The seven Days of the Week have always had some magical associations, and when I was first learning Japanese, I realised how universal this is. The Days of the Week in Japanese are associated with seven astral bodies, which in turn are associated with their own elements, colours and other characteristics, much of which derives from Wu Xing, the classical Chinese “5 Elements”. Below I’ve listed my own associations with the Days of the Week and how they can be incorporated into magic and ritual.
(For an excellent explanation about the Japanese names for the days of the week, see this website).
Monday – 月曜日 (Getsu-youbi)
“Monday’s Child is Fair of Face…”
Explanation: Both the English and Japanese words for Monday can be translated as “Moon Day.” It is therefore a day sacred to the lunar deities, and by extension, the Feminine. This is a good day for rituals associated with the Moon, and magic work in general. You may experience particular success with divination on this day.
Colours: Silver, black, white
Deities: Deities of the Moon and Womanhood – Diana, Luna, Hecate, Khonsu, Thoth, Ceridwen, Tsukiyomi etc.
Auspicious weather: Cold, overcast, rainy / snow (or a clear night with a visible moon)
Plants: Moonflower, birch, willow, apple, mugwort, cypress, palm, aramanth, asphodel, yew, garlic
Creatures: Hare/rabbit, wolf/dog, toad, deer, crab, cat, owl
Minerals: Pearl, moonstone, silver, selenite
Zodiac Sign: Cancer
Good for: Fertility, inspiration, creating beauty, divination, wild animals/plants, femininity, childbirth, departed spirits
Watch out for: Irrationality, delusion, melancholy, recessiveness
Tuesday – 火曜日 (Ka-youbi)
“Tuesday’s Child is Full of Grace…”
Explanation: The Japanese word means “Fire Day,” and takes its name after Ka-sei (火星), the planet Mars. In English, the name comes from Tyr, Norse God of War. In both cases, the day is associated with the destructive properties of the Masculine – war, fire, blood – but also its energy and vitality. This is a good day for energetic, physical activity, such as sports, or for destructive projects (like stripping down your house for re-decorating or weeding the garden).
Deities: Deities of Fire, War and Masculinity – Mars, Tyr, Sobek, Belatucadros, Shiva, Vulcan, Hachiman, etc.
Auspicious weather: Hot and dry / stormy
Plants: Poppy, thistle, ash, peony, chrysanthemum, gladiolus
Creatures: Cockerel, eagle, wolf/dog, woodpecker, horse, salamander, phoenix, ram, scorpion, birds
Minerals: Flint, Hematite/Iron, Ruby, Garnet, Diamond, Blood Stone
Zodiac Sign: Aries, Scorpio
Good for: Physical prowess (sports etc.), success in business, control, leadership, destruction, passion, candle/fire work, justice, happiness
Watch out for: Anger, impulsiveness, jealousy
Wednesday – 水曜日 (Sui-youbi)
“Wednesday’s Child is Full of Woe…”
Explanation: The Japanese word means “Water Day” and comes from Sui-sei (水星）, the Japanese word for the planet Mercury. The word “Wednesday” comes from “Wodanaz,” another name for the Norse god “Odin.” This is perhaps the most mysterious day in terms of its Japanese and English names, as there are few associations between Mercury and Odin, and even fewer between these deities and the element of Water. However, both these deities (and the element of water) are known for their changeable, magical and mysterious nature, and all are associated with wisdom and transformation. Wednesday is therefore a day of magic and change. Moreover, both Mercury and Odin are associated with communication and writing – a good day for sending messages, creative writing, poetry, song and learning languages. Although the deities of this day are masculine, I consider the Water element of Wednesday to make it a feminine day.
Colours: Blue, black
Deities: Deities of Change, Water, Communication, Cunning and Wisdom – Mercury, Odin, Ogmios, Neptune, Egeria, Tefnut, Ryuujin, Suijin, Benten, Lugh, Susanowo etc.
Auspicious weather: Rain, cold
Plants: Water lily, mercury, ash, frankincense, strawberry
Creatures: Fish, shellfish, snake, undine, turtle, crow
Minerals: Mercury, agate, salt, coral
Direction: North (Chinese), West (Western)
Zodiac Sign: Gemini, Virgo
Good for: Change, healing, communication, writing, language, runes, poetry, song, diplomacy, wisdom, divination, departed spirits, learning, wit
Watch out for: Sadness, lack of concentration, deception
Thursday – 木曜日 (Moku-youbi)
“Thursday’s Child has Far to Go…”
Explanation: The Japanese word means “Wood Day” or “Tree Day,” and takes its name from Moku-sei (木星), Jupiter. The English word derives from Thor, the Norse God of War. Interestingly, both Jupiter and Thor are associated with the oak tree, and are linked with the Great God in the aspect of the Oak King, or King of the Forest. This seems fitting with the Japanese association with wood and trees (note that “Wood” is an element according to the classical Chinese Five Elements). Jupiter, Thor and the element of Wood are associated with strength, thunder, rain, the heavens, and masculinity. It is a good time for rituals related to growth and vitality, as well as those for forests, trees and the wilds of nature.
