TO THE MOST INVINCIBLE
MOST POWERFUL AND MOST CHRISTIAN
HENRY, KING OF FRANCE THE SECOND:
HIS VERY HUMBLE AND VERY OBEDIENT SERVANT AND SUBJECT,
WISHES VICTORY AND HAPPINESS
Ever since my long-beclouded face first presented itself before the
immeasurable deity of your Majesty, O Most Christian and Most Victorious King,
I have remained perpetually dazzled by that sovereign sight. I have never
ceased to honor and venerate properly that date when I presented myself
before a Majesty so singular and so humane. I have searched for some occasion
on which to manifest high heart and stout courage, and thereby obtain even
greater recognition of Your Most Serene Majesty. But I saw how obviously
impossible it was for me to declare myself.
While I was seized with this singular desire to be transported suddenly from
my long-beclouded obscurity to the illuminating presence of the first monarch
of the universe, I was also long in doubt as to whom I would dedicate these
last three Centuries of my prophecies, making up the thou- sand. After having
meditated for a long time on an act of such rash audacity, I have ventured to
address Your Majesty. I have not been daunted like those mentioned by that
most grave author Plutarch, in his Life of Lycurgus, who were so astounded at
the expense of the offerings and gifts brought as sacrifices to the temples
of the immortal gods of that age, that they did not dare to present anything
at all. Seeing your royal splendor to be accompanied by such an incomparable
humanity, I have paid my address to it and not as those Kings of Persia whom
one could neither stand before nor approach.
It is to a most prudent and most wise Prince that I have dedicated my
nocturnal and prophetic calculations, which are composed rather out of a
natural instinct, accompanied by a poetic furor, than according to the strict
rules of poetry. Most of them have been integrated with astronomical
calculations corresponding to the years, months and weeks of the regions,
countries and most of the towns and cities of all Europe, including Africa
and part of Asia, where most of all these coming events are to transpire.
They are composed in a natural manner.
Indeed, someone, who would do well to blow his nose, may reply that the
rhythm is as easy as the sense is difficult. That, O Most Humane king, is
because most of the prophetic quatrains are so ticklish that there is no
making way through them, nor is there any interpreting of them.
Nevertheless, I wanted to leave a record in writing of the years, towns,
cities and regions in which most of the events will come to pass, even those
of the year 1585 and of the year 1606, reckoning from the present time, which
is March 14, 1557, and going far beyond to the events which will take place
at the beginning of the seventh millenary, when, so far as my pro- found
astronomical calculations and other knowledge have been able to make out,
the adversaries of Jesus Christ and his Church will begin to multiply greatly.
I have calculated and composed all during choice hours of well-disposed days,
and as accurately as I could, all when Minerva was free and not unfavorable.
I have made computations for events over almost as long a period to come as
that which has already passed, and by these they will know in all regions
what is to happen in the course of time, just as it is writ- ten, with
nothing superfluous added, although some may say, There can be no truth
entirely determined concerning the future.
It is quite true, Sire, that my natural instinct has been inherited from my
forebears, who did not believe in predicting, and that this is natural
instinct has been adjusted and integrated with long calculations. At the same
time, I freed my soul, mind and heart of all care, solicitude and vexation.
All of these prerequisites for presaging I achieved in part by means of the
There are some who would attribute to me that which is not mine at all. The
eternal God alone, who is the thorough searcher of humane hearts, pious, just
and merciful, is the true judge, and it is to him I pray to defend me from
the calumny of evil men. These evil ones, in their slanderous way, would
likewise want to inquire how all your most ancient progenitors, the Kings of
France, have cured the scrofula, how those of other nations have cured the
bite of snakes, how those of yet other nations have had a certain instinct
for the art of divination and still others which would be too long to recite
Notwithstanding those who cannot contain the malignity of the evil spirit, as
time elapses after my death, my writings will have more weight than during my
lifetime. Should I, however, have made any errors in my calculation of dates,
or prove unable to please everybody, I beg that your more than Imperial
Majesty will forgive me. I protest before God and his Saints that I do not
propose to insert any writings in this present Epistle that will be contrary
to the true Catholic faith, whilst consulting the astronomical calculations
to the best of my ability.
