Daily Planetary Practice

Devotional Planetary Ritual



The Daily Planetary Practice is an excellent magic/spiritual ritual in the devotional spirit that we use here at Renaissance Astrology. It has the practical effect of strengthening your connection to the planets while serving as the foundation of a spiritual path based on the celestial spirits. I can't say that I exactly invented the Daily Planetary Practice and I am not even sure exactly when or why I started doing it. It just seemed to be the right thing to do. I have been doing it, almost continuously, for over a decade.

The practice is flexible, but the basic framework is to invoke the spirit of the planet that rules the day. The week is, in fact, astrological in origin and the 7 days of the week come from the 7 planets. Sunday is the day of the Sun; Monday, the day of the Moon; Tuesday, the day of Mars; Wednesday, the day of Mercury; Thursday, the day of Jupiter; Friday, the day of Venus. The origin of the names of the days are explicitly planetary in medieval Latin: dies dominici (Sunday, the lord's day), die Lune, die Martis, die Mercuri, die Jovis, die Veneris, die Saturni. In English the Teutonic equivalents of the Greek and Latin gods have been used for some of the names of the days, i.e. Tuesday is Tiw's day, the Teutonic god of war; Wednesday is Wotan's day; Thursday is Thor's day; Friday is Frigg's day.

So on Sunday we invoke the Sun; Monday, the Moon and so on. In addition, to the planetary days, there are also planetary hours. These do not correspond to the 60 minute hours we normally use, but are based on the Sunrise and Sunset at your location at a particular date. You can see more about the planetary hours and also at the clothing, color, etc., indications in Picatrix Bk III, chapter 7. It is good to not only invoke the planet on their day, but also at their planetary hour and in fact, as a general rule the planetary hours are more important. My practice, however, has been to not worry about the planetary hour and just to do the invocation in the evening of the appropriate day.

This brings up an important point. We can quite legitimately get very elaborate with our timing, ritual, etc. For example, the planets all have appropriate colors, clothing, music, etc. Take a look at the planetary links on the left of the Planets page. It would be quite appropriate to dress in the clothing of the planet, use candles or other ritual implements of the appropriate color, play planetary music, etc. Again, take a look at Picatrix Bk III, chapter 7. On the other hand, too much ritual can get oppressive if you are doing it day after day. Think of the power of over 10 years of daily invocation, even if it is not super elaborate! On the other hand, there needs to be a minimum level of effort or the ritual will not be effective. I provide my Daily Planetary Practice invocations and ritual as a base. As you do the practice, you can make it more elaborate or do individual changes to it as you are inspired by your interaction with the celestial spirits.

In terms of results, I do feel that a good deal of my material success has flowed from my magical work and my Daily Planetary Practice is a major part of my magical practice. We need to be careful, however, about measuring the Daily Planetary Practice in terms of how effective it is at getting us what we want materially. There are types of magic in which you explicitly make a deal with the spirits, "you give me X and I give you rum, cigars and chicken blood." Goetic and Solomonic ceremonial magic commands the spirits, explicitly to create results, often material, that the magician desires. Not just material results are prized, the material appearance of spirits is taken as the touchstone for success and key test for the reality of the spirits.

The Daily Planetary Practice points in a different direction, towards a devotional approach to the celestial spirits. This is not to say that it doesn't have positive material effects, but this is a spiritual practice whose greatest effect is spiritual. In point of fact, all types of magic work this way, even Goetic or Solomonic, are best at spiritual, rather than material effects. We have been led astray by our materialist outlook, our ego desires and by the depiction of magic as some sort of technology with technological effects, ala Harry Potter. We can gain wealth through ritual, but bags of gold will not materialize out of thin air. Instead, perhaps, as one well known Goetic magician experienced when he did a wealth ritual for a specific amount of money. His house then burned down and he got the specific sum from the insurance company! Devotional astrological magic, by the way, is much safer. For the most part, those few reporting not reporting positive effects, say "nothing happened."

