For the Greek and Romans the Oracle of Delphi was a cultural institution. For more than 2000 years they went on a pilgrimage to Delphi to ask for guidance from the oracle. The legend tells that the consciousness expanding properties of the gasuous well were discovered by shepherds who found their sheep talking to them. 600 before Christ the tempel was built by Kleistenes in order to expand his political sphere.
Delphi had its zenith in the time from 800 to 500 before Christ. It was closed in 391 after Christ under Theodosius.

The predictions came from a woman, the Phytia, who was in a small chamber in a state of trance. This chamber of the temple was located above a well that carried the gas Ethylene. Through a hole in the ground plate the gas then passed through the Om-Phalos into the chamber.


Original Om-Phalos
Om-Phalos reconstruction
The Phytia got high as she stared into a bowl of water and inhaled the gas Ethylene that filled the small chamber. Then she "spoke in tongues" and the priests translated the message for the questioner.


These pictures show the Dionysian exstatic music and dance that took place in Epidauros.

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