The Tower of Destruction
e io senti’ chiavar l’uscio di sotto
a l’orrible torre; ond’ io guardai
nel viso a’ mie’ figliuoi sanza far motto.
and below I heard them nailing shut the door
of the horrible tower; whereat I looked
into the faces of my children without a word.
Dante, Inferno, XXXIII, 46-48
One minute the Tower stands, a proud monument to the achievements of prosperity and technology. But in the next instant it falls like a house of cards, collapsing inward on itself, betrayed by its own latent weakness. And then, in the final defining moment, it assumes the shape of a great mound ― a burial mound, not unlike the mounds in which our ancestors of eons past interred their dead. As the dust settles, it becomes a monument once more, a monument more truthful than its proud predecessor ― a monument to human frailty and vulnerability.
The Tower was no ordinary edifice. The steel that withered so quickly in the flames supported more than just concrete and glass. It supported a whole way of life. The Tower was the collective mental edifice of an entire culture. Hanging from its girders were the dreams and aspirations of an entire civilization ― a civilization which now lay condemned in its ruins. In the days that followed, the anguished survivors would pick through the rubble, searching for the living among the dead, searching for shards of meaning amidst the howling chaos.
What is that sound high in the air
Murmur of maternal lamentation
Who are these hooded hordes swarming
Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth
Ringed by the flat horizon only
What is the city over the mountains
Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air
Jerusalem Athens Alexandria
Is there more than the echo of demonic laughter to be heard amidst these scenes of desolation? Is there not some metaphor of Redemption to cancel the metaphor of our collective Fall?
Slowly, almost imperceptibly, into the void left by the fallen Tower steps the god of War, shaking his bloody javelin and calling for vengeance. His call is eagerly taken up by what remains of the Power that built the Tower and sustained it: because no Power has ever or will ever freely accept the reality that It is spent. The call to War stirs the ashes of the Tower like a vortex, sweeping up the chaff of broken hearts. Far off in the distance echoes the warning of Jeremiah ...
A voice was heard in Ramah,
lamentation, and bitter weeping;
Rachel weeping for her children,
refusing to be comforted for her children,
because they were not.
High above us, in anticipation of the carnage, we hear the “murmur of maternal lamentation”, as T. S. Eliot so aptly phrased it. The god of War, now standing invisibly in the place of the fallen Tower, calls upon the mothers ― of whom Rachel was the epiphany ― to offer up their children to him.
They have built the high places of Ba’al
to burn their sons with fire
for burnt offerings unto Ba’al
Ba’al or Bel, from which we have the Latin bellum for War. The same god that was Melkarth to the Phoenicians and Moloch to the children of Lot.
Therefore, behold the days come
that this place no more shall be called Tophet.
... but the Valley of Slaughter.... and I will cause them
to fall by the sword before their enemies,
and by the hands of them that seek their lives;
And their carcases will I give as meat
to the fowls of heaven and the beasts of the earth.
The Valley of Slaughter is, of course, the Valley of Megiddo, aka Armageddon, of which Jesus also spoke:
For wheresoever the carcase is,
There will the eagles be gathered together.
The Eagle, emblem of America, as it was of the Roman legions.
American youth stepping off bravely into battle, from the piers of the maritime City where the Towers fell. The City of New York, a place known to the prophet Nostradamus by the name that the explorer Giovanni da Verrazano gave it in 1524: the “land of Angoulême”.
Lamentable cries will come then from Angoulême ...
... in the month of Sept[ember] will come
from the sky the King of Terror:
The resurrected King of the Angoulmois
to reign as the god of War thereafter.
September 1999: Nostradamus sees the King of Terror striking first in Moscow, two years before the Towers fall; nearly 300 people buried in the rubble of exploded apartment buildings. Nostradamus views him as the harbinger of the Third, and final, Antichrist.
The Third Antichrist swiftly annihilates,
during a war that lasts 27 years ...
Blood from human corpses stains the land and water red.
The U.S. war began in Afghanistan in 2001 and is to end, according to this vision of Nostradamus, with the conquest of that benighted land by the Third Antichrist in 2028. Nostradamus forecasts, in the wake of the fallen Towers, the bloody wave of Antichrist’s conquests sweeping across Central Asia like a red tide.
