Section Two of Four

Introducing the Greek Deity Cronus

     When the Romans came into contact with the Greeks, they were introduced to the cunning, wily, scythe-wielding deity named Cronus (). According to the Greek poet Hesiod, Cronus was the youngest child of Uranus and Gaea and a member of a class of immortals called Titans. He managed to overthrew his father Uranus and establish himself as ruler of the universe. Cronus, worried that one of his own children might be able to overthrow him, swallowed each child as soon as it was born. The image on the right shows artist Francisco Goya's idea of Cronus' heinous act of swallowing his children. In the painting, Cronus is called by his Roman name (Saturn) and he's depicted as a monstrous ogre ripping and tearing at the flesh of a (somewhat precocious) child. The story goes on to tell us that Zeus escaped being eaten and later defeated his father after a long and hard battle. According to some versions of the story, Cronus and his Titan comrades were thrown into the depths of Tartarus, the gloomy, abysmal regions below the underworld. Other versions have Zeus actually pardoning Cronus and making him the ruler of the Elysian Fields, which are also called the islands of the blessed. This realm was said to be the small part of the underworld reserved exclusively for a selected few mortals who had lived on earth.

Cronus Equated with Chronos

     The Romans said that the Greek Cronus was the same as their agricultural deity Saturn. In the Hellenistic period, the Stoic philosophers tried to ascertain the original meaning of Cronus' name. The truth is that they were as unsure as we are. Some of them declared that the name Cronus was etymologically related to one of the several Greek words for time, chronos (). They justified their claim by stating that just like how Cronus () swallowed his children in mythology, "time," or "chronos" (), eats way at everything. From this confusion, the figure of the bearded and scythe-carrying "Father Time" was born. Scholars and linguists have recently determined that Cronus' name and that Greek word for time, chronos, are not related etymologically. The exact meaning of Cronus' name is unknown, but some etymologists have suggested that it's pre-Greek in origin. Others have suggested that his name was related to the Greek word corone () which means "crow." Whatever his name might have meant originally, it's very probable that Cronus was an agricultural deity that was worshipped in Greece.

The Planet Saturn in Astrology

     From what we know about Greco-Roman mythology, Sailor Saturn's associations with destruction and the scythe shouldn't be too surprising. Saturn was a scythe-wielding deity who often brought destruction. Astrology has also traditionally portrayed the planet Saturn as a destructive and threatening character. Astrologers say that Saturn is a powerful force of restriction. For hundreds of years, the planet Saturn has thought to be a malefic planet, one of the bad guys in the solar system. No other planet over the years has created such a nasty reputation for itself. In the Sailor Moon manga, Saturn is called the "forbidden star" (). In astrology, if there was ever a "forbidden star," traditionally it was Saturn. Sydney Omarr's "New Millennium Guide" contains a section that describes Saturn and its role in astrology. It says, "Its traditional meaning equates it with the most dire of events and circumstances. Hell on Earth. Satan. Destruction. All of this smacks of predetermination, destiny instead of free will."

     Anybody who knows about the Sailor Moon S season of the anime and the Infinite cycle of the manga would say that description fits Sailor Saturn very well. In both the anime and the manga, Sailor Saturn possesses the power to destroy entire worlds. In the manga, Sailor Saturn states that she will bring the ruin because "everything was set up by fate." She's the one who mustn't awaken because her presence means the ruin to a world, and yet she will awaken because her arrival was said to be preordained. Moreover, according to the book Cosmic Connections, Saturn is "also said to govern the body's aging process and such predations of time as rheumatism, hardening of the arteries, degeneration of of organs, loss of teeth, and ailments of the gall bladder and spleen." This idea of Saturn astrologically governing the "body's aging process" is significant because it directly relates to Hotaru's regrowth later on in the Sailor Moon storyline. Hotaru's rapid growth can be seen as a symbol of her ruling planet's power in action. The planet Saturn, in astrology, rules time in the sense of bodily degeneration. The British composer Gustav Holst, best known for his stellar (pun intended) musical suite The Planets, described Saturn as the one that represents "physical decay."

     When it comes to astrology and mythology, Sailor Saturn's themes unarguably fit well. Why then is Sailor Saturn called the soldier of silence? When we say silence, we're referring to a state of inactivity or taciturnity. In the manga, the two Kanji () that Takeuchi used with the Katakana for the word silence in the name Silence Wall () mean "not moving" or "inactivity." The word saturnine has several meanings in our language. It can refer to the supposed astrological influence of the planet Saturn. Those who are born under the sign Capricorn, like Hotaru, are said to be saturnine. Traditionally, these people are thought of as being gloomy, sad, bitter, cold, not enthusiastic, and unwilling or unable to respond to change quickly. That word can also convey the idea of inactivity, gloomy and habitual silence, taciturnity, and the unwillingness to move. The word is the opposite of mercurial, which conveys the idea of somebody being quick and changeable in temperament. That word also refers to the planet Mercury and to the Roman deity with the same name. The idea of gloomy silence has been traditionally associated with the planet Saturn in astrology.

Meaning Behind Sailor Saturn's Civilian Name

     What does Sailor Saturn mean when she says that she's the soldier who also represents birth? Her associations with birth are related to the meaning of her name. In Japanese name Tomoe Hotaru () can mean "soil sprouted firefly." The to () means "soil" or the element "earth" and the moe () means "to sprout." Her surname has to do with being born from the soil. In fact, this name can be seen as an indirect reference to Cronus, Saturn's Greek counterpart. According to the Greek Mythology Link site, "During the reign of Cronos, they say, men did not have children, for at that time, when the universe revolved backwards, all humans came out of the earth and were therefore called autochthonous." In Greek mythology, those who are said to be autochthonous are said to have "sprung from the soil itself." The word comes from the Greek word which means "self" and another Greek word that means "soil." Symbolically, this means that Hotaru () is the firefly who has "sprung from the soil itself" under the rule of Saturn. The word originally referred to those who actually sprang from the soil, but later the word's meaning has been extended to also mean "indigenous" or "native." According to this definition, those who are native to a particular area are said to have actually sprang from that soil.

Sailor Saturn and the Mineral Fluorite

     In the Sailor Moon Another Story RPG for the Super Famicom, we're told that Sailor Saturn has been associated with the mineral known as fluorite. This might seem to be a reference to astrology and the planetary stone of Saturn. In reality, however, it's a lot simpler than that. In Japanese, there are several different words for "fluorite." There are two ways to spell its name according to the English word, one of which is fruoraito (), the spelling used in the game, but there is one native word for it. This native word is hotaruishi () and it means "firefly stone." So, basically, Hotaru, whose name means "firefly," is associated with fluorite, the "firefly stone."

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