spiritual strongholds: rulers, powers, princes, and principalities in the high places….
The Deplhi sanctuary is located on a slope on the mountainous range of Krisa below Mount Parnassos. It can be reached by means of a road along the mountain ranges or from Corinth. Other than the sanctuary, it is also the site of the Pythian Games.
The first diviner of Deplhi oracle was the mother of the gods, Gaia, The second was her daughter, Themis and the third the female Titan, Phoibos. Apollo slew Python, the guardian of Gaia’s oracle, making himself master of the oracle. (Python was the daughter of Gaia. Because he had killed a god, as punishment Apollo have to leave Delphi every three months during winter in addition to the eight years he served to cleanse himself of his sin of murder. He buried her underneath the omphalos). The temple in Delphi was dedicated to Apollos.
Another story was that Zeus wishing to find the centre of the earth sent two eagles to the ends of the earth and they met at Delphi thus making it the centre or ‘navel’ of the earth. An omphalos (navel stone) mark the centre of the earth.
The Apollonian oracle was the most celebrated and venerated place in the ancient world. It was a powerful spiritual stronghold in a high place. It was the centre of the earth. It also became one of the richest from offerings from the many Greeks and barbarian city-states. Croesus, king of Lydia sent a lion of solid gold weighing 250kg, set up a pyramid made of 117 bricks of “white gold.” The oracle were protected by Phoibos during the Persian wars when huge boulders rolled down the hill on the invaders.
Delphi owed it fame to that fact that Apollos himself spoke through the Pythia. The Pythia was a woman over 50 years. No one know how she was selected. Yet, for nine days of the year when she spoke, the whole ancient world listened. Modern men tried to explain the trances, the ecstasies and oracles of the Pythia by noting that she breathed vapours from the ‘chasm of earth’, chewing laurel leaves and drinking from the water of the Kassotis spring (which contained “hydroflurocarbonate”). Another explanation may be that of a supernatural order. There seem to be a strong linkage to goddess worship which leads all the way to Gaia.
Many scholars offer evidence to support the idea that the Pythia was an office originating in the cult of Gaia. Dempsey states that the office of the Pythia was always held by a female (originally a virgin, but later at least fifty years old and married) and he points out the connection between the Pythia’s gender and the cult of Mother Earth (53-55). Dempsey also points out that the ecstatic nature of the Pythia’s prophecy was an abundant characteristic in the cult of Gaia (53-5). A detailed account of the frenzy or mania of the Pythia is presented when Appius Claudius Pulcher visits the oracle at Delphi in Lucan’s Civil War (5.64-236). Additionally, many scholars believe that the Python’s death at the hand of Apollo symbolized the change in oracles at Delphi (Powell 172). more
There may be a linkage to the spirit possessing the slave girl in Acts 16:16-19. As Kar Yong shows, the spirit may be the Python, daughter of Gaia. It is interesting to note how the Enemy twist the words to change its meaning. Note the “telling you to the way to be saved” and “telling you a way to be saved.” By one ‘article’ the meaning changed. Jesus instead of the way becomes a way. Reminds me of another incident when another serpent said to Eve, “You will not surely die” (Gen.3:4). A twist of words makes a world of difference.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Eph. 6:12 NIV)
May God have mercy