Many of these have already come true. Others haven’t proved so accurate. Some focused on the end of the 20th century and the start of the millennium.
Nostradaumus was born in France in December 1503, the first son of Jewish parents. As a youth he learned languages, maths, astrology and astronomy from his grandfather. Later he studied liberal arts at the University at Avignon. Nostradamus was well versed in the science of herbs and minerals and it is believed that the occult books at the library at Avignon further fuelled his interest in magic and astrology.
Later he graduated from the medical school at the University of Montpellier and after receiving a licence to practice medicine at the age of 21, started up a private practice, treating plague victims.
Nostradamus and Astrology
He always had an interest in astrology but his powers of prophesy seemed to be heightened after his first wife and two children died of the plague in the late 1530’s.
This great physician who specialised in treatment of the plague was tragically unable to save his family when they fell prey to the illness. Distraught and pursued by the Inquisition after being accused of heresy he left and travelled throughout France and Italy for the next six years. During this period Nostradamus devoted much of his time to his interest in magic and astrology.
He settled for a short while in Marseilles where the plague was particularly virulent and devoted most of his time to treating plague victims. Once the disease was under control, Nostradamus settled in Salon where he met and married Anne Ponsart Gemelle, a rich widow with whom he had six children, three boys and three girls. Here, he continued his studies in magic and astrology.
He began to produce a yearly Almanac from 1550 and worked day and night in his study at the top of his house with his occult books. In 1555 the first edition of “Centuries”, his book of prophesies, was published. This collection of Centuries (a series of 100 quatrains) would contain predictions from the 1500’s up to the end of the world and were full of symbolism and metaphor.
The vagueness of the verses served two purposes: it avoided his being tried as a magician and it also meant the quatrains could be interpreted to fit numerous situations. There is no doubt some were made under the influence of the stars but most came from methods that weren’t astrological. Within his verses Nostradamus mentions the magical rites he used involving a tripod, fire, water and possibly drugs to induce trances and heighten his prophetic abilities.
In 1555, the first edition of “Centuries” was published. In it he accurately predicted the accidental death of King Henri II of France. From then, his reputation as a prophet grew. In 1564 Nostradamus was appointed Royal Physician to King Charles IX and when he died, in 1566, the inscription on his memorial tells of the
“illustrious Michael Nostradamus, whose near divine pen was alone worthy to record under the inspiration of the stars, the future events of the whole world….”