Tiresias, a blind visionary from Thebes, appears in the form of a shadow in Book XI of The Odyssey. He predicts Odysseus’ future and advises him on how to act. Odysseus learns from Tiresias that his misfortunes are due to the wrath of Poseidon, the God of the seas, for blinding his son Polyphemus, as well as his own and his companions’ reckless behavior. Tiresias warns Odysseus to restrain his desires and informs him of the island of Trinacria, where the sacred bulls of the sun God Helios graze. He also tells Odysseus that his journey home will be filled with danger, but if they do not harm the sacred animals of Helios, they will all make it home alive. To end his suffering, Odysseus must meet people who have never seen the sea and take the paddle he will carry on his shoulder as a shovel. Hecatombs in honor of Poseidon must be offered to reconcile the God with Odysseus, and then he will live a life of respect, wealth, and peace until his old age. Tiresias’ prophecy to Odysseus is that he will accept whatever is given to him by the gods.
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