Such is the extent of time past, subject to correction by the most learned
judgment, that the first man, Adam, came 1,242 years before Noah (not
reckoning by such Gentile calculations as Varro used, but simply by the Holy
Scriptures, as best my weak understanding and astronomical calculations can
interpret them.) About 1,080 years after Noah and the universal flood came
Abraham, who, according to some, was a first-rate astrologer and invented the
Chaldean alphabet. About 515 or 516 years later came Moses, and from his time
to that of David about 570 years elapsed. From the time of David to that of
out Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, born of the unique Virgin, 1,350 year
elapsed, according to some chronographs. Some may object that this
calculation cannot be true, because it differs from that of Eusebius. From
the time of the human redemption to the detestable heresy of the Saracens
about 621 years elapsed. From this one can easily add up the amount of time
Although my calculations may not hold good for all nations, they have,
however, been determined by the celestial movements, combined with the
emotion, handed down to me by my forebears, which comes over me at certain
hours. But the danger of the times, O Most Serene King, requires that such
secrets should not be bared except in enigmatic sentences having, however,
only one sense and meaning, and nothing ambiguous or amphibological inserted.
Rather they are under a cloudy obscurity, with a natural infusion not unlike
the creation of the world, according to the calculation and Punic Chronicle
of Joel: I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh and your sons and daughters
will prophesy. But such Prophecy proceeded from the mouth of the Holy Ghost
who was the sovereign and eternal power, together with the heavens, and
caused some of them to predict great and marvelous events.
As for myself, I would never claim such a title, never, please God. I readily
admit that all proceeds from God and render to Him thanks, honor and immortal
praise. I have mixed therewith no divination coming from fate. All from God
and nature, and for the most part integrated with celestial movements. It is
much like seeing in a burning mirror, with clouded vision, the great events,
sad, prodigious and calamitous events that in due time will fall upon the
principal worshippers. First, upon the temples of God; secondly, upon those
who, sustained by the earth, approach such a decadence. Also a thousand other
calamitous events which will be known to happen in due time.
For God will take notice of the long barrenness of the great dame, who
thereupon will conceive two principal children. But she will be in danger,
and the female to whom she will have given birth will also, because of the
temerity of the age, be in danger of death in her eighteenth year, and will
be unable to live beyond her thirty-sixth year. She will leave three males,
and one female, and of these two will not have had the same father.
There will be great differences between the three brothers, and then there
will be such great cooperation and agreement between them that the three and
four parts of Europe will tremble. The youngest of them will sustain and
augment the Christian monarchy, and under him sects will be elevated, and
suddenly cast down, Arabs will be driven back, kingdoms united and new laws
The oldest one will rule the land whose escutcheon is that of the furious
crowned lions with their paws resting upon intrepid arms.
The one second in age, accompanied by the Latins, will penetrate far, until
a second furious and trembling path has been beaten to the Great St. Bernard
Pass. From there he will descend to mount the Pyrenees, which will not,
however, be transferred to the French crown. And this third one will cause a
great inundation of human blood, and for a long time Lent will not include
The daughter will be given for the preservation of the Christian Church. Her
lord will fall into the pagan sect of the new infidels. Of her two children,
one will be faithful to the Catholic Church, the other an infidel.
The unfaithful son, who, to his great confusion and later repentance, will
want to ruin her, will have three widely scattered regions, namely, the Roman,
Germany and Spain, which will set up diverse sects by armed force. The 50th
to the 52th degree of latitude will be left behind.
And all will render the homage of ancient religions to the region of Europe
north of the 48th parallel. The latter will have trembled first in vain
timidity but afterwards the regions to its west, south and east will tremble.
But the nature of their power will be such that what has been brought about
by concord and union will prove insuperable by warlike conquests.
In nature they will be equal, but very different in faith.
After this the barren Dame, of greater power than the second, will be
received by two of the nations. First, by them made obstinate by the onetime
masters of the universe. Second, by the latter themselves.
The third people will extend their forces towards the circuit of the East of
Europe where, in the Pannonias, they will be overwhelmed and slaughtered. By
sea they will extend their Myrmidons and Germans to Adriatic Sicily. But they
will succumb wholly and the Barbarian sect will be greatly afflicted and
driven out by all the Latins.
Then the great Empire of the Antichrist will begin where once was Attila’s
empire and the new Xerxes will descend with great and countless numbers, so
that the coming of the Holy Ghost, proceeding from the 48th degree, will make
a transmigration, chasing out the abomination of the Christian Church, and
whose reign will be for a time and to the end of time.
