The Fates were a common motif in European polytheism, most frequently represented as a group of three mythological goddesses (although their number differed in certain eras and cultures). They were often depicted as weavers of a tapestry on a loom, with the tapestry dictating the destinies of men. The primary instances include:

  • Moirai[1][2][3] are the Fates of Greek mythology who control the Threads of Fate
  • Parcae[4] are the Roman female personifications of mankind's and the gods' destinies, commonly referred to as the Fates of Roman mythology. They are the Roman equivalents the Greek Moirai. The names of the three Parcae are Nona (Greek equivalent Clotho), Decima (Greek equivalent Lachesis) and Morta (Greek equivalent Atropos). The earliest documents referencing the Parcae are three small stelae (stone or wooden slabs) found near ancient Lavinium.
  • Deities and fairies of fate in Slavic mythology.[5] There are many Slavic deities and fairies who control or foretell a person's fate.
  • Norns[6][7] are the Fates of Norse mythology, also related to other female deities in Germanic paganism
  • Deivės Valdytojos,[8] seven goddesses who weave garments made from humans' lives in Baltic paganism
  • Siming is the Chinese deity, who holds the title of Director of Destinies, who makes adjustments to humans fate and is both an abstract deity and celestial asterism. Siming has roots to shamanic traditions and was later somewhat assimilated with the Chinese god of hearth and family, named Zao Jun, Zao Shen, or Zhang Lang.
  • Purysho is the Mari Native pantheon god of fate, also known as “the caster and the creator of the future of all men.”

This motif has been replicated in fictional accounts, such as:


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  2. ^ Bulfinch, Thomas (2016). Bulfinch's mythology. Publishing. ISBN 9781420953046. OCLC 1017567068.
  3. ^ Homer (1938–42). The Odyssey, with an English translation. W. Heinemann. OCLC 7440655.
  4. ^ Day, John (1988). God's conflict with the dragon and the sea : echoes of a Canaanite myth in the Old Testament. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521256003. OCLC 1056600192.
  5. ^ Cross, Tom Peete (July 1919). "Celtic MythologyThe Mythology of All Races, Vol. III. John Arnott MacCulloch , Jan Máchal , Louis Herbert Gray". The American Journal of Theology. 23 (3): 371–376. doi:10.1086/480029. ISSN 1550-3283.
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  7. ^ Med, Intervju; Horverak, Øyvind (October 1995). "Article". Nordisk Alkoholtisdkrift (Nordic Alcohol Studies). 12 (5–6): 303–304. doi:10.1177/1455072595012005-616. ISSN 0789-6069.
  8. ^ Klimka, Libertas (2012-03-01). "Senosios baltų mitologijos ir religijos likimas". Lituanistica. 58 (1). doi:10.6001/lituanistica.v58i1.2293. ISSN 0235-716X.
  9. ^ Shakespeare, William (1623-01-01), "Macbeth", The Oxford Shakespeare: The Tragedy of Macbeth, Oxford University Press, pp. 91–92, doi:10.1093/oseo/instance.00000007, ISBN 9780198129011
  10. ^ "Boogie Nights, 1997 (Movie Review and Trivia)", Appetite, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012, p. 24, doi:10.2307/j.ctt1b3h9zv.18, ISBN 9780822978459
  11. ^ Ginsberg, Allen (2006). Howl. Museum of American Poetics Publications. OCLC 666904326.