The Slaughtering of Autumn: A Mythological Analysis of "Over The Garden Wall"
into the coppery halls
of beach and intricate oak
to be close to the trees
as they whisper together
let fall their leaves,
and we die for the winter
- Kathrine Towers, Whim Wood
*If you are unfamiliar with the Cartoon Network Miniseries, I have written a synopsis you can download below; otherwise, read on.*
Cross-cultural mythic significance resides in the fact that autumn gives way to winter during Wirt and Greg's near-death adventure; furthermore, the creatures and places they discover provide proof our heroes are wandering through the underworld. By exploring the great myths of Autumn; the metaphysical significance of the sun; the symbolism of the Black Turtle, Wolf, and Dog; the macabre ceremonies and the unusual mayor of Pottsfield; the effect of winter’s rule; and, the all-consuming north wind, Wirt and Greg’s stumble through the wood becomes a struggle for physical, psychological, and spiritual survival.
As early as the fourth millennium, civilizations aligned themselves to the dance of celestial bodies, not only for political and religious ends but to satisfy the most primitive instinct of all: survival. The four seasons are one of the many natural consequences of this dance, and, though the majority of modern western society is untroubled by concerns of day-to-day survival, echoes of the seasons' influence still reside with us today. The four seasons have structured the American educational system; mark the origins of some of our most celebrated holidays; have a substantial effect on our physical and psychological well-being; and, are often used as narrative devices across the whole spectrum of storytelling mediums, from novels to video games.
Classical Mythology is no exception: the ancient Greeks blamed the death of Spring and Summer, the fertile months, on the famous custody battle between Demeter, the fertility goddess, and Hades, the lord of the underworld. Unbeknownst to Demeter or her daughter Persephone, Zeus and Hades agreed to make Persephone Hades’ wife and queen of the underworld.
As Persephone was out picking flowers, the earth opened up, Hades abducted her, and drove her on his hellish chariot into the depths of the underworld. Furious with both Zeus and Hades, and heartbroken for her Persephone, Demeter left Mount Olympus, the ruling place of the gods, and relinquished her life-giving powers; the crops of humanity withered, threatening famine. To prevent catastrophe, Zeus arranged for Hades to return Persephone, but it was too late: Hades had tricked Persephone into eating the fruit of the underworld, condemning her to return to him for eternity.
Fortunately for us mortals, Zeus struck a deal with Hades, and Persephone was allowed to return to her mother for two-thirds of the year. The other third was reserved for Hades. Each year Persephone returns to her underworld throne, bringing Demeter’s life-giving warmth and love with her, and so begins the onslaught of winter.
Early Chinese myths also recognized winter’s hostile relationship to autumn and the seasons preceding it. According to the cosmology of early Han China, the chaos of the budding universe could only be brought under the conrol of Nüwa, the mother goddess and creator of man, who, with the help of Fuxi, the emperor-god and Nüwa’s brother-husband, “[established] the harmony of spring and the yang of summer, the slaughtering of autumn and the restraint of winter.” According to the Chinese-English Dictionary, Yin represents the “negative,” “hidden,” or “overcast” aspects of existence while Yang represents the “positive” and “sunny” parts “belonging to this world.” In Taoist metaphysics, yin and yang (“dark-bright” or “negative-positive”), though polar-opposites, create an indivisible whole. If the brightness of summer is associated with Yang, it follows that the darkness of winter would fall under Yin and autumn would represent a transition from light to dark, life to death, things of this world to things of another.
Wirt and Greg’s autumnal journey is an exploration along this transitory membrane that separates the lost from the found, the known from the unknown, the blazing sun of summer from winter’s endless night.
