Mario Reading is a renowned author and expert on French apothecary and seer, Nostradamus. He has written a number of books on Nostradamus, including The Complete Prophecies of Nostradamus, alongside a number of novels, which feature the John Hart Series. During a nomadic youth, after studying Literature at the University of East Anglia, Reading sold rare books, taught riding in Cape Town, studied dressage in Vienna, played polo in India, France, Spain, and Dubai, ran a seventy horse polo stables in Gloucestershire, and helped manage his Mexican wife’s coffee plantation.
Sacred Music Radio was fortunate to sit down with him and discuss the attraction of Nostradamus.
You are viewed as a ground breaking expert on Nostradamus, the French apothecary and seer- what drew you to the area in particular?
I grew up in the South of France, and of course Nostradamus is a big figure there. He was actually born about 40 miles from where I lived, so I have always heard of him. You can’t go through Province without seeing statues and his old house, so I was very aware of him.
A friend of mine was commissioned to write a book about Nostradamus, and hadn’t realised how difficult it was to translate from the old French, and years ago he asked me to look at the translations, and I got interested. I realised I could do the old French and a publisher at Watkins said they would love to have a book on Nostradamus, would I write one. So I did a small one, and finally I did a complete Nostradamus. I had the historical and writing background to back up the ideas.
How did Nostradamus go about getting the visions that have gained him so much attention?
He wrote them in rhyming quatrains (4 lines). I don’t think he even thought they would be successful. The quatrains only came out in the last 11 years of his life, and quite surprisingly for everyone, they became quite successful. The way he worked on them, from what I can tell from his own writing, was quite intuitively. He would fill up a copper basin with water and then put ink into the water so that the water was black, and he would take copious amounts of nutmeg, which is a hallucinogenic. He would then put a cloth over his head, look into the water and just let himself go. He would dictate anything he saw while in the trance to his secretary. I think he genuinely felt that if he could open up the future to the world, then they might be able to change it for the better.
He thought that by learning from the past, we could really change the future, and he was writing, as far as I can tell, with a 700-year view. If you take that he was writing in the 16th century and writing through to the 21st century, he honestly thought that if the world listened to him, some of the horrible things could be stopped.
You’re latest work on Nostradamus offers an interesting insight into what is to come- what has recently occurred that confirms Nostradamus’ predictions?
My most recent book, The Complete Prophecies for the Future, which I wrote back in 2005, contains a lot of the prophecies, which have since come true. The ecological disasters are one example. There is also the quatrain about Hilary Clinton: Nostradamus writes about the masculine woman who will exert herself to the north, who will annoy Europe and almost the rest of the world, pushing it to a breaking point. Also the financial disaster of 2008 and the North Korean Crisis of 2006 are all well index dated. This has all been written down and people can see by looking at the book how correct he has been.
What is the background of Nostradamus- how did he end up discovering his abilities of seeing into the future?
He became a doctor after quite a long trial, and it really came to force with the loss of his wife and children. He was a plague doctor and I think he was utterly tramuatised by that and his in-laws tried to sue him for her dowry after her death, because if a doctor can’t cure his own people, who else can? I think he went on a long walk through Europe, and during that time, he came to the understanding that he had some powers of looking forward. He never thought he was prophet. Rather, he hoped, like a little hole in a cloth, that if he walked towards it, he would be able to see a small bit of the future.
Are there any other spiritual figures that you have explored, or is your focus predominately Nostradamus?
I’ve decided my knowledge is basically Nostradamus. Although the complete collection, which is full of historical writing, might be hard to read, it is interesting. I’m a novelist though, that’s the joke! I’ve written several novels as well as the Nostradamus stuff. The only sidetrack is the Dream Book that I wrote, but that against links back to Nostradamus.
Moving beyond Nostradamus, you are a self-declared Music Obsessive, what affect does listening to music have on you?
I love music, and I’m obsessed with it. I have a collection of well over 1000s of LPs and records at my house. It goes without saying that music overwhelms me- it works in sense that nothing else does on a very profound level. And if one is coming to terms with death, one has to make sure one dies a good death, and I believe music can help with that. In fact I believe it most deeply.