Twentieth Century: Unisex
Did a controversial sixteenth-century crone use her prescence to peer at the punkish perms and buzz cuts of babes of today’s Generation X?
And now a word in uncouth rhyme
Of what shall be in future time:
For in these wondrous far-off days,
The women shall adopt a craze
To dress like men and trousers wear,
And cut off their locks of hair.
Mother Shipton (c. 1561)
1978: The Poisoning of a Pope
When the great Roman’s tomb is found, the day after a pope shall be elected. The Senate will not approve of him. His blood is poisoned in the Sacred Chalice.
[He] will be mocked by his electors; this enterprising and prudent person will suddenly be reduced to silence.
He who will have government of the great cape will be led to execute in certain cases. The twelve red ones will spoil to cover. Under murder, murder will be perpetrated.
They will cause him to die because of his too great goodness and mildness. Stricken by fear, they will lead him to his death in the night.
Nostradamus (1555-1557), C3 Q65, C10 Q12, C4 Q11
The Prophet wrote a most shocking chronicle of future papal intrigue. He foresaw a pope elected soon after the unearthing of St. Peter’s Tomb from beneath the Vatican. The tomb was discovered in 1978, the year Pope John Paul I was elected by the College of Cardinals. Though the public loved Gianpaolo’s sunny smile and simple humanity, the conservative Cardinals were enraged by his radical reforms. He died a month after his coronation, the details of his passing shrouded forever in secrecy. It was divulged by certain intimate sources that he was found dead in his bed the morning he planned to expose the Vatican Bank scandal. Cardinal Villot, head of the Vatican Curia – the papal Cabinet of twelve Cardinals – had removed from the pope’s lap the papers listing the crimes and people to be dismissed, along with the bottle of Effortil on his night stand that John Paul used to alleviate his low blood pressure. According to investigative reporter, David Yallop, author of In God’s Name (Bantam), Villot passed false information to the press and made sure the Pope’s body was embalmed before an autopsy was performed. From his vantage point beyond time, Nostradamus implicates these twelve red ones as the Pope’s murderers.
1986: The Chernobyl Disaster
The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water – the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.
St. John of Patmos (B.C.E. 81-96), Rev 8:10, 11
It is here that the great conflict will occur – America, Russia…the time is not far off….The Lady [vision of the Virgin Mary] extended her hands in a protective gesture over a region that seemed to me to be the Ukraine. And I saw an infernal fire raging above, to the left of me in Russia. It appeared to me to be the result of a great explosion that erupted from the earth. The lady said: “And so you see, nothing remains.” And looked upon what was virtually a deserted plain.
Seen by a girl from Holland between 1945 and 1954
A ghost town exists in Russia. Open doors creak in the wind, which whispers in weeds that border roads and choke vegetable gardens. The surrounding unmanaged fields grow wheat that no living person can ever use for bread. This is the town of Pripyat, a once-teeming Ukrainian settlement of 45,000 set in the shadow of Chernobyl nuclear reactor number four. The explosion, which covered large areas of Europe with radioactive dust, left a gaping hole that has been sealed with 300,000 tons of concrete and 6,000 tons of lead. The wound is bandaged but the festering sore continues. Between thirty-one to 7,000 people died from the short-term effects of radiation. Future victims wait in the queue, with seemingly healthy bodies brewing cancers. Chernobyl’s silhouette in the silent Ukrainian countryside stands as its own prophecy of other hazards awaiting us in the nuclear age.
Some scientists estimate that future generations across a third of the world – primarily Europe – will see a rise in terminal cancer cases directly caused by the fallout from Chernobyl. It will be impossible to know how many lives will be cut short by cancers blown from death’s radium dandelion in the Ukraine. Some doctors put the number as high as one million. Perhaps St. John had foreseen this plague in Revelation 8:10-11 when he spoke of Wormwood. “Chernobyl” is Ukrainian for “wormwood.”
On a positive note, the disaster scandalized the Soviet government creating an opportunity for new Premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, to pursue the revolutionary reforms that lead a few short years later to the end of Russian communism and the Cold War.
1990: The Cold War Ends
A clash with the “barbarians” will weaken America but put it into alliance with Russia. In fact, the clash may already have happened, being dubbed the cold war, the Korean Police Action and Vietnam. The alliance with the Soviet Union should follow soon but with America in a weaker position than now.
Alan Vaughan (1973), Patterns in Prophecy
One day the two great leaders will be friends: their great power will be seen to grow. The new land [America] will be at the height of its power; to the man of blood the number is reported….
The East shall quake for fear of those two brothers of the North who are yet not brothers…
C2 Q89, Epistle to Henry II
By the 1980s two Cold War superpowers, up to their necks in nuclear weapons, had reached parity in the race to see which country had the greatest destructive potential. The numbers game of nuclear and conventional arms reductions for the coming 1990s may be implied by Nostradamus. The man of blood could be Gorbachev, who has a bloody birthmark on his head and is responsible for the reforms that brought a thaw to the Cold War and an opening for American/Russian friendship.
In the original prophecy, Nostradamus uses the word demis, friends. His often-applied device of altering correct spelling and punctuation to make a play on words implies either the meaning demis—”to halve, to set apart,” or d’amis – “friend”; in other words, what he wrote later on in his Epistle to Henry II of France, as the brothers who are not yet brothers.
Nostradamus appears to view today’s promises of disarmament with caution, and in other prophecies warns that the first steps toward a U.S.-Russian alliance at the end of the 1980s may collapse between 1999 and the 2020s in a nuclear war. Even if a Pollyanna would like to see the combined destructive force of our nuclear bombs reduced by 90 percent, she couldn’t rest easy about a future free of nuclear war. If there are still enough bombs to kill every human being once rather than the current eight hundred times, that’s more than enough.
(22 May 2007)
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