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  Planetary Hours: Tutorial and Questions
Magick Posted by Xnoubis on June 08, 2000 @ 11:39 AM
from the all-the-time-in-the-worlds dept.

Practitioners of planetary magic are well familiar with the Government of Hours. If you're not, here is a brief introduction, to provide a background for some questions that are on my mind.

In the classical Hermetic world view, there are seven planets, based on the seven heavenly bodies whose regular movement against the field of stars can be seen with the naked eye. Going in order from the slowest apparent motion to the most rapid, we have 1) Saturn, 2) Jupiter, 3) Mars, 4) Sol, 5) Venus, 6) Mercury, and 7) Luna. (Since Venus and Mercury are in a closer orbit to the Sun than is Earth, their apparent velocity is not so clear, hence their order in this sequence is occasionally transposed.) This order should be familiar as the planetary attributions of the Sephiroth from Binah down to Yesod, and therefore also the corners of the Hexagram, right?


Now, at least since Babylonian times, the seven planets have been held to rule over the days of the week. This hardly needs elaboration, but for the sake of completeness: Saturday -- Saturn; Sunday -- Sol; Monday -- Luna; Tuesday -- Mars; Wednesday -- Mercury; Thursday -- Jupiter; Friday -- Venus.

The point of the Government of Hours is that the planetary forces are not only attributed to the days, but to the hours as well, in this scheme: the hour after sunrise is ruled by the planet of the day. For example, sunrise on Saturday begins the rulership of Saturn for one hour. The following hour is ruled by the next "fastest" planet, Jupiter, and after that, Mars, and so on. Seven hours after sunrise is the rulership of Luna, after which, it's Saturn's turn again. Following this logic, you can see that 22 hours after sunrise comes Saturn again, then 23 -- Jupiter, and 24 -- Mars. Which means that the first hour of the following day is ruled by the Sun, and that day is (ta-dah!) Sunday.

You'll see that this happy pattern continues around the week. This is in fact the reason that the days of the week are ordered as they are, though almost everyone has forgotten this.

There's one last adjustment to be made to this arrangement. The "hours" we're talking about weren't measured by clocks, but by sundials. So whether observed during the long days of summer or the short days of winter, days lasted 12 hours and nights lasted 12 hours. The way to determine the boundaries of those hours nowadays is to take the distance between sunrise and sunset and divide by 12. For example, as I write this, the sun rises at 5:48am and sets at 8:30pm. To calculate the daytime hours, I determine the distance between 5:48 and noon (6 hrs. and 12 mins.), and add the distance between noon and 8:30 (I hope I don't need to work that one out) for a total of 14 hrs. 42 mins. Then for convenience, I convert that to straight minutes: (14 x 60) + 42 = 882. Dividing by 12 gives me the length of the daytime hours: 882/12 = 73 1/2. So today, one planetary daytime hour equals 1 clock hour and 13 1/2 clock minutes. Therefore, the first planetary hour of the day extended from 5:48am to 7:01:30am, and this being a Thursday, it will have been ruled by Jupiter.

To calculate the nighttime hours, you could similarly determine the distance between sunset and the following sunrise and divide by 12. For practical purposes, though, you can figure that the night hour is going to be an equal distance from the clock hour as the day hour is, but in the opposite direction. Since today's daytime hour is 13 1/2 minutes over, the nighttime hour is 13 1/2 minutes under, or 46 1/2 minutes. So the first hour after sunset starts at 8:30pm today, and ends at 9:16:30pm. Extra credit if you can tell me who the ruler of that hour is.

(Purists will wish to have it pointed out that this last method introduces a bit of error, since the following sunrise is often at a slightly different time. So your boundaries could be off by as much as a minute and a half, I believe. If this bothers you, don't use this method.)

Incidentally, the Government of Hours also supplies you with the precise times to perform Liber Resh. It always amazes me that there are many Resh-keepers out there who conscientiously do Ra and Tum at actual sunrise and sunset, but do Ahathoor and Khephra at clock noon and midnight. I say: use the Sun or the clock, but don't mix them! To me, the proper counterpoints to sunrise and sunset are the midpoints between them, or six planetary hours after sunrise and sunset, respectively.

The great planetary magick wonk Dusan Kuhar once pointed out to me a shortcut for calculating the Government of Hours based on Liber Resh: the planet of the day rules the hour of dawn Resh, one hour after noon Resh, two hours after dusk Resh, and three hours after midnight Resh. With that in mind, it's a lot simpler to track any hour of the day or night.

