How the Days of the Week got Their Names

By preschool age, most people know the days of the week pretty well.  It is amazing that despite that fact, most people have no idea how the days of the week got their names and what those names actually mean.

Seven days

Have you ever wondered why we have seven days of the week?  It turns out, it is the same reason people consider seven to be a lucky or holy number (depending on the belief of the individual).  The roots are ancient and rather simple once we are made aware of the answer.  We can observe seven celestial spheres in the sky with the naked eye.  The observable solar system is how the days of the week got their names.  The most obvious ones are pretty easy to figure out based on this knowledge.  Let’s have a look at each day and it’s meaning in order. For good measure, I will also give a little more information about the days’ the pagan connections and zodiac correspondences.

solar system - how the days of the week got their names

How the days of the week got their names

Sun - how the days of the week got their namesSunday

Sunday is the day named after and said to be ruled by the sun.  This one is a bit obvious because it is literally “Sun-Day”.  This is why so many solar based religions engage their religious ceremonies on the day of the sun.  Sunday has historically been the day for solar deities such as Apollo, Horus, Ra, Surya, Jesus and many more.  The zodiac sign associated with Sunday is Leo.

Moon - how the days of the week got their namesMonday

Monday is named after the moon (Moon-day).  Monday is a day that has been historically associated with lunar deities such as Artemis, Sin, Kuhu, Diana, and many more.  The zodiac sign associated with Monday is Cancer.

 

Mars - how the days of the week got their namesTuesday

Tuesday is names after Mars.  The origin is Norse for their ancient war god was named Tyre.  Tuesday is derivative of the name “Tyre’s Day” (incidentally this is also where the word “tyranny” comes from).  This evolved through languages and time into the familiar name we use today.  Mars is, of course, the name for the Roman war god but the planet has carried many other names throughout cultures and history.  Some such names include Nergal, Mangala, Ares, and Hur Deshur.  The zodiac signs associated with Tuesday are Aries and Scorpio.

Mercury - how the days of the week got their namesWednesday

Wednesday is named after Mercury.  The name is another that was derived from the Norse god Woden associated with the planet.  The original name, like Tyre’s Day, was evolved from Woden’s Day into the common name in use today.  Some of the many names for Mercury from around the world include Hermes, Budha, Thoth, and Kokhav.  The zodiac signs associated with Wednesday are Gemini and Virgo.

Jupiter - how the days of the week got their names copy

Thursday

Thursday is named after Jupiter.  It turns out that those old Norse gods dominate all of the middle of the week.  Thursday is really “Thor’s Day” and evolved as the other names have.  Jupiter has also been called many names including Zeus, Enlil, and Marduk.  The zodiac signs associated with Thursday are Pisces and Sagitarius.

Venus - how the days of the week got their namesFriday

Friday is named after Venus.  The norse god Freya is associated with the planet Venus and the current name use developed from “Freya’s Day”.  Venus has been associated with love throughout cultures (Friday I’m in Love) and carries many names such as Ishtar, Aphrodite, and Ba’ah.  The zodiac signs associated with Friday are Taurus and Libra.

Saturn - how the days of the week got their names copySaturday

Saturday is named after the planet Saturn.  This one is another fairly obvious one since it sounds like “Saturn’s Day” when you say it.  Saturn is considered by many cultures to be the ruler of time, darkness, evil, agriculture and karma.  Some of the other names attributed to Saturn are Kronos, Shabtay (origin of the word “Sabbath”), Ninurta, and Sani.  The zodiac signs associated with Saturday are Capricorn and Aquarius.

The Connection

By looking beyond the mundane meanings that we take for granted, we can connect to the history that we are involved in.  I find it truly fascinating to dig in to language and find out what hidden meanings might be right in front of us but beyond our attention.  Our ancient ancestors put a great deal of reverence in creating the languages we speak.  The pantheon of our solar system across cultures explains just how the days of the week got their names.

Days of the week septagram

A Seven pointed star can be created to represent the sacred week.  The symbol is constructed with the sun at the top.  Each of the other spheres are simply placed at the end of the line followed from the previous.  Here is the version of the star that I have designed:
days of the week septagram by Scott Myst

I have made this diagram into an awesome screen printed t shirt which you can get from my Etsy shop by clicking the images below.  I screen print the shirts by hand on some of the best cotton shirts around!

Days of the Week t shirt from closet of mysteries days of the week ladies black t shirt from Closet of Mysteries days of the week t shirt by Closet of Mysteries