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Published in: Journal Of Hellenic Religion, , Vol. 4, 21-34.


The place of divination — the pre-eminent space of communication between the mortals and the immortals — is comprised by a number of elements that not only require the manifestation of the divine, but which are also express the everlasting reality of the ancient Greek Religion. Since the prehistoric times, the divination space was consisted of five elements — of the Universe itself: the sacred grove, the altar, the sacred waters, the sanctuary and the omphalos, which communicated with a sign or signs the direction which the sight of every χρηστηριαζόμενος (worshipper) had to follow: not horizontally but vertically. The aim of the present paper is to understand the link between the water element and the ancient process of divination, by starting from an objective fact: all the ancient Greek oracles were operating close to sources and bodies of water such as fountains, lakes, rivers and coasts. It seems that the water element symbolizes the cradle of conscious life, which until today is regarded as essential in the process of foreseeing the future, a synthesis namely — a link — between the past and the future.

Keywords: ancient-greek-religion,rivers-and-coasts,greek-oracles,water-element,five-elements,sacred-waters,conscious-life,sacred-grove,objective-fact,omphalos,prehistoric-times,worshipper,bodies-of-water,divination,mortals,fountains,manifestation,sanctuary,synthesi

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