Goddess Groups: The Fates

While the Greeks typically regarded and approached their gods as individuals, there were some who could also be addressed in the aggregate–as a group. One such group was the Fates, or Moirai.

As a group, the goddesses are concerned with grim and weighty matters of life and death. They are literally the arbiters of fate, determining the length and quality of our lives.

Clotho spins the thread of life. She carries the spindle.

Lachesis measures that thread, granting each their life’s span. She carries a stick with which to measure the thread.

Atropos cuts each thread at the appointed time. She carries a knife or other tool for cutting.

The idea of the Fates–three goddesses who, together, decide our destiny–is well known to us today. The specific imagery varies–although most often they are depicted as aged women–but the group of three is a constant.

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