seership is directly connected with the urge to action in men, with the transformation of surplus forces in the soul.
From a spiritual scientific perspective, there are a few elements that are striking before we even consider the study of the contents of Nostradamus' prophecies:
- characteristics of Indivuality and Personality: selflessness
A new approach to the Prophecies
- Rudolf Steiner discussed the Future Oriphiel Age (approx. taking place between 2235 and 2589) in not to be misunderstood terms as a terrible phase of cleansing for mankind. This topic page also contains quotes with prophecies by Beinsa Douno.
- Furthermore, we know that
- the sixth 'russian' cultural age (approx 3570-5070) is the age in which part of humanity will reach the maturity required for the 'epoch sample' that will be the seed material for the next epoch, and
- just looking at the table of cultural ages in the current Postatlantean epoch, it is clear that great cultures rise and fall, eg the ancient Indian, Persian, Egypto-Chaldean, Greco-Latin .. and that this process of rise and fall is characterized with great clashes between the cultures
- the end of this epoch is around the seventh millenium with the 'war of all against all'
To my knowledge no one has ever linked the Nostradamus prophecies to the above. The prophecies contain phases with major clashes, terrible wars and catastrophies that correlate to some predictions made by Beinsa Douno and Rudolf Steiner. An example follows below:
War between the West and Asia and World catastrophy
Besides the conflicts around Arabic invasions into Europe, Nostradamus experts also read into the verses the prediction of a major conflict between the Western (Anglo-american) forces and China. The two verses below are taken from Centurio (see References).
The below remains unpositioned in time, but see eg:
- the Future Oriphiel age
- the Sixth cultural age and Rudolf Steiner's prediction about a great conflict between the white and yellow races (excerpt 1915-02-13-GA174B),
- as well as Beinsa Douno's reference to a great eartquake, see Earthquakes and emergence continent sixth epoch
- and the War of all against all at the end of this epoch
Ennosigee feu du centre de terre [volcano?]
Fera trembler au tour de cité neufeu [earthquake]
Deux grands rochiers long temps feront la guerre, [a long ware between two large ancient rocks (forces?)]
Puis Arethusa rougina nouveau fleuve
Après combat et bataille navale,
Le grand Neptune à son plus haut befroi:
Rouge adversaire de peur deviendra pasle
Mettant le grand Ocean en effroi
Michaelic age and future spirituality
See eg Ovason (re References) pages 465, 471, who interprets Angoulmois as the archangel Michael
L'an mil neuf cens nonante neuf sept mois
Du ciel viendra un grand Roy d'effrayeur
Resusciter de grand Roy d'Angoulmois.
Avant apres Mars regner par bon heur.
For students of spiritual science the following may point to a more spiritual age: quatrain 4,25
Corps sublimes sans fin à l'oeil visibles,
Obnubiler viendra par ses raisons,
Corps, front comprins, sens, chef & invisibles,
Diminuant les sacrées oraisons.
could be translated as:
Bodies sublime and infinite, visible to the eye .. will become clouded over by their own reasons .. body, including forehead, senses, head and invisibles .. will diminish the sacred prayers.
References and further reading
- Dr. N. Alexander Centurio: 'Nostradamus. Prophetische Weltgeschichte' (DE, 1968, 1977, 1993) or De profetieën van Nostradamus (NL, 2001)
- David Ovason: 'The secrets of Nostradamus' (1997), also published as 'The Nostradamus code' (1998) ..claims Nostradamus used esoteric 'green language' and tries to unravel clues with this in mind