Decipher me or I’ll devour you: rules for consulting an oracle.

Nature of oracle, part 3.

Lucy the Oracle
8 min readMay 6, 2024
Photo by Elvis Ray on Unsplash

This is a series. If you haven’t seen the other posts, please find the index here.

We have been studying what makes a good oracle. Another topic worth exploring is what makes a good oracle seeker. There can be expectations on both sides, you know. We do not need to subscribe to the Capitalistic saying, “the customer is always right”. In fact, everyone benefits if we don’t.

Before we start, let’s recap the Delphic maxims as usual:

  • In total (as far as we know), there are 150 Delphic maxims. They give us a fascinating glimpse into the moral precepts that were known (and allegedly followed) in Ancient times, but if interpreted metaphorically, they can still be helpful today.
  • Out of these 150 maxims, only the first 3 are directly relevant to the activity of oracle (relevant both for the person giving, AND perhaps even more importantly, for the person who receives an oracle) — Γνῶθι σεαυτόν (know yourself), Μηδὲν ἄγαν (nothing in excess), and Ἐγγύα πάρα δ’ Ἄτα (avoid certainties). Not everyone translates them the same way, and there is disagreement especially about the third one. Disagree with my translation? Well, why bitch about me in private? Share your thoughts in the comments, so that others can also benefit from your reasoning which I’m sure is very wise and insightful. Let’s be generous ;)
  • Don’t just skim through this session. Try to ponder a bit about the wisdom these 3 first maxims can bring you. Yes, 5 minutes of your day will do, it’s more than zero. The maxims have existed for many centuries, for good reason. Think of them, and their implications, before you consult any oracle — regardless of what kind of oracle it is or who is giving it.

If I had a fancy place for my oracle (I don’t, I just use a plain room at my disposal), I would also have modern maxims engraved on the entrance, after the usual Delphic ones. These are needed because modern people have forgotten what it’s like to communicate with a higher power (thanks to centuries of imperialistic churches abusing their clerical authority).

The 7 modern maxims would be:

“Know what to ask. I don’t work with telepathy”.

“I translate messages received from a deity. I don’t make them up”.

“There’s a queue, susan”.

“The toilet is around the corner. Do not waste your question asking me that”.

“No phones or recording equipment”.

“I only speak these specific languages listed here. Bring a translator otherwise”.

“Kids under 18 need an adult with them and babies don’t count”.

I’m kidding, FYI.

I’m sure you can think of other “fun” maxims for the modern age. Let me know in the comments.

Jokes aside, there are certain rules of conduct you need to know in order to consult an oracle — any kind of oracle, even the most well-known like tarot. If you didn’t know that or never considered it, this could be why oracles are unhelpful for you. I’ll list some of them here, but feel free to discuss further in the comments.

