On my first visit to the oracle of Gaia, my quest is for a spiritual guide to fill the role of earth- mother for me, a lyceum-age lad in need of guidance and discipline from a prophetess in the art of setting young men straight. My second chance to grow up comes under a capable Pythian Priestess well versed at divining the rods of young men. She is a strawberry-tressed priestess whose smoky mezzo timbre gives me a natural high and I instantly trust her.
Pythia invites me to join her religion of Delphic desire. Pythia awakens me to my need for a touch of fey in my song of life. My initiation into the temple of Gaia is the beginning of my pilgrimage into the mysteries of the sacred female.
On our first day, I decide to wear only a loincloth to introduce my up until now hidden concupiscence to the mix. I am dressed like a Greek Wrestler about to strip for the match. Pythia ignores my exhibitionist clothes focusing instead on the spirit journey at hand. She probes my soft underbelly with her penetrating heart to heart.
I sit with her in the cave seeking solace from my storm-lashed life. Pythia conducts me in my odyssey. Her soft curves and smile soothe the tempest-tossed madman in me.
In the quiet presage of my session, my conductress sits and gazes in contemplative beauty. Her sage words play on the piano of my heart. “Women and men are made differently. To deny that is to deny the truth.”
I inhale the sweet-smelling trance fumes from the deep fissures underneath the temple. She takes me into a dark realm made even more so by the mind-altering smoke. Our calm sea of communing is threatened by my tidal surge. I am spooked by her eyes and rise from my chair like a wrathful deity.
My priestess rises from her chair. She pinions me with her fingers on my neck. With her other hand, she presses womanly energy into my back. My eyes glaze and my jaw goes slack. Her velvet hand is wrapped snugly around my fist of aggression. She soothes my testosterone-addled psychosis. Like a tropical storm, she gathers strength for her feminine foray. She escorts me gently but firmly out the grotto.
Pythia opens, “Aelius, if you can’t handle the dark paths I take you on, I will not leave it to the temple guards to administer discipline.”
I ask Pythia, “Did your mother superior discipline you when you were a fledgling?”
“Aelius, I started off as a female wrestler in the Pythian games until I was initiated into these mysteries. And though it was by choice indeed I was not exempt from the stick when I got out of hand as young women often do. But to answer the question that is no doubt on your mind, while in the temple we were given separate quarters because any group of seven or more women living together in a house was considered a brothel!”
Aelius says, “Now that you’ve broached the subject a confession is in order. As part of my initiation into the Dionysian rites, I received a sensual massage from the vestal virgins.”
“So they beat me to it! You know I’ve always been fascinated by the concupiscent duties of the keepers of the flame. Though I’ve never done such favors as part of my role it has been a fantasy of mine. My boyfriend and I have even role-played the scenario. But to do it for real would be an amazing experience. Touch lessons could be incorporated into your education. Instead of just doing spiritual guidance my healing energy could be harnessed into teaching the Dionysian delicacies. It is very common for couples to play out the priestess and acolyte roles in the Orphic mysteries. Why do we women get turned on by it? Maybe the reason is that it is the ultimate feminization of us. We become Aphrodisian beings.”
“Yes, and I gave her a dozen red roses for her service to me.”
Pythia laughs. “That was her icing on the cake.”
Only at the session’s close does Pythia take note of my provocative dress. “Aelius, if we were in the lyceum I’d put you on display for a male anatomy lesson for the coeds.” My scantily clad tease turns to a guilty blush.
“I probably underdressed. It was a hot day” is my lame excuse.
Pythia says, “No doubt the heatwave was below your equator. When this happened to me the principal would send me home. Don’t think I won’t put you in detention where you will repeat ten times after me ‘The art of the tease is to leave much to be imagined.’”
“You busted me. I’m so embarrassed,” I say.
Pythia tells me, “Well your style appeals to me. Your wrestler looks, while audacious, and edgy, only lacks the naked truth.” She lifts my loin covering to expose me to her inspection. “Why would you hide such bold jewels?”
During the hot months, Pythia wears summer dresses that ride high on her hips. Their hemlines reveal the curve of her derriere with her milky thighs laid bare. Her legs fold and then part with the space between barely concealed.
My eyes dart from her legs to her face. She winks at me. Our lessons pick up steam. We ride each other’s waves as her warm words lap my shore. “It is necessary for me to know your past in order to give you personally tailored training.” She browses my life story. My trust opens chapters for her tender care. Doors open to our future. She ushers us forward into books yet unwritten.
Her instruction is sometimes soft as down and at others tough as leather. At times, out of necessity, she whips me with words in an act of disciplinary compassion. Her husky voice puts me in my place.
I say to Pythia, “Let’s do a role-playing game to teach me appropriate boundaries because my libido is out of control.”
Pythia replies, “We can do that. Oh, Aelius, I am really going to let you have it.”
I begin our game. “Pythia the stain from pomegranate seeds on your lips is a mess. It makes you look like you’ve been dining on meat which you know is forbidden for oracles.”
Pythia answers, “Aelius I really am offended.”
I retreat, “I’m sorry. I was just trying to play our role-playing exercise.”
Pythia regroups, “Aelius, no oracular apprentice in their right mind would say such a thing to their teacher. Don’t use such a blatant affront.”
I take two, “You know, vocal inflection is very important in communication. I can teach you how to modulate your voice.”
Pythia purses her lips like a queen about to declare war. “Sir, my tone is appropriate to the situation. Would you want me to wear kid gloves with you when you need me to be tough? How dare you” she tongue-lashes me.