As winter takes its hold on the earth, the sun spends less and less time warming her; this absence of sun not only impacts our physical existence but has metaphysical implications as well, and the sun, being the ultimate life-giver, has been venerated as a god across the world. The Persians celebrated the return of the sun-god, Mithra, from his winter “death” with a festival coinciding with the winter solstice. “The sun,” Carl Jung, the celebrated psychoanalyst, explains, “is the Father-God from whom all living things draw life; he is the fructifier and the creator, the source of energy into our world. The discord into which the human soul has fallen can be harmoniously resolved through the sun as a natural object which knows no inner conflict . . . That this comparison is not just a matter of words can be seen from the teachings of the mystics: when they descend into the depths of their own being, they find ‘in their heart’ the image of the sun, they find their own life-force which they call the ‘sun’ for a legitimate and . . . a physical reason, because our source of energy and life actually is the sun. Our physiological life, regarded as an energy process, is entirely solar.” Winter's lack of sun not only results in chilling temperatures, dying crops, and darker days; but, mythologically and symbolically represents the otherworldly, the realm of the underworld, heartbreak, longing, and the death of the spiritual and physical self.
Wirt and Greg’s aimless wandering must evolve into a Demeter-like search for the Mithraic “unconquerable sun” if they wish to return to the realm of the living.
Before the sun-less winter smothers the auburn leaves that coat the forest floor, Greg encounters two creatures that warn the careful viewer- winter and all it represents is on its way. Just before the three-minute mark of Chapter One, Greg places one of his candies on a black turtle crawling over a log, it is later discovered a dog swallowed that turtle, and transformed into a great black wolf as a result. Returning to early Han China, The Black Turtle rules over the winter months, and is also the Chinese constellation representing the north and the winter season. In China’s Fujian province, tombs in the shape of turtle shells were fashioned to place the grave under the dominion of the Black Turtle. In the oriental spirit of non-duality, perhaps best illustrated by the Yin Yang symbol, the turtle is not only a symbol of winter and death but also of longevity, life, and stability. It was also believed that turtles worshiped the sun as they are always turning to face it. Both of these “opposites” of being are illustrated in the show: the turtle's "Yin" infects the unsuspecting farm dog, while its “Yang” gifts Auntie Whispers, in Chapter Seven, with sustenance and warmth. Neither good nor bad, these black turtles make an appearance in almost every chapter, content to wander through the darkening woods, indifferent to the impending winter storm.
Even more illuminating is the farm dog turned great black wolf. As this creature is both a dog and wolf, it is important to look at both its states. First, the dog, a domesticated version of the wolf and "man's best friend," serves as a psychopomp* in nearly all mythologies- sometimes a healer and guide, at other times a violent obstacle to overcome. At first blush, one is reminded of Cerberus, Hades underworld guard dog, eager to devour anyone attempting to leave the land of the dead. Likewise, the less hostile Egyptian dog-god, Anubis, weighs each soul’s heart against the feather of truth and, if the heart is worthy, it will not be devoured by Amemait, “Devourer of the Dead,” resulting in the final death.
The wolf, more primitive and savage than the dog, is the embodiment of death and insatiable appetite, and in “Christian Iconography [it is] the rapacious spoile[r] of sheep-like innocence . . . Wolves theriomorphically* represent the sun god Apollo as bearers of his darker, more subtle luminosity.” According to Norse Legend, the great wolf Fenrir, “He Who Dwells in the Marshes,” is the brother of Hel: the giantess who rules over the underworld of the same name. The Norse poem Vafþrúðnismál recounts one of Fenrir’s most infamous feats at Ragnarok, the devouring of the sun:
“Much I have fared, | much have I found,
Much have I got of the gods:
Whence comes the sun | to the smooth sky back,
When Fenrir has snatched it forth?”
“A daughter bright | Alfrothul‡ bears
Ere Fenrir snatches her forth;
Her mother’s paths | shall the maiden tread
When the gods of death have gone.”
It is the Native Canadian Heiltsuk belief that “wolves do not show themselves unless they are trying to tell us something.” Here the message is clear: winter is coming, and her harbingers, “the gods of death” are already making attempts to snatch Greg and Wirt’s life forces.
In the second chapter of our tale, the themes of autumn and winter are driven home when Wirt and Greg discover the town of Pottsfield and its inhabitants: reanimated skeletons who obey the dictates of Enoch, a giant maypole controlled by a speaking cat, and celebrate the harvest of the newly-dead by dancing around Enoch's maypole. As its name implies, the maypole is out of place here, most commonly used during May Day to celebrate fertility. The phallic symbol, sometimes a living tree stripped of its branches, represents the life-creating energy contained within, and the maypole dance was often preceded by a Beltane bonfire, celebrating fertility, sex, and passion, where men “leapt over bonfires, then carried the girls off into the darkness.” Though there is no place for a maypole in late autumn, its use makes sense in a land concerned with collecting the dead, for here the dead are not buried, but harvested from the soil.
