The Delphic Oracle III: The Seeker

In our two prior communications regarding The Oracle at Delphi, we explored The Pythia and The Scribe. They embodied aspects of the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine. Arguably, these two entities held great power in their oracular roles. It would be shortsighted, however, to exclude the third aspect of the Oracle, which were the individuals who traveled to receive the spoken and transcribed prophecies.

We shall explore three labels given to them, in ascending order of power, with channeled works of art to illustrate their energetic qualities.

The Supplicant:

The Oracle at Delphi (detail) by Camillo Miola

The word “supplicant” derives from the Latin word “supplico” meaning “kneel, bow down, request.” The energy of the supplicant was very weak. They no doubt feared the Oracle’s prophecies, trembling inside as they approached the Pythia. Their requests were servile in nature. They gave away all of their power to the Oracle’s proclamations, and hoped that the prophecy received would not spell their demise.

The Petitioner:

Lycurgus Consulting the Pythia (1835/1845) by Eugène Delacroix

The word “petitioner” has a varied etymology, and means “presenter of a formal petition, a supplicant for a favor.” Although the word “supplicant” appears in the definition, the word “petitioner” has more power, due to its focus on the energy exchange involved in order to receive their oracle. They would bring offerings to the Temple of Apollo, including laurel branches, gifts of money, and a sacrificed ram. They were deferential to the Oracle; however, because of their offerings, they did not “bow down” in spirit, in the manner of a supplicant. In truth, the supplicant proffered the same gifts, but were not empowered enough to internally demand a favorable prophecy from the Oracle.

The Consultant:

Alexander Consulting the Oracle of Apollo (1789) by Louis-Jean-François Lagrenée

The word “consultant” in your modern day language means “one who provides expert advice professionally.” Indeed, someone who has enough knowledge and years of experience to charge a “consulting fee” is highly esteemed. However, the origin of the word means to “seek counsel” as in the case of those who traveled to the Oracle at Delphi. Energetically speaking, the consultant has the most power, because this label doesn’t focus on bowing down, nor does it focus on expectations for gifts offered. Quite the opposite; it is the pure vibration of seeking Truth.

We conclude this communication by citing one of the recorded prophecies provided by the Delphic Oracle. In 403 BC, Lysander, the military leader who commanded the Spartan fleet and won Peloponnesian War, was warned by the Oracle to beware “also the dragon (serpent), earthborn, in craftiness coming behind thee.” He was slain from behind in 395 BC by Neachorus, who had a serpent painted upon his shield.

Is it possible that the Spartan victor believed that he could not be defeated from an opponent in his shadow? Or, did Lysander silently dismiss the Oracle’s reference to the dragon as old mythology?

A great leader and commander would indeed have sought further counsel, either from his advisors to decipher the Oracle’s prophecy, or powerful mystics and seers.

Lysander, full of pride, evidently did neither.

In our next communication, we shall explore together the interplay between the first three elements of The Oracle.

With all of our love,

We are The Oracle

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