(a title that, in French, as easily means "The Prophecies, by M. Michel Nostradamus" – which is what they were – as "The Prophecies of M. Michel Nostradamus", which, except in a few cases, they were not, other than in the manner of their editing, expression and reapplication to the future).
Given this reliance on literary sources, it is doubtful whether Nostradamus used any particular methods for entering a trance state, other than contemplation, meditation and incubation. His sole description of this process is contained in letter 41 of his collected Latin correspondence. The popular legend that he attempted the ancient methods of flame gazing, water gazing or both simultaneously is based on a naive reading of his first two verses, which merely liken his efforts to those of the Delphic and Branchidic oracles. The first of these is reproduced at the bottom of this article and the second can be seen by visiting the relevant facsimile site (see External Links). In his dedication to King Henri II, Nostradamus describes "emptying my soul, mind and heart of all care, worry and unease through mental calm and tranquility", but his frequent references to the "bronze tripod" of the Delphic rite are usually preceded by the words "as though" (compare, once again, External References to the original texts).
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