John Collier – Priestess of Delphi
Myth has it that to find the center of the world, Zeus sent out two eagles at opposite ends of the Earth – they collided at Delpi, leading Zeus to declare Delphi the omphalos or navel of the world. Delphi’s initial fame later spread well beyond Greece as the site received Mediterranean-wide recognition as the premier divine oracle.
On Mount Parnassus in Greece, an oracle was recorded as present from as early as 1400 B.C., though the Delphic Oracle associated with Apollo reached the height of fame near 1600 A.D. The sanctuary at Delphi was constructed in the 8th century BC, and the final prophecy given around AD 393, after Roman Emperor Theodosius ordered the closure of all pagan sanctuaries.
According to Diodorus Siculus the first oracle appeared to a shepherd of the region who stumbled upon a chasm or fissure in the rock. The shepherd and his goats began to feel and act strangely. The shepherd fell into divine trance and began to foretell events. Word of the site spread, leading others to flock to divination mountain.
Greece is ruled by Capricorn and Virgo.
Mountains are Capricorn; fissures are Uranus/Pluto; gasses, divination are Neptune.
Ancient authors claim that bird-watching and entrail-reading, two of the most popular forms of divination, actually began at Delphi. Fortelling by the casting of lots (stones, bones, dice) and the interpretation of flames – a form of divination called Pyromancy were also common at Delphi.
Delphic Oracle Kylix by rhe Kodros painter 440 to 430 BCE
According to the Homeric Hymn to Apollo the site was eventually conquered by Apollo.
In Greek mythology, Apollo (Apollon) is the god of divine light who drove the sun across the sky in a chariot. Apollo is also god of prophecy and oracles, song and poetry, music, healing, archery, and the protection of the young. He is usually pictured with a wreath and branch of laurel; bow and quiver; raven; and lyre.
Apollo slayed the holy serpent / dragon named Python (the rotting one) given to Delphi by the Earth Goddess, Gaia. Python was Gaia’s ransacking son who stood guard while the sibyl gave prophecies. After Apollo cleared the countryside of Pythons widespread destruction, he served an eight year penance as a cowherd, only to return with his priests from Crete – his cult was called Delphinios aka dolphin or porpoise – hence, Delphi was born.
Note: To commemorate the triumph of Apollo over Python, Delphi organized the Pythian Games – athletic events (precursor to the Olympics) which were held every four years.
Curiously, Delphi may also derive from the greek words delph hollow, or perhaps delphis, womb – ironic in that Delphi was the only Apollon temple where females were allowed to give the gifts of the god via oracle. The Pythia was originally a young virgin, but later a wise crone – if the female was married, she had to relinquish family for temple work.
Upon Apollo’s arrival, the matriarchal decrees of the priestesses of Gaia, were tempered by the presence of his chosen priests. Apollo killed the serpent (some think the snake represents matriarchal power), keeps the oracle, and the Oracle is then known as a Pythia in honor of killing the serpent who guarded the sacred Castilian springs.
The Pythia would fast, cleanse in the sacred spring, enter a chamber in the lower temple, adyton (inaccessible room), where she would inhale the pneuma, or sweet smelling vapors. Historical accounts claim the Pythia was trance-induced (channeling) by vapors from a chasm below the temple or from chewing laurel (bay) leaves, which she is often depicted as holding. Worthy of note: in greek, pneuma is synonymous with divine breath, or spirit of the gods.
Laurel aka Bay leaves:
Masculine, Sun, Fire – diaphoretic, emetic, narcotic, stomachic
Do not consume the leaf. Lore tells that chewing bay leaves and breathing the steam rising off a simmering pot of laurel aids in all forms of divination. Bay can often be found in incense and dream pillows. Bay is an excellent purifier, a guardian against sickness, when planted near the home it wards off negative energies. Use bay leaves in cooking to enhance psychic abilities, speed healing, clear psychic sludge, promote relaxation and a sense of well-being.
Camillo Miola (click to enlarge) – The (Delphic) Oracle
The Pythia, a virgin from the local village selected in ceremonies that established her as Apollo’s choice, sits atop the sacred tripod as the Delphic oracle. To the left is the omphalos, the most sacred object at Delphi, regarded as the center of the earth. A plinth on the right bears an inscription describing Apollo’s conquest of Delphi with the Cretans, who became his first priests.
The prophetess went to the tripod on the sacred seventh day of each month, the day of Apollo’s birth, nine months of the year, to await the god’s inspiration; her inspired utterances were later interpreted by a priest. The ancient Greeks considered the Delphic oracle, both Apollo’s divine prophecy and the prophetess through whom it was spoken, the final authority on almost any matter, whether religious, political, or social.
Giovanni Ruggero – Temple of Apollo at Delphi
Pilgrims and envoys to the Oracle formed a procession that climbed the Sacred Way to Apollo’s temple, where they would pass three temple inscriptions:
Nothing in Excess
Go bail and ruin is at hand
The Pythia’s response from deep trance was rendered into classical hexameter verse, then passed along to the seeker. The Delphic Oracle reached popularity on a grand scale, advising all: heads of state, philosophers and common people from across the Mediterranean and beyond.
