A great war, financial ruin and more: Nostradamus predictions for 2023

The 15th-century astrologer predicted the rise of Hitler and the fall of the Twin Towers. Which of his predictions could we see come true in 2023?

A 16th-century edition of predictions by Nostradamus, the first book to be digitised by Google from a collection of 500,000 at the Municipal Library of Lyon, is displayed by a librarian in this January 15, 2010 file picture. Amid the flat, wide fields of central France, a team of re-trained secretar (photo credit: ROBERT PRATTA/REUTERS)
A 16th-century edition of predictions by Nostradamus, the first book to be digitised by Google from a collection of 500,000 at the Municipal Library of Lyon, is displayed by a librarian in this January 15, 2010 file picture. Amid the flat, wide fields of central France, a team of re-trained secretar
(photo credit: ROBERT PRATTA/REUTERS)

Famed French astrologer, Michel de Nostredame - commonly known simply as Nostradamus - prepared a book of chilling predictions called Les Prophéties, which he published over 450 years ago. And, despite the book's age, many of his predictions have proven to come true.

The contents of the book made dire predictions about World War II, Adolf Hitler's rise to power and the French Revolution, all of which were eerily accurate. Not only did he predict these events, but he successfully predicted the assassination of the 35th US President John F. Kennedy, and even the September 11 terror attacks against the World Trade Center.

Although his predictions never have a specific date attached to them, here are some that could come true in 2023:

A failed economy that could lead to cannibalism

Nostradamus predicted that humanity may face the threat of cannibalism due to a failing economy, writing: "There are no abbots, monks, no novices to teach. Honey will cost much more than candle wax, the price of wheat will be high. Man will be agitated and eat his friend in despair."

These words, apparently, predict that the cost of living will only continue to rise in 2023, and leave many hoping that the reference to cannibalism is only metaphorical.

 A depction of 15th century French astrologer Michel de Nostredame, or Nostradamus. (credit: Wikimedia Commons) A depction of 15th century French astrologer Michel de Nostredame, or Nostradamus. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The Great War of 2023

One line in the mystic's book stands out in particular, and it reads: "Seven months of great war, people die because of evil but their light will not fall into the hands of the king."

This prediction could refer to the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine that runs the risk of turning into World War Three, should it escalate further. However, there is dispute regarding the analysis of this line, since the war has surpassed seven months and is approaching the one year mark.

Change on the British Isles

The most recent world event that people have claimed is linked to his book was the passing of Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022. Following her death, the book broke sale records, and it seems to be linked to the following prediction:

"Because they disapproved of his divorce, a man who, later, they considered unworthy, the people will force out the King of the Islands, a man will replace him who never expected to be king."

Some consider the passage to be referring to King Charles III and his famous divorce from Diana, Princess of Wales. They believe that, based on this, the King will abdicate in the coming year. 

Moreso, they believe that the prediction states that he will be replaced by Prince Harry, rather than heir to the throne, William, Prince of Wales, due to the reference to a man "who never expected to be king."

An off-planet disaster for Elon Musk

The astrologer predicted in his book that humanity's quest to colonize Mars - a quest which is being led by Elon Musk's SpaceX - may come to an end in 2023.

SpaceX SN15 starship prototype liftoffs from the company's starship facility in Boca Chica, Texas, US, May 5, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/Gene Blevins)SpaceX SN15 starship prototype liftoffs from the company's starship facility in Boca Chica, Texas, US, May 5, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/Gene Blevins)

The prophet wrote: Heavenly fire when the lights of mars go out," and with  Musk repeatedly promising a plan to reach Mars, something terrible could happen to the first humans who eventually reach the red planet.

Dry land to get drier and a forecast of floods

The earth may suffer another climate disaster in 2023, according to the words of Nostradamus. "The dry land will dry up even more and there will be great floods when you see the rainbow," he wrote. As climate change continues to worsen, this forecast doesn't seem far-fetched for the coming year.

Riots and revenge in the streets

The prophet wrote in his book: "Sooner or later you will see great changes made - horrors and terrible revenges." 

This prediction implies that there will be more social upheavals and civil rebellion in the coming months. The astrologer went on to write: "Trumpets are shaking in great controversy," and "an agreement that has been broken," which once again alludes in some way to a rebellion or revolution somewhere on Earth in 2023.

The speculations are that the prophecy refers to the riots in Iran following the death of Mehsa Amini, which are not expected to stop soon and are even predicted to escalate.

What events did Nostradamus accurately predict in the past?

One of Nostradamus's most cryptic prophecies is believed by many to have been foreshadowing the Great Fire of London in 1666.

The full quote reads as follows: "The blood of the just will commit a fault at London, burnt through lightning of twenty threes the six: The ancient lady will fall from her high place, several of the same sect will be killed."

 A depiction of the Great Fire of London, 1666. (credit: Wikimedia Commons) A depiction of the Great Fire of London, 1666. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

According to Sky History, the reason why some believe it to be in reference to the deadly fire of the 17th century is that "twenty-threes the six" could be interpreted as 20x3+6, which equals 66, as in, 1966.

However, they add, the passage remains disputed as the fire was started by a flame in a bakery and not by lightning, and the reference to an ancient lady puzzles people to this day.

One of the great mystic's more chilling prophecies is thought to allude to the rise of Adolf Hitler in 1930s Germany and the ensuing Holocaust, as he wrote: "From the depths of the West of Europe, a young child will be born to poor people, he who by his tongue will seduce a great troop; his fame will increase towards the realm of the East."

Later, he writes: "Beasts ferocious with hunger will cross the rivers, the greater part of the battlefield will be against Hister. Into a cage of iron will the great one be drawn, when the child of Germany observes nothing."

It's important to note that the word Hister is simply the Latin term for the Danube river, and is not the most enthralling part of the 450-year-old prophecy.

Hitler's rise to power and the invasion of Poland and Europe at large was assisted in part by his oratory talents, and so the line " by his tongue will seduce a great troop," is thought by some to be a direct reference to these events.

Other widely-believed prophecies included the assassination of Kennedy following extensive death threats ("The great man will be struck down in the day by a thunderbolt, an evil deed foretold by the bearer of a petition") and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ("Near the gates and within two cities, there will be scourges the like of which was never seen, famine within plague, people put out by steel, crying to the great immortal God for relief.")

Most notably, some believe that Nostradamus predicted the September 11 attacks with the passage: "Earthshaking fire from the center of the Earth will cause tremors around the New City, two great rocks will war for a long time."