Greek goddess of fate Ananke
When I first came across Ananke, the Greek goddess of fate through fiction, I was completely fascinated - a goddess who is the Necessity. A deity who is greater than and more indestructible than fate. An underlying force that shapes what must be shaped - but only that.
Greek goddess of fate Ananke
How did the Greek goddess of fate originate?
In the beginning of time, Ananke emerged from himself as a snake whose arms enclose the entire universe. She is the goddess of Necessity. Invisible, untouchable, elusive and indomitable in their contact with both deities and humans.
In "Kadmos and Harmonia's wedding party", Calasso tells how Zeus, who was born into a world that was already old, thinks about the past;
Greek goddess of fate Ananke
on the part of history which only he among the Twelve knew and which reminded himself every time something fateful would happen. ... In the belly of Zeus gathered all that had been and all that was to come. ... In his appalling loneliness, Zeus saw the life that lay before his birth. ... He thought further and further back, past his father Kronos, and finally stopped at a point that became the final one, because it was the first. At that time there was not yet space, but a convex surface that was covered with hundreds of thousands of mountains. This surface extended beyond what the eye could see. If you followed the scales downwards, you discovered that they merged with other scales, in the same color, and the two parts intertwined in an ever tighter braid. The eye lost focus and could no longer distinguish the two snake skins that wound into each other. If one looked upwards, towards the heads of the two entangled snakes, one saw that the body of the first snake rose further up and the mountains were no longer mountains, but formed the face of a deity; this was the first face that testified to what a deity is, and on each side were seen other heads, a lion and an ox, and from the back rose a pair of huge and finely drawn wings. A white female arm drilled in and around the god's arm high up,as the snakes' tails were tied together at the bottom. Against the face of the god the woman's face turned, and she stretched out her free hand, behind which the mighty wing vibrated, as far as she could: where her fingernails reached, there was the boundary of Everything. They were an immobile and royal couple: they were called Time-Without-Age and Ananke.
Here Calasso describes Ananke as a woman instead of a goddess and Kronos as the first deity. We do not know why he does this, but as a mythologist he should be aware that Ananke, in most of the Greek myths (and Greek deity) is the one who existed first and foremost. But that's one of the charms of "Kadmos and Harmonia's wedding party", Calasso allows himself to be just as inconsistent as the oral myths are. She mates with Kronos - the time. So far, the myths agree. But the result of their sacred intercourse may be different. Or maybe the result is the same? "Together they enclose the primordial matter of matter and divide it into earth, sky and seaand thus created an orderly universe "says one source, while another says:" They are forever intertwined and from their intercourse were born Etern, Chaos and Night. " Chaos, we have learned, stands in opposition to the cosmos. But is it is not really the same thing? Can there be an ordered universe, the cosmos, without the movement of the forces of chaos? A cosmos without chaos does not it just become a frozen image?
The difference between Necessity and destiny
But what is the difference between Necessity and Destiny? It is considered that our destiny can be influenced, but it is also considered that it is not possible to change. Maybe we can shape it, maybe not. We do not really know, nor do the myths tell us. The goddesses of fate spin our thread of life and weave the fabric together. They are mythological spinner shoes and they are always goddesses. The god of fate has never existed. Gods can be heroes or lunatics. They affect people's lives, but the thread of life they are unable to spin or weave the fabric of life. We may, or may not, shape destiny, but Necessity is incapable of affecting either deities or humans. The necessity is unshakable. Therefore, Ananke has no temples or places of worship. Why would people pray to her who still does not listen? She who lets the necessary happen - regardless of what deities and people do. This is the reason why she also does not accept sacrificial gifts and why people have not created statues depicting her. Of course, Ananke stands over the deities of Olympus, the new ones, those who do not create in a sacred intercourse but rule the world through rape. Zeus' rapes also control Ananke. They are necessary to consolidate the patriarchal world order. Why the patriarchal world order was necessary is also no point in asking Ananke about - she still does not answer. In the new age, which the deities of Olympus represent, the deities continue to submit to Ananke but also to make use of her. People, on the other hand, submit only. Still, they try to free themselves from her. They create the police, a public space, a context for the free men, those who do not see themselves as bound by Necessity. Women do not have access to the police, they are automatically tied to the Necessity (and maybe not really real people?) Because they are the vessel for the man's children. Of course, the slaves do not have access either, just as farmers, traders, artisans and those who govern the city-state are excluded from the police because they are bound by Necessity. What remains is a small handful of men who can have dialogues about life's big questions. The dialogues are conducted in the manner of men,not primarily to understand each other but in the competition. Most skilled in rhetoric, reasonably original and clearest in thought are given the opportunity to achieve immortality - not by the body but by names and ideas. This is how a male elite tries to tear off Ananke's shackles. But Euripides lets Queen Hecabe in conversation with Agamemnon say:
"A free man? - Such a thing does not exist! All men are slaves ..."
Since the physical body actually dies, the free men are still bound to the Necessity. They could not have been unaware that it was only from a human point of view that they were free because they did not need (or had the privilege to, depending on the perspective taken) deal with the realities of life. From a cosmic perspective, they, like all other living beings, were subject to Ananke.
Nordic goddess of fate Urd
Ananke is the mother of the goddess of fate Moira. Moira has only one mother, Necessity alone breeds fate, no one is needed anymore. In Nordic myth, there was also originally a goddess of fate - Urd. Eventually they became three, both in Greece and in the Nordic countries. Moira was transformed into Moirai and was named Klotho, Atropos and Lachesis. Urd was divided and became the Norns Urd, Verdandi and Skuld. Their function as spinners and weavers of life and destiny seems similar.
Nordic goddess of fate Urd, Verdandi and Skuld.
In the Nordic countries, there is no goddess of fate
In the Nordic countries we have no Ananke, no goddess of fate. However, she is represented in our runes. The Nau∂ rune represents Necessity, the witches in their inexhaustible aspect. And so difficult are we to accept the influence of Necessity over our lives that Nau∂ has become distressed has become poverty and scarcity.
Sometime, somewhere, in another time, we placed and lost the knowledge that Nau∂ is the ninth rune, the circumference of the circle, Ananke's arms that enclose the cosmos and is life itself.
Discover more articles in the main menu at the top of this page.