Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Q. what is the first hour of the day?

i have been reading Abramelin's Magickal Word Squares- Compiled and Corrected for the First Time by Aaron Leitch, particularly the ones about invisibility. there is a square for each of the 12 hours of the day. so my question was what does it mean by the first hour of the day?

this makes sense to me:
However, the planetary hours are not the same as the sixty minute hours beginning at midnight that we use for normal timekeeping. The planetary days are divided into twenty four planetary hours with the first hour of the day beginning at sunrise and the last hour of the day ending at sunrise of the next planetary day. The period that extends from sunrise to sunset (daylight) is divided into twelve hours and the period extending from sunset to sunrise of the next day (nighttime) is also divided into twelve hours giving the twenty four hours of the planetary day.
Accordingly, as the duration of daylight and darkness varies except at the Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes, on a particular planetary day the length of the hours of the day will differ from the length of the hours of the night. Thus another name for the planetary hours, says William Lilly, the renowned English astrologer, is the unequal hours. Christian Astrology, [London, 1647] page 482.
source: planetary hours and days
further down on that page it gives a logical way to calculate the exact hour and length of the hour:
Otherwise get your local sunrise and sunset times from the newspaper or the US Naval Observatory. Take the time from sunrise to sunset and divide by twelve to get the length of each planetary hour for the day. Take the time from sunset to sunrise the next day and divide that by twelve for the length of each planetary hour by night. Then starting with the planet that rules the day, e.g. Saturn for Saturday, follow the Chaldean order and assign the proper planet to each planetary hour of the day and night that you have just calculated.

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