The Apportioner of Lots
Normally seen clothed in white, Lakhesis is the measurer of the thread spun on Klotho’s spindle. She is the apportioner, deciding how much time for life is to be allowed for each person or being, by measuring the thread of life with her rod. She is also said to choose a person’s destiny after a thread is measured. Amongst her duties in Hades, Lakhesis instructs the souls who are about to choose their next life, assigns them lots, and presents them all of the kinds – human and animal – from which they may choose their next life.
In mythology, it is said that she appears with her sisters within three days of a baby’s birth to decide the baby’s fate.
Lakhesis in the 6th Age
“The gods were moved; but none can break the ancient Sisters’ iron decrees.”Ovid
Lakhesis was born of Zeus and the Titan Themis.
Of the three women that made up the Court of the Moirai, Lakhesis was the most social. Though the Fates’ sacred duty of escorting Persephone to and from Hades was a formal and often sombre affair, she was always warm with the young woman, and sometimes sought her out in her realm of Elysium during the winter months.
In the Waking realm she directed Lethe in the cleansing of memory for those souls new to Hades, and when the girl grew restless, assigned her to the protections of Elysium’s border.
Lakhesis had an uncanny connection to the Pattern, gifting her with intuitive insight about others. In the main it was an ability woken by touch, in which she was able to divine the past, present and future of a person’s thread. She was tangentially aware of connections between people, and could use this to find individuals wherever they were located around the world.
Her manner was warm and invited confidence; she enjoyed getting to know people. Her foretelling was mixed with a pinch of fortune-telling. Those fortunes, when sought by mankind, could guide the course of that person’s destiny, though she did not have the power to change or induce it. If one of the gods sought the Moirai’s counsel, it was usually Lakhesis they came to first.
Court of the Moirai
Nay, as Fate does not abruptly interfere in human affairs, but avails herself of intermediate causes, and determines the lot of mortals not absolutely, but only conditionally, even man himself, in his freedom, is allowed to exercise a certain influence upon her.Homer
The Moirai were independent from the ruling brothers’ kingdoms. They sat at the helm of necessity to direct fate, and watched that what they decreed might take its course without obstruction. Zeus, as well as the other gods and mortal man, had to submit to them. Lakhesis represented the things that were, Klotho the things that are, and Atropos the things that are to be. The Sisters attended to the thrones of both Zeus and Hades, and their ministers were all soothsayers and oracles. Though their identities were not unknown, the Sisters were nearly always veiled when they went about their work. As such, a veiled fate was a fearsome sight indeed.
See: The Moirai
- Atropos, The Unturning
- Klotho, The Spinner
- Hades, Ruler of the Underworld
- Persephone, goddess of Spring and Queen of the Underworld
- Zeus, Ruler of the Gods
- Lethe, river of Oblivion
- Eileithyia, goddess of childbirth