NOSTRADAMUS and the 'SPIRIT OF PROPHECY'
(excerpts from chapter one of the book ms)

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it is moreover conceivable that the prophecies of Nostradamus have a supernatural origin of a specific character, and the same spiritual rules which apply to Nostradamus' writings also apply to prophetic writings in the Bible, and are, therefore, potentially in the nature of universal laws.

Extending this thought to the hypothesis that the Biblical Hebrew language (never known to actually have been a spoken language) is capable of containing within its structure universal unchanging principles, this author believes a quite remarkable leap forward is made in understanding the Bible, and the cause-and-effect relationships in the spiritual realm that give rise to prophecy in the first place.

Rembrandt's QBLH scholarTo explain these relationships - hidden from the casual eye - was the passion of Qabbalistic Philosophers - to gain advantage with God, and of Qabbalistic magicians - to gain advantage over God, and it remains to be seen which category Nostradamus falls into. Nevertheless, Qabballah, and its intricate pathways, is undoubtedly the garden through which the French seer's mind wandered, just as undoubtedly the prophet draws heavily upon Hebrew Scriptural prophecy, and even illuminates it.

Qabballah, as originally introduced to Europe, was a deep religious metaphysical study about the nature of creation, couched in symbolic mysticism, and based solely on the Hebrew Scriptures, most especially the five books of Moses. By using various mathematical, linguistic and philosophical techniques, the Qabbalistic scholars claim to have uncovered great secrets behind the words of the inspired Biblical Scriptures.

Where the divine supernatural meets the mystical mind at the juncture of the marvelous, thaumaturgy will inevitably result. So that while Qabballah has persevered as a religious philosophy, it has persistently given rise to magical practitioners.

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We know from the history of Nostradamus that he was descended from Jewish blood, and was tutored in his esoteric studies by Jewish grandfathers: Pierre and Jean de St. Rèmy; so it is not unreasonable to assume that Michel was in possession of Qabballah.

By the Qabbalistic technique ....... the magician must spend a long period of purification. Following that, he is given a ritual by which to evoke his Holy Guardian Angel. The angel will teach the operator the proper methods and protections to obtain the results he wishes, through the offices of other angels and/or specific demons that are empowered to perform the required supernatural task without undue risk to himself.

With this background in mind, the first two quatrains of the first Centurie can be analysed.

Tripod, bowl and almond branchI-1   Estant assis de nuict secret estude
        Seul reposé sur la selle d'ærain;
        Flambe exiguë sortant de solitude
        Fait prosperer qui n'est à croire vain.

        Seated upright by night the secret study
        Alone rested upon the seat of bronze:
        Very small flame drawn from the solitude
        Causes to prosper that which is not to
            be believed (in) vain.


Estant is the present participle of the Old French verb ester, derived from the Latin word stare, meaning 'to stand firm or upright.' The 1555 edition, the earliest, gives the second word in the last line as proferer - to utter or to reveal, which is closer to the actual meaning.

The Hebrew words for seat(ed) - caphan and kicceh - also mean 'covered' or 'hidden' - i. e. secret in line one.

Secret may also be taken as the Hebrew word at, which means 'to move softly,' thus the soft incantation of the magician diviner.

Alone in Hebrew is bad which also means branch (something separated) and likewise 'liar'. Branch will be explained in the next verse.

Rested has to do with 'sifting', a process that yielded demons in the first place; this theme will be developed in greater detail in the later chapters of this book.

Brass in Hebrew is nechash; closely related is nachash, which means 'serpent' and also 'prophecy'. The root of both words means to 'hiss' or 'whisper'. The word will be developed in the following verse.

A small flame, or candle flame, is nerah, closely associated with na'arah - a young girl. Drawn then is tar in the Hebrew, a reference to toar - beautiful; in other words the clue denotes an apparition in the form of a beautiful young girl, drawn to visibility by bad: a branch.

The Hebrew word for prosper is tselach, which contains the word tsel - a shadow or spirit - a demon.

