When most people hear the word "oracle", they immediately think of the ones found in Greece. Interestingly enough, people from almost every culture have a special grotto, cave, or other location where individuals with certain talents would go in order to provide information about the future. While many of these predictions were meant only for elites in the local region, all of humanity was, and remains affected by the outcome of events that were predicted by these readings.
Pythia the Oracle of Delfi
The Pythia, or Oracle at Delphi was as special cave dedicated to Apollo. Even though a priestess traditionally made the utterances while in trance, a series of priests interpreted the information based on secret knowledge. Many people today point out that the priests were heavily involved in politics, and were often very aware of all that went on in the region. Under these circumstances, one can speculate that the predictions were often simply a means to disseminate information, or twist the will of leaders to do their bidding.
Pythia is most well known for informing Croesus, the King of Lydia about the outcome of an invasion of Persia in 560 BC. In this prediction, Croesus was told that a great kingdom would fall. Even though Croesus thought the oracle meant Persia, it turned out to be Lydia that was destroyed. When Lydia was overtaken by the Persian, it served as the growth and beginning of a major empire. Ultimately, the conquest of Lydia would serve as a stepping stone to conquering Egypt and Asia Minor. While the Persian empire was conquered many times, the region is still filled with unrest as people from remnant cultures try to manage a wide range of issues. These problems have spilled over into the rest of the world in the forms of warfare in Iraq, as well as unrest in Egypt and other Middle Eastern states that are shifting the global economy. Perhaps one could say if the Pythia was interpreted correctly, Croesus would never have invaded, and thus the Persian Empire would never have been born, or reached the size that it did.
The Nechung Oracle, or "state oracle of Tibet" is a human oracle consulted by the Dalai Lama. This individual is primarily concerned with providing information about the safety of His Holiness, as well as issues of governance. The Nechung Oracle obtains his information from the spirit world by entering a special trance in which he becomes "possessed" by another entity or spirit. Unlike Pythia, the Nechung Oracle is not located in a specific cave. Rather, he is capable of traveling with the Dalai Lama, or may carry out his tasks in Darmasala India instead of his homeland, Tibet.
The Nechung Oracle is most well known for predicting the downfall of Tibet, as well as the fact that the Dalia Lama would flee to another region. While many people in the world are aware of the plight of the Tibetan people, few realize that it may have a major impact on global dealings as China seeks to cement its position as a global economic leader. Among other things, China has been known to cancel meetings with foreign leaders because these leaders also accept visits from the Dalai Lama.
As you may be aware, many people that are disillusioned by Christianity and other religions that focus on deities are turning to Buddhism for peace of mind and a better path in life. While Tibetan and Chinese Buddhism are not the same, the Dalai Lama is a far more popular figure than his Chinese counterpart. Since Buddhism is practiced by millions of people, the successor to the Dalai Lama, and who he is chosen by is a significant matter, and may play a major role in the coming decade. Perhaps we should all watch and see whether or not the Nechung Oracle will comment on this matter.
Chilam Balam of Chumayel
In Yucatan Mayan, "chilam balam essentially means jaguar priest, while Chumayel refers to the town or city where the seer lived. These particular writings were created in the 18th century, and appear to merge knowledge from the Maya culture with that of the Spaniards. The Chilam Balam of Chumayel is of interest to many because it provides detailed information about how to interpret the Maya Calendar. It is also noted for predicting a number of changes that will occur at the time of Katun 11 Ahau.
While this book is not the legendary Mayan calendar that stops at December 21, 2012, it should be noted that Katun 11 Ahau will begin in 2052. There are indicators that this will be a time in which food is very scarce. As more of the planet is destroyed for growing corn for to take the place of fossil fuels and raising meat, many modern scientists are predicting that large scale famine and destruction of the masses will occur within decades. Perhaps a reading and understanding of what the Chilam Balam of Chumayel will lead many to rethink energy usage, as well as continued consumption of meat and dairy products.
As we go about our daily lives, we tend to read newspapers and consult all kinds of other media in order to make a wide range of decisions. In a similar way, ancient people referred to oracles that often featured priests or priestesses that kept themselves informed on a wide range of issues. If you look at three of the most famous oracles, it is possible to see how their utterances may still be shaping your present and future existence.