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The Weavers of Fate


Cletho, Lachesis and Atropos



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Carlos Parada's Genealogical Guide to Greek Mythology Online

Hesiodos - The Theogony

Cletho, Lachesis and Atropos - The Weavers of Fate

In Loom Cletho (female), Lachesis (female) and Atropos (male) are the names of the three elder weavers, who control the great loom. The three names: Cletho, Lachesis and Atropos are however all borrowed from greek mythology. There they are the names of the three goddesses who determin the length of a life, the fate of a life and when a thread should be cut and thus a life ended. The greek name Cletho (from klwqw) means "Spinner" and she is the one spinning the thread. The greek name Lachesis (from lagcanw) means "Disposer of lot" and she assigns each thread its destiny. The greek name Atropos (from atropoj) means in this connection "unchangeable or relentless" and she cuts the threads in two when the time to end a life has come.

Sometimes these three moirai (Fates) are portraited as spinners of thread, but other times as spinners and weavers. When that is the case Cletho spins the thread, Lachesis weaves the thread into a piece of cloth whose pattern determins the threads destiny and Atropos tears the cloth asunder when life is to be ended.

Cletho, Lachesis and Atropos appear in many greek and latin texts, but the greek author Hesiodos is among the first to tell us about them in his grand work "The Theogony". The following excerpt is from his text and concerns Cletho, Lachesis and Atropos:

Line 211-225
"And Night bare hateful Doom and black Fate and
Death, and she bare Sleep and the tribe of Dreams. And again the
goddess murky Night, though she lay with none, bare Blame and
painful Woe, and the Hesperides who guard the rich, golden apples
and the trees bearing fruit beyond glorious Ocean. Also she bare
the Destinies and ruthless avenging Fates, Clotho and Lachesis
and Atropos, who give men at their birth both evil and good
to have, and they pursue the transgressions of men and of gods:
and these goddesses never cease from their dread anger until they
punish the sinner with a sore penalty. Also deadly Night bare
Nemesis to afflict mortal men, and after her,
Deceit and Friendship and hateful Age and hard-hearted Strife."