The Fates are a common motif in European polytheism, most frequently represented as a trio of goddesses. The Fates shape the destiny of each human, often expressed in textile metaphors such as spinning fibers into yarn, or weaving threads on a loom. The trio are generally conceived of as sisters and are often given the names Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, which are the names of the Moirai, the version of the Fates who appear in Greek mythology. These divine figures are often artistically depicted as beautiful maidens with consideration to their serious responsibility: the life of mortals. Poets, on the other hand, typically express the Fates as ugly and unwavering, representing the gravity of their role within the mythological and human worlds.

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