Goddess, Speak > Pythia

June, 13, 2014 new moon

During the tale end of working with Dhumavati in conjunction with the new moon, I was stuck and did not know who the next goddess would be.

Within a few nights, in the first week of June, I had a dream of two older eccentric men, possibly a couple, with glowing blue eyes and two paintings behind them. Although I knew there were two men, I could only see and interact with one. Both paintings behind him were black and white. One painting had a singular tunnel that went back into the illusion of space in a circular fashion. The other depicted two tunnels that came together to form a tunnel. In the space inside the centers of the tunnels I saw a white energy that moved through and up.

The man told me that his power came from being in commune with two streams and that all men who are powerful in the same way as he is has access to the streams. I understood the paintings to be a depiction of the two streams which then suddenly appeared. They were in the middle of the forest and looked more like vaporous white energy moving up and around the earth.

On going over this dream with my Jungian analyst, she mentioned Pythia, the Delphic Oracle.I took it as a sign for the second entity to invoke and although she is not a Goddess, much which is useful can be drawn from weaving her in this project.

There are a variety of descriptions for Pythia but what I found to be consistent in the sources is that she was a woman, she was chosen from the salt of the earth and she was in direct communication with the divine. Communication often began with the drinking from a special spring and inhaling sacred vapours, fumes and breath. The divine would then speak through her mouth. Originally, this divination was linked with the earth goddess Gaia but after some time she became a he, and he bore the name of Apollo.

“The earth goddess Gaia held the original power of oracle and through time the gift or oracular power was passed to her daughter Themis who then passed it to her sister Phoibe who then passed it on to Apollo as well as giving him her name.” (74, Portrait of a Priestess)

It is interesting to note that in this version of the myth, oracular powers were passed on as a gift from female to male while in a better known version, these powers were taken: Apollo took over by slaying the great Python that guarded Gaia at Delphi.

Python and Pythia…. I won’t deny that it’s hard for me not to see this ‘passage of power’ as an expression of a power shift in the masculine-feminine polarities. Based on my dream, my painting looks at an Oracle where the Oracle becomes an expression of plurality – a “they”, both masculine and feminine.

What I believe my dream and the emerging artwork want to offer is an alternative outcome to the story where the divine feminine does not disappear under the influence of patriarchy nor does she become a mouthpiece for masculine and for monotheistic expressions. I tend to view these elements as fluid changing symbols whose transformation represents dramatic shifts in consciousness that still feel effective today in their push and pull quality. Feminine and masculine expressions of power look and act very differently from one another. Pythia still remains a mystery. Perhaps, I should look at her to for support and inspiration in enhancing intuition, which is no small feat. Newmann states:

“The Delphic Pythia suggests the cultural significance of the intuition of woman. The sphere of the feminine. Primitive groups and collectives obtained their essential information from the intuitive faculty of the feminine nature which probably was originally governed by manticism… long remained predominant in manticism even after the pantheon of patriarchal gods supplanted it. (73, The Great Mother)

On the day of the full moon on June 13th, 2014 I met with Ami Ronnberg, national ARAS curator and author of The Book of Symbols. We talked about Pythia, symbols and the divine feminine. The archived
audio for this project will be available soon...

Pythia
Pythia
2016