Essay on Celestial spheres, planetary magic and my craft
So I am experimenting a little with how to divide the year and how to transfer it into my practice and also the shop.
Because I am slowly switching into classical renaissance magick, alchemy and occultism, I find it more than fitting to shift the paradigm of my worldview a little.
The renaissance and its occult science and overall view of the world is very much centered around the seven classical planets, aka the seven major celestial bodies that could be historically seen by the naked eye – Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. All areas of life and nature were seen to be influenced and ruled by these planets. The origin of these spheres though goes much deeper, back to the ancient Roman pantheon, which assigned names and correspondences to each planet based on their deities. But the Romans took the inspiration to assign meaning to the planets from even further back – the ancient Babylonians. The planetary magick as we know it from the many historical grimoires is in it self influenced by the Greek magical papyri, which were written in Graeco-Roman Egypt between 100BC to 400AD. So the tradition and mythology has long history and deep roots in ancient Europe and Mediterranean.
And so I came up with an idea, that may or may not work in the long term, but I believe it is worth taking a shot at. I took the inspiration from the Chaldean order, which divides the day into planetary hours like so:
Each planetary hour of the planetary day is ruled by a different planet. The planet that rules the first hour of the day is also the ruler of the whole day and gives the day its name. Thus the first hour of Sunday is ruled by the Sun, the first hour of Monday is ruled by the Moon and so on.⠀ ⠀ However, planetary hours are not the same as the sixty-minute hours that we use for normal time-keeping. The day is split into two periods, daytime and nighttime. Sunrise to sunset is considered daytime. Sunset to sunrise of the next day is nighttime. Then these two periods are each divided into twelve equal length hours, which are the planetary hours. The planetary hours of the day and the planetary hours of the night will be of different lengths except on the Equinoxes, when light and darkness are balanced.⠀
A great app, to calculate the hour for you every day can be found here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=it.purplepixel.planetaryhours&hl=en but there are also a lot of online calculators as well.
So I took this concept and ran with it for the whole year, creating planetary months for my self, and with these seven different seasons withing the year.
Taking the order of the planets from classical literature (Ptolemy like below), I have divided the 365 days of the year by 7, and coming to 52 day for one planetary month. (The math and the numbers are quite the same as dividing the year into weeks etc, but that only adds to the magic of it)
Now, there are 7 planetary months in a year, each with 52 days. If I do say so myself, the correspondence with the seasons is astonishing to say the least and it does make sense, at least to me. It looks something like this.
I find it amazing, that when you think about it, the planetary correspondences do make absolute sense with the time of the year the planet rules (in European climate at least).
So taking this scheme, you can see why my upcoming collection and exhibition is called Clavicula Mystica SOLIS and will be Sun themed.
This being all said, I do wish to in time make collection based on season and have the scents available only seasonally, as scents for the Summer aren't usually that popular or useful in winter for example. Dividing the year into 7 seasons will create a lot of diversity, seasonal logic and magical sense and the upcoming exhibitions and collections will keep this new order of the year.
In a practical sense, in terms of a magical practice, if one would take the 52 days of a planetary month, to work rituals that are under the influence of the planet (and ideally based around a related goal) and even taking advantage of planetary days and hours, the workings should be much more powerful.
Taking this hypothesis and taking it even further:
From 6th of June, we are in the planetary month ruled by the sphere of the Sun. The summer is in full swing, flowers are blooming, and the longest days of the year are upon us.
Sphere of the Sun is heavily connected with acquisition of money, achieving personal success, but also gaining fame and quite literally being in the spotlight and so this month would be perfect for working some money magic or towards your work getting more attention, bringing things to light and looking at the „bright side“. There are seven Sundays to work with during this period, and one could use them to over the period of the 7 weeks gain a promotion at work, achieve success in an endeavor or for example strengthen your protections.
I have been asked alot, if there are some beginner books I would recommend in terms of getting into this kind of practice, and what comes to mind is Planetary Magic by David Rankine, which is a great resource, but also a practical workbook. I also enjoyed Rufus Opus Seven Spheres, though there are some inconsistencies it in. But all in all again a great introductory book and a great working book to get one started.
I hope this short essay will be at least a little bit helpful to you to gain an understanding where my current practice and craft comes from and also help a little bit with putting your planetary oils and scents to practice as well.