Ancient Metaphysics, "The Foundations of Philosophy"

Babylonian Astrology
Celestial Designations

The Planets and gods

goddess IshtarOf todays known planets, only five were identified by the ancient Babylonians. Their original order was Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Mercury and Mars. Later, Mercury and Saturn change places.

These five planets were identified with gods of the Babylonian pantheon as follows:

  • Jupiter with Marduk
  • Venus with the goddess Ishtar
  • Saturn with Ninurta (a.k.a. Ninib)
  • Mercury with Nabu (a.k.a. Nebo)
  • Mars with Nergal

The movements of The Sun, The Moon and five planets were regarded as representing the activity of the five gods, together with the moon-god Sin and the sun-god Shamash, preparing the occurrences on earth.

Therefore, if one could correctly read and interpret the activity of these powers, one knew what the gods were planning to bring about to the people. Babylonian observational records enabled their scholars to construct planetary theories by which to predict planetary phenomena.

Days of the week

Nabu, Babylonian god of MercuryThe Babylonians were the first to name the Days of the week after the sun, moon and planets. Their naming system is still followed today in many languages, including English, as follows:

  • Sunday - day of The Sun
  • Monday - day of The Moon
  • Tuesday - day of Mars (in Norse Tiw, the Anglo-Saxon Mars)
  • Wednesday - day of Mercury (in Norse Wodin, the Anglo-Saxon Mercury)
  • Thursday - day of Jupiter (in Norse Thor, the Anglo-Saxon Jupiter)
  • Friday - day of Venus (in Norse Frig, the Anglo-Saxon Venus)
  • Saturday - day of Saturn

Celestial Houses

The Babylonians were also the first to set the twelve houses of the Zodiac. The houses were numbered from the east downward below the horizon, and represented areas of life on the following subjects:

  1. Life - today know as Self
  2. Poverty/Riches - today know as Money
  3. Brothers - today know as Family
  4. Parents - today know as Home
  5. Children - today know as Children
  6. Illness/health - today know as Work
  7. Wife/husband - today know as Marriage
  8. Death - today know as Death
  9. Religion - today know as Education
  10. Dignities - today know as Career
  11. Friendship - today know as Friends
  12. Enmity - today know as Prison

These represent the basic outline of the houses much the way the Astrological Houses are still understood today.




"What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality."
 -- Plutarch

Metaphysics Network 
"What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"
 --Jesus Christ

"By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest."

"When I investigate and when I discover that the forces of the heavens and the planets are within ourselves, then truly I seem to be living among the gods."
 --Leon Battista Alberti

Site Search


"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
-- Aristotle
"If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties."
 --Francis Bacon
"To be ignorant of the lives of the most celebrated men of antiquity is to continue in a state of childhood all our days."
 -- Plutarch
"Wisdom outweighs any wealth."
 -- Sophocles