Planetary days and hours are an ancient method of measuring time and attributing different planetary energies to specific days and hours. In traditional thought, measurement of time is just as important as grasping the underlying quality of different times. Unlike in modern thought, in which all time has the same quality (or no quality at all), we traditionally understood that different times have varying energies, strengths, and weaknesses to which we can adapt if we have the right knowledge.

Understanding the planetary attributions of days and hours is not complicated, and can be extremely powerful in enhancing the power of your magical rituals as well as any everyday activity, as planetary hours and days can also be used for simple electional purposes. After reading this article, you, too, will be able to supercharge your daily life and magic with this simple astrological tool.

Planetary Qualities

Before we start discussing the details of the system, let us first review the key goals, activities, and qualities associated with each of the classical planets. This system far predates the discovery of the modern planets, so it utilizes only the seven planets visible to the naked eye. The main idea to remember is that depending on our specific goals, we choose the most appropriate planet and perform our ritual or activity on the day and/or the hour ruled by that planet.

Moon: Dealing with women and mothers, conveying messages or acting as another’s agent, going on journeys, communicating with spirits. Reconciliation. Anything to do with water, drinks, or liquids.

Mercury: Writing and any intellectual activity (including astrology), inventions, puzzles, computer programming, starting studies and sending children to school for the first time, teaching, taking exams, accounting and business transactions, writing and sending messages or messengers, making presentations, anything requiring dexterity, quick thinking, and skill. Starting journeys (especially for purposes of giving a message or commerce).

Venus: Entertainment and parties, marriage, romance and sex, friendships, the arts and music, drinking, games and gambling, clothing, cosmetics, and jewelry (including putting on new clothes, etc.), matters pertaining to women (especially girls and young women). Venus wants to connect, so any conversations where harmony is desired are good at this time. Good for taking medicine or starting any beautifying treatments or procedures.

Sun: Confidence, reputation and fame, respect and friendship, gaining power and authority, approaching powerful people, vitality and health, publicity, fulfillment of ambitions, being noticed.

Mars: War, conflicts, or contests, making or buying weapons, doing sports (especially as a competition, rather than just for fun), work with heat, fire, or sharp objects, dealings with men, military, and police, attacking or challenging someone. Not a good time to make a journey, or most other activities not listed under Mars.

Jupiter: Good for most activities; obtaining honor, wealth, and success, making friends, connections with politicians, wealthy people, judges, and religious people, asking for financial support, begin journeys, engage in legal or philosophical activities, and any religious ceremony. Good for increase of desirable things or energies. Good for taking medicine and starting medical treatments, including fertility.

Saturn: Meetings or discussions with old people, farmers, and builders. Gardening, farming, mining, plumbing and pipes, and excavations. Buying grains or real estate. Building structures. Good for eliminating or decreasing undesirable things in our lives. Not good for most other activities, including making journeys, taking medicine, hiring staff, putting on new clothes or cut hair. Good to start activities that we want to take a long time, or even be delayed or cancelled.

As a simple example, if our goal is to improve one’s financial situation, we would want to perform our ritual or prayer on the day of Jupiter, as he rules money and abundance, and also during Jupiter’s hour. So, if we are making a talisman for increased income, we would make it during the day and hour of Jupiter. Alternatively, we can use the Jupiter day and hour for a specific action aimed at increasing wealth, such as doing a business deal, making an investment, or signing important documents at this time. Timing the activity or magical ritual to occur on the correct day as well as the hour increases the potency, but choosing either the correct day or the hour is still very powerful, and can be quite helpful if we find ourselves lacking time or addressing an urgent situation that calls for action or ritual right away.

When it comes to magical rituals, some requests that are more complex can be worked during multiple planets’ days or hours, when we can emphasize the relevant planet’s role in our request. For example, let’s say we want greater romantic commitment from another person with whom we currently have only a casual or friendly relationship. We certainly want to do our ritual on the day and hour of Venus, asking for romance and kindness from the other person. The planet that rules commitments, vows, and solidification is Saturn, so we may also want to perform the ritual on a Saturn day and hour, emphasizing the Saturnine elements of our request (such as fulfilling promises, making long-term commitments, etc.).

A very powerful way of using the planetary days and hours is by combining magical and mundane activities. For example, let us say that we want to succeed in an exam. We make a talisman for exam success on Mercury’s day and in his hour, but also use Mercury hour every day to begin our studies for the day. On subsequent occasions when Mercury is both day and hour ruler, we can do a “refresh” of our talisman, and do a short ritual to acknowledge Mercury and repeat our request.

