In Greek Myth, the Fates were the three goddesses who decided, well, our fate. They were imagined as spinners and weavers, since, in the past, the making of cloth from wool or flax, was a job that occupied most women for most of their days.


Clotho spun the thread of our lives, on a spindle. Her name means 'the Spinner.' What she spun the thread from, I'm not sure. Dreams? Time? She was especially associated with the present. That's her, in red, on the right, holding her spindle.

Lachesis, in the centre, measured the length of each individual life. Her name has been translated as 'the Allotter' and she concerned herself mostly with the future.

When Lachesis had decided on the length of a life, it was Atropos who ended it, snipping through its thread with her shears. She's on the left, an older woman in sober black. Her name meant 'the Unturning' or 'the Inflexible' and her special concern was the past. I suppose she sent you into the past, to join your ancestors.

The woman lying at their feet must be someone who has met her fate...


Read more in 'Folk and Fairy Tales.'