Quatrain 09-73: the secret of the Urn
- T.W.M. van Berkel -

Nederlandse versie

Comment by Van Berkel

Source text: 2000-Chomarat-facsimile
Dans Fois entrez Roy ceiulee Turbao,
Et regnera moins reuolu Saturne,
Roy Turban blanc Bizance coeur ban,
Sol,Mars,Mercure pres la hurne.

Translation (Van Berkel, 2002)
The Blue Turban King entered into Foix
And he will reign less than a rotation of Saturn.
The White Turban King Byzantium heart banished,
Sun, Mars and Mercury near the urn.

Van Berkel categorizes this quatrain as a horary chart quatrain.
In the quatrains 06-52, 09-73 and 10-50, Nostradamus writes about the "Urn". This is the name of a constellation, but this name does not occur in the lists of constellations, compiled by for example Ptolemy or Roussat. The answer to the question which constellation is at stake, is contained in quatrain 09-73.
In 1594, De Chavigny, Nostradamus' secretary, published comments on the Présages, the monthly political predictions of Nostradamus. In the Présage for June 1555, the first line reads: Far near the Urn the wicked one turns backwards. De Chavigny thought there was a correspondence between this line and quatrain 06-02. In the first line of that quatrain, Nostradamus wrote: The year 580 more or less... According to De Chavigny, Nostradamus referred to the period 1580-1581, in which Saturn (Saturn is in astrology a "malefic", an evil planet) was moving through the sign of Aquarius. This sign often is depicted as a human being, pouring water from a jar. According to De Chavigny, the name "urn" is synonymous with Aquarius. Quatrain 06-02 would deal with the period around 1585 AD, for France a troublesome time.
This interpretation is wrong. Nostradamus wrote the Présages as being predictions for actual months, not as being predictions that would be fulfilled after - in this case - 30 years. The first line of the Présage for June 1555 deals with June 1555, not with another month.
In June 1555, Saturn was not in Aquarius, but in Aries. Mars, in astrology the other "wicked one", was on the 23rd degree of Virgo, conjunct the Fixed Star Labrum on the 21st degree of Virgo. This Star is one of the stars of the constellation Crater, a Greek/Latin name that means "cup" or "oil jar". This constellation was listed by Ptolemy and Roussat.
[1]  In Nostradamus' lifetime, the constellation Crater was located between the 8th and the 25th degree of Virgo.
In the first line of quatrain 09-73, it reads that Sun, Mars and Mercury are close to the urn. This means that they are close to the 8th degree of Virgo, the beginning of the constellation Crater.
In the investigation on which Nostradamus, astrology and the Bible is based, is concluded that the zodiacal positions of the planets in the quatrains occurred between October 16, 1524, and October 11, 1553. In this period, which is called the "imagination period", only once a conjunction occurred of Sun, Mars and Mercury close to the beginning of the constellation Crater. This was on August 18, 1530. The Sun was on the 4th degree of Virgo, Mars on the 5th degree and Mercury, retrograde, on the 6th degree. In the investigation, it is concluded that quatrain 09-73 was written around August 18, 1530 and will be fulfilled on October 4, 2006, Gregorian calendar. The reign of the king, mentioned in the first line, will last shorter than 29 years and 168 days (the duration of a complete cycle of Saturn in the zodiac).
In the fourth line of quatrain 06-52, it reads: the Sun in the Urn. This refers to the moving of the Sun through the zodiacal degrees of the constellation Crater (the 8th until the 25th degree of Virgo). This clue does not reveal the year in which this quatrain is written, but it does reveal that writing occurred during August 22 and September 12 in one of the years between 1525 and 1553.
In the second line of quatrain 10-50, it reads: will discover Saturn and three in the Urn. This clue is too insufficient to determine  when this quatrain was written.
This quatrain is expired. In October 2006, nothing happened which had even the slightest resemblance to the allusions in quatrain 09-73.

Brind'Amour and Leoni note that the words "the Urn" refer to a position of Saturn in Aquarius. They do not refer to De Chavigny.[2] 


De Meern, the Netherlands, February 15, 2004
T.W.M. van Berkel
updated on August 6, 2011


The titles, places and year of issue of the mentioned authors are listed in the bibliography.

1. Roussat, p.72. Regarding Ptolemy: Robson, p.41. [text]
2. Brind'Amour 1996, p.311-312; Leoni, p.456-457. [text]



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