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Zombies, magickal expectations, intentional blindness, Cthulhu, and pseudo-Satanists

By | August 9, 2008 | Print This Post | E-mail This Post | 9 Comments

This marks the second edition of Saturday Signal,’s attempt to sift signal from the noise of the Internet’s occultural cacophony.

Last week Beth (author of Sacred Sonoma) asked “how our “fun day” (Saturday) got named after the least fun god/planet of the week”.

Fun facts: Saturday was named in the second century, and is the only day of the week whose name comes from Roman mythology.1  According to Wikipedia, it was “called dies Saturni (“Saturn’s Day”), through which…it entered into Old English as Sæternesdæg and gradually evolved into the word “Saturday”.”

Which day is considered the last day in the week varies by culture, but it appears the order of the seven classical planets2 assigned to each day began with the Sun “perceived as the most important”, and continued through to the one considered least important. Thus, the least important day received the last fun god.  Hrm.

This explanation seems a little suspect (shouldn’t Jupiter feature more prominently?), but I’ve not been able to find a better one, yet.  We’ll see what we can dig up for next week. Until then, an odd hodge-podge of linkage:

  • John Scalzi’s amassed and encouraged an ever-growing collection of terrible zombie puns in “Toward a Canonical List of Zombie Rhymes” in his blog, Whatever. They run something like this:
    • Q: What do zombies like to eat? A: BRAAAAAAAAAAINS.
    • Q: What do vegetarian zombies like to eat? A: GRAAAAAAAAAAINS.
    • Q: What do vegetarian zombies eat when they’re on vacation in Jamaica? A: PLANTAAAAAAAINS.

    My husband, with uncommon delight, came up with a few occult-themed ghastly puns of his own:

    • Q: Where do esoteric zombies travel? A: ASTRAL PLAAANES
    • Q: How do zombies tell the future?  A: NOSTRADAMUS’S QUATRAAAINS.

    Oh dear

  • Scott Michael Stenwick, in his blog Augoeides, responds to a piece by Donald Tyson originally published in Llewellyn’s online encyclopedia titled “What You Should Not Expect from Magic“, deconstructing Tyson’s superficial account of why one gets into this business in the first place.  Posted yesterday it’s titled, “Magical Expectations“.
  • Lovecraft fans: prepare yourselves.  A new film about Cthulhu Mythos, simply titled “Cthulhu“, will begin a “limited theatrical release” August 25th according to the genre film site Quiet Earth.  You can watch the trailer here on the film’s official site.  My tentacles are all a wriggle with excitement.
  • Jason Pitzl-Waters wrote a sweet piece about pseudo-Satanists in the Pagan blog The Wild Hunt recently that’s just, well, sweet. In “Remnants of the Ex-Satanist Movement” he waxes nostalgic about times when Satanic Panics were a little more blunt.

Once again, if you find something weird, cool or somehow noteworthy, please e-mail me about it.4 If you’re pro-promotion, include your name and website for extra credit.  Thanks!

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  1. The rest, of course, come from Anglo-Saxon polytheism. [back]
  2. Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn. [back]
  3. I wanted to contrast this with an account of perceptive filters that allow us to take particular notice of what we’re looking for, omitting items which don’t fit a desired pattern, but nothing jumped out this week.  Help? [back]
  4. Note: Remove “.nospam” from the e-mail address before hitting send.  Thanks! [back]

Psyche is the editor of and the curator for the occult resource, Psyche also operates a tarot consultation business, Psyche Tarot. She has been published in The Cauldron, Konton, Tarot World Magazine, among other magazines, and her essay “Strategic Magick” appeared in (Megalithica, 2008).

Psyche's website is


  1. Dean Wilson says:

    Ave Psyche,

    Thanks for another great lineup.

    An interesting tid-bit for you on Saturday that I’ve always found fascinating. The Hebrew for Saturn is “Sabbathai”, which is related to the word “Sabbath”, which is the held on Saturday. Saturn is also equated as the Demiurge by Gnostics, some of whom went so far as to equate both the Demiurge and Saturn with YHVH, the God of the Jews. So there’s a few interesting links between Saturn, Saturday, and Jewish culture and tradition.


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    • Beth W. says:

      I had forgotten about the Jewish Sabbath, Dean. *That* makes a heck of a lot more sense.

      On the other hand, only about half our name-days come from Roman Gods — the rest are Norse. Like THAT makes any sense. :)

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    • Psyche says:

      Nifty, thanks Dean!

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  2. Gesigewigus says:

    Interesting, where did you hear about that’s the reason for the order of the week? The most important to the least? Cause I’ve found a (the?) reason for the days of the week order in planetary hours.

    Anyways, while I enjoyed the Gorilla article, I was amused, and dismayed at their misusing research. The basketball game with a gorilla was part of a research experiment on perception, but they left out one important factor: The people weren’t just watching the game passively, they were told to count the number of passes. To me, that makes a huge difference, and while their point can still stand, I feel it is weakened both by the reality of the experiment, and their exclusion (since they’re doing what Big (bad) Science is doing).

    As for your article request, I do know I’ve read such stuff, but not a clue on where to find it, but since I’m looking more at psych stuff this week, if I find, I’ll forward.

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    • Psyche says:

      The reason was given in the same Wikipedia article for Saturday, though no specific source was cited there (unusual, as they usually tag uncited claims). What’s the planetary hours explanation?

      The Gorilla piece struck me as an exercise in selective thinking, but it can be a fine line. I’ve found a neat piece for next week along a similar line, but I’d love more if you come across anything. Thanks!

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      • Gesigewigus says:

        There is a chance it is a coincidence, but when I was first exploring planetary hours for my practice in ceremonial magick, I stumbled upon what seems to be the origin of the order of our week.

        To figure out a planetary hour (as they were used before the invention of a 60 minute hour), you would take the time from sunrise and sunset and divide it in twelve, or from sunset to sunrise to get the night hours. To figure out what planet rules the hour, you take the day (Sunday for example) and the ruling planet (the Sun), and that is the planet that rules the first hour of the day. The planets cycle in a pattern based on their apparent speed of motion in the sky, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon, a pattern familiar to anyone who knows their QBLH or ceremonial magick. So the first hour (Sunrise hour) of Sunday, is the Hour of the Sun, the next hour is the Hour of Venus, then Mercury, then Moon, then Saturn, etc. etc.

        If you start with Sunday, go through 24 hours, cycling the planets, when you get the sunrise hour of the next day, it is ruled by the Moon, and is Monday. Follow the 24 hours cycling the planets in order, and again, for the next day at sunrise hour Mars (Tuesday).

        As said it could be a coincidence, but it fits in too perfectly, and makes a lot of sense to me. It’s also the only thing I’ve ever come across that explained their order, other than that uncited Wiki entry on Saturday.

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  3. jjJunior says:

    Like it says, Saturday is Jewish day off and Sunday is Christian day off, so both are special days.

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  4. [...] “how our “fun day” (Saturday) got named after the least fun god/planet of the week”.  Last week we looked at one possible reason, and Gesigewigus commented on how the planetary hours align nicely with the days of the week: To [...]

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