Songs of the Oracle- Page 2

Athena Ponea-  Delphi My interest lay in another direction. In the Oracle is an example of a connection, a bridge, between the world of Man and that of Spirit, between a personal life and a transpersonal carrier of the values needed to make that life meaningful - and via a medium that is closely connected and associated with dreams. I won't go into the connections between shamanistic trance and dreams here, but I do want to mention that they are closely related and that our understanding of one adds to our understanding of the other.

Little is known about how the priestess achieved her trance connection. Some say drugs, some say a vapor came up through the ground, others say it corresponds to other techniques known by other matriarchal societies and passed down the female line mother to daughter just like the Indian and African witchdoctors, the Siberian Shamans or the South American Shamans passed techniques via the male line, father to son. Yet there is no proof of any of this, and though many people have strong opinons, how the priestess connected with the oracle is still being hotly debated.

What has become clear is that the site of Delphi is a newer, secondary site and the original site was a cave or caves high in the Parnassos mountains above the site at Delphi. Scholars and archeologists feel they have located this cave, the Corycian Carvern (Korikio Andron). I found a map in a book on the Delphic myth and brought it with me to Greece. After leaving Athens, Pat and I stayed in the "modern" hillside town of Delphi and had a chance to look for the cave. Maria's husband, the innkeeper at Hotel Athena in Delphi, drew another more detailed map for me to the place where the roads stop and a trail up the side of Parnassos begins. It was a nice morning and we went to a local bakery to load our backpacks with bread and powdered sugar cookies. I could locate the bakery blocks away from the smell of fresh breads.

I was struggling with the meaning of a dream I had that morning. In the dream I was being given a test. Seven rocks were placed before me and I knew I had not been trained well enough to take this test. But one of the assistants let slip enough of a clue to get me writing. The teacher threatened the assistant, but allowed me to go on with the clue, which was to use an imaginary system to describe a situation that had to be made clear to others.

I took the dream primarily as a cautionary note. I could continue to explore via the path of imagination, but needed to feel myself a participant in the process. Getting "help" was kind of like cheating, though not quite that severe. I decided to keep and eye out for the seven rocks and allow this to unfold as the day went on.

From the balcony we could hear singing. Down the street an old Greek man sat at a table in his little hillside yard smiling and waving to people as he sang and listened to an old radio. We drove out of the hillside town of Delphi and into cliffside town of Arahova where, after a few wrong turns and help from the locals, we were off in the right direction.

It was really nice to get away from the crowds. The day before we went to the Ancient Site of Delphi were bus loads of tourists were herded around in large groups. It was the European Spring Break, when the kids all go on classical tours. A touring group of school children from Italy arrived just before we went into the museum. We decided to wait for them to finish and leave. They could tolerate the museum for only a few moments so we were sure they would all be out soon. Dreadful little monsters compared to the Greek school children we encountered. The Greek children seem to still be so unspoiled, shy, fresh. The Italian school children were so sophisticated and socialized, busy strutting and teasing each other to go a little further, pushing the limits of the event. They were already teenagers!

To get away we climbed up to the stadium on the hill. I took a nap and had a dream. I am watching a woman in the dream. She appears to be an ancient Greek warrior. She has on her helmet three horses and in front of her swiming in the air are two dolphins.

Later when we returned to Athens I found an image of the "Varvakeion" Athena which has three pegasus on her helmet. At the time I simple felt starngley compelled to run around the stadium. Later, as other people came up to the stadium, we noticed that they too would often spontaneously break into a run or preform some kind of gymnastic feat.


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