Early agrarian cultures were fatally fascinated with the life-creating magic of mother earth and her regenerative soil: the deepest roots of Indian mythology. These crop-based societies believed the world's crops (and the appearance of sexual organs) sprang up from the first murdered deity's scattered carcass, setting into motion a balanced cycle of killing and eating, death and sex, for “reproduction without death would have been a calamity, as would death without reproduction." To ensure a bountiful crop and plenty of rain, animals or humans were tortured and hacked to bits- their streaming tears offered up to the heavens, their bodies sowed into the earth, in recognition of the first god’s sacrifice. One Burmese practice included the purchasing of children, often from a neighboring village: “A rope having been placed round his neck, the victim was taken to the houses of all the relatives of his purchaser. At each house a finger joint was cut off, and all persons in the house were smeared with blood. They also licked the joint and rubbed it on the cooking tripod. The victim was then tied to a post in the middle of the village and killed by repeated stabs of a spear . . . The entrails were then taken out and the flesh removed from the bones, and the whole was put in a basket and set on a platform nearby as an offering to the god. After the blood had been smeared on the purchaser and his relatives, the basket and its contents were thrown into the jungle.”
The citizens of Pottsfield celebrate the resurrection of buried bodies just as pagan practices recognized the death and resurrection of the seed: murdered, buried, and reborn, it bears the fruit of new life. The song the villagers sing as they dance around the maypole is helpful here:
Oh hie* thee forth o’er golden mead
Yon is the maypole set!
A ribbon to wind the soul
And to bind love to thy breast
From flesh removed our chalk footfall
Tempers this holy ground!
Where timeless spirits meet
‘Round the heart of Pottsfield town
This song is based on a genre of Americana music called Shape Note Singing; and, the Encyclopedia Britannica notes that “since 1801 shape notes have been associated with American sacred music, specifically with . . . all-day gatherings known as ‘singings’ . . .the simplified notation has persisted in the rural South, where it continues to form the basis of strong traditions of church and community singing.” This folk hymn’s second verse reveals that the inhabitants are skeletons, their macabre presence “tempers,” counterbalances, or modifies, the otherwise holy ground and the final line of the song cements Enoch, the maypole cat, as the “heart” and ruler of Pottsfield.
It is worth noting, as well, that Pottsfield likely got its name from “the potter’s field,” first mentioned in the Bible’s New Testament. The potter’s field, bought with the blood money Judas received from the Pharisees for betraying Christ, was a common burial ground for the unknown or impoverished: “Now this man [, Judas,] acquired a field with the price of his wickedness, and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out. And it became known to all who were living in Jerusalem; so that in their own language that field was called Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.” Even in the name of the town, we see the mythological motif of the body scattered into a field, but crops shall not be planted here- only more bodies, sinking into the earth.
In Dante’s Inferno, the underworld, funnel-shaped with its narrowest most insidious point at the center of the earth, catches those unable to ascend to heaven; these souls descend as a plant growing in reverse breaking through the veil in droves:
And after it there came so long a train
Of people, that I ne’er would have believed
That ever Death so many had undone.
A few stanzas later Dante describes the souls loading onto the ferryman’s boat:
As in the autumn-time the leaves fall off,
First one and then another, till the branch
Unto the earth surrenders all its spoils; 
As the citizens of Pottsfield embrace the reanimated skeletons emerging from their "graves," they clothe their bones (the immortal parts of a person under the Christian and Buddhist traditions) in the vegetation of the field, and the vicious cycle of reproduction and murder is complete as plant and man become one again.