Herbalists use planetary hours and days to strengthen the influence of the herbs they grow. For example, a marigold is ruled by the Sun, so it is ideal to pick marigolds used for medicinal purposes on the day and hour of the Sun to strengthen its solar healing properties.

Planetary Days

The first concept to understand is that each of the seven days of the week is assigned one of the classical planets. In many Western languages, this system is easy to remember, as the days of the week still retain some of the names of the gods formerly associated with each planet. Even without knowing these ancient links, however, it is not too difficult to memorize each day’s planet:

Sunday: Sun
Monday: Moon
Tuesday: Mars
Wednesday: Mercury
Thursday: Jupiter
Friday: Venus
Saturday: Saturn

Unlike in the modern calendar, where each day starts at midnight, the planetary days start at dawn. For example, the day of Mercury starts at the moment of sunrise on Wednesday, and continues until sunrise on Thursday, when Jupiter takes over as the day ruler.

Planetary Hours

Each planetary day contains 24 planetary hours, just as with the modern day. However, this is where the similarity ends. Each planetary day is split into a day and a night, each of which contains 12 hours. This is true regardless of the length of daylight, so that the 12 planetary hours are stretched or compressed in length depending on the time of year and geographical latitude. For example, the length of each daytime planetary hour in Beijing on August 10 is 1:09 (one hour nine minutes and a few seconds), while the length of a nighttime planetary hour in Beijing on the same day is 0:50 (fifty minutes and a few seconds). Every day, the number of minutes in a day hour and a night hour must always equal 120. The only time of year when the daytime and nighttime hours are the same length (60 minutes) will be at the Spring and Autumn equinoxes. As a contrast, In winter in the northern hemisphere, the daytime hours will cycle through quickly, while each nighttime hour will be longer.

Each day begins at dawn with its own planetary hour, so an easy way to time rituals is to do them at sunrise on the relevant planetary day. As an example, sunrise on Tuesday begins the Mars day as well as the Mars hour. Then, the planetary hours proceed according to the next planet in the classical “Chaldean” order (in descending order of apparent speed), and they cycle through repeatedly in the same order:

Saturn
Jupiter
Mars
Sun
Venus
Mercury
Moon

The same graphic we used for the order of planetary days also shows the order of the planetary hours, following clockwise in a circle.

Using our example of Tuesday, above, the first hour of Tuesday is ruled by Mars, the next hour by the Sun, then Venus, Mercury, Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, and so on.

The order of the planetary days and hours is the same everywhere on earth – it’s only the length of each hour that will vary by location and time of year. The easiest way to determine the time a planetary hour starts and ends is by using one of the many calculators available online, smartphone apps, or as part of astrological computer software, but here follows the way to do so by hand, which can be helpful to try when you want to gain a deeper understanding of how the system works. We will use August 10th in Beijing as our example throughout the calculation.

Step 1: Determine the length of day and following night, by looking up the time of sunrise and sunset on that day.
Example: On August 10 in Beijing, the Sun rose at 5:24 and set at 19:18. This gives us a total day length of 13:54 (thirteen hours fifty-four minutes).

Step 2: We divide the day length by 12 to determine the length of each hour.
Example: The day length is 13:54, and divided by 12 hours, means that each planetary hour on August 10 is 1:09:30 (1 hour, 9 minutes, and 30 seconds) long. Since a day and night hour added together always have to total 120 minutes, we know that each night hour on August 10 must be 0:50:30 (50 minutes and 30 seconds). This intuitively makes sense, since summer days are longer than nights in the northern hemisphere. It is OK to round to the nearest minute for simplicity, so that each daytime hour is 1:10 and each nighttime hour is 0:50.

Step 3: We can tabulate the hours of August 10th as follows:

August 10: Saturday (day of Saturn)
Sunrise in Beijing on August 10: 5:24. Sunset: 19:18.

Planet

Starts

Ends

Planet

Starts

Ends

Saturn (1st hour of day)

05:24

06:33

  Mercury (1st hour of night)

19:18

20:08

Jupiter

06:33

07:43

  Moon

20:08

20:59

Mars

07:43

08:52

  Saturn

20:59

21:49

Sun

08:52

10:02

  Jupiter

21:49

22:40

Venus

10:02

11:11

  Mars

22:40

23:31

Mercury

11:11

12:21

  Sun

23:31

00:21

Moon

12:21

13:30

  Venus

00:21

01:12

Saturn

13:30

14:40

  Mercury

01:12

02:02

Jupiter

14:40

15:49

  Moon

02:02

02:53

Mars

15:49

16:59

  Saturn

02:53

03:43

Sun

16:59

18:08

  Jupiter

03:43

04:34

Venus

18:08

19:18

  Mars

04:34

05:25

Table created by www.lunarium.co,uk/planets/hours.jsp (if you use this site, make sure to set the page to your location, as the default place is London, and the results vary by location)