Vain in Hebrew is nabab, a reference to another Hebrew word naba - to prophesy.

(Great detail is necessary in this and the following verse to show how intricately the elements of each quatrain inter-relate, how context is applied {in this case, prophecy}, and how essential the Hebrew is to understanding Nostradamus. Using the Hebrew does not consistently unlock the mysteries of each verse, but it does consistently build a context of related ideas that point to an analysis of the prophecy, even if the author has not always been able to discern it.)

I-2  La verge en main mise au milieu des BRANCHES
       De l'onde il moulle et le limbe et le pied;
       Un peur et voix fremissant par les manches;
       Splendeur divine. Le devin pres s'assied.

       The wand in hand put to the middle of the BRANCHES
       With the water he moistens both the hem and the foot;
       A dread and trembling voice through the sleeves;
       Splendor divine. The augur is seated nearby.


If the preceding analysis is correct, we should find the names of the 'Holy Angel' and the demon spirit of prophecy within this second quatrain. BRANCHES, being all in capitals, calls especial attention to itself. This always indicates in THE CENTURIES a deeper meaning. This word is written in transliterated Hebrew as BRA NChSh pronounced bara nahash which means to create divination. Since the transliteration fits the context it is presumed to be correct, signifying the divine origin of prophecy - that is, the name of the angel.

The ancient Greek hero Branchus, son of Apollo, became known as the Greek god of Prophecy. It may very likely indicate that the Greek name was derived from an older tradition - in parallel with the Hebrew - that had become polluted with time and ritual. Scholars such as Cyrus Gordon have already noted strong parallels between ancient Greek and Hebrew legends, values and language.

BRANCHES undoubtedly refers also to the Tree of Life, so quintessential to the Qabballah. Since Qabbalistic philosophy sees all of creation as a manifestation of one or more branches of the Tree of Life, the structure of this life-force would indicate the flow of history - past and future. Indeed, the Latin word virga, from which the French word verge in the first line is derived, also means a branch of a family tree.

Middle in Hebrew is tavek, perhaps related to tavah - to mark out; tevahh means 'to be amazed' or 'astonished', that is, to be captured or stopped in wonder - in this case by the apparition of the spirit.

One way, then, that the first line could be rendered is, 'The (almond) branch in hand put to the wondrous Branches, the heart of the Tree of Life.'

Onde in line two obviously refers to water, but Nostradamus uses the word for wave, signifying the esoteric symbol for 'spirit;' that is, the Divine Spirit Ruach - breath - blows, troubling the 'waters' below, raising waves, or spirits. This is connected to 'sifting'. (The Hebrew for 'wave' is nuph).

Moulle has been accepted by other commentators to be from mouiller - to moisten, but is in actuality a portmanteau, including the word moule - molded. The Hebrew for moisten is shaqah; shaq means 'leg' or limb (branch)(line two); shaqad is 'to quicken in the spirit,' and shaqed means an almond branch, referring to the magician's wand.

Limbe - besides being 'limb' or 'branch' - can be taken at its more esoteric meaning - halo or aura.

The Hebrew word for hem is shul, probably a reference to sholal - nude, and, hence, 'held captive.'

Pied - foot - refers to the material world on which the foot rests, or the material manifestation (to the senses) of the spirit apparition. The Hebrew word for foot is regel, a hint at ragal - a tale-bearer or slanderer - i. e. a demon.

By these closely linked elements of magic it can be seen how the Hebrew language mystically identifies its hidden meanings by word-associations. Much light can be shed on Biblical mysteries by such word associations; but the paths are treacherous and poorly marked.

Nera - by the 'lesion of the imaginative sense' ---- from 'Omar Khayyam Calendar for 1914', Liberty & Co. ... London & ParisTherefore the second line can be read, 'the spirit is shaped from the water with the almond wand, the aura (naked) and the visible being.'

