Prophecies of Mother Shipton

Ursula Southeil (c. 1488–1561) (possibly Ursula Southill or Ursula Soothtell), better known as Mother Shipton, was an English soothsayer and prophetess. The first publication of her prophecies, which did not appear until 1641, eighty years after her reported death, contained a number of mainly regional predictions, but only two prophetic verses – neither of which foretold the End of the World, despite widespread assumptions to that effect.

One of the most notable editions of her prophecies was published in 1684. It states that she was born in Knaresborough,Yorkshire, in a cave now known as Mother Shipton’s Cave, that along with the Petrifying Well and associated parkland is operated as a visitor attraction. She was reputed to be hideously ugly. The book also claims that she married Toby Shipton, a local carpenter, near York in 1512 and told fortunes and made predictions throughout her life.

Some prophecies of Mother Shipton

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 the earth shall die.
Mankind will tremble and frightened be
for the six 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
three 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 hill
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 hand
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 to the shore.
And lands will crack and rend anew
do 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 (unreadable) 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 dragon’s 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 mankinds dirt and therefore be,
the source of man’s new dynasty.
and those that live will ever fear
the dragon’s 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 l
My body changed and my soul set free
You think I utter blasphemy
your wrong. These things have come to me
this prophecy will come to be.

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