COMBUSTION OF PLANETS – VEDIC ASTROLOGY
A planet is angry when combust by the Sun. Kopa also means the state of being in contradiction with, or incompatible with. A planet is combust when it is in such close proximity to the Sun that it becomes invisible. The Sanskrit name for this is Asta which means “setting.” Following are the degrees, from the Sun, wherein a planet becomes combust:
Moon: 12 °
Mars: 17 °
Mercury: 14 °, 12 ° when retrograde.
Jupiter: 11 °.
Venus: 10 °, 8 ° when retrograde.
Saturn: 15 °.
The closer the planet is to the Sun the greater the effect of the combustion.The planets outside the Earth’s orbit have a similar cycle as that of the new Moon waxing to full Moon and waning to dark Moon. The cycles of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn begin at their conjunction with the Sun. They then orbit until they are opposite the Sun, at which time the Earth is between the Sun and the planet, who is now retrograde. At this point the planet is closest to Earth, the avastha is Shakta- powerful. The planet then begins to approach the Sun until it is combust, setting in respect to the Sun. At this point the planets are furthest from the Earth and made invisible by the Sun; they have spent their shakti (power), and now find themselves weak. Weak, they are not competent to fulfill their respective duties and get frustrated, angry, and resort to base means. Another name for the avastha of a combust planet is Mushita- robbed. The two planets inside Earth’s orbit, Mercury and Venus, are combust when in, or near, inferior and superior conjunction; that is, when they are closest and furthest from the Earth respectively. The difference of a combust planet during superior conjunction from that of a combust planet during inferior conjunction is an area of research. When Mercury or Venus are combust at superior conjunction they are actually behind the Sun, actually setting. Not only are they obscured by the rays of the Sun, they are also behind the body of the Sun. When they are combust at inferior conjunction (when they are between the Sun and the Earth) they are not actually setting; though they are obscured by the light of the Sun they are not actually hidden by the body of the Sun. In my opinion therefore, Mercury or Venus being combust when retrograde is not so severe since they are not actually setting behind the Sun. In my experience I have found that when Mercury or Venus are combust and not retrograde, the qualities of the planet are hidden and weak. When they are retrograde and in combustion range I have found their qualities to be very pronounced. I therefore give emphasis to the Shakta Avastha when a planet is retrograde and combust. Psychologically, combust planets give rise to feelings of vulnerability and insecurity, which are the result of ego attachment. Just as the Sun is the center of the solar system with planets revolving around him, the natal Sun is the self whom the other planets serve and assist in the world through the use of their different abilities. When one of them is combust, the self has become so attached to the functions represented by the planet, that they can only be used in a dysfunctional manner. The issues revolving around combustion develop in this lifetime as a result of experiencing continual failure when attempting to use the functions of the combust planet. These feelings of failure are usually the result of associating with the father, as the Sun represents the father, or the person indicated by the house the Sun rules, or by those represented by the house wherein the combustion takes place. Another name for the avastha of a combust planet translates into failing. Whether one feels robbed, or failing, as the result of combustion, the resulting avastha is always Kopa, angry and frustrated. Combust planets are hidden by the Sun, the vulnerabilities indicated by them are just as well hidden. The malefics tend to hide their vulnerability by excessive displays of their traits. Benefics tend to hide their vulnerabilities by acting unconcerned, or nonchalant, as if it is not important enough to bother with. In order to understand the specific characteristics of each planet in combustion it is hoped the following will be helpful:
The Moon is the manas, the sense mind, through which the Sun, the soul,
experiences itself as the reflection of the world. When the Moon is combust,
it is dark, there is no reflection; the native feels frustrated from not
being able to enjoy themselves as the reflection of the world. The Moon is
the social planet, whenever we do something with another we are actually
only relating to ourselves, the other is merely a reflection of our self,
therefore the native also suffers on account of being unable to enjoy their
reflection as others. The combust Moon always indicates a lack of need
fulfillment, and resulting frustration, in the areas it influences.
When Mars is combust the self is over identified with the function of
strength, will and power. The native feels that they must be the strongest,
most powerful, or right in order to feel secure. This generally creates a
need to prove that they are strong and powerful. Their over identification
with and attachment to power and their need to validate themselves through
the use of it generally causes a lot of power struggles with others. With
those that are more powerful than them or when confronted by a great
obstacle they generally lack courage. Combust Mars is angry due to being
frustrated in making happen what they think should be.
