A Brief History of the Prophetic Arts
Victoria lynn WestonÂ takes a Â look at Oracles and The Greeks
Psychic phenomena has intrigued and captivated people throughout history. Â It is found in most cultures, in one form or another, from the most primitive to the most technologically advanced. For those involved in the prophetic arts, it is fair to say that the historical and trans-cultural fascination with psychic phenomena serves certain basic human needs, and in some cases possesses a social usefulness, as well.
This is a brief excerpt from my book,Â Selecting Your Psychic, From Main Street to Wall Street. Â We willÂ clarify the prevailing profile of psychics and their abilities by exploring some of their historical roots. Â Consulting today’s psychic is an activity with an extensive and diverse history.
Â The Romans passed a law in 150 B.C., which decreed that oracles ust be consulted before adopting important laws or resolutions. Â Before heÂ becameÂ emperor, Vespasian consulted an oracle toÂ determineÂ the future course of his career. Â He was given a vision indicating that he would be elevated Â to emperor.Â
Oracles were probably the closest forerunners to modern psychics. Â 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. Â 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. Â Their primary function was to consel their clients about the future and the consquences of their present courses of action.
The oracle is most clearlyÂ illustratedÂ in ancient Greece and Rome. In Greece, oracles were associated with the temples of various deities. The most important temple was at Delphi were the god, Apollo, wasÂ worshiped. Â 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. Â Sometimes they delivered their messages spontaneously. Â Usually, however, their answers were given in response to specific questions. Â 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. Â 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 payed an important role in Roman culture. Â The Romans passed a law in 150 B.C., which decreed that oracles ust be consulted before adopting important laws or resolutions. Â Before heÂ becameÂ emperor, Vespasian consulted an oracle toÂ determineÂ the future course of his career. Â He was given a vision indicating that he would be elevated Â to emperor.
Predictions also could backfire. Â The healer, Appolonius, was brought to trial in Rome for correctly predicting a plague at Ephesus. Â The prosecutor’s assumption was that anyone capable of that kind of accuracy must have had something to do with it’s occurrence. Â Had the news been positive, no one probably would have been concerned about such a connection.
The successes of oracular predictions are mixed. Â As with modern psychics, there were misses as well as spectacular hits.
An interesting report by the Greek historian, Herodotus, involves King Croesus of Lydia who, as one commentator notes, probablyÂ initiatedÂ the first crude experiment in para-psychology. Croesus tested different oracles in order to obtain the very best advice for an upcoming campaign. Â 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. Â All but one, the oracle at Delphi, failed the test. Â 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.
Victoria lynn WestonÂ is a recognized intuitive and psychic consultant who provides insights for individuals, business owners and executives. Â As a motivational speaker, she teaches executives how to tap into their own power of intuition to make successful marketing strategies, investments or hiring the right employee.
Victoria consults with individuals from around the globe, her psychic readings sessions are conducted by telephone, email or in person.Â She encourages individuals to prepare specific questions to maximize a session. [Read more]