This will be preceded by a solar eclipse more dark and gloomy than any since
the creation of the world, except that after the death and passion of Jesus
Christ. And it will be in the month of October than the great translation
will be made and it will be such that one will think the gravity of the earth
has lost its natural movement and that it is to be plunged into the abyss of
In the spring there will be omens, and thereafter extreme changes, reversals
of realms and mighty earthquakes. These will be accompanied by the
procreation of the new Babylon, miserable daughter enlarged by the
abomination of the first holocaust. It will last for only seventy-three
years and seven months.
Then there will issue from the stock which had remained barren for so long,
proceeding from the 50th degree, one who will renew the whole Christian
Church. A great place will be established, with union and concord between
some of the children of opposite ideas, who have been separated by diverse
realms. And such will be the peace that the instigator and promoter of
military factions, born of the diversity of religions, will remain chained to
the deepest pit. And the kingdom of the Furious One, who counterfeits the
sage, will be united.
The countries, towns, cities, realms and provinces which will have abandoned
their old customs to gain liberty, but which will in fact have enthralled
themselves even more, will secretly have wearied of their liberty. Faith lost
in their perfect religion, they will begin to strike to the left, only to
return to the right. Holiness, for a long time overcome, will be replaced in
accordance with the earliest writings.
Thereafter the great dog, the biggest of curs, will go forth and destroy all,
the same old crimes being perpetrated again. Temples will be set up again as
in ancient times, and the priest will be restored to his original position
and he will begin his whoring and luxury, and will commit a thousand crimes.
At the eve of another desolation, when she is atop her most high and sublime
dignity, some potentates and warlords will confront her, and take away her
two swords, and leave her only the insignia, whose curvature attracts them.
The people will make him go to the right and will not wish to submit
themselves to those of the opposite extreme with the hand in acute position,
who touch the ground, and want to drive spurs into them.
The people of the world from this benevolent slavery to which they had
voluntary submitted. He will put himself under the protection of Mars,
stripping Jupiter of all his honors and dignities, and establish himself
in the free city in another scant Mesopotamia. The chief and governor will
be cast out from the middle and hung up, ignorant of the conspiracy of one
of the conspirators with the second Thrasibulus, who for a long time will
have directed all this.
Then the impurities and abominations, with a great shame, will be brought
out and manifested in the shadows of the veiled light, and will cease towards
the end of the change in reign. The chiefs of the Church will be backward in
the love of God, and several of them will apostatize from the true faith. Of
the three sects, that which is in the middle, because of its own partisans,
will be thrown a bit into decadence. The first one will be exterminated
throughout all Europe and most of Africa by the third one, making use of the
poor in spirit who, led by madmen to libidinous luxury, will adulterate.
The supporting common people will rise up and chase out the adherents of the
legislators. From the way realms will have been weakened by the Easterners,
it will seem that God the Creator has loosed Satan from the prisons of hell
to give birth to the great Dog and Dogam, who will make such an abominable
breach in the Churches that neither the reds nor the whites without eyes or
hands will know what to make of it, and their power will be taken from them.
Then will commence a persecution of the Churches the like of which was never
seen. Meanwhile, such a plague will arise that more than two thirds of the
world will be removed. One will be unable to ascertain the true owners of
fields and houses, and weeds growing in the streets of cities will rise
higher than the knees. For the clergy there will be but utter desolation. The
warlords will usurp what is returned from the City of the Sun, from Malta and
the Isles of Hyères. The great chain of the port which wakes its name from
the marine ox will be opened.
And a new incursion will be made by the maritime shores, wishing to deliver
the Sierra Morea from the first Mahometan recapture. Their assaults will not
all be in vain, and the place which was once the abode of Abraham will be
assaulted by persons who hold the Jovialists in veneration. And this city of
“Achem” will be surrounded and assailed on all sides by a most powerful force
of warriors. Their maritime forces will be weakened by the Westerners, and
great desolation will fall upon this realm. Its greatest cities will be
depopulated and those who enter will fall under the vengeance of the wrath
The sepulcher, for long an object of such great veneration, will remain in
the open, exposed to the sight of the heavens, the Sun and the Moon. The holy
place will be converted into a stable for a herd large and small, and used
for profane purposes. Oh, what a calamitous affliction will pregnant women
bear at this time.