Earth-shaking fire from the World [Trade] Center
Will cause trembling around the New [York] City:
Two great rock piles make for a long war,
Then Arethusa will redden another river.
The name Arethusa in Greek signifies “Water Pourer”, like the figure of Aquarius in the Zodiac. One can imagine Nostradamus’ vision of Arethusa pouring the blood spilled on the shore of New York’s Hudson River into another river. This suggests an even more deadly sequel to the assault on the Twin Towers.
Five and forty degrees the sky will burn,
Fire to approach the great New City:
Instantly a great spreading flame leaps up,
When proof is demanded by the Normans.
40.5°N is the approximate longitude of the City of New York. Seizing upon the tide of patriotism that swept America after the September 11th attacks, the U.S. launched a “war on terrorism” targeting the Arab states of the Middle East and Central Asia. When the Anglo-American coalition sought United Nations backing to launch a “preemptive” invasion of Iraq in February-March 2003, the French ― referred to as “Normans” here ― demanded proof that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. Nostradamus’ next stanza speaks of another atrocity to follow the one in the “New City”:
Their great city stained, pestilential deed:
Sun to plunder Moon and violate their temples:
And two rivers to be reddened with flowing blood.
The crescent Moon is the symbol of Islam, as the Sun is associated with the “Sun-day” worshiping Christians. Perhaps the second verse portends the unintended bombing of an important Moslem holy site in the course of Anglo-American intervention in the Arab region. Such an act might provoke an attack on another of the great cities of the Western world. Like New York, it is a maritime city located on a river.
The blood of the just will be demanded at London,
Burnt by lightening-like fire from twenty-three the six:
The ancient lady will fall from her high place,
And many of the same sect will be killed.
The great plague of the maritime city
Will not cease until they have avenged the death
Of the just blood, taken and condemned [though] guiltless of the crime
By which the great lady pretends to be outraged.
Nostradamus seems to say there will be a modern sequel to the Great Fire of London, which occurred in 1666. This time the Fire will consume the city in a matter of minutes. The deadly fallout of its atomic blast will stretch out its arms of death to the royal palace of Windsor, extinguishing the British monarchy and its “ancient lady” Queen Elizabeth II. This radioactive fallout from the world’s first act of nuclear terror is something Nostradamus refers to, appropriately enough, as the “drizzle”.
From the free city of the great Crescent sea,
Which still bears in its stomach the Stone,
English fleet will come under the drizzle
To seize an [olive] branch at the opening of the great war.
Here “Crescent” connotes both the Islamic setting and the shape of the Red Sea, along whose shores lies the free city of Mecca, site of the holiest Moslem shrine, the Ka’aba Stone. Nostradamus’ imagery suggests a British naval assault on Mecca ― perhaps after its seizure by radical fundamentalists ― resulting in a desecration of the sacred Stone. Such a desecration would likely inflame the entire Muslim world to join a holy war, or Jihad, against the Western nations in general, and against the British in particular.
Within the Isles where five rivers unite as one,
By the crescent of the great Muslim Chyren:
Through the drizzles in the air the fury of one,
Six escape, hidden in bundles of flax.
Within the British Isles, five countries (England, Wales, Scotland, Ulster and Ireland) were joined in the United Kingdom of Nostradamus’ era. Chyren is one the names by which Nostradamus often refers to the Third Antichrist. The last line apparently refers to a “fifth column” in Britain that will help the terrorists escape ― symbolically concealing them in “bundles of flax”, as the harlot Rahab hid the Israelite spies in ancient Jericho.
It’s said that Nostradamus wrote each of his one thousand Quatrains on a separate piece of paper, then scattered them across the floor to scramble their sequence. If one did the same thing with a new deck of cards, one would naturally expect to find some clusters of cards still resembling their original order. We do, in fact, encounter such a cluster in Nostradamus’ Century VI, from which we drew the last-quoted stanza above. Preceding it, we find the following two Quatrains:
[When] Mars and the scepter will be found conjoined
In Cancer, [there will be a] calamitous war:
Shortly thereafter a new King will be anointed,
Who will pacify the earth for a long time.
