Monday, November 20, 2006

Where Once a Pythia

I've been asked, "What is a Pythia?" A Pythia was the priestess at Apollo's ancient oracle in Delphi (once considered the center point of the Earth). The name comes from Python, the dragon that was slain by Apollo. A believer would make a sacrifice and present a question to a male priest. The male priest would then present the question to the Pythia. The Pythia sat on a bronze tripod in the adytum, or inner chamber of Apollo's temple. In this sacred chamber the spirit of Apollo overcame the Pythia and inspired the prophecy. Some mythic traditions say the Pythia's trance was induced by vapors from a chasm below the temple or from chewing laurel leaves. According to some stories, the oracle spoke on only one day of the year. Below, is a poem I wrote in honor of the Pythia:
Where Once a Pythia ©

Sacred oracles of Delphi
‘Tis here I’ve heard the answers be.
Amongst the whispers of the oak,
Goddess of earth – I do invoke.

This very spot, two birds traverse:
The center of the Universe.
Holy naval of mother Gaia,
Open up and speak to me.

On this one day of this one year,
When mortals dare speak to God’s ear,
I’ve traveled far within my depth,
For the anointment of thy breath.

Upheaval winds of Typhon’s rage!
Unlocks the door to Python’s cage.
Dormant dragon coiled within,
‘Tis time to wake and shed thy skin.

Armor falls into abyss . . .
I lay here in my nakedness.
Helios burns right through my soul.
Phoenix rises with spirit whole.

Sacred oracles of Delphi,
Where once a Pythia was me,
Apollo spoke the word of Zeus
‘Tis here I come to find my truth.


JLCGULL said...

I like oracles. Is that a picture of the Delphic Temple? I seldom fly near Greece. This is my first visit to your blog. You seem very creative. I am just a bird. Thank you.

Pythia3 said...

Yes, jlcgull, that is the Delphic Temple.
And, a bird is never "just" a bird.