Tyche; The Goddess Of Fortune And Fate
Have you ever wondered why sometimes things don’t go in the way you want? Or do you ever feel like the universe is not on your side today? Well, as human-beings, we generally try to find a reason for the bad things happening to us. Because our brain starts to seek for a guilty so that we can name the source and reason of the unusual event. In today’s world, people generally ascribe it as “bad luck” or “retro” when they experience something (negatively) unexpected. Since we have more resources to deceive ourselves with, we can actually refer thousands of stuffs as causes. But what about the people who lived ages ago? What about the people who didn’t have enough knowledge? How did they reason misfortunate events they lived? Apparently Greek mythology has answers for that; “Tyche”.
Tyche, who is believed to be the daughter of Aphrodite and Zeus, is the goddess of fortune and fate. She is also identified as one of the Moirai who are the three goddesses ruling the mendom in Greek mythology. In Ancient Greece, when events like floods, drought or frosts occurred it would be attributed to Tyche. Today, we have scientific or politic explanations for nearly everything happening. Floods happen because of the excessive precipitation; droughts are the results of unconscious consumption of humans. We have tons of arguments for those incidents, but Greeks inscribed it as the curse of Tyche.
It sounds like Tyche used to only curse people, but actually she ‘s in charge of all of the bad/good results of events happening. Greeks believed that the one’s lived in comfort and welfare are blessed by Tyche and are the lucky ones. She’s also believed to hand victory to the athletes. Not only she adjudicates the individual’s fortune, but also represents destiny of a whole community. Especially the Athenians believed that she favored their city with her bless.
When pictured with a ball in her hand, she represents the unsteady and raging doom of human-beings. Because of the shape of ball, it can be rolling in any direction; which means that human life and destiny can be dictated to anywhere.
Tyche is sometimes described as a playful deity. She would randomly choose people and bless them with gifts or plague them with life time curse. Because of that, some narratives depict her blindfolded and with some items in her hand to express the danger and risk. The believers of this ideology would try to please Tyche and endear themselves to her so that she would award them. It’s even believed that Palamedes who was the inventor of dice dedicated the first dice he made to Goddess so that he could be in good terms with her. His tactic worked and Tyche gifted him with the ability to foresee the future. Later she had to take it back after Palamedes died in the Trojan War. With the dice she got from Palamedes, she developed a passion for gambling and became popular among gamblers while messing with player’s luck.
Not only she holds the fate of human-kind in her hands but she also has the power to shapeshift. The form she appears in reflects if she’s intended to bring bad or good luck. Shifting into a silver eagle or a silver Pegasus would mean that she’s going to grant fortune. But to announce misfortune, she would appear as a giant female with a purplish shading. The person who is going to be misfortuned would hear a manic laughter and faint.
There’s also a story about Tyche splitting into to new goddesses. As the narrative says Tyche doesn’t get on well with the other gods. The pantheon wants her to be removed from her grace. So, they send her from Greek pantheon to Faerunian pantheon. She draws attention and gains new enemies like Moander, the Faerunian god of corruption. Tyche also gets into a romantic relationship with Lathander, god of creativity and dawn. Lathander experiences an immense fortune thanks to Tyche and decides to shapeshift into other Faerunian gods. Tyche, in fact, helps him and the “Dawn Cataclysm” happens. During the dawn, she starts to lose her interest for Lathander and he loses his luck. One day Tyche finds a rose across the land and takes it thinking it’s from Lathander. Little she doesn’t know, it’s a trap made by Moander to corrupt her heart with a spell. As soon as she touches the rose, the spell takes affect on her and starts to destroy her. Tyche returns to Lathander who was waiting for her with his companions. Lathander realizes that she’s under the spell and can’t be saved, so Selûne, the moon goddess, unleashes a purifying light and Tyche dies by it. The goodness and evilness in her shapes into two new goddesses; “Tymora” symbolizing pureness and “Beshaba” representing darkness.
While some say that you create your own luck, there are also people who finds everything in universe and destiny. It’s uncertain that if this is just a myth or there’s actually a greater power that control our luck. But it is clear that fate and fortune are serious stuff. After all, everything we live has a little bit of marks of Tyche.