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xit Nostradamus
Review lecture Bosch' Astrological Society, 's-Hertogenbosch, NL

Nederlandse versie 

Bosch' Astrological Society
Clara monastery, Clarastraat

Exit Nostradamus

By Oscar Hofman, president of the Bosch' Astrological Society
Originally published on

On Friday, May 14, in Den Bosch, Theo van Berkel gave a very fascinating lecture about Nostradamus. It is ironic that the verses of this 16th century physician and "clairvoyant" awoke as much interest among the public as astrology - also among some astrologers. After all, the famous quatrains - his more than 900 four-line verses - have only little correspondence with concrete astrology.  The meaning of many of these quatrains is quite obscure and only about 40 contain predictions in which a year and/or date is mentioned.

All in all, a somewhat slippery topic, with which Van Berkel was thoroughly acquainted. In his profound investigation of the activities of Nostradamus for his book "Nostradamus, astrologie en de Bijbel", he revealed the likely methods and frame of thoughts of this "astrologer". The fundament of these predictions turns out not to be that astrological. His descriptions of events are for a major part based upon visions he "received" during a period of about 30 years. He carefully documented and incorporated  these visions in his verses.

While legitimating his visionary activities, Nostradamus referred to the Bible book of Joel, in which it reads that "young men" will have visions. Nostradamus said he considered himself to be one of the greatest sinners, who however was gifted with divine inspirations. This already shows that his frame of thoughts was determined by biblical-apocalyptical expectations. By means of astrology, he embedded the visions in a biblical time frame of eight millennia, which encloses, according to Nostradamus, the complete history of the world from the moment of creation until the Last Judgment. 

Concrete, the world was created on April 25, 4174 B.C. and the Last Judgment will come next to the eighth millennium on the same date in 3827 AD. The last millennium is the one thousand year kingdom, during which Satan is imprisoned and the church is returned to her glorious power. The one thousand year kingdom is ruled by Saturn and ends with the last war, described in Revelations. The Lamb will gain the final victory, the people will be judged and Satan will be defeated forever. The seven preceding millennia are ruled by the seven classic planets.

In full agreement with the apocalyptical current in his age, Nostradamus embeds his visions in this time pattern of the millennia, which inevitably ends with the Apocalypse.  According to Van Berkel, he used an astrological method for the exact timing of his predictions, only mentioned in about forty quatrains. He noted the estimated time of a vision or a dream and calculated a chart. Next, he calculated the fulfilment date by means of the lunar nodes. The number of degrees of arc which was covered by the lunar node from the beginning of the period in which Nostradamus began to receive "imaginations" from above, was converted into a year by means of the key "1 degree equals four years".

Nostradamus usually did not use charts to explain the nature of events - and therefore he is not an astrologer. He only calculated the year fo fulfilment with a progression system and by means of the horoscope he mentions in which countries and cities this will occur. This poor sinner was really self-esteemed. The period 1524-1553 in which he "received" his visions, is the fundament of the prediction of the future fate of the entire world! By the way, Nostradamus writes he does exactly what the prophets did in their lifetime, but he only adds years of fulfilment.

By means of the progression key and on the basis of the years, mentioned in a number of quatrains, Van Berkel recalculated the horary charts of the visions. There are indeed striking resemblances between the longitudes of the planets in those horary charts and the texts of the seer. But there is no real explanation of the charts. Some planetary longitudes are given, but it is always the vision which indicates the nature of the event. To make it more complicated: Nostradamus also uses a second progression system (1 degree motion of the North Lunar Node equals 100 years), in which he bases himself upon astrological aspects as they occurred in the period December 31, 1605 - February 24, 1607. A part of his predictions is based upon this explanation, a way of working which from an astrological point of view is almost impossible to justify.
This approach is dubious, but you never can tell. What is the predictional value of the quatrains, what became fulfilled? No, never something occurred on of close to the date, given by Nostradamus. Next, Van Berkel notices a number of other contradictions in the writings of the seer: predictions which are contradictory to each other, deviations of his own millennium model and lacks in biblical argumentation. Neither as an astrologer, nor as a clairvoyant, nor as a Christian believer, does his work make sense. Exit Nostradamus.

While checking the predictions, one must be careful with dating. The activities of the self-appointed prophet falls apart into roughly two important episodes, which is very important to pay attention to. The first episode is the "imagination period", which runs from 1524 to 1554. In this period, Nostradamus received his visions.  Next comes the "fulfilment period", which starts on March 1, 1555. This fulfilment period - in which the visions will be fulfilled - lasts 2272 years and runs until the Last Judgment in 3827 AD.  The years, given in the quatrains, are therefore not AD-years, but should be added up to March 1, 1555, the beginning of the fulfilment period. If in his quatrains he mentions the year 1999, this is 3554 AD. 

In whatever way you look, Nostradamus is very confusing and vague. For what reason he published his quatrains and especially, how did they become that popular? In his age, people had the strong feeling that the Last Judgment was at hand, they lived in an anxious expectation of the Return of the Lord. With his visions, provided with data by means of astrology, Nostradamus described what would happen in the course of history. The end was not yet to come, this would be on April 25, 3827! This must have been quite a comfort (and to a certain extent, it still is?), leaving aside the fact that he predicts nothing but disasters. After all, life is and always will be delightful.

Theo van Berkel, Nostradamus, astrologie en de Bijbel, to be ordered at the author. Also, a survey of Van Berkel's investigation is available (costs: 10,-) and he runs a website, which is updated regularly:

Oscar Hofman / BAG 2004

The Bosch' Astrological Society is founded in 1990.
Its aim is to enhance the knowledge about astrology by organizing lectures, meetings, courses and the exchange of ideas about astrology and related topics.



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