Born December 14, 1503 at 12 noon in St. Remy, France, Nostradamus was both a
physician and astrologer. While his reputation and contributions in both fields were
exceptional, he often said many of his cures and predictions came through visions. In
one account, he described it as such:
"As I lay, half asleep and half awake, a light from the stars fills my window, and then
my entire room. I feel as if I were in the presence of angels* as the light begins to
surround me. Then, as if I am pulled through a door by the strongest of winds, I am
carried into a tunnel of light where the images of the future unfold. These images
appear at a distance, so I am able to see several of the 'dreams' at once."
*Nostradamus was careful to say "as if I were in the presence of
angels". The reason being at this time in history, the pope had a monopoly on
'communicating' with God, the saints, and angles - so anyone else who claimed to do so
was usually put to death by the church. Nostradamus however, believed it was indeed
the angels, and God, who were giving him these visions.
The "Black Plague" that destroyed nearly half of the population in Europe during the
1500's demonstrated an interesting use of both his talents. He correctly predicted the
coming of the plague, 5 years before it began to spread across Europe, and began to
work on a cure (which was called "Nostrus"). When the plague did arrive, amazingly,
nearly all of his patients survived, giving him the reputation as one of the greatest
physicians of all time. However, by an odd twist of life, the only lives he could not save
are the ones nearest and dearest to him: his wife and two children.
With the notion that 'allowed knowledge' (that which was permitted by the church) could
save others, but not his own, Nostradamus abandons the practice of medicine and
becomes a wanderer. It is during these travels he starts the search for a new form of
thinking, and new thoughts to explain the mysteries of life. He dropped his pursuits in the
material and physical worlds, and entered a monastery known for it's tolerance and
openness to study of the spiritual, metaphysical, and supernatural occurrences in life.
Nostradamus - 16th Century woodcut
It is at the Abby of Oreval that he writes "Prophetic Centuries", the book of rhymed
prophecies that most of us all know Nostradamus from. For several reasons, it is very
difficult to say how many of these predictions came true. Many of his descriptions are
hard to understand, some even seem to be impossible, since they are expressed in very
vague terms. (Which was done to dance around the laws of the church, since being too
explicit could mean being arrested, and put on trial for sorcery).
Another problem in understanding Nostradamus comes from translating these curious
cryptic verses. As you know, translating from one language to another often changes the
context, even if only slightly. The translation alteration added with the fact that the original
French verses are often very abstract makes for very difficult interpretation. One then
can not say how many of his predictions came 'true', since it is not known what he is
really saying in his predictions.
The following is what I feel one of his most fascinating passages. I have left it in the
French original, so those studying the language can practice their historical French, and
so others can see what one must start with to 'interpret' Nostradamus:
"Sept fois changer verrez gent Britannique,
Taintz en sang deux nonante an,
Franche non point par appuy Germanique,
Aries doubte son pole Bastarnan."
The first line states that during the course of 290 years, Britain would change it's ruling
dynasty 7 times. It did. The second passage translated reads: Aries will come between
Germany and a German tribe which is protected by Britain. The zodiac sign of Baran
(Aries) at that time suggested war, since Mars (the planet of war) was the ruler of Aries.
In Nostradamus life time, there was a German tribe of Bastarnan, who settled on the
east side of the Vistual river, which is present day Poland. We can say that Poland was
protected by great Britain (well, SUPPOSED to be protected - after all, Britain didn't do
much to stop the Hitler invading) since these two were allies before World War 2.
Although not specifically stated in this passage, one can find another interesting indicator
from this text that suggests when the war will be. The first British ruler who came to
power that 'changed the dynasty' after Nostradamus prediction was Charles I, who was
executed in 1649. If you add 290 years to this date, you get 1939, the year Hitler
invaded Poland. Nostradamus did not specifically say it would start on this year, but it
seems likely that's what the 290 figure refers to - otherwise he could have said the
amount of years when the dynasty had changed 5 or 6 times. Was he really able to
foresee Germany invading Poland? That's up for you to decide....
