Source: Book Review: SOLDIERS OF APOLLO by Daniel Peter Buckley
From the centre of the Greek speaking world in Delphi, Apollo the Sun and Archer deity connected via the Pythia with his followers.
His messages were delivered in sacred oracles via the Pythia to his followers who would travel from around the ancient world to gain an audience with the Sun god.
After being ritually cleansed in the sacred waters of the Castalian spring the Pythia in her ceremonial robes would enter the inner adyton of the temple and sat on a tripod above the natural gap in the temple floor the fumes rising from the natural fault lines beneath the site of Delphi would send the Pythia into a frenzied trance like state as she connected with the Sun deity Apollo.
From circa 1600 B.C. the rugged site on the mountain slopes of Parnassos was a sacred site of worship sacred originally to the earth deity Gaia who Apollo later replaced.
He retained the high priestess the Pythia who continued to issue the sacred oracles guiding and predicting the future.
Sacred springs and pools added to the sacred appeal of the site of Delphi set among the lush valleys filled with olive trees and fruit trees of all kinds beneath its steep slopes creating a natural theatre with views of the gulf of Corinth away in the distance.
Delphi was a secluded retreat in which the followers of Apollo could refresh the body, mind and soul.