Arlene Kramer - Uranian Astrologer
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Advanced Astrology

Advanced Astrology (cont.)

The Lunation Cycle
   Part One
   Part Two

Part of Fortune
   Part One
   Part Two

Part of Fortune in the Signs

Part of Fortune and Planets

Part of Fortune Surprises

Retrograde Planets
   Part One
   Part Two
   Part Three
   - Transiting Retrograde Planets A

   Part Four
   - Transiting Retrograde Planets B

   Part Five
   - Surprises About Retrograde

   Part Six
   - More Surprises About Retrograde

Libra Ingress 1997

The Void of Course Moon
   Part One
   Part Two
   Part Three

Advanced Techniques
   Part One
   Part Two
   Part Three

Planetary Hours
   Part One
   Part Two
   Part Three
   Part Four

Capricorn Ingress, 1997

New Year's Resolutions

Lunations 1998

Using New and Full Moons


Reading the Chart
   Part One: Chart-As-A-Whole
   Part Two: Chart-As-A-Whole
   Part Three: Examples
   Part Four: Examples (cont.)

Total Solar Eclipse

Astrologers' Dilemma
   - Clinton's Birth Data

Lunar Eclipse

Aries Ingress 1988

   Part One
   Part Two
   Part Three
   Part Four
   Part Five

Planetary Hours:
Part Two

In the previous article (Planetary Hours, Part One), I described how the ancients divided the time between sunrise and sunset into 12 equal parts, and then divided the time between sunset and sunrise into another 12 equal parts. These early astrologers correlated each of these parts of the day with the seven known moving bodies in the sky. They observed and organized a pattern based on the apparent speed of these bodies, namely Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, and Moon. They repeated the sequence three times for the seven moving bodies as they named the Planetary Hours, taking the next three planets from the fourth sequence to complete the twenty-four parts necessary for the day. Unfortunately, these 24 parts of the day, which vary in length from day to day and from week to week, are all called "hours" although they seldom are actually 60 minutes in duration. Each 24-hour sequence ended at sunrise, when a new day began.

What is sunrise? What is sunset? Probably to the ancients, sunrise was the first light of day, and sunset was the last light of evening. We modern astrologers, with accurate ephemerides and tables of houses, and with 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?

Before there was adequate computer software, I used to follow the sunrise and sunset times reported in the newspapers and on television, making corrections for the longitude difference between where I was and the television studio's or newspaper's city. I would calculate the number of hours and minutes between sunrise and sunset, convert this to minutes, then divide by 12 with a hand-held calculator to determine the length, in minutes, of each Planetary Hour for the day. I would then do the same for the Planetary Hours between sunset and the next sunrise. I became quite proficient at this simple task. It was worth the effort. I was able to effectively plan my day.

I agonized over the use of computer software, because there was a discrepancy between the time of first light and the time provided by computer-generated astrological sunrise. The discrepancy was only a few minutes, and I made the decision to use astrological sunrise and sunset. My personal experience shows that my decision was the right one, and I no longer have to hand-calculate the Planetary Hours for each day the way I once did. Instead, I use computer software that I arranged to have created for me to calculate and print Planetary Hours for several months in advance, always being careful to use daylight-saving time when appropriate. I cut the printout into daily sections to carry on my person, and of course, I have the printouts on my desk. When I plan to travel to other cities, I prepare the Planetary Hours for the time zone, latitude, and longitude of my destination.

It is very interesting to study how the duration of the Planetary Hour depends upon the amount of sunlight and darkness experienced at your latitude on any given day. I shall illustrate the amount of daylight and darkness using New York City in 1998.

On the day of the vernal equinox, Friday, March 20, 1998, sunrise will start with a Venus hour at 6:04 a.m. EST and sunset will be at 6:03 p.m. (computer round-off). On this day, each Planetary Hour will last for sixty minutes.

On the day of the autumnal equinox, Wednesday, September 23, 1998, sunrise will start with a Mercury hour at 6:47 a.m. EDT and sunset will be at 6:47 p.m. EDT; and again, each Planetary Hour will have a duration of sixty minutes. There is an equal amount of daylight and darkness. After all, equinox means equal night and day.

Now take a look at the examples and compare them with those of the summer solstice and the winter solstice, also calculated for New York City. On the day of the summer solstice, (the longest day of the year,) Sunday, June 21, 1998, sunrise will start with a Sun hour at 5:30 a.m. EDT and sunset will be at 8:25 p.m. EDT. On the day of the winter solstice, (the shortest day of the year,) Monday, December 21, 1998, sunrise will begin with a Moon hour at 7:21 a.m. EST and sunset will occur at 4:27 p.m. EST.

At the summer solstice, in New York City, we experience much more daylight than darkness, so each daytime Planetary Hour lasts 75 minutes, while each nighttime Planetary Hour lasts only 45 minutes. Just the reverse occurs on the day of the winter solstice, when each daytime Planetary Hour is only 45 minutes long, and each nighttime Planetary Hour has a 75-minute duration.

In between the equinoxes and the solstices, sunrise and sunset varies from day to day, sometimes by only a minute, as the days get longer or shorter. A two- or three-minute change in the length of the day is small when divided into 12 equal increments. Therefore, the length of a Planetary Hour does not change much from day to day. See the listing below, calculated for New York City, and adapted from Sundial Software: Planetary Hours. It shows the complete listing for Tuesday and partial listing for Friday of the week of publication of this article.

73.57 W 40.33 N

Mar 7.13a Sat 4.24p
Sun 7.59a Jup 5.38p
Ven 8.45a Mar 6.52p
Mer 9.31a Sun 8.06p
Moo 10.17a Ven 9.20p
Sat 11.03a Mer 10.34p
Jup 11.49a Moo 11.49p
Mar 12.34p Sat 1.03a
Sun 1.20p Jup 2.17a
Ven 2.06p Mar 3.31a

Mer 2.52p Sun 4.45a
Moo 3.38p Ven 5.59a

FRIDAY 12 DEC 1997
73.57 W 40.33 N

Ven 7.15a Mar 4.24p
Mer 8.01a Sun 5.38p
Moo 8.47a Ven 6.53p
Sat 9.32a
Jup 10.18a
Mar 11.04a
Sun 11.50a
Ven 12.35p
Mer 1.21p
Moo 2.07p
Sat 2.53p
Jup 3.38p

Once you have calculated the Planetary Hours for the day and location of interest, how will you use them? This will be covered in the next article, but, for those of you who are impatient, the clue to their use is the consideration of the nature of the planet involved.

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 Copyright 2007, Arlene Kramer. All Rights Reserved.