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Combustion
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Sue



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Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What an excellent post. Thanks for that wealth of information. I do dimly recall the use of 17° for the Sun. Smile

Quote:
I have wondered whether Abu Mashar’s comment was based upon a clumsy translation of classical definitions...


I think you have made an extremely valuable point here that can be said of all translations. I was having this conversation yesterday with someone. I have read a number of articles recently about one particular phrase in Lucan's book Pharsalia. In fact, it is one particular word that the scholars are arguing over that changes the whole meaning of the paragraph. The word is sidera, which in Latin generally means stars but for some reason one person translated it as Sun. This translation was then repeated by several other translators. This one word can change everything. The use of the word Sun totally changes the concept of what Lucan is expressing. The point is that what we have today with astrological texts is a result of several translations, many of them quite poor. Even if we are able to read the texts in the original language of Latin or Greek there is no guarantee that they are correct because, at the very least, they will be copies. Sometimes translators have to make decisions based on context or make their own judgements about how to translate something when the original language is not so precise. This will sometimes result in the translation being not quite what the author meant. So not only could we have Abu Mashar translating the classical definitions poorly but also a poor translation of Abu Mashar could remove us further from the original.

I think the only thing we can ever really do is be aware of the various authors as much as we can be and then make our own judgements about what makes the most sense to us, which, of course, is just what you are saying, Deb. Very Happy
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###



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Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don’t remember if this was brought up, but being too weary now to go back and reread, I will bring it up.

If one feels that signs determine aspects and that out-of-sign aspects (and combustion) are not possible, then to consistently respect that astrological philosophy one should also use whole-sign houses. With a Leo Ascendant a 1st sign/house Mars in Leo would square a 4th sign/house Jupiter in Scorpio or trine a 5th sign/house Jupiter in Sagittarius. This consistency of approach also provides a logical reason to require that combustion be in-sign. But using Placidus or Regiomontanus houses can give us a 4th house that is sextile or trine the Ascendant by sign. We are then starting to loosen the sign structure. So ones aspect philosophy should perhaps be reflected in the house system one uses.

This aspect debate may be linked to the house system debate. The earliest Hellenistic astrologers may have comfortably used aspects by sign because they were using whole-sign houses. Can we say that there was a different treatment of aspects which coincided the use of different house systems?

Deb – Thank you for taking the time to write such an informative post. It’s nice to know that it will be there when I need to come back to this issue.
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Deb
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Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two and a bit years later, having been asked by someone to provide a reference to where cazimi is described by Lilly as ‘wondrous strong’, the relevance of this aphorism to this old thread finally hit home. This is from Christian Astrology p.300, aphorism 26; where Lilly gives a definition of combustion which contradicts his earlier description, and which includes the phrase “let it be in what sign it will”.

    A Planet within 12 degrees of the Sun, is said to be under his Beames, and then hath not fortitude, let it be in what Signe it will; when a Planet is within 16 minutes of the Sun, he is said to be in Cazimi, or heat of the Sun, and then it's an addition of fortune, and he is wonderous strong.
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Tom
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Posted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes it is more than two years since we went through this and now that you've found Lilly contradicting himself, it is only fair that I put up what I've found within the past few months that contradicts everything, i.e., the whole idea of combustion is absurd, at least according to Jean Baptiste Morin deVillefranche. He makes a rather lengthy argument in Book 16 of Astrologia Gallica that cannot be reproduced here in its entirety. He does the usual Morin method of argument by first citing the opinions of others, and then explains why they are wrong.

A couple of his definitions of combustion are a bit out of the mainstream and I thought I would first mention those and then summarize his argument against them. Keep in mind he is citing or believes he is citing the published opinions of others. He is not merely setting up straw men, or I don't think he is.

1) In order for a planet to be cazimi, it must be in partile conjunction by longitude AND within 16 minutes of arc by latitude from the Sun.

2) He does not use a standard 17.5 degrees to determine combustion, but rather the moiety of the two planets as long as it is within 18 degrees. At least that is what I think he means. It is a bit unclear.

He then cites Junctinius, Ptolemy, and Cardan as claiming a combust planet has no power at all to do good or harm.


