Updated: Sep 27, 2018
What does the word FATE mean to you? We have all heard the saying “when fate comes knocking.” But what does that really mean? Does fate manifest itself into a person the way death does as the grim reaper? In the Middle Ages, fate became synonymous with fairies. Such as fairy godmothers who appear and help you when the odds are against you or learn a lesson by offending a fairy godmother. In the fable of Sleeping Beauty, it is one of seven fairy godmothers ( who was all hot and bothered about being ignored by everyone) who decides to “gift” the infant princess with the fate that she will one day prick her finger on a spindle of a spinning wheel and die. Another fairy intervenes and switches up death with sleep for 100 years… and so goes the story.
If you Google the definition of Fate, the first one given is “the development of events beyond a person's control, regarded as determined by a supernatural power.” the second definition is “the three goddesses who preside over the birth and life of humans.” So with that, allow us to introduce to you our first Goddess Girl Group;
The Moirai / The Fates
Become. Becoming. Shall-be
They were said to appear two days before someone’s birth to decide their fate. Zeus had the power to drive someone towards or away from their destined Fate, but it was the Moirai, who were the source of Fate itself. In Greek Mythology, humans have freedom to “select their own destiny” which means there may be some plans laid out, but it all depends on the decisions and actions made within that life. It makes me think about the scene in the movie Troy, where Achilles (Brad Pitt's) asks his mother whether he should go to Troy or not. His mother tells him that he was destined to be a great warrior and if he goes to Troy he will fulfill that destiny but he will never return home but the world will know his name. If he stays in Greece, he will have a family but time will forget his name. He had a choice on whether to fulfill his destiny as the great Achilles or not.
Clotho is the spinner. She spins the thread of life. She decided when people would be born and if they were saved or put to death. She made the big, fate altering decisions. So let’s say you were destined to be a great warrior, but at 19 years old, found yourself in a wrong place wrong time and about to die... Clotho would be the one to stop your death because you still had your destiny to fulfill. She is also the one who decided you’d be born in August and a Leo.
Lachesis is the appointer of life. She measured the length of each string, corresponding to the length of each person’s life. She also chose the fate of every person once the thread had been measured. One the day you were born, she is the one who gifted you the fate to be the great warrior with a 60 year lifespan.
Atropos, she who cannot be turned. She was responsible for cutting the string and ending life. She is like the Marines, she doesn’t ask any questions or make any last minute decisions, she just rolls in and gets the job done. That is why she is called the inevitable. Whether you have fulfilled your destiny as a great warrior, or disappointment the gods and your life shortened, it is of no concern to her (that’s what her sisters are for) Atropos just cuts the string.
If you ever read Macbeth by Shakespeare, the three witches are clearly The Fates. Macbeth travels to see the witches to ask them some questions to learn about his future. They say some weird shit in riddles giving him answers and creating new questions. Later in the play, our girl Hecate, shows up demanding why the witches thought it they could advise the King, without informing her.
What once was. What is coming into being. What shall be.
Do you know the origins of the word Weird?
Its Germanic definition means “having control over one’s destiny” is an adaptation from one of the Nordic Fate Goddesses Wyrd. The Norns are another set of divine triplets, who control the future of all beings, including the Gods. They live in a cave that is located under the roots of Yggdrasil, the big ass cosmic tree of life that holds the 9 worlds in Norse mythology. So at the bottom of this tree is Urðarbrunnr the well of Fate and the cosmic womb and source of life. It contains the most powerful forces in all of the MF Universe. It is the gatekeeper, the Nordic Pandora’s box of primordial truths and powers that only a few can truly comprehend. They are older than the oldest “heavenly father” and had powers over every God and Goddess.
Wyrd (Urd) – what once was. Where we get the word weird from meaning “to
become” and she is the oldest sister.
Verdandi what is coming into being. She represented the present.
Skuld what shall be. She was the youngest sister and she represents the future. She is where we get the word ‘scold’ from, meaning a woman gifted with the power of cursing. She is a powerful sorceress and queen of the elves.
The way the Nordic saw fate was completely opposite of how the Greeks interpreted it. For the Norse, Fate was unchangeable. Not even the Gods could undo what the Norns predicted. Upon being born they would show up and dictate who you would be and what your life would mean. No if, and or buts about it. The only thing you had the choice in was your attitude about it. You either met your fate like a coward or like a hero. Which explains the Viking mentally of Go Hard or Go to Valhalla.
The Creator. The Preserver. The Destroyer
The Creator. She represents cosmic knowledge, art, creativity, and consciousness. She typically goes by the name of Saraswati, but she has multi incarnations and names. She symbolizes purity and is the Shakti / female consort to Brahma. In the male aspect, Brahma is the least worshiped of the trinity between himself, Vishnu and Shiva. He is an observer.
The Preserver. The preserver is the peacemaker. The one who maintains balance and restoration on earth and the cosmos. She typically goes by the name of Lakshmi and she is the Goddess of joy, wealth, fertility and greatness. She is the feminine energy and Shakti to Vishnu. In the male aspect, Vishnu is often described as the “perfect man.” He is kind, patient and understanding. If you ever read The Ramayana, Rama is an avatar of Vishnu and his wife Sita, an avatar of Lakshmi, his eternal partner.
The Destroyer. She goes by Parvati, however her most popular incarnation is as Kali Ma. The dark mother, demon fighting aspect of Parvati who is the creator of time the cosmic darkness that the universe was created from. Kali Ma is both a destroyer and creator Goddess. She is the feminine energy and Shakti to Shiva. In the male aspect, Shiva is the creator of Yoga and Meditation. As a destroyer God he kills the ego, ignorance and maya (illusion). He is also the protector of souls until they are ready for recreation at the hands of Brahma.
Life seems to be a mystical thread that is spun by the maiden, sustained by the mother and cut by the Crone. If life isn't spun on a web, it still is the first stage of the 3 cycles of life. The next time something weird happens, maybe that's fate jumping out to speak to you.
Food for thought
What is your Destiny?
Do you believe you can change your fate like the Greeks?
Or is it predestined
Are you more Greek or more Nordic when it comes to how you view fate?
Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines by Patricia Monaghan, PhD, 2014
Moon Magick by D.J. Conway, 2017
The Woman’s Dictionary of Symbols & Sacred Objects by Barbra G. Walker, 1988
The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets by Barbara G. Walker, 1983