Viewing a planet by day can be a difficult endeavor, even moreso when it is closely aligned with the solar disc. In astrology, the principle of the Sun overpowering anything near it is called “combustion.” In the traditional method, combustion is a serious debility that detracts from a planet’s overall strength and ability to function.
Notable traditional astrologers have helped to identify different degrees of solar influence and dominating effects. Planets within 8º30′ of the Sun are called “combust,” and these planets find their strength restricted. A combust planet shows a person or thing overshadowed, “in great fear” as Lilly writes, “and overpowered by some great person” (CA, 113).
When a planet falls between 8º30′ and 17º away from the Sun, we say that it is “under the Sun’s beams.” As the planet moves further away from the Sun the condition of combustion becomes less severe, but being under the Sun’s beams is a debility in its own right.
But the astrologers of the past did make one additional distinction, and that is in regards to the condition we call “cazimi.” A planet cazimi is one so tightly aligned to the Sun that it is within 17′ of the solar center. The planet is in the heart of the Sun, completely consumed by his light. There has been some disagreement amongst astrologers about the nature of cazimi. Is it an extreme version of combustion, crippling the planet entirely? Or is the planet, in that moment, made “wondrous strong” as Lilly writes (CA, 300), and considerably fortified by the conjunction?
On March 29 I was excited to receive a chart that showcased a cazimi significator. Another career-related chart!
The querent was applying for a professorship at a university. The position would require relocation to a particularly unlovely place, but he’d hoped for the job just the same. He hadn’t heard back on the timeline he had anticipated, and was growing nervous. The querent was up against a known competitor living in California and wondered if the job had gone to him instead.
In this chart our querent is signified by the Sun in Aries (exalted) in the 9th house. The quesited (job) is shown by Venus in Aries (in her own terms) in the 9th. The Sun and Venus are within 14′ of arc, with Venus clearly cazimi. Technically the aspect is still in its application phase, albeit once the planets are the same degree we can consider it exact even when just starting to separate.
The Moon is in Libra in the 3rd house. The dispositor of all our significators is Mars, and the out-of-sect malefic is seen in his own domicile (Aries) in the 9th.
Right away I felt great about this chart. All of the relevant significators are posited in the 9th, again highlighting the nature of the position the querent was applying for (higher education).
In any horary we want to see the primary significators come together, and it’s (generally) a strong affirmative answer if the planets happen to be bodily aligned in the chart. Here we have Venus conjunct the Sun, not only conjunct but cazimi. In this case conjunction might have hurt the querent (would have signified combustion), but as we’ve explored earlier cazimi is an entirely different beast. Here Venus is extremely powerful and joined to the Sun (the querent). What’s wonderful is that the Sun is in his exaltation in Aries, and in a great position to be able to enhance Venus’s operating power within the chart. I wondered to myself how this cazimi aspect might have been interpreted had the Sun been in Aquarius or Libra.
Both Venus and the Sun are in the terms of Venus, and the Moon is posited in Venus’s domicile. All are arguments of an underlying empathy between the planets, and it certainly adds a nice ring to the chart to see all our significators disposed by a benefic.
The Moon is in the third, showing the querent’s hope of moving. The Moon joys in the third, and Lilly notes that the Moon posited therein is argument of much travel and change.
Both Venus and the Sun are disposited by Mars as ruler of Aries. In addition, Mars rules the 9th house in the chart — this places Mars as the significator for the university, the academics therein, the hiring panel. This will become relevant as we explore the Moon’s activity in the chart.
The Moon will always show the events that will unfold throughout the scope of the question asked. Here the Moon is essentially void as she is not applying to any planet at this time, but coming from and about to make important contacts.The Moon is moving from an opposition of Mars to a sextile of the Ascendant. This is good, as it indicates the action is flowing toward the querent.
The Moon’s movement from the out-of-sect malefic Mars to the Ascendant could mean that the academics involved in making the decision weren’t united, and could have had some degree of contention and disagreement in selecting a candidate. Being the aspect is an opposition, I speculated that there were strong arguments made against my candidate, and that the decision was on his way to him (Moon to sextile Ascendant).
But either way, the decision had been made. Mars rules the 4th house (the end of the matter) and the Moon is void — whatever is coming is already on its way, and nothing can be done.
We noticed Saturn hanging around the 4th house cusp. Saturn’s currently moving retrograde through the domicile of Mars (Scorpio). Saturn happens to rule the 7th house cusp in this chart, making this weighty planet the significator of known competition. It’s important to note Saturn’s retrograde status, and that he’s making no connections to Venus (the job) or the Moon through aspect, collection or translation. It appeared to me that the competitor would change his mind (retrograde) about his interest in the position. Irrelevant, however, as the job wouldn’t be going to him!
In the end, I judged that the querent already had the job (Moon void, separating from Mars to sextile the Ascendant), and that the news would be reaching him shortly. Six days later I received a response from the querent — he landed the job!
This chart is particularly encouraging for me, as the underlying strength of a cazimi aspect seems to be becoming less focal and less understood with the advance of modern psychological astrology. In this chart the Moon was void, and showed very little future activity, and many would stop there and judge in the negative. But the tight cazimi union between the significators promised the matter would come to perfection.. and it did.