Prophetic Method of Nostradamus
Nostradamus used a variety of magical arts and tools to induce ecstatic trances. Visions came to him through flame or water gazing, sometimes both together. he also followed the practice of Branchus, a Delphic priestess of ancient Greece, requiring him to sit, spine erect, on a brass tripod, the legs of which were angled at the same degree as the Egyptian pyramids. The upright position, and possibly the use of nutmeg (a mild hallucinogen when consumed in sufficient quantity -- [deadly when the dose is too large]), stimulated the mind; the angle of the tripod legs was thought to create a bioelectric force which would sharpen psychic powers.
Or the prophet would stand or sit before a tripod that held a brass bowl filled with steaming water and pungent oils. "I emptied my soul, brain and heart of all care and attained a state of tranquillity and stillness of mind which are prerequisites for predicting by means of the brass tripod."
"Although the everlasting God alone knows the eternity of light proceeding from himself, I say frankly to all to whom he wishes to reveal his immense magnitude -- infinite and unknowable as it is -- after long and meditative inspiration, that it is a hidden thing divinely manifested to the prophet by two means: One comes by infusion which clarifies the supernatural light in the one who predicts by the stars, making possible divine revelation; the other comes by means of participation with the divine eternity, by which means the prophet can judge what is given from his (her) own divine spirit through God the Creator and natural intuition."
[Preceding from Nostradamus: The New Revelations p. 34, by John Hogue. Above italics are mine.]
My own independently arrived at conclusion is that no magic is required for basic prophecy; prophetic ability isn't very eerie at all. Intense meditation would, of course, have been necessary for a prophet on the order of Nostradamus, one who was looking into the very far future. Ritual tools might have helped his concentration.
The art of prophecy seems (to me) to be comprised of studied, practiced mastery of the following (not necessarily in order of importance):
A thorough knowledge of the cycles of "history";
Careful, detached observation of the recent past and the present;
More than passing familiarity with basic human nature;
Meditation, contemplation -- ability to eliminate one's own thoughts, desires, biases;
Intuition, common sense, and compassion.
Keep in mind that a fulfilled prophecy is a failed prophecy. The great prophets didn't broadcast their predictions so that they could sit back and laugh, "I told you so!" They were issuing warnings about visions that, for the most part, they would rather not have seen.
Personally, I don't trust the results of many of today's so-called prophets or experts who charge high fees for seminar attendance, issue press releases, and mail or hand out brochures boasting about their own "success rates."
While I'm on the subject, those of you who are familiar with Dolores Cannon, a present-day Nostradamus "interpreter," might notice that I haven't used her work here. This is because her interpretations are purportedly "channeled" material. I do not discount all channeling. However, there's too much room for error. The channel might be innocently "channeling" her/his own subconscious thoughts and desires. More to the point, outright fraud is inherent in the field, unfortunately. If Ms. Cannon had published her interpretations as educated guesses, I would have given them more than a casual glance. This is not to say that I am accusing her of any malevolence.
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