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Nebula in the Galactic plane of the Milky Way (image credit Spitzer Space Telescope)

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Origin of the Weekly Rhythm

Every week is the fractal of a quintessential journey, starting Monday morning and ending Sunday night. It’s the journey from the Moon-day to the Sun-day; from the changeable to the perpetual, the mundane to the sacred, the emotional to the spiritual.

The seven days of the week are named after the seven celestial lights that move through the skies, the two luminaries Sun and Moon, and the five planets that are visible to the naked eye.

It must be part of our human genome that we need to analyze, categorize and understand our world. Under this premise we can be certain that the conception of meaningful division of time (calendars), began with the emergence of mankind, however we have no way of knowing how long ago that all started. Bare with me, another time I will take you on a journey venturing deeper into this wondrous subject.

So, organizing time in units of years and months is kind of obvious. It takes one year for planet Earth to revolve around our star; and 29.5 days from one full moon to the next. It’s easy to conceive that these two units were important time markers throughout the ages and have been observed by all cultures.

Unless astronomical calculations are applied, pinpointing the exact moment of Fullmoon might be challenging. Even more so, attempting to catch the moment when the Moon is new  and lined up with the Sun, therefore fully hidden . Two stations in the Moon’s monthly orbit offer themselves for accurate measurement. It's the halfway points between new and full moon, the waxing and the waning half moon, which occur pretty much seven days on either side of full moon. By the nature of things it’s quite easy to nail down the moment when the dividing line of the Moon’s lighted and dark halves appears perfectly straight.

So as you see, the seven-day week is a fundamental rhythm of life on Earth, or in other words an archetype. According to Wikipedia there’s “evidence of continuous use of a seven-day week appearing with the Jews during the Babylonian Captivity of the 6th century BC.” And we find another indication in the Bible: God is reported to have created the world in six days, taking a rest on the seventh, to review and enjoy his accomplishments.

Based on this Biblical story it makes sense that Monday should be the beginning of the week. Every week therefore, in essence, is a journey from the Moon to the Sun!


And indeed, Mondays are lunar. We hear the call for survival, the urge to dive back into the mundane world of ups and downs, of constant change. Mondays tend to be more emotional than other days, as ‘getting back into the rhythm’ at times can be quite upsetting and challenging. This is particularly so as we’re to depart from that serene and elevated aura of solar unison. But more on that later…

Tuesday is dedicated to Mars. By Tuesday we’re back in motion, reconnected to the routine, ready for action, apt to take on anything. Tuesday is the best day for head-on encounters. Driven by ego and will, this is the day to conquer the world!  

Wednesday or “Mittwoch” (German for mid-week) is given to Mercury, nicely showing that thought follows action (hmm…). This is the day of reflecting what fiery Mars got us into, to pause for a moment and think, trying to find out what’s this all about, to understand the greater context of what we’ve maneuvered ourselves into. Mercury is the mediator. Consider that everything we see in our universe began as a thought. When thought gets streamlined like light waves in a laser, it can manifest in the blink of an eye. The way cropcircles come into existence in my humble opinion, is a fabulous example for that.

Thursday is Jupiter’s day. By far, Jupiter is the biggest planet, owning over 60% of the Solar system’s angular momentum. In many respects therefore Thursday is the highpoint of the week, the day we may reach out furthest into unknown territory. Jupiter is expansive, to the point of being a megalomaniac. Such energy should warn us to be cautious and extra careful.

Venus, “Freya” in Norse mythology, rules Fridays. Celebrating beauty and harmony, our sister planet reminds us that pleasure and enjoyment are paramount, that material possessions are what makes life worth living. However, aside from being a ‘party girl’, Freya is considered a magician, able to control and manipulate desires, owning knowledge and power that are almost without equal. Hence her social status always has been highly ambiguous, by turns she was exalted and feared; longed for, propitiated, celebrated, and scorned.

Saturday is the day of Saturn. Known as ‘guardian of the threshold’, Saturn is the outermost planet that is still visible to the naked eye. 29.5 years it takes the ringed planet to revolve once around the Sun. Saturn represents old age, maturity and experience, accumulated wisdom and endings. Saturn is also the planner and architect, keeping us grounded and responsible, advising us to be moderate and cautious.

With Sunday at last, we’re returning to source, reconnecting with the primordial life force. Give it a thought: all of life is an extension of the Sun, no wonder that all natural religions revere the Sun as their highest god figure head. Sunday is the day of celebration and rest. Consecrated by God, as told by the creation myth, this is the day to take a step back and review, to see ‘that it is all good’, to come full circle and make peace with oneself and the cosmos.

© 2004-2013    -     Khoji J. Vihara