SOPHIA OF WISDOM III - LADY OF SHALOTT
LIBRARY OF SOPHIA OF WISDOM III
THE SOPHIA OF ALL SOPHIA OF WISDOMS
AKA CAROLINE E. KENNEDY_____________________________________
OCTOBER 10, 2006
THE THEME OF
THE LADY OF SHALOTT
Here is my story and I don't believe he will
He has already spent all the time there is with all the other women he wanted already...........He
spent all the time there was for starting other planets on fantasy.............
Painting by J.W. Waterhouse (1849-1917)
Please click on the image above to go to the poem.
The classic poem, 'The Lady of Shalott' by Alfred Lord Tennyson is renowned in English literature. It is a legend retold from ancient Celtic
and other European legends. What is the theme of the poem of the Lady of Shalott? Just what is this haunting story all about?
One of the gifts our patriarch Joseph had was that inner guidance that comes by the Holy
Spirit. Joseph knew the God of his fathers. He came to comprehend His divine character. With that came wisdom
and understanding. He perceived the meaning and purpose of events in the lives and histories of God's people. And so it was
in this devotion that Joseph came to perceive the hidden meaning of dreams.
This is not unusual. We see many examples of this throughout the scriptures. The Holy Spirit has not
changed. He still does this same work today. It is called "discernment of spirits". This is one of the nine gifts of the Holy
Spirit. The gifts of the Spirit were laid out for us by the Apostle Paul. (1Cor.12:10)
Much music, art, and literature are dreamscapes. They are passed down through the generations and through
the centuries. These stories and legends carry some rich and potent themes. Within this poem of the Lady of Shalott are embedded
some very important spiritual messages. Some of these messages are beautiful and true. Others are gnostic cover stories. They have been sent to "cloak" a deeper hidden truth. Many holy themes are woven into
profane threads to produce popular myths for the masses. Many of the tales of men are deceptions. They are diversions and
obfuscations of the truth. In these stories dark angels are at work. They are trying to express themselves through the artist.
By twisting the story around they are offering another message. Oftentimes it is a message of dissinformation. Their mission and their agenda is well known. They are trying to turn human hearts away from the Light.
Stories and legends change with the passage of time. Myths and fables are re-engineered and embellished
as they are passed down the generations. All this brings up an important point. A spiritual war is always being waged in the
arts. Different spirits are warring with each other. Each one is struggling to capture the storyline, and the send out their
message to draw away the souls of men. Many holy truths are often twisted in their passage through time. They are dragged
out of the Light and submerged in the subconscious realms of human darkness. These are the gnostic spirits that operate in
our culture. They do their work on the beautiful side of evil.
Many literary themes were originally holy eternal truths. They were derived from sacred sources. They
had special meaning in past times. When these stories are untangled the real story can often be discerned. They can then be
seen for what they really are. Then, and only then, will they find their real interpretation and have meaning for us. Many
stories and themes in Holy Scripture and in common literature will have meaning for us again in times to come. The woman wes
ee showcased in Scripture from Genesis to Revelation is a classic example. So to is the ever popular literary theme of 'Beauty and the Beast'. These themes can speak to us again in reality and in truth if we can discern the eternal truth in the
original pattern. As we shall discover, it is very helpful and instructive for us to discern the theme hidden in this haunting
English poem, the Lady of Shalott.
The artists,generally speaking, work in the hidden realms of the subconscious. They do not know who
the spirits are that they are actually dealing with as they work in their art. They are transcendentalists. They channel spirits
into and out of the realms of the inner mind. They are quite unaware of what they are doing. And they do not really know the
spirits that inspire and possess them and work through them. Since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden we have lost access
to our own subconscious mind. But this is the realm of artists. So artists are unable to operate in a rational and reasoned
way as we do in the conscious realm. They work in the existential realm. They sense things and feel things subjectively rather
than observing and working with concrete realities in an objective way. Even when they deal in these potent and powerful themes
artists are often completely unaware of their true origin. Nor do they know the deeper meaning behind the messages they bring
out in their words, their art, or their music.
Many popular and recurring literary themes come from holy sources. The Arthurian grail
legends are a case in point. All of them are derived from the communion cup of Christ. This was the original meaning.
