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    Chapter Master Mechanicus's Avatar
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    May 2005

    The primarchs' zodiac rings

    EDIT: Legion spoilers in this thread.

    In the The Alpha legion!!Im confused!! thread, the issue of the Primarchs' zodiac rings was brought up.

    The rings themselves were probably inspired by Lord of the Night, in which the assassin M'shen, after killing Curze, "bends to the body and plucks at its dead limbs. A ring, she steals, and a silver blade worn in a flesh scabbard at its shoulder."

    But that's besides the point. If you've read Horus Rising, you'll know that Horus has the ring of Sagittarius.

    At first, the instinct was to presume that the rings denoted personality, and, superficially at least, Horus could be a Sagittarius. The real issues begin when you get to the eight Primarchs without signs from the sidereal zodiac, and thus without personalities. And from which zodiac?

    Shortly after Horus Rising was published, a forum user on the Black Library forums, Anguipes, devised a system based on a combination of the Tarot, astrology and a small amount of the Sephirot to read the Primarchs' personalities. By his reckoning, these are the personalities which each Primarch would have had without any outside interference.

    You can read these here, and the accompanying guide (with notes on what everything means and some interesting discoveries besides) here. It's quite uncanny. Anyone know if Alan Merrett or Jervis Johnson know much about the tarot? But this put me off the idea of finding a zodiac for the rings to reflect personality; that was already done as far as I was concerned.

    Anyway, the mythological side of the zodiacs were looked at, and it was found that, for example, sometimes Sagittarius is believed to have come from the myth of Chiron:
    The zodiacal constellation Sagittarius represents the centaur Chiron. Most of the centaurs were regarded in myth as bestial--they were, after all, half horse. However, the ancient Greeks had a great deal of respect for the horse, and so were reluctant to make the centaurs entirely bad. In fact, Chiron was renowned for his gentleness. He was an excellent archer, musician, and physician, and tutored the likes of Achilles, Jason, and Hercules.

    Chiron, however, was accidentally shot and wounded by Hercules. The arrow, which had been dipped in the poison of the Lernaean Hydra, inflicted great suffering on Chiron--so great, in fact, that even the talented physician could not cure himself. In agony, but as an immortal unable to find release in death, Chiron instead offered himself as a substitute for Prometheus. The gods had punished Prometheus for giving fire to man by chaining him to a rock. Each day an eagle would devour his liver, and each night it would grow back. Jupiter, however, had at the request of Hercules agreed to release Prometheus if a suitable substitute could be found. Chiron gave up his immortality and went to Tartarus in place of Prometheus; in recognition of his goodness, Jupiter placed him in the stars (Pasachoff, 139).
    As you may have noticed, it's similar to the story of Horus. It could even be partly inspired by it. Perhaps all the Primarchs were partly inspired by this, and this is what's now being used as a template for the zodiac rings.

    So, looking at what the different Primarchs' signs could be using the Draconic (or Lunar) Zodiac of twenty signs:

    Pisces – the Fishes
    Cetus - the Whale
    Aries - the Ram
    Taurus - the Bull
    Orion - the Hunter
    Auriga - the Charioteer
    Gemini - the Twins
    Cancer - the Crab
    Leo - the Lion
    Sextans - the Sextant
    Virgo - the Maiden
    Crater - the Cup
    Corvus - the Crow
    Libra - the Scales
    Scorpius - the Scorpion
    Ophiuchus - the Serpent Bearer
    Sagittarius - the Archer
    Scutum - the Shield
    Capricornus - the Sea Goat
    Aquarius - the Water Carrier

    Now, interestingly, two of the signs (Scutum and Sextans) are recent and have no mythology (missing primarchs?). Two are based around the myth where they are running away from a monster and dived into rivers (Capricornus and Pisces - Alpharius and Curze, the traitors who shunned the Eye of Terror, and instead went away from the Imperium to the Eastern Fringe?). Two are related to being delayed (Corvus and Crater - Corax and Leman, who for one reason or another, couldn't reach Terra for the siege?) In this context, it seems interesting, if slightly more tenuous.

    My estimates would be:

    Lion - Gemini (Castor/Pollux reminiscent of Lion/Luther)
    ? - interchangeable with other ? - Scutum
    Fulgrim - Virgo (half in half out of hell - possession?)
    Perturabo - Scorpius (the "backbone" of the crusade, resentment to brothers)
    Jaghatai - Auriga (charioteer; not much else to say)
    Leman - Crater (delayed; did work of Horus on Prospero/centaur)
    Rogal - Leo (nemean lion related - strong skin relating to fortresses?)
    Konrad - Capricornus (half-goat, half-fish - two personae; didn't head to the Eye)
    Sanguinius - Cetus (attacking Cassiopeia but killed - possibly reminiscent of attack on Horus?)
    Ferrus - Cancer (faithful but killed for it - Isstvan V)
    ? - interchangeable with other ? - Sextans
    Angron - Taurus (majestic side, but fierce and warlike in constellation)
    Roboute - Libra (justice related?)
    Mortarion - Aquarius (taken by Emperor, disgruntled with him about it)
    Magnus - Ophiuchus (raising dead and killed by Zeus - sorcery and in older bg, Emperor wanted him dead)
    Horus - Sagittarius (good all-rounder, injured, surrendered to Tartarus - yeah, it's him)
    Lorgar - Aries (Colchis, golden fleece)
    Vulkan - Orion (smith, forge of Vulcan? Yeah, it's him)
    Corax - Corvus (delayed by his experiments)
    Alpharius - Pisces (two fish relates to Legion, and didn't head to the Eye afterwards)

    Just my interpretation, if I had to assign one to each. There are still a few ones I'm unsure of, and obviously it's not perfect, but there you go.

    Comments, contributions, criticism, anyone? Not expecting too much on this, but thought it would be interesting to get some feedback.
    Last edited by Mechanicus; 04-04-2008 at 11:02.
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