The norns

Are we fated from birth or do we have free will?

  • Predestination, Fate

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
In the East I wove
In the West I wound
To the North I cast

Fate is an odd topic. It is at once both ancient and prevalent, trampled and pined over. It is the question that concerns the whole species- the future, the role of time in all things. Being such a strange topic considered at some point by every member of the race, it has been represented and artistically milled in dozens of fashions across a myriad of cultures, but none so innately concerned as in the west. Since the time of Plato and before, being best put in the doctrine of Recollection, time has traditionally been best viewed by the man standing in the middle of it, in the present. Behind him he looks to the past, and forward to the future.

Why this fit so well into western thought, all the way to modernity and now still, might appeal to the ongoing discourse concerning the recurrence of threes. In any case, ancient cultures recognized time, and fate’s function alongside it (or being one in the same for that matter) in terms of this triad. Presumably from even before the time of Plato, none deified their tri-parted representation of fate for as long as the Norse, the world’s longest lasting major pagan culture, the Sami tribes of northern Scandinavia not converting to Christianity until the 18th century. They called their keepers of fate the Norns, and the beautiful simplicity in which they embody such a complex, frightfully inescapable topic is enough to let one understand why their presence prevailed in northern heathendom for so long.

I’m doing some research on these beings and plan to post as I go along, hoping to get feedback as well as opinions, responses, questions or anything at all on the topic. I found this research to be worthwhile because the fiction of every European language is littered with the appearances of the triad of fates and its permutations. It comes up in, as mentioned before, the mythologies of the Mediterranean to the Baltic, in Shakespeare with the “weird” sisters who prophesize to Macbeth, even in Frank Herbert’s Dune with “the weirding way” taught by witches who can see into the future.
So, to get started, anyone have any more examples of any of the following?
  • · Fate or time being represented by string, rope, or twine, or anything of the sort (a web maybe)
  • · Time being divided into thirds
  • · Women having prophetic powers
  • · Predestination
  • · Fate being decided at birth
Looking forward to your input!

Rhonda Tharp

Active Member
Hello, I liked your post and it reminded me of a few things that I have come across over the years. I'm not sure if you are already familiar with the names of the Norns: Urth, Verthandi and Skuld. (Fate, Being and Necessity) These are very similar to the Egyptian goddess of past, present and future "Become, Becoming and Shall Be." Celtic Brigid had several statues with three faces that made reference to her triad of powers "healing, light, (wisdom - not sure) ... but it also references the past, present and future. These also remind me of the Hindu gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and their consorts, Saraswati, Parvati and Lakshmi, in that they are triads but also resemble your reference to "creating the thread of life, maintaining the thread of life and cutting the thread of life." They are creator, preserver, destroyer aspects of Hindu beliefs. Pop culture references to your prophetic women might include the oracle in the Matrix and Tia Dalma in Pirates of the Caribbean.



New Member
I believe there is a little of both going on in our lives. I think there are some things that may be fated to happen but then again they could depend upon the path we choose to take at that time.


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