But gnostic spirits see the blood of Christ as their nemesis. The blood of Atonement is their ultimate undoing. So they have
changed the story. In the grail legends they have turned the energy of the true communion into a myth and a magic show. Gnostic
diversions and "bait and switch" substitutions of holy themes are quite common in literature. All sorts of stories of a profane
and perverse nature come in to take over the story. They cloak the truth that was there in the original account. And so they
bring in a new story, often a myth, that appeals to the baser instincts of the people.
So when it comes to the spiritual dimension to art the artists are not in the loop. They are just artists.
They follow beauty, even if it leads to the beautiful side of evil. They download dream fragments from their subconscious
that came into their mind from the spirit realm. But the spirits they work with are usually completely unknown to them. As
artists they perceive and deal in the beauty of the story without asking too many questions. But that is all. They do not
know the holy eternal truth behind the beauty. Nor are they aware of the true origin of the stories they are working with.
The present age we live in is an evil one. So the interminglings of the holy and the profane are quite
common. Beauty is twisted and profaned and so is truth. And then they are torn apart from one another. Because of the fall
of man beauty and truth are in a broken state of disconnection. Occasionally an artist will discover the connection. It was
Keats who said,
Beauty is truth, truth, beauty.
That is all you know on earth.
And all you need to
So is there a valid interpretation of the theme of the Lady of Shalott? What is the message in the
poem? Is it merely telling a story of a lost princess in medieval times? Or is it telling an epic story of western civilization
that is yet to fully unfold? Many lessons can be derived from this poem. And these can certainly have personal application.
But is it more than this? Could the theme of the poem of the Lady of Shalott be a wider prophecy for the English speaking
If there is a message in this poem then what is it? Is it a warning to a group mof people as they appoach
the threshold of an epic history? Is this poem a warning to the English speaking people concerning a great and hidden danger
that lies out there in our future?
There are many messages coming at us from the culture in which we live. Much of it is meaningless "noise".
But some messages come through the generations loud and clear. There is a message in the story for those who have ears to
hear. These messages pass on down through the generations with the people. The messages can be found in their oral traditions,
in their written literature and in their music. The dreams and their underlying messages are carried along with the peoples
in their migrations through various geographical places and through time. These spiritual lessons are woven into the cultural
matrix. They are expressed in many artistic forms. Do these stories have special significance as western Christendom comes
to the climax of this age?
The classic themes in this famous poem, the Lady of Shalott, are ancient. They extend back into the
mists of time. How far back? Is this poem merely showcasing a medieval theme of a woman as she makes a fatal encounter with
chivalry? Is it just another Arthurian legend? Or might the story go back to the Celts. Is it a story they told during their
wanderings westward through the forests of Europe and through time? Could the themes within the Lady of Shalott go back even
further? Could they be traced even further back to the ancient idolatries, the banishment, and the subsequent wanderings of
the lost ten tribes of Israel?
If the Europeans are from ancient Israel then they don't know about it. They would have amnesia. All
they would have left would be some half buried memories. Vague and shifting stories of a lost people keep appearing out of
a mists of Celtic mythology. What lies beneath all this?
We know that Europeans came to call themselves 'Caucasians'. But what does this mean? Did they come
west into Europe in a series of ancient migrations by way of the Caucasus Mountains? They don't know. Neither do their historians
or their anthropologists it seems. Their theologians are even more lost. The Holy Scriptures are loaded with information that
might give some answers. But they are content to remain willingly ignorant. They do not even study the scriptures for clues
as to what might have happened. They could soon find out that the northern ten tribes of Israel were taken captive up into
Assyria and never came home. What happened to these people. Are they still lost, like the Lady of Shalott?
It is a sad state of affairs. Many modern Church leaders refuse to look at the Bible as history. Nor
do they consider what has been written in Bible prophecy. They have lost contact with the God of Israel. Some of them even
think God is dead. They have said as much. They are spiritually lost and in a state of disconnected narcissism. Just like
the Lady of Shalott.
And here in the west we have a people who are lost.
They drift aimlessly along the rivers of life.
They are selfists drifting amongst the narcissus flowers.
They stare at the image of their own face in the waters.
And yet they don't know their real name.
They have amnesia.