So there are definite elements of theurgy in the Daily Planetary Practice. Theurgy, literally "god work" is an ancient Neo-Platonic and Hermetic ritual practice that aimed at spiritual growth and spiritual union through ritual. By contact with the celestial spirits, we begin more and more to align ourselves to their mode of being. We, as microcosms, "lttle worlds" ourselves contain the Macrocosm, the greater world of the Cosmos, and our innter celestial spirits also become activated, energized and aligned to the outer celestial spirits, through the Daily Planetary Practice. We may find that the standard approach of running with maximum power at maximum speed directly at what we desire materially may not be so effective. Rather than seeking to rearrange the outer world to fit our inner ego desires, for example, desiring love, we seek someone to love us, we find that communing with Venus makes us a more loving person, who is more able to attract love. Our goal is accomplished through a means we perhaps did not expect.

Altar and Ritual

I think it is best to have an altar space to do the Daily Planetary Practice in. In a situation where you have a hostile roommate, spouse or family member this may not be possible, but otherwise, I think it is probably necessary. You can see my example Astrological Altars. In the planetary altar you can see I have images of the planets in the days of the week order on the wall. I have one white candle that I move to the current day, so in the picture you can see the candle is in front of the Moon image, i.e. for Monday. In the evening, I light the daily candle and do the invocation of the appropriate planet. I have pdfs of two different versions of the invocation in the next section.

Couple of points. I personally am rather sensitive to incense so I when I use it, I only use a small amount. For almost all my other astrological ritual I do use incense and it would be best to use it for the Daily Planetary Practice. I don't because of my sensitivity to it and because I began to find it burdensome. I would say that at least a candle is the bare minimum for the Daily Planetary Practice and that incense is highly recommended. I use white candles for all my astrological ritual because it is a neutral color. Also typically I have at least 4 and sometimes as many as 8 or even 10 candles going at one time due to doing so many different rituals. I buy candles by the case and it became very difficult to use colored candles appropriate to each celestial spirit, e.g. black for Saturn, blue, green or purple for Jupiter, red for Mars, yellow for Sun, white, green, pink for Venus, mixed colors for Mercury, white for Moon.

Similarly each planet has appropriate incense, you can see links to listings on the left of the Planets page. It would be good to use appropriate incense for each celestial spirit, again due to the volume of ritual work I do, if I use incense, I tend to use Japanese temple stick incense for all rituals. There is clearly a lot more elaboration that you could profitably do, I don't think you can really do much less and still be effective.

There are lots of different possible altar setups. You can have one altar space with all 7 planets together or you could have separate planetary altars. There are a wide variety of different styles you could use. Mine tends toward being very bright, clear, filled with light and white or transparent, with clear glass, mirrors and white candles. There are plenty of possible variations.

Daily Planetary Practice Invocations

Here is a Basic Daily Planetary Practice Invocation. This contains invocations for all 7 planets that I adapted from Picatrix Book III, chapter 7 which are the Harranian Sabian planetary invocations. This uses the Arabic transliteration of planetary names from the Arabic Picatrix. These names would not, for the most part, have been in Arabic, but the Arabic transliterations are likely closer to the originals. While the Arabic planetary names are pretty standard Arabic and you could Google search the proper pronunciation, for many of the names we have no idea how they were pronounced and must simply do our best in the knowledge that the celestial spirits are fairly forgiving of mistakes we might make.

I also include my own personal Buddhist Daily Planetary Practice. This includes the names of the planets in Japanese ("Nihongo") calls on the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and ends witn Sanskrit planetary mantras that I chant three times. My primary spiritual paths are Buddhism and the related modern Non-Dual school. Buddhism, as it passed from India to China to Japan, incorporated many local spiritual and magical practices. The celestial spirits, though in Eastern guise, already appear in Japanese Buddhism. Again, this is by no means necessary, but I thought it was interesting to include my own idiosyncratic practice.

Step by Step Daily Planetary Practice

So here is a step by step look at the Daily Planetary Practice. Once you have set up your planetary altar:

  1. On the appropriate planetary day and if possible at the appropriate planetary hour,
  2. Light a candle, and if possible appropriate incense,
  3. Recite the invocation of the appropriate planet.
  4. Repeat daily!