With the conclusion of this little review, I can come around to my questions.

First, the picky detail question. Dividing the days and nights by 12 has always been the traditional method of determining the hours. But now, with computer technology, and astrology software on our Palm Pilots, it would be a simple matter to calculate the hours by dividing the sun's orbit into 24 18-degree bands starting at the eastern horizon each morning. Would that possibly be preferable?

Second, the historical curiosity. There have been periods of calendar reform where our sequence of days and months have been disrupted. I forget the details, but during colonial times there was grumbling about the government enforcing a date change that made people feel as if they'd been robbed of a period of many days. But has the sequence of the days of the week itself been kept intact? If so, for how long? If the efficacy of the Government of Hours is based on the long-standing regularity of our observed rhythm, it would be interesting to know how long the rhythm has been maintained. If, for instance, the sequence has been observed unbroken by Rabbis and before that the Levitical priesthood, could our everyday pattern of weekdays be an unbroken tradition directly from the Babylonian captivity, if not beyond?



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  • The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them.


    Re: Planetary Hours: Tutorial and Questions
    by Arias on Thursday June 08, @02:06PM
    This is cute, but I find it to be tedious and futile, if not slavish. What does this have to do with Liber Resh?

    Picture this, good sir, the accursed knowledge that I trust you will edit out, are the attributes to time of day:

    sunrise: (dawn meditation)
    knowledge and wisdom

    Noon - 2:
    vision proper

    midnight - 3:
    authoritative

    • Re: Planetary Hours: Tutorial and Questions
      by Violet on Thursday July 20, @04:39PM
      93,

      Your response is awfully critical, I might say.

      Celestial navigation is definitively important, I think, particularly if you take the notion that there might, in fact, be some degree of truth in the axiom that there is a spark of _consciousness_ in those rays of the sun which assist in our life here on Earth.

      We westerners are too hung up on the exoteric references to things, often arguing exhaustively and laboriously over the most minuta of details.

      IMHO, the solar meditations are, in large part, to absorb the _energy_ of the sun during that particular Tattva. It makes perfect sense then that the meditation be done according to "true sunrise, mid-day, sunset, and mid-night" in your localle, and not a superficially imposed one (ie, according to clock-time).

      Besides that, I think the article was about calculating planetary hours for planetary magicks. You know, invoking hexagrams and the like.

      Your call, of course.

      Love is the law, love under will.

      Violetdevi


    • Re: Planetary Hours: Tutorial and Questions
      by Xnoubis on Friday July 21, @10:16AM
      It seems to me that different practitioners have different preferences regarding the amount of structure they find rewarding in their magick. To many Chaos magicians, for example, most Thelemic magick is far too structured for their tastes. On the opposite side of the spectrum from the Chaotes are the Enochian magicians, and to almost as great an extent, the classical planetary magicians.

      If you're interested in performing planetary magick in the tradition of the Picatrix, Agrippa, and John Dee, up to and including the Golden Dawn, then you want to understand nuances of Astrology, planetary positions, and the planetary hours. If you're not interested in the subject, the details will indeed be tedious, and I certainly wouldn't attempt to persuade anyone of the subject's advantages. If you want to do it, the article describes how.

      Specifically, if you're performing classical planetary magick, you want your operation to take place in the appropriate hour, with the planet you're working with above the horizon (the closer to the midheaven the better) and well-aspected astrologically. If it is a major operation that will take longer than the hour, it should at least begin in the appropriate hour. There are other ways that the hours may be worked with, but this is the main thing.

      This isn't an article about Liber Resh. If one takes up the practice of the hours, I describe how it can be integrated with Liber Resh. But one probably wouldn't observe the hours as an enhancement for Resh alone. I do state my opinion about solar (as opposed to clock) noon and midnight, but if one isn't doing planetary magick, it's much simpler to just subtract the earlier time from the later one (between sunrise and sunset) and divide by two.

      I'm interested in your attributions, but I'd find it easier to follow if I knew what you were attributing sunset to.

      "the accursed knowledge that I trust you will edit out" -- Beg pardon?


