Nostradamus Linked to the Kabbalah

Dec 18 20:40 2006 Gersiane De Brito Print This Article

Morten St. George's theory that some of the Nostradamus prophecies were known in mystic circles during medieval times.

In the late sixteenth century,Guest Posting four separate editions of the Nostradamus prophecies were published in the city of Paris, each of which contained major textual alterations from all other editions: thirty-nine prophetic stanzas were entirely deleted and replaced with other stanzas. Morten St. George, author of Incantation of the Law Against Inept Critics: A Guide to Cryptic Thinking, made a discovery. He discovered that the numerical sequences of consecutive deletions corresponded exactly to numerical sequences found in a book called the Sefer Yetzirah, the earliest known text of the medieval Kabbalah.

That was only the beginning. St. George's next discovery was that many sections of another classical text of the Kabbalah, known as the Bahir or Sefer ha-Bahir, were essentially a cryptic derivative (riddles and parables evidently designed to teach in the style of the masters of Zen) of prophecies published by Nostradamus centuries later. It became self-evident that some of the famous prophecies were known in medieval times and hence predate Nostradamus. The ancient prophecies had a name: the Revelations of Elijah.

Combining a passage from Saadia Gaon's Commentary on the Sefer Yetzirah with information from other sources, St. George has concluded that the cabalists believed that a chariot descended from the sky and delivered both the Sefer Yetzirah and the Revelations of Elijah to Talmudic scholars, in a Babylonian desert, in the late sixth century. That would mark when and where the Kabbalah originated. Copies of the Sefer Yetzirah were eventually scattered around the globe. The Revelations of Elijah, however, according to St. George, were never copied because this book glowed in the dark (and continued to do so for centuries), causing the cabalists to believe that it contained the divine essence.

A few centuries later, the Babylonian cabalists migrated to Europe. St. George found indications that the group carrying the Revelations of Elijah went to Germany, and then settled in Provence, Nostradamus' homeland.

The story does not end there. In subsequent investigations, St. George stumbled upon signs in the writings of Hayyim Vital and elsewhere that Isaac Luria, founder of the Lurianic Kabbalah, went to Provence to study the Kabbalah under Nostradamus, and that Luria may have assisted in writing the stanzas that mask the revelations. St. George suspects that Luria's gateway to Nostradamus was Nostradamus' brother, a grain dealer who made frequent trips to Egypt, and that accounts of Luria having spent seven years living as a hermit were merely a fabrication to cover up his disappearance from Egypt. Contact with the Revelations of Elijah, according to St. George, would explain how Luria, still too young by tradition to be even taught the Kabbalah, was able to impact the cabalistic community in the Holy Land.

St. George feels that Nostradamus may have been too preoccupied with the future of humankind to have spent much time developing cabalistic theory. Consequently, the Kabbalah that he taught Luria, and which Luria took to the Holy Land, was likely developed within secret circles in earlier times. According to St. George, significant elements of the Lurianic Kabbalah can be seen as a product of reflections upon the Book of Light, otherwise known as the Revelations of Elijah.

St. George considers the Revelations of Elijah to be the greatest, longest-lasting, and best-kept secret in human history, maintained and yet unbroken for a thousand years. He also thinks it foolish to believe that a concealed book cannot influence the course of history, but he declines to go into details on that theme. St. George also declines to explain why Nostradamus decided to destroy the Revelations of Elijah, but he insists that to the very end the Provencal cabalists never disclosed their possession of that book; their only mistake was publishing revelations that they could not understand.

Incantation of the Law Against Inept Critics: A Guide to Cryptic Thinking is not a book about the Kabbalah. The word Kabbalah makes no appearance in its text. St. George's book does, however, fully reproduce the Paris alterations in relevant context, and, in unrelated context but nonetheless useful, it also exhibits the revelations that form the subject matter of the Bahir riddles.