Historical and mythological timelines of the Oracle here.
Catalogue of Delphic Responses here.
Asteroid Pythia 432 – This asteroid (discovered 12.18.1897) has a 5 planet Sagittarius stellium of late degrees Sun, Mars, Venus conjunct with early degrees Saturn conjunct Uranus opposing Pluto, Pythia and Neptune conjunct in Gemini all Rx.
Long distance communication, moral codes and higher philosophy is most definitely the name of the game with this asteroid.
I was curious, popped in the latter asteroids listed below though they had not yet been discovered or named – Apollon and Delphine dovetail neatly between Libra Moon and Jupiter all trine Pluto, Pythia and Neptune while in square to Capricorn Mercury. Sedate, balanced proclamations, good common sense, feminine instinct, understanding coupled with truth-seeking travelers flocking to the tricky, Mercurial Mountainous earth sight.
Sagittarius Mars quintiles Libra Jupiter – Men and Women + Goddess and Gods working together to provide divine guidance.
Pythia obviously indicates where psychic power rises in your natal chart – in addition it indicates where on earth you channel your best, brightest intuitions with the help of Gaian energies.
Asteroid Apollo 1862 – This asteroid (discovered 4.24.1932) has an Aries stellium of Mercury, Mars and Uranus as well as a T-Square: Taurus Sun focal planet square Leo Jupiter opposite Aquarius Saturn. Solid creative exuberance lead by an impulsive child-like curiosity. Cancer Pluto squares all that Aries, while Jupiter trines it – explosive impulses lead the way to whammy emotional transformation – via women, the public, the masses; Jupiter has faith enough to try again.
Flirty Gemini Venus opposite Moon delivers any and all communications into compromise mode, especially re: money, women, relationships, the public. The Temple of Apollo placed women at the forefront of the public, and of course, those seekers with a backing of wealth quickly were ushered to the head of the line. Waving Plutonic power around does not always sit well with those who arrived first.
Sun is also placed in a grand trine with Neptune and Moon while opposite Scorpio Apollo – highlighting mysterious female lead divinations for the public (shared power), as well as dependable enlightened service over hundreds of years.
Asteroid Apollo indicates a place where reckless mistakes are made over and over with wild abandon – mistakes which lead to metamorphic emotional enlightenment. It is a place of child-like curiosity, naiveté and unbridled enthusiasm for life, regardless of difficulties.
Asteroid Delphine 3218 – This asteroid (discovered 9.24.1960) features a 1 degree Libra Sun conjunct asteroid Apollon as focal points in an out-of-sign T-Square with late Sagittarius Jupiter opposite early Cancer Mars.
Power to the Women – Right On ! This indicates travelers incoming to both participate in public athletic events and receive divine guidance that brings harmonious outcomes.
Leo Uranus quintiles Scorpio Neptune – unusually creative, mysterious divinations from the gods. Pythia lands at 0 degrees Virgo conjunct Pluto which trines Capricorn Saturn – she was in transformative service to the masses across centuries.
Late Aquarius Chiron forms an out-of-sign grand trine with Libra Venus and Mars in Cancer while it opposes Uranus and Pythia. Women held a place of importance at this sight/site which has vast humanitarian implications – women in this sacred sanctuary changed the course of history, the Delphic Oracle spans the ages. Oracles assist, they guide, they help shift perspectives like cosmic chiropractors.
Think in terms of the fissure or chasm that collectively brings people together in hope, fellowship and enlightenment.
There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in. – Leonard Cohen
Think Neo – the oracle isn’t the only oracle – how about genius spoon boy in the waiting room ?! While peeps waited on line for the oracle at Delphi, I guarantee you there were other oracles right alongside popping out gems right and left.
Asteroid Delphine is where you desire to win, to beat your personal best, where your heroes journey, your spiritual quest draws you to like-minded truth-seekers in order to heal via fellowship.
Scientists have found that the vapors rising from the fault fissure were ethylene, a colorless, flammable gas having a sweet taste and odor which is a naturally occurring hormone in plants – inhibiting growth, promoting leaf fall and ripening fruit.
According to traditional explanations, the Pythia derived her prophecies in a small, enclosed chamber in the basement of the temple – if the Pythia went to the chamber once a month, as tradition says, she could have been exposed to concentrations of the narcotic gas that were strong enough to induce a trance-like state. Nat’l Geo
Oracles enhanced by narcotic gas – what a fantastic representation of Neptune !
I felt compelled to write of this prior to Scorpio Full Moon on my Neptuner, wanted it up at GMA then, only to finish today when whoa – ck it out…
Pythia is currently conjunct Sun at 28 Taurus; Capricorn Moon trines both
Apollon Rx is at 7 degrees Virgo exact opposite Neptune at 7 Pisces
Delphine is at 17 Virgo exact opposite Pisces Chiron at 17 Pisces
Cool, yeah ?