    Re: Planetary Hours: Tutorial and Questions
    by Mordecai Shapiro on Sunday June 11, @12:13AM
    I have also learnt much from Kuhar Dusan (though not of magick, but rather of Taoism), and I feel that I should point out that he prefers the above use of his name, with family name first and given name last. Apparently this is a common practice in his native Slovenija (as in China and Japan). Most Slovenes, like Japanese, in this country bow to our prevailing practice because our nearly universal cultural illiteracy makes confusion over the issue almost ubiquitous, but as you may know Dusan rarely bows to prevailing practice (and I must salute him for his strength of will).

    Planetary Hours: Tutorial and Questions
    by Fir on Sunday June 11, @12:41PM
    Hi Xnoubis, Great topic! What do you think about creating magical time? Pretending you're really in the correct planetary hour for the operation you wish to perform even though in mundane time you're not?
    P.S. #1 - I didn't think this was an article about Resh.
    P.S. #2 - How about an article on the meaning of the name Xnoubis? All I saw were the responses you got when you posted the question on T-93.

    93 93/93 Fir

    • Re: Planetary Hours: Tutorial and Questions
      by Xnoubis on Sunday June 11, @05:37PM
      Glad you liked the topic. I haven't tried the magical time technique you describe. Does it work for you?

      I have sometimes been known to ignore the planetary hours if they just didn't work for me in the period of time I needed to get something done. Generally in that case, I'll emphasize some other aspect than the planetary. For example, if I need to do a Jovial working, and the Jupiter hour isn't convenient, I might do a working to the path of Kaph, or maybe to the four Enochian seniors attributed to Jupiter, since I don't see the angels of the Watchtowers working on planetary time (I'm not so sure about the angels of the Aethyrs, however).

      About Resh: no, I think that understanding was unique to "Arias." I'd still be interested in his(?) Resh attributions, but since he didn't leave a valid email address, we can only pursue it so far.

      A Xnoubis article is a good idea. I revisited the 93-L archives some time after the first few posters cc'ed me their entries, and was pleasantly surprised at how much good info the thread had generated. I'll try to put something together this week.


      • Re: Planetary Hours: Tutorial and Questions
        by Fr. 215 on Wednesday June 14, @06:17AM
        This is all interesting, and I'm glad to see it put so concisely! I got my first dose of Planetary Hours and the like from "Planetary Magick," Dennings and Phillips. I have liked the idea since, and have actually stayed home from certain rituals when the astrological hour might conflict with other Magicks in the works.

        I have, however, had other issues of technicality arise regarding the significance of hours. For example, the "House" that the Sun is in at a given time seems to reflect on Magick. I really get a different feeling working Magick when the sun is in Aries, and when the sun is in Gemini, even if on the same day.

        As far as "Pretending Time", I'd say that it might be fun, but I think it might be more effective to just get the same Planetary amp through color, and things sacred to the planet used. It might be a very interesting display to have "Pretend Time", however, and I must admit it reminds me of the Rites of Eleusis. Like in the Rite of Mars, when Br. Aries says, "It is an hour before dawn." , just as one instance. So, it would seem, at least Crowley left room for it, even though it might be a theatrical element.

        Love is the law, love under will.
        Ch = 215


      • Planetary Hours: Tutorial and Questions
        by Fir on Monday June 19, @07:34PM
        I've only used the pretend time with some other folks making planetary incenses. It worked fine. Personally if I was going for the gusto I'd want to do it by the book.'

        The replies I recall on the meaning of Xnoubis were equating it to Abraxas. "The Greek Magical Papyri" were referenced but I couldn't find anything in my copy of the Hans Dieter Betz edition at a quick glance.

        93 93/93, Fir


    Re: Planetary Hours: Tutorial and Questions
    by Kaladevi Adinatha on Monday June 12, @04:25PM
    Nice article, Xnoubis. Makes sense of a little book re: Swara Yoga I recently found almost impenetrable. The book was chock full of nuggets, but, the planetary concepts were poorly communicated.

    Thank you,

    Kaladevi

    Re: Planetary Hours: Tutorial and Questions
    by Tua-mut-f on Friday June 23, @05:17PM
    "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law."