Colours: Green, blue, purple
Deities: Deities of Thunder, Trees and Forests – Jupiter, Thor, Set, Pan, Cernnunos,Raijin etc.
Auspicious weather: Stormy
Plants: All trees, especially oak, cypress, grapes, poppy
Creatures: Eagle, centaur, dryad, dragon, reptiles
Minerals: Amber, Topaz
Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius, Pisces
Good for: Growth, nature, rain, strength, leadership, travel, wealth, learning, spontaneity, creation
Watch out for: Wrath, perfectionism, greed
Friday – 金曜日 (Kin-youbi)
“Friday’s Child is Loving and Giving…”
Explanation: The Japanese word can be translated as either “Metal Day” or “Gold Day” (the character 金 has several meanings including metal, gold and money), and refers to Kin-sei (金星）or Venus. Friday in English gets its name from the Norse deity Frigg who, like Venus, is a goddess of beauty, love and femininity. The Japanese element of metal is one of the Five Chinese Elements, and its nearest Western equivalent is probably Air (which is not in the Chinese elements), which has similar associations. These ruling deities and elements make Friday a very positive day, one excellent for love, happiness, beauty and healing. You may find yourself just a little bit luckier and calmer on a Friday.
Colours: White, gold, pink
Deities: Deities of Love, Beauty, Peace and the Air – Venus, Frigg, Freja, Cupid, Aine, Ishtar, Eirene, Kannon etc.
Auspicious weather: Windy, pleasantly cool
Plants: Rose, myrtle, olive, lily, quince, pomegranate, apple, lime, grapes
Creatures: Dove, shellfish, sparrow, flying creatures, sylphs, mammals, tiger, unicorn/kirin
Minerals: Gold, shell, pearl
Direction: West (Chinese), East (Western)
Zodiac Sign: Libra, Taurus
Good for: Love, beauty, peace, sensuality, healing, childbirth, wealth, good luck, generosity, light, pleasure, diplomacy, rationality, intuition
Watch out for: Indulgence, lust, vanity, grief
Saturday – 土曜日 (Do-youbi)
“Saturday’s Child works Hard for a Living…”
Explanation: The Japanese word means “Earth Day” and comes from the word for Saturn, Do-sei (土星). The English word Saturday also derives from Saturn, the Roman god of the earth, time, wealth and creation. Saturday is therefore an excellent day for any creative process, rituals evoking the earth, and more “down to earth” activities such as work and chores. It could also be a good day for working with those who dwell under the earth, the Underworld (in other words, the departed). Saturn also reflects the Great God in his aspect of the Divine Father (the Creator, Father Time).
Colours: Brown, green, yellow
Deities: Deities of the Earth and its Riches- Saturn, Pluto, Osiris, Gaia, Geb, Fukurokuju, Inari etc.
Auspicious weather: Cool, overcast
Plants: All plants, especially patchouli, grain, fungi, fig, pine, cinnamon, ginger, clove, frankincense
Creatures: Bull, goat, dragon, gnome
Minerals: All minerals, especially diamond, clay, emerald, salt, jade
Direction: Centre (Chinese), North (Western)
Zodiac Sign: Taurus, Capricorn, Aquarius
Good for: Earth and nature, mundane activities, business, wealth, the elderly, creativity, reflecting on the past/future, traditions, truth, love
Watch out for: Stubbornness, greed
Sunday – 日曜日 (Nichi-youbi)
“And the Child Born on the Sabbath Day is Bonny, Blithe, Good and Gay.”
Explanation: Just like the English word, the Japanese word literally means “Sun Day.” In many cultures, Sunday has always had extremely positive connotations – it is the day to celebrate the Sun, very often venerated as the most important deity and the creator, and for spiritual growth and celebration, as well as relaxation and stillness of the mind.
Colours: Gold, yellow, red
Deities: Deities of the Sun – Apollo, Helios, Ra, Sol, Freja, Sunna, Aten, Bast, Khepri, Sekhmet, Sulis,Lug, Áine, Étaín, Amaterasu etc.
Auspicious weather: Sunny and fine
Plants: Sunflower, laurel, hyacinth, frankincense, heliotrope, palm, cypress
Creatures: Swan, Hawk/Falcon, Cicada, Crow
Minerals: Sunstone, gold, sapphire, tiger’s eye
Zodiac Sign: Leo
Good for: Light, creativity, goodness, energy, beauty, learning, healing, relaxation, joy, music, purification
Watch out for: Bigotry, perfectionism, excessiveness