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  1. Veggie dancer

    Fate / Wyrd

    Hi folks, I've been doing some research into the ideas of Fate and Wyrd and the surrounding mythologies. I wanted to sum up and share with you my understanding of the concepts so far and see what else any of you have to add and maybe this can help anyone else starting out understand the basic ideas. Fate: this is relatively simple and is the idea that everything is predetermined and controlled by a higher force or being: our destiny is completely out of our control. The mythology around this includes 'the Fates' called Moirai, in Greek mythology, Parcae, in Roman mythology and Sudice in Slavic mythology. In Greek mythology: Clotho, the youngest of the three Fates (female divine beings) spun the thread of destiny determining the time of birth of an individual; Lachesis measured the thread length to determine the length of life; finally, cruel Atropos cut the thread of life, determining this way the time of death. They also allocated good, evil and suffering in various measures. No other god had the right or the means to alter their decisions. The Norse concept of Wyrd and the mythology of the Norns is at first glance similar but it is actually quite different and more complicated.. it includes the idea that our choices and actions can influence the future and not only for ourselves but that all things are interconnected and the consequences of our actions can be far reaching. Aside from the influence of our own actions there are a great many things that are out of our control and influence our destiny, some patterns we can effect, some we can't. The Norns are three female divine beings. Their names are Urd, “What Once Was” (past), Verdandi, “that which is in the process of becoming” (present) and Skuld “What shall necessarily be" (not exactly future) (Among other things) They weave destiny like a web or tapestry. Here is a bit or Norn mythology quoted from this website: http://www.aworldofmyths.com/Norse_Gods/Norns.html The Norns sometimes wove webs so large that while one of the weavers stood on a high mountain in the extreme east, another waded far out into the western sea. The threads of their woof resembled cords, and varied greatly in hue, according to the nature of the events about to occur, and a black thread, tending from north to south, was invariably considered an omen of death. As these sisters flashed the shuttle to and fro, they chanted a solemn song. They did not seem to weave according to their own wishes, but blindly, as if reluctantly executing the wishes of Orlog, the eternal law of the universe, an older and superior power, who apparently had neither beginning nor end. Two of the Norns, Urd and Verdandi, were considered to be very beneficent indeed, while the third, it is said, relentlessly undid their work, and often, when nearly finished, tore it angrily to shreds, scattering the remnants to the winds of heaven. As personifications of time, the Norns were represented as sisters of different ages and characters, Urd appearing very old and decrepit, continually looking backward, as if absorbed in contemplating past events and people; Verdandi, the second sister, young, active, and fearless, looked straight before her, while Skuld, the type of the future, was generally represented as closely veiled, with head turned in the direction opposite to where Urd was gazing, and holding a book or scroll which had not yet been opened or unrolled. So there you go.. The ideas of Wyrd resonate with me much more than Fate, although I think when most people use the word 'Fate' they don't necessarily mean it literally actually. This web page really helped me understand what Wyrd means: http://www.wyrdwords.vispa.com/heathenry/whatwyrd.html And a bit more bibliography ;-) ... http://mythmaniacs.com/fates.htm http://www.greek-gods.info/ancient-greek-gods/fates/ http://norse-mythology.org/gods-and-creatures/others/the-norns/ Please add your thoughts and point out anything you think I've missed or got wrong. Sarah
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