    A topic that has from my early venture into magick been (and still is) very appealing and mysterious to me. One comment I'd like to add with the hope that it provide some assistance to my sors. and fras. here is that there is a wonderful little program to aid you in calculating planetary hours. It is called Calculator93 and if I'm not mistaken, it was created by Fra. Robin (AKA Serpente) at Winternet. It is quite fun and quite thorough. You can change geographic location and time to generate the planetary hours, as well as an Astrolog wheel chart and quarter stations for the sun and moon calculated from sunrise/set and moon rise/set. The URL is http://www.mysticalnet.net/mysticalinternet/software/td.htm

    In fact, I recommend that Thelemites in general will thoroughly enjoy Robin's website (http://www.mysticalnet.net/mysticalinternet/). Once there, you will find perhaps the most complete collection of online OTO Libers as well as a variety of useful downladble magick software. Hope you enjoy as much as I have.

    "Love is the Law, love under will."
    "Arit-a mert-a tep-ta em-ma Ankh-iu."
    Tua-mut-f (AKA Sekhem-f n Anpu)

    Re: Planetary Hours: Tutorial and Questions
    by Tua-mut-f on Friday June 23, @05:28PM
    "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law."

    A topic that has from my early venture into magick been (and still is) very appealing and mysterious to me. One comment I'd like to add with the hope that it provides some assistance to my sors. and fras. here is that there is a wonderful little program to aid you in calculating planetary hours. It is called Calculator93 and if I'm not mistaken, it was created by Fra. Robin (AKA Serpente as I know him) at mysticalnet. And it appears as if he he has released a new version. The download is a little over a meg in size, so it will take little time to download. It is quite fun and quite thorough and tool manipulation is easy and fairly self-explanatory. You can change geographic location and time to generate the planetary hours, as well as an Astrolog wheel chart, quarter stations for the sun and moon calculated from sunrise/set and moon rise/set, and the Thelemic date. The URL is http://www.mysticalnet.net/mysticalinternet/software/td.htm and the software is free (thanx Robin!!!) Fra. Xnoubis, some time ago you and I had discussed posting a monthly calendar of the planetary hours wit "true" Resh times at the Thelema Lodge website. We never really got it off the ground since I found this program and mentioned to you that our work had pretty much been done for us by this program, so we bailed. I'm downloading the new version tonight to see what Robin has done to improve it. If you get a chance check it out. I think you'll find it very cool.

    In fact, I recommend that in general Thelemites (and non-Thelemites too) will thoroughly enjoy Robin's website (http://www.mysticalnet.net/mysticalinternet/). Once there, you will find perhaps the most complete collection of online OTO Libers, as well as a variety of useful downladble magick software. Hope you enjoy as much as I have.

    "Love is the Law, love under will."
    "Arit-a mert-a tep-ta em-ma Ankh-iu."
    Tua-mut-f (AKA Sekhem-f n Anpu)

    • Re: Planetary Hours: Tutorial and Questions
      by anonymous on Sunday April 07, @04:32PM
      You might want to try this program:

      Timaeus 2 at http://www.zodiac-x-files.com

      It is state of the art and also has a version for windows XP.


    Re: Planetary Hours: Tutorial and Questions
    by Jessica Govoni on Saturday June 24, @05:21PM
    93

    Great Post!

    "So the first hour after sunset starts at 8:30pm today, and ends at 9:16:30pm. Extra credit if you can tell me who the ruler of that hour is."

    Is it Jupiter? I did this by hand without a calculator, so I may be off...

    And I am not sure that I have the system down, but would like to practice it.
    In my own opinion, it is a good excersize, if only for the math of it.
    Altough ,I prefer to do Resh as the Sun prompts my heart, it would also be an interesting experiment to try it with this 'hour' system...
    Maybe I shall.

    93 93/93
    Jessica

    • Re: Planetary Hours: Tutorial and Questions
      by Xnoubis on Sunday June 25, @05:07PM
      *bzzt* We're so sorry, you didn't win the Extra Credit... Remeber Dusan's mnemonic: on Thursday, the Jupiter hour begins two hours after sunset. One hour after sunset would then be Saturn, and the hour beginning at sunset would be Luna.

      A useful exercise I've seen for starting to work with the hours is to take a particular planet, Luna say, and note every Lunar hour for a week, by performing an LBR and focusing on Gabriel, for instance. There'll be 24 of these hours, and sometimes you have to get up in the middle of the night to notice them, but you'll definitely know the planetary hour system by the time your done.


      • Re: Planetary Hours: Tutorial and Questions
        by Violet on Thursday July 20, @04:46PM
        Sounds way cool.



     
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