From the goddess Themis and The Great Lord Zeus was born three very lovely daughters, or at least they were at the time. As time passed they were known as the three ugly hags of destiny who dressed in white robes and sat by the throne of Zeus.
Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos
The names of these daughters were; Clotho, who combed and spun the wool yarn life of man, Lachesis was to measure the length that was given to each and every living being which was their life form, and last but not least was Atropos who is the oldest and smallest of the three sisters. Atropos was also known as the Goddess of Death and was the one that did the final thing and snipped the yarn. When this was done the man to which the yarn was attached to died.
Zeus being the main God and the father of these ladies even had the fates kill men due to wanting his own revenge. He was also known to command the fates not to cut some or had Clotho to re-spin the cut piece back together. When he did this there was always a reason.
When Zeus would want a job done and knew who could do it or he wanted to be the one to kill this person whom ever it may be.
Sometimes the fates would not listen to Zeus and did what they knew was right. They had all of the oracles to tell them things and what was to happen and who would die on this day.
The threads were very delicate and small but tough as nails and the only thing that could break the life line was Atropos shears.
When Lachesis decided that the thread was long enough then she would give the order to Atropos to snip the thread and get rid of the life form that was connected to it.
The Life Thread
When Atropos cut the life thread with her shears they were always sharp as a razor and never went dull. When she would cut the thread, it was always a clean cut with no loose ends…. unless it was stopped by Lord Zeus himself.
It has been said the fates even had the power to kill the gods because the yarn strands were for every life form on earth and the heavens. But this is uncertain to be true or not. If this is true, it would make the sisters of fate more powerful then any god or goddess.
Many things are written, saying that the gods feared the fates due to this reason and did not want to cross them in any way, due to the possibility their immortality ending in a final snip.
The Romans Named Them Nona, Decuma, and Morta
Combined they were Parcae the Goddess of death
The Romans gave them the names of Nona (Clotho), Decuma (Lachesis), and Morta(Atropos). They were the goddess Parcae and were consider as all of them being the Goddess of death.
Many prayed to the fates in hopes of getting on their good side and not having their life ended and to ensure a good harvest or a good child birth.
However, the fates have been tricked or bribed into not cutting the life from a certain person. One of the most well known accounts is when Apollo got the Fates drunk. He was tricking them so that his friend Admetus would be spared from death.
It is even said that a few of the Greek gods and goddess besides Zeus could manipulate them and cause them to hold off a little longer on a cut.
Nemesis was said to be able to convince Atropos to prolong the cut on certain people. There had to be a reason for this but I am unable to find any thing on that.
Another myth that follows the sisters is that after every birth of a child, for seven nights afterwards they visit the child and determine his or her fate to see how to spin their life line. There is a story that has been carried out and is still a big part in Greek Mythology.
Meleager’s (A famous Greek hero) fate was decided when he was seven days old. The Sisters said that he would die when the branded log that lay upon the hearth would burn up. The mother was scared of this and grabbed up the log and placed it in a chest and locked and hid it up so no one but she knew where it was.
Before Meleager had murdered his uncles along with his mother, she told him what the fates had said seven nights after he was born. She then told him where the log was and what would happen to him if it ever got burnt.
Meleager was struck by sadness for all of the killings he had done and brought out the log and threw it upon the fire and watched it burn and just as the fates had predicted just as soon as the log finished burning Meleager was killed.
The Power of the Sisters of Fate
The sisters of fate had the most important job of all of Olympian gods and goddesses. They knew every thing that every single man, woman, child and god had ever done or would do.
The Fates were not limited to the powers of deciding a life’s path. They were also known to go on the battle field and fight with the giants and Titans and killed many too. In many pictures they are shown with staffs or some weapon of sort.
So it looks like if you were a mortal or immortal you still had to answer to the fates. Your fate good and evil was given to you by the fates when you were born. So do we make our own fate or do they?
All that I can say is think really hard before you do some thing that may be bad because that just might be a snip for you!
Written BY TLSlone 2010 no parts of this may be used with out permission
RELATED READING FOR GREEK MYTHOLOGY:
Related Websites About Greek Mythology
GreekMythology.com is a great reference https://www.greekmythology.com
Greek Mythology on The History Channel