“I think I’ve been misunderstood.”
“No, but you needed a dose of my shrill pill like castor oil in capsules for medicinal purposes. Aelius, I’m sorry for being rough with you.”
I reply, “No I needed it. You took me to the woodshed.”
Pythia says, “Yes, I took you to the woodshed.” She feeds me the nectar of her lilt again.
I reply, “I’m grateful to you for using the rod on me because need I discipline.”
“That’s what a seer is for. Aelius, I will modify your behavior with the rod when you need it.” Her smile blossoms like tulips in spring.
My lips part as though I am on the verge of telling a closely guarded secret. “I get friendly with the vestal virgins whose lives are dedicated to the Goddess and are never to touch a man. It is sacrilege whose punishment is a lashing that would test even Odysseus steely brawn.”
Pythia tells me, “One night, in my former life as
a teacher, I was in the agora to buy a bottle and wind down after work. Men often asked me to paint nude portraits of them because I’m an artist. However, this night something unusual happened. A man started rapping to me.
He asked me, ‘Are you married?’
‘Yes, to Zeus.’
‘Do you truly fancy being on the pedestal of Olympus in the airy heights?’
‘Yes, I definitely do.’
‘Then why are you here on earth?’
‘Because mortals are so amusing, don’t you agree?’”
I inquire, “What happened next?”
“He bought me a bottle of red, but I left it for him to drink. He looked like he’d come just two numbers short while rolling dice on a bet that could have won him enough drachma to pay the rent when I walked down the street with a sidelong glance at him admiring my derriere which he’d lost,” Pythia concludes.
I say, “Pythia, I have wandering eyes.”
Pythia shares, “When I was in an acolyte in training for the Goddess my best girlfriend was gay. One night she invited me to a drinking party for recitations of the poetry of Sappho and I said, ‘Sounds like fun, something different, let’s go.’ When we got there my friend spent the entire time mingling with the other women. She left me at the bar all alone. Several of the ladies offered to buy me a drink. I told them, ‘Sorry, my date will be back any minute. Don’t want to make her jealous.’ When we got back the dorm I told my dear friend, ‘Honey, you are my sister from another mister. But you left me all by myself at that place. If you want to take me to the theater or to a dance I’d love to and will even dance with you but no more girl’s only bar’ But Aelius, as a woman to a man be assured if you were my husband, my kisses would be reminders of the love we aren’t making.”
Pythia’s eyes are glazed like a priestess in the throes of Orphic mysteries. She is a vision of the guardian with autumn red tresses. My eyes are drawn to seek the bullion of her bottom where Pegasus preens under her black flag skirt. She sits with her aquamarine gems sparkling like magic stones aglow with occult secrets of starry-eyed pentagrams.
I ask, “Pythia, I don’t want to be rude, but is crimson your natural hair color?”
“If you were any man but my favored student asking me that I’d be incensed. But yes my head isn’t the only place my hair is red.”
I change out of my loincloth to prepare to fly the nest. I come out of the waterfall where pledges refresh after a hot day. But the tunic I wore upon my apprenticeship is gone. Then I bend over to look for my clothes on the ground and low and behold they have disappeared. All of a sudden Pythia’s hand puts me in a slippery situation.
She says, “I could see you in the feminine clothes of a Galli priest from Phrygia.”
“The female finery would make me pretty. But some of those priests divest themselves of the very same treasures you are feeling of me.”
“Really, Aelius, the only thing I like to fillet is fish.”
I say, “I like fish. But I am feeling a little intimidated.”
“Is emasculated the words you are looking for?”
The festival of Dionysus comes. Pythia is my conductress who charms me with her tropic smile waves. She leads me into calm pastures where the sky streams in a blue sea of harmony.
She invites my inner children to play. We shed our shoes to walk barefoot in the grass together. I feel the sensual touch of Gaia beneath my naked feet. The wet leaves of nature’s carpet lick my skin like a lover. I drink the wild air like a cup of sun-steeped tea and Pythia is the twist of lemon whose flavor is love.
Her eyes shimmer like star clusters clouded by nebula afloat in the galactic night. Each blink was a glimmer from heaven. But her smile is dipped in a sun shower softness born of a banana taste. Her home becomes our church. The curtains of her statuary room sweep open to sunlight in the afternoon of her the priestess to my mad heart. The gloss of her lipstick tickles my eyes into a trance.
But her dog has a roaming spirit which leads him out the front door and into the lushness of nature’s bounty. Pythia prances in his wake and follows him to the lake country of Mt. Parnassus. There this Great Dane plunged into the crystal water on a vision quest for canine cooling on this hot summer day. Pythia gathers her skirt and wades
in with her legs lapped by the waves.
Soon Pythia is up to her waist with her panties soaked and her dress raised above her navel. Then she swims like a river nymph with her scissor kicks propelling her behind her Noble Dane. Her frock clings to her derriere like the frosting on a cake ready to be licked off. Her twin moons bob like golden delicious apples in a barrel.
I am her disciple who swims beside her as her protector from mortal perils until her pet treads water and Pythia stands in the shallow pool of liquid gold. Witnessed only by her domesticated Dane, I become Pythia’s knight with her my courtly lady upon whose lipstick pout I shower kisses. She giggles like the fairy queen whose eyes are anointed by love potion to fall in love.
So I take my seat beside her in the oracular chamber in our marriage of prophecy to shine this light of Delphi over expectant mothers, newborn babies, wars, marriages, politics, and the success of theatrical productions like a Greek Chorus with whispers of fey in our song.