The Power of the Pythia: In ancient times the most renowned prophetess was based at the oracle at Delphi. She was gifted with miraculous powers, not only to give prophecy but also to bring about magic through the powers of the gods she channeled. For centuries people have been searching for the key to her power – Hercules stole the tripod on which she sat thinking that it must be the key, Hadrian breathed in the fumes from the vent over which she sat hoping for some of her inspiration. Even today people are speculating, did she have visions after being bitten by a snake, was she ingesting extract of laurel or burning their leaves?
Yet, if we read the writing of Plutarch (who was a priest of Apollo at Delphi) the answer is clear. He states that her abilities were a result of many years of intense training. If you read carefully he even gives a hint as to her powers work. “The soul has great powers of memory. But memory is the hearing of silent things and the sight of invisible things. Hence it is not remarkable if, having power over what no longer exists, it grasps in advance many of the things that have not yet happened.”