In our last post we suggested a possible outline for a Jewish parallel to the Chronicles of Narnia based on the Talmud’s astrological predictions of those born on certain days of the week. The accuracy of these predictions is of no more import to us than the reality of the Roman gods. Rather, the Talmud’s statement implies that the seven days of Creation leave a permanent signature. If God’s relationship with His world on Sunday was via the creation of extremes (light and darkness) then He must consistently relate to the world in that way (at least on Sundays). On an astrological level this means that people born on that day will have the theme of the day inbred into their personality. On a theological level, this provides a framework for understanding God’s interactions with creation.
Honestly, I’ve been going back and forth as to whether this framework is appropriate. Do people feel that Thursday is a day of kindness and Friday a day of seeking to fulfill the words of God, while Monday is a day of anger? I do not believe anyone feels it consciously. Still, if the mark of Creation still exists on these days, maybe we feel it subconsciously. And, after all that is the point. C.S. Lewis never revealed his secret, but Michael Ward posits (correctly I believe) that people felt the themes of the Chronicles anyway, because the themes represented by the wandering planets (and their mythological cohorts) are innate and universal.
The Talmud, however, rejects the astrological signs of R’ Yehoshua and posits an alternative: we need not pay attention to the day, but to the hour. And each hour is representative of a different one of the wandering planets.
One who was born under the influence of the sun will be a radiant person; he will eat from his own resources and drink from his own resources, and his secrets will be exposed.
One who was born under the influence of Venus will be a rich and promiscuous person. What is the reason for this? Because fire was born during the hour of Venus, he will be subject to the fire of the evil inclination, which burns perpetually.
One who was born under the influence of Mercury will be an enlightened and expert man, because Mercury is the sun’s scribe, as it is closest to the sun.
One who was born under the influence of the moon will be a man who suffers pains, who builds and destroys, and destroys and builds. He will be a man who eats not from his own resources and drinks not from his own resources, and whose secrets are hidden.
One who was born under the influence of Saturn will be a man whose thoughts are for naught. And some say that everything that others think about him and plan to do to him is for naught.
One who was born under the influence of Jupiter [tzedek] will be a just person [tzadkan]. Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: And just in this context means just in the performance of mitzvot.
One who was born under the influence of Mars will be one who spills blood. Rav Ashi said: He will be either a blood letter, or a thief, or a slaughterer of animals, or a circumciser.
Here the concentration is not on the day and its theme based on the Creation story, but on the hour which is influenced by one of the wandering planets. These planets inherently manifest certain themes based on their name or astronomical position and this has influence on the time period under its aegis.
Following this path would create a Jewish Narnia based on the planets, as Lewis himself did.