The Days of the Week and their Influence - A Commarison Between the Beliefs Held by the Romans and the Northern Races - Each Day and Its Significance
" Monday's child is fair of face, Tuesday's child is full of grace, Wednesday's child is full of woe, Thursday's child has far to go, Friday's child is loving and giving, Saturday's bairn works hard for its living. But the child that is born on the Sabbath day Is merry and blythe alway."
Among the Romans each day of the week was dedicated to its own deity, so that a child born on any particular day was supposed to possess the characteristics of the god or goddess to whom that day was consecrated.
Thus, Sunday - Dies Solis among the Romans and Sunnan-daeg with the Saxons - was dedicated to the sun god, and all the children born under his rule were supposed to be noble, generous-hearted, and magnanimous, like the beneficent sun himself, who beams with regal impartiality both upon the just and the unjust. The Monday Child
Monday was Dies Lunae with the Romans and Nonan-daeg with the Saxons. In both cases the tutelar deity was the goddess of the moon, called Diana by the Romans and Freyga by the Northmen.
It was thus popularly supposed that Monday's child would grow up fair and beautiful, with an elusive loveliness like the silvery moon, oft-veiled by drifting clouds.
Dreamers and visionaries, too, are they to this day, and their jewel is the softly shimmering pearl or mystic moonstone. All ornaments of silver were supposed to bring them luck, and white flowers were their portion. Like the changeable moon, Monday-born children were supposed to have a passion for travelling and novelty, and wise mothers checked this restlessness in their children, lest it ran riot.
Tuesday was essentially the warrior's day - to the Romans, Dies Martis, the day. of Mars, the god of war; and to the Norsemen, Tues-daeg, Tuesco, or Iyr, the war-like leader of the Northern races. Therefore, a Tuesday-born child was supposed to have the special gift of abundant vitality and unfailing courage, the essential characteristics of the war god. Gifted with strength, agility, and keen sight, Tuesday babies were destined to become great leaders and hunters, athletes, and splendid horsemen, for that animal was sacred to Mars.
Wednesday, the fourth day of the week, was dedicated by the Saxons to Woden, or Odin, and called Woden's-day, Odin being another Viking warrior god. By the Romans it was allotted to Mercury (Dies Mercuri), the swift-footed messenger of the gods. Thus versatility and adaptability were the special characteristics of these mercurial children. Quick in thought, and often quick in temper, they were capable of great things mentally, having excellent brain power. Their chief danger lay in overexertion and a restless irritability that was likely to bring the misfortune of ill-health and weariness in its train, and thus fulfil the prophecy of "full of woe."
In early times Wednesday babies were often destined to become priests or monks, as keen intellect and literary power were required for that vocation, just as strength and courage were needed for the warrior.
A Thursday's child came under the influence of Jupiter, since by the Romans this day was given to that deity, and called Dies Jovis. The same god was chosen by the Saxons, since Thors-daeg means the day of Thor, the thunder god. Thus the Thursday bairn should be of a jovial and merry-hearted disposition, but somewhat inclined to be masterful and wilful, yet kindly and very sensitive withal. The Jovian child should always have that inestimable gift of seeing the bright side of things and of "making allowances for the rainbow" across the darkest clouds. Such children are well suited for the profession of doctors or clergymen, having ready sympathy and keen intuition.
Lucky and Unlucky Friday
"Friday's child is loving and giving." The superstition that Friday is an unlucky day only began with Good Friday and the sorrowful tragedy of the Crucifixion. Prior to the Christian era, Friday was considered a happy day, being under the rule of Fregya, the goddess of love. Friday-born children, too, had a happy facility for attaining their aims and wishes, even when such seemed impossible, for they were ever able to reckon on the influence and support of kind and powerful friends willing to aid and assist them. They were blessed with loving dispositions, which possibly accounts for much, of their good fortune. To be continued.
Ah Earthly Paradise
By Sir Lawrence Alma-tadema, R.a.
By permission of Berlin Photographic Co.