Magickal timing: Choosing the right day of the week for your spell

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

Magickal timing: Choosing the right day of the week for your spell

Planetary magick is a complex system which blends astrology, ancient cosmology, and celestial intelligences in an attempt to bring the most effective results. In this article, we'll discuss the planetary rulers of the seven days of the week, and the best day to perform different types of magick.

Planetary magic can seem cumbersome, especially to Witches more accustomed to elemental (Earth) magic.  But you don't have to spend hours drafting talismans or poring over charts to add some planetary flavor to your spellwork. Using a very simple overview of magickal timing, you can make sure your working is aligned with the appropriate planetary ruler.

The idea of planetary rulership (and the 7-day week) dates all the way back to Chaldean (Babylonian) astrology.  They assigned a planet to rule each day, and further divided the day into planetary hours.  Later, the Greek and Roman civilizations adapted the Babylonian calender for their use.  Planetary magic was re-discovered by the medieval magicians, who looked to the Classical world for inspiration.  The tradition of using different days for different types of magic was put forth in the 16th-century Key of Solomon, a foundational text of the Western magical tradition.

Planetary magick relies mainly on the seven Classical "planets," (although minor planets, comets, and other features enter into advanced systems).  Of the seven, the sun and moon aren't really planets, of course.  But ancient astrologers didn't know that, so the nickname stuck.

In English (as well as in French, Spanish and related languages), the names of the days of the week still reflect their planetary rulers.  (This is very handy when you're trying to remember which is which!)  Below, you'll find the ruling planet for each of the seven days, and suggested magick for each day:

Sunday (The Sun) 

Bright, life-giving, and magnanimous, the Sun is the largest heavenly body in sight.  Therefore, Sunday is the day for your biggest, boldest spells.  Active change, wealth, hope, popularity, health, charisma and vitality fall under the sway of Solar magick.  The first day of the week is also the day of bright beginnings. Call upon fresh, Solar light to scrub out the corners of a stale situation and bring renewed energy. Do workings to make friends, gain favor, or raise your profile at work or in your personal life. Grow in confidence and leadership. Bring clarity and simplicity to difficult problems.  Make affirmations.  Begin projects.

Monday (The Moon) 

Ruled by the inconstant moon, Monday is a powerful but unreliable day for spellwork. It is the day of introspection, illusion, and fantasy, the day when the astral plane is said to lie closest to the Earth plane. Monday is the perfect day to do scrying, trance work, or dream journeying. Spells of love and fertility may be performed on Monday, especially if the moon phase is a right. Because the Moon rules the tides, Monday is the best day for Water magick of all kinds. Create traveler's amulets. Anoint and cleanse magickal tools. Commune with Fae and spirits. Reflect and renew the spirit.

Tuesday (Mars)

On Tuesday, warlike Mars will see that you're justified in your nitty-gritty magicks. This is the day for breaking out the nastier spells when the nice one just didn't work. Sowing strife, if you're so inclined, will be most effective on a Tuesday. Also, charms of aggression, ambition, lust, and sexual potency.  Activate protective talismans.  Reverse hexes and psychic attack. Cultivate personal strength. Prevail in fights or games of skill.

Wednesday (Mercury)

Wednesday is named for Wotan (Odin), closest Norse equivalent to the fleet-footed Roman god. Adaptable Mercury rules learning, luck, travel, and trade, so Wednesday is good for workings on any of these matters.  Improve communication. Increase focus and alertness. Prosper in business or games of chance.  Make or consecrate money-drawing charms. Wednesday is also a fine day for divination, especially using cards, runes, or lots. Mercury is a nimble trickster, so if you were going to do a spell to distract or mislead (not that you would!), Wednesday is the day for those shenanigans.

Thursday (Jupiter)

Beneficent Jupiter rules the night sky, and he is the go-to planet for petitions of power and luck. Thursday is a great day to craft spells for good fortune, health, and prosperity. (Mercury brings quick cash, but Jupiter governs the long term accumulation and preservation of wealth.) Thursday is considered an auspicious day to sign contracts and acquire property. Do spells related to justice and authority. Visualize future success. Create protective and restorative charms. Bless friends, family, and home. 

