Planets, Magic, and History

Most modern magical systems described in books present the order of the planets differently than their positions orbiting the Sun in our Solar system. The reason for this difference is simply historical. Modern magical systems are drawing on older systems and focus more on mythology, symbolic associations, and magical correspondences of the planetary powers.

One system is the Chaldean Order. As Lady Passion and *Diuvei wrote in The Goodly Spellbook, Olde Spells for Modern Problems (2005), p. 88:

In antiquity, magicians often used the celestial magic of the Seven Planets as a guide for many of their magical correspondences and as the key to timing spells. The Seven Planets are the five planets visible to the naked eye, plus the Sun and the Moon. The system magicians used in considering the arrangement of the Seven Planets is called the Chaldean Order. (The Babylonians, who transmitted this knowledge to the Greeks, were often called the Chaldeans.)
The Chaldean Order was a geocentric (Earth-centered) system. It was much later suggested by Greek scholars that the planets were attached to the transluscent spheres which revolved around the Earth independently of the other stars. The movement of these spheres created the "music of the spheres," which was referred to in some Rennaisance writings.

The following list represented a standard cosmology which persisted up into the Christian Rennaisance. This list should be read from bottom to top, representing a human looking up into the night sky from Earth.



It was assumed that the heavenly bodies that moved the fastest across the sky were the closest to Earth.

Incidentally, remnants of this ancient cosmology still linger in our modern speech. The phrase "in seventh heaven" is a reference to the same seven "planets": Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, and seven heavens or spheres they moved in around the Earth.

To have achieved a state of being "in seventh heaven" meant one had achieved a Nirvana-like state of bliss, having moved beyond the influence of the spheres and united with the All in the realm of pure spirit.

Another system for listing information about the planetary powers came from the association with the days of the week. The seven week days are attached to the seven heavenly bodies, which are visible without a telescope: Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn. Our modern English names for the days echo the older Pagan astronomy with Saxon or Roman deities: Sunna's Day (Sunday, Sunnandaeg, Sun), Mani's or Mona's Day (Monday, Monandaeg, Moon), Twi's Day (Tuesday, Tiwesdaeg, Mars), Woden's Day (Wednesday, Wodensdaeg, Mercury), Thor's Day (Thursday, Thuresdaeg, Jupiter), Freya's Day (Friday, Freyesdaeg, Venus), and Saturn's Day (Saturday, Saeternesdaeg, Saturn). The following two tables list some planetary correspondences as they relate to the seven heavenly bodies which are visible to the naked eye and to the powers traditionally associated with the days of the week.

Weekdays and Planetary Correspondences

DaysSaxon DeitiesRoman Deities MetalStones
1SundaySunnaSolGoldTopaz, Citrine, Amber
2MondayManiLunaSilver Moonstone, Pearl
3TuesdayTwi, Tui, TyrMarsIron Garnet, Ruby
4WednesdayWodenMercuryMercury, Pewter, ElectrumAgate
5ThursdayThorJupiterTin, in contemporary times--platinumAmethyst, Lapis lazuli
6FridayFreyaVenusCopper Emerald, Tormaline, Rose quartz
SaturnLead Onyx, Jet

DaysTraditional ColorsColor Symbolism Influence
1SundayYellow, GoldDaylight, healing sunlight, gold coinsIllumination, vitality, health, creativity, beauty
2MondayWhite, SilverMoonlight, night, illusion, dreamtime, silver coinsEnchantment, dreams, midwifery, ancestors, money
3TuesdayRedOxidized iron, blessings of good fortuneDefense, boldness, war, loyalty, verillity, growth
4WednesdayGrey, mixed colorsgrey color of slippery, changeable, liquid metal mercury, mixing silver and gold Wisdom, communication, barter, business, travel
5ThursdayPurple, Dark BlueRoyal purple, deep blue night skyRulership, occupations, sky, wealth, oaths, treaties, matrimony
6FridayGreenGreen plants, verdigris copperFertility, beauty, love, passion, friendship, harmony, nature, family life, relationships
7SaturdayBlackBlack night sky, black loam Time, harvest, death, peace, endings, completion, tenacity, land or soil
The lists on these tables is far from complete. There are planetary correspondences listing hours of the planets, incenses, plants, animals, zodiac signs, body parts, etc. If you wish to study such lists and correspondences in more detail, track down and study The Greater Key of Solomon.

Other sources:

Raymond Buckland, The Witch Book, the Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca and NeoPaganism, 2002.

Migene Gonzalez-Wippler, The Complete Book of Spells, Ceremonies, and Magic, 1988.

Lady Passion and *Dieuvei, The Goodly Spellbook, Olde Spells for Modern Problems, 2005.

Astronomy: Planets and Myths
Stargazing and Modern Sky Lore

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