I have recently been looking at the Goddess Ananke. Ananke and Her consort Khronos, were primal energies emerging from chaos, producing the world egg and then wrapping themselves around it causing it to burst. Out of that egg came the world and all that it contains. Just imagine, the world being formed by two energies – those of Inevitability or Necessity and by Time. How simple and yet how complex.
The story of Ananke and Khronos is large. Those ancients who held onto this story were not speaking of small things. This is the creation of a Universe. And yet, in the theory of “as above – so below”, we can look and see Ananke and Khronos at work in our lives all the time.
Time and Inevitability – perhaps everything can be broken down into these two principles. With Time and Inevitability, we are born, we age and we die. A life is led, perhaps filled with love, perhaps many things. As children we play and learn and eventually become adults. We marry. We have children. Some step into careers and choose not to procreate, rather putting their energies into work and other kinds of relationships, still creating, just not procreating. Also, it is possible that some of those lives will follow a darker path into poverty, criminality, envy and greed. It is hard to know at birth, the path that will be followed by a child. And yet there is a certain amount of inevitability that when a child is born into a life containing a dark poverty of spirit, that the child may not thrive in healthy wholesome ways in adulthood.
Time and Inevitability – since we are coming out of the traditional Thanksgiving Day, we can use it as one example. Many large families get together with turkey and all the trimmings and football on the TV. We all know that in this large family, there are many opinions, with diversity at play in every way possible. The potential for argument is all there and even happens. It is contained by one thing – love. Love that holds gratitude, that time has brought them together, still alive yet all moving toward the inevitable.
Time and Inevitability – our days leading to night, our summers leading to winter. Here we are, now facing winter. Our summer has long ended, our winter is beginning, the Inevitability of Time brings change. There is hope in that because not only does summer end and winter begin – summer returns. It is Inevitable!
That is the promise of Ananke. That while we may experience Darkness, the Light will return.
Ananke and Khronos were the parents of the Moirae (or the Three Fates). Moirae means “parts” or “shares.” It was believed that the Moirae assigned each person their “fate” or their share in life. These Three Fates were, Klotho, meaning Spinner – the one who spins the threads of life, Lakhesis which means “apportioner of lots” (one who measured the thread) and Atropos, meaning “she who cannot be turned”or she who cut the thread. It was said that at the birth of each man they appeared spinning, measuring, and cutting the thread of life. Life was hard then, the gods of man were stern and inflexible. Life was stern and inflexible.
We know now that life offers choice in how we fill it. We live with Time. It is a constant. We live with one certain Inevitability. In all of that lies choice in how we live while we have life. We will have days of joy and days of sorrow. We will have times to play and times, so filled with stress, we will wonder why we continue. In those days of darkness and even as we face the changing season and move into winter, we know that summer returns. So too, will the light and a return of love. That is the promise of Ananke.
Deanne Quarrie. D. Min. is a Priestess of the Goddess. She is the author of five books. She is the founder of the Apple Branch where she teaches courses in Feminist Dianic Witchcraft, Northern European Witchcraft and Druidic Shamanism. She mentors those who wish to serve others in their communities. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Ocean Seminary College and is the founder of Global Goddess, a worldwide organization open to all women who honor some form of the divine feminine.
8 thoughts on “Ananke’s Promise by Deanne Quarrie”
Brava! This is one of the best blogs I’ve ever read. It’s so true that even in tiny ways in our individual lives, Time and Inevitability create our personal realities and link them to consensual reality.
Thank you! Your words are so appreciated, Barbara!
Beautiful words! I so love the way you equated differing opinions and arguments among family members with love – the love that continues to bring them together to hash out their differences – a very loving thought to hold as we pass through inevitability and time.
I looked up the name in ancient Greek, and found Ananke / ἀνάγκη, defined as “perforce,” “of necessity,” or as you say, “inevitability.” But in the plural it refers to laws, specifically the “laws of nature,” which is so lovely really, and interesting, because nature’s laws are not just inevitable, but always seem to make good sense. And certainly the universe was indeed created by way of time and the laws of nature. Perfect!!
Great post, Deanne. This myth is part of the Orphic tradition, is it not? The Orphics liked philosophical takes on reality, I think, so they translate nicely into our times.
One quibble: I think using Darkness to mean night, lack of light, etc. is fine. But I would avoid “dark” in such statements as “darker path into poverty, criminality, envy and greed” or “when a child is born into a life containing a dark poverty of spirit,” because of its racist connotations.
The stories of Ananke and Khronos, yes, do arise from the Orphic cosmogonies. As to your comments about the use of “dark” being seen as a racist connotation would have to come from the mindset of the reader, I suppose. To me dark has never been about skin color but about the energies of our hidden darker nature.
Thank you Deanne, a lovely post inter alia reminding us of this great myth … and being the parents of the Three Fates.
Thank you, Susan and All! Your comments and “thank you’s” are so appreciated!