Working with planetary energies to connect with the deity might surprise some newer witches. From what I can tell though, there was a great emphasis on this in the ancient approaches to deity. Because of this, most witches do not use the same planets as we know today. Instead, witches utilize the ‘traditional planets’. So, even though this might be a more advanced way to connect with deity, I thought I’d highlight the option. Remember, I still consider myself new, mainly because I’m not formally trained, so I may even make a few errors! With that said, why don’t we get started?
More About The Seven Traditional Planets
What are the traditional planets for planetary work?
The traditional planets that witches generally work with consist of ‘heavenly bodies’ rather than the planets as we understand them. So, the seven planets would be: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. If one was really interested in capturing each energy, you can of course use planetary hours, planetary days of the week, and even planetary tables. In general though, it’s not necessary to connect to deity by being precise down to the hour… or even minute.
How do deities correspond to the traditional planets?
I find the idea of assigning deities to certain planets very interesting. When it comes to assigning who corresponds to what planet, there are no rules (seemingly). For example, Athena and Poseidon both go into the planetary energy of Jupiter, otherwise synonymous with Zeus. At first this seems wrong, at the very least strange, but with enough study, all three are linked by similar concepts of protection, or law and order. Connecting to deity this way will give you a unique perspective into the relationships of deities, even outside your pantheon of choice.
Is there a set pantheon to work from?
No, and that’s one of the reasons I love working with planetary energy. If you’re a witch that likes multiple pantheons, you can utilize them in an organized way using planetary concepts instead. There’s no doubt going to be some people that disagree with this approach, but I’ve found it works well for those interested in concepts vs. particular names. Likewise, I have learned a great deal from grouping gods and goddesses based on concept rather than ‘role’. Planetary approach to deity is complex, but worth it if you don’t gravitate to an initial pantheon, or perhaps, more than one.
Will working by concept instead of specific deities hurt my practice?
Only you can answer that, as the journey of any witch is a personal one. There are some people that find it easier to comprehend concepts over ‘minor’ deities. Others though, may find the lack of any one deity too difficult. I do think Wiccans in general might have a difficult time with a planetary system. This is only because, from what I’ve found, planetary magic corresponds heavily to kabbalah magic. The differences between these two systems doesn’t seem to blend well to the various personality types involved. That said, the planetary system still worked for me with enough reading.
Are there any specific benefits to working with planetary energies?
Yes, there are quite a few benefits. The one I want to highlight is perhaps a bit simple, but might be overlooked by others. If you work with planetary energies, you can connect to deity every day with great ease. Witches can be busy people too! It’s not always easy to do a full ritual in an effort to make every day magical. So, if you work with planetary energies, you might find a full ritual unnecessary. I know for me, just remembering it’s Sunday, a day to remember solar energies, or even Apollo and Dionysus can be refreshing. This adds to my day, but it might be different for you. Either way, you may not know the full benefit until you try.
What would an altar for planetary energies look like?
To be completely honest, I don’t set my altar up with planetary energies in mind. I can however, imagine quite a few ways to utilize planetary approaches to deity with altars. I know each planet has a specific planetary star. A part of me is really tempted to start using these planetary stars, some stones, and candles for a planetary altar. Also, for a bit of color, actual pictures of each ‘planet’ might be a neat and subtle idea. There are also plenty of ideas online for other formats for altars or shrines. People can be amazingly creative in this, and I admire them for it (as I’m too strict in my balancing approach).
Do I have to incorporate the Kabbalah into my practice?
Because working with planetary energy is so heavily focused on the kabbalah, I thought I’d answer this question just in case. The quick answer is no, you don’t have to. Now, with that said, I do think the kabbalah is interesting and worth considering. I don’t incorporate every aspect of it into my overall practice, but I do incorporate basic concepts of it. Approaching deity through planetary energy has made me look at specific deities differently and enriched my practice because of it. All in all though, I’ve never had someone to compare ‘notes’ with, so I could be doing it all wrong too. Whatever works right? Just kidding, try to have a method to your overall practice!
Working with planetary energies is a really interesting approach to deity. In some ways, it’s also a bit unique. There are benefits, complications, and personality to consider in utilizing these concepts. When working with deity though, you do largely get out of it what you invest. If you’re willing to take a chance, see if it might work for you, odds are you’re probably taking an interest in the planets for a reason. Don’t shy away from the complicated. Likewise, don’t make it overly complicated for yourself. Deity is best understood with time, and you have to start somewhere. So, don’t hesitate to get started.