Kabbalah NotesThe following are additional notes from my first interview with Morten St. George on the Kabbalah theme. For their technical nature, they were left out of an earlier, limited distribution of "Nostradamus Linked to the Kabbalah." However, I now see that they provide useful information, so I am appending them to the full distribution of this article.i) St. George theorizes that the chariot originally delivered a total of one hundred revelations. He further surmises that, following indications in the first sentence of co-delivered book Sefer Yetzirah, the early cabalists isolated thirty two of those revelations and designated them as "paths of wisdom." In the Paris edition modifications, exactly thirty-two stanzas follow the same pattern of verse re-ordering. Thus, out of the original one hundred Revelations of Elijah, St. George believes that Nostradamus published the thirty-two paths of wisdom plus an additional ten revelations.ii) St. George is convinced that the purpose of the Paris alterations was to provide a scheme for locating the real revelations within Nostradamus' book. However, out of the thirty-nine Paris alterations, St. George claims that only the first replacement and the last replacement correspond to a real revelation. Consequently, to locate the remaining revelations, St. George believes one must learn how to steer a course to them, possibly via maneuvers around or through circles or spheres. To date, St. George has not been successful in doing this.iii) All four of the Paris editions of the late sixteenth century are still extant and all four are available in public libraries. Two of them can be found in the Library of the British Museum, in London, and their textual variants were personally recorded by St. George. The other two are in libraries in France. A bibliographic report on the variants in France did not mention the first modification, the one and only modification in Nostradamus' second group of one hundred stanzas, and St. George does not know if that was an oversight on part of the bibliographer or if there are slight differences beyond the three additional stanzas of the French versions.iv) Diverse, brief descriptions of the Thirty-Two Paths of Wisdom are still extant, each constituting a synopsis of the essence of a Nostradamus stanza. St. George says it is "fun and games" linking up the descriptions with their corresponding revelations. He also told me that some of the best English-language descriptions of the paths are to be found in books written by Christian investigators of the Kabbalah.v) For people wishing to learn about the Kabbalah, St. George recommends Gershom Scholem's Origins of the Kabbalah to become quickly familiar with the theme. This book includes rare references to the Revelations of Elijah. St. George says to read carefully, looking for tie-ins with the revelations. For example, when Scholem notes that medieval cabalists appended "the surname of the prophet" to their name, you need only look to the first verse of revelation II-28 for an explanation; there you will find "the surname of the prophet." Look, in particular, for instances where Scholem expresses surprise or shock, such as when he notes with exclamation point that the Bahir refers to the Moon goddess. Indeed, the Moon goddess is unlikely to have played a role in Judaism in any epoch, but for an explanation you need only drop down one verse in II-28, where you will find Diana, the Moon goddess!vi) St. George recalls that the first sign he encountered of a connection between Nostradamus and Isaac Luria came from a passage in Hayyim Vital's Sefer ha-Hezyonot, which conveys a date in 1566 on the Jewish calendar. In this passage, someone is unable to stop grieving and weeping. The Jewish date converts to the date of Nostradamus' death. However, St. George does not believe that the Lurianic Kabbalah would be particularly helpful for maneuvering around the spheres.vii) One hundred and two years after the death of Nostradamus, a Dutch printer by the name of Jean Jansson published an original manuscript of Nostradamus' Epistle, the first publication ever of this manuscript. St. George knows that it was an original manuscript because it contained textual variants that only Nostradamus himself could have created. The same Dutch printer also published, in Hebrew and Latin, the book of creation Sefer Yetzirah, to which he appended a description of the thirty-two paths of wisdom. The description of the twenty-eighth path, however, was omitted. Consequently, St. George believes there is a chance that Nostradamus' book may contain only thirty-one of the thirty-two paths. According to St. George, the missing path would have been a dated revelation concerning the death of Nostradamus' king, Henry II of France, which for certain reasons, Nostradamus could not publish and may have replaced with another revelation.

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Gersiane De Brito
Gersiane De Brito

By Gersiane De Brito. Her follow-up article on the Kabbalah theme, called "Kabbalah: In Search of the Revelations of Elijah," can be found on the Cryptic Thinking Official Site:

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