Pythia was the name given to the priestesses who served at the oracle of Delphi. People would make the pilgrimage from all over the Mediterranean to consult it. The oracles’ origins stem from when Zeus wanted to find the world’s center and released two Eagles from opposite ends of the earth to find it. They settled at Delphi, so a stone, marking the “navel” of the earth, was placed there as a monument. The sacred spot became a place of Gaia worship and was guarded by a dragon called the Python.
The god Apollo slew the dragon and its rotting flesh was left to putrefy back into the site. Apollo made his temple here the female priestesses who worked there were named after this dead python. The inner sanctum of Delphi centered around the cleft in the earth, (the “Navel”), which emitted a gas from the remains of the Python. The aroma put the Pythia into a trance and it is believed this altered state inspired their prophecies. The women were mainly maidens or crones, those who were childless. The chosen ones who were married had to give up their family life.
To make their prophesies the Pythia would sit on a golden tripod gazing into a bowl of water. While holding a bunch of laurel leaves she would inhale the vapours or sacred pneuma that arose from the cleft. Some commentators say the gases were hallucinogenic causing the Pythia to speak gibberish which the male priests then translated into prophecy. But pneuma is Greek for breath, so these priestesses could simply have been meditating. The oracular sessions were reported to have been exhausting and the Pythia’s health suffered. They did not live long lives, so it is thought rather than them getting high on gas, they actually took a small amount of snake venom to induce the ecstatic states needed to receive the prophetic messages. The Pythia were said to go through purification rituals and fasting once a month, which would suggest they constantly needed to detox as a result of regular consumption of the poisonous snake venom.
Asteroid Pythia Discovery Chart
Asteroid Pythia 432 is a main belt asteroid as discovered on the 18 December 1897, its orbital period is 3.6 years. Before I looked the chart I suspected that Pluto (The cleft in the earth) and Neptune (The gases or venom) would be prominent. Not surprisingly then Pythia herself is conjunct Pluto and Black Moon Lilith is close by. Pluto opposite Venus is a Persephone signature; worship at the Delphic oracle was seasonal and was closed for the winter period. Persephone also had to kiss goodbye to her family in order to meet with Pluto. (The cleft = Underworld.) Even Pluto is on Rigel in Orion’s foot, The one that was stung by the scorpion (venom). The Sun is on Acumen, the stinger of the scorpion itself and also Etamin, the eye of the dragon (The Python),
The Moon is trine psychic Neptune. This is a very busy and fortunate part of the sky for Neptune, which would give the skills needed in divination. It is close to three stars. Firstly on Phact in the dove “ This fixed star gives a touch of genius and medium-ship.” Of course this will be the bringer of good news from the spirits too. Neptune on Capella “Prominent psychological writer, high ambitions, studious”. Neptune on El Nath “occult interests, may make discoveries in medicine, may become famous” and El Nath generally “gives fortune, eminence and neutrality for good or evil” . the latter a quality particularly needed in an oracular priestess. However Mars is opposite Neptune and can be associated with addiction. The Mars happens to be on Ras Alhague, the Snake Charmer, wrestling with that temptation. The snake and venom theme is strong so I do wonder whether the Pythia did take snake venom as suggested.
Moon square Mercury is the challenge of translating and interpreting the oracle (Moon trine Neptune) Mercury is important as it rules scribes and divination. It is on Dheneb in the tail of the eagle. “Influence over others, clairvoyance, a keen penetrating mind.” Aquilla the Eagle according to Manilus “The Eagle, soars to the heights, the bird of mighty Jupiter carrying thunderbolts, it is a bird worthy of Jupiter and the sky” very apt since it was Jupiter that founded Delphi in the first place.
Pythia in Astrology
There are a few themes here, the most obvious being the talent for divination, but also the reputation of delirious ranting that goes with it. There is also the problem of whether one thinks one needs to take some kind of drug in order to prophesy, or if you can do it naturally through just using ones sacred breath.
Pythia, can be seen as deluded and paranoid, prophesying doom and gloom or; (without the drugs), a serene and wise prophet. Harsh aspects from the outer planets may indicate the former, harmonious aspects from the inner planets the latter. It mostly depends on how evolved the soul is.
Pythia conjunct Sun, Moon or the angles may give extraordinary gifts in tarot reading, interpreting dreams and symbols or talents in creating surrealist art or literature. Tight aspects to personal planets seem to give divination ability also. Pythia strong in a chart could also be a ability to connect with people who have a severe mental illness, being able to represent and speak on behalf of them. The subject may feel torn between their family life and their spiritual life. Negatively this could be addictions distancing one away from ones children.
Find Pythia In Your Chart
1. Create your chart HERE.
2. Choose “Extended Chart Selection”.
3. In “additional asteroids or hypothetical planets” add 432