Monday is canceled: An astrologer’s guide to the days of the week
The days of the week are ruled by and imbued with the energy of the planets above. The name of each day of the week is rooted in myth, Roman and Norse alike. When we honor the spirit of the day, we can leverage it for our benefit.
The modern, capitalist construct of the five day, forty-hour work week — with Monday as its beginning — is both an affront to ancient order and an insult to the moon.
We’ve got the start of the week and the sequence of energy dead wrong and the mistake has given rise to the Sunday scaries, quiet quitting, general dissatisfaction in the workplace and incongruence between professional success and mental health.
Revolt against the toxic tyranny of Mondays, my friends.
How did we get into this mess?
It’s been a journey, folks.
We generally associate the seven day system with the biblical account of the creation of the universe with God toiling for six days and resting on the seventh, thereby blessing the Sabbath as a holy day to chill —instilling within us a punishing and deeply skewed idea about work-life balance and the relationship betwixt labor and leisure.
The case for cancellation Mondays are offensive and an affront to celestial order. Getty Images
Evidence suggests the idea of the seven day week was borrowed/thieved from ancient Mesopotamia as the Sumerians and Babylonians fractioned the year into seven day weeks, observing one day each week for rest and revelry. The Babylonians named each day after the five planets they had identified (Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn) and the sun and the moon they venerated. This practice was later adopted by the notoriously appropriative Romans.
The five day, forty-hour work week is both an affront to ancient order and an insult to the moon.
Conquestors, pillagers and ruthless overachievers that they were, the Romans originally followed an eight day week, amended in 321 CE by Emperor Constantine. A convert to Christianity, Constantine established a seven-day week as the law of the land and anointed Sunday as the first day of the week and one of recreation and renewal.
Recent research suggests a four day work week boosts productivity and morale among employees. As we’ll come to see, beginning the work week on Tuesday, which belongs to Mars, the god of action and accomplishment is a much better bet than assigning the first day of the week to the moody, I’d rather be naked, making stew, consorting with shadowy ancestors, and walking barefoot, qualities of the moon.
Read on to learn more.
Monday The supermoon rises over the Baitulsalam Mosque in Ungaran, Central Java Province, Indonesia on August 11, 2022.Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Monday, as the name implies, belongs to the moon. In astrology, the moon rules the cardinal waters of Cancer and is associated with root systems, ancestry and both the homes we occupy and the home we make of the body itself.
The moon is a moody luminary, representing intuition and emotion, the divine feminine and that which must be felt, not seen. As such, Monday is not a day to initiate but to reflect, record and set the tone of the days to come. Prepare, invite, sit in the dark and with the shadow self. As the day is about reflection we should keep far away from screens, broken mirrors that they are.
The trend of Bare Minimum Mondays is an excellent way to honor lunar energy.
Marisa Jo Mayes, co-founder of Spacetime Monotasking and minter of BMM explains, “I’d been conditioned by hustle culture/toxic productivity culture to believe that my worth is directly tied to my productivity and output.” The moon, and by proxy, Monday, with its emphasis on nourishment and contemplation is in direct opposition to the dangerous, patriarchal construct of worth = productivity and burnout as baseline.
To best align with the ever changing moon, we should spend this day of days in the comfort of our caves and in the company of ourselves. It is fitting that pre-industrial revolution Monday was a day for washing and for wash-day meals like red beans and rice and other comfort food that could be made using the same hot coals used to heat the washing water and left alone to cook the whole day through. Like the long simmering stews and pots that fed our ancestors, we too should stay put and be left alone.
Tuesday War monger Mars is the ruling planet of Aries.Getty Images/iStockphoto
Tuesday is the domain of warmongering, fight-for-your-rights planet Mars. This get-your-d—k-up energy naturally lends itself to a guns blazing, coming-in-hot start to the work week. In the zodiac wheel Mars is the modern ruler of Aries and the ancient ruler of Scorpio.
Etymologically, Tuesday comes from the Anglo-Saxon name for Tyr, the Norse god of war and son of Odin whose realm and extracurriculars are akin to Mars.
Mars is about getting it done, getting it on and getting ahead. Thus, Mars and the true vibration of Tuesday allow us to put into practice the messages and framework we intuit from moon ruled Monday. In order to really call in the power of Tuesday and the arterial energy of Mars, make like the sage astrologer Elise Wells and recite the Orphic hymn to the king of clamor himself that begins, “Magnanimous, unconquered, boisterous Mars.”
In kind and in verse, Mars and Tuesday can and should make us feel unconquerable, ready to do battle and hurl our hearts at whatever campaign we are waging or effort we are making. Tuesday is also a great day for sex and sport, so get after it with an early morning HIIT workout and/or afternoon delight.
Wednesday Mercury is the planet of the mind and belongs to Wednesday.NASA
Wednesday is associated with golden heeled, silver tongued Mercury. Named for the emissary of the gods, Mercury is the planetary ruler of both Gemini and Virgo.
Etymologically, Wednesday translates to “Wodan or Odin’s Day” in honor of the all-seeing Norse god of magic, poetry, guardianship of the dead and the deity most aligned with Mercury. Like Mercury, Odin is fast moving and far reaching, equal parts benevolent and trouble making, poetic and s–t talking. It tracks that a trickster coyote/bad comedian like Mercury/Odin would be associate with something called hump day.
