Here we go again! Demon’s Chronicle Vol. 6 was all about the signs of the Zodiac. Honestly, astrology does not interst me much – I’m too busy researching everything from Mesopotamian monsters to movie censorship, so it just sorta slipped through the cracks. But I recently acuired some of these bad boys, too, so why not show them off?
Unlike most other DC figures, these are designed not according to classic artwork, but entirely by the sculpting team. And some of them are… well. I do not own Pisces, but she is actively giving birth. Virgo has two wings which are actually gigantic breasts. It’s kinda weird like that. But hey, that’s life for ya! Anyway, the signs of the Zodiac seem to have been chosen at random, but the constellations do have significance of their own, which nobody seems to realize. So rather than try to “predict” anyone’s future (“things will happen to you today”), let’s talk about the constellations!
One word about the toys: Demon’s Chronicle is hard to find, so your best bet is to get to know somebody who can search around in Japan for you. Some stuff does appear in eBay in the US, but it is often overpriced.
Currently, I only own five – Libra, Capricorn, Aries, Scorpio, and Cancer. I kindasorta have a few more, but those are unpainted variants, so we’ll leave them out of this for now. But hey, you’re gonna learn about five more things than you knew yesterday!
“Libra” is simply a Roman unit of measurement – the equivalent of the pound, though it was more like eleven ounces than sixteen. In the context of the constellation, it refers to scales. The constellation was identified as “the scales” as far back as ancient Babylon, at which point it was identified as the sun god Shamash’s sacred scales of truth and justice. The ancient Greeks thought of it as scorpion claws, but keps the same meaning. By the time the Romans came around, the identified Libra as the scales held by Astraea – Blind Lady Justice. It was thus a sign of Astraea’s eventual return and the golden age of fairness she would bring.
“So I came back from the doctor. He said I didn’t have cancer, I had capricorn!”
Ha, ha… but really, what the heck is Capricorn? It’s.. a fish-goat. Wow. Capricorn is one of the oldest constellations around, but its exact meaning is actually somewhat of a puzzle to archaeologists. I’ll give some of the most popular theories. In Greek Mythology, there was a legend of fish-goats which slowly became normal goats, but the connection between that myth and the stars seems tenuous, as Capricorn had already been long identified as a fish-goat beforehand. In Sumerian mythology, there is Enki, God of Water and Fertility. Enki was sometimes depicted as a fish-goat, which seems to fit in with Capricorn. And thus, the Greeks may have adopted the imagery for their sea goat story, as odd as it may seem.
Aries the ram is actually really simple. Firstly, it has nothing to do with Ares, God of War. Absolutely nothing at all. The similarity is a coincidence, such as the similarities between George Washington and George Costanza. Aries has been a ram since the ancient Egyptians, who identified it with the god Amon_Ra (a man with a ram’s head). The Babylonians considered it a farmer, but then started to associate it with Dumuzi the Shepherd, one of their kings, after which it slowy became a divine ram. By the time the Greeks got a hold of it, they decided that it was the golden ram sent to rescue Phrixos and Helle (long story), and which later gave its fleece… the Golden Fleece. The one that Jason and the Argonauts went on their quest for. Aries is that ram.
Unlike many of the others, Scorpio the constellation really has its origins wth the Greeks. But for that, we need to look at another constellation everybody takes for granted, Orion the Hunter. Orion was a mighty hunter who boasted to Artemis that he was the best hunter ever, and would kill every single animal on earth. Now, normally when a human boasts and a god punishes him, it’s petty… but not this time! Artemis, understandably disturbed by Orion’s plans, sent a giant scorpion to kill him. And, despite how mighty he was as a hunter, Orion died while fighting the scorpion. As a testament to his might, Artemis had both him and the scorpion placed among the stars, thus giving us the origin of Scorpio the constellation.
I’m a Cancer. I really only know this because it’s fuel for like a bajillion puns. “I’m like a cancer. I never go away!” wow, that’s dark. But anyway, it’s a little-known fact that cancer the disease got its name from the crab. Why? Because, when ancient physicians cut open the bodies of cancer sufferers, they looked at the discoloration, which spreads in little “legs,” and said that it resembled a crab. Now you know!
This Cancer specifically is more than just a crab, though. Back during Hercules’s Twelve Labors, he had to fight the Lernaean Hydra. During their epic duel, Hera sent a crab to trip up Hercules and hopefully help the Hydra kill him. The crab tried to snap at Hercules’s feet, but the hero stomped it flat and kept on fighting. As a reward for the poor little crab’s bravery and loyalty, Hera set it up in the heavens as a constellation. And that’s where it came from!