I find the Oracle of Delphi prophecies interesting. She wasn’t the
only sibyl either; they existed throughout the Middle-East once, and
the miko remind me of them.
This raises the question of how prophets of other religions
occasionally got correct prophecies. Possible answers are 1) it’s a
numbers game and out of thousands of queries some will be true. 2) the
answers were often vague or written so they would always come true. 3)
the prophecies were doctored by writers to boost the credibility of
the Oracle or the state. People want something to believe in and there
were always political pressures. Alexander the Great got the prophecy
he wanted because he forced the Oracle of delphin to give it to him.
The sibyls were interesting. A woman would chew on a narcotic and stand
over a chasm that would spit out poisonous games people would inhale.
Shed have a fit and ramble gibberish, and three nearby priestesses
would say she had been possessed by the Greek gods and would interpret
what she said.
A Christian would say she was possessed by demons today, but an
ancient Jewish would take the prophecy as true because long ago
Judaism didn’t exclude the teaching of any Zoroastrian or other
Btw, try also watching Simoun for an anime where the main characters are called sibyl. The show takes place in a futuristic theocracy that’s fighting losing a war to several other nations. They fight using “the chariots of the Gods,” which are flying machines built from lost technology. Lots of themes about a religion being exploited by the military and the lost of (a country’s) purity. The characters sometimes manipulate the main crew’s status as respected priestess (sibyl) for soldiers.
In one of the episodes, they try to turn the war around by breaking a taboo and opening of the holy machines, only to discover there is nothing inside. One of the characters has a mental breakdown at the emptiness. They also discover the religion of another country is similar to theirs, and speculate that they are worshiping manifestations of the same deity. Later it’s revealed that the modern world was born when two of the main characters went back in time to the aftermath of a cataclysmic war, and fell from the sky in their aircraft. They gave hope to the people, taught them how to fly the machines, and in time people came to worship those that flew the machines. The ending is that they lose the war, but two of the main characters decide to escape through time, so they will remain young and “just as we are” forever. Everyone else must change and die, but they’ll know that somewhere their two friends are still alive, blinking in and out of various skies, like goddesses really.
It’s not really Atheistic, but it is an interesting show that picks up around episode 13.