Not only does Pottsfield and her citizens reveal Wirt and Greg's perilous circumstance; but, Enoch, the sentient mayoral maypole, provides cumulative insight. We find out at the closing montage of the final chapter that the maypole is not itself alive, but controlled by a black grinning cat. The cat, like the dog, is also a psychopomp; and, while the dog is a servant of man, a cat is its own master. In several cultures, the cat is honored and a welcome guest, Egyptians worshiped the cat as a god, but Christian culture associates the cat with the devil and is a favorite familiar*of witches and warlocks. It is unsurprising then that a cat should find great success in the world of the dead and dying, either as a benevolent mother or an extension of the evil lord of the underworld.
The cat’s name, Enoch, is likely a reference to a biblical character in the Hebrew book of Genesis. One may be tempted to connect Enoch the cat to Enoch the pre-flood Patriarch, who lived 365 years and “walked with God . . .[until] he was no more; for God took him,” but it is believed that Enoch did not “see death” for he “pleased God” and was carried up to heaven alive. Even Christ was not afforded this luxury. It would be a strange thing indeed for Enoch, a descendant of Seth and forefather of Christ, to preside over the souls of the dead in the land of darkness with winter and all its evils on its way.
It is more likely that Enoch the cat represents the son of Cain. Mirroring the ancient agrarian myths mentioned above and others found across the globe, Cain, who “worked the soil,” also committed the world’s first murder: “Now Cain said to his brother Abel, ‘let’s go out to the field.’ While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him . . . The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand” . . . Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence” . . . So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence . . . Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city and he named it after his son.” This Enoch, the son of the accursed gardener-murderer and builder of cities hidden from the “presence of the Lord,” is much better suited to rule over Pottsfield as the psychopomp feline who controls the maypole and oversees the harvest field of the forgotten dead. Though it has a comedic effect, Enoch's quasi-Freudian slip, accusing Wirt and Greg with murder and then retracting the charge, is a foreseeable "mistake" in a place like Pottsfield. Though our heroes may not be murderers, they will be forced to “work the soil” for their lesser crimes, clearing the harvest field to make way for winter.
Not only does winter symbolically represent death, but is, itself, an all-consuming force out to destroy Wirt and Greg, personified as the North Wind during Greg’s dream in the eighth chapter. In his dream, Greg unleashes the North Wind when he crashes through the forbidden gate in the clouds. Like the winter wind god of ancient Greece, Boreas, likely derived from the Greek verb boraô meaning “to devour” because “the cold north wind frostily devours the life of the world, leaving only the dead husks of once vernal growth,” Greg’s North Wind too has an icy beard and wants to devour all in his path. During the dream, Greg captures the North Wind in a bottle,* but back in the woods, a “real” winter storm grows into a blizzard. The North Wind’s mission is clearly laid out in his anthem:
I say, the ol' North Wind, yes, he is
He's gonna fight, he's gonna spin
He's gonna pull back, and blow a little more
Until you can't tell what you came here for
Oh Yeah, the ol' North Wind, yes, indeed
He's gonna breathe and breathe
He's gonna, bloooooow
Until you can't feel no more.
The North Wind intends to keep Greg and Wirt from ever returning home, keeping them away long enough for The Beast to claim them. In the same way as Odysseus, after his greedy shipmates open Aeolus’‡ bag of violent storm-winds, blowing him off course, Greg can only contain the North Wind in his dreams.
The winter storm descends on our heroes just as Wirt loses hope, giving up. This drastic change in Wirt and Greg’s physical environment corresponds to their psychological distress. Yin overpowers Yang; Greg goes to meet with The Beast to do his bidding until the final task: lowering the warm, life-giving sun into a china cup. The setting of the sun ushers in seemingly eternal darkness; autumn is long forgotten. It looks as if The Beast has won and death will reign over light and life physically, psychologically, and spiritually.
All this, the black turtle, the great dog/wolf, the villagers of Pottsfield and the town itself, their maypole, Enoch the cat, and the north wind personified at the moment of Wirt’s surrender make it clear that Wirt and Greg are in the underworld. The Moira, Atropos, holds the jaws of her shears over Greg and Wirt's lifelines, preparing to snip. Our heroes, lost in this realm of darkness, must hold to the “golden memories” of their past true selves to light their way through the unknown and return to the land of the living sun.