The next prediction we can wait for to see if it comes true concerns Paris in 1999:
"A king will come out of Asia and invade Paris, by means of frightful, fiery objects from
the sky". Many during the cold war thought this might refer to WW 3, but the current
situation could suggest an Islamic attack (which was attempted early this year, by
Algerian highjackers, who wanted to blow their jetliner up over Paris, but were stopped in
Nice. Will they try it with an atomic device later....?)
Astrology in the 1500's
Concerning your question as to what type of astrology he used, I assume you mean
technically what kind of information he was working with, and what house systems he
used for casting a horoscope. At this time in history it was very difficult to collect
information on astrology, again due to the suppression by the church. Even though
books were starting to be printed by the machine press (the Bible getting most of the
publication priority), many books on astrology were still done by hand. Also, many books
on astrology were kept by the author, and copies only given to trusted friends - which
greatly hindered the flow of astrological knowledge.
Oddly enough, even though this suppression was going on, some of the greatest
discoveries in astrology were going on at this time in history, among them by Tycho
Brahe (1546 - 1601), the Danish astronomer who vastly improved the art of observation,
and his student Johannes Kepler (1571 - 1630), who discovered the laws governing the
elliptical orbits of planets. ( I point this out, for it seems interesting that whenever the
church or a government seems to be at the high point of suppression, this is when the
brightest and most enlightened revolutionaries are born).
Astrology in the 1500's also saw a rise in popularity among the common people. There
was a great proliferation of astrological almanacs, including the famous and often
reprinted "Great Kalendar and Compost of Shepherds," published in 1493. It was highly
possible this was one of the books Nostradamus had access to, and used. At this time in
history there were several house systems that Nostradamus had available - Equal
House, since it is of course the oldest and best known in early times, and the not so well
known Porphyry System, by the Greek Neoplatonist of the same name who lived from
233 - 303 AD. Both of these house systems are created by direct division of the ecliptic.
Actually, just before Nostradamus was born, a new house system was created, and was
revolutionary to astrology since it divided the ecliptic by projecting lines from the earth to
the stars, rather than directly dividing the stars. This is called the Campanus system,
attributed to Giovanni Campanella ( ? - 1297). If Nostradamus was aware of this
system, he surely would have used it, for it represented a 'giant leap' in dividing a
horoscope to get house cusps. (House cusps, by the way, to those not familiar with the
technical aspects of astrology, are an important part of predicting the future.
Nostradamus last prediction was written the night before he died, asking those to take
care of his things, since he would not be returning to 'this world' the next morning…
Copyright: David Perkins
Bio: David Perkins
David Perkins arrived Dec.17, 1953, 97 degrees 20 minutes west longitude, 32 degrees 45 minutes north latitude, around the time when local banks and government offices were about to close. Growing up on B-52 bases across America, David became an All American swimmer and serious student, with interests in science, history, people, art and the "unknown."
David graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1977 with a degree in Psychology, teaching credentials, and a desire to help others. His interest with metaphysics began as a child often gazing at the stars, and in high school when taught how to read tarot cards.
Interest in astrology began while working on an assigned behavioral statistics lab project (the results of which showed this ancient art of describing and predicting behavior outperformed the other standard methods used in psychology. David has since been on four different continents studying astrology's history, philosophy, methods, and uses within many cultures.
Since 1983, David's astrological / metaphysical work has been published throughout Europe, from technical articles in journals - to magazine entertainment pieces and weekly forecasts. In 1985 he completed the first ever instructional and certification course ever given for Astro*Carto*Graphy in San Francisco under it's developer, the late Jim Lewis.
For 10 years he was the featured astrologer in Germany's largest weekly woman's magazine, "Bild der Frau", and currently has a weekly question & answer metaphysical column appearing in Kurier Szczecinski (Szczecin, Poland).
Combining psychology and astrology in his writings to assist people find solutions and direction is David's main calling and scientific side. On the artistic side David has founded FUTURE CIRCUS, a traveling educational program giving students in poorer regions the opportunity to create various forms of music, imagery, and performance art using computer technology as well as assisting Szczecin's Teatr Wspolczesny (The Modern Theater of Szczecin).with the creation of video, music, and animation effects.
E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org