Days of the Week Meaning and Origin in Astrology
Western civilization has used the 7-day week for about two thousand years. Prior to that, there were other methods of clustering the days together. Around the world, people have found at least fifteen different ways (in bunches of 5 to 10 days) of grouping their days together. The ancient Greeks, it seems, had no week.
Romans lived by an 8-day week. Farmers who worked in the fields for 7 days came to town for the eighth day – the market day. This was a day of rest and festivity, a school holiday, the occasion for public announcements and for entertaining friends. When and why the Romans fixed on 8 days and why they eventually changed to a 7-day week in not clear, but by the early third century A.D. they were living with a 7-day week.
The Naming of the Days
The days of the week are named after the seven ‘planets’ as they were known in Rome two thousand years ago. The days of the week in European languages are still designated by the planets’ names. Our familiar order of the names for the days of the week came from the order of the planets that the Romans thought governed the first hour of each day.
The astrologers of the day made use of the order of the planets according to their supposed distance from the earth to calculate the influence of each planet on worldly affairs. They believed that each planet would govern an hour, then in the next hour, would give way to the influence of the next planet nearer the earth, and so on through the the cycle of all seven planets. After each cycle of seven hours, the planetary influences would begin all over again in the same order. The governing planet for each day, then, was the planet that presided over the first hour of that day, and each day of the week thus took its name from the planet that governed its first hour.
So it is that each day is imbued with the quality of the planet after which it is named. We can recognize and use the qualities of each day and the natural cycle of the week beyond the typical school- or work-oriented week to accomplish our goals and fulfill our dreams, while gaining a sense of being in sync with the natural order of daily activities.
The optimum time for tuning into the day’s energy is at dawn. It is in the growing light that the promise of the day is made. Journal writers can use the quality of the days as starting points or topics for the day. If you have been keeping a journal, look back through your pages. How does the quality of the day show itself?
A brief synopsis of the astrological significance of the days of the week.
Sunday is, as it sounds, the Day of the Sun. Symbolic words for the Sun include Ambition, Achievement, Autonomy, Confidence, Determination, Distinction, Enthusiasm, Exuberance, Individuality, Inspiration, Leadership, Mastery, Motivation, Self-Expression, Vigor and Willpower.
This is the Day of Intent or Purpose Declared, the Day of Creation. Sunday is the Day of Conscious Will to Be, the Day of Renewing Faith. On this day I examine my intentions and open myself to inspiration. I renew my commitment to fulfilling my purpose and accomplishing my dreams. Sunday is a good day to write and speak aloud affirmations, be creative and play.
Monday is the Moon’s Day. The Moon symbolizes Attitudes, Behavior, Caring, Domesticity, Emotions, Harmony, Home, Instinct, Intuition, Receptivity, Responses, Rhythm and Sympathy.
Monday is the Day of Remembering and Feeling. On this day I remember and recollect the past and where I have been, where I come from, my heritage, the experiences that have helped shape my life and the person I have become. I feel rather than think today, letting my moods into my awareness. Monday is a good day for housework, intimate gatherings of family and close friends, romance and daydreaming.
Tuesday is the Day of Mars. Symbolic words for Mars include Action, Adventures, Anger, Beginnings, Boldness, Commotion, Competition, Endeavors, Forcefulness, Immediacy, Initiative, Pursuit, Rashness, Sexuality, Strength and Virility.
Tuesday is the Day of Activity and Physicality, Passion and Desire. Today I put forth effort toward my stated intention. I test my strength, skill and fortitude. I act out what I want to become. I pay attention to my physical body. Tuesday is a good day for all kinds of bodywork work out at the gym, get a massage, run, take a long walk, feel the invigorating vitality of the body.
Wednesday is the Day of Mercury. Symbolic words for Mercury are Adaptability, Agility, Alertness, Articulation, Cleverness, Communication, Comprehension, Curiosity, Expression, Information, Inquisitiveness, Interpretation, Mobility, Swiftness, Thoughts, Trickery, Versatility and Writings.
Wednesday is the Day of Communication, Making Connections, Thinking. It is the middle day of the week, connecting the the past and the future, the turning point. Today I analyze my efforts thus far, paying attention to the details and fine points. I refine my plans and map out my strategy, bringing my intent into conscious awareness. Wednesday is a good day to collect information, study, or take a class that uses the rational mind. It is a great day for writing.
Thursday is the Day of Jupiter. Symbolic words for Jupiter are Abundance, Assumptions, Beliefs, Benefit, Candor, Cheerfulness, Confidence, Ease, Elaboration, Encouragement, Ethics, Generosity, Luck, Opinion, Optimism, Philosophy, Sincerity, Success, Theory, Understanding and Wisdom.
Thursday is the Day of Vision, Spiritual Insight and Expansion. On this day I learn more about myself through others. I consider a larger context and my role in the scheme of things, in others’ lives. Thursday is a good day to broaden horizons, study a foreign language or culture, to socialize and have fun with others. It is a good day for sports for the camaraderie rather than competition.
Friday is the Day of Venus. Words symbolic of Venus include Affection, Attachment, Attraction, Beauty, Charisma, Charm, Composure, Cooperation, Courtesy, Dance, Elegance, Flirtation, Gain, Gratification, Joy, Luxury, Persuasion, Sensation, Sensuality, Smiles and Values.
Friday is the Day of Sharing and Relationship, of personal Resource and Value. On this day I experience the joy of life and seek to be with those in whose company I feel good. I sing or listen to music, I gratify my senses, I allow my artistic side full expression. Friday is a good day to take an art class, deposit money into the bank, go out on a date.
Saturday is Saturn‘s Day. Symbolic words for Saturn are Abstinence, Ambition, Brevity, Caution, Constancy, Decisions, Dedication, Delays, Detours, Duty, Efficiency, Facts, Foundations, Patience, Permanence, Reserve, Respect, Restrictions, Severity, Silence, Simplicity, Stability.
Saturday is the Day of Manifestation and Structure, of Assessment and Responsibility. On this day I ask myself: How am I doing? Am I consciously heading in the direction I want to be going? What have I learned? I acknowledge my accomplishments as well as my shortcomings. Saturday is a good day for rest and relaxation, forming goals, and for giving and receiving recognition.
Planetary keywords in this article are from Midpoints, Unleashing the Power of the Planets by Michael Munkasey, 1991, ACS Publications.