 Katherine Towers, Whim Wood, in The Remedies (2016).  See Joseph Campbell, The Masks of God Primitive Mythology 152 (1991) (Quoting from Leo Frobenius’ account of a Darfur folktale: “Throughout [Nap of Napata’s] reign the priests every night observed the stars, made offerings, kindled fires; and they were not to miss a night of these prayers and offerings, lest they should lose track of the stars and not know when, according to the practice, the king was to be killed.”).  See Melissa Robertson, Stars Clouds Crops, NASA Earth Observatory (July 24, 2000), (Explaining how Andean Mountain people observed the brightness of the Pleiades to determine when to plant their crops to reduce crop damage, centuries before NASA made the connection between the Pleiades and the rain-giving El Niño current: “[Some scientists] think it would help . . . to know what indigenous forecasting practices are, so they can . . . combine knowledge to identify new forecasting techniques.").  Science Buddies, Seasonal Science: The Reasons for the Seasons, Scientific American (Feb. 20, 2014), https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/seasonal-science-the-reasons-for-the-seasons/.  Saskia de Melker & Sam Weber, Agrarian Roots? Think again. Debunking the Myth of Summer Vacation’s Origins, PBS (Sep. 7, 2014), https://www.pbs.org/newshour/education/debunking-myth-summer-vacation (Explaining the rationale for summer vacation was based almost exclusively on intolerable city heat; shorter fall and winter breaks coincided with ideal harvest times for rural communities; and, “creating a context for academic achievement just wasn’t there.”).  See Abbé Chauve-Bertrand, Origins of Christmas, J. of Royal Astronomical Soc. Of Canada, Vol. 31, 347 (Explaining how and why the Roman Catholic church used the globally recognized pagan celebration of the winter solstice, or “birth of the sun” to symbolically represent the birth of Christ.)  See Maciej S. Buchowski, Seasonal Changes in Amount and Patterns of Physical Activity in Women, J. Phys. Act Health 252 (2009); see also Seasonal Affective Disorder, Mayo Clinic (Dec. 10, 2018, 10:00 PM), https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20364651.  See Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye (2007); The Last of Us (Naughty Dog 2013).
 Peter Bently, Dictionary of World Myth 169 (1995).  Id. at 158.  See John S. Major, et al., The Huainanzi: A Guide to the Theory and Practice of Government in Early Han China (2010).  See John DeFrancis, ABC Chinese-English Comprehensive Dictionary 1147 (2003); see also Id. at 1108.  Taylor Latener, et al., The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Confucianism 869 (2005).  See Kay Almere Read, Mesoamerican Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs of Mexico and Central America 193 (2000) (Explaining that the Aztecs made sacrifices to the sun god Huītzilōpōchtli to prevent an infinite night); see also Charles P. Mountford, The Dreamtime: Australian Aboriginal Myths (1965) (“[Before Wuriupranili, the sun-goddess,] reaches the western horizon . . . [and] returns by the underground passage to her camp in the east, she again decorates herself with red ocher, thus creating the brilliant colours of sunset.”); see also The Poetic Edda, Völuspá, stanzas 5-6. (Describing the Norse sun goddess Sól and the moon god Mani”).  See Joseph Campbell, The Masks of God: Occidental Mythology 159-260 (1991)  C. G. Jung, Jung on Astrology: Selected and introduced by Safron Rossi and Keiron Le Grice 176-177 (2018).  See Campbell supra note 15.  Derek Walters, Chinese Mythology: An Encyclopedia of Myth and Legend 26-27 (1993).  Jan Jakob Maria, The Religious System of China 1082-1083 (1892).  See Joseph Campbell, The Masks of God: Oriental Mythology, 23-25 (1991).  See Derek Walters, The Complete Guide to Chinese Astrology: The Most Comprehensive Study of the Subject Ever Published in the English Language, 88 (1999); see also Id. at 169.  Id. * A spiritual guide of a person’s (often still living) soul to the place of the dead.  