Is this not unlike the Lady of Shalott?
This poem emerged in the Victorian era. For over a hundred years it has been taught in school literature
classes. It is now well known throughout the English speaking world. This lady is supposedly safe. She is secure there in
her castle. But in her heart and soul she is lost and alone. The days are evil and she is unsatisfied. In this state of insecurity
she is especially vulnerable. She weaves her tapestry. And she muses about the one who has gone from her. Will he return?
Will he really be coming back for her? And here is the real question.
Can she wait for him? In the poem we see that even
in the waiting the Lady of Shalott has lost contact with someone very important. Even the waiting has become conflicted and
oppressive. And so she takes shelter in her castle between the rivers.
As we pursue the theme of the Lady of Shalott the poem is painting a picture. A woman, apparently in
accordence with her own will, is held in a place of rigid confinement. She lives alone within the walls of a castle of stone.
It has been built for her. And that is now where she lives. She lives her live in her lonely reveries, surrounded by cold
masonic walls. Around her castle flows the river, on both sides. There she is in her lonely tower, weaving her tapestry and
singing a song to herself. She is not really contented there. Deep in her soul she is restless. She wants to get out in the
world. Her heart longs for a champion. The tapestries and her dreams will not satisfy her. She longs for a man of flesh and
What sort of trouble is she in? Why is she barricadeded away like this?
Where is her Father, her
brothers and sisters, and the rest of her Family?
And where is her Betrothed?
In the poem we see her longings. She seems to be estranged from others and isolated from meaningful
social contact. And out of this state of disconnection comes her loneliness and her confusion. She wants someone she can reach
out and touch. She longs for an earthy worldly protector. Someone of flesh and material substance. Someone who will be her
defender. She has become impatient and restless. This is her state of mind when Sir Lancelot passes by.
What is this piece of literature? Is it a condensation of medieval dreams (and nightmares) carried
with the European peoples as they have gone through their histories? What has happened to this girl? We get the sense that
we have not heard the full story here. Does she know where she came from. What are her family connections? Can
Someone, whom she once cared deeply for, is out there somewhere. He is the big story in her past. But
where is he? Where is the one who is supposed to be her protector and friend?
The Lady of Shalott is a woman of mystery. Who is she? What is her story? And
how did she get this way? As the story comes to its tragic ending we see the young lady in a swoon. Even as
she leaves her castle and makes her way toward her final lover the curse is upon her.
She is seen drifting down the river towards Camelot. Or is it really Babylon? She has abandoned herself
to her earthy champion. And as she sings her last mournful song her life is swiftly fading from her.
Haven't we seen this picture before? Is this not the story of the quintessential lost women? And isn't
this the story of the lost northern kingdom of Israel? Is this not a retelling of that great Biblical saga of Gomer, the lost wife of the prophet Hosea?
THE LADY OF SHALOTT.
A PICTURE OF THE WORLDLY ECUMENICAL CHURCH?
As we seek the interpretation of the main theme of the Lady of Shalott we soon come to realize that
we have seen this woman before. We look at the worldly western church and see just how far she has drifted from her First
Love. In the book of Revelation the Saviour brings a warning and exhortation to each of the seven churches in Asia Minor.
(Rev. 3) Like the modern ecumenical church and today's post-modern church many of them were in danger of losing contact with
the Christ they once knew and loved. In various ways they had become estranged from their true Betrothed.
There is a deep romantic and spiritual need within each of us for an intimate relationship with God. So when the church becomes
estranged from Christ and they become restless their heart begins to turn. Their eyes turn to gaze upon the flesh and to the
sights and sounds of this world. The modern ecumenical and post modern church has done this. She has
discounted the Word and Message their Betrothed brings concerning His return. They are willingly ignorant of His Second Coming.
And so in forgetting Him and His future return they begin to make other plans for their security. They settle for an earthy
human substitute. Their eyes wander and they gaze out the window, looking for man of flesh and blood. They want someone in
their here and now. He must take the place of the true Beloved they have lost contact with. Their heart desire has undergone
a change. And so the church is now operating on the carnal side of her nature. The ecumenical church
begins to long for, even lust after, a god-man, even a politico-religious strongman. They want someone of
flesh and blood, just like the kings and princes they are beholden to. They want a champion that they can see! And
he will become their lover.
