Conspiring with The Fates



We’re on the road today, making our way to Kansas City for our spring weekend intensive. Since this is also New Blog Post Wednesday, we thought we’d share a little bit of what we’ll be doing this weekend. Before every intensive we offer, we send the participants the version of the story that we’ll be working with throughout the event. What follows is an excerpt of this weekend’s story. It was a little trickier to do this time around, as you’ll see. But, we are still very excited about the work ahead, and we hope that we’ll see you, if not at this event, one in the very near future. 


If you have been to an Expanding Inward event in the past, this would be the moment where we send you the story and give you a bit of background as to how we plan to work with it during the intensive. Except that this time, we’re working with The Fates. They don’t have a story—they have all the stories — or rather, they weave and breathe life into all of our stories, human and divine. That makes it next to impossible to narrow down to a specific narrative with a distinct plotline.

But … what we can tell you are some of the rumors and suppositions around who these three mysterious Sisters are. We can tell you how we think they might inform our work together. But, if we are to be perfectly honest, we won’t know for sure what our time together holds until you bring your own unique and Fate-given thread of life onto the loom that that weaves our community for the weekend. Together, we hope to conspire and ask The Fates to teach us the art of weaving the world.

The Fates, the Moirae, the Sisters Three — they who are thought to control the destiny of every being — human or immortal — these are the beings we are inviting into our circle this weekend. We will call to Clotho – the Spinner, who spins the thread of each being’s life. We will call to Lachesis, the Apportioner, who decides the length of that life. And finally, we will call to Atropos, the Inevitable, who will snip the thread at the end.

The origin of the Moirae changes depending on whom you ask. Some say they are the daughters of Zeus and Themis, the goddess of justice — the children of leadership and law. Some sources even indicate that only Zeus, the leader of the Olympian gods, was immune to the dictates of the Fates. As Zeus Morigates (he who commands the power of Fate), he alone among the gods did not have his destiny determined. Still other stories, including Plato’s Republic, claim that they are the daughters of Ananke, the primordial goddess who governed necessity and inevitability, and her consort, Chronos, or Time.  Ananke and Chronos are old … some of the oldest of the ancient Greek gods, which might make them slightly more likely parents than that young upstart Zeus. But, again … these are rumors.

The Fates are almost always pictured with a spindle and thread – and the idea of using threads and cords to weave magic that will change or influence the outcome of an event is something that has lasted throughout history. We see evidence of it in many Greek stories, and the theme runs even into the modern era with fairy tales — just think how many children’s stories involve a spindle, thread, or weaving in a way that is tied to the character’s fate. Sleeping Beauty, Rumplestiltskin … the list goes on.

We spent some time at our fall facilitators’ retreat visioning possible themes for this event. Laurie described what came to us in a blog post last December:

“Here’s what we heard. Earth spirits and tree spirits and ancestors. Piecing things together, weaving and re-weaving. Reaching out. Pleading for connection. Warnings and calls for collaboration and invitations into relationship. Something about the wisdom of patterns and something about being a part of a whole greater than we can see.”

It became clearer and clearer the more we shared that The Fates were the ones calling to us. We were seeking a story, and instead, we found the Storytellers. We were looking for a narrative, and we found all of the narratives. We found the Thread, we found the Loom – and now we just need those who are willing to Weave. That, dear friends, is where you enter this story. We’re extremely excited to see where this work takes us, and the patterns that are woven as we move, sing, discuss, drum, connect, breathe, and work magic together. Safe travels to all of you, and may the Fates be with you in your journey.

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