When retrograde Mars reaches opposition, the monarchy
Of the great fisherman will be in ruinous trouble:
The junior black one [i.e. Jesuit cardinal] will rise to the highest office,
Those who betray him will act on a drizzly day.
The scepter is the symbol of Jove or Jupiter, the monarch of the Greco-Roman pantheon. Mars and Jupiter were conjoined in Cancer on July 3, 2002. It was at that time that the Anglo-American coalition committed itself to an operation against Iraq and began active military preparations for the invasion. The last time this particular conjunction occurred was in 1979, shortly before the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan and set in motion the chain of events which resulted in the terrorist attacks on American soil. Nostradamus is known to have practiced a certain astrological technique by which one may discover the location where a conjunction such as this one will have it maximum effect ― the “Ground Zero”, so to speak. In the case of the “calamitous” conjunction of Mars and Jupiter in Cancer on July 3, 2002, “Ground Zero” is the city of London.
Mars then moved into opposition with Jupiter on May 8, 2003, when Nostradamus foresees the beginnings of a chain of events leading to the election of a Jesuit cardinal as pope. Nine days later, the Vatican would officially acknowledge that Pope John Paul II was dying of Parkinson’s Disease. He passed away less than two years later, to be succeeded by Benedict XVI, who resigned in February 2013, amid mounting sexual scandals in the Church hierarchy. Elected to follow Benedict was the first ever Jesuit Pope, Francis I, former Cardinal Jorge Bergolio. According to Nostradamus, this Jesuit Pontiff is destined to be betrayed and martyred at the hands of the Vatican hierarchy. And the opposition of Mars with Jupiter in Leo, when the foregoing Quatrain envisions the Jesuit Pontiff “in ruinous trouble”, will come in March 2039.
The one whose face is sprinkled with the blood
Of the victim nearly sacrificed:
Jupiter in Leo, omen through presage:
To be put to death for the Church.
The sprinkling of the martyr’s face with blood is indeed an “omen through presage”, because it is a key element of the vision that preceded the Third Secret of Fatima:
... the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.
And what becomes of the King of Terror himself in all of this? It seems that America had its revenge on Osama bin Laden, but when one head of this Hydra is severed, two more grow in its place. As one of the Taliban’s mullahs put it: “The Americans can kill bin Laden, but there are a hundred more bin Ladens up the road.”
One aspect of this terrible tragedy that America will have some difficulty coming to grips with is the role its own intelligence services played in creating the Jihad that struck its shores. During the period of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan (1979-1989), the CIA trained, equipped and financed many of the same fanatical Islamic warriors who later turned so murderously against us ― including Osama bin Laden himself. The US government backed the radical fundamentalist Taliban faction in the Afghan civil war and continued to support them for a decade thereafter. If the US military and intelligence apparatus displays the same kind of judgment in choosing its local allies in the coming Central Asian war, they are more than likely to create a “monster” even greater than bin Laden. They may, indeed, create the “Beast” who has lurked for so long on the pages of obscure prophecy, but now seems poised at last to step onto the stage of history.
. Thomas Stearns Eliot, The Wasteland,
. Jeremiah 31:15
. Jeremiah 19:5
. Jeremiah 19:6-7
. Matthew 24:28
. Century X, Quatrains 17 and 72
. Chechen rebels financed by Osama bin Laden carried out a series of terrorist bombings in Moscow in September 1999.
. Century VIII, Quatrain 77
. Century I, Quatrain 87
. Century VI, Quatrain 97
. Century VI, Quatrain 98
. Century II, Quatrains 51 and 53
. Century V, Quatrain 35
. Century VI, Quatrain 27
. Joshua 19:1-21
. Century VI, Quatrains 24 and 25
. This is the longitude where the conjunction becomes exact at the Mid-Heaven, i.e. at the culmination of the Ecliptic.
. Century II, Quatrain 98
. See, e.g., the New York Times editorial of May 26, 1997, commenting on the Clinton administration’s backing of the Taliban. In its editorial of May 23, 1997, the Wall Street Journal asserted: “the Taliban are the players most capable of achieving peace in Afghanistan at this moment in history”.