Planetary Days and Planetary Hours

The days of the week were actually named after the seven planets of ancient astrology (this is very obvious in French). Although it’s not often discussed in popular astrology books, it is a well established astrological principle that the “energy” of the week days are actually coloured by the planets they are named after.

Sunday is ruled by the Sun
Monday is ruled by the Moon
Tuesday is ruled by Mars
Wednesday is ruled by Mercury
Thursday is ruled by Jupiter
Friday is ruled by Venus
Saturday is ruled by Saturn

It is, for example, ideal to engage in “Mercurial activities” on a Wednesday; therefor a Wednesday should be good for delivering messages, making phone calls, embarking on relatively short journeys, learning, and generally being adaptable, mobile and communicative. Friday, being ruled by Venus, should be auspicious for social engagements, sensuous pleasures and beautification. Tuesdays, being Mars ruled, would be suitable for vigorous and dynamic activities, such as “wars”, disputes or activities requiring aggression, cutting or scorching (the fateful date of 11 September 2001 was a Tuesday!). It would appear that Moondays ought to be domesticated, dreamy and docile days, and who knows; maybe people would find it easier to start their working week on a more energetic day, perhaps Tuesday?! The Jewish folks have it right making Saturday the sabbath, or day of rest, since Saturn is “death”, the end, the limit, austere detachment, etc..

This planetary day principle is one of many which are shared by the Western and Vedic astrological systems. Vedic (or Hindu) astrology emphasizes this idea quite a bit more than does western astrology, and in that system the planets are almost invariably listed in the weekday order; Sun, then Moon, then Mars, then Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn.

Vedic astrology employs prayers, mantras, rituals, gemstones and other remedial measures more regularly and systematically than is done in the west. The planetary weekday scheme is much used in this context. So, for example, if one is purchasing, or going to commence wearing a gem ruled by Mercury, and/or reciting mantras of Mercury, one would tend to do so on a Wednesday (ideally under a Waxing Moon, etc.). In a very similar vein western practitioners of ceremonial magic use the same scheme to choose appropriate times for rituals, or the making or consecration of talismans, and so on. Of course one needn’t be preoccupied with anything so mystical and extraordinary in order to make use of this information. In my favorite book on Hindu Astrology (Light on Life, by Hart deFouw and Robert Svoboda) the authors quote their guru earnestly declaring, “No wonder everyone in this country gets divorced. They all marry on Saturday!”

It is furthermore true that both Western and Hindu astrology divide each of these planetary weekdays into 24 “planetary hours” in much the same way, and it is believed that the first hour of a day is governed by the same planet that governs that same particular weekday. So, for example, the first hour of Sunday would be the Sun Hour, the first hour of a Tuesday would be Mars Hour, and so on. The first hour is usually said to commence at sunrise, and the amount of time between sunrise and sunset will be equally divided among the first twelve planetary hours of the day. The final twelve planetary hours will be evenly distributed within the time between sunset and the following sunrise. Therefor, a “planetary hour” may be somewhat longer or shorter than our usual hours.

The planetary hours follow a set sequence, different to the weekday order. After the ruler of the weekday has enjoyed the first hour after sunrise, the following sequence is followed; Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon.

So, on a Friday, the first hour after sunrise belongs to Venus, next is Mercury Hour, then Moon Hour, then Saturn Hour, then Jupiter, and so on.

The following tabulation should be of help, if you’re intrepid enough to manually calculate such things!

Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
1
Sun
Moon
Mars
Mercury
Jupiter
Venus
Saturn
2
Venus
Saturn
Sun
Moon
Mars
Mercury
Jupiter
3
Mercury
Jupiter
Venus
Saturn
Sun
Moon
Mars
4
Moon
Mars
Mercury
Jupiter
Venus
Saturn
Sun
5
Saturn
Sun
Moon
Mars
Mercury
Jupiter
Venus
6
Jupiter
Venus
Saturn
Sun
Moon
Mars
Mercury
7
Mars
Mercury
Jupiter
Venus
Saturn
Sun
Moon
8
Sun
Moon
Mars
Mercury
Jupiter
Venus
Saturn
9
Venus
Saturn
Sun
Moon
Mars
Mercury
Jupiter
10
Mercury
Jupiter
Venus
Saturn
Sun
Moon
Mars
11
Moon
Mars
Mercury
Jupiter
Venus
Saturn
Sun
12
Saturn
Sun
Moon
Mars
Mercury
Jupiter
Venus
13
Jupiter
Venus
Saturn
Sun
Moon
Mars
Mercury
14
Mars
Mercury
Jupiter
Venus
Saturn
Sun
Moon
15
Sun
Moon
Mars
Mercury
Jupiter
Venus
Saturn
16
Venus
Saturn
Sun
Moon
Mars
Mercury
Jupiter
17
Mercury
Jupiter
Venus
Saturn
Sun
Moon
Mars
18
Moon
Mars
Mercury
Jupiter
Venus
Saturn
Sun
19
Saturn
Sun
Moon
Mars
Mercury
Jupiter
Venus
20
Jupiter
Venus
Saturn
Sun
Moon
Mars
Mercury
21
Mars
Mercury
Jupiter
Venus
Saturn
Sun
Moon
22
Sun
Moon
Mars
Mercury
Jupiter
Venus
Saturn
23
Venus
Saturn
Sun
Moon
Mars
Mercury
Jupiter
24
Mercury
Jupiter
Venus
Saturn
Sun
Moon
Mars

2 thoughts on “Planetary Days and Planetary Hours”

  1. in our pagan history we have the thirteen months as followed by the thirteen moons of a year. do you know the names of the original thirteen months or were they ever named? i recently saw a print of an ancient astro chart from pagan history but few of the symbols matched our current ones. there was also reference to the virgo which formed the inner circle and was seen as the thirteenth month and not just the middle of a circle. i find it logical that we should have thirteen months and taken on the 28/29 day moon cycle works out perfectly to a year. all it means is constant change with a month being either 28 or 29 days depending on the moon… guess this just too fluctuating for modern society, but keeps pace much better in terms of solstice etc, whereas now our calendar is completely out. on my last calculations dated to the gregorian calender release and also julius ceasar’s willfull cutting and adding of months according to his tax needs,and celestial activity currently, we’re way past 2012… and our current year is roughly five days out of sync (behind) just in days. it’s all just calculation, but this is very likely 2042 and actually the “16th” of “october” … not that it matters 😉

    1. Hi Ona,

      The mo(o)nths and the year cycle are an attempt to integrate the solar and lunar cycles, but this will never fit perfectly. 13 synodic lunar months takes about 383 days, whereas 12 synodic months (New Moon to New Moon) takes 354 days. 12 of these months actually fits more closely into one solar year. Thanks for raising this though; I’ve never done the calculations for myself! 🙂

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