Our Lady muses and slumbers in her cathedral of stone. She dreams of an ultimate worldly sort of saviour.
Is this the dreaming of that section of the western church who posed the question "Is God dead"?
The Lady of Shalott is a lady in waiting. But where is her heart. And what of
the One to whom she is betrothed. Is she preparing herself and her garments for His return? Or has she grown tired of waiting
THE LADY OF SHALOTT;
ANOTHER STORY OF 'BEAUTY AND THE BEAST'?
Here in this poem we see a woman of destiny.
But where is her first Love?
Will she keep the
Or will she seek after another?
This is where the main theme of the Lady of Shalott becomes prophetic. In a future world crisis, a
worldly global covenant maker is prophesied to come onto the scene. (Dan.9:27) Like Zeuss with Europa he will present himself
as someone who will deliver for her. He will present himself as a peacemaker, a megadealer, and the temporal saviour of the
world. But will he come in God's name? No he will not. He will come "in his own name"?
Jesus Himself prophesied that his people would forsake Him. They would turn their back on Him and follow
after another man. This coming prince would not come in the Father's name. He will be
a selfist. He will come in his own name.
This is an exceedingly important storyline. It is, in fact, the basis of the end-time drama. The Bible
prophesies a general apostasy. There will be a 'great falling away' from the faith as this age comes to its climax. Through it all the God of Israel will be sifting the
nations and calling His people out once again.
A usurper and a false messiah is destined to arise on the world scene. This is the theme of 'beauty and the beast'. The coming peacemaker will try to imitate, outstage, and pre-empt the coming true
Messiah. As a global megadealer and covenantmaker this other prince is out to seduce and to waylay the woman of Biblical fame. She is the woman who has been promised to the true Prince of Peace. The true Messiah
will return at the end of the story. And what will He find?
CAMELOT; AND BABYLON.
Meanwhile, our heroine is locked up in a castle. Who built the castle for her? Apparently it has been
provided for her by her worldly lovers. She is locked away in a castle established in the world, even a castle between two
rivers. Might this be a veiled reference to the Mesopotamian city of Babylon, a city
of which it was said "a river runs through it".
Babylon was that ancient city back in the cradle of civilization. The word "Mesopotamia"
means "between the rivers". Is Camelot a literary allusion to that first city of mankind, the city of Babylon?
The Northern ten tribes had been taken captive in 722 B.C. and taken to Assyria. They were then scattered into the other nations.
The captives of Judah were taken captive to Babylon in 605 B.C. and 586 B.C.. During the time of their captivity they were
asked to provide a song. But they were unable to sing the songs of Zion in a strange land. They hung their harps in the willows
by the rivers of Babylon. They were cut off from their true home. And they had lost their desire to sing.
The Lady of Shalott is a woman enclosed. Why is she locked up and estranged from her "significant other"?
This is certainly an unnatural state for her. Unless she is lost Israel.
Israel as a people were betrothed to YHVH, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, or Israel.
The covenant people of God were born of Sarah, the free woman, Bondage is not her normal state. So why did Israel, both houses,
go into captivity? Is lost Israel an epic legend told in days of old? And is her story pictured in the constellations
of the stars? Andromeda was seen by the ancient patriarchs, even in the centuries before the flood. And so was the
leser sheepfold. These became part of the oral traditions handed down before the Torah was written. So who is this Andromeda,
this chained woman of starry legend? And who made her a prisoner before the sea of nations, even before a beast that comes
out of the sea?
These themes of a woman held captive and awaiting deliverance are ubiquitous. They are very common
throughout the world. These stories keep recurring down through time. We even see the same theme of a damsel in distress in
modern movies such as Star Wars and Titanic.
We return to the theme the Lady of Shalott. There she is, enclosed in all this imposing and constricting
structure. It is a lonely place. But it is almost as if she has barricaded herself there. Is this her final home? These cold
damp walls of masonry. Does she really want to remain in this place forever? Is this where her trust really lies?
