Hey guys, you know how sometimes I grab toys based on something out of mythology, and then ramble for a while about it? And remember how I talked about the origins of some of the signs of the Zodiac a while ago? Well, it looks like I snagged the rest, so… here we go! Anyway, chances are, I’ll combine the info from both posts togetgher into this one (and the other), just for easy reference sake,
WARNING: THIS ARTICLE IS NOT ENTIRELY SAFE FOR WORK. PISCES, VIRGO, AND TAURUS CONTAIN NUDITY… SORT OF. IF YOU ARE OFFENDED BY LITTLE PLASTIC TOYS, BEWARE.
Taurus represents a lot of sacred mythical bulls, dating back to long, long before Greece. There are Paleolithic cave paintings identifying the constellation with a bull, in fact. To the Mesopotamians, Taurus was an ancient divine bull sent to kill Gilgamesh. The Greeks anchored it to the legend of Zeus and Europa – you know, that time he got real horny, disguised himself as a white bull, got all snuggly with Europa, waited for her to sit on top of him, and then ran for the hills before repeteadly, uh… well, yeah. He also protected her from hera, who got quite jealous but couldn’t retaliate against Zeus. The figure clearly represents the Greek legend.
I know that a lot of New Agers want to equate Pisces with the Christian Fish (Hence “new age” – from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius, i.e. Christianity fading to give way to the new methods of thought), but that’s not what it’s about. Pisces actually symbolizes the time when Aphrodite and Eros (i.e. Venus and her son Cupid) turned into fish to flee from the titan Typhon. And that’s what this figure represents. It’s a naked woman giving birth to an alien-vampire baby while sprouting fins. I mean, really, WTF, Japan?
Virgo’s origin is kind of odd. As it turns out, it may or may not actually have to do with virginity (one alternate meaning of virgin in Ancient Greek was “self-sufficient single woman,”), and the constellation is usually understood to represent Astraea, the last of the immortals to live with humans during the Golden Age, and a goddess of purity (which supports the virgin idea). I have no idea what that weird pink thing is that is covering her, or why it appears to have boobs. It’s like a really juvenile jellyfish.
Aquarius represents Ganymede, a Trojan prince who was really pretty, so much so that Zeus took a fancy to him(!), abducted him and brought him to Olympus(!!), and then made him the cupbearer for all the gods(!!!). This story was widely used all over Greece as the justification for enforced pederasty, where parents would just hand their kids over to older rich dudes(!!!!). You know, there’s a lot of stuff in Greek mythology that just doesn’t get brought up in the Disney cartoons.
Gemini represents Castor and Pollux, the twins born after Zeus turned into a swan(!) to seduce a lady(!!). They were hatched from eggs(!!!), and are mostly known for hanging out with Jason and the Argonauts. Anyway, one of them died, and the other was sad, and asked for Zeus to bring him back. So Zeus tossed ’em into the stars(!!!!).
Leo is thankfully a lot simpler than some of the other signs. He represents the Nemean Lion, a powerful and vicious lion whose skin could only be pierced by his own claws. One of Hercules’s twelve labors was to kill this lion. After Hercules realized that he could not stab it, he just grabbed the thing by the throat and strangled it. Afterward, Hercules skinned it with it own claws and wore the pelt as armor. And so, the Nemean Lion became the first of many to not realize the huge loopholes in his invulnerability. It’s like having a superhero named Bulletproof Man, who dies when somebody shoots him with an arrow.
Sagittarius represents Chiron, one of the legendary centaurs. Whereas most centaurs are raucous, drunken rapists (just like Zeus), Chiron was a kind-hearted, self-controlled teacher of science, philosophy, the arts, and archery. He trained heroes, and became one of the most significant mentors in Greek myth. Eventually, he sacrificed his immortality and thus his life to save Prometheus. ‘Course, Prometheus’s immortality meant that he could go through eternity getting his liver ripped out by buzzards, so maybe it wasn’t such a noble sacrifice after all. This figure is unique in the Deon’s Chronicle line in that it actually incorporates its base in the culpt of the figure – note the “ruined” part of the pillar where it stands – that is a separate add-on that plugs into the pillar-shaped base itself!
HAH! Betcha didn’t know there was a thirteenth sign, didja? Opiuchus is the Serpent Bearer, and a relative newcomer to the Zodiac, which is why it isn’t included in many listings. It represents one of two possible things – either Apollo battling the giant snake that guarded the Oracle of Delphi, or Laocoon being strangled to death by sea serpents for trying to stop the Greeks from sacking Troy. Personally, I think that it represents Aladdin versus Jafar, but that’s just me.