As the year comes to a close, the news is getting grimmer, folks — at least according to the prophecies of long-dead divining daddy Nostradamus. The French plague doctor, astrologer and seer published his famed and widely quoted book “Les Prophéties” in 1555. Chock full of poetic predictions, the book foretells the coming of wars, natural disasters, assassinations, nuclear attacks and revolutions.
Aptly referred to as the Prophet of Doom by his contemporaries, Nostradamus was far from sunny in his future outlook. Inspired by biblical texts and his own plague time trauma, his prose is heavy with words like pestilence, famine, blood, sorrow and fire — and mostly reads like a bedtime story written by a Norwegian black-metal band.
Much like the high-on-fumes oracle at Delphi, Nostradamus’ predictions are intentionally vague and open to myriad interpretations. For 2021, he alluded to the onset of a zombie apocalypse, writing, “Few young people: half-dead to give a start.” Bleak, right? Not if you consider the possibility that Nos was warning us young folk that we are not really living, man, but simply existing. More Matthew McConaughey pep talk than certain quasi-death, dig? He also prophesied that 2021 would bring about a world-ending asteroid that so far (she types with abject trepidation) has yet to make an impact.
So it is with a pocketful of dread — and a thimbleful of skepticism — that we take a look at what that bearded harbinger of ruin forecast for 2022.
Inflation, starvation and cannibalism?
Nostradamus predicted that inflation and starvation will befall us in 2K22, writing, “So high the price of wheat/That man is stirred/His fellow man to eat in his despair.” An essential human truth is that people get hungry and then they get mean — and with US inflation the highest it’s been in nearly four decades, Nos’ warning proves, so far, so true. No word on whether the rising price of wheat inspired this guy or this guy to take a bite out of their fellow man.
AI becomes MVP
Nostradamus wrote, “The Moon in the full of night over the high mountain /The new sage with a lone brain sees it /By his disciples invited to be immortal/Eyes to the south. Hands in bosoms, bodies in the fire.”
While easily confused with Björk lyrics, that passage appears to reference the escalation of artificial intelligence. Cue Elon Musk, Time magazine’s Person of the Year and an unequivocal alien in his own right, taking to robot-making and moving his headquarters south to Austin, Texas. Further evidence that man is destined to be overtaken by immortal machines can be found in the teachings of the aesthetic prophet Jared Leto.
The heavy hits just keep on coming. Nos’ predictions are linked to astrological events more than calendar years and, for some time, devout doomsdayers have been awaiting a nuclear explosion that will trigger severe climate change. Based on this cheery passage, “For forty years the rainbow will not be seen/For 40 years it will be seen every day/The dry earth will grow more parched/And there will be great floods when it is seen,” we can posit that droughts and floods of biblically punishing proportions are coming. Judging by this summer’s historic drought and the painfully parched conditions in Chile, said punishment may already be upon us.
Add to this the recent revelation that China is allegedly armed, dangerous and at the ready to launch a nuclear strike that could presumably cause cataclysmic water shortages. Thus far, our leading defense against drought appears to rest in the hands and nether regions of moisture awareness advocates Cardi B. and Megan Thee Stallion.
In addition to forecasting inflation, Nos nods to the rise of cryptocurrency in the year ahead. As Yearly-Horoscope translated from the original French: “The copies of gold and silver inflated/Which after the theft were thrown into the lake/At the discovery that all is exhausted and dissipated by the debt/All scripts and bonds will be wiped out.”
While Nostradamus’ predictions tend to land more near the bank than on the money, gold is currently surging and a wave of Silicon Valley engineers and executives are leaving their high-level positions to join forces with crypto startups. Coincidence or prophecy confirmed? We wait with bitcoin and bated breath.
Astrologer Reda Wigle researches and irreverently reports back on planetary configurations and their effect on each zodiac sign. Her horoscopes integrate history, poetry, pop culture and personal experience. She is also an accomplished writer who has profiled a variety of artists and performers, as well as extensively chronicled her experiences while traveling. Among the many intriguing topics she has tackled are cemetery etiquette, her love for dive bars, Cuban Airbnbs, a “girls guide” to strip clubs and the “weirdest” foods available abroad.