Decima and the Fates in Mythology, from a Classical Manual 1827
See also Over 250 Books on DVDrom on Mythology, Gods and Legends
For a list of all of my digital books and disks click here
[While the National Weather Service doesn’t officially name winter storms, the Weather Channel does and they have been doing so since 2012 when they named the NorEaster “Winter Storm Athena.” They have also been notorious for using terms like “Snowtober” and “Snowmageddon” to describe disruptive winter storms. This winter the Weather Channel has chosen the name of Decima, a name that some regard as the Winter Witch, but she was certainly one of the Fates in ancient mythology. So who were the Fates?]
The Fates, or PARCAE, were goddesses, whose power among the ancients was considered to be absolute. They were supposed to preside over the birth, life, and death of mankind; but mythologists differ with respect to their number and origin. Hesiod and Apollodorus trace the latter to Nox, or to Jupiter and Themis; Orpheus, to Erebus; Lycophron, to the sea and Jupiter Zeus; and others, to Necessity and Destiny. Cicero identifies them with the fatal necessity or destiny by which all things are directed and governed; Lucian confounds them with Destiny, or Eimarmene; while others describe them either as the ministers of that divinity, of Jupiter, or of Pluto. With respect to their number, it is the received opinion that it was three; and the names generally applied to them are, CLOTHO, LACHESIS, and ATROPOS. The number three is said to imply, by an ingenious allegory, the three divisions of time, as referred to the present, the past, and the future; Clotho, who held the distaff, in the act of spinning, designating the present; Lachesis, a well-filled spindle, the past; and Atropos, a pair of scissors with which she cut the thread (emblematical of the course of life), the future. Pausanias enumerates three other goddesses, who discharged the offices of the Fates: viz. Venus Urania, Fortune, and Ilithyia. Some add to these Proserpine, or Stygian Juno (who often disputes with Atropos the office of cutting the thread of life), and Opis, the same as Nemesis, or Adrastia. The Romans assigned the names DECIMA, NONA, and MORTA, to the Fates. Many of the ancients affirm that they were not subject to any of the gods, except Jupiter while others maintain that even Jupiter himself was obedient to their commands: some, on the contrary, assert that it was DESTINY to whose control the king of the gods was subject. The Fates inhabit, according to Orpheus, as the ministers of Pluto, a dark cave in Tartarus; according to Ovid, a palace, in which the destinies of mankind are engraven on iron and brass, so that neither the thunders of Jupiter, the motion of the heavenly bodies, nor any convulsion of nature, can efface the decrees.
The Greeks called them Moirae, the Romans in later times, Matrae, and erected altars to them at Olympia, Megara, Sicyon, and Sparta, at Rome, in Tuscany, and at Verona; in Gaul, these divinities were worshipped under the appellation of Goodess-Mothers.