Introduction to Planetary Magic

Planetary Magic is a way to divide, categorize and organize any power, ability or attribute. In this case a system was initiated by the ancient Sumerian people, who observing the sky day and night, were able to identify seven heavenly bodies that moved in rhythms different from the Stars, which rotate in unison.

Planetary magic has long been a substantial component of the Western Mystery Tradition. While in modern Paganism elemental magic seems to predominate, a look through the grimoires of the Renaissance demonstrates that the seven ancient planets and seven days of the week were at that time a more common symbol set for evoking spirits and casting spells, while the elements were more often seen as part of the alchemical tradition. The planetary symbol set is thus highly suitable for advanced magical and mystical operations.

As you can see here, from a mystical standpoint the various visions corresponding to the planets reach much of the way up the Tree of Life and from a magical standpoint the planetary powers encompass most of what people want to do when they get into magic either using love spells, healing spells, wealth spells, and even curses in rituals.

In ancient times, the movements of the “planets” were easy to observe as different from the stars. Most of the stars rotated in unison, over the course of the night, but seven heavenly bodies could be counted in different rhythms. Fastest moving among them is the Moon, whose orbit has a periodicity of about 29 days.  Faint, but still observable much of the year also, Mercury travels its path every 59 days (or 88 days, it used to be believed). Venus at 243 days, the Sun itself at 365 days, Mars at 687 days, Jupiter at 12 years and elder Saturn takes 29 years to complete its circuit.

From Sumerian times, these unique heavenly bodies were seen as representations of the gods, if not gods themselves. And through the ages, the names of these planets have changed, but the roles of the gods they have been named for have changed very little. For example, in ancient Sumer, Enki was the name for the planet we now call Mercury, and they are both gods of information and communication. The Babylonians called the planet Mars by the name Nergal, who was also god of war. Our beloved planet Venus was Aphrodite in Greece, Astarte in Phoenicia, Ishtar in Babylon, and Inanna in ancient Sumer, love goddesses all of them. Solaris or Helios is the Sun god, Iuppiter or Jupiter is a god of kingship and growth, Selene or Luna is goddess of the Moon.

Some astrologers and magicians have added Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto to the classic seven planets. These planets are not discernible to the eye without telescopes, and therefore they are not as familiar to humanity, and they have fewer Earthly correspondences. Neptune is viewed as a higher frequency of Venus, Uranus likewise is an octave over Mercury, and Pluto is the dark reflection of the Sun. Their distance from our planet makes magical correspondence much more tentative and not especially useful to most practitioners.

Most practically important to the modern practitioner is that the Seven Planets have contributed one of the most widespread conventions of civilized life: the seven day week.  Every day of the week, governed by its ruling Planet, indicates the most favorable day for any goal the Magician has in mind. The Planetary days of the week, along with the phases of the Moon govern the creation of magic, items, sigils or the like for use. Using this approach can often lend to powerful external effects one is looking to achieve.

Luna = Moon = Monday (Moon-day),
Mars = Mars = Tuesday (Norse Tiu, a war-god),
Mercurius = Mercury = Wednesday (Wodin or Odin, a scholar/magician god),
Iuppiter = Jupiter = Thursday (Thor, god of thunder),
Venus = Venus = Friday (named for Norse goddess of love Freya) and
Saturnus = Saturn = Saturday.
Sol = Sun = Sunday,

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