Home | Online Bookstore | How Do I Meet Witches or Find a Coven? | Thirteen Treasures Study Course
Celtic Resources | Women and Religion | Irish Resources | Shaman Resources | Tantra Resources | Herbal Resources
Welsh Resources | Astrology | Etruscans | Druidry | Delphi Oracle | Feng Shui | Knights Templar | Survival | Picts | Mithra
Magick Crystals | UK Pagan Contacts | Articles, Notes, & Writings | Free Spritual Counseling & Healing | Search Engines
Click on one of the above titles to go directly to another resource or the Home Page.
Delphi Resources and References
Books | Online Resources
If you are interested in Spiritual Enlightenment...Click HERE or on the Red Dragon Below. You will be taken to a page which will reveal the gateway to becoming Enlightened.
Kindle format. Go to Barnes and Noble for Nook format.
Click on the below image and read the Quest - you will discover the secret Grail of Immortality. Then click on and read the Way and finally The Word. The three books are available in
All who donate will
receive a 23 page professional Horoscope!
To Donate by Credit Card click on the Button Below
Thank You for Whatever you can do.
The Tholos Temple, Sanctuary of Athena Pronaia
One hundred miles northwest of Athens, soaring high above the Gulf of Corinth, stands the holy mountain called Parnassus. Nestled amidst the pine forested slopes and rocky crags of the sacred peak are the beautiful and exceptionally well preserved ruins of Delphi. A city of wondrous artistic achievements and grand athletic spectacles during the flowering of Greek culture in the first millennium BC, Delphi is best know however as the supreme oracle site of the ancient Mediterranean world.
According to the earliest legends the site was originally a sacred place of the earth goddess Gaia (also called Ge) and was guarded by her daughter, the serpent Python. Later legends state that the site was the center of the world as determined by the god Zeus. Two eagles had been released by Zeus from opposite ends of the earth and following great flights across the skies they finally met at Delphi. A still later legend relates that Apollo, the son of Zeus, came from his home atop Mt. Olympus to Mt. Parnassus to slay the great serpent Python. Fleeing from the peak Python sought safety in the sanctuary of the Earth Mother at Delphi. Apollo relentlessly pursued Python however, and violently claimed the site. Apollo then repented of his crime, purified himself and, returning to Delphi, persuaded Pan (the goat-god of wild places and evocative music) to reveal to him the art of prophecy. Upon the site of the battle, Apollo erected his own oracular temple and, at the exact place where he had 'speared' the serpent, an omphalos stone was set in the ground.
This omphalos stone (meaning 'center of the earth' to the ancient Greeks) later became the center of the inner sanctum of the shrine of the Delphic oracle. The site was originally called Pytho, after the guardian serpent. It was renamed Delphi after the dolphin (delphis in Greek) whose form Apollo took in order to bring Cretan sailors to Delphi so that they might become priests in his new temple. Regarding the omphalos, one legend tells that the original stone, now lost, was a large meteorite fallen from the sky in deepest antiquity. The omphalos stone currently on display in the Delphi museum, while very old and indeed from Delphi, is thus not the original sacred stone. It is interesting to inspect this exhibited stone however, for its conical form and sculptural designs derive from the old pillar and tree worship of the prehistoric goddess cults.
Archaeologically (as contrasted to the mythological discussion above) we know but little about the early beginnings of Delphi. Excavations have revealed the site was a Mycenean village from 1500 to 1100 BC, during which time the primary religious emphasis was on an oracular cult of the Earth Goddess. Around 1000 BC the worship of Apollo became dominant when this new god was brought to the region by either Dorians from Crete or northern tribes from Thessaly. The oracular use of the site continued during Apollo's occupation and, through the endeavors of politically astute priests, Delphi achieved Panhellenic fame as a major oracle shrine by the 7th century BC. Women, who were considered more sensitive than men to the oracular powers of the site, would first bathe in the waters of the nearby sacred Castalian spring (said to have been created when the winged-horse Pegasus struck the ground with his hoof, and to be haunted by the three Muses). Next they would drink from the sacred Kassotis spring and then, sitting in meditation near the omphalos stone, would enter into a visionary trance state. (Many past and even some contemporary accounts of the history of Delphi suggest that the oracular priestesses, known as Pythia, sat upon a chair situated over a fissure in the earth from which emanated trance-inducing vapors. Geologists and archaeologists have found no evidence of such a crack in the earth and, furthermore, scholars are now able to show the idea of an earth fissure to be a fabrication from post-Delphic times.) Questions regarding the future would be asked of these women communing with the oracle. The answers, interpreted by male priests and then spoken in verse, proved so accurate that the Delphic oracle came to exercise enormous political and social influence in the Greek empire for nearly a thousand years. For a variety of reasons, too lengthy to discuss here, the Delphic oracle was in decline by the 1st century AD and the last recorded oracle was in 362 AD. The arrival of the new god of Christianity signaled the death knoll of the ancient Greek oracle shrines and Delphi was abandoned to the elements.
Peering through the veils of legend and myth we may discern at Delphi the story of a very ancient goddess sacred site being later taken over by a people whose primary deity was a male god. The 'spearing' of the serpent may simultaneously be interpreted as the marking of the energy beam point (a small area of concentrated energy at a power place) with a spear of stone and also the symbol of the masculine usurpation of a feminine deity shrine. The omphalos stone, and the earlier marker stone it replaced, were used to gather, concentrate, and emanate the energies of the power place for the benefit of the local people. From earliest times the particular energy of the site had been recognized to induce prophetic visions in people and as a consequence a religious cult had developed over time.
The photograph shows remains of the Tholos temple at the Sanctuary of Athena Pronaia, with sacred Mt. Parnassus in the background. Located roughly one-half mile from the main concentration of buildings at Delphi, Athena Pronaia was the gateway to Delphi. The site, having been occupied since the Neolithic Period (5000-3000 BC) and later by the Myceneans, may actually predate Delphi as a sacred place. Originally dedicated to the worship of an Earth Goddess, the shrine was eventually occupied by Olympian deities, Athena in particular. A guardian of wisdom and spiritual consciousness, Athena continued the ancient veneration of the feminine principle and brought devotion to the Earth Mother into the Classical Age of Greece. The Tholos temple, built in the early 4th century BC, has an unusual circular shape. This shape, and the leaf-adorned capitals of its Corinthian columns are a representation of the sacred forest groves of the old Earth Goddess religion. Writing in The Earth, The Temple, and The Gods, Vincent Skully comments that "The omphalos, or navel, which was supposed to mark the center of the world, was kept in the sanctuary of Apollo's temple itself (in the center of nearby Delphi), but the Tholos of Athena's sanctuary more clearly seems to evoke the navel of the earth than does any other building there."
Here is a reading list which contains important books on Delphi topics. These are the best introductory texts available:
DELPHI ONLINE RESOURCES
There are several sites related to Delphi traditions with more coming online all the time. Some sites maintain excellent links to the best Delphi web pages.
For Further Information contact us Click Here to return to the main page
There have been visitors to this page since January 1, 2005
Copyright © 1977, 1992, 2003 by Celtic Church of Dynion Mwyn, Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: 03 Dec 2011 18:08:19 -0500
|This Site was Created by Camelot Press for
Celtic Church of Dynion Mwyn, Inc. For information on all individuals and organizations
listed in this website, or the name of a contact person in your area that can give you
further information on the Celtic Church of Dynion Mwyn, Let us hear from you! Click here to contact us.
You may also call us at 000-000-0000 If you access our voice mail, we will call you back
collect if long distance.
Or, you can write Dynion Mwyn, P.O. Box 673206, Marietta, GA 30006-0036