Mother Shipton's Wheel of Fortune (Grimoire)

Mother Shipton's Wheel of Fortune is a small chapbook aimed at young women consisting of dream interpretation, fortune telling, and spells. It was published in 1861, and attributed to the quasi-mythic figure "Mother Shipton," who lived in the 16th century (source).

Mother Shipton's Fortune Teller

Mother Shipton's Wheel of Fortune title page


The Party consulting the Oracular Wheel of Fate, must Prick through the back of the wheel blind-fold, for a number: if at the hour of twelve the answer may be depended on.

No.1, A life full of changes, die rich,
—2, Early marriage, and a handsome family.
—3, Many lovers: but die single.
—4, A speedy journey of great importance to others
—5, Become rich, through a legacy.
— 6, Hours of pleasure, years of care.
—7, Your present lover is false.
—8, You will marry your present choice.
—9, Wed thrice, and die in widow-hood.
—10, You will travel over land and sea.
—11, If not already wed, you never will.
—12, Gambling will be the ruin of your family.
—13, You will be happy in marriage.
—14, You will change your love soon.
—15, A long life, and prosperous.
—16, A rival will cause you tears.
—17, Beware of a false friend.
—18, Fate decrees two partners.
—19, A large family of prosperous children.
—20, Your plans will not succeed.
—21, You will soon fall desperately in love.
—22, Denotes mourning.
—23, An independence gained by industry.
—24, You will better your circumstances by marriage.
—25, Expect losses by fraud.
—26, You will marry an ill tempered person.
—27, A sudden rise attends you.
—28, You will soon see an absent lover.
—29, Many enemies, but finally you will triumph.
—30, bad partner, but happy reformation.
—31, An early proposal of marriage.
—32, A present and a new lover.
—33, Invitation to a gay party,
—34, A serious quarrel.
—35, A disgraceful intrigue.
—36, A run of ill luck.
—37, Denotes ill health
—38 News from distant friends.
—39, Trouble and deception.
—40. Backbiting and scandal.

The CROWN denotes a rise in life.
ANCHOR your true lover will be often on water,
STAR ill luck; ...unless in the centre.
COFFIN much sickness, a death in your family.
RING an approaching wedding.
CROSS a religious partner, but deceitful.
SHIELD a good and happy marriage.
KEY much treasure, attended with trouble.

To Foretell events by Cards.

Queen of Clubs playing card

Observe the following directions in laying them out: first, the person whose fortune is to be told, if a man, must choose one of the kings to represent himself, if a woman, one of the queens: then the queen or king of the chosen suit will stand for husband, wife, or sweetheart of the party whose fortune is to be told, the knave of the same is the most intimate person of the family. You must now shuffle the cards, and cut them 3 times, showing the bottom card each time; this must be repeated thrice; then shufile again, cut once, and display them in rows of nine each, exactly under each other; after which every thirteenth card from the king queen or knave of the suit named is within your circle, counting backwards or forwards, thus; ...if the thirteenth card should be
The Ace of clubs... it promises great wealth.
King... gives a person affectionate, humane and faithful.
Queen...shows an amorous person.
Knave... shows a generous friend.
Ten... loss of friends, but gain of riches,
Nine... shows that you will displease a friend.
Eight... shows the person is covetous.
Seven... promises the most brilliant fortune.
Six... a lucrative partnership, and well-behaved children,
Five... early marriage and improved circumstances.
Four... incontinent for the sake of money, changeable.
Three... three marriages... one of them wealthy
Two... unfortunate opposition to a favorite inclination.
Ace of DIAMONDS... shows a person fond of sporting.
King... a sign of a fiery temper.
Queen... signifies laziness and unsteady conduct.
Knave... will look more to his own interest than yours,
Ten... promises a country partner, with some money.
Nine... denotes the person will be of a roving disposition.
Eight of DIAMONDS... shows a risk of dying single.
Seven... a happy life in the country.
Six... an early marriage and widowhood.
Five... a well assorted marriage, and good children.
Four... shows incontinence in the married state.
Three... law suits and domestic disagreements.
Two... shows a heart engaged at an early period.
Ace of HEARTS... merry making and good humor.
King... a fair skin good disposition. but passionate.
Queen... shows a woman of great beauty; very fair.
Knave... a dear friend who prevents mischief.
Ten... good nature, many children, and help in trouble.
Nine... great wealth, high esteem, if the next card is fair.
Eight... beware! your sweetheart will become a drunkard.
Seven... show a fickle and vicious disposition.
Six... a generous disposition.
Five... a wavering one.
Four... the person will not be marrried early.
Three... will experience ill will from others.
Two... shows that success will attend the person.
Ace of SPADES... this is the Cupid of cards. Beware!
King...ambitious with success in the attempt.
Queen... beware of corruption by flattery of the wealthy.
Knave... shows great abilities with great indolence.
Ten... a card of bad import, counteracting the good ones
Nine... danger, sickness, and loss of fortune. a bad card
Eight... strong opposition to your choice, in love affairs.
Seven... shows the loss of amost valuable friend.
Six... mediocrity of fortune, and failures in trade.
Five... success in trade, good luck in matrimony.
Four... shows speedy sickness, and false friends.
Three... shows you will be unfortunate in marriage.
Two... always signifies a coffin.

