I already know that the Wheel of Time idea originates in real-world concept, Kalachakra (the author admitted it).

But what about the Pattern - as a textile metaphor for fate, space, time and universe (and everything)? Are there signs that it was borrowed from the myths or preceding fiction works?

  • This is an interesting question. I wonder also about phrases such as "the fabric of time", which is term from our age that also applies to the Great Pattern! – user31178 May 18 '15 at 1:49

In Greek and Norse mythology, respectively the Moirai and Norns weave the threads of fate. From scanning those wikipedia articles I see there also is a Roman equivalent to them; Parcae. While not exactly a "textile", I am guessing that Robert Jordan at least took some inspiration from them, especially as one of the main characters in the story has a name very close to the collective name for one of these groups of "fate-spinners".

Some further reading reveals a lot of goddesses and myths associated with weaving, but none which is as strongly associated with fate as the ones above.

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  • Great answer, thanks, I totally forgot about Moirai/Parcae. – ordo May 18 '15 at 7:05
  • Hmm ... I wonder if the name Moiraine was based on the Moirai? Never thought of that before! – Rand al'Thor May 24 '15 at 9:34

It is a common theme throughout history.

Dion, a Tragedy: And Miscellaneous Poetry ... - Page 30

George Ambrose Rhodes - 1806

To the tried wisdom of the chosen few, Th' approved of his country; not himself, Arrest th' enacting and enforcing power, T' embody the vagaries of his brain, And weave the fate of empires on his loom To what strange shape he pleases.


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In the preceding fiction category, there's Piers Anthony's "With a Tangled Skein" (1985) from his Incarnations or Immortality series. The characters there are strongly based on the Greek fates, and the threads of life and tapestry of fate are key elements.

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