Line three yields the name of the demon, the 'spirit of prophecy' in the word manches. .... The spirit of prophecy is given as Mantiens, a Latin word derived from the Greek manteia - which is closer to manches - meaning 'prophesying' or 'power of divination'.

Trembling - line three - is nuph in Hebrew - to 'quiver' or 'vibrate'; as already noted, it also means 'wave'.

Thus line three can read, 'The dread and trembling spirit-voice of Manteia.' (Manteia is quite likely the name given to Nostradamus, as it has been pointed out that this spectre took the form of a captivating naked young maiden - albeit in the spirit it was a serpent. The maiden's name might have also been offered in the Hebrew, either Narah or even 'Nora.')

In the fourth line the word divine appears twice, but is carefully placed so as not to be capitalized. While the splendour is divine, devin is spelled differently, denoting the augurer.

On the subject of positioning, it is notable that manches is below BRANCHES, and the last word of each line reads - in order and loosely - At Branches feet sits Mantiens.

It has long been recognized that the methods outlined here, especially in the first verse, parallel those printed in Jamblichus' work De Mysteriis Ægyptiorum published at Lyon in 1547, just prior to the prophetic beginning of Nostradamus. Whether Michel used these tracts or not cannot be proven, but the above analysis shows that his understanding went much deeper than the previously published work.

In the Preface to the first edition of THE CENTURIES Nostradamus wrote, "...the perfect knowledge of events cannot be acquired without divine inspiration, since all prophetic inspiration derives its first motive principle from God the creator, then from good fortune and from nature... for the human understanding, being intellectually created, cannot penetrate hidden things, unless through the voice coming from limbo (la voix faite au limbe) by means of the thin flame, showing to which direction future events incline."

Another place in the same preface he says, "For the divine works, which are wholly absolute, God will complete; those which are medial, the angels; the third kind, the evil spirits." (This is an almost direct quote from Jamblichus).

Referring to the above passages, 'the first motive principle' is faith, 'good fortune' is the grace of God in the form of the angel BRANCHES, and 'nature' is the evil spirits (as the legends of faerie tell.)

Quoting the preface once again - "By means of the immortal God, and his good angels, (the prophets) have received the spirit of vaticination by which they see distant things, and they grow to forecast future events."

Later in the preface, "... things which are to happen can be prophesied by nocturnal and celestial lights, which are natural, coupled with a spirit of prophecy."

The 'spirit of prophecy' is Mantiens, the 'nocturnal light' is Nera, (the clever little serpent/girl!) and the 'celestial lights' 'at a distance' are the stars.

Towards the end of the preface, the seer summarizes the process: "For the presage which is made by the exterior light comes infallibly to judge the part with and by means of the outward eye (lume): how true that the part that appears {!} to obtain by the eye of understanding is only the lesion of the imaginative sense. The reason is very evident; all is predicted through the divine afflatus, and by means of the angelic spirit inspiring the man prophesying, rendering anointed with vaticinations, illuminating him, stirring his fantasy through diverse nocturnal apparitions; which, by day, he certifies the prophecies by astronomical calculations, harmonizing with the holy future prediction, not consisting of anything more than free will."

The exterior eye sees the exterior light, but where is the eye of the eye? We can explain in detail how the eye sees, but how does the one who sees perceive, that is, understand? Psychology teaches that infants do not necessarily perceive, but must train themselves to understand their sight. Thus a foot or finger may seem to be some alien object until the gums are applied. Whereupon insight shows there is a causal effect within, where one perception is mingled with another. By the same token, an object such as the rail of a crib may be seen, whereby, upon applying the gums, no similar causal effect is produced, and the previous perception is not reinforced. By trial and error the infant will come to understand what is internal and what is external, and thereby learn to cope with the realities of this material earth, and yet be deceived by it (because everything that is seen is created from things which are not seen.) By the imaginative sense we may hope to penetrate this veil, for what is 'evil' but another form of 'veil,' which is another form of 'live?'