Signs of Good and Bad Dispositions.

...Good... The forehead large... the eye moist and shining the countenance expressing joy and content... the voice is mild and pleasant... and the motion of the body regular.

...Evil... The form of the body, meagre and lean... the forehead cloudy and sullen... the eye small and cunning... a nimble tongue... and a short, quick and uneven gait.


Foretelling fortune by lines in the hand.

Palm reading diagram

Observe always to choose the left hand, as the heart and brain have more influence over it than the right hand! and it is also better to examine them when in good health, for then they appear full.

The reader will see that the principal line is the line of life; if this is clear, and ends without breaks, it denotes a happy old age and great prosperity. Round lines, like semicircles, on the insides of the tips of the fingers, promise houses, land and inheritance. As many lines or crosses as a woman has in her wrist, so many children may she expect to have. If the middle, or table line in the hand, is very narrow and contracted, it is a sign of crosses and poverty. If a crooked line goes through the table line, it is a sign of death by accident or violence; but if it is straight and even, it is a good sign. The natural line takes its beginning from the rising of the middle finger.

The table line, commonly called ‘The line of fortune’, begins under the little finger, and ends near the fore finger

The line of death is a counter line to that of life; by some called the sister line.

The girdle of Venus (a circular line so called), begins near the joint of the fore finger, and ends in the middle finger. There are also lines in the fleshy parts, as in the ball of the thumb, which is called ‘The mount of Venus’, these are each governed by their several planets, and the hollow of the hand, is the place of Mars.

If the line from the wrist goes straight up to the little finger, it is a better sign than if broken; for then the party will live to a good old age: but on the contrary, should the line want continuity, it denotes sudden death.

If the line which is in the middle of the hand, called the table line be broad and fair, without being broken, it is a sure sign the party will lead a happy life.

The Signification of MOLES.

A mole on the right side of the forehead, or temple signifies the person will arrive at sudden wealth and honor.

A mole on the right eyebrow foretells speedy marriage, the husband to possess good qualities and a large fortune

A mole on the left side of either of those three places portends disappointment in your most sanguine wishes.

A mole on the nose, shows success.

A mole on the chin, indicates prosperity.

A mole on the throat denotes that a person shall become rich by marriage.

A mole on the bosom, signifies health and fortune.

A mole under the left breast, over the heart, shows that a man will be of a warm disposition and unsettled in mind. In a lady, it shows sincerity in love, and easy travail in child-birth.

A mole on the right side over any part of the ribs, denotes the person to be pusillanimous, and slow of understanding.

A mole on the belly shows the person to be addicted to sloth and gluttony, and not choice in point of dress.

A mole on the hip shows the person will have many childdren.

A mole on the right thigh is an indication of riches.