This is a woman who longs for true freedom. But it is a freedom that can only exist within the bonds
of love. But where is her true lover? And where is the Spirit and the Life that once coursed within her breast? Surely the
tapestries woven from her human reveries are just shadows of the real Person of her dreams. What about the cold earthly masonry
and all the imposing architectual form that surrounds her? Will this be always sufficient to inspire her? Is this castle of
men her final choice? Will this be her eternal dwelling place? Is she to be buried here like Egyptian royalty?
Buried in tombs of stone? Is this the only destiny she has available to her? Or has she been promised something better, even
a place of her own in mansions in glory? (John 14:2)
As we search out the theme of the Lady of Shalott we sense that here is a person and a heart who was
born free. Her subsequent actions demonstrate this. What will she do? Will she leave her place of earthly security? And if
she does, where will she go, and to whom? Will she pass up along a Highway towards the Holy City, a city of living stones
not made with hands? (1Pet.2:5) Or will she seek out an earthly champion? Will she find her boat by the river and drift down
The lady of Shalott is in a bind. She is in a quandary. It is a love triangle. And yes, it involves
"choice". What will she do? Two princes are calling to her heart. Which one will she choose? Will her "choice" be the coming
"Prince of Peace". Or will she choose the ultimate prince of this world? If she chooses the latter then what will become of
her? Does the poem tell us? Perhaps it does.
In the poem we see the Lady of Shalott at the threshold. She is a lady in waiting. And she is waiting
for Someone it seems. Is she waiting expectantly for the return of her Betrothed? Or is she growing tired of waiting? Are
her eyes now wandering towards someone else?
It seems that the Lady of Shalott has become bored. She is impatient in her waiting. "I'm half sick
of shadows." she says. And then we see her casting her eye on another prince. Sir Lancelot is passing by. What is happening
here? And why has she lost interest with the One to whom she was betrothed? Why has she forgotten her life in former times?
These sorts of stories are woven all through our culture. The themes and legends in medieval Arthurian
romances vary from the usual love triangles to the selfist narcissism of the "gay" goddess spirit Gaia.
Theater and movies showcase the tortured earthy romances of hedonism in all its depravity. Is the Lady of Shalott another
variation of the archtypical story of Beauty and the Beast?
Like Gomer, the unfaithful wife of Hosea, the Lady of Shalott has wandered off. She is far away from home in a far
off land. She is out there with her lovers. Has she lost contact with, even forgotten, her true Husband? Will her desires
for perverse carnal thrills turn out to be her ultimate nightmare? This is the story. And this is the prophecy of one of the
two women we see in the Book of Revelation. One of them takes the high road. She becomes the woman of glory and destiny we
see in Revelation 12. The other woman is the harlot of Revelation 17 and 18.
The "woman" of Holy Scripture, is Israel, the covenant people of God from both houses. The Church is
in the loop here. She is indeed approaching an epic and climactic crisis. It will be crisis of choice. She must choose her
prince. And this is the drama of the end time. The wrong choice will lead to her undoing. If she allows herself to be seduced
by this worldly prince then the story will turn nasty, even tragic. He will not be lauding her beauty forever. The earthy
prince she has chosen will be revealed in the end. And he will turn out to be a beast.
The Apostle John saw the woman of destiny as she was being threatened by the Dragon.
This prophecy is given in Revelation 12. When she is delivered of the man-child the woman of glory is carried away on the
wings of a great eagle. She is taken to a place of safety where she can be nurtured for three and a half years, the exact
time of the prophesied 'Great Tribulation'.
In Revelation 17 John saw a different woman. He saw a woman who had become a harlot. He saw her ride
a beast with ten horns. Then he saw the harlot come to her dreadful end. The prince she has chosen will ultimately bring her
to her death. He will turn on her. The end-time Beast will rise up. And he will destroy her. (Rev.17:16)
Could the story we see here in this poem have had a different, happier ending? The prophet Hosea offers
one to us. Gomer, the wayward wife of Israel's prophet Hosea finally came out of her hedge of thorns. She finally rediscovers
her Beloved once again. Oh yes, she is in deep trouble and tribulation. She ends up in a slave market being offered up for
sale. And as we read the story in Hosea 2 a drama of great wonder unfolds. The Husband she left behind turns up. He is the
one who purchases her. And He redeems her with silver.
