Friday, April 09, 2010

How to Calculate Planetary Hours

Apparently, there's nothing in my Modern Angelic Grimoire about calculating planetary hours. And furthermore, I don't seem to have ever written a blog post about it. I remember long discussions on yahoo groups about it, I think, and I must have just assumed everybody knew that part. Woopsie!

Planetary hours are periods of time during the day that are ruled by the Seven Planetary Governors.

The idea that each time period is ruled by a planetary spirit can be found most clearly spelled out in Trithemius' De Septum Secundius, the Seven Secondary Intelligences. He explains how each of the Planetary Governors rules over a period of time that lasts 354 years, and tracks it back to the beginning of time as he knew it. He shows how the events of each age demonstrate the nature of the ruling spirit.

Similarly, each day of the week is ruled by a planetary governor, and each hour of each day is ruled by a planetary governor. When you are planning planetary magic, the most potent time to perform a ritual is during the Planetary Hour of the Planetary Day. The ruler of the Day has the most influence during his assigned hours of his assigned days. It's easier to establish communications during this time, an the powers he can bring to bear are strongest.

In The Art of Drawing Spirits into Crystals, Trithemius provides tables showing which Angels rule each of the Seven Days. Each day is divided into 24 hours, and one of the seven Planetary Spirits governs that hour. That means that it's a good time to create planetary talismans, and to conjure the assigned planetary spirits.

The time period covered by a planetary hour is seldom 60 minutes long. Sometimes a planetary hour lasts an hour and twenty minutes, other times only forty-five minutes. This happens because the "hours" are divided into two equal sets of twelve time periods, twelve during the day, and twelve during the night. Due to the rotation of the Earth, summer day hours are longer than summer night hours.

To calculate the time periods represented by a "planetary hour," the magician must figure out how many actual hours there will be during the day, from sunrise to sunset. Find the times of sunrise and sunset, and sum up the total number of hours and minutes that pass between the two. I convert it all to minutes and divide that total by 12. You do the same for the night hours, measuring the amount of time between sunset and the following sunrise, and dividing that total by 12.

Once you know the length of time each planetary hour will last, you can begin to chart the planets that rule each hour. Make a numbered list from one to twenty-four down the left side of a page. Write the Start and End Times of each Planetary Hour. Next you're ready to start adding the planets that rule each hour.

To figure out the first hour angel, you need to know what day it is. Each Day is ruled by one of the seven planets. The first planetary hour is always ruled by the same planet as the planetary day. Today is Friday, Freya-Day, and is ruled by Venus. The first hour of the day was also ruled by Venus. The following list shows the planetary rulers of each day.
  • Sunday: The Sun
  • Monday: The Moon
  • Tuesday: Mars
  • Wednesday: Mercury
  • Thursday: Jupiter
  • Friday: Venus
  • Saturday: Saturn
Now you know the planetary ruler of the First Hour of every day. To add the rest, you need to know the Chaldean "Order of the Planets." This is the order that you pass through the planetary spheres on your way from the Sphere of the Fixed Stars to the Sphere of the Earth. For Golden Dawn Kabbalists, it's the Lightning Path beginning with Binah, Saturn. The order is Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, The Sun, Venus, Mercury, and the Moon.

Next to the starting and ending times for the first hour, write the name of the planet that rules the Day. The second hour is ruled by the next planet in the Chaldean Order of the Planets. Since today is Friday, the first hour is ruled by Venus, so the second hour will be ruled by Mercury, the third by the Moon, then we go back to the top of the list, so the Fourth is ruled by Saturn, Fifth by Jupiter, the Sixth by Mars, the Seventh by the Sun, and the Eighth by Venus again. The list continues through each of the Planetary Hours until you've got a ruler for all 24 time periods.

Note that the Planetary day begins at dawn and doesn't end until Sunrise the following morning. The day doesn't start at midnight.So if I were planning a ritual for Venus today, I could pick any Venus Hour between sunrise today and sunrise tomorrow, even though my calendar thinks it's Saturday starting at midnight. It's not magically Saturday until dawn.

Here's a neat little trick of the universe. Applying the order of the planets to the 24 hours of a day always results in the last hour of the day being ruled by the planet that precedes the ruler of the next day. So tomorrow is Saturday, ruled by Saturn. The first hour of tomorrow will be the Saturn Hour, so the last planetary hour today will be ruled by Jupiter. It always works out that way. The last hour of a Thursday has to be ruled by Mercury for the first hour of Friday to be ruled by Venus, and lo and behold, it always is.

The following table provides a quick guide for you to use to figure out the ruler of each hour of the day. You'll still have to figure out the start and finish time for each planetary hour of the day, but this gives you a quick reference:

Day Hours

Hours

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

Night Hours

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



Now, for those who can figure this out by hand, more power to you! I prefer to use software, such as SolarFire Gold, Timaeus, or ChronosXP. Online, you can find a planetary hour calculator at http://lunarium.co.uk. They also produce a "widget" for the personalized iGoogle home page that I use. You simply enter your location, and it displays the current and upcoming planetary hours for your location. It's pretty convenient, and takes a lot less time than figuring out sunrises and sunsets.

When planning your rituals, it is best to conjure the spirits during their planetary hour of their planetary day. If that's not possible, the next best time is during their planetary hour, according to Agrippa. So if you really need to do a Solar Conjuration rite, the Sun hour of Sunday is best, but any Sun hour of the week will do. The first time you conjure one of the Intelligences of a Planet, I strongly recommend that it be during the planetary hour of the planetary day. Make sure you include the phrase, "and return to me in power when I call you by your name and by your seal" in your license to depart, and that will pave the way for quick contact in case of emergency.

When scheduling your personal initiations into the spheres, try to find a planetary day and hour combined for the fullest effect.