Moirae Sisters Picture

In Greek mythology, the Moirae or Moerae (Greek Μοίραι — the "Apportioners", often called the Fates) were the personifications of destiny (Roman equivalent: Parcae, "sparing ones", or Fatae; also equivalent to the Germanic Norns). They controlled the metaphorical thread of life of every mortal and immortal from birth to death (and beyond). Even the gods feared the Moirae. Zeus himself may be subject to their power, as the Pythian priestess at Delphi once admitted. The Greek word moira literally means a part or portion, and by extension one's portion in life or destiny.

The three Moirae were:
In Greek mythology, Atropos was the third of the Moirae. She was the oldest of the Three Fates, and was was known as the "inflexible" or "inevitable." It was Atropos who chose the mechanism of death and ended the life of each mortal by cutting their thread with her "abhorred shears." She worked along with Clotho, who spun the thread, and Lachesis, who measured the length. They were the daughters of Zeus and Themis (the goddess of order.) It is not clear whether Zeus was superior to the fates or if he was subject to them as mortals were. Her Roman equivalent was Morta.

In Greek mythology, Lachesis was the second of the Three Fates, or Moirae. She was the apportioner, deciding how much time for life was to be allowed for each person or being. In paintings and stories, Lachesis is often portrayed as a matronly woman. Lachesis and the rest of the Moirae were also featured in one of Piers Anthony's Books entitled "With A Tangled Skein." This one part in a larger series entitle the Incarnations of Immortality, in which the Moirae play a very large part.

In Greek mythology, Clotho, the Greek word for spinner, was the youngest of the Moirae. Her position was first of Three Fates, as it was Clotho who spun the threads of life with her distaff. It was also believed that she was the daughter of Night, to indicate the darkness and obscurity of human destiny. Her Roman equivalent was Nona.
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