For hereupon the principal Eastern chief will be vanquished by the
Northerners and Westerners, and most of his people, stirred up, will be put
to death, overwhelmed or scattered. His children, offspring of many women,
will be imprisoned. Then will be accomplished the prophecy of the Royal
Prophet, Let him hear the groaning of the captives, that he might deliver the
children of those doomed to die.
What great oppression will then fall upon the Princes and Governors of
Kingdoms, especially those which will be maritime and Eastern, whose tongues
will be intermingled with all others: the tongue of the Latins, and of the
Arabs, via the Phoenicians. And all these Eastern Kings will be chased,
overthrown and exterminated, but not altogether, by means of the forces of
the Kings of the North, and because of the drawing near of our age through
the three secretly united in the search for death, treacherously laying traps
for one another. This renewed Triumvirate will last for seven years, and the
renown of this sect will extend around the world. The sacrifice of the hole
and immaculate Wafer will be sustained.
Then the Lords of “Aquilon” [the North], two in number, will be victorious
over the Easterners, and so great a noise and bellicose tumult will they
make amongst them that all the East will tremble in terror of these brothers,
yet not brothers, of “Aquilon” [the North].
By this discourse, Sire, I present these predictions almost with confusion,
especially as to when they will take place. Furthermore, the chronology of
time which follows conforms very little, if at all, with that which has
already been set forth. Yet it was determined by astronomy and other sources,
including Holy Scriptures, and thus could not err. If I had wanted to date
each quatrain, I could have done so. But this would not have been agreeable
to all, least of all to those interpreting them, and was not to be done until
Your Majesty granted me full power to do so, lest calumniators be furnished
with an opportunity to injure me.
Anyhow, I count the years from the creation of the world to the birth of Noah
as 1,506, and from the birth of Noah to the completion of the Ark, at the
time of the universal deluge, as 600 (let the years be solar, or lunar, or a
mixture of the ten) I hold that the Sacred Scriptures use solar years. And
at the end of these 600 years, Noah entered the Ark to be saved from the
deluge. This deluge was universal, and lasted one year and two months. And
295 years elapsed from the end of the flood to the birth of Abraham, and 100
from then till the birth of Isaac. And 60 years later Jacob was born. 130
years elapsed between the time he entered Egypt and the time he came out.
Between the entry of Jacob into Egypt and the exodus, 430 years passed. From
the exodus to the building of the Temple by Solomon in the fourth year of
his reign, 480 years. According to the calculations of the Sacred Writings,
it was 490 years from the building of the Temple to the time of Jesus Christ.
Thus, this calculation of mine, collected from the holy writ, comes to about
4,173 years and 8 months, more or less. Because there is such a diversity of
sects, I will not go beyond Jesus Christ.
I have calculated the present prophecies according to the order of the chain
which contains its revolution, all by astronomical doctrine modified by my
natural instinct. After a while, I found the time when Saturn turns to enter
on April 7 till August 25, Jupiter on June 14 till October 7, Mars from April
17 to June 22, Venus from April 9 to May 22, Mercury from February 3 to
February 24. After that, from June 1 to June 24, and from September 25 to
October 16, Saturn in Capricorn, Jupiter in Aquarius, Mars in Scorpio, Venus
in Pisces, Mercury for a month in Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces, the Moon
in Aquarius, the Dragon’s head in Libra: its tail in opposition following a
conjunction of Jupiter and Mercury with a quadrature of Mars and Mercury,
and the Dragon’s head coinciding with a conjunction of the Sun and Jupiter.
And the year without an eclipse peaceful.
But not everywhere. It will mark the commencement of what will long endure.
For beginning with this year the Christian Church will be persecuted more
fiercely than it ever was in Africa, and this will last up to the year 1792,
which they will believe to mark a renewal of time.
After this the Roman people will begin to re-establish themselves, chasing
away some obscure shadows and recovering a bit of their ancient glory. But
this will not be without great division and continual changes. Thereafter
Venice will raise its wings very high in great force and power, not far
short of the might of ancient Rome.
At that time the great sails of Byzantium, allied with the Ligurians and
through the support and power of “Aquilon” [the Northern Realm], will impede
them so greatly that the two Cretans will be unable to maintain their faith.
