Orphic Hymn #59 — To the Fates (Athanassakis translation)
Incense — aromatic herbs
Boundless Fates, dear children of dark Night,
hear my prayer, O many-named
dwellers on the lake of heaven, where the frozen water is broken
by the night’s warmth in the shady hollow of a sleek cave;
from there you fly to the vast earth, home of mortals, from there
clothed in purple, you march toward men,
whose noble aims match their vain hopes,
in the realm of the dead, where glory drives her chariot on
all over the earth beyond the ends of Justice,
of anxious hope, of primeval law, of the measureless principle of order.
In life Fate alone watches; the other immortals
who dwell on the peaks of snowy Olympos do not,
except for Zeus’ perfect eye. Fate and Zeus’ mind
know all things for all time.
I pray to you to come, gently and kindly,
Atropos, Lakhesis, Klotho, offspring of noble stock.
Airy, indivisible, inexorable, ever indestructible,
you give all and take all, being to men the same as necessity.
Fates, hear my prayers, receive my libations,
come gently to the initiates, free them from pain,
When we look at the turning of the year, we often start to wonder what the New Year will have in store for us. It is at this point that we should reflect on both the Fates and Free Will. The Morai know what will happen, yes, because in some ways as immortals they stand outside of the flow of time and can see the consequences of the choices we make in our day-to-day lives. But, just because they can see those consequences, we are not absolved of the responsibility for our actions.
By our choices, we create a good portion of our circumstances — even if we do not create them all. Yes, the parts that we do not create can be said to be the “gifts” of the Morai. At least some of them are given to us to encourage us to (at least potentially) grow towards excellence. Not everyone will accept these gifts as they often are painful if they actually lead towards growth.
The parts that are not this way often seem arbitrary to us, but they are still a part of the pattern that the Morai weave in the tapestry of the Cosmos — and may actually be the gifts of the Morai to other people who need to choose for themselves whether to accept them or not.
At the turning of the calendar year, I am asking that the Morai be kind to my family. I ask that they are kind to the world in general…..