Prophecy & Prediction
 
  I expect most of you are familiar with a few aspects of prophecy, while a few may know a great deal. I was amazed at the wide ranging nature of the subject, sometimes heavily associated with certain religions, sometimes having an impact on world events, ancient and recent. Sometimes prophecies are uncanny and quirky. Often prophets use suitable interpretation to ‘prophesise’ events after they have taken place rather than beforehand.

  A prediction, as I see it, is any forecast, including those using the benefit of reliable past experience or established scientific procedure, e.g., there will be a total eclipse of the sun visible from Cornwall, on August 11th, 1999, provided the weather allows clear skies. Predictions can be made to order and are a part of daily routine and confirmed by maths, logic, science or rational thinking.

  A prophecy, however, has no scientific, mathematical basis or logical backing, and usually to individual or large scale human events, but occasionally can still deliver a  correct forecast, even if it is not obvious at the time. Prophecies can also come uninvited, in unlikely circumstances, and unplanned.

  The talk is in three parts, followed by questions.

  Part 1 is a description of a range of prophecies ( and p0rophets ) starting from the low end of the trade - newspaper and magazine astrologers - up to incidents, familiar and less well known, gleaned from books, papers, broadcasts, and conversations over many years.

  Part 2 has slightly more detailed accounts of a couple of prophecies which I feel are of great significance.

  Part 3. I will present ideas from various people as to how prophecies might work, what drives them and makes them happen. How? Why? What of the future?

  Of course it is up to you to believe what you wish, and I’m sure we can agree to differ in our opinions. So, into Part 1.

  The bottom end of the prophecy business must be the example of the upstairs betting shop / office in Old Market with a sign “ T. Hardy & Son, Licensed Betting Office…Future Events a Speciality “ implying that most other betting shops specialised in Past Events! No psychic powers needed in the betting trade - odds continually change depending on what result / horse / event is being backed with heavy money.

  Horoscopes : your stars, daily or weekly, and who is not born under one of them? The forecasts are linked to the apparent position of the sun ( when seen from earth ) as it progresses through all the twelve zodiac constellations in a complete year. In addition, the moon, planets, and occasional comets, offer endless constantly changing combinations of position which never repeat themselves exactly. So a birthday, with the time, year, and even place can give a unique horoscope. Astrologers use their complex charts, and intuitive knowledge of a persons hopes, circumstances, personality, and possible psychic leanings, to make a forecast. Astrology is an ancient art which has had to adapt to, and incorporate new discoveries, most recently 3 extra planets.

  Newspaper and magazine horoscopes are cheap and usually cheerful. Yet it seems impossible that a prediction for, say, a Virgo, can have any chance of accuracy when directed to thousands of Virgo’s of all backgrounds and circumstances. In a collection of newspaper astrology columns relating to the same day it can be seen that the forecasts and advice given vary widely, even for the same star sign.

  Where publication is concerned probably the most well known is Old Moore’s Almanac, now in its 301st year, confirming the hold that prophecy has upon some of the population. On a more personal basis there is palmistry, where predictions are often couched in such a manner as to have a chance of success, particularly when dealing with an obviously susceptible person.

                                                                    

 Prophecies using Cards.

   TAROT. “A book disguised as a pack of cards”. Tarot cards first appeared in the 1400’s during the revival of Hermetic Philosophy in Italy. With improved printing techniques it evolved into a game and played  into the 1700’s, when the Marseilles pack appeared. In the late 1700’s a Count de Gebelin claimed, in his book “Monde Primatif “, a linkage between Tarot and ancient Egyptian writings and Hebrew letters. This started a French occult revival and Tarot developed via two Magical Orders in 1880, the Cabilistic Order of the Rose Cross, and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The result is the Rider Waite Tarot used today.

    Tarot packs consist of 78 cards, 22 of which are major arcania, or trump cards. Each of these has a primary image, a name-title, a Hebrew letter (with meaning), a number, and an astrological correspondence. The other 56 cards, or minor arcania, are in 4 suits, with primary image and numbered Ace, 2 to 10, Page , Queen, King. Then there are the Correspondences.

 

    In Table Form :-

        SUITS         ELEMENT       ARCHANGELS      DIRECTION     FUNCTION

  Pentacles             Earth                   Uriel                          North              Sensation

  Swords                Air                      Raphael                     East                 Thinking

  Wands                 Fire                     Michael                     South               Intuition

  Cups                   Water                  Gabriel                      West                Feeling

There is also a Wheel of Correspondence.  The sacred 7 Archtypes and a  Tree of Life is used with the 22 trump cards. A basic reading involves shuffling the two packs, horseshoeing, selecting 3 major & 4 minor arcania alternately, then doing the reading. Like one to one astrology, the tarot cards, with their linked mystical corresponding symbols are an aid, used with a good deal of imagination, intuition, practised interpretation and psychic influence, when reading the cards to reveal a person’s future in life.

