Typically, Astrologers know far more Astrology than can ever be used
in the service of their clients. For the beginning Astrologer, the
problem is even more difficult. There is much to learn... and they
feel they should learn it all... but how much of it will be worthwhile?
Many Astrologers solve this problem by setting aside so many concepts
as interesting but not used just now. Occasionally, it is beneficial
to examine some of these set-aside concepts when time permits or when
new software makes these concepts easily usable.
One concept worth re-examining
is that Planetary Hours. We all came across Planetary Hours
as we learned Astrology. Most of us abandoned their use because the
calculations were too bothersome. The advent of hand-held calculators,
cheerful weather reporters on television who include sunrise/sunset
times in their reports, newspapers, and personal computers have reduced
significantly the burden of calculating and working with Planetary
Somewhere in the ancient past, the calendar-makers/astrologers settled
on a seven-day week with the days named after the Gods and the planets.
The English language, with its rich heritage of Germanic, Latin, and
Nordic roots, shows correlations between the names of the days and
the names of the planets/Gods. This is even more evident to students
of the Romance languages.
The Ancients studied sunrise and sunset because these,
like local noon, were visible to the naked eye. The Ancients
were aware that the ratio of the day to night varied throughout the
year. Twice a year-- around the times of the Spring and Fall Equinoxes
-- it was clear that night (dark) and day (light) were equal times.
As a result of their observations, the Ancients elected to divide
the day into twenty-four hours--they assigned twelve hours
to the period between sunrise and sunset and twelve hours to the period
between sunset and sunrise. These hours varied in length from day
to day and from week to week depending on the season. Since these
Ancients were Astrologers, they named the hours (and the days of the
week) after the Gods and the planets. In addition, the Ancients attributed
astrological characteristics to these hours and developed the concept
of Planetary Hours.
Early Astrologers noted the speed of the planets as they appeared
to move around the Earth. The slowest was Saturn, then Jupiter, then
Mars. Next in speed came the Sun which appeared to go around the Earth.
After the Sun, in order of speed, came Venus, the Mercury and, fastest
of all, was the Moon. Notice the situation: seven planets and twenty-four
hours to fill. There are no simple multiples of seven for a
uniform arrangement. The sequence of seven planets can be repeated
three times in a twenty-four-hour day with three more Planetary Hours
remaining before the next sunrise.
If we start with Saturday, the first Planetary Hour sequence, at sunrise,
we start with Saturn, followed by Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury,
Moon (i.e., the order of the planets always follows the perceived
rated of motion from the point-of-view of Earth). This sequence
on Saturdays is repeated twice more and, then, finishes with Saturn,
Jupiter, and Mars. The next planet in order after Mars would be the
Sun. in truth, sunrise on Sunday begins with the Sun hour.
This pattern continues with sunrise on Monday beginning with the Moon
hour, Tuesday beginning with the Mars hour, Wednesday with the Mercury
hour, Thursday with the Jupiter hour, Friday with the Venus hour,
and Saturday, again, beginning with the Saturn hour. Notice that the
planet rules each day is assigned to the first Planetary Hour
of the day. This concurrence leads me to the opinion that, more likely
... [a] lady in San Diego.. told me that if
she orders a pizza during a Jupiter hour, it... [has] far more pepperoni
than she expected; if she orders during a Saturn hour, it... [has]
far less pepperoni; if she orders during a Mars hour, the pizza is
over-baked and dry. Her preferences... are the Venus and Moon hours...
not, the Planetary Hours were in use before the days of the week were
What is sunrise? What is sunset? Probably to the Ancients,
sunrise was the first light of the day and sunset was the last light
of evening. We modern Astrologers, with accurate ephemerides, table
of houses and computers, are accustomed to dealing with the center
of the Sun's disk on the Ascendant and Descendant to mark sunrise
and sunset. Who knows what the cheerful weatherman on television uses
to demark what he calls sunrise and sunset, and for what longitude
and latitude is he reporting?