What Does Fate Mean?


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A young mixed race woman contemplates the meaning of fate

Fate derives from the Latin word ‘fatum’ meaning “that which has been spoken”. As such, fate has become associated throughout the ages with predetermination and the idea that we do not have control over our own lives.

The premise of fate is based on the idea that there is a natural universal order which cannot be changed. The ancient Romans and Greeks also believed that three distinctive Goddesses called Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos had the omnipotent role of determining an individual’s life path.

Overall, fate can have some distinctly negative associations, for instance, people who experience a bout of misfortune will tend to believe that it is fated for them to experience traumatic events.

This pessimistic interpretation of fate has led to other terms being used like “sealing one’s fate” and “a fate worse than death”. All of these negative terms suggest that fate is something that is ultimately undesirable.

However, in spiritual circles, fate is what happens when we ignore our life calling and reject actively working to reconnect to our true inner nature.

When we allow our lives to be determined by fate, we are effectively handing over the control to external forces and circumstances and when we refuse to put any distinctive effort into our evolution, what occurs is fate.

The Difference Between Fate and Destiny

In contrast, destiny has far more positive associations than fate. Destiny stems from the Latin word ‘Destinare’ and means “that which has firmly been established.”

Whilst this also indicates the notion of predetermination, destiny is something that we have the power to actively alter and shape to suit our ultimate purpose.

There is therefore an element of choice in destiny and positive qualities such as compassion, willpower and courage will all enable you to alter the course of your destiny.

When we make the choice to take full responsibility for our lives, we begin to shape our destiny according to our ultimate life path as opposed to allowing our lives to be determined by fate.

When fulfilling our destiny, we should consciously and consistently develop a heightened connection to our deepest inner self as this will inherently enable us to fully mature on a mental, spiritual and emotional level.

The difference between fate and destiny can therefore be summarized as the following: fate cannot be changed, it is predetermined and unalterable.

Fate is what occurs when we allow outside forces to control and determine our life choices. In contrast, destiny is what occurs when you are following your true, authentic purpose and are taking responsibility for your own growth, development, and learning.

If you feel that you are ‘destined for big things’ then you can only achieve these goals by actively and consciously developing yourself and your strengths.

What does fate mean?

Do We Have Any Control?

Although the common misconception associated with fate and destiny is that they are the same, this is not the case.

Despite the fact that both are predetermined, it is important to remember that there is an infinite number of possibilities for our lives.

When fulfilling our destiny, we consciously direct our life into a specific direction and this makes maintenance and a commitment to one’s inner self.

Whilst the ego enables us to have control over the choices that we make, our true inner calling is already determined and so the question of ‘do we have control’ can become distinctly paradoxical.

We do and we do not have control at the same time. However, working proactively to evolve as human beings and improve our overall wellbeing will inevitably lead us to make healthier choices that propel us towards our destiny as opposed to allowing fate to determine our lifespan.


To conclude, as long as you are making the conscious choice to actively grow and spiritually evolve then you will be following a path towards your overarching destiny.

However, fate is what occurs when you make no effort to implement growth into your own life and allow external forces to determine the outcome of your life path.

If you are aiming to achieve your utmost potential, you should therefore make an effort to deepen your inner-awareness and move towards those goals that you feel will better you, instinctively.

A course of therapy is one way to take your destiny into your own hands when you are feeling depressed whereas fate may lead you down a darker path.

Whilst both of these notions are predetermined, your destiny is the far more favorable path to follow as fate has a vast amount of negative connotations associated with it due to the lack of control that the individual is able to implement over their own fate.

You should make every effort to determine what it is that makes you unique and what it is that you are distinctly passionate about.

In turn, this will help you make life choices that are directed towards your destiny and you will start to build confidence as a result of heightened spiritual awareness.

Asking yourself what sets your soul on fire will help you to pursue whatever It is that truly fulfills you and you will therefore be one step further away from any negative predetermined fate.

You should also make every effort to surround yourself with those who are supportive and who inspire you as critical individuals can often drain our energy fields and leave us feeling wholly deflated when pursuing our ultimate life purpose.

Grounding yourself in your own sense of identity and purpose will thus enable you to move further away from an undesirable fate whilst reaching towards your destiny with the vigor that is required to achieve your full potential.

A young mixed race woman contemplates the meaning of fate


Writer + Creator of Vital Ethos

Sasha is a writer, spiritual teacher, highly sensitive intuitive, and artist on a mission to illuminate your path to personal growth and transformation with helpful tools and resources like digital journals and workbooks ✨

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