Climbing Olympus: Clotho

September 14, 2011




Identity: The Spinner, first of the three Moerae or Fates

Description: White-robed, grey-haired goddess who holds the thread of life

Symbols: Spinning wheel or spindle

The Greek Myth

Homer saw the three Fates as representing mankind’s individual and inescapable destiny. It was only Hesiod who treated them as minor divinities. And yet the principles they represent are as valid in today’s world as they were in ancient Greece.

Daughters of Night, the Moerae or Fates were three in number and were named Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos. Clotho, the spinner, personified the Thread of Life; Lachesis, the Apportioner, often called ‘Chance’, that kindly element of good luck that we all hope will make its presence felt at some propitious time in our life, while Atropos stood for those fatalistic conditions that are generally described by schools of Eastern belief as ‘karmic’.

The Moerae shadow the whole of a person’s life. They arrive with Ilythia at the moment of birth and are present at the point of death, when it is their duty to sever the cord of life. In ancient Greece they were also invoked at the time of marriage to ensure a happy and lasting union. They dwelt on Olympus and submitted to the authority of Zeus, who commanded them to see that the natural order of things was respected. Their gift of prophecy manifested mainly at the time of birth, at which point they were able to view the entire life of the newborn child.

Upright Meanings

The thread of life itself.  The future as fashioned by our actions in the present. Deja vu, as experienced by the individual. The impetus to proceed forward in life.

Reversed Meanings

A sickness, possibly caused by the enquirer’s own actions, emotions or lifestyle. A loss of interest in life.

Previously on theviolethourmuse

Lachesis: the Fate of second-place


Image sourced from guardian.co, artist Unknown.  Anybody know?

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