The arks built by the Warriors of ancient times will accompany them to the
waves of Neptune. In the Adriatic great discord will arise, and that which
will have been united will be separated. To a house will be reduced that
which was, and is, a great city, including “Pampotamia” and “Mesopotamia” of
Europe at 45, and others of 41, 42 and 37 degrees.
It will be at this time and in these countries that the infernal power will
set the power of its adversaries against the Church of Jesus Christ. This
will constitute of the second Antichrist, who will persecute that Church and
its true Vicar, by means of the power of three temporal kings who in their
ignorance will be seduced by tongues which, in the hands of the madmen, will
cut more than any sword.
The said reign of the Antichrist will last only to the death of him who was
born at the beginning of the age and of the other one of Lyon, associated
with the elected one of the House of Modena and of Ferrara, maintained by
the Adriatic Ligurians and the proximity of great Sicily. Then the Great St.
Bernard will be passed.
The Gallic Ogmios will be accompanied by so great a number that the Empire
of his great law will extend very far. For some time thereafter the blood of
the Innocent will be shed profusely by the recently elevated guilty ones.
Then, because of great floods, the memory of things contained in these
instruments will suffer incalculable loss, even letters. This will happen to
the “Aquiloners” [the Northern People] by the will of God.
Once again Satan will be bound, universal peace will be established among
men, and the Church of Jesus Christ will be delivered from all tribulations,
although the Philistines would like to mix in the honey of malice and their
pestilent seduction. This will be near the seventh millenary, when the
sanctuary of Jesus Christ will no longer be trodden down by the infidels
who come from “Aquilon” [the North]. The world will be approaching a great
conflagration, although, according to my calculations in my prophecies, the
course of time runs much further.
In the Epistle that some years ago I dedicated to my son, César Nostradamus,
I declared some points openly enough, without presage. But here, Sire, are
included several great and marvelous events which those to come after will
During this astrological supputation, harmonized with the Holy Scriptures,
the persecution of the Ecclesiastical folk will have its origin in the power
of the Kings of “Aquilon” [the North], united with the Easterners. This
persecution will last for eleven years, or somewhat less, for then the chief
King of “Aquilon” will fall.
Thereupon the same thing will occur in the South, where for the space of
three years the Church people will be persecuted even more fiercely through
the Apostatic seduction of one who will hold all the absolute power in the
Church militant. The hole people of God, the observer of his law, will be
persecuted fiercely and such will be their affliction that the blood of the
true Ecclesiastics will flow everywhere.
One of the horrible temporal Kings will be told by his adherents, as the
ultimate in praise, that he has shed more of human blood of Innocent
Ecclesiastics than anyone else could have spilled of wine. This King will
commit incredible crimes against the Church. Human blood will flow in the
public streets and temples, like water after an impetuous rain, coloring the
nearby rivers red with blood. The ocean itself will be reddened by another
naval battle, such that one king will say to another, Naval battles have
caused the sea to blush.
Then, in this same year, and in those following, there will ensue the most
horrible pestilence, made more stupendous by the famine which will have
preceded it. Such great tribulations will never have occurred since the
first foundation of the Christian Church. It will cover all Latin regions,
and will leave traces in some countries of the Spanish.
Thereupon the third King of “Aquilon” [the North], hearing the lament of the
people of his principal title, will raise a very mighty army and, defying
the tradition of his predecessors, will put almost everything back in its
proper place, and the great Vicar of the hood will be put back in his former
state. But desolated, and then abandoned by all, he will turn to find the
Holy of Holies destroyed by paganism, and the old and new Testaments thrown
out and burned.
After that Antichrist will be the infernal prince again, for the last time.
All the Kingdoms of Christianity will tremble, even those of the infidels,
for the space of twenty-five years. Wars and battles will be more grievous
and towns, cities, castles and all other edifices will be burned, desolated
and destroyed, with great effusion of vestal blood, violations of married
woman and widows, and sucking children dashed and broken against the walls
of towns. By means of Satan, Prince Infernal, so may evils will be committed
that nearly all the world will find itself undone and desolated. Before
these events, some rare birds will cry in the air: Hui, Hui [Today, today]
and some time later will vanish.
