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The oracle of Delphi gives its advice and predicts the future. Visit the most famous divination temple of the ancient world. Meet Pythia, the priestess of the Oracle, so that she can give you her prophecy.

How the oracle works online

At first Pythia asks her visitors some questions to understand their aims and character better. For this, you have to look twice into a kaleidoscope, among other things. Furthermore, one is sent on a dream journey that has to be selected before. The priestess also wants to know which deity the questioner identifies with most.

Afterwards the seer gives her oracle saying. It has three parts:

1. Evaluation of the personality

Supposedly there was an inscription at the entrance: Know thyself. The exploration of the own character was not only regarded by the ancient cult as a solution for many individual problems. The answer should help to understand oneself better.

Example: Apparently you have a pleasant and strong personality, that wants a sophisticated lifestyle and strives for total harmony.

2. Advice for upcoming aims and challenges

Another inscription calls for temperance and modesty. At this point, one gets a hint which way is the best or how can something be achieved.

Example As soon as you want to enforce your will and increase your influence permanently, you need knowledge and all available information.

3. Divination of the future

The prediction of the upcoming is of course the most important purpose of every pilgrimage to Delphi.

Example :I can foresee a peaceful future, in which romantic moments are waiting for you and your utmost secret wishes might be fulfilled.

The cult place of Delphi

In mythology, the place, which is about 150 km from Athens, was determined by Zeus as the centre of the world. Two eagles, who were supposed to identify it, met right at this spot.

The center of the historical oracle, on the other hand, is located deep underground and comes to the surface from a fissure in the ground, in the form of hazy vapors that were said to give prophetic abilities when inhaled. A temple was built around this rift. During a ceremony, a priestess inhaled the vapors, went into a trance and gave her predictions of the future while her mind was in a state of immersion. Thus Delphi became famous all over the ancient world and attracted countless visitors for well over a thousand years.

The oracle was only consulted at certain times. In some phases it happened annually, in others monthly. In summer rather than winter. What the Pythia said was mostly a mystery. Some of her visions were interpreted by priests. There are, however, divergent views which assume that the prophetess spoke directly to the people. While richer citizens received detailed advice from her, poorer pilgrims were only allowed to ask questions that could be answered with a yes or no. However, it is worth considering that they may have received the more helpful answers. The psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud would probably have seen more sense in this, since he regarded yes no prognoses, generated by a coin flip, as a purposeful aid when making decisions.

Delphi attracted the common people, the bourgeoisie and even the famous people of those times. Oedipus, Croesus and Alexander the Great are three well-known names who received a prophecy from Pythia. Whether Socrates also was among them is debatable. But according to writings the famous place was at least a small part of his philosophical world of thought.

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