Tarot Trumps and Planetary Hours of Greatest Potential Impact

I just came across the notion of “day” readings and “night” readings that can supposedly exhibit different qualities. This reminded me that traditional astrology includes the concept of “planetary hours” that can be used for selecting the most favorable time to undertake any activity governed by one of the seven classical planets. From there it was only a short step to the realization that all but three of the tarot Major Arcana can be related to one of these planets and its associated hours either directly or through their corresponding zodiacal sign (the exceptions are the Fool, the Hanged Man and Judgement, which were originally assigned to the “Primary Elements” of Air, Water and Fire respectively and since then have only been connected to the modern planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto). Each of the diurnal (daytime) planetary “hours” is a one-twelfth (1/12) segment of the daylight hours between sunrise and sunset of any given day, and each nocturnal (night-time) “hour” is a similar 1/12 segment of the overnight period between sunset of that day and sunrise of the next. These are calculated intervals, so you will need a source of data such as an almanac for the day in question.

I concluded that we should be able to use the planetary hours to show when the influence of each of these cards might culminate most powerfully, if not always most benevolently. For example, if sunrise occurs exactly at 6:00 AM and sunset exactly at 6:00 PM on any Sunday, Mercury energy would have its peak influence during the daytime hours of 8:00 – 9:00 AM and 3:00 – 4:00PM; and during the night-time hours of 10:00 – 11:00 PM on that day and 5:00 – 6:00 AM of the next day. Note that you can always “ballpark” these ranges by saying “The daytime right after breakfast and right before dinner would be best for activities involving Magician, Lovers or Hermit energies” Regarding the Fool, the Hanged Man and Judgement, using my recent “approximate” tarot timing table it would be reasonable to say that the Fool’s energy would be at its most robust quite early in the day, and the Hanged Man and Judgement would manifest to greatest effect very late in the day.

Below is a table of the 24 planetary hours, their associated planets for each day of the week in Chaldean order, and the classical trump cards (by number) that correspond to each planet either directly or through their astrological sign/planet relationship as designated by the the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (although I did put Justice and Strength back where they belong historically). Each trump card typically has two diurnal and two nocturnal hourly opportunities, although on certain days some cards only appear once in each range. I figure that having multiple “hits” in any given hour is moot for two reasons: we will generally be examining only one trump at a time, looking for sensitive points during the day when its potency is magnified; and we will not be synthesizing card meanings with this particular tool so one trump would not outweigh the other in importance. That said, I might give a “planetary” trump a slight edge over a “zodiacal” one since one is a primary correspondence and the other is secondary. However, if two or three trumps from a reading do appear in the same hour, that might be a very lively time!

I envision a handful of uses for this table. We can simply assume that a card’s energy will be at its most potent during its hours of maximum potential impact and remain alert for its appearance; we can intentionally pick a Major Arcanum whose energies we want to either invoke or defuse, and use it as the “Significator” card in a situational reading to highlight any details we should pay particular attention to during that time; or we can consider a Major Arcanum “outcome” card from another short-range reading as showing the times of the day or night that the predicted outcome might emerge most emphatically. It remains to be seen whether this is “slicing-and-dicing” things too finely, but it’s an in intriguing hypothesis. As a postscript, I was just thinking that this could be useful for any activity that has a set time, such as an appointment of some kind (e.g. a job interview or doctor visit). If we have the flexibility, we might want to select the most auspicious time from a combined astrological and tarot perspective. Barring that, it could help us capitalize on the best influences or prepare for the worst.

It may be worthwhile to do the same thing with the Chaldean planet-and-sign correspondences for the Minor Arcana cards Two through Ten of each suit, but that would be considerably more work for significantly less practical benefit.

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