Photo by Viva Luna Studios on Unsplash
  • Relax. Breathe in… Breathe out… Better? If not, repeat. This is an oracle, sir. Not a church. Take your oracle or leave it. You won’t be offending the deity if you leave it. It’s all good, this god doesn’t have an ego to be offended by you. (In fact, check YOUR ego. So you think you can easily offend a god? Who the hell do you think you are?). You asked a question, you’re not being preached at, so disagree if you want.
  • Do not test an oracle. If you don’t believe in oracles, don’t consult them. You will not get your amazing confirmation. You will not phase me (or most good oracles) either. Debunkers are full of fears and wishes, and these are ironically about the same scenario: they wish they could get irrefutable proof that oracles work, because that would make them feel secure, but they also fear the exact same thing, because that would make them ashamed for doubting in the first place. Is this enough entertainment for you, Sherlock? Good. Now, off you go, stop wasting room in the queue and let the believers use the service instead.
  • Don’t obsess over a prophecy. Prophecies are shallow. If they weren’t, our future would be deterministic. The lack of depth in your future is just the room you have for control. Go ahead and decide it.
  • Don’t ask for too much clarification over a prophecy. This connects to not obsessing over it. The future isn’t a movie you watch in search of signs of security — that’s the past, you do that to the past. All you can have for the future is a glimpse. And a glimpse is more than enough.
  • Oracles are also concerned with the present and the past. Don’t just use them for predicting the future. Present and past oracles are NOT prophecies and should be dealt with in a different way (this renders its own article). Oracles for the present are called Insights, and for the past, Revelations. Feel free to ask for these.
  • Time is a construct, but cause and effect isn’t. And don’t get me started on karma.
  • Oracles do not read minds, change minds, or sugarcoat. No, not even if you’re asking for an Insight or a Revelation. “What went through Caesar’s head when he was betrayed” is none of your business. Neither is “please confirm to me that this suspect is guilty so I can convince others in court”. People, even dead people, have a right to privacy when it comes to their thoughts and feelings. Would you like others to invade your mind? No. Then why are you trying to do that to others? Don’t be childish.
  • Oracles who provide insight into people’s thoughts and feelings, dead or alive, are bullshitting and do not have a real connection with a higher power. Looking at you, automatic writers. The spirits of the dead will talk to you if they are allowed AND feel like it. You can’t demand it at a specific time and place. It’s unethical. Stop it. And it’s even simpler with living people: just work up the courage and ask them, it’s not rocket science. Stop giving oracles this burden. It’s your problem.
  • “Stupid” questions are not off-limits. If you ask an oracle what to have for breakfast, you’ll get an answer just as well as if you ask for advice on a life-changing decision. That said, use them in moderation. If you get addicted, it will become inaccurate for you because of all the fears and wishes that come with addiction. (Revisit part 2 to learn more about that). This is why mine is once a month — or part of the reason why.
  • No, you’re not entitled to know what someone else got for an oracle. Not only will this waste your question (a refusal is an answer! Bye bye, see you next month), but you might get blacklisted. People who don’t know triangulation is unethical don’t deserve my time and attention.
  • Yes, I have a bullshit detector. So do people working with all kinds of oracle. It comes with the training, it’s a full package. Ain’t nobody killing goats to know whether or not to welcome in a group to consult the oracle in the 21st century. If you tickle my funny bones, I’ll send you home.
  • I won’t tell you the day or cause of your death. Neither will any ethical oracle worth their salt. It’s the sort of question you never need, you only want. Needs take precedence over wants.
  • Instead of asking somebody’s intentions with you (mind reading…), ask for advice on how to prepare to meet them. We can read the energy that is preparing to manifest in the future. So if it’s a trap, you have the right to know; If they just don’t correspond to your non-life-threatening expectations, you don’t. It’s a gamble, but you can try.
  • “Is he/she/they/etc cheating on me?” — surprisingly, a valid question. So is any question involving events that already happened or will probably happen. It’s about the event itself, not just the intention or emotion of the other person.
  • Oracles make mistakes. The oracle makes mistakes. The person. Not the higher power they sourced this original message from. Know the difference. Human beings are fallible and misinterpret messages all the time (a lot of people are misinterpreting the Bible to this day, as you may know).
  • Yes, you can ask for meta-oracles. They’re not unethical, they’re just a gamble because you never know if you’re asking about a mystery (and will get a refusal) or a totally mundane and non-secret thing (and will get answered). I’ll tell you one for free here: my seat is high because I need to stay ungrounded, and it can have as many feet as I want. See how this sort of answer deflates and disappoints when you have a romantic idea in your mind about why things are the way they are? So, you decide whether or not it’s worth it to ask them. “Know yourself”.
Photo by Tamas Sandor on Unsplash

Conclusion: the oracle is not a therapist, not a friend, and not a shoulder to cry on.

That’s why we’re often compared to intimidating animals (or animals you can’t reach). More on that in the next article in this series, so stay tuned.

In fact, we oracles are working super hard to make sure there is minimum interference in the delivery of messages between you and a higher power. Please be considerate, it’s the least you can do. We are not the source of the message, but that doesn’t automatically mean we will sit down by your side, give you a hug, and chat over a cup of tea. If you’re expecting that, you will be disappointed — and if an oracle you know provides that, they’re most certainly inaccurate. The wish for you to be comfortable is still a wish and still creates a bias, just like any wish. It can interfere BIG TIME in how little of the actually useful part of the message you will end up receiving.

Look for me when I’m off duty for a friendly chat any time; just don’t be expecting me to sugarcoat or tend to your feelings during the oracle. Hence, don’t be looking for oracles that will reassure you of something. Always “know yourself” well enough to be mindful of whether or not you can handle a disappointing answer. Nobody is forcing you to ask anything specific. If you can’t handle it, don’t ask. Same with random draw oracles — don’t “reshuffle the deck”. If you don’t like the answer, that’s too bad, but at least show respect to the higher power that is trying to help you.

I’m not saying any of this to be a bitch. I’m saying it the way I’m saying it, because we have inflated egos we’re unaware of. I’m sure you’re a great person with a heart of gold! But if you were a perfect person, you wouldn’t be here. Nobody is enlightened. We all have room to grow.

See you, take care, join me again soon for part 4.



Lucy the Oracle

Oracle learner / spirit worker based in Ireland. Buddhist/polytheist. I don't read minds. I don't change minds. I don't sugarcoat. Take my message or leave it.