 

    THE NORMAL PACK is derived from cards which appeared in Europe in the 11th century, but were known to the East much earlier. And almost certainly over the centuries they have always been used for prediction or fortune telling.

    Many years ago my mother would indulge in this game usually with visiting relatives or friends, taking turns on a one to one basis. There was a standard procedure : shuffle, cut, lay out in a horseshoe pattern, and expose 2 cards at a time going up from each side. From these were described what you knew about the person, his wishes and ambitions - “customer wishes”. Next shuffle, lay cards in a cross effect, and from the ends expose 2 at a time, describing rather as before but turning the card of destiny last.

 

   The Interpretation :

    PICTURE CARDS ; King - male. Queen - female. Jack - young man.. Corresponding to suit colour they are fair or dark. SUITS ; Hearts = happiness, love, romance. Diamonds = wealth, money. Clubs = power, fame, work, social affairs. Spades = trouble, struggle, misfortune. An Ace is always a central feature.       

    A 7 of Hearts indicates happiness. A 7 of Diamonds is also a wish card. A 7 of  Clubs

means success. A 7 of Spades is negativity. A 9 can mean stability, and a 10 completion. An Ace of Hearts + 4 = a wedding. An Ace of Spades + 4 = a death. A Queen is considered a bad card.    

    It was during a lively session at the Tuesday Club (which met at The King’s Head, Blackboy Hill) that a lot of bad cards appeared, and three friends were smitten with major disasters within a week. Although coincidence was probable, my mother felt it wise to discontinue fortune telling permanently.

 

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   MAGIC NUMBERS & SQUARES. Another aid for fortune tellers. I’ll give one example, though you will have to refer to the sheets handed out describing Magic Squares in detail.                                                                     

   Pope Urban VIII, 1623 - 1644, is said to have commissioned his personal astrologer to come up with something dramatic to ensure he had a good, long future, since he felt he was                                                                     

surrounded by dangerous enemies. Beside his normal duties this astrologer beavered away for 5 years to produce the Magic Square as shown.

   It contains a fairly mixed bag of numbers, 1 to 49, each used once only, but it conceals an astonishing symmetry. The 7 vertical squares, the 7 horizontal squares, and the 2 diagonals all add up to 175. An even greater number of symmetrical sets of 4 all add up to 100 - see square on separate sheet.

   Pope Urban had a good 21 years innings, but when old age was fast catching up with him he had a reconsideration and issued a ban on astrology and the occult, saying it was superstition.

   For a short while I and others tried using the system as an aid to chances of winning the lottery, which also has 49 numbers, but with no success.

   BIBLICAL PROPHECY.                                      

   Much of this is involved with the Jews, most, but not all, ancient history, of which I’ll try to give a 3 or 4 minute summary.

   The area now occupied by Israel, Lebanon and Palestine was, in 1300 BC, the Egyptian province of Canaan.. Abraham and family were one of many groups of nomads living there until drought and famine drove them to Goshen , in the East part of the Nile Delta. For 400 years the Abrahams, Isaacs, Jacobs and descendants had grown to a nationhood in numbers, and were seen as a threat by the now less friendly Egyptians, who imposed slavery. While Egypt was hit by plagues Abraham led the Israelites out through the Red Sea and settled West and East of Jordan, allocating land on a family basis. After a series of easy conquests they were “home”, but it took Solomon to weld the nation together during its golden age. With Solomon’s death c. 922 BC the rot started.    

   The Northern tribes, resenting continued heavy taxation from Jerusalem, broke away, called their area Israel, and set up a new capital Shechem, leaving a smaller Southern area, Judea, under Jerusalem. Morality was declining and c.800 - 750 BC there are the 3 major prophetic books in the Bible, those of Isiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. These prophets, as well as Micaiah and Amos challenged wayward kings and people to turn away from social injustice and return to religion and repentance, otherwise judgement, with exile and

occupation would follow, which indeed it did!

   The Northern kingdom, Israel, was lost to the Assyrians in 721 BC, and the remaining Judea lost to king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in 597 BC, and the Jews enslaved. Not until 539 BC, when Babylon fell to Cyrus the Great, were the Jews restored to their rightful country with religious freedom to rebuild the Temple. Judea was later occupied by Greeks and Romans. While there was freedom of religion the Roman approved king Herod,s taxes led to the disastrous revolt which brought about the destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion.

