Fragments from the Forest, Part 3 – Influencing the Fates

TOUCHING WOOD – a meaning.

It could also be that touching wood is a sign of humility, a gesture designed to placate some mysterious forces who might become annoyed and vengeful at too much boasting. This of course, brings in the idea that there are forces outside our control who can influence our destiny. This might be known as ‘the wrath of the gods’, or more specifically in the case of ancient Greece, the three fates who wove the destiny of man on their loom; Clotho, the spinner, Lachesis, who measured out the length of the thread of life, and Antropus, whose job it was to snip the dangling thread when Clotho had finished weaving it into her fabric.
But we are not ancient Greeks and although some of their beliefs have filtered through to today, there have been other forces from other mythologies at work as well. Some of these early beliefs might well have filtered through via the Celts whose culture covered a large part of Europe and who occupied Britain many centuries ago. In the UK there is also a long history of Scandinavian folklore and belief infiltrating our culture, for example the names of their gods have become attached to our days of the week – Tuesday (Tiw’s Day), Wednesday (Woden’s Day), Thursday (Thor’s Day) and Friday (Freya’s Day).