When Mercury is combust the individual experiences feelings of
vulnerability when making requests. The self is identified with the function
of speech and feels hurt and rejected when his requests are slighted or
denied. The ego is fearful of having its request denied and therefore
feeling rejected on a personal level. Even legitimate requests such as
asking for a well-deserved raise, requesting from loved ones and returning
an item to a store become difficult. After some time the individual feels
taken advantage of and unfulfilled at which time anger and resentment set
in. The individual must recognize that they must take direct responsibility
for getting their needs and desires met by communicating them clearly and
strongly. They are generally only able to communicate their desires and
needs more overtly through hints, or in a joking manner. Combust Mercury
presents the most trouble in personal relationships where a clear
communication of needs and desires is important for maintaining harmony and
in business affairs where money must be asked for. In essence, when Mercury
is combust the native is angry because they are unable to maintain a fair
exchange with others. Generally the issues revolving around a combust Mercury develop in this lifetime when the native, as a child, felt rejected when making requests for things from the father, and the father answering something like this, “What do you want that for, it’s stupid, a waste of money, etc.”
When Jupiter is combust the native feels that they are unable to meet a
set of ideals which their ego considers necessary for spiritual blessings.
The self is attached to the need for perfect and noble behavior in order to
be worthy of God’s grace. They are unable to accept themselves with their
own imperfections and feel that God will not either. There is little room
for self-forgiveness and a resulting lack of faith in God’s interest in
their personal welfare. They may easily believe that others can receive Gods
blessings, but that they are unable to believe that they themselves can.
This creates a feeling of purposelessness in their activities, including
their spiritual activities, because they feel that no matter what the effort
they are still imperfect and therefore worthless in God’s eyes. In essence
when Jupiter is combust the native is angry at religion or God for making it
impossible for them.
Generally the issues revolving around a combust Jupiter are developed
as a result of experiencing some belief system that was presented in a
dogmatic fashion. This belief system or the manners in which it was
presented, would not have allowed for the normal feelings and desires which
all humans have. Being of perfect behavior, word and thought would have been
stressed with no practical methods being taught to control the mind and
transcend desires. The individual would then be left in despair, without
hope for any possible salvation.
Another consideration of Jupiter’s combustion is that the native will
feel insecure about their knowledge or wisdom. This will cause them
frustration and anger when confronted by something they do not understand.
Rather than admit that they do not understand they are more likely to act as
if it is unimportant at the moment and try to sneak out of dealing with
their lack of understanding.
When Venus is combust the native is unable to exhibit the healthy pride
necessary for diplomacy. Diplomacy is the tool of healthy pride that
respects others as well as the self. Combust Venus indicates poor diplomatic
abilities, the result of vulnerable pride. They therefore suffer abuse on
account of other’s behavior towards them which results in anger and frustration.
Another consideration when Venus is combust is that the native
experiences feelings of vulnerability when expressing love and affection.
The self is identified with the function of expressing love and affection to
the degree that if their affection is not received and validated fully they
feel rejected. This may make an individual seem rigid or indifferent in
expressing love and affection. In essence, when Venus is combust the native
is angry because they are not getting the love and attention they desire.
This tendency is generally developed when the native, as a child, either
gave a hug or said, “I love you” to the father, or another, without having
the affection or words returned, either because the parent was busy or did
not have the capacity to do so.
When Saturn is combust the native feels overwhelmed and overburdened
with life, as if they were never given a fair chance. One generally lacks
discipline and perseverance to do all that they are required to do and would
rather complain or find another, easier way out of their responsibilities.
They generally exhibit bitterness and resentment. They are generally unable
to give of themselves unless they know that they will derive some benefit.
In essence, when Saturn is combust the native is angry at the world at large
for the burdens that are a part of it. Another tendency of a combust Saturn is a native who works extremely
hard to validate themselves, but never feels validated by their activities
and as a result becomes full of frustrated hate and jealousy.
These tendencies are generally developed in this lifetime by some
responsibility being forced upon the native at an early age when they were
to young to handle it, and without proper validation for their