Fates Moirae  

Posted by Stella Clark

Fates Moirae Cover
The Fates have the subtle but, awesome power of deciding a mans destiny. The assign a man to good or evil. There most obvious choice is choosing how long a man lives. There are three Fates. Clotho, the spinner, who spins the thread of life. Lachesis, the measurer, who chooses the lot in life one will have and measures off how long it is to be. Atropos, she who can not be turn, who at death with her shears cuts the tread of life.

In earlier times, the Moirae were represented as only a few - perhaps only one - individual goddess. Homer's Iliad speaks generally of the Moera, who spins the thread of life for men at their birth (xxiv.209) or, earlier in the same book (line 49), of several Moerae. In the Odyssey (vii.197) there is a reference to the Klothes, or Spinners. At Delphi, only the Fates of Birth and Death were revered.

In Athens, Aphrodite, who had an earlier, pre-Olympic existence, was called Aphrodite Urania the 'eldest of the Fates' according to Pausanias (x.24.4).The Moirae existed on the deepest European mythological level. It is difficult to separate them from the Norns, the similar age-old fates, older than the gods, of a separate Indo-European tradition.

Despite their forbidding reputation, Moirae could be worshipped as goddesses. Brides in Athens offered them locks of hair and women swore by them. They may have originated as birth-goddesses and only later acquired their reputation as the agents of destiny.

The Moirae can be compared with the three spinners of Destiny in northern Europe, the Norns or the Baltic goddess Laima and her two sisters, also spinning goddesses.

The three witches encountered by Macbeth are loosely based on the Moirae.

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This entry was posted on 15 December 2009 at Tuesday, December 15, 2009 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .

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