After this has endured for a long time, there will be almost renewed another
reign of Saturn, and golden age. Hearing the affliction of his people, God
the Creator will command that Satan be cast into the depths of the bottomless
pit, and bound there. Then a universal peace will commence between God and
man, and Satan will remain bound for around a thousand years, and then all
All these figures represent the just integration of Holy Scriptures with
visible celestial bodies, namely, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars and others conjoined,
as can be seen at more length in some of the quatrains. I would have
calculated more profoundly and integrated them even further, Most Serene
King, but for the fact that some given to censure would raise difficulties.
Therefore I withdraw my pen and seek nocturnal repose.
Many events, most powerful of all Kings, of the most astounding sort are to
transpire soon, but I neither could nor would fit them all into this epistle;
but in order to comprehend certain horrible facts, a few must be set forth.
So great is your grandeur and humanity before men, and your piety before the
gods, that you alone seem worthy of the great title of the Most Christian
King, and to whom the highest authority in all religion should be deferred.
But I shall only beseech you, Most Clement King, by this singular and prudent
humanity of yours, to understand rather the desire of my heart, and the
sovereign wish I have to obey Your Most Serene Majesty, ever since my eyes
approached your solar splendor, than the grandeur of my labor can attain to
or acquire. From Salon, this 27th of June, 1558.
Done by Michel Nostradamus at Salon-de-Crau in Provence.
Greetings and happiness to Cesar Nostradamus my son. Your late arrival,
Cesar Nostredame, my son, has made me spend much time in constant nightly
reflection so that I could communicate with you by letter and leave you this
reminder, after my death, for the benefit of all men, of which the divine
spirit has vouchsafed me to know by means of astronomy. And since it was the
Almighty’s will that you were not born here in this region and I do not want
to talk of years to come but of the months during which you will struggle to
grasp and understand the work I shall be compelled to leave you after my
death: assuming that it will not be possible for me to leave you such writing
as may be destroyed through the injustice of the age. The key to the hidden
prediction which you will inherit will be locked inside my heart.
Also bear in mind that the events here described have not yet come to pass,
and that all is ruled and governed by the power of Almighty God, inspiring us
not by bacchic frenzy nor by enchantments but by astronomical assurances:
predictions have been made through the inspiration of divine will alone
and the spirit of prophecy in particular.
On numerous occasions and over a long period of time I have predicted
specific events far in advance, attributing all to the workings of divine
power and inspiration, together with other fortunate or unfortunate
happenings, foreseen in their full unexpectedness, which have already come to
pass in various regions of the earth. Yet I have wished to remain silent and
abandon my work because of the injustice not only of the present time but
also for most of the future. I will not commit to writing.
Since governments, sects and countries will undergo such sweeping changes,
diametrically opposed to what now obtains, that were I to relate events to
come, those in power now – monarchs, leaders of sects and religions – would
find these so different from their own imaginings that they would be led to
condemn what later centuries will learn how to see and understand. Bear in
mind also Our Saviour’s words: “Do not give anything holy to the dogs, nor
throw pearls in front of swine lest they trample them with their feet and
turn on you and tear you apart.” For this reason I withdrew my pen from the
paper, because I wished to amplify my statement touching the Vulgar Advent by
means of ambiguous and enigmatic comments about future causes, even those
closest to us and those I have perceived, so that some human change which may
come to pass shall not unduly scandalize delicate sensibilities. The whole
work is thus written in a nebulous rather than plainly prophetic form.
So much so that, “You have hidden these things from the wise and the
circumspect, that is from the mighty and the rulers, and you have purified
those things for the small and the poor,” and through Almighty God’s will,
revealed unto those prophets with the power to perceive what is distant and
thereby to foretell things to come. For nothing can be accomplished without
this faculty, whose power and goodness work so strongly in those to whom
it is given that, while they contemplate within themselves, these powers are
subject to other influences arising from the force of good. This warmth and
strength of prophecy invests us with its influence as the sun’s rays affect
both animate and inanimate entities.
We human beings cannot through our natural consciousness and intelligence
know anything of God the Creator’s hidden secrets, For it is not for us to
know the times or the instants, etc.
So much so that persons of future times may be seen in present ones, because
God Almighty has wished to reveal them by means of images, together with
various secrets of the future vouchsafed to orthodox astrology, as was the
case in the past, so that a measure of power and divination passed through
them, the flame of the spirit inspiring them to pronounce upon inspiration
both human and divine. God may bring into being divine works, which are
absolute; there is another level, that of angelic works; and a third way,
that of the evildoers.