Personal Experiences with Planetary Days and Hours

Earlier this year, I twisted my ankle, and in order to recover fully and prevent recurrences, my doctor sent me for physical therapy. If you’ve ever done physical therapy, you know that not only do you do exercises with the therapist, but that you also get homework – exercises that you do on your own every day to accelerate your improvement. When scheduling my appointment with the therapist every week, I was able to get appointments on a Thursday (ruled by Jupiter, the ideal choice for healing).

Whenever possible, I also tried to choose the hours of Jupiter or the Sun, both of which are beneficial for vitality and healing. However, these hours were not always available for appointments that worked with my schedule. Whatever time I chose, I tried to avoid hours of Saturn especially, as he is generally harmful to health and life. This is the other important feature of planetary hours – even if you do not always get the hour you want for a given activity, at least you can avoid the really harmful hours.

The one thing I did have control over was when I did the assigned exercises on my own, and for these I chose the hour of Jupiter. As you have learned from this article, there are multiple hours belonging to each planet every day, so it wasn’t too difficult to find a time that worked with my schedule.

I also took homeopathic medicine to help with my healing, and here again, I tried to avoid the hours ruled by the malefic planets (Saturn and Mars), and when possible, took the medicine during Jupiter, Venus, and Sun hours.

Similarly, whenever I have a hair appointment, I try to choose the hours of Venus or Jupiter, as well as their days. It is all right to have the appointment on the day of Jupiter and hour of Venus, though the most powerful combination would be day of Venus and hour of Venus. Venus is more specific to beauty treatments, but Jupiter is a good all-purpose second choice, as he brings good fortune to all undertakings.

On the magical side, it is possible to use the planets for remediation. As an example, I follow my astrological transits and planetary influences closely and correlate them to events in my life, so I can tell if a particular planet has been causing me problems repeatedly. Some time ago, I noticed that whenever transiting Mars made a hard aspect to my Sun (conjunction, square, or opposition), something unpleasant would happen. It got to the point that I became a bit paranoid whenever one of these aspects was approaching. So, I tried to form a better relationship with Mars, using magic. Every Tuesday at sunrise (Mars day, Mars hour), I did a mini-ritual or prayer asking Mars to use his energies in a constructive way that helped me, rather than harming me. And I found doing this weekly effective in averting issues, as well as having the beneficial side effect of lessening my own feelings of anger. I did not ask Mars for a specific goal, but this would be another option during the weekly ritual.

Ideas for Your Development

If you are just getting started with planetary days and hours, I recommend you keep a journal of your activities and the planet ruling the day and hour when you began the activity, as well as the something about the event. A simple example is the start of your daily travel to work, and how the journey went for you that day. There will be a variety of days and hour combinations, and you can experiment by making minor modifications to improve your travel time and minimize delays, for example. On Monday mornings, you might notice that the first hour is ruled by the Moon, and the second hour by Saturn. The Moon is generally good for journeys, but Saturn is not and tends to prolong matters, so you might experiment with leaving a little earlier to take advantage of the Lunar hour.

As I did with Mars, think about which planet’s energy you would like to bring into your life, or with which planet you would like to have a better relationship. It’s best to choose one planet and work with it over the long term, giving it some time to bring results and learn how it impacts your life. An example ritual would be to light a candle engraved with the symbol of your chosen planet, as well as incense made of materials that the planet rules, during the day and hour of the planet, invoking the name of your chosen planet, and speaking your request clearly. It’s best to focus on one request for a few weeks or even months, and be sure to not change it too frequently, to best harness the power of a focused mind. If you have a talisman for the planet, you can use your weekly ritual to bring it out and incorporate it into your magic.

Common plants of the planets that may be used as incense during the corresponding planetary days and/or hours:

Saturn: Sage
Jupiter: Cloves
Mars: Ginger
Sun: Frankincense
Venus: Rose
Mercury: Walnut
Moon: Lily

I hope that this article intrigues you and motivates you to explore the intersection of astrology and magic. Though the technique of planetary hours and days is simple, it can be very powerful with repeated practice, as your capabilities grow.

Resources

Planetary hours calculator: https://www.lunarium.co.uk/planets/hours.jsp
Phone app: https://www.lunarium.co.uk/iPhone/Hours/
Advanced astrological software will usually have a setting that allows the current planetary hour to be viewed, as well.

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