    It can be considered that at the Crucifixion Jesus Christ prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem and the scattering of Jews in a couple of generations when he met the women weeping - “Weep not for me but for yourselves, your children and your children’s children…”

And, with the coming of Christianity, God’s kingdom was no longer restricted to Jews but available to non Jews.

   A New Testament prophecy exists in the Book of  Revelation, written at Patmos by St. John about 90 - 95 AD. In a language heavy with image and symbolism interpretation is difficult and is best understood when applied to the time when it was written. In summary it states that God and Christ are in control, God will defeat his enemies, and his people will be rewarded.

The Second Coming of Jesus. During his life he promised he would return , this time with

power and glory. Shortly before would come the Anti-Christ and persecutor of the Church, the

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 Beast, 666.

   A final bit of Jewish history closer to our time was described by a Jewish student / colleague when I was at College in Portsmouth. I have been unable to find any references to it but the lady said there was a biblical prophecy that indicated an event of great joy ni the Jewish year 5678. This is equated with 1917 when, on December 9th, British troops under Gen. Allenby entered Jerusalem, paving the way for the British Mandate and the eventual restoration of a Jewish homeland in a partitioned Palestine. (3761 + Current year = Jewish year).

   There is one character whom I find only partly convincing but is so famous his name is synonymous with prophecy - Nostradamus.

   He was born in December 1503 in St. Remy de Provence from Jewish ancestry. His parents had converted to Christianity as demanded by local law and traded as grain merchants. Educated by his grandfathers, Michel de Nostradamus was a bright pupil. He studied medicine at the University of Montpelier and after obtaining a degree in 1529 passed further examinations before he could practice. Well respected, he travelled around France helping plague victims. He married c.1533 but after 3 years his wife and two infant children died. With other problems he moved on but continued to practice medicine, assisting plague victims with his own “cure”, and settled at Salon in 1547, where he remarried and set himself up as a prophet.

   His “Centuries” of predictions, two collections between 1555 and 1558, were in rhymed quatrains using obscure and enigmatic terms. His early work of 1555 “Les Propheties de M. Nostradamus” was enthusiastically received, and led to the second collection. The prophecies were intended to be a series of 1000 predictions, divided into 10 books, each with a 100 4-line verses, often with riddles and double meanings.

   He was summoned to Catherine de Medici in 1556 and king Charles IX appointed him his physician-in-ordinary. He made some alarmingly accurate predictions but prophecy with conviction had to be done in a tactful manner when it involved the fates of the famous and powerful .

    Two years after his death in 1566, a combined edition of his work was published, and, apart from the Bible, it is the only book that has been continuously in print down the centuries

   

   Finally, to what degree can predictions and prophecies be trusted or averted? A prediction is as accurate as the scientific knowledge of its day allows, and if aversion is required time and knowledge are the prime factors. It can be predicted that a massive meteorite will hit the earth in the future. As yet we have neither the knowledge nor the time to avert such a collision but in time we may have a solution..  

   If prophecies have any degree of acceptance it has to be that something is operating beyond the powers of statistical probability. Parallel universes? Unseen doubles existing in other planes? Could there be an undiscovered entity which occasions temporary combinations of effects or breakthroughs which guide prophecies? Can there be an unknown influence that may at times ‘tune-in’ to an individual brain, extending backwards and forwards in time an alien influence? We may be somewhat sceptical about prophecies, but have to admit that a number come to be.

                                        Thank You.

    BOOK LIST.

Brother Michel de la Saint Trinity      Fatima Revealed and Discarded        Augustine

Brother Michel de la Saint Trinity      Fatima  ‘The Last Times’                 Augustine

Brother Michel de la Saint Trinity      The 3rd Secret of Fatima                   Augustine             

Cheetham, Erika                  The Final Prophecies of Nostradamus      Warner Books

Dee, Nerys                           Fortune Telling by Playing Cards             Aquarian Press

Fromkin, David    A Peace to End all Peace. The Modern Middle East 1914-22.   Deutch 

Martindale, CC. SJ.   What Happened at Fatima. 1957.   Catholic Truth Society.

“Marvels & Mysteries”         Mystics and Prophets                               Paragon

Ozaneic, Naomi.                 The Element Tarot Handbook                 Clement Books

Robertson, T T.               Fatima, Russia and Pope John Paul II                 Augustine

Roland, Paul.         2000 Prophecies & Predictions for the Millennium        Index

Smythe, Colin.    Prophecies of  St Malachi & St Columbkille             Gerrards Cross