Planetary hours

From Anthroposophy

Planetary hours are an ancient astrological system for choosing favorable times to act (and avoiding unfavorable times) based upon which planet rules each hour of the day. Planetary rules are assigned to the twenty-four hours of the day, and the days of the week.

Planetary hours are used in ao alchemy and magical operations such as charging talismans, and electional astrology.


  • see Formative forces for a view on the various etheric influences, and Schema FMC00.003 on Earth for a view on the etheric planetary spheres
  • see also the Firdaria (means "Planetary Period"), a medieval western equivalent of the Indian 'dasha' or Hellenistic 'time-lord' systems

Inspirational quotes

Solomon already points to favorable times in the adage:

"There is a time to be born, there is a time to die, there is a time for each thing"


Schema FMC00.378 shows a tabular overview of the principle of the planetary hours and influx of the planetary influence on Earth over time. The illustration is taken from Jean Dubuis 'Experience of Eternity' (see references below, figures 17 and 18).


Lecture coverage and references

Abu Ma’shar (9th century)

The 9th century Muslim astrologer Abu Ma’shar on Firdaria in 'On Solar Revolutions' (English translation by R. Schmidt (edition 1999); part 2 pg. 42.)

Each of the seven stars, and the Ascending and Descending Nodes, has certain determinate times, and each star administers to the native in accordance with its proper firdar. The firdar of the Sun, then, is 10 years; of Aphrodite, 8; of Hermes, 13; of the Moon, 9; of Kronos, 11; of Zeus, 12; of Ares, 7; of the Ascending Node, 3; of the Descending Node, 2 – altogether, they are 75. In the case of a diurnal nativity, then, the Sun takes the governorship of the first firdar, whether it should be present, then Aphrodite, then Hermes, then the Moon, then Kronos, in accordance with the order of their zones. In the case of nocturnal nativities, the Moon takes the first firdar, then Kronos, then Zeus, then Ares, in accordance with the prior order.

Jean Dubuis

dedicates a chapter section on the planetary hours in 'The experience of eternity' (see 'Further reading' below, where this can be read in full, hence not the full explanation is given below).

[Cycle of seven]


The first impulse of the planetary energy received on Earth is from Saturn on Saturday. The second one is from the energy of Jupiter, the third from the Mars energy and this continues until the seventh impulse from the energy of the Moon. This cycle of seven continually repeats itself with a new impulse of the Saturn energy.

This cycle of seven is reproduced each day of the week. On Sunday, the first impulse is received from the energy of the Sun, the second from the Venus energy, the third from Mercury, etc. After the seventh impulse, the Mars one, the cycle starts again by the energy of the Sun. Monday begins with the impulse of the energy of the Moon, Tuesday with the Mars energy, Wednesday with Mercury, Thursday with Jupiter and Friday with Venus.

The cyle of seven energies is known as the cycle of the seven planetary geniuses, the seven geniuses of the throne, the seven geniuses of the presence, etc. We are not talking about the usual concept of angels, archangels, or other celestial cohorts, but about the influx of a particular energy having a link with a given planet. This theory concerning the rhythm of pre-eminence of the seven energies in nature is described fairly well in Cornelius Agrippa's 'The occult philosophy'.

The order of the seven days of the week, the names of which come from the planets, is not identical to the order of the seven planetary energies based on 'the speed of the planets'. The latter name was incorrectly assigned by the tradition. It can be interesting to see the overlap between these two cycles of seven. [reference to figure 18].

[Cycle of twelve]


[Impact of the planetary energy]


Apart from the fact that the energy of the planetary rules of the day is dominant, its influx is increased at every planetary hour in the beginning of each cycle of seven impulses.


It is difficult to bring a mechanistic explanation to the phenomenom of the cycles and to the impact of the different energies. However, we can observe the effects in the laboratory, notably in the making of spagyric stones that will work only at the hours of the pre-eminence of the plant's assigned energy. Similarly, some exercises practiced in Qabala have results only if practiced according to the hours of the planetary ruler. It is these confirmations that drive us to 'use' the planetary energies in this treatise. A better knowledge for each one of us will of course always come from inner relevation.


Related pages

References and further reading

  • Bob Makransky:
    • 'Planetary hours' (2015)
    • also in 'Magical living' is briefly described the way how to choose a propitious day, hour, moment on the basis of the ruling planets.
  • Jean Dubuis:
    • 'The experience of eternity' (2010), downloadeable here: Alchemy#Books