The Greek Alphabet Oracle is a divination system that I’ve been using for a number of years now. I like words and letters, so the system really drew me in. As a system, it belongs to Apollon, which was something else that drew me to it.
I began by making my psephoi (tiles or chips) with each letter painted on one side and a little illustration painted on the back of each. Creating the small illustrations made me think more deeply about the meaning of each letter and how I could express that meaning in a way that would continually make sense to me.
After painting, I began to practice. Whenever I learn a new system, I always ask for volunteers, or guinea pigs. I always want to make sure that I am getting good and accurate results consistently before I am ready to call myself proficient.
One thing that I quite like about the Greek Alphabet Oracle is that it is the first system I learned that had an extant prayer with it to be said before using the system. I’ve written my own set of three rather long prayers that I use before divining for anyone, but this prayer is particular to this system.
I believe that this prayer was found with the oracle in a city in ancient Lycia, which is in modern Turkey. This is a translation of the prayer:
Apollo, Lord, and Hermes, lead the way!
And thou, who wanders, this to thee we say:
Be still; enjoy the oracle’s excellence,
for Phoibos Apollo has given it to us,
this Art of Divination from our ancestors.
Someone recently asked if there were associations between each letter of the Greek alphabet and a particular god. I responded that there certainly could be, but I left the discussion open after that. Today, I decided to go back into this system and see what I could uncover. These associations may or may not be useful to anyone, and they are entirely my own guesses. They are not UPG as they are not gnosis; they were not revealed to me in any way. They are truly guesswork (or in some cases fairly obvious “to me” from the meanings of each letter within the oracle).
Α – Apollo
Β – Tyche
Γ – Gaia
Δ – Zeus (Zeus is the king of the gods as well as the god of weather, the sky, destiny or fate, kingship, and law and order. In this oracle, delta is the letter that represents going along with the rules and customs as established. Trying to overpower the law is a weakness, and it doesn’t lead one toward their desired outcome. Among other things, it indicates the necessity of knowing the whole “game” as it were and waiting for the right time to strike within that framework rather than trying to change the rules.)
Ε – Hera (Hera is the goddess of marriage. In this oracle, epsilon is the desire for what comes from a righteous marriage, but it leaves what is righteous open to interpretation as well as what can come from such a marriage.)
Ζ – Agaios (Agaios is the god of sea storms. In this oracle, zeta is about not embarking on a voyage under bad conditions and not fighting against the might of the ocean. The sea is stronger than you. The sea will win.)
Η – Helios
Θ – I think that all of the gods can be associated with theta as the primary meaning of this letter in this oracle is that you (the querent) are under divine care. Rather than all of the gods, it could be whichever god you are closest to (especially one who does not get associated with a different letter) or to the one in whose domain you are working.
Ι – Heracles (Heracles is the hero turned god most often remembered for his twelve labors. In this system, iota is all about sweat and hard work.)
Κ – Proteus (Proteus is a god of the sea, one of those called “Old Man of the Sea” by Homer. He is more specifically the god of the elusive changes of the sea. He is a prophet, but He will only reveal the future to those who can catch him. In this system, kappa represents attempting to fight with the waves, a repetitive and unstoppable force. It is generally an indication of the need for endurance and an indication of difficulty and danger.)
Λ – Psyche (Psyche is the goddess of the soul. In this system, lambda represents something that would normally be seen as bad turning out to be good. It can also represent going through something, or a journey. Psyche’s story (prior to apotheosis) is full of things that others thought were bad that turned out to be good. Psyche’s sisters believed that her husband was a monster when he was actually the god, Eros. After discovering his identity, he left in anger. Psyche searched the world for him and eventually ended up in service to Aphrodite. Aphrodite sent Psyche on a dangerous journey to the underworld (a dangerous place where ordinarily, living people should not go) where she underwent several trials, but in the end, she was reunited with her husband and became the goddess we know and love today.)
Μ – Hephaistos (Hephaestus is the blacksmith of the gods as well as the god of fire, smiths, craftsmen, metalworking, masonry, and sculpture. In this sytem, mu represents the need for labor or hard work in order to have change, an equal exchange, or a reward.)
Ν – Eris (Eris is the goddess of strife, discord, contention, and rivalry. In one of the better known stories about her, she was upset because she wasn’t invited to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. She went to the wedding anyway bearing a gift of a golden apple with an inscription that read “to the fairest.” Hera, Aphrodite, and Athena all laid claim to the apple, and it was this rivalry that led to the Trojan War. In this system, nu refers to a “strife-bearing gift” that will fulfill the oracle.)
Ξ – Demeter (Demeter is the goddess of agriculture. In this system, xi represents the idea that you can’t get something from nothing. In order to have a good harvest, you must first plant seeds and tend the young plants. No matter how much you water a rock, no food will grow.)
Ο – Karmanor (He is a Cretan demi-god who is considered by some to be the consort of Demeter. He is the god of reaping and plowing. In this system, omicron and xi are actually very similar, and I think that we could easily switch the associations with Demeter and Karmanor. Omicron represents the idea of “you reap what you sow” and “what goes around comes around.”
Π – Athena (Athena is the goddess of wisdom, war, defense, and various crafts. She has won a number of contests including the contest against Poseidon for dominion in Athens and the weaving contest against Arakhne. She has also been known to help many heroes, like Perseus, Heracles, and Odysseus, in their trials and struggles to achieve their goals. In this system, pi represents winning, success, and perseverance through adversity.)
Ρ – Prometheus (Prometheus wanted so badly to help humanity that even though he is the god of forethought, he took actions that landed himself chained to a mountain with a vulture eating his regenerating liver in punishment. He persevered, though, and was eventually released by Heracles. Rho represents waiting for the right time rather than rushing in.)
Σ – Phiobos Apollon
Τ – Persephone (Persephone is the queen of the underworld and the goddess of spring growth. When she was abducted by Haides, she was forcibly separated from all of her companions and her mother, Demeter, whom she missed quite terribly. Tau represents parting from the people currently around you, which may be welcome or unwelcome.)
Υ – Ariadne & Dionysos (Ariadne was a mortal princess of Crete who helped Theseus to defeat the minotaur. He then abandoned her on an island where she was found and wed by Dionysos. Dionysos himself, according to some stories, was born mortal and underwent apotheosis. In any case, he also traveled to the underworld to retrieve his mother, Semele, who then became the goddess, Thyone, on Olympos. Upsilon represents a noble undertaking with elements of a hero’s quest.)
Φ – Hermes (“Hermes will help you get your wagon unstuck, but only if you push it.”)
Χ – Nike (Nike is the goddess of victory. Khi represents success and the fulfillment of a golden oracle.)
Ψ – Themis (Themis is the goddess of divine law and order as well as a prophetic goddess with Her own oracles. In this system, psi represents the judgement and justice of the gods, whether or not it is the outcome actually wanted by the querent.)
Ω – Hebe (Hebe is the goddess of youth. Omega represents trying take something before it is ready or a difficult childhood where one has to grow up before their time.)