The seven classical planets held distinction to ancient astronomers because they were the only stars to wander from the common circular course of the rest of the celestial sphere of constellations. These seven were known as planets, a name derived from the Greek word ‘planetes’, which means wandering.
Traditional attributes have been assigned to these seven bodies in western esotericism wherein they have been portrayed figuratively accompanied by iconographical elements, as well as with sigils and signs that represent them graphically.
The planets are often depicted as a variety of classical deities from the Roman, Greek and Latin traditions, but also may exhibit aspects of older stellar gods from Babylonian or Chaldean traditions. These in turn populate the so-called magical images of the planets, which are to be found in various early astrological, hermetic and magical texts. These gods are often accompanied by zodiacal symbols over which the planets hold rulership according to the principles of astrology, thus Leo the Lion is associated with the Sun. The Sun and the Moon, incidentally are held to be the King of Day and the Queen of Night respectively and this royal designation is carried over into alchemy where the planets also rule over the seven metals.
The days of the week are also assigned specific planets.