Aunt Agone – Goddess of Bad Advice

The gods in general have a very strange attitude towards prophecy. They grant the gift to some, but then get a bit vengeful if the seer divulges any major spoilers. Most prophets circumvent this wrath by speaking in maddeningly vague riddles and metaphors. Leaving the gods able to smugly say, “I told you so”, and mankind screaming back at the heavens, “BUT NOT IN A WAY ANYONE COULD UNDERSTAND UNTIL AFTER THE EVENT YOU METAPHYSICAL ASSHATS!”

Aunt Agone cunningly avoids this philosophical conundrum by only giving bad advice through her oracle. If one does the exact opposite of what she says, it will usually all turn out fine. This enables the seer to use direct language in their proclamations without being smitten from on high. There is no pithier oracle. It turns out that obviously bad advice is more helpful than good advice given badly. Some of her oracle’s most famous are:

Give your bother a proper send off, your uncle will come round in time. (1300 BCE)

Buy Betamax! (May 1975 CE)

Book this year’s summer holiday well in advance. (January 2020 CE)

Yes, it is possible to make someone love you. (Pretty much every damn day since the dawn of time)

The temple of Aunt Agone is built above the sacred cavern where the oracle sits. The sanctuary above is supported by a forest of mighty columns. This goddess has many, many columns. The temple also houses a squat orange holy stone known as the Oompaloompaphalos. Carved into the stonework at the temple entrance are the four famous unhelpful advisory clichés. “Just be yourself,” “Don’t overdo it,” “Money isn’t everything,” and “Err…?”

The fee to consult the oracle is tuppence. This is excellent value, as you can be sure you will always get the goddess’s two pence worth. When a worshipper seeks to consult the oracle of Aunt Agone, they will write their question on a sheet of papyrus, always beginning with the salutation, “Dear Aunt Agone, …” You are advised to make your question as torrid and embarrassing as possible to significantly increase your chance of receiving a response. Occasionally, the stream of enquires wanes to a trickle for a time, then the priestesses will fabricate a few juicy questions to help the prophetess stay in practice. The only subject you are forbidden to ask the oracle for guidance on is cookery. If you want sage advice, ask a chef.

The papyri bearing the queries are collected by the priestesses and presented to the oracle. The oracle herself mystically receives the ignorance of the Goddess in her cave whilst inhaling the “Vapours of Desperation*” which emanate from a massive crack. She enters a shamanic state induced by this psychoactive steam and the music of the priestesses, who play an ensemble of miniature violins. The Oracle will dictate the responses, which are then posted on the temple columns weekly. The supplicants then cluster around. Avidly scanning the columns for their answer, and having a good nosy at everyone else’s. There always seem to be more worshippers reading the columns than have asked questions. I am not sure whether this is because they seek general guidance for potential future situations, or maybe it’s because it’s even better than a soap opera.

The oracle is selected from amongst the priestess (who themselves have been chosen from amongst the general populace for their impressive magazine racks). The chosen oracle will be priestess who is growing old the most disgracefully, as one can only give bad advice once one stops being a good example. Once in-augur-ated, she can be recognised by the symbolic pair o’ Docs that she wears at all times. The oracle also leads the cult of Aunt Agone in their long running religious war against the worshippers of Retrograde the god of newspaper astrology and exam remarking. Her followers believe Aunt Agone should have the monopoly on bad advice and that this rival sect is infringing on their theological territory. They regularly carry out raids where they steal a few inches off one another’s columns.

At the end of your visit, as you leave the temple, a priestess will offer the comforting blessing, “Go then if you must, but remember, no matter how foolish your deeds, those who love you will love you still.”

*I am told it smells like farts.

This week’s cartoon is not coloured as I have a minor finger injury (from a vicious shopping bag handle) which is limiting how long I can draw for. Hopefully it will be better in a few days. Feel free to print out the picture and colour her in yourself! Tweet me @IdolScribblings to show off your colouring in.

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