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Dictionary of Astrological and Astronomical Terms

Compiled by Julene Packer-Louis, Evan Bortnick, and Jackie Goldstein

Copyright 2000-2019 OCA, Inc. All rights reserved. No portion of the dictionary may be reproduced in any form without written permission.


Planetary Hours

These vary with the location for which they are calculated. The period from sunrise to sunset is divided into twelve equal parts called "hours." The first hour of the day, starting at sunrise, is ruled by the day ruler. For example, the first "hour" after sunrise on Monday is ruled by the Moon, on Tuesday by Mars, on Wednesday by Mercury, on Thursday by Jupiter, on Friday by Venus, on Saturday by Saturn, and on Sunday by the Sun. The remaining hours are assigned rulers in Chaldean order (Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon) so that the 1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd hours are ruled by the same planet.

Traditionally, for a horary chart to be considered radical, the planetary hour ruler had to be compatible with the horary Ascendant ruler. Either the hour ruler and Ascendant ruler had to be the same planet, or the two rulers had to be of the same nature or triplicity.

In electional astrology, it is considered fortunate to act during the planetary hour whose ruler makes a good aspect to the Moon, especially if the hour ruler is also the day ruler and the planet ruling the hour also rules the matter of the election.

To calculate day time planetary hours, subtract sunrise from sunset (gives you the total time of daylight); divide that answer by 12 (your planetary hour increment beginning at sunrise). To calculate the night time hours, subtract sunset from sunrise; divide by 12; and calculate from sunset.

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