Who are “The Fates?” A Fairy Tale…from Romania

When I was little, I was told times and again, the story of the “Sleeping Beauty”. The beautiful princess was the only child of  a powerful Emperor. At her birth the “Ursitoare” (Romanian for fortune tellers) were invited to bestow on the child  a life of health, happiness and wealth.  They were held in high esteem and well respected, after all they had the key to the princess’ future.  Then, an evil  “Ursitoare”,  who was upset for not having been invited to the feast,  came out of nowhere and wished upon the baby that on her 16th Birthday she will prick her finger and fall asleep forever, and so will the entire country ruled by her father!  As this curse was place upon the baby’s life and the whole empire, those present were stunned, as they all knew once an “Ursitoare”  made a wish nothing could take it back.  But wait! One of the good ursitoare STILL had the right to bestow ONE more gift on the baby. She was unable to undo the curse of the evil “Ursitoare”, but she could put a “twist” on the final outcome.  She predicted that indeed, no matter what the Emperor will attempt to do to protect his daughter from pricking her finger and falling asleep, the child will follow the predicted destiny and prick her finger and fall in a death-like sleep. However, the sleep was not permanent and the spell could only be broken if a Pure, handsome Prince will find the Sleeping Beauty and charmed by her beauty will instantly fall in love with her and kiss her lovingly, wishing her awake.  Indeed, the predicted destiny of the Princess followed its course, and this is how one of the most charming and well known fairy tales was born. … and they lived happily ever after!

As far as reality… I don’t know if any “Ursitoare” came at by birth to wish upon me and my life. I do know I was a sickly child and because my parents opposed Christianity, my aunt, who was a secret Christian in Communist Romania, took me in secret to a Priest to baptize me. It was believed if a baby died  not baptized, the baby went to Hell!   I  also know,  that a year before I was allowed to be birthed, my mother had yet another abortion.  The child before me was a boy and  from the very beginning I was a disappointment to my parents because I wasn’t  male.

As years went by, I developed a theory, that in fact each time  she had an abortion she  disallowed the spirit of the baby to manifest on Earth. I came to believe, even if the flesh  and sex were different, the spirit was the same.  This spirit was meant to manifest here on Earth, at this time, and  in the form of who I am, which is only the packaging.  I have not heard of any stories of “Ursitoare” bestowing upon people destinies before they are born. However, I believe my destiny started before I manifested in flesh. The spirit which I house had many setbacks even before it was allowed to set foot on Earth and cry out loud: “I am alive! You could not stop that which was meant to be! ”

How could have the “spirit of the babies” have changed their fate? By positive thinking?  A “Ursitoare”, or a Power Greater than us, God, as I accept God, in a very personal way, must have given this spirit the gift of perseverance;  to be killed and rebirthed over and over again until being allowed into this World.  This spirit must have a very important mission, a noble purpose to have gone through such hardships before even existing in a form we call  human.

The concept of fate is as old as the Greek Mythology and the version of the Romanian “Ursitoare” were the “Moirae”. They are considered Goddesses  and they originated at the birth of someone, but later their powers were attributed additional meanings, as influencers of important events in one’s life. For instance, brides in Athens offer them locks of hair as part of their wedding ceremonies.  “Moira” means in Greek “a part”. They control a part of every person’s life from birth to death.  In Roman times,  they are called “Parcae”, while in Germanic paganism there are many female beings called “Norns”, who determine the future of a person.

The concept didn’t disappear with the rise of Christianity in the Middle Ages. “Fortuna” continues to appear in the literature and art of the time. The three witches in Shakespeare’s  Macbeth. A new image and concept of “Fortuna” became popular, and Fortuna now appears as “two-faced” (smiling and frowning, half face white and half black)  but is represented as larger than life, to illustrate its importance.  However, it is essential to note that “Fortuna” rules only half of man’s life, the other is their own will.  Machiavelli’s “The Prince” Chapter 25  is an excellent illustration of this concept.

The duality of fortune is now expressed  in the appearance of the “Wheel of Fortune” and the Christian concept that  the apparent random turns life takes are in fact parts of a larger God’s plan,  we, mortals, do not grasp in its entirety but should accept.  A good example of this concept is Boethius’ “Consolation of Philosophy” which he wrote while facing execution.

From an astrological point of view, “Fortuna” is a mathematical point in the zodiac.  It is at this point in history when Al Biruni, an 11th century mathematician,  lists 97 Arabic Parts, which is a mathematical formula meant to show the degree of “luck” one is given at birth, just by calculating the position of three planets at the time of birth.   Later, Paul Vachier designed the “Arabic Parts Calculator” which was intensely used in those times.

Fate… luck… to what degree can we influence it or are we indeed completely in control of our destiny if we know how to visualize our lives as we wish them to be?

Here’s what Shakespeare thought:

“When in disgrace with Fortune and men’s eyes,

I ace alone

beweep my outcast State.”  Shakespeare, Sonnet 29

But this is NOT what I think.  See you tomorrow!

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