However, beginning with the poet Hesiod (8th century BC), the Fates were personified as three extremely elderly ladies who wove the threads of human destiny. Clotho (weaver), Lachesis (allotter), and Atropos were their names (inflexible). They passed judgment on humans by cutting the thread of life for them so that they would live or die.
Hesiod's work The Works and Days was probably the most famous ancient account of the Fates still in use today. He described how Clotho weaves the lives of humans, while Lachesis decides how long they will live and Atropos cuts their threads when they reach the end of their time.
In some versions of this story, humans have the power to influence the Fates by praying to them. If they are so inclined, the Fates may grant requests such as "May your child be healthy" or "Enjoy your old age". However, no one can ask for something beyond what is natural for a person to receive, such as "Don't die before you get old".
The idea of the Fates has been popular throughout history. In Ancient Greece, people believed that each fate was controlled by a god or goddess. They also thought that if someone wanted to change their fortune, they could pray to the gods for help.
The Fates, also known as the Moirai, are a trio of weaving goddesses who give specific destiny to mortals from birth. Clotho (the Spinner), Lachesis (the Alloter), and Atropos are their names (the Inflexible). They measure the lives of humans by their threads and decide how long they will live. Because people can do nothing to change their fates, they must learn to live with them.
In ancient Greece, there were only two women who were considered important enough to have their own temple. One was Athena, the other was Themis. Themis had many roles including being a judge and police officer, but she was best known for her role in fortune-telling and justice. She had several temples throughout Greece where she lived up to seven hundred years because priests would celebrate her birthday every year at a new one.
In most cultures around the world, women are seen as having power over life and death because of their ability to give birth. The Fates are examples of women who have this power because they can choose what thread to give each person. It is believed that no one can escape their fate so we must accept it rather than fight against it.
There are different ways to look at this concept. Some people believe that we are responsible for our own actions and thus, can control what fate brings them.
It is supposed that the three sisters sit under the ground and weave our fates. The three Fates each have a function in Greek mythology; Clotho, the youngest sister, weaves the thread of destiny and determines the arrival time of each individual's birth. Lachesis' function in life is to measure the length of each thread. Atropos, the oldest daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, cuts the thread when its length has been determined.
In other words, the three daughters of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra keep track of how many threads there are in their father's war chest and then go about cutting them accordingly. The ones who cut the longest thread will be first to arrive at his funeral pyre and will also be the first to witness what becomes of his body after he is burned.
In some versions of the myth, Lachesis actually spins the thread of one's life while Clotho takes it up and Atropos cuts it. In others, the roles are reversed. Either way, these were important duties for royal families like the kings of Troy to perform. It was believed that by performing this task for each person's life, they could ensure that justice was done even if you were not able to attend your own funeral.
The reason these tasks were left to women is because men didn't want to think about death or the future.
The eldest of the three Moirai, the goddesses of fate and destiny (also referred to as The Fates). Atropos picked the method of death and severed each mortal's thread to terminate their lives. The goddess of force and raw energy, Pallas and Styx's daughter, and Nike, Kratos, and Zelus' sister, they were also known as Eileithyia and Eoanira.
Their father, Zeus, in order to prevent humans from knowing how or when they would die, made up a game called Oikonomian where young athletes would compete by throwing a ball through a ring on the back of a wooden hand. If you hit it cleanly with the index finger of your throwing hand, you would live forever; if not, you would be killed by a mysterious illness that could not be healed by any doctor. Zeus did not want his children to play this cruel game so he made them objects of worship instead. The Greeks believed that if you prayed to one of these goddesses, they would help you out of a tough situation.
In some cultures there are similar figures who determine people's fates. For example, in India, the Brahmins were the priest class that used a system of rituals and ceremonies to determine someone's future.
According to the ancient Greeks, life was sacred and only those who were ordained to do so were allowed to kill.
The Moirae, or Fates, are three ancient ladies responsible with determining the fates of all living beings, including heroes and heroines, and these fates are represented by a string. Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos were their names. They are described as old, wrinkled, and blind.
They have no physical form, but they can be imagined as three goddesses sitting in a room with a window. This is where you can imagine them watching everyone's lives unfold before their eyes. The strings that each of them holds are called "Necessities," and they represent what will happen in every person's life. There are four kinds of necessities: birth, marriage, death, and destiny. A thing both desired and undesired will arise between two people and this is called a "desire" necessity. If it comes to pass, then it was meant to be; if not, then it wasn't. Differences in opinion among the Moirae over whether or not to bestow a destiny on an individual are called "indeterminacies." If they cannot agree, then they use a coin toss to decide.
People often ask me if the Fates are really fair. My answer is always the same: yes and no. Yes, because everything that happens has been planned by someone, even if they don't know it yet.