The Delphic Oracle

An Oracle is a person, place or thing generally regarded as a source of wise counsel or prophetic opinion. It is often considered to be an infallible authority on topics that are spiritual, moral, ethical, or philosophical in nature. An Oracle can also be taken as a prediction of future events, usually spoken by a deity through the use of an avatar.

In the ancient world, many sites gained a reputation for the dispensing of oracular wisdom. Perhaps the best known of these was the sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi, located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus in Greece. This website is a cyberspace tribute to the Delphic Oracle, and you are welcome here.

Dispensation of Wisdom

The Pythia was the high priestess who presided over the Oracle of Apollo. She was probably selected, at the death of her predecessor, from amongst a guild of priestesses of the temple, and was likely required to be a woman of good character. Although some priestesses were married, upon assuming the role of Pythia, they were absolved of all family responsibilities, and, further, were expected to surrender their identity as individuals. In the heyday of the Oracle, the Pythia may have been a woman chosen from a prominent family – one who was well educated in geography, politics, history, philosophy, and the arts. In later periods, however, uneducated peasant women could also be chosen for the role.

What to Ask

In coming to the Oracle, it is important that you remain cognizant of the following four stages of consultation:

  • Step 1: Clearly Understand Your Reasons for Seeking the Oracle. You should be motivated by a need to have answered an important question about your life. In other words, it’s a waste of time to ask the Oracle about the right time is to get a haircut: the Oracle works on a much larger scale.

  • Step 2: Formulate Your Question. Recognize that in ancient times, you would have been interviewed by the attending priests in preparation for an audience with the Oracle. The priests were responsible for ensuring that cases brought before the Oracle were genuine and possessed of an appropriate gravitas. You would have undergone rituals to assist in the proper framing of your question. As those ancient “controls” are not present here, you are asked to take your time in the formulation of a question that is relevant, useful, and beneficial.
  • Step 3: Pose Your Question. Entering the Adydon (the holiest part of the Temple of Apollo) and clicking the Submit button is the modern-day equivalent of putting your question to the Pythia. As was the case in ancient times, your answer will come instantly.
  • Step 4: Contemplate The Response. Oracles are meant to give advice to shape your future actions. At times, the answer can seem ambiguous – but that is a key aspect of its wisdom: How you interpret the Pythia’s words says as much about you as it does about the Oracle.

May you find what you seek.

ENTER THE ADYTON

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The Delphic Oracle Online is Written, Designed, and Hand-Crafted by Shawn Postoff | All material © 2007 - 2011 Infinitive Ink Limited