Ovid - Metamorphoses - Jason and Medea [extract]
Type of Spiritual Experience
The system of Fate - The Greek Moirae or Moerae (The Fates), were white-robed personifications of destiny. The Roman equivalent were the Parcae, or Fata. The fates were supposed to control the metaphorical thread of life of every thing from birth to death (and beyond). Even the gods feared the Fates; Zeus, for example, was supposed to be subject to their power. I consider that there is a fundamental difference between fate and destiny. Destiny is equivalent to project management – setting a plan for life and then trying to keep to the end result required. A plan can be executed any number of ways, however, which is where fate may come in. Fate isn’t decided for us, it is what we do to try to keep to plan, but it is clear we sometimes go off course and this is where fate may step in. But destiny steps in to correct us. There were three Fates[more correctly destinies] in both Greek and Roman mythology:
- Clotho ( "spinner") - who spun the thread of life from her distaff onto her spindle.
- Lachesis - "allotter" or drawer of lots.
- Atropos - "inexorable" or "inevitable", literally "unturning", thus the goddess that once the path had been chosen ensured the person’s fate was sealed.
A description of the experience
From Jason and Medea – Ovid
One labour more remains, and, tho' the last,
In danger far surmounting all the past;
That enterprise by Fates in store was kept,
To make the dragon sleep that never slept,
Whose crest shoots dreadful lustre; from his jaws
A triple tier of forked stings he draws,
With fangs, and wings of a prodigious size:
Such was the guardian of the golden prize.
Yet him, besprinkled with Lethaean dew,
The fair enchantress into slumber threw;
And then, to fix him, thrice she did repeat
The rhyme, that makes the raging winds retreat,
In stormy seas can halcyon seasons make,
Turn rapid streams into a standing lake;
While the soft guest his drowzy eye-lids seals,
Th' ungarded golden fleece the stranger steals;
Proud to possess the purchase of his toil,
Proud of his royal bride, the richer spoil;
To sea both prize, and patroness he bore,
And lands triumphant on his native shore.
The source of the experienceOvid
Concepts, symbols and science items
Activities and commonsteps