But my son, I address you here a little too obscurely. As regards the occult
prophecies one is vouchsafed through the subtle spirit of fire, which the
understanding sometimes stirs through contemplation of the distant stars as
if in vigil, likewise by means of pronouncements, one finds oneself surprised
at producing writings without fear of being stricken for such impudent
loquacity. The reason is that all this proceeds from the divine power of
Almighty God from whom all bounty proceeds.
And so once again, my son, if I have eschewed the word prophet, I do not wish
to attribute to myself such lofty title at the present time, for whoever is
called a prophet now was once called a seer; since a prophet, my son, is
properly speaking one who sees distant things through a natural knowledge of
all creatures. And it can happen that the prophet bringing about the perfect
light of prophecy may make manifest things both human and divine, because
this cannot be done otherwise, given that the effects of predicting the
future extend far off into time.
God’s mysteries are incomprehensible and the power to influence events is
bound up with the great expanse of natural knowledge, having its nearest most
immediate origin in free will and describing future events which cannot be
understood simply through being revealed. Neither can they be grasped through
men’s interpretations nor through another mode of cognizance or occult power
under the firmament, neither in the present nor in the total eternity to come
But bringing about such an indivisible eternity through Herculean efforts,
things are revealed by the planetary movements.
I am not saying, my son – mark me well, here – that knowledge of such things
cannot be implanted in your deficient mind, or that events in the distant
future may not be within the understanding of any reasoning being.
Nevertheless, if these things current or distant are brought to the awareness
of this reasoning and intelligent being they will be neither too obscure nor
too clearly revealed.
Perfect knowledge of such things cannot be acquired without divine
inspiration, given that all prophetic inspiration derives its initial origin
from God Almighty, then from chance and nature. Since all these portents are
produced impartially, prophecy comes to pass partly as predicted. For
understanding created by the intellect cannot be acquired by means of the
occult, only by the aid of the zodiac, bringing forth that small flame by
whose light part of the future may be discerned.
Also, my son, I beseech you not to exercise your mind upon such reveries and
vanities as drain the body and incur the soul’s perdition, and which trouble
our feeble frames. Above all avoid the vanity of that most execrable magic
formerly reproved by the Holy Scriptures – only excepting the use of official
For by the latter, with the help of inspiration and divine revelation, and
continual calculations, I have set down my prophecies in writing. Fearing
lest this occult philosophy be condemned, I did not therefore wish to make
known its dire import; also fearful that several books which had lain hidden
for long centuries might be discovered, and of what might become of them,
after reading them I presented them to Vulcan. And while he devoured them,
the flame licking the air gave out such an unexpected light, clearer than
that of an ordinary flame and resembling fire from some flashing cataclysm,
and suddenly illumined the house as if it were caught in a furnace. Which is
why I reduced them to ashes then, so that none might be tempted to use occult
labours in searching for the perfect transmutation, whether lunar or solar,
of incorruptible metals.
But as to that discernment which can be achieved by the aid of planetary
scrutiny, I should like to tell you this. Eschewing any fantastic imaginings,
you may through good judgement have insight into the future if you keep to
the specific names of places that accord with planetary configurations, and
with inspiration places and aspects yield up hidden properties, namely that
power in whose presence the three times are understood as Eternity whose
unfolding contains them all: for all things are naked and open.
That is why, my son, you can easily, despite your young brain, understand
that events can be foretold naturally by the heavenly bodies and by the
spirit of prophecy: I do not wish to ascribe to myself the title and role of
prophet, but emphasize inspiration revealed to a mortal man whose perception
is no further from heaven than the feet are from the earth. I cannot fail,
err or be deceived, although I may be as great a sinner as anyone else upon
this earth and subject to all human afflictions.
But after being surprised sometimes by day while in a trance, and having long
fallen into the habit of agreeable nocturnal studies, I have composed books
of prophecies, each containing one hundred astronomical quatrains, which I
want to condense somewhat obscurely. The work comprises prophecies from today
to the year 3797.
This may perturb some, when they see such a long timespan, and this will
occur and be understood in all the fullness of the Republic; these things
will be universally understood upon earth, my son. If you live the normal
lifetime of man you will know upon your own soil, under your native sky,
how future events are to turn out.
