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The Oracle of Delphi


Pythia was the high priestess of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, also known as the Oracle, a role that was fulfilled by a series of women throughout the temple's history. She is depicted here, seated above an opening in the ground where she would inhale vapors that "provided a divine state of possession," and foretell cryptic prophecies believed to be words of the gods. In one hand she holds a laurel branch, in which god was believed to live. In the other is a bowl of water for scrying. These techniques are still used by modern day muses, witches, and fortune tellers.

 

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