We see a similar story in the Song of Solomon. The Shulamite has a dream, actually a nightmare. She
has washed and is comfortable in her bed. Her Beloved comes and knocks at the door. He calls to her but she is comfortable
and not inclined to respond. Her heart is moved and eventually she does arise. But she finds that her beloved has gone. She
seeks him but cannot find him. She is found by the watchmen of the city who strike her and wound her. They take her veil and
her mantle from her. Through all of this tribulation she testifies that she is sick with love. (Song of Songs 5:2-8)
The woman testifies of her love with this profession,
"Set me like a seal over your heart,
As a seal upon your arm.
For love is as strong
And jealousy is as cruel as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
A most vehement flame,
The very fire of the Lord"
-Song of Songs 8:6
Finally, at the end of Solomon's Song those watching are amazed and ask,
"Who is this who comes up out of the wilderness,
leaning upon her Beloved?" -Song
of Solomon 8:5
Will the woman discover love, even the divine romance? Will she discover her Beloved in the Valley
of Achor, the Valley of trouble and tribulation? (Hos.2:14-17)
If this is the drama, the adventure and the romance ahead for the church then the dream with its spiritual
story all revolves around one critical question. Just who will this woman end up loving? Who will be her "prince" as the endtime
drama comes to its climax?
With all this in mind, here is the poem, the 'Lady of Shalott'. It offeres us a picture of a dark outcome
to the story. The woman in question comes to a sad and tragic ending. Like the wayward heroine in the recent movie "Titanic"
she has her fling with her prince. Then at the end she is seen singing her last mournful song as she is surrounded by the
waters of death.
Is this poem a warning? Is there a lesson for us here? We are the people of Christendom. We have come
through many epic histories to arrive at where we now stand. This poem is the literature of our culture is it not? It is the
dreaming, the secret fears and desires, if you will, of the people of Christendom?
These themes are endemic in our culture. They must reflect the subconscious yearnings of European people.
Our literature is driven by some holy prophetic themes to be sure. But a quick scan through the local video store will quickly
reveal that it is also driven by a host of profane and perverse Gnostic fantasies. Why do we have a host of videos in the 'horror' section? Why is there no 'glory' section? Do our literary
dreams have something to tell us about ourselves? Do they reveal the nature of our heart? Are they reflect our disposition
to the destinies which are laid out for us up ahead?
From Bible prophecy we know that there is big fork in the road up ahead. Two roads lie before us. Which
of these two roads shall we choose?
And who will be our prince?
Here in this poem we are seeing just one part of a love triangle. It is a story of a woman. As the
saga unfolds she is enticed by one of two princes. The Lady of Shalott responds to the dark prince. And there are consequences.
The other Prince, the One to whom she is betrothed, is no longer in the picture. He is lost to her
view. She sees Him dimly as though a glass mirror. But He is just a memory she weaves into her tapestries. And in that wicked
woven work the original and genuine One is twisted amongst the other threads. And so he is lost.
There is a true and genuine Prince in this story. But he is strangely absent. Just who is He? And where
is He? What has happened to her love for him? Why is she separated from Him? And why is she locked up in a knight's castle
between the rivers? Who put her there by the Rivers of Babylon/Camelot?
We are not told.
Her true Prince is forgotten. But let's not worry. Look! Here comes a knight in shining armour! He
is solid flesh, fully armed, with shield and sword.
As Sir Lancelot rides by her window she is intrigued. Then she finds herself captivated and entranced
by him. Her moment of "choice" has come. Oh yes, she is 'pro-choice'. She has full insight into what she is doing. She knows
that to go to this prince is the death of her soul. - John 5:43 What will she do?
This the adventure and the drama, the triumph and the tragedy of the end-time. This is the choice presented
to all, as holy history comes to its appointed climax. The Bible, with the interlinking story of the Woman of Revelation Chapter 12, tells us the "rest of the story". This story is from a holy source. Oh yes, there will be great tribulation.
But this story has a wonderful ending. The woman of destiny finds her true love at the end. And who shall wear the starry crown?
That will be revealed at the end of the story.
And at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
Please click on the image above or the textlink following to go to the poem 'The Lady of Shalott'.
Grace and shalom to all who long for His appearing.
Enter subhead content here