positive: imagination, tenacity, tenderness, sensitivity, care, caution
negative: stinginess, irritability, melancholy, clinging, cowardice, possessiveness, moodiness
– from Linda Goodman’s “Love Signs”
I’m requoting from Linda’s book because I need the reinforcement. My father is a Cancer and I have several planets in Cancer, but I just don’t feel the sign in relation to gaming. I considered a variety of possibilities of things I could write about without anything really calling out to me.
Until I thought of the crab symbolism. I have a Heroes of Rokugan mod today and a HoR event at Gen Con this year is Doom of the Crab, so Crabs are not far from my thoughts. Thinking about whether Legend of the Five Rings Crabs have any connection to Cancer, I got to thinking about associating Western astrological signs to all of the L5R clans. I can see changing my mind as I think through the analysis, but here’s what I gots rights nows.
Crab – Cancer is possible, I’ll talk more about Crab below since the spotlight is on them this month.
Crane – An air sign seems obvious. The question is which one. My first thought was Aquarius, but, I think I’ll settle on Libra. Charm, pleasure-seeking sound more like Crane traits than vision and detachment.
Dragon – Tough. Aquarius isn’t bad here. Pisces’ negative trait of deceptive seems inappropriate. Capricorn and Virgo are others I’d consider.
Lion – Easy? Easy.
Mantis – Can I find a water sign that suits this collection of clans? I don’t see Cancer in these pragmatic individualists, though the Yoritomo are descended from a Crab. Scorpio? Uh, no, for obvious reasons. Pisces? Nope. Aquarius rears its head again. Obviously, I don’t have the solid feel for Aquarius, which could come from not having any planets in it to my recollection. Sagittarius? Gemini? Why not settle on Gemini for this multinatured “clan” for the moment in typical Geminian fashion and have the Geminian perogative to change my mind?
Phoenix – Capricorn or Pisces? An earth sign or a water sign for the bird of fire? Pisces, the sign of spiritual awareness, seems to have the edge.
Scorpion – Ho hum. What could the argument be for not going with the obvious?
Unicorn – Sagittarius, the half horse for the horsefolk.
I’m not going to bother to try to find matches for signs to other clans in the game. It’s Cancer’s time and the Crab are waiting. Neither imagination nor cowardice sound right for the Defenders of the Wall. But, then, it’s easy to pigeonhole people. It’s done all of the time with astrology. What’s your Sun sign? Oh, then, this. Of course, there are astrologers who believe Sun signs are way overrated and other planets should be given more credit.
Whatever. I can give a pass on imagination to a clan that finds imaginative ways to battle the Shadowlands and a pass on cowardice to a clan that hides behind the shells that are heavy armor. But, what of the earth signs? The clan is associated strongly with the Earth Ring. Taurus conviction/steadfastness, Virgo service/practicality, Capricorn determination/stability? Those all sound good. A deeper analysis is called for. But, not today.
My last thought for today is how the Cancer traits above are not at all how I see players play Crab samurai. I see an overemphasis on crudeness. If I decide to play a Crab some day, as unlikely as that is as other clans call to me so much stronger, it would be very interesting to try to conform to a “Love Signs” Cancer, being at odds with the stereotypical Crab while still capturing some of the traits I could easily imagine a Crab having of tenacity, care, and irritability.