Afflatus means 'inspiration' or 'a divine imparting of knowledge,' and comes from the Latin afflare, which means 'to blow on' - denoting the spirit.

The use of the word anoint implies water.

It is apparent that Nostradamus knows he has dealt with a cunning and treacherous power in the spirit of Manteia, and the seer does not trust the revelations of the demon with 'certitude' until the next morning when he can sit with his 'astronomical calculations' and confirm the movements of the heavenly bodies. This 'astrology' was surely taught, at least in part, by BRANCHES at the outset of the magical operation.

That the process involves free will (literally 'free spirit') and nothing more is a great and wondrous mystery, which confirms what was earlier alluded to, namely that prophecy does not eclipse free will, but rather illuminates it.

Throughout all his magical writings and references, Nostradamus is obliged to keep one eye on the ever-threatening Inquisition. While his aforementioned preface is filled with apparent warnings against thaumaturgy and traffic with demons, his flowery verbiage thinly disguises his own practices. He had repeatedly been in trouble with the Inquisition in his earlier life, and it can only be conjectured what power kept him immune during the years of his prophetic writings. The author thinks it highly unlikely that the provincial minds of the inquisitors were prone to such short memories. Nor is it likely that his finding favor with France's Queen, Catherine de Medici, afforded him much of a shield, especially when she discovered that his prediction that all her children would obtain a throne meant that they would all ascend to the same throne by means of each other's deaths.

Thus far the present work has vaguely outlined a system of Qabballah without instruction in the matter in any way. While this may be awkward to the inquiring mind, Qabbalistic Cosmogony is far too complex and intricate to simplify without raising more questions than it answers. However, the fact that these quatrains contain Qabbalistic words and techniques is sufficient to confirm the system as the basis for the Frenchman's presage. Qabballah, like many tools, may be used - as it was by the Jewish patriarchs - for good, and a closer spiritual walk with God, or its power may be perverted to the ends of magic and selfish gain.

This author is not a magician; the tone of this present work denotes a philologist by avocation. In the short course of this chapter, and throughout this book, words have been touched on that doubtlessly hint at names of 'powers' and 'principalities' of darkness and light. Ephesians 6:11-12 states, "put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

The word for 'high places' in the Greek also means 'the heavenlies,' denoting the fall of Satan - and his angels - once made of divine light, fallen to become Lucifer, the pale light of the morning star.

Writer C. S. Lewis has said that two major problems arise in modern times concerning demons and these dark 'principalities': one, some people are too preoccupied with them, and two, many people don't believe in them at all. The first group are dangerous and terribly misled, but the second group - which comprises the vast majority of people - are to be pitied, because they suffer a deep deception by which they have no armour or weapons to fight these forces when they are attacked. Thus, they are constantly yielding to the powers of darkness and compromising their own vital principles. (This book is not written as a morality essay, but the prior analysis does describe America in the past 50 years.)

Nostradamus trafficked with these powers, probably for many years, and we are left to wonder, since his success has proved so phenomenal, whether he did it by Divine unction or by pure magic. The author is inclined to believe the former, because the demon is too clever and will deceive at every turn. While this book puts no particular emphasis on astrology, especially as it applies to individual lives, we are forced by weight of success to consider the possibility that there must be a 'Judicial astrology' by which clock God has apportioned His divine will for man, and Nostradamus came into possession of it in order to protect himself against the deceit of the demon.

Remember that the word for alone (or 'separated,' the nature of a demon) in Hebrew - bad - also means liar. Most of the Hebrew words that touch on the idea prophecy also mean lie or deceit.

There is another path, perhaps not as illuminating or wondrous to the carnal mind, and that is the path of Divine inspiration. By it the imaginative sense is transcended, thus the demon bypassed, and his deceits ineffectual. To tread this path one must be yielded to the Spirit of God, and the measure of success in one mirrors the measure of success in the other. The holy prophets of the Bible enjoyed this anointing in large measure, and the author prays that he might be accorded such favor even so lightly as the dew.

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