POP01 - Mother Shipton

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This POP (Power of Prophecy or Problems of Prophecy) series that I am presenting, shares some of my own experiences in the search for Truth and true sources of prophecy.

Those who are not interested in the subject or who feel that they already Know ALL Truth or at least the source for all Truth will find it tedious, and probably will also feel that I am ill-informed. And those who feel that it is impossible to find Prophetic Truths will consider these accounts silly.

I have carefully investigated many claims of prophetic ability, and in this series I report on some of those investigations. I am beginning this series with my investigation of a famous prophetess by the name of Mother Shipton.

Mother Shipton was born Ursula Sontheil in 1488 in a cave beside the river Nidd in North Yorkshire, England. The location remains today as a popular visitor site, attracting great numbers of visitors annually. Since 1641 there have been more than 50 different editions of books about her and her prophecies and a great amount of information about her can be found on the Internet.

Many people feel that many of her visions came true within her own lifetime and in subsequent centuries. Mother Shipton is said to have predicted important historical events many years ahead of their time - the Great Fire of London in 1666, the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 - as well as the advent of modern technology.

She is said to have even forecast her own death in 1561. She died in 1561. Today many find her prophecies are still proving uncannily accurate. She wrote her prophecies like poems and after the following poem I present my own research about her - prior to the time of the Internet.

----------A Version of One of Her Poems----------

And now a word, in uncouth rhyme Of what shall be in future time Then upside down the world shall be And gold found at the root of tree

All England's sons that plough the land Shall oft be seen with Book in hand The poor shall now great wisdom know

Great houses stand in far-flung vale All covered o'er with snow and hail A carriage without horse will go Disaster fill the world with woe.

In London, Primrose Hill shall be In centre hold a Bishop's See

Around the world men's thoughts will fly Quick as the twinkling of an eye.

And water shall great wonders do How strange. And yet it shall come true.

Through towering hills proud men shall ride No horse or ass move by his side.

Beneath the water, men shall walk Shall ride, shall sleep, shall even talk. And in the air men shall be seen In white and black and even green

A great man then, shall come and go For prophecy declares it so.

In water, iron, then shall float As easy as a wooden boat

Gold shall be seen in stream and stone In land that is yet unknown.

And England shall admit a Jew You think this strange, but it is true The Jew that once was held in scorn Shall of a Christian then be born.

A house of glass shall come to pass In England. But Alas, alas A war will follow with the work Where dwells the Pagan and the Turk

These states will lock in fiercest strife And seek to take each others life. When North shall thus divide the south And Eagle build in Lions mouth

Then tax and blood and cruel war Shall come to every humble door. Three times shall lovely sunny France Be led to play a bloody dance

Before the people shall be free Three tyrant rulers shall she see. Three rulers in succession be Each springs from different dynasty.

Then when the fiercest strife is done England and France shall be as one. The British olive shall next then twine In marriage with a German vine.

Men walk beneath and over streams Fulfilled shall be their wondrous dreams. For in those wondrous far off days

The women shall adopt a craze To dress like men, and trousers wear And to cut off their locks of hair They'll ride astride with brazen brow As witches do on broomstick now.

And roaring monsters with man atop Does seem to eat the verdant crop And men shall fly as birds do now And give away the horse and plough.

There'll be a sign for all to see Be sure that it will certain be. Then love shall die and marriage cease And nations wane as babes decrease And wives shall fondle cats and dogs And men live much the same as hogs.

In nineteen hundred and twenty six Build houses light of straw and sticks. For then shall mighty wars be planned And fire and sword shall sweep the land.

Footsteps will be seen in every room, Left by none other than the man on the moon. One man's heart shall be given to another, Blood shall be shared by sister and brother.

Voices shall rise in the land of the black, And the Holy Land shall come under attack. China will rise as some have foretold, But the wall that falls will not be so old.

When pictures seem alive with movements free When boats like fishes swim beneath the sea, When men like birds shall scour the sky Then half the world, deep drenched in blood shall die.

For those who live the century through In fear and trembling this shall do. Flee to the mountains and the dens To bog and forest and wild fens.

For storms will rage and oceans roar When Gabriel stands on sea and shore And as he blows his wondrous horn Old worlds die and new be born.

A fiery dragon will cross the sky Six times before this earth shall die Mankind will tremble and frightened be for the sixth heralds in this prophecy.

For seven days and seven nights Man will watch this awesome sight.

The tides will rise beyond their ken To bite away the shores and then The mountains will begin to roar And earthquakes split the plain to shore.

And flooding waters, rushing in Will flood the lands with such a din That mankind cowers in muddy fen And snarls about his fellow men.

He bares his teeth and fights and kills And secrets food in secret hills And ugly in his fear, he lies To kill marauders, thieves and spies.

Man flees in terror from the floods And kills, and rapes and lies in blood And spilling blood by mankind's hands Will stain and bitter many lands

And when the dragon's tail is gone, Man forgets, and smiles, and carries on To apply himself - too late, too late For mankind has earned deserved fate.

His masked smile - his false grandeur, Will serve the Gods their anger stir. And they will send the Dragon back To light the sky - his tail will crack

Upon the earth and rend the earth And man shall flee, King, Lord, and serf. But slowly they are routed out To seek diminishing water spout

And men will die of thirst before The oceans rise to mount the shore. And lands will crack and rend anew You think it strange. It will come true.

