Thursday, December 6, 2012

Delphi, Greece, Dec. 2012

Having rented a wonderful little Hyundai from Budget at the airport on return to Crete I got instruction on how to get to Delphi. "Go to Lamia and ask directions there." Naturally I got lost coming out of the airport and found my way to Piraeus, the Port of Athens. I almost got a hotel there but saw a sign for Lamia and headed on. Very adventurous night driving. The Greek have a terrific freeway system with speeds that vary up to 120 km/hr. The roads change routinely from 4 lane to 2 lane. I arrived safely nonetheless, driving outside of Athens or major cities being no more difficult than cross country in Canada. I stayed the night in the Pan Hotel. This was excellent accommodation for 35 euro. Down the street was a great little shop where I bought a book on Delphi and a plague of St. George. He turns up everywhere here and consequently I have my friend George on my mind positively. I also got a pizza next door to the shop and took it back to my room. I figure what's the sense of having a very fine room if I didn't use it. I didn't dream any oraculous thoughts but did sleep surprisingly well, my biological clock back on track. The view from the room in the morning was spectacular. DSCN0412
DSCN0478In the morning I loaded the car
and headed over the the ruins. Realtors say everything is location. This World Heritage site is truly a marvel of nature expanded on by man. The atmosphere was what was moving. Thousands of year of worshippers, seeking God in some form or other, have come here. There's a stillness and calm to the place with the most exultant view. I loved just walking among the ruins or sitting for a while and meditating on the beauty of this natural scared and spiritual place. The ruins were impressive especially the remains of the Sanctuary of Apollo and the stadium. This is where games occured regularly keeping Greek athletic and fit for combat. I especially loved the Delphi Omphalos. Zeus made Delphi the 'navel of the world". I also loved all the cyprus. And of course there was a theatre with marble seating.

 Delphi comes from Delphus for womb and the original priestess served Ge or Gaia, mother of earth. Later the sanctuary transferred to Apollo and also Athena. The spring of Kastalia was where supplicants cleansed and were purified before coming to the oracle. I drank from the spring and washed my face with the cool clear water. I trust it has it's desired effects.The first priestess were mariners from Crete and they worshipped Apollo as a dolphin. The oracles successes were such that many gifts were given and riches stored here resulting is several wars over the spoils of the sacred. Politically it has been suggested that the Delphians ran a most astute intelligence network and their answers influence greatly the affairs of the day over the 600 years it was more important. The oracles were ambiguous. A famous one was when Croesus, King of Lydia, asked if he would defeat the Persians. The oracle replied, if Croesus crosses the River Halys, a great power would be destroyed. Croesus taking it in a positive light, crossed the river and was thoroughly defeated by the Persians proving the oracle right. DSCN0455


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