The End of the World According to Nostradamus
There are almost as many beliefs about how the world will end as there are prophets, sects and religions. But many predictions are rather hazy on how it is going to take place, let alone when it will happen.
The 16th century prophet Michel de Nostradame, or Nostradamus, seemed to know how the end of the world was going to come to pass. Although he published many predictive almanacs and prophesies about future events, he actually wrote about the end of times in a letter to his newborn son named Cesar.
In his letter, he predicts that the world will undergo great floods after which total destruction will take place when a comet storm reaches the Earth.
His description is short and almost businesslike. He does not write anything about what will happen after this disaster, which may lead us to the conclusion that there won’t be anything afterwards, that this is the end and there will be no survivors.
Read the English text of the letter below (the original French is at the end of this article). Its text has been simplified since the language he used was quite flowery.
(Lettre à César, l'édition Lyonnaise Macé Bonhomme de 1555. Letter to Cesar no. 30):
(30) But my Son… I tell you, that I have seen it thus: there will be floods of such nature that no place on this world will not be affected and for a long time everything will be beneath the surface of water and everything will be destroyed, with the exception of the weather and space.
(Lettre à César, l'édition Lyonnaise Macé Bonhomme de 1555. Part no. 31)
After those floods, such a great amount fire of glowing stones will fall from the sky that nothing (or nobody) will be able to escape this last destructive fire storm.
When Will This Happen?
When decoding his indications, Nostradamus seems to imply that the apocalypse will take place 7000 after he wrote the letter. This would make it the year 8555.
Why Did He Write the Letter?
Nostradamus probably wrote the letter to convince the strict church authorities of his Christian attitude towards life. His family consisted of Jews that had been forcefully converted to Christianity and he always remained under scrutiny, especially when he started to make prophesies in his almanacs and centuries, which were collections of prophesies.
He is not totally able to hide his knowledge of the future in this letter.
The Original French
If you're curious, here's the original French text of the parts of the letter discussed above. Here's the full text of the letter (in English).
(Lettre à César, l'édition Lyonnaise Macé Bonhomme de 1555. Parts 30 and 31.)
30 ... Mais, mon fils, afin de ne pas digresser trop amplement pour la capacité future de ta raison et parce qu'il y aura tant de commentaires préjudiciables (sur mes écrits), (je the dis) que je vois advenir tant de déluges et d'inondations avant la conflagration universelle qu'il n'y aura guère de terroir qui ne soit inondé, et pendant si longtemps, que tout sera presque détruit, à l'exception du temps et de l'espace.
31. ... aussi avant telles & apres inundations, en plusieurs contrées les pluies seront si exigues, & tombera du ciel si grande abondance de feu, & de pierres candentes, que n'y demourra rien qu'il ne soit consummé : & ceci avenir, & en brief, & avant la derniere conflagration.
Other Predictions About the World's End
There are almost as many ideas about "the end of times" as there are religions and all religions seem to differ about its definition. Here are just a couple.
As the Mayan calendar seemed to end in December 2012, quite a lot of people were inclined to say that the world was also going to end then. It might have been a relief for them to see that this did not happen.
My own opinion on the matter has always been that the Mayan calendar would start a new cycle, where it started all those years ago. Why? Because in my research about the end of times, I found out that most religions might speak about it, but the end of times doesn't seem to indicate the end of the world. Instead, it indicates the end of an era.
Thus, the Mayan calendar only indicated the end of one era and the beginning of another.
The book Revelations in the New Testament, written by John of Patmos, describes some kind of apocalypse though it does not give any indication about when the events will come to pass.
John's revelations describe the final judgment and the return of Jesus Christ on Earth, who will then form a reign of peace. It is impossible to explain that as the end of the world, since it's clear that time does continue in John's vision.
The Bible does not give any information about when this will happen or signs that it will happen, except that after a short peace, Satan will attack the world. John 1:2 v.18-22 and John II 1-7 indicate a great battle between the people of the world on the battlefield of Armageddon.
This implies that, according to the Bible, the end of times will take place because of a battle. This is contrary to the popular belief that the world will end because of natural disaster.
There are hardly any references in the Koran about the end of times. There are some remarks about it in the Hadith, a collection of teachings about Islam, but they differ from each other and are sometimes contrary.
The signs of the arrival of the end of times are "wars," "Muslims fighting Muslims," "greed," etc. However, these things have happened all throughout history and don’t enable us to pinpoint a specific moment in time when the big one will happen.
Ragnarok and Norwegian
In Norwegian mythology, Ragnarock means 'the fate of the reigning powers,’ but historically this has been reduced to "the doom and destruction of the gods (and the world) in which the giant Surt destroys the world with his flaming sword." One can deduce from this story that the world will be destroyed by the power of fire.
Ragnarok, however, does not tell what the signs are when this situation is approaching, only that it will happen.
Read More Predictions
Nostradamus wrote thousands of prophesies. Try your hand at guessing which ones have come to pass and what's going to happen.