Three Sisters of Fate

The three sisters of fate, also known as the Moirai, are three goddesses who give predestined fates to mortals at birth. It was believed that the fates would appear within three days of someone’s birth to decide their fate. They were the daughters of the goddess Nyx, the night, named Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos. They had immaculate power which made it impossible for even Zeus to control their decisions. Each of the three fates had different tasks, resembling their names: Clotho spun the thread of life, Lachesis measured the thread’s length, and Atropos used her shears to cut it. The fates were assigned different time periods, Atropos – the past, Clotho – the present, and Lachesis – the future. Their symbols were the Thread, the Staff, the Spindle, the Scroll, the Shears, and the Book of Fate.

Clotho, the youngest of the three sisters, is the creator. She sits on her pedestal, twisting, pulling, and spinning the threads of life. Her job begins the very moment a child is born. While she is spinning, she consults with her older sister, Lachesis. Lachesis is the middle of the three, responsible for deciding the details of our destiny. After the thread is spun and measured, it’s up to Atropos to make the final cut. Unlike the Horai, their siblings, and the goddesses of the seasons and other natural periods of time, who were always shown as youthful, beautiful women, the Moirai were depicted as ugly and old women in antiquity. Many times they were portrayed as stern, inflexible, and severe, thus making people fear their own destiny.

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