Once upon a time back before modern times, way, way before television and social media, people had a way to get answers from a loving and caring spirit world. When a war was about to be fought, the kings sent an envoy to the oracular centers of the old world, places like Eleusis or Delphi to inquire of the Fates, via their priestesses, if the war would go their way or not. It was a wiser time, when men knew still that wars no matter how well they were fought could backfire or earn the wrath of the Fates. In a way it was social etiquette to inquire humbly at the shrines of the Goddess, what to do about matters of state, marriages, and children about to marry.
In order to receive this counsel, the people brought gifts to the temple, live stock, salt, spices, and of course gold and silver coins if they had any.
The priestess would then prepare herself through many rituals to center her mind, climb onto her tripod, and listen to the questions from the people… deepen about it. And when she was deeply entranced, she uttered the answers. Most of the time, the people were the only ones who asked the question and understood what the answers were. And that is how oracular messages were received. Oracular means to hear, to understand.
I have spent a considerable amount of time preparing myself to be an oracular priestess. In modern times, it’s mostly about the study of ancient symbols, and their ever nuanced meaning. I spent three years solid studying the Tarot. And, I have practiced other methods of oracular activity, which I gleaned from the great Merlin Stone (goddess kiss her soul).
One thing I know for sure, you cannot just jump into oracular prophesies without a deepening first. The priestess and audience must undergo some centering rituals, some high quality incense must help relax the modern mind. The modern mind is not in tune with these old ways.
The modern mind wants answers, yes, but it wants it in modern terms, not in symbols and metaphors. This is why we have to make the modern brain step aside.
As a Tarot devotee, this is the single hardest part of getting into the souls wisdom… stepping aside with the modern brain’s opinions, and attitudes, and impatience. You have to steady this part of your mind. Lull it to escape somewhere else, but keep the right brain alert, the magical brain, which is the one who plugs you into your own intuitive self.
There was a lot of literature about how the priestesses who sat on the tripods inhaled some fumes coming from the earth herself. At Delphi, this old knowledge was scientifically explained. It seems the temple sits on top of two fault lines coming together right at the place of the temple. So, methane could have leaked from those schisms.
It does get you woozy, but not high. I prefer the story about the slabs of hash burning gently below the tripods, and inhaling the fumes of that does make you high.
The priestess usually sat with the question awhile, and then when she “heard” the answer she uttered it. The people hung on her every word, and usually got what they wanted… an otherworldly point of view on their very earthy problems.
I also practiced an instant prophesy version. After some centering, one woman I covered with a black or blue scarf, making her the oracle. Then, another woman in the circle would stand up and request an answer to her question. The woman under the scarf had a chance to listen deeply to her spirit, and answer it if she could. Women were amazed how accurate they could be almost right away. Such experiences strengthen the belief that we are not alone. We don’t live in only a visible world, but an invisible world as well. Just like the universe we live in, some objects reflect light, others don’t. What we see is only what reflects light; hence our eyes were made for that. But our souls can see beyond, hear beyond the grave. It’s exciting.
My mother was one of those oracular beings, who didn’t need much to KNOW. When she looked at you she also heard your story. She knew where you came from and what bothers you. She was a medium, an artist, an oracular priestess. She was a Piscean and I am an Aquarian. For this kind of oracular work her sign was better suited, but all signs can and have become oracular.
The best place to practice this kind of reclaiming is in nature. In nature you can engage the entire environment in helping you sort things out. First you make an agreement with yourself, and nature.
When I ask my question, if I see a bird fly off from the east it means yes, if the bird flies from the west it’s a no. All other directions you can assign a meaning as well. Then sit and wait. It won’t be long when the birds begin their answers. After you have received your clear answer leave some foods for the birds, bread crumbs, or buy some seeds from the pet store and leave it out for the wild life.
Oracular conciseness is a fine skill. But you must not allow it to take over every decision you have to make. If you abuse the spiritual powers, or insult it with over repetitions, not getting it, forcing it over and over again, the entire hot line to the oracular forces will be cut off. So be careful and respect the lines that can be plugged in to the infinite wisdom of nature.
Zsuzsanna “Z” Budapest, D.Min (h.c.), is the founding mother of the Women’s Spirituality Movement. Z founded the Goddess College, an online school for the Dianic tradition and Goddess studies for women. She authored nine books embracing spirituality; including The Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries, Grandmother Moon, Celestial Wisdom and Summoning the Fates. She has appeared on several TV shows and documentaries, as well as hosting her own show, 13th Heaven. Through her non-profit organization, Women’s Spirituality Forum, Z’s vision for the future is that of peace and abundance, expressed in female values, to dominate the world’s consciousness.