Friday (Venus)

Friday is ruled by Venus, and that can only mean one thing: Love magick!  Friday is the traditional day to do love-drawing magic, or cast a spell to bring your lover closer. Besides sexual attraction, spells of friendship, sympathy, reconciliation and self-love fall under Friday's love-magick heading.  Because Venus is closely connected to the natural world, it's also a good day to harvest plants and herbs for magical uses. Also on Friday:  Do mirror magick. Make baths, potions, and philtres.  Weave glamours and enchantments. Craft workings for pleasure, enjoyment, and intoxication.

Saturday (Saturn)

The final day of the week is ruled by Saturn, lord of endings. Saturn has a reputation as an inauspicious day for magick--but of course, it depends on the type of magick. There is no better day for spells of binding and banishing.  Saturday is also a good day for Underworld magick, communing with ancestors and contacting spirits. (The Key of Solomon specifies that Saturday is the day of spirits who died a natural death--those who died heroically should be honored on Tuesday.) The energy of Saturn helps to cultivate patience and wisdom.  Recover from grief. Overcome addictions. Cast protective wards. Sever unhealthy bonds. Visit elders or reflect on the past.

A bit about planetary hours

As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, each day may be further divided into planetary hours. Each hour of the day may be ruled by the same or a different planet from the one that rules the day. (For example, Sunday begins on the hour of the Sun, but the second hour of the day is attributed to Venus.)

 You can use planetary hours in different ways. Sometimes, you might want the day and hour to match.  (Doing a working during the hour of Jupiter on a Thursday, for instance, in order to get the strongest influence of Jupiter.) Or you can mix 'n match them for more a more specialized influence. (The hour of Mercury on the day of Venus, say, when you need a little extra luck in your online dating life.)

You can consult a magickal almanac for the planetary hours.  In addition to knowing the sequence of the hours, you'll also need to know how they apply to the time of day where you are. This can be a rather complex calculation, involving time zones, exact time of sunrise and sunset, and so on. Not to mention, you'll need to be available at the right planetary hour--free from work and distractions.

For some practitioners, it's simply too much--and that's okay.  Don't fall into the trap of believing that ignoring planetary hours will ruin your magick.  It's better to do a working at the "wrong" time than to put it off indefinitely.

Does planetary timing matter?

Opinions differ on what difference planetary timing makes in the outcomes of spellwork.  The best way to determine this is to try it for yourself.  Most Witches already use some kind of magical timing.  If you do attraction magick during the waxing moon, or commune with spirits at Samhain, you're probably aware of the powerful difference that timing can make.

Personally, I think that timing is an influential--but not determining factor--in the outcome of a spell.  Just like any other correspondence, the right planetary day will add to your chances of success. Timing can work for you or against you. But it ultimately depends on your will, the will of others, and the will of the gods.

You may have read somewhere, for instance, that a love spell requires a pink candle.  But what if you only have a green candle? Does that mean the working will fail?

No, of course not. But you'll be missing out on the cultural and psychological associations of the color pink as it pertains to romance. You may also have a lingering doubt about using the "wrong" color candle, and that thought can hurt your magic. Disregarding magickal timing can have the same ill effect.

One of the best things that can be said about planetary timing is that it encourages discipline.  It makes you plan ahead.  If you feel that you have to wait until Wednesday to make that lucky talisman, you're likely to put more preparation (and therefore more energy) into the working.  You're likely to give yourself the time to assemble the right ingredients, and meditate on the best possible outcome.  For me, having a standing Monday night appointment with my crystal ball makes me a lot more likely to practice with it, since Monday only happens once a week.

I also like that planetary timing aligns the magick worker with all the other temporal beings practicing magic at that time. When making a love spell on Friday, you're joined by countless brothers and sisters of the Craft.  It doesn't really matter what the planets are doing--your working can be augmented and amplified by all the compatible human energy.

May you find magic in every day!

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