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Dec 15, 2014
"The Pythias excerpted from Secret History of the Witches" by Max Dashu
"I count the grains of sand on the beach and measure the sea
I understand the speech of the mute and hear the voiceless
— Delphic Oracle [Herodotus, I, 47]
" and waters flowed from a spring. The place was called Delphoi (“Womb”).
In its cave sanctuary lived a shamanic priestess called the Pythia —Serpent
Woman. Her prophetic power came from a she-dragon in the Castalian spring,
whose waters had inspirational qualities. She sat on a tripod, breathing vapors
that emerged from a deep cleft in the Earth, until she entered trance and
prophesied by chanting in verse.
The shrine was sacred to the indigenous Aegean earth goddess. The
Greeks called her Ge, and later Gaia. Earth was said to have been the first Delphic
priestess. [Pindar, fr. 55; Euripides, Iphigenia in Taurus, 1234-83.
This idea of Earth as the original oracle and source of prophecy was widespread. The Eumenides
play begins with a Pythia intoning, “First in my prayer I call on Earth, primeval prophetess...” [Harrison, 385] Ancient Greek tradition held that there had once been an oracle of Earth at the Gaeion in Olympia, but it had disappeared by the 2nd century. [Pausanias, 10.5.5; Frazer on Apollodorus, note, 10] The oracular cave of Aegira, with its very old wooden image of Broad-bosomed Ge, belonged to Earth too. [Pliny, Natural History 28. 147; Pausanias 7, 25]