Due to the influence of Mercury and mercurial matters, Wednesday is an ideal time for self expression and scheduling, communion and conversation, making travel plans and important phone calls.
Mercury is creative and mutable, it wants to receive and deliver, making Odin’s Day the nigh time for meetings of the mind, open mic nights, primal scream therapy and asking for forgiveness. Coincidentally, Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to a church door on Wednesday, thereby inciting the Protestant Reformation.
Thursday Jupiter is the planet of expansion and enlightenment. Getty Images/EyeEm
Thursday is the day of days given to luck-doling, deep pockets and good living gas giant Jupiter. In astrology, Jupiter is the modern ruler of Sagittarius and the ancient ruler of Pisces.
Jupiter is synonymous with expansion and fortunes, ideals and ideas, making Thursday a beautiful day to balance ambition and gratitude; set a budget, read a book, gather in community, microdose and otherwise explore levels of consciousness and contentedness. In terms of political history it is interesting to note that Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on Jupiter’s day. The Bill of Rights was also signed into being on a Thursday.
The underbelly of Jupiter is excess and overindulgence; it is thus no surprise that Thanksgiving, our national day of decadence guised as gratitude and greed gussied up as grace, falls on a Thursday.
In letter and language, Thursday comes from “Thor’s-day” in honor of Thor, the god of thunder and the deity most akin to Jupiter, aka Zeus, god of lightning. Use the abundant, hope filled energy of Thursday to find real nourishment rather than cheap thrills and to push yourself to new levels of understanding rather than familiar realms of distraction. Like the proverbial archer, shoot your shot — but make sure your aim is true.
Friday Venus is named for the Roman goddess of love and beauty. Getty Images/iStockphoto
Friday belongs to Venus, planet of love and beauty and the ruler of Taurus and Libra. In name, Friday derives from “Frigg’s-Day,” Frigg being the wife of Odin and the Norse goddess of fertility, clairvoyance and wedded bliss. Apropos of this, Friday remains an enduringly popular date night.
Friday, as the realm of Venus is a time for beauty and to plan for pleasure
Friday is a time for beauty and to plan for pleasure. Wear your good underwear or strategic seashells, buy fresh flowers, cook a feast, make art or view it, drink red wine, masturbate, eat dark chocolate or raw honey, write a love letter to yourself, a friend, a stranger, the barista, your divorce attorney, your mother. Spend time in nature breathing fresh air, bare naked. Venus is earthly delights, so take a bite.
Saturday Saturn and three of its moons, from left, Enceladus, Tethys and Dione, captured by the James Webb Space Telescope.NASA, ESA, CSA, JWST Saturn Team via AP
Saturday belongs to dad jeans and discipline planet Saturn. Known as the great teacher, Saturn rules Capricorn and the tenth house of tradition and legacy. In terms of astrological influence, Saturday can feel like the sobering crash after the Venusian high.
We place a lot of pressure on Saturday to be rejuvenating, social, to feel more like freedom and less like punishment than our daily grind. Trouble is, Saturn is not fun. It is the teeth cleaning that ensures you can chew the pancake but it ain’t the sweetness itself.
If the sun, and Sunday, is the inner child, Saturn is the aspirational adult. However, if we can manage to spend part of Saturday streamlining and preparing, the long term payoff is large scale. Saturday can be less about labor and more about investment; meditation, exercise, studying, things that take discipline and become the medicine we need but are resistant to receiving.
Sunday The sun and Sundays symbolize vitality and service. NASA/Getty Images
Sunday, as you may have gathered, is ruled by the light of the sun, the luminary that also rules the zodiac sign of Leo and illuminates the play forward, heart centric core of our inner child.
The sun is about self-expression and growth of the literal and metaphorical variety. The sun is also about service, both attending them and tending to others, making Sunday an apropos time for both worship and magnanimity, bowing to the powers beyond us and harnessing our the power and responsibility to be beacons of love and generosity, to operate as benevolent gods in our own rights and in our own lives.
In Christian tradition, the resurrection of Christ occurred on a Sunday. We too should be coming out of our caves and into the light of community, combatting dread with joy and loneliness with levity.
The Sunday Scaries are a very real symptom of living out of alignment with planetary influences and under the expectations of Monday, expectations that conflict with lunar energy and our own need for rest and reflection.
We can push back by going off grid and home grown or by committing fully to the maximum application of the Bare Minimum Monday paradigm, building ritual and ritual relaxation into our days, holding firm our boundaries and thereby reclaiming our natural rhythms and divine right to be blessed by the stars above and whole in our bodies below.
Astrologer Reda Wigle researches and irreverently reports back on planetary configurations and their effect on each zodiac sign. Her horoscopes integrate history, poetry, pop culture and personal experience. She is also an accomplished writer who has profiled a variety of artists and performers, as well as extensively chronicled her experiences while traveling. Among the many intriguing topics she has tackled are cemetery etiquette, her love for dive bars, Cuban Airbnbs, a “girls guide” to strip clubs and the “weirdest” food available abroad.