Music: Bright Hawk and Jeffrey Rodgers

The Oracle of Delphi


Michelangelo's Delphic Sibyl
One of the most famous oracles of the ancient world, Delphi, located on the side of Mount Parnassus in Greece, received visitors from all over the ancient world. The temple at Delphi was originally dedicated to Gaia, the Greek pantheon’s mother goddess, and then to the serpent Python, known as Pythia in older versions of the myth. Later, Apollo was said to have killed Python, but the priestesses were still known as the Pythia. Each Pythia, or Sybil, served for a maximum of nine months advising generals, kings, and commoners who came to ask questions. The Pythia sat on a three-legged stool over a fissure in the ground from which vapors rose. The vapors are said to have contained ethylene, a sweet-smelling gas known to produce visions and an exalted state of mind.

Sometime around the birth of Christ, the oracle fell silent. Recent geological surveys suggest that the vent was redirected due to movement of the Earth or other topographical changes. In this journey you will have an opportunity to learn directly as a Sybil in ancient Delphi.


The Auditorium at Delphi