The Secret Meanings of the Names of the Planets
by Milky Way Maid
The esoteric meanings of the planets’ names is mostly a lost body of knowledge. Even very good astrologers have no idea what the names of planets or even of the zodiac signs mean. But the ancients had very clear meanings attached to all of these. By drilling down to the traditional meanings of the phonemes that make up the names, we can begin to understand more about what values and ideas they attached to these symbols.
Jupiter — “the ever-existent Father” The French je means ever-existent; it also occurs in Jahweh or Jehovah, in Jove, and in the Finnish Jumala (All Father). He is identified with wind, rain and thunder — and of course the thunderbolt. The zigzag of lightning was believed to be Jupiter herding the other planets about.
Venus — from Vannus, meaning a fan or shell. The terms are equivalent because they refer to her shell-like or fan-like car which is pulled by doves. This is also why her emblem is the dove. Incidentally, the Paphians worshipped her as a white pyramid.
Uranus — Ur-ray, “the Light of Ra” Also, as Kronos it resolves into Ak-Ur-On-Os, “The Great Fire” or “The One Light” Ur is the Semitic root meaning fire or light. Shouts of Hurray or Hurrah greet the sunrise. Ra, the Egyptian sun-god, would seem to be linked to Uranus, but the root syllable is found in several cultures. Sanskrit for a prince is rajah. The Semitic Ra means Time, or the Ancient of Days. The Mayan Ra or La means “that which has existed forever.” Ra appears in our English words ray and radiant.
Earth — Ea, mother of Ishtar
Mercury — “Fire of Merak” (Merak was the Great Mare). Mercury’s emblem the caduceus is encompassed by a winged horse or mare. Mercury was symbolized by a variety of animals: the lizard, the cock, a pregnant sow. Also the hare, because it makes regular trails in the meadows it frequents. Mercury is the god of ways (roads or streets), and many statues of Mercury marked the crossroads. So numerous were these markers where three roads intersected (tri-via) that the word took on the meaning of commonplace. Mercury as the god of commerce and the market has his name as the root of related words: market, merchandise, merchant, commerce. The Greeks symbolized Mercury as a square stone.
Saturn — Saturday, or Seaterdag, means day of the Seater or Sitter, the day when the Great Workman sat himself down and rested. Saturn was linked to Stonehenge, which was also known as Caer Sidi (the seat or fort of Sidi). Caer resolves into root syllables meaning Great Fire. Saturn, or the sitter, therefore seems to have made Stonehenge his throne. Note the design of Stonehenge which incorporates not only circles but an inner horseshoe-shape which perhaps outlines his throne seat. In the words of the Wlsh poem Taliessin: “Perfect is my chair in Caer Sidi,/ Plague and age hurt him not who’s in it./ About its points are oceans’ streams,/ And the abundant well above it,/ Sweeter than white wine the drink in it.”