The Book of the Dead, Spell 125. * When a deity takes on an animal’s form  Ami Ronnberg et al., The Book of Symbols: Reflections on Archetypal Images 247 (2010).  Simek Rudolf, Dictionary of Northern Mythology 81 (1993).  The Prose Edda, Gylfaginning, Sacred Texts, http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/pre/pre04.htm (Dec. 28, 2018) (“Evil men go to Hel and thence down to the Misty Hel; and that is down in the ninth world.”). ‡ “the Elf-Beam;” the sun; see supra note 25.  The Poetic Edda, Vafþrúðnismál 46.  Ian McAllister, The Last Wild Wolves: Ghosts of the Rain Forest 167 (2007).  Dennis Wheatley, The Devil and all his works 216 (1971).  Campbell, supra note 20 at 164.  Id.  Id, at 159-170  Sir John Marshall, Mohenjo-Daro and the Indus Civilization Vol I 52. (1931). * To go quickly.  Pottsfield CM on Over the Garden Wall – Soundtrack (The Blasting Company, 2017).  David Warren Steel, Shape Note Singing, Encyclopedia Britannica (Aug. 31, 2017) https://www.britannica.com/art/shape-note-singing.  Acts 1:18-19; see also Matthew 27:3-8 (“Then Judas . . . brought the thirty silver pieces to the chief priests and elders . . . he cast down the pieces . . . and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day.”)  Dante Aligheri, The Diving Comedy, Inferno, Canto 3.  Ronnberg, supra note 24, at 334-335.  Wheatley, supra note 29, at 247-248; see also Id. at 255. * Id. at 248, (“The familiar was usually a cat or a dog, and frequently some small animal. . . To the food of her familiar, the witch added a drop of her own blood . . . making the animal part of herself. It did her bidding, bringing misfortune to anyone to whom she sent it; but those were always anxious occasions, for if any harm befell the familiar, the witch herself would be affected.”).  Ronnberg, Supra note 24, at 300-301.  Genesis 5:21-24, (“And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.”).  Hebrews 11:15, (“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.”).  Luke 23: 46, (“Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.”).
 See Luke 3:37; see also Hebrews 11:5; see also Jude 1:14-15.  See Paul Wirz, Die Marind-anim von Hollandisch Süd-Neu-Guinea, Vol. II 40-44. (1925), (The Swiss ethnologist describes the Indian Ocean cannibal-gardeners' sex/death ritual that results in the fatal crushing of a young couple and mirrors the life and death of plants.); See also J.F. Stimson, The Legends of Maui and Tahaki 3 (1934), (Retelling the Polynesian story of the first coconut: “Maui stepped forth and, cutting off Te Tuna’s head, bore it away . . . But his mother, Hua-hega, got hold of it and . . . said to Maui: ‘Take the head and bury it . . .’ Maui perceived that a new shoot had sprung up from the sand . . . Hu-hega . . . said to him: ‘why are you surprised?’ To which he answered: ‘The head of Te Tuna that I buried here in this corner of our house: why has it sprouted?’”)  Genesis 4:2.
 Genesis 4:8-17.  Adam Augustyn et al., Boreas, Encyclopedia Britannica (Oct. 22, 2007) https://www.britannica.com/topic/Boreas.  Cameron Macdonell, Haunted by the Gothick: deconstructing the New St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Walkersville, Ontario, School of Architecture McGill U. 249 (2012). * “Aeolus gave . . . Odysseus a sack in which all the winds unfavorable to his voyage, were confined;” see supra note 9 at 11-12.  The Old North Wind on supra note 35. ‡ “The keeper of the winds, whose abode, the Aeolian Islands off norther Sicily, were named after him. A son of the god Poseidon;” see Bently supra note 9, at 11.  Homer, The Iliad. Trans. Robert Fagles. NY: Penguin Books, 1962.  Bently supra note 9, at 14 (“[Atropos is one of] the three [Greek] divinities of destiny [or “the fates:” Moirai] . . . They came to be depicted as three old women at a spinning wheel, whose names were Clotho (who span the thread of life), Lachesis (who measured it out) and Atropos (who cut it off).”).  Into the Unknown on supra note 35 (“Our long bygone burdens Mere echoes of the spring But where have we come? And where shall we end? . . . How the gentle wind Beckons through the leaves As Autumn colors fall Dancing in a swirl Of golden memories.”).