Quote:
But in General it is proper to accept no [force] that are covered by the Rays of the Sun, neither to killing nor to aiding -- Ptolemy Tetrabiblos BOok 3 Chapter 14 (Morin's citations may not match modern English translations)


And:

Quote:
" ... they can do nothing neither by harming nor helping ..." Cardan as quoted by Morin


Quote:
"When a planet is under the Sun, the Sun itself disposes the place of the planet; that is it claims for itself the force of acting of that planet because, by itself, the planet can do nothing ... Cardan as quoted by Morin


All of this is too much for Morin who states (what follows is my summary):

1) If a planet is stripped of its strength because it is obliterated by the Sun's light, why isn't the same thing true of a planet obliterated by the Moon's light? In fact these "occultations" of the Moon are considered to be rather strong omens or significations.

2) He claims older astrologers claim Sun conjunct Mars or Saturn is particularly harmful, yet if the Mars or Saturn has no strength, this cannot be true. The Sun would mitigate their harm.

3) If a planet has all his strength sapped by combustion, how is it that a cazimi planet, in the very heart of the Sun is considered strong?

4) Mercury is combust much of the time, yet despite this inherent weakness, astrologers attribute great forces of mind to Mercury. My question: If Mercury is combust and therefore powerless in a chart does that native have no reasoning ability?

5) If combustion is harmful to the Moon, New Moons and eclipses should be of little power, yet this is the opposite of what astrologers claim. This argument is a bit weak as at the maximum point of an eclipse the Moon would be cazimi, but then we go back to the argument that cazimi itself is a contradiction of the theory of combustion.

6) If the combust planet is powerless it cannot dispose or rule signs. Cardan overcomes this by saying the Sun takes the disposition of the combust planet. I've never seen this in practice.

From all this and more Morin concludes that combustion is a hoax, and he treats planets conjunct the Sun like any other conjunction.

If Morin is right about these definitions of combustion being common, then our understanding of combustion has been watered down over time. We don't consider combust planets utterly powerless, but rather we consider them debilitated. Yet if the translations are correct, Cardan and Ptolemy considered combust planets as though they weren't even in the chart. But if our definition of the combust planet is correct, i.e. it is merely debilitated, how debilitated is it? The answer to that question would be highly arbitrary.

Just some thoughts.

Tom

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Deb
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Posted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
the whole idea of combustion is absurd, at least according to Jean Baptiste Morin deVillefranche.


I’ve also heard that the whole idea of astrology is absurd Smile
Morin's views are always interesting Tom, but I keep in mind that he was writing just as the geocentric/astrological basis of science was breaking down, which is why I think he has a hard time with some of the older principles of astrology. This seems more apparent in the work of Morin, than the earlier work of astrologers like Lilly, or at least Lilly certainly shows less inclination/reason to justify his astrology against the scientific worldview. (Hence Lilly seems more at home with applying the symbolism of cosmic events, without expecting them to be reliable indicators of scientific effect).
But even so I think it is more a case of a planet losing all strength that Morin finds absurd, rather than the whole idea of combustion. His use of aspectual orbs, for example, is completely unique to him, and reliant on the principle of planets losing and gaining light as they conjoin with the Sun.
Anyway, I’m not inclined to throw out the established principles of astrological tradition just because of Morin’s opinion, especially since it is so difficult to accept everything he says without having to take huge leaps of faith that he knows better than every other astrologer that has gone before him. Everyone of those questions he raises has been answered in astrological philosophy, but Morin loves an argument as a way to show his own knowledge don't you think ?
I have to admit that very often I do agree with Morin's critical reasoning, but there are lots of points he makes – such as expecting us to allow Venus a larger orb than the Moon – that seem disconnected from the established principles (and working practicalities) of judicial astrology. I'm not with him on this point either.

BTW, at the moment I suspect the aphorism comment I quoted above has been translated out of one of Ibn Ezra’s works, which I am hoping to check. (May need to come back in a year or two).
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Tom
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Posted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Morin's views are always interesting Tom, but I keep in mind that he was writing just as the geocentric/astrological basis of science was breaking down, which is why I think he has a hard time with some of the older principles of astrology.


Hi Deb,

Yes this is accurate. Morin's story, and these stories often have him as hero, is that he was first introduced to astrology; he found it wanting, but once he realized the errors of those who came before him, and straightened them out, he realized its great potential. Stephen Arroyo said something similar in one of his books a few years back. The fact is, however, that everyone