For only Eternal God knows the eternity of His light which proceeds from Him,
and I speak frankly to those to whom His immeasurable, immense and
incomprehensible greatness has been disposed to grant revelations through
long, melancholy inspiration, that with the aid of this hidden element
manifested by God, there are two principal factors which make up the
The first is when the supernatural light fills and illuminates the person who
predicts by astral science, while the second allows him to prophesy through
inspired revelation, which is only a part of the divine eternity, whereby the
prophet comes to assess what his divinatory power has given him through the
grace of God and by a natural gift, namely, that what is foretold is true and
ethereal in origin.
And such a light and small flame is of great efficacy and scope, and nothing
less than the clarity of nature itself. The light of human nature makes the
philosophers so sure of themselves that with the principles of the first
cause they reach the loftiest doctrines and the deepest abysses.
But my son, lest I venture too far for your future perception, be aware that
men of letters shall make grand and usually boastful claims about the way I
interpreted the world, before the worldwide conflagration which is to bring
so many catastrophes and such revolutions that scarcely any lands will not be
covered by water, and this will last until all has perished save history
and geography themselves. This is why, before and after these revolutions in
various countries, the rains will be so diminished and such abundance of fire
and fiery missiles shall fall from the heavens that nothing shall escape the
holocaust. And this will occur before the last conflagration.
For before war ends the century and in its final stages it will hold the
century under its sway. Some countries will be in the grip of revolution for
several years, and others ruined for a still longer period. And now that we
are in a republican era, with Almighty God’s aid, and before completing its
full cycle, the monarchy will return, then the Golden Age. For according to
the celestial signs, the Golden Age shall return, and after all calculations,
with the world near to an all-encompassing revolution – from the time of
writing 177 years 3 months 11 days – plague, long famine and wars, and still
more floods from now until the stated time. Before and after these, humanity
shall several times be so severely diminished that scarcely anyone shall be
found who wishes to take over the fields, which shall become free where they
had previously been tied.
This will be after the visible judgement of heaven, before we reach the
millennium which shall complete all. In the firmament of the eighth sphere,
a dimension whereon Almighty God will complete the revolution, and where the
constellations will resume their motion which will render the earth stable
and firm, but only if He will remain unchanged for ever until His will be
This is in spite of all the ambiguous opinions surpassing all natural reason,
expressed by Mahomet; which is why God the Creator, through the ministry of
his fiery agents with their flames, will come to propose to our perceptions
as well as our eyes the reasons for future predictions.
Signs of events to come must be manifested to whomever prophesies. For
prophecy which stems from exterior illumination is part of that light and
seeks to ally with it and bring it into being so that the part which seems to
possess the faculty of understanding is not subject to a sickness of the mind.
Reason is only too evident. Everything is predicted by divine afflatus and
thanks to an angelic spirit inspiring the one prophesying, consecrating his
predictions through divine unction. It also divests him of all fantasies by
means of various nocturnal apparitions, while with daily certainty he
prophesies through the science of astronomy, with the aid of sacred prophecy,
his only consideration being his courage in freedom.
So come, my son, strive to understand what I have found out through my
calculations which accord with revealed inspiration, because now the sword
of death approaches us, with pestilence and war more horrible than there has
ever been – because of three men’s work – and famine. And this sword shall
smite the earth and return to it often, for the stars confirm this upheaval
and it is also written: “I shall punish their injustices with iron rods, and
shall strike them with blows.”
For God’s mercy will be poured forth only for a certain time, my son,
until the majority of my prophecies are fulfilled and this fulfillment is
complete. Then several times in the course of the doleful tempests the Lord
shall say: Therefore I shall crush and destroy and show no mercy; and many
other circumstances shall result from floods and continual rain of which I
have written more fully in my other prophecies, composed at some length, not
in a chronological sequence, in prose, limiting the places and times and
exact dates so that future generations will see, while experiencing these
inevitable events, how I have listed others in clearer language, so that
despite their obscurities these things shall be understood: When the time
comes for the removal of ignorance, the matter will be clearer still.
So in conclusion, my son, take this gift from your father M. Nostradamus,
who hopes you will understand each prophecy in every quatrain herein. May
Immortal God grant you a long life of good and prosperous happiness.
Salon, 1 March 1555