solar system - 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

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looking beyond - A Magical Grackle ink drawing by Scott Myst

I thought I would share the stages of progress of my most recently completed original magical grackle ink drawing.  I called this piece “Looking Beyond”.  Grackles are abundant in my area and I have been fascinated with these birds for a long time.  The males sport flashy black feathers that shine in iridescent colors of blue and green around their heads.  They have appeared to me in dreams a number of times and I always have seen them as a messenger from beyond and a sort of spirit animal.  Let’s take a look at this magical drawing in progress.

This is a detail of the completed artwork:

Detail of magical grackle drawing by Scott Myst

The process

I began with a pencil drawing which is my typical approach.

Work in Progress magical grackle drawing by Scott Myst

I recently purchased a new calligraphy pen for drawing.  It will never look this clean again…

Calligraphy pen

I commence the work by following along the original drawing for the most part but add a lot of detail as I see fit.  I like the way the trees are coming a long at this stage.  This new pen pleases me.

Work in Progress magical grackle drawing by Scott Myst

Once the pen work is done, I add in the tones with a watercolor brush.

Work in Progress magical grackle drawing by Scott Myst Completed magical grackle drawing by Scott Myst

Here is a detail of the eye at the bottom.

Detail of magical grackle drawing by Scott Myst

Final artwork

Here is the final magical grackle ink drawing scanned and made pretty:

looking beyond - A Magical Grackle ink drawing by Scott Myst

Two random side notes about my experiences with grackles:

I once observed a small group of these clever guys ripping into packets of sweetener and gobbling up the powdery content at an outdoor coffee shop.  The method was quite clever; nap packet from table and take it to the grass, stab beak into paper packet then open beak to make a nice sized hole, then feast on contents.  On a side note, these were the worst looking grackles I had ever seen.  Their shabby appliance reminded me of Gollum (artificial sweeteners turned them in to the bird equivalent of tweekers).

When I worked at ASU, I used to walk from a neighborhood across the street to avoid paying for parking on campus.  The road I walked down on campus had some very large trees along the sidewalk in which grackles would nest.  As I walked along that sidewalk during the spring when there were hatchlings in the nests, the males would dive bomb my head making a strange clicking sound.  The first time scared the hell out of me as I did not see them coming.  After a couple of times, I learned it was a better idea to walk on the opposite side of the street 🙂

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