Though I have written primarily about the significance of the different days, I have also listed the effects of the planetary hours.
The planets have had a special place in both ritual magick and astrology, since the Ancient Babylonians and Chaldeans first observed them wandering across the sky (the word 'planet' derives from the Greek planetes, meaning 'wanderer') against the fixed constellations of the zodiac.
The ancients knew of only five planets - Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were discovered only after the invention of the telescope and so have not assumed the importance in magick that they have in astrology. What is more, the first astronomers also counted the Sun and the Moon as planets and credited them with certain qualities that have become woven into the Western astrological and magical traditions.
Astrologers believe that the positions of the planets in the zodiac at the time of an individual's birth can influence and indicate that person's fate. In magick, the planetary strengths can be applied to any purpose under the As above, so below' principle that stresses the interconnectedness of the whole universe.
You can create your own spells by using the associations, much as you create recipes by knowing the qualities and blending power of individual ingredients. And just as in cookery, those spells or recipes where you break away from the set formula are often the most successful.
For example, if you wanted to do well in an interview for a job, you might burn a wish in a candle of the colour blue - for careers - on Thursday, the day of Jupiter, who is associated with employment and worldly success and all matters of increase; for extra potency, the candle could be surrounded with small blue sodalite or lapis lazuli, Jupiter's special crystals. You could also burn cedar, one of Jupiter's incenses or sandalwood oil.
If you needed more general career success, you could make or buy an amulet of tin, the metal of Jupiter, perhaps a coin from a museum shop that you charged with power every Thursday by sprinkling it with salt, passing it through cedar incense, a blue candle flame and the fragrance of burning sandalwood oil.
If your projected job was to do with communication, technology or the media which are ruled by Mercury, you could carry out the spell on two consecutive days, beginning with the communicative power of Mercury on his hour, the third after sunset on a Wednesday. You could light yellow candles and use a Mercurian crystal, such as yellow jasper or a yellow-banded agate, and burn dill incense and fennel essential oil. On the second day of the spell, the Thursday, carry out the spell again at the third hour after sunset, which on this day is Jupiter's evening hour, to add his authority and opportunities for expansion.
In this section I have listed the particular strengths of each planet, together with their most powerful times. Remember that, in addition, the sign you are born under will exert its influences on you at all times.
Sunday, the day of the Sun, is for spells for personal fulfilment and ambition, power and success, for increasing the flow of the life force, asserting or strengthening your identity and individuality, for innovation of all kinds and new beginnings. It is potent also for energy, joy, health prosperity, spiritual awareness, self-confidence, for bringing wealth and prosperity if there is poverty and failure, for breaking a run of bad luck, and for all matters concerning fathers. I have listed various solar deities in Chapter 4. Though there are powerful Sun goddesses, the Sun's focus is mainly male/animus/ yang in both men and women.
Sun hour spells bring a surge of energy and vitality and so are excellent for personal empowerment and renewal.
Element. Fire Colour: Gold
Crystals: Amber, carnelian, diamond, clear crystal quartz, tiger's eye, topaz Incenses: Cloves, cinnamon, frankincense Trees: Bay, birch, laurel
Herbs and oils: Juniper, rosemary, saffron, St John's wort
The Sun rules Leo, 23 July-23 August, and is most powerful for those born under this sign. The Moon
Monday, the day of the Moon, is for spells concerning the home, family matters and the influence of the family, especially the mother, children and animals. Its prime focus is fertility and all the ebbs and flows of the human body, mind and psyche. It is also potent for protection, especially while travelling, for psychic development, clairvoyance, secrets and meaningful dreams, all sea and garden rituals and for herb magick and healing.
Although there are Moon Gods, lunar energies are primarily yin/female/anima in both men and women.
Moon hour spells are good for bringing unconscious powers to the fore and thus also for gaining magical insights and for bringing wishes into actuality.
Colour: Silver or white (although some magical traditions that use the Triple Goddess in ritual dress show the Maiden in white, the Mother in red and the Crone in black)
Crystals: Moonstone, mother of pearl, pearl, selenite, opal Incenses: Jasmine, myrrh, mimosa Trees: Willow, alder
Herbs and oils: Chamomile, lotus, poppy, wintergreen Metal: Silver
The Moon rules Cancer, 22 June-22 July, and its spells are particularly potent during that period and for all who are born under Cancer.
Tuesday, the day of Mars, is good for spells for courage, taking the initiative at home, independence and separateness from others, and change. It also represents aggression, competitiveness and anger, all qualities that can be used positively for altruistic purpose, for example, standing out against injustice and protecting the vulnerable and loved ones under threat. This is the lifeblood planet and so can be used to overcome seemingly impossible odds, to defeat opposition, to survive and thrive. It is also for physical health and vitality and so its rituals are always dynamic.
Mars rules passion and the consummation of love. Like Fire magick, the energy of Mars is very powerful and so spells should always be for positive purpose and with a circle that can afterwards be closed down.
Mars was the Roman Warrior God, and legendary father of Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. As god of both agriculture and war, he represented the ideal Roman, first as a farmer and then as a conqueror and so the agricultural Fire festivals are linked with his power. He is the Roman equivalent of the Greek Ares and the Viking Tyr, the altruistic Warrior God who sacrificed his sword arm to save the other deities (the word Tuesday derives from his name).
The hour of Mars is especially good for psychic self-defence and for courage in a crisis. Element: Fire Colour: Red
Crystals: Garnet, bloodstone, ruby, jasper Incenses: Dragon's blood, ginger, mint, thyme Trees: Cypress, holly, pine
Herbs and oils: Basil, coriander, garlic, pepper, tarragon Metal: Iron or steel
Mars rules Aries, March-20 April, and is the co-ruler of Scorpio, 24 October-22 November. In magick, it is most potent during these two Sun sign periods and for those born under Aries and Scorpio.
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