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                Study of the Planetary Hours System
                          by Andrew Kettle.

Introduction.    Neo-pagan witchcraft has no central leaders, so
              one of the questions that echos across the valleys
              of the traditions is; "Are there to many cooks spoiling
              the broth?" As most witches are fervent independants, and
              self-assertively so, each will have a differnt approach
              and opinion to such a simple observation.
                 Underneath the whole landscape of debate however, are
              truths and basic historical facts being forgotten or
              distorted? In certain instances it would be deemed
              unavoidable in the present atmosphere of information
              scavenging, where medium communications reveal past lives
              and the knowledge from them to broaden the bookshelves of
              the many esoteric book shops.
                 Be that as it may, studying the large expanse of
              existing wisdom, at times similiar to looking through
              water-glass, will relinquish many difficulties and
              contradictions. To some this would increase the mysticism,
              however when it is a matter of legitimacy where do we

Sample Text:
            from "What witches do", Stewart Farrar,1989, Phoenix
                                                       Pub.,Wash. p.174.

         Appendix 3. Planetary Hours.

         These are the traditionally accepted hours for operating spells
         which  have planetary  correspondences. Each  day has  a ruling
         planet; our days of the week in English are mostly named after
         the Teutonic forms of the planet-gods concerned. They are:
         Sunday, the Sun; Monday, the Moon; Tuesday, Mars (Tiw);
         Wednesday, Mercury (Woden); Thursday, Jupiter (Thor); Friday,
         Venus (Freya); Saturday, Saturn. The First hour after sunrise
         is ruled by the day's own planet, after which each hour is
         ruled by one of the other planets in the order Sun, Venus,
         Mercury, Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and so on in rotation.
         Thus Monday's second daylight hour is ruled by Saturn, Tuesda's
         second by the Sun, etc. At sunset a new sequence starts with
         the fifth down the list from the day's planet: thus Monday's
         first hour from sunset is ruled by Venus, etc. The full list  
       is as follows: "

Disclaimer: I have it as a strong intention, to point out that this
           acticle is not to be taken as a personal attack of the above
           author or the publisher, or any other connecting party.
            I have used Stewart Farrar's text only as a example of the
           commonly published, and accepted, planetary hour concept.

    Winter Solstice Timetable of Planetary Arrival and Departures for

    Eastern Australia (Brisbane area only) on the 22nd of June, 1994.

           Time        Planet       Statis      Planetary Hours
           ----        ------       ------      --------- -----

          2.30am       Jupiter       Set.            Mars
          3.40am          Mars       Rise.           Sun
          3.50am         Pluto       Set.            Sun
          4.54am          Moon       Set.            Venus
          5.14am      Twilight start
          6.37am           Sun       Rise.
          6.55am       Mercury       Rise.
          8.14am       Neptune       Set.            Moon
          8.25am        Uranus       Set.            Moon
          9.12am         Venus       Rise.           Saturn
          11.06am       Saturn       Set.            Mars
          1.32pm       Jupiter       Rise.           Venus
          2.29pm          Mars       Set.            Mercury
          3.21pm         Pluto       Rise.           Moon
          3.53pm          Moon       Rise.           Moon
          5.02pm           Sun       Set.
          5.31pm       Mercury       Set.            Jupiter
          6.25pm      Twilight End
          6.35pm       Neptune       Rise.           Sun
          6.46pm        Uranus       Rise.           Sun
          7.44pm         Venus       Set.            Venus
          10.23pm       Saturn       Rise.           Saturn

Hypothesis: My hypothesis is that the 'Planetary Hours' concept
         is a timetable, based primarily on simplicity, that
         was developed in a age when astronomic technology
         was largely unavailable, so resulting in such a
         system; that in our modern technological society, as
         a result of astronomic calculations being easily
         accessable, that a new system of 'Planetary hours'
         should be constructed upon 'Hours of Right Ascension/
         Planets on the Meridian' where applicable or the highest point
         of ascension, when the planet is not true to the horizon.

Conflict:   As it can be deduced from the above table, certain
         planetary hours occur when the planet in question is not
         within the horizon. For example, the sun's planetary hours of
         3am and 6pm are outside of 'daytime'; Mar's 2am is outside of
         'Marstime'; the moon's 8am is external to 'Moontime'.
            As a principle, I would remark that it would be of
         assistance in rituals that the planet is in appearance and
         that the optimum time would be when the planet is directly
         above, the hour of Right Ascension/ Planet on the Meridan,
         or highest point of path through the hemispheres. If the
         'worshipper' was to have a difficulty with the domineering
         effect of the planet being above them / on top of them, then a
         principle of welcoming the planet at rise and farewelling the
         planet at set are equally as valid.
            Continuing, this would establish only one planetary hour in
         each day, raising the question of practicality, though a rather

         erroneous matter, giving the examples hours of:
                 Mars (9.04am) 9am planetary hour,
                 Sun     (11.49am) 11am planetary hour,
                 Mercury (12.13pm) 12pm planetary hour,
                 Venus (2.26pm) 2pm planetary hour, etc.
            To this end, computer programs and/or annual publications
          would easily create the availablity of the timetable, a future
          project for any publishing house or any number of the pagan/
          witchcraft magazine to have as a regular cloumn, thus giving
          the practitioner the simplicity, not resorting to ill-advised
          system as an alternative.
            However, at this point it should be mentioned that, in
          accordance with general perception, the physical planet
          plays a symbolic role, that the planet is not the vehicle of
          magical properties, but a icon, much as the moon is not Aradia
          in person, but a mirror of her essence.
            Furthermore, it is an accepted belief that the full-moon is
          the time of 'Esbat', though in comparison the remaining
          planets are given an inaccurate timetable; a perplexing
            Toward, the modernising approach in witchcraft it should be
          important to establish 'correct' instruction to ritual, upon
          the understanding that it would be a great disservice to
          entertain anything else but actuality; as the turmoil of the
          word 'wicca' has caused in the movement, now accepted by most
          as a redefined word, though all the same established upon
          false impressions, an unfortunate situation historically
            An accurate approach to the craft, that is slowly being
          supported as our cultures' resources and developing knowledge
          widely spreading with discussions and publications, will
          result in a detailed sweep and clean of the old
          misconceptions in the traditions and a polish to reflect the
          light of modern education.

Conclusion: As with the modern approach of Planetary Hours, it should
         be every members directions in tune with open-minded, clear
         thinking not to accept a practice that is incorrect and to
         strive establishing a strengthed tradition on the foundations
         of accurate discovery of the originals of comprehension.
            Such an approach would wash out the '14th century mass
         illiterate' influence that customs have continued. Though
         it must be seen that without this assistance there would
         possible be no present existance of witchcraft, but a
         rectification of this knowledge is by no means an attack.
            Furthermore, it is suggested that a choice should always be
         based on truth and not mislead by mistaken presuption.


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