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Planetary Days and Hours
Christopher Warnock, Esq.
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I will speak of the unequal hours which are attributed to the dominion or rule of the planets, for that the dominion of the hour serves to the planets as for a dignity.

Claudius Dariot,
Astrological Judgment of the Stars


Introduction
The Sequence of the Planetary Hours
Planetary Hours & the Names & Sequence of the Days of the Week
Calculating the Planetary Hours
Planetary Magic Mini-Course




Introduction

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The planetary hours are based on an ancient astrological system, the Chaldean order of the planets. This is the sequence: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon, then repeating endlessly Saturn, Jupiter, etc. The Chaldean order indicates the relative orbital velocity of the planets. From a heliocentric perspective this sequence also indicates the relative distance of the planets from the center of their orbits, i.e., the distance of the planets from the Sun (with the Sun switching places with the Earth in the sequence) and the distance of the Moon from the Earth. From a traditional geocentric perspective the Chaldean order also shows the arrangement of the planetary spheres.


The Sequence of the Planetary Hours

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The planetary hours use the Chaldean order to divide time. Each planetary hour of the planetary day is ruled by a different planet. The planet that rules the first hour of the day is also the ruler of the whole day and gives the day its name. Thus the first hour of Sunday is ruled by the Sun, the first hour of Monday is ruled by the Moon and so on.

Planetary Hours of the Day
Hour 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

Planetary Hours of the Night
Hours Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
1 Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury
2 Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon
3 Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn
4 Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter
5 Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars
6 Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun
7 Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus
8 Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury
9 Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon
10 Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn
11 Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter
12 Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars


However, the planetary hours are not the same as the sixty minute hours beginning at midnight that we use for normal timekeeping. The planetary days are divided into twenty four planetary hours with the first hour of the day beginning at sunrise and the last hour of the day ending at sunrise of the next planetary day. The period that extends from sunrise to sunset (daylight) is divided into twelve hours and the period extending from sunset to sunrise of the next day (nighttime) is also divided into twelve hours giving the twenty four hours of the planetary day.
Accordingly, as the duration of daylight and darkness varies except at the Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes, on a particular planetary day the length of the hours of the day will differ from the length of the hours of the night. Thus another name for the planetary hours, says William Lilly, the renowned English astrologer, is the unequal hours. Christian Astrology, [London, 1647] page 482.



The Planetary Hours and the Names and Sequence of the Days of the Week

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Figure One
As Lilly notes there are seven days of the week and seven planets and each planet rules or is lord of, one day: Sunday, the Sun; Monday, the Moon; Tuesday, Mars; Wednesday, Mercury; Thursday, Jupiter; Friday, Venus; and Saturday, Saturn. William Lilly, Christian Astrology, p. 482. The origin of the names of the days are explicitly planetary in medieval Latin: dies dominici (Sunday, the lord's day), die Lune, die Martis, die Mercuri, die Jovis, die Veneris, die Saturni. In English the Teutonic equivalents of the Greek and Latin gods have been used for some of the names of the days, i.e. Tuesday is Tiw's day, the Teutonic god of war; Wednesday is Wotan's day; Thursday is Thor's day; Friday is Frigg's day.
As we can see the sequence and names of the days of the week are not in the Chaldean order, but nevertheless the sequence and names of the days of the week are closely connected to the Chaldean order. Two processes interact to produce the sequence of the days of the week: (1) the fact that the planetary hours follow the Chaldean order and; (2) the fact that the planet that rules the first hour of each day rules the whole day and gives the day its name.
Figure One is the standard diagram of the planets arranged in a circle in the Chaldean order. Starting with the Sun and then following the order of the days of the week and their planetary rulers, i.e. Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, produces a seven pointed star, the heptagram of the week.


