The Norns Urðr, Verðandi, and Skuld under the world oak Yggdrasil (1882) by Ludwig Burger.
Daily Deity! Actually, today are three deities. The Norn are female beings who rule the destiny of gods and men. Urðr, Verðandi and Skuld are the three most important Norns, according to Snorri Sturluson’s interpretation of the Völuspá. These three have inspired many, as did they inspire Kosuke Fujishima to create his famous “Ah! Megami Sama!” (Oh! My Goddess!) series. Just a tidbit of trivia.
They are to be found spinning the threads of fate or carving runes into the tree Yggdrasil to shape the fate of all. The following was found here and here.
In Norse mythology, the Norns are three female divine beings who have more influence over the course of destiny than any other beings in the cosmos. They dwell within the Well of Urd beneath Yggdrasil, the great ash tree that stands at the center of the universe and holds the Nine Worlds in its branches and roots. They shape destiny by carving runes into the trunk of the tree, or, in some sagas and poems, by weaving destiny like a web or tapestry.
A common misconception is that the destiny woven or carved by the Norns is final and unalterable, as in the Greek concept of fate. The Norse/Germanic model of destiny, however, is far more dynamic and volatile than this, and leaves ample room for individual agency in the shaping of destiny.
The origin of the name norn is uncertain, it may derive from a word meaning “to twine” and which would refer to their twining the thread of fate. Bek-Pedersen suggests that the word norn has relation to the Swedish dialect word norna (nyrna), a verb that means “secretly communicate”. This relates to the perception of norns as shadowy, background figures who only really ever reveal their fateful secrets to men as their fates come to pass.
The name Urðr (Old English: Wyrd, Weird) means “fate”. Both Urðr and Verðandi are derived from the Old Norse verb verða, “to be”. While Urðr derives from the past tense (“that which became or happened”), Verðandi derives from the present tense of verða (“that which is happening”). Skuld is derived from the Old Norse verb skulla, “need/ought to be/shall be”; its meaning is “that which should become, or that needs to occur”.