by Eric Whollem
mixed media on paper
Collection of the artist
9" x 6"
COPYRIGHT BY THE ARTIST
A TRIBUTE TO THE PYTHIA
The Pythia or the Pythoness is the name of the oracle of Delphi
in ancient Greece. She is usually associated with a three fold stool,
as depicted in the painting above.
She would inhale intoxicating fumes that emanated from a natural
source at Olympus where her shrine was set in the mountains of
Greece. Priests would write down her inpsired utterances which
were her reponses to inquiries from people who would arrive
from all across the ancient world.
The Pythoness was named for a great serpent that used to be kept
at Delphi. Acaean invaders who came into Greece are said to have
slain the great serpent (a symbol of the matriarchy) and established
the sun god Apollo as hierarch of the oracular center.
PICTOGRAPHIC ELEMENTS IN THIS PAINTING
As the archaic pictographs of the world are considered by some as
shamanic, or otherwise inspired writings, I took the artistic liberty of
incorporating pictographic elements into the image above.
At Mt. Sinai in Egypt, for example, there are petroglyphs that appear
to resemble in form the rock art of prehistoric California. Whether
this is diffusionism or the collective unconscious at work is too broad
a question for a concise answer here in this blog post.
However, as an artist who has taken as one of his artistic directives
the assimilation of prehistoric California pictographic arts into the
idtom of his art, I have made of the Pythia my own Californian version.
In fact the Pythia has often been treated by myself as a theme, insofar
as she has univeral appeal, as an exemplification of the ancient mysteries.
Read more about the PYTHIA on Wikipedia:
See more of my posts that deal with PICTOGRAPHS AND PETROGLYPHS:
THE VIDEO BELOW
ANALYZES PICTOGRAPHIC ART