A detail from a watercolor in the Vaticinia Nostradami codex, 1629 AD, at the Central National Library, Rome. The current buzz on the internet is a prophecy by Nostradamus that seems to indicate a colossal disaster for Geneva caused by the LHC. It’s so striking, I thought it worth a closer look. While searching for the original French quatrain, number 44 in Century 9, I came across this image from what’s being called ‘The Lost Book of Nostradamus’ from the recent book with this title by Ottavio Cesare Ramotti.
An archer shoots two fish in opposite directions across a gap, within a section of pipe. If you’re imagining the LHC proton beams shooting through a detector through a beryllium pipe, and you’re from the Renaissance, knowning nothing of physics and little of machinery, how better to illustrate this event? Fish too, in opposite streams, quite remarkable when you recall the quatrain and the ‘Raypoz’.
It’s not certain that Nostradamus wrote and illustrated this codex of 80 watercolors, something like William Blake’s much later books of illuminations. It was attributed to Nostradamus by the title added in about 1689, while Nostradamus lived from 1503-1566. It’s possible the codex was produced by Nostradamus’ son César, who is known to have been a painter of miniatures and was preparing a booklet as a gift for King Louis XIII of France.
The current codex was presented by a Brother Beroaldus to Cardinal Maffeo Barberini, later Pope Urban VIII who was in office from 1623-1644. The mystery deepens as the codex some how found its way into the Central National Library in Rome, only to be rediscovered by Italian journalists in 1982. After some study, parts of it were found to be derived from an earlier work, the ‘Vaticinia de Summis Pontificibus’ from the 13-14th century. The ‘Marston MS 225’ at Yale, is also similar, probably from Bavaria or Bohemia. These earlier works were considered books of prophecies, though whose is in doubt.
If not quite evidence to confirm the Nostradamus LHC prophecy, it set me off on another search through the other 700 or so quatrains where I found another striking one, from Century 4, number 67. Before we look at this one, here is the one that has internet buzzing.
Leave, leave Geneva every last one of you,
Saturn will be converted from gold to iron,
Raypoz will exterminate all who oppose him,(?)
Before the coming the sky will show signs.
Migrés, migrés de Geneue trestous,
Saturne d’or en fer se changera,
Le contre Raypoz exteriminera tous,
Auvant l’aruent le ciel signes fera.
You’ve got to be careful with translations from Old French. The popular English version is not totally correct. Spellings vary in old texts, words change meanings and some become obscure.
The third line in question is one of a mistake in syntax. The translator was guessing here at the meaning. ‘Le contre’ clearly means ‘the opposite’. ‘Raypoz’ is not a term used anywhere else in French and has no definite meaning. The opposite Raypos will exteriminate all, is the actual statement. ‘Ray’ is not French, though evidently it’s Nostradamus’ abbreviation of ‘rayon’, meaning ‘ray.’ ‘Poz’ is curiously written with a Z, a rare letter like in English, which indicates at least the pronunciation. ‘Pos’ for ‘positive’ is current in English as an abbreviation, and ‘positif’ is ‘positive’, though neither pos or poz would have been used in the Renaisance. Though the Z makes it clear that it isn’t the French ‘pos’ which if so spelt would be pronounced like ‘poe’. So ‘poz’ definately suggests ‘positif’. Note that Nostradamus is consistent, using abbreviations to make up Raypos, as we do today. To call Raypoz the PositiveRay is a sound derivation, though it wouldn’t have been understood back then, with the only rays being ‘rayons de soleil’ or sun rays, sunlight.
What is the Opposite of Raypos? A negative ray. In the case of the LHC, since they’re using proton rays, the exact counterpart is antiproton rays, antimatter. So a matter/antimatter explosion destroying Geneva? All of us Trekkies know that. CERN experiments have confirmed it. And the Geneva Airport is a stone’s throw away from the giant Atlas Experiment.
Two disturbing bits of information, the detail from the watercolor and the quatrain above. Have a look at number 3, the C4Q67:
The year that Saturn and Mars are equal fiery,
The air is very dry, a long meteor.(?)
From hidden fires a great place burns with heat,
Little rain, a hot wind, wars and raids.
L’an que Saturne & Mars esgaux combuste,
L’air fort sieché longe trajection.
Par feux secrets, d’ardeur grand lieu adust,
Peu pluie, vent chault, guerres, incursions.
You have to think like an astrologer here to make sense of the time clues he left in his works and consider his experience of the world. Nostradamus was himself a famous astrologer, well known for his almanac and the patronage he received at the court of Henry II of France and his Queen Catherine di Medici. But far from being in what we might consider a dubious profession, he was well respected and honest. Having studied with Rabelais at the same school, he was a Doctor of Medicine, perhaps the first of his day to insist on hygiene. Known also as a Mathematician, he was involved in public works projects, like the irrigation of the vast Paine de la Crau, which he also partly financed, near his home at Salon-de-Provence.
Both quatrains have astrological time clues. But Saturn wasn’t discovered until after Galileo and the telescope. Well, like the modern method for inferring the presence of a celestial object by its apparent effect on other objects, modern astronomers have made similar guesses. With Nostradamus it was the careful study of Astrology that made Saturn real for him.
In the first quatrain, ‘Saturn converted from gold to iron’ is a metaphor for a conjuction where Saturn is unfavored, possibly eclipsed. In the other quatrain, ‘The year that Saturn and Mars are equally fiery’ could mean both are exhaulted. An astrologrer today might be able to put a date on this disaster at the LHC.
‘The air is very dry, a long meteor.’ is a suspect translation. The literal French is ‘The air very dried long distance.’ The air is dried by something and there is no meteor. The ‘longe trajection’ could be ‘a long distance’ and the drying is clear in the next line, not ‘from’ but ‘by secret (not hidden) fires’. So we have poetically: The air dried for a long way / By secret fires of ardent power, a great place burns.
As a real warning of the burning of the LHC and Geneva, I think that it should be considered seriously. Reconsidering 120 tonnes of helium under 15-20 atmospheres pressure, much of it in an odd superfluid state at critically low 1.9 K temperature, and exposed in the ring to an 8.2 Tesla magnetic field, and the ‘Raypoz’ and its opposite, what might happen if not a plasma fire, some altered state of helium combusts due to the enormous TeV energies, 5 per beam and a collision force of 10 TeV scheduled this summer. Even worse, some nuclear event, as in an earlier post, The Almost Thermonuclear LHC. If I were in Geneva, I’d pack my bags.