A mole on the left thigh denotes poverty and want of friends.

A mole on either foot, denotes pride.

A mole on the right shoulder indicates prudence and wisdom.

A mole between the elbow and the wrist promises the person prosperity but not until he has undergone hardships.

A mole on the wrist, or between it and the ends of the fingers, shows industry, parsimony, and conjugal affection.

A mole on the left shoulder denotes poverty.

A mole on the right arm denotes courage.

A mole on the left arm shows resolution and victory in battle.

Egyptian Charms and Cerimonies.

The Charm of St. Catherine.

This day falls on the 25th of November, and must be thus celebrated: --Let any number of young women not exceeding seven or less than three, assemble in a room, where they are sure to be safe from interlopers, just as the clock strikes eleven at night, take from your bosom a sprig of myrtle, which you must have worn there all day, and fold it up in a piece of tissue paper, then light up a small chaffing dish of charcoal, and on it each maiden thrown in hairs from her head, and a pairing of her toe and fingernails, then let each sprinkle a small quantity of myrtle and frankincence on the charcoal, and while the odoriferous vapor rises, fumigate your myrtle, (this plant or tree is consecrated to Venus,) with it. Go to bed while the clock is striking twelve, and place the myrtle exactly under your head, and you will be sure to dream of your future husband. Observe, it is no manner of use trying this charm if you are not a real virgin, and the mystic hour of performance must be past in strict silence.

A Curious Spell.

If a maid wishes to see her lover, let her take the following method: --Prick the third or wedding finger of your left hand with a sharp needle, (beware of a pin,) and with the blood write your own and lovers name on a piece of clean writing paper, in as small a compass as you can, and encircle it with three rings of the same crimson stream, fold it up and exactly at the ninth hour of the evening, bury it with your own hand, in the earth, secretly. Your lover will hasten to you as soon as possible, he will not be able to rest till he sees you; and if you have quarrelled, to make it up. A young man may also try this charm, only instead of the wedding finger, let him pierce his left thumb.

Apple Parings.

On the 28th of October, which is a double Saintsday, take an apple, pare it whole, and take the paring in your right hand, and standing in the middle of the room, say the following verse:–

St. Simon and Jude, on you I intrude,
By this paring I hold to discover,
Without any delay, to tell me this day
The first letter of my true lover,

Turn round three times, and cast the paring over your left shoulder, and it will form the first letter of your future husband’s surname, but if the paring breaks into many pieces so that no letter is discernable, you will never marry; unless you take the pips of the same apples, put them in spring water and drink the water at bed-time.

A Charm for Dreaming.

When you go to bed, place under your pillow is common prayer-book, open it at the part of the Matrimonial service, in which is printed “with this ring I thee wed,” &c., place on it a key, a ring, a flower and a sprig of willow, a small heart cake, a crust of bread, and the following cards: the ten of clubs, nine of hearts, ace of spades, and the ace of diamonds, wrap all these round in a handkerchief of thin gauze or muslin, on getting into bed cross your hands and say:–

Luna ever womans’ friend,
To me thy goodness condescend;
Let me this night in visions see,
Emblems of my destiny.

If you dream of storms, trouble will betide you; if the storm ends in a fine calm, so will your fate; if of a ring, or of the ace of diamonds, marriage; bread, an industrious life; cake, a prosperous life; flowers, joy; willow, treachery in love; spades, death; diamonds, money; clubs, a foreign land; hearts, illegitimate children; keys, that you will rise to great trust and power, and never know want; birds, that you will have many children; geese, you will marry more than once.

Another charm for dreaming,

is as follows,–

At the first appearance of the new moon, immediately after New year’s day, go out in the evening and whilst leaning on a gate or stile, look up at the moon; and repeat the following lines, –

All hail to the moon!
Display unto me
In a vision this night,
Who my husband may be.

The next person that appears to you in your dream will be your future husband.


Timeline of related events



Birth of Mother Shipton (this grimoire attributed to Ursula Southeil)



Death of Mother Shipton (this grimoire attributed to Ursula Southeil)