Figure Two
Figure Two is an elaboration of the heptagram of the week adding the planetary hours. Note that there are seven large, bold planetary glyphs arranged in a large seven pointed star. These represent the planetary days, e.g., Sun rules Sunday, etc. The numerous small, unbolded glyphs represent the planetary hours and show their rulers.
Start with the Sun, the ruler of Sunday. Look for the large bold glyph of the Sun in the lower right hand corner of the diagram. Seven smaller glyphs are arranged around it in a circle. Look in the seven glyphs for the underlined glyph of the Sun. The underlined glyphs indicate the first planetary hour of the day, in this case Sun hour, the first hour of Sunday. The next hour is represented by the glyph of Venus to the left of the underlined glyph of the Sun, thus the second hour of Sunday is ruled by Venus.
So we follow the Chaldean order, from Venus (2nd hour of Sunday) to Mercury (3rd hour of Sunday) to the Moon (4th hour of Sunday), to Saturn (5th hour of Sunday), etc., etc, until we get to the small glyph of Saturn in the inner circle (12th hour of Sunday). Saturn is the ruler of the last hour of daylight on Sunday which ends with sunset. Staying in the inner circle keep going up from Saturn to Jupiter (the 1st hour of Sunday night, beginning with sunset) up to Mars (2nd hour of Sunday night) and then leave the inner circle heading in a straight line to the large Moon glyph, keeping in the Chaldean order by going to the Sun (3rd hour of the night).
We then continue into the circle around the Moon glyph until we reach Mercury which is the ruler of the 12th hour of Sunday night and thus the ruler of the 24th hour of the whole planetary day of Sunday. Therefore we see that the next planetary ruler in the Chaldean order is the Moon, the ruler of the first hour of Monday. By following the diagram in the Chaldean order we can see the interaction of the planetary hours and the names and sequence of the days throughout the week.
Figure Two shows how the sequence of the planetary hours in the Chaldean order and the rulership of the planetary day by the first planetary hour ruler produces the order and names of the days of the week. Thus we can see that the order and names of the days of the week are not merely conventional, but part of an ancient natural and highly ordered astrological system.


Calculating the Planetary Hours

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Our first practical problem is how to calculate the planetary hours. Renaissance Astrology offers TPHP ("The Planetary Hours Program") an easy to use computer program for Windows 95, 98, Me and XP, that provides detailed and accurate planetary hour information for automatically for thousands of predefined locations in the U.S. Latitude and longitude can also be entered by hand for non-U.S. locations.
Otherwise get your local sunrise and sunset times from the newspaper or the US Naval Observatory. Take the time from sunrise to sunset and divide by twelve to get the length of each planetary hour for the day. Take the time from sunset to sunrise the next day and divide that by twelve for the length of each planetary hour by night. Then starting with the planet that rules the day, e.g. Saturn for Saturday, follow the Chaldean order and assign the proper planet to each planetary hour of the day and night that you have just calculated.
Another very useful program is Timaeus from Curtis Manwaring at Zodiasoft Technologies. Timaeus is a system tray application that monitors the passage of the planetary hours providing a quick look into the changes of mood during the day. It is like having an "astrological weather forecast" for your local area on a continual basis. This shareware program can be downloaded from Zodiasoft Technologies on a free 30 day trial basis.


Planetary Magic Mini-Course

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The Planetary Magic Mini-Course is a fully self contained web course course that requires no knowledge of magic or astrology. The Mini-Course provides a complete introduction to the seven traditional planets and the planetary days and hours. Students also receive a free copy of TPHP, the Planetary Hours Program, an easy to use program for Windows that instantly calculates the planetary hours.
Also included are talisman images from traditional descriptions created by the renowned occult researcher and artist Nigel Jackson which students can download and use to make their own talismans. Complete instructions for talisman ritual and consecration for each planet are provided.
After enrolling in the Planetary Magic Mini-Course students if students find that they are interested in a complete, in depth course in electional astrology they can proceed onto the Electional Astrology Course at a reduced rate.


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Specializing in Horary Astrology, Electional Astrology Astrological Magic and Astrological Talismans.

Portions Originally Published in The Mountain Astrologer
Copyright 2000-2003, Christopher Warnock, All Rights Reserved.