It's that time of year again when news outlets begin publishing their big lists of things that 16th Century CE astrologer Nostradamus predicted would happen in the following year.
Last year , predictions included everything from disaster on Mars to a "celestial fire on the Royal edifice", which Nostradamus-enablers took to mean a meteor could set Buckingham Palace on fire and force the King to live in one of his many other palaces, castles, or cottages. Well, we made it through those things which definitely happened – but don't get too cozy, for this year outlets are claiming that we will have to deal with all of the above things that failed to materialize, as well as global disasters and a war with China .
Though none of that sounds very nice, it's not bad considering Nostradamus "predicted" that the world would end in 1999 . Here's what Nostradamus supposedly has in store for 2024, 25 years after the apocalypse.
War with China
Some outlets have claimed that Nostradamus predicted an upcoming war with China, based on a passage saying that a "red adversary will become pale with fear. Putting the great Ocean in dread." "Analysts" alluded to by JPost say that NATO countries could become involved, potentially ending in an all-out war, which is a more than generous interpretation of an unnamed red adversary looking a bit peaky.
King Charles gets sacked
It looks like King Charles, the ultimate nepo baby, may not enjoy his new role for long. One passage in Nostradamus's long and deliberately vague works refers to a "King of the Isles" being "driven out by force". Another passage claimed to be about King Charles reads that "soon afterward [a disastrous war] a new King shall be anointed / Who, for a long time, will appease the earth."
This has also been interpreted as referring to King Charles, who is apparently going to have a busy year of appeasing the Earth before being hounded from his palace for it.
What has he really predicted for 2024?
Absolutely nothing. The great thing about predicting the future is the vaguer you are, the more right you can be about a larger number of topics. It's why horoscopes don't say things like "throw out that Bolognese you made on Tuesday, it may look ok but you are in for a tsunami of diarrhea," instead opting for sentences like "the Sun in the harmonic aspect will make you experience great changes," which is so vague you can read anything into it and is really unhelpful with the diarrhea situation.
Nostradamus was especially good at creating predictions so loose that eventually, someone would be able to ascribe it to a not-too-dissimilar real-world event. They are what's known as "postdictions", in that you could not possibly guess what he was predicting before the event happened, but after the event you can find a passage that makes it look like he'd known all along – and even then they are not that accurate.
For instance, a passage that is touted as predicting the rise of Hitler would in no way warn you of Hitler himself:
“From the depths of the West of Europe, A young child will be born of poor people, He who by his tongue will seduce a great troop; His fame will increase towards the realm of the East.”
Were you to read it beforehand, you could maybe guess that he meant someone famous will be born in Western Europe, but that's about it. Once Hitler had risen to power, people decided he must have been referring to Hitler and declared Nostradamus once again to be an incredible prediction wizard, on an incredibly vague passage.
This year, just like every other year, Nostradamus predicted nothing.