The largest cycle of timing is that of the seasons, and although this is a huge subject in itself, it is enough to say that spring is ruled by air and is readying, summer is commanded by fire and is fulfilling, autumn's regent is water and is concerned with harvesting, whereas winter is under earth's dominion and is consequently completing. Other associations can be made with the elemental qualities and a cursory understanding of the waxing and waning of the year. Obviously one cannot always wait for spring to come around when trying to get a project off of the ground, but when possible this can be a propitious way of timing magic.
Earth energies are also affected by the moon's tides, and with the moon ruling hidden forces such as magic this planet is a great indicator as to what the energies are doing at specific times. The moon's phases were mentioned in brief earlier, but here we shall look at them in a bit more detail.
When the moon shows her waxing face we may know that the hidden tides are increasing in nature; this can be seen in the fact that the illuminated crescent is on the masculine right-hand side, thus informing us of positive growing energies. A full moon tells us that the forces of nature are fulfilling at this time; the forces manifest the desire of the waxing phase. This is embodied in the fullness of the moon, where both left and right-hand sides of the orb are illuminated, thus symbolizing the creation that occurs when sperm and egg come together. The darkening of the right side as the left side brightens heralds the waning moon, and this advises us that the hidden powers are negative and destructive at this time.
There is a fourth face of the moon, and that is the phase at which it is completely unlit, and consequently unseen to the naked eye. This hidden aspect of the moon is an indicator that the tides are especially propitious to workings that concern transformation—as this phase is symbolic of the transition between death and rebirth—as well as those that aspire to reveal hidden information. It is the case that most workings can be altered to fit the moon phases, and so health may be procured through the increasing of vitality at the waxing moon, or the banishing of disease at the waning moon, or even the manifestation of health at the full moon.
One may also carry out the working on a day ruled by the appropriate planet using the following correspondences:
Further, to daily rulers, the planets also rule hours, and these can additionally be taken into account. A chart of these hours follows. The chart is used by commencing magical operations at the hour ruled by the correct planet for the goal, but, again, this isn't a die-hard rule, although utilizing it will put the chances of success further in your favor.
In the example of a candle spell, one may time it to begin on an appropriate day and then light it sequentially for a suitable number of days. If the spell was for a job that would bring security, then it would be correct to begin it on Thursday, as patriarchal Jupiter rules it, and it would be wise to burn the candle for four days. If the spell was to control one’s fiery rage, then one would utilize water, the enemy of fire, and therefore the moon would be used to temper passionate Mars. In this case it would be suitable to light a blue candle on a Monday, and light it for a number of hours on each of six or seven days (six for harmony between fire and water, or seven for the moon).
This concludes the subject of timing so far as the basics go, but you may also choose to time your workings with specific weather types (rain, thunderstorms, or snow) as well as other celestial phenomena (including occultations of the sun, traversing comets, and so on).
Excerpted from Spellcaster, Edited by Elen Hawke and Martin White