Combustion/Under the Beams observations
This is a topic where I feel like I’ve seen a certain amount of disagreement and individual interpretation. Traditionally, planets too close to the Sun are seen as weakened, swallowed up by its light. However, most conditions that weaken a planet come with some additional and/or conciliatory properties. So what else?
On a recent episode of his podcast, Chris Brennan said that one effect is that the affairs of houses ruled by a planet under the beams will be conducted in secret. I’ve heard other astrologers suggest the typical planetary functions are more difficult for the native to willfully access, but that they are absorbed into the subconscious and used instinctively.
A few of my friends have Mercury combust. While not academic in the least, one is a very talented artist (Libra) and the other a fantastic engineer (Taurus.) Neither would be considered “witty,” but are two of the funniest people I have ever met.
Another close friend has cross-sign combustion between his Sun in Capricorn and his Venus in Aquarius. He dates almost exclusively through internet dating sites, and whenever he finds a serious relationship, we don’t often learn a lot about them for a while. Same with a female friend who has Mars combust in her Leo 7th.
One friend has Jupiter combust his Pisces Sun, and I’m pretty sure that most of his enterprising and professional expansion is illegal.
What have your experiences been with combustion/under the beams? I have been thinking about this a lot since listening to Chris’ show, as most of the planets in my chart would be considered to be afflicted in this way.
Whole sign-wise, I have Su, Me, Ve Sag in 3rd with Me and Ve combust. It is difficult to see which situations arise from the combust condition vs, the opposition from Sa Ge contrary in 9th to Me by degree and Ve by sign. Me is dom lord of 9 and 12, Ve of 1 and 8. That said, I did have a “sub rosa” relationship that lasted 29 years. I produced and edited an astrological magazine for 7 1/2 years but always resisted writing articles myself. I am divorced but never married through either words or ceremony (only common law). My efforts to complete a PhD were interrupted twice: the first resulted in an MA, the second left me an ABD. To further complicate associate significations, I have Fortune in Capricorn. Just saying…
That is a tangle. I would ask if you feel like your efforts in these houses go unnoticed or if they feel hindered, but it’s probably both, right? Even still, I am leaning more towards the idea that this condition doesn’t curtail manifestation of these planetary forces, just means they grow in shadow, which is more than often at odds with the native’s will.
Even then, it’s a little hard to say what additional effect this would have on houses that are already considered “dark” like the 8th or 12th. If the 8th is “absence,” and its ruler combust, does the native just hold their losses much closer to the vest, not letting on to others that they’re going through the pain of being separated from someone/something? If we layer in modern significations for the houses, we could then say a few things about sex and other people’s money and the occult…
Well anyway, my 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, and 10th house rulers would all be considered “under the beams.” The one thing that immediately leaps to mind is that all of the jobs I’ve held have had that flavor. For example, I’m currently employed as a night auditor, working through the dead of night, sleeping when other people work. All of my relationships have had a weird tinge of ambiguity surrounding them, and a couple have started as long-running secrets. I’ve been heavily involved in theatre, but almost always as a character actor or a stage manager. Regarding writing projects – or most projects, actually – I feel it’s not safe to tell anyone about them until they’re nearing completion. With a lot of things, I lose momentum easily if it’s no longer a secret and people start asking me, “Oh, how’s the ____ going?”
I think it’s important to remember that there are some mitigating factors to combustion in the tradition. The Hellenistic tradition has the idea of a planet in its chariot, where a planet in its domicile or exaltation is thought to be too strong for the Sun to consume. The medieval tradition has reception, where the Sun will not injure planets in Aries or Leo.
I have the Moon Combust in Leo (so reception keeps her from being injured) and I just tend to be a private person (but having four planets in the Sixth house is likely to do that anyway), especially in regard to things that are developing in my life. I don’t like to talk about them until they actually happen, even if I know they will happen far in advance. But I tend to be quite emotional.
Hmm, that is a good point. Then again, I have met people with Merc combust in Leo, and their Mercs seem pretty combust to me. Will have to research/workshop that placement further.
“Hmm, that is a good point. Then again, I have met people with Merc combust in Leo, and their Mercs seem pretty combust to me.”
How do you mean? Like Mercury struggles to bring about its significations in the chart? Or does the individual suffer from typical Mercurial blockages in understanding, speech, etc?
Well, let’s take this discussion from theory to examples, shall we?
Obama is a good example of Mercury “under the beams” in Leo. On the one hand, he seems protected in that he is an award winning author and celebrated public speaker. On the other, his administrations bungling of the healthcare website and other PR disasters have led to a Republican take-over of both other branches of govt…
What’s most interesting to me is that the Mercury Rx’s were happening in Water signs when he was born and and an Aquarius rising Scorpio is his 10th. In November 2013 the Mercury Rx cazimi happened in Scorpio along with a Solar eclipse on his Neptune and square his Sun.
the subsequent website failure engendered a sense of a “broken” administration, which was never remedied -but only got worse
“The turning point was last November’s failed launch of the Obamacare health insurance exchanges, and the concurrent brouhaha over President Obama’s “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” false promise. These crises created competence and credibility gaps from which Obama never recovered.”
From this, I would speculate that rather than, or at least in addition to, the houses which Mercury rules -the actual houses where the Rx cazimis were happening at birth are the ones in which we can expect the combustion/under beams problems to manifest
PS and BTW, I donated an abbreviated version of my ephemeris which shows where the Mercury Rx’s were located when you were born. It can be found in the download section
All very interesting!
In my experience reading charts, I find the “chariot” rule to have some validity in that quality of the planet’s significations is not damaged. Regardless, I still see combust planets with dignity subject to the sub-rosa quality attributed to combustion. It’s like the volume is turned down, but the signal is still distinct.
On a psychological level, I often see combust planets as being deeply entwined with the native’s identity-structure. This makes the planets so affected very personal, and thus the natives are less likely to blithely expose them. In general I advise making an effort to separate (solve) the solar principle from that of the combusted planet, as the two are often fused into a questionable alloy.
Revisiting this, how would you typically interpret combustion in transits/mundane? For example, Venus is combust at the moment (as well as being retrograde.) What would this condition, doubly debilitated, say to you about world affairs and the overall state of all things Venusian?