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Oracles were probably the closest forerunners to modern psychics. Like shamen, oracles entered altered states of consciousness and predicted the future. Both shared the distinction of being public figures who served larger social and political functions, such as advising their leaders.
With rare exceptions, shamen were male, whereas oracles were female. The role of the oracle was more passive than that of the shaman – oracles did not claim to visit “other worlds” or bring about changes in nature. Their primary function was to counsel their clients about the future and the consequences of their present courses of action.
The oracle is most clearly illustrated in ancient Greece and Rome. In Greece, oracles were associated with the temples of various deities. The most important temple was at Delphi where the god, Apollo, was worshipped. The oracles at Delphi were young women who took the name Pyhthia.
Typically, the young women entered into trances or trance-like states and delivered messages from the gods, acting as intermediaries between a divine order and the concerns of their clients. Sometimes they delivered their messages spontaneously. Usually, however, their answers were given in response to specific questions. Local priests or priestesses provided interpretation.
Not just anyone could consult an oracle. Money, position and power were important criteria in establishing a direct pipeline to the gods. Although oracles did not charge fees for their services, they expected gifts, such as jewels, clothing, property, food – items appropriate to the client’s position and status.
Oracles also played an important role in Rome culture. The Romans passed a law in 150 B.C., which decreed that oracles must be consulted before adopting important laws or resolutions. Before he became emperor, Vespasian consulted an oracle to determine the future course of his career. He was given a vision indicating that he would be elevated to emperor.
Predictions also could backfire. The healer, Appolonius, was brought to trial in Rome for correctly predicting a plague at Ephesus. The prosecutor’s assumption was that anyone capable of that kind of accuracy must have had something to with its occurrence. Had the news been positive, no one probably would have been concerned about such a connection.
The successes of oracular predictions are mixed. As with modern psychics, there were misses as well as spectacular hits.
An interesting report by the Greek historian, Herodotus, involves King Coresus of Lydia who, as one commentator notes, probably initiated the first crude experiment in parapsychology. Croesus tested different oracles in order to obtain the very best advice for an upcoming campaign. He commanded his messengers to seek out the oracles at various temples and to ask them what he, Croesus, would be doing one-hundred days henceforth, and to return to him with the message. All but one, the oracle at Delphi, failed the test. Among other things, she told his messenger that he was preparing a special meal of tortoise and lamb cooked in a double brass pan. In fact, Croesus was doing just that, and rewarded the oracle handsomely.
READ THE ENTIRE CHAPTER and learn about the history of palmistry, Shamen, astrology, I Ching, Tarot. Digital Download via Amazon.
Check out other chapters from Selecting Your Psychic, from Main Street Wall Street that you can purchase independently.
- Chapter I-Introduction: [Amazon]
- Free Will and the Future: [Amazon]
- What do Skeptics Say? [Amazon]
ABOUT VICTORIA LYNN WESTON
Victoria lynn Weston is a recognized intuitive and psychic consultant who provides insights for individuals, business owners and executives. As a motivational speaker, she has spoken to executives from Henry Ford Health Systems, RTM (Arby’s Franchise) where she teaches executives how to tap into their own power of intuition to make successful marketing strategies, investments or hiring the right employee. Victoria has been a radio host of “Power Predictions” in Atlanta, Georgia and a featured guest on dozens of radio, television shows and print media including; the Atlanta PARADE magazine, The Atlanta Business Journal, ABC Talk Radio; CNBC; BUSINESS WEEK Online; INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE, WIRED NEWS and THE NEW YORK TIMES. She has worked as a professional psychic/intuitive consultant also known as “the corporate psychic” for 15 years. Victoria is also the President and Founder of MediaQuire.com.