Interview in newspaper De Telegraaf, Amsterdam, NL

Nederlandse versie


Nostradamus is beside the mark

by Denise Hoogland

DE MEERN -  Some topics always will catch the eye. How many articles are written about Nostradamus? How many times were his famous prophecies investigated? It is not strange at all that the French phenomenon also caught the attention of Theo van Berkel, for about twenty years. Because of the 500th birthday of Nostradamus next year, Van Berkel decided to publish his calculations and research results. This resulted in a remarkable approach of a very old mystery.

TWM van Berkel"It all began with prophecy I-70. The prophecy deals with a possible coup d'état in Iran in 1979. A prophecy which, according to my feelings, became fulfilled with striking exactitude. I was fascinated by it. And I thought: 'if this one is fulfilled, how about the rest'", tells the 46 year old Theo van Berkel, who is nurse in daily life.
So Theo van Berkel, living in De Meern, bought the famous book The Prophecies. After having put it aside twice, because the contents were too vague, according to his feelings, the book finally got his attention, as he read the introduction. "There it was written that Nostradamus based his predictions on planetary positions. He was supposed to have calculated these positions for a period of 2.200 years. This might have been the fundament of his predictions", Van Berkel says. "However, the fact that someone could do such a thing for such a long period, especially in that period, seemed to me so amazing, that I decided to investigate the matter."

of French

It took him about twenty years to find  a calculation key by means of planetary positions, with which he could bring the astrological predictions back to their roots. A remarkable approach: because in the more than 600 books that meanwhile are written about the phenomenon Nostradamus, the prophecies are investigated in entirely different ways. 
Van Berkel: "There has been looked for a geographic key which Nostradamus might have used. It has been tried to find an explanation for the 942 predictions, all written in cryptic verses, by means of Jewish mystical numbers. There have been historic investigations and numerous suggestions that Nostradamus used some kind of projection technique, with which he projected events in his lifetime such as the outbreak of the plague, into the future."

According to the approach of Theo van Berkel, not one of the 942 predictions of Nostradamus can be fulfilled. "Nostradamus uses planetary positions to determine the date and the place of fulfilment. In other words: where and when a prophecy will be fulfilled. The crazy thing is - he writes this in his letters - that actually the prophecies are based on visions. He would have received a gift from God and would have had 942 visions."
Although, according to Theo van Berkel, the method Nostradamus used is not so foolish as it looks, there are some essential, weird elements. He illustrates: "If he really would have used an astrological system, he would not only have determined date and place of fulfilment, but also the nature of the event." Did the French scientist used an astrological system at all? "O sure. In fact: he used two such systems. They bite each other", he states.
"With the one system he predicts for example that there will be troubles for the Church, beginning in 1827, with the other system he predicts that in 1827 troubles will come to an end. Next, he predicts with the first system that all disasters will occur up till 3797. In the second system, Nostradamus states that in the last 1000 years of the world, between 2827 and 3827, there will be sheer prosperity. Next, he calculates for the existence of the world, from creation till end, 8.000 years. Archeology however proved that the world exists for millions of years and humanity for more than 40.000 years.

In his book 'Nostradamus, astrologie en de Bijbel ('Nostradamus, astrology and the Bible'), for the moment published privately, the planet-theory and the calculations are explained in detail. "People who want to know if there will happen anything exciting with Saddam Hussein, I have to disappoint. My book is meant for those people who want to know why I think his prophecies cannot be fulfilled."

But what about prophecy I-70? Or the famous prophecy that is supposed to deal with the attack on the WTC? "They do not match. As for the WTC: Nostradamus himself says he writes about the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, West- and Central-Europe. In his lifetime, America was not even defined."

Who in fact was Nostradamus?

Nostradamus, Michel de Nostredame, was born on December 14, 1503, in Saint-Rémy de Provence. In 1520, he began a study at the medical university of Avignon. In 1521, the university was closed due to a plague epidemic. Nostradamus travels through the south of France until 1529, in order to get acquainted with herbal healing. In these years, he earns a great reputation because of his courage in healing the victims of the plague. He continues his medical study at the university of Montpellier, where he gets some years later his masters degree. From 1530, he agrees less and less with contemporary practice of healing; in 1532 he lays down his university profession. After two long periods of wandering and some disastrous years, in which his wife and children die, in 1550 Nostradamus publishes the first of a series of almanacs. These almanacs contain calendars of saints, astronomical and meteorological writings and predictions. Pretty soon he becomes known. More almanacs and publications follow. His reputation increases, also at the French court of Henry II, where later he would be appointed as royal physician.
His most famous and most extensive oeuvre are the ten volumes of the Prophecies, in which he writes predictions about the world's future in verse.
In 1566, the disputed physician and astrologer dies because of the complications of gout and arthritis.

Newspaper De Telegraaf (the Telegraph), volume 110, number 35709, December 28, 2002.


Cf: Letter on quatrain 01-70 (astrological magazine Sagittarius, NL, 1980)



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