Michel de Nostredame was born December 24, 1503, in Saint Remi de Provence, a southern part of France and eventually took on the Latin version of his last name, which is “Nostradamus”.

Nostradamus was the oldest of five sons in a Jewish family, yet they were all raised Roman Catholic after his parents converted when he was nine years old. In spite of the conversion, Nostradamus remained greatly influenced by the Kabbalah throughout his entire life.

As a child, Nostradamus was highly intelligent, as he enjoyed studying language, mathematics and science (which at that particular point in time, included astrology). He took a great liking to astronomy and felt strongly in agreement with the beliefs of Copernicus, who felt that the world was round, not flat, and revolved around the sun. This belief was extremely in opposition to the beliefs of the Church, which troubled his parents. They eventually decided to send him away to school.

Nostradamus studied medicine in Montpellier around 1522 and started his own practice about 1525. He fearlessly began treating victims of the plague in communities near his homeland and often created his own medicinal remedies for various ailments. His talent for healing as well as his unconventional gifted healing methods, were eventually what earned him the respect and admiration of many.

Nostradamus spent many years wandering throughout the country, and eventually settled down to marry a woman in Agen around 1534. The woman’s name is unknown, but it is known that he had two children with her. Unfortunately, the plague killed his entire family only a few years later. If that was not enough misery, the Church began to accuse him of heresy and summoned him before inquisitors. Nostradamus went with his first instinct and decided to flee. He continued to travel throughout parts of France and Italy, still treating victims of the plague as well as other major illnesses.

Nostradamus moved to Salon and married a wealthy widow named Anne Ponsart Gemelle (who had six children with him). Inspired by many prophetic visions, as well as the occult book “De Mysteriis Egyptorum”, he later wrote an almanac and began writing his prophecies around 1550.

Nostradamus was no longer just a physician. He became an astrologer and an author. He published his first collection of prophecies in a book called “Les Propheties de M. Michel Nostradamus” in 1555. His prophecies appeared in four line rhyming verses, or “quatrains”, that were often grouped in hundreds, or “centuries”. These compositions were not written in a particular order, yet they were written in carefully combined languages that included French, Greek, Italian and Latin.

Nostradamus vaguely described events that would take place from the mid-1500s until the end of the world, which was predicted to come in 3797 AD. Was this man a powerful seer? Or was he merely an eccentric dabbler in the unknown future?

Nostradamus used the method of divination known as “scrying”. He followed this magical ritual which was practiced by the Ancient Greek oracles of Branchus. At night he retired alone to his study, where he set up a brass tripod and a bowl of water. Using a wand, he touched the tripod and then anointed his robe with a few drops of water. He gazed into the still water until it became cloudy and he saw visions.

His book increased his notoriety with many classes of people, including the aristocracy. Even Catherine de Medicis, the Queen of France, asked him to do astrological charts for her, her husband (King Henry II) and their children. Nostradamus later published a second, larger edition of his original “Propheties” in 1558. As predicted, King Henry died in 1559 (which added to the acclaims of his predictions) and in 1560, King Charles IX of France appointed Nostradamus as court physician, as Catherine, now Queen Regent, continued to consult with him.

Nostradamus had the intentions of writing one thousand quatrains (ten “centuries”) and successfully did so. It is not known why, but even though he later planned on adding eleventh and twelfth centuries (before his death), he left the seventh century incomplete.

In 1566, Nostradamus started to decline in health, due to suffering from a combination of arthritis, gout and dropsy. At some point, he called upon a priest to read him his last rites, as he died that same night on July 1, 1566. Nostradamus was buried upright in a wall of the Church of the Cordeliers in Salon.

In 1791, during the French Revolution, three soldiers opened the grave of Nostradamus. These soldiers wanted to test a story they heard, in which whoever held the skull of Nostradamus and drank from it would inherit his amazing powers of prophecy. They were obviously oblivious to another story that whoever disturbed the grave would be cursed and die. The soldiers opened the grave and were amazed to see a plaque that read “1791” hung around the neck of the skeleton, as though Nostradamus had previously predicted the year his grave would be violated. One soldier brazenly decided to pour wine into the skull and drink from it. At some point, this soldier was shot dead by a stray bullet from a battle nearby. The remains of Nostradamus were finally buried in the Church of St. Laurent in Salon.

One widespread belief in modern times is that Nostradamus predicted the end of the world for the final years of the past century. This is simply not true. These were inaccurate interpretations given by people who were unfamiliar with the complex, astrological terminology of Nostradamus. Only one quatrain - the 10th century, 72nd quatrain - may be interpreted as relating to July of the year 1999. This has been interpreted as the date of the coming of the Anti-Christ, but Nostradamus does not say this himself. He says that in this month will come from the sky a great King - possibly, a great King of Terror.

Nostradamus could have, on many accounts, been accused and burned at the stake for witchcraft. Because of his complicated wordings along with meticulously blended messages, he was able to ward off witch-hunters. Because of his knowledge in medicine and his professional practices, he was able to throw off possible inquisitors. Was he able to divine the future? That topic is still very much debatable.

Author's Bio: 

GODDESSY, a portmanteau of "goddess" and "odyssey", was founded in October 1999 by Playboy Centerfold, spokesmodel and author Stephanie Adams, who originally wrote under the pen name "Sorceress". Adams is currently the author of two dozen metaphysical books, astrology calendars and tarot cards, in addition to having been the astrologist and contributing editor for 10 publications as well as a renowned psychic and tarot card reader. Adams is a Leo, born July 24, 1970, raised in New York City, and is an interracial mix of Black, White and American Indian. According to her Playboy pictorial, Adams is the direct descendant of two U.S. presidents, John Adams and John Quincy Adams, later discovering that her lineage also traces back to the House of Plantagenet, Charlemagne, and Merovingian Dynasty. Adams has been featured in and on numerous magazine covers as well as various newspapers such as New York Post, Daily News, Newsday, etc. as well as TV channels 2 (CBS), 4 (NBC), 5 (FOX), 7 (ABC), 9 (WOR) 11 (WPIX), NY 1 News, CNN, etc. and other media such as Entertainment Tonight, The Late Show With David Letterman, Playboy TV, etc. Aside from her active modeling and writing career, Adams decided to dedicate most of her time investing in Fortune 500 companies, enabling her to become a self-made millionaire before the age of 30. Now Adams has decided to dedicate most of her time towards philanthropy, and developing as much of a private life as she can possibly have. Complete book, press information and photos can be found by visiting www.StephanieAdams.com and www.GODDESSY.com.