And in some far off distant land Some men - oh such a tiny band Will have to leave their solid mount And span the earth, those few to count,

Who survives this and then Begin the human race again. But not on land already there But on ocean beds, stark, dry and bare

Not every soul on Earth will die As the Dragons tail goes sweeping by. Not every land on earth will sink But these will wallow in stench and stink Of rotting bodies of beast and man Of vegetation crisped on land.

But the land that rises from the sea Will be dry and clean and soft and free Of mankind's dirt and therefore be The source of man's new dynasty.

And those that live will ever fear The dragons tail for many year But time erases memory

You think it strange. But it will be. And before the race is built anew A silver serpent comes to view

And spew out men of like unknown To mingle with the earth now grown Cold from its heat and these men can Enlighten the minds of future man.

To intermingle and show them how To live and love and thus endow The children with the second sight. A natural thing so that they might Grow graceful, humble and when they do The Golden Age will start anew.

The dragon's tail is but a sign For mankind's fall and man's decline.

And before this prophecy is done I shall be burned at the stake, at one My body singed and my soul set free You think I utter blasphemy You're wrong. These things have come to me This prophecy will come to be.


My mother-in-law, who lived to be 90, during the whole of her adult life, was a gatherer of newsprint curiosities. These amounted to many thousands of items which in her retirement she spent many hours, days, weeks and months in sorting.

I gathered together empty cereal boxes, covered them in various shades of wall paper, and lined the walls of a room with shelves to aid her in her task. Eventually, I purchased over ten thousand dollars of microfilming equipment and hired three ladies for a summer to microfilm all the material she had categorized. There is sufficient resource in the material for several books and I may someday donate it to a library.

In reviewing this material on prophecy I found a number of versions of the poem by Mother Shipton. This raised my curiosity as to which version was correct and so I made a trip to Chicago and visited the Central Public Library on Michigan Avenue where I inspected the listings in the main catalogue.

Some references to rare books led me from one librarian to another until I reached the chief librarian who gave me a letter of introduction to the Rare Books Archives located on the north side of Chicago.

Because of the lateness of the hour I hailed a cab and informed the driver of my hurry, which in retrospect proved to be an erroneous and incautious act. I thence braced myself between the seats and endured with white knuckles and clinched teeth the most horrifying ride of my life. This from one who has flown upside down in fighter jets, ridden with high speed police escorts, survived several auto crashes, and flown in antiquated aircraft through the air pockets of arctic storms.

Upon arrival the driver turned to me and said, "I thought you were in a hurry?". "But not to reach the next Kingdom", I replied.

The building before which I was deposited was an ordinary apartment house of a half dozen stories and indistinguishable from the dozens of others that lined the street. The front entrance was unlocked and the foyer empty so I passed through them and a second set of doors into a gallery empty except for a single uniformed policeman who immediately halted me.

Upon my presentation of the letter of introduction he opened an elevator, pushed a button for another floor and sent me on my way.

When the elevator doors opened I found myself in a gallery similar to the first and again occupied by a single uniformed policeman. Once again my credentials were reviewed and then I was escorted through a set of doors to a receptionist who still again examined the credentials, interrogated me as to my purposes, relieved me of my overcoat and briefcase and finally led me away to a fish bowl sort of room surrounded on all sides by clear glass paned windows and in which there was but a single table and a single chair.

There shortly appeared another lady who took in detail my request and I was then left for another twenty minutes to examine my fingernails.

Upon her return she brought with her a stack of about a dozen old volumes and pointed out a button that I was to push when I was ready to depart. I was then left alone to examine the treasure.

The volumes before me were truly ancient. I am told that modern printing will not last near so long because of the sulfur content of the paper. The ages of the volumes spanned back over several centuries and the most recent of them leapt frogged back by many decades the earliest version that, until then, I had been able to find upon the subject.

I first arranged the volumes in the order of their antiquity and then set about to examine them. The earliest volumes were of course set in Old English type with the what appears to us as the f for s symbols, and the quality of handset type was of course quite different from what we are used to today, as was also the nature of the prose. Nevertheless, an hour and a half of study afforded me numerous insights.

To my disappointment I found that in no case which I could determine were the prophetic references to events which have occurred printed prior to the occurring of those events. In these versions, in the ones that I had examined previously, and in the many that I have examined subsequently, there are often references to contemporary events not found in all the versions.

In the version above the lines starting from:

Footsteps will be seen in every room, to---- But the wall that falls will not be so old.

are of my own creation.

About the only reference that I found consistent, was that regarding snow in the streets and on the housetops, a symbolic reference that does give one pause to think.

I do not wish to be totally disparaging about the poem for I do not feel that it is entirely without merit but I do feel that it is an excellent example of the caution with which one must approach these matters.

There is really little of benefit that can be communicated by prophetic writings to anyone who does not have a pure spirit of scientific inquiry and a mature method of historical analysis.

Much of what passes for education today, even from the universities, is pseudo scientific. The true spirit of inquiry into the underlying reality of things is most often missing. The most advanced scientific thinkers and the most advanced religious and mystical thinkers are of a kin but their imitators dogmatically fall into the morasses of materialism and superstition, respectively.

I hope that I have not overly bored you with this meandering of a raconteur, and that you may be curious about some of the other experiences that I shall recount in this series.