Sun is a natural malefic, his energies scorch and dry out. Being too close to this ball of fire is not a pleasant experience. So if planets get too close to the Sun it is called ‘combustion’.
- Sun and Moon are the two luminaries of astrology. If Moon gets close to the Sun, it is the no-moon day, Amavasya with very different energies.
- If Rahu or Ketu get too close to the Sun, it causes eclipses, so again a very different energy. These two are the two completely astral forces represented by the Nodes of the Moon also called Chhaya-graha.
- It is when the remaining 5 planets, the Tara-graha, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn get too close to the Sun they are considered to be combust, burnt out and incapable of giving results.
In a birth horoscope if you see a planet is combust do pay attention to what he signifies and how is this energy of combustion going to affect the chart as a whole.
Sun is the sense of self, self-ego, self-entitlement, all about ‘me’. He doesn’t allow anyone else to share center-stage with him. He is the King, self-referential, self-focussed, royal, not much bothered about others who are his subjects. Combustion is like an eclipse, the Sun eclipses the planet.
If there are combust planets in the birth chart, their effect will last a life time. Check out which houses are owned by the combust planet, these will be adversely affected. Also check the house ruled by the Sun for atypical results. If the ascendant lord himself is combust the situation is more difficult. Major planets combust or 2 or more planets combust can reduce the longevity. If there are benefic influences on this Sun+planet duo the situation is better. Or if the combustion happens in a house other than the 6th, 8th and 12th houses. Or if the Navamsha provides some better influence. The actual combustion effect will naturally vary as per the individual chart. As per the Vimshottari Dasha system, the Mahadasha of the planet will not give its expected results, also his sub-periods in other planet’s Mahadashas will be affected. Sun’s Mahadasha will also be atypical as here Sun=Sun+the planet.
When a planet gets too close to the Sun, he is stopped from giving his results independently. He cannot out-shine the Sun. The Sun drowns out his energy with his effulgence. This other planet has to transfer all his essence to the Sun. The Sun dries up this planet and takes on his abilities. So the Sun in such a horoscope will be a Sun tinged with the abilities of this combust planet. Now when you examine the role of the Sun in this chart, you have to think of him as Sun+planet.
Eg Let’s check out the combustion of Mercury in detail.
Mercury being so close to the Sun will be combust in about 25% of the horoscopes. So what happens is that the Sun will draw up all the power of Mercury to give results. It is like he will evaporate Mercury’s essence. The closer he is, more intense is the evaporation. All keywords of Mercury are now appropriated by the Sun. The Sun will decide how to use them. The separate agency called “Mercury’ has stopped existing. So if you have such a Sun in your horoscope, all your Mercury related abilities will be diverted only for your selfish and self-oriented purposes. Mercury is a very important planet, the son of the Moon. Thinking ability, way of thinking, using the memories and data available in your astral self, direction of thought, skills, networking, financial ability, speech, creation of options, boldness to act, siblings, trades, etc. All this will be directed to the self. You will not bother about others while using your Mercury talents. eg You can hurt others with your speech and not be even aware of it or lying is easy if you consider it necessary for your own needs. Mercury controls teamwork, so you fail at this miserably, you cannot work in a group nor can you listen to other’s opinions. Having a good time with siblings and brothers can be impossible. Getting others to cooperate with you can be difficult and you feel that you don’t need their help. But it doesn’t work like that in real life. Everything we do, we need some help from others. The self-ego blinds the analytical processes. Over-confidence and then problems are quite common with this placement. You might waste energy in projects which are logically unable to succeed. This false sense of self-ego over-shadows the intellect.
And strangely in the background there is low self-esteem too. The planet knows that he has been destroyed by the harshness of the Sun, so exists in a highly uncomfortable state. The Sun is a natural malefic, remember! He feels a mix of defeat, fear, debilitation, inferiority, he is sitting with a malefic and just wants to die! Thus you feel a inner sense of inferior in the matters indicated by the planet. But there is the overshadowing self-referential influence of the Sun. So this mix turns into a superficial exaggerated bravado in the matters controlled by Mercury. You internally know that all your Mercury abilities are hollow but you cannot stop yourself from projecting that you are superior in their context. It can get quite mixed.
You succeed in those aspects of life where you are required to work alone and you need the talents of Mercury. So look for such avenues to make the most of your combust Mercury + Sun power.
In transit also planets will get combust, so it is advisable to pay attention to the activities of the planet under combustion. Different planets get combust at varying distances from the Sun. But especially when the distance between it and the Sun reduces to less than 3deg 20minutes arc length (ie one Nakshatra pada distance) be very careful.
So in periods where the planets are combust you will see the following trends around you. Almost everyone will display the change caused by combust planets in transit.
Mercury combust – loss of cooperation, failure of teamwork, self-ego ruining logical plans, faulty conclusions from data because of misplaced confidence, financial markets going down because of over-inflated data. Everyone thinks for him alone.
Venus combust – self-ego wants to be entertained, movies theatres games etc make a profit, failure in personal relationships as both partners become more selfish, legal issues crop up because business partners do not want to share profits equitably, spiritual progress goes slower as individual-ego pops up as you sit for Dhyan. Everyone wants to relate to his own person, do what makes him happy.
Mars combust – personal vitality comes in focus, physical aggression, competitions, rash driving, exaggerated over-confidence, strong belief in one’s competitive abilities. Everyone will fight for what he wants. However as Mars and Sun are buddies, you can make good use of this time to aggressively and competitively progress in some way or the other. However remember that aggression should be directed away from the family/husband/wife/children.
Jupiter combust – there is a crisis of belief, the self-ego dominates the philosophy, is an atheist, doesn’t believe in a higher self, fails to perform the necessary rituals and things connected to eternal religion, are self-guided, do not think that they need guidance from their peers/teachers. Everyone will follow his own personal belief.
Saturn combust – this is potentially highly problematic placement. Sun is Saturn’s father and they do not get along at all. Laziness, procrastination, misplaced belief in one’s abilities, irregular working style, luck, money and social reputation are all affected adversely. Everyone will think that their work alone is perfect.
Combustion in transit affects everyone together as a mass. So before combustion season starts its good to be aware of what is in the offing and be prepared for a over-load of Sun’s scorching energy.
There is an interesting astronomical fact here. Exact combustion is when the planet and the Sun share the exact degree. Here the inner planets, Venus and Mercury can be seen on the disc of the Sun as black dots (superior combustion) or they can disappear behind the Sun’s disc (inferior combustion). The outer planets Mars, Jupiter and Saturn can only disappear behind the Sun’s disc. Practically it does not make a significant difference in the readings.
Just remember that the planet gets absorbed in the Sun. The Sun becomes a complex Sun+planet combine. The abilities conferred by the planet don’t vanish but are used as per the direction of the Sun. So do not ignore combustion, either in birth charts or in transit, it has very significant effects on us.