It's that time of year again when news outlets begin publishing their big lists of things that Nostradamus predicted would happen in the following year.
Last year, predictions included everything from famine causing people to eat their "fellow man" in despair after honey becomes more expensive than candles, to the robot uprising and human extinction. 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, some sort of disaster on Mars, and the antichrist.
Some news outlets have claimed that Nostradamus predicted the rise of the anti-Christ sometime around 2023, who will then wage war against the unbelievers.
“The antichrist very soon annihilates the three. Twenty-seven years his war will last. The unbelievers are dead, captive, exiled. With blood, human bodies, water and red hail covering the earth.”
The New York Post writes that this could refer to Putin, really crowbarring world events to fit Nostradamus's words.
Disaster on Mars
Among the stranger lines of Nostradamus is one predicting that "the light of Mars will go out". People have generously suggested this means some form of disaster will happen to a planned Mars trip, rather than Nostradamus predicting Martians, a Martian power grid, and a Martian power cut.
Buckingham Palace on fire
Putting the whole Harry and Meghan Netflix documentary in perspective, some outlets are saying that Nostradamus predicted that Buckingham Palace will be set on fire by an asteroid.
The passage, written before Buckingham Palace was built, merely refers to a "celestial fire on the Royal edifice" though, so nothing for the royal family to sweat about just yet.
One passage mentions the rising prices of food causing people to eat each other.
“No abbots, monks, no novices to learn; Honey shall cost far more than candle-wax. So high the price of wheat, That man is stirred. His fellow man to eat in his despair.”
This prediction was included in a lot of last year's articles too, but didn't happen. Fingers crossed for 2023.
What did he actually predict?
As usual, the answer is nothing. If you read the above vague passages from Nostradamus, you can probably tell what's going on. Nostradamus was very good at what's known as "postdiction", where you essentially make a lot of loose "predictions" that can be crafted to fit various events after those events have taken place.
There's a reason why he can't just write "yeah and in 2022ish look out for that Putin fella, seems like a right wrong'un" and that's because it's impossible to predict the future. However, he could say some vague stuff about the rise of a warmonger which people can point to and say "ah he must mean Putin".
For example, a passage that is touted as predicting the rise of Hitler only really refers to Hitler if you do most of the heavy lifting.
“From the depths of the West of Europe," the passage reads, "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.”
Leaving aside that all children are young, you will notice that this could refer to just about anybody who is good with their tongue and famous around the world. Which isn't the main thing about Hitler. You'll notice not one mention of the Holocaust or World War II, and yet people still claimed after Hitler's death that Nostradamus must have predicted his life.
So in answer to the title: what Nostrodamus actually predicted for 2023 is, yet again, nothing. But check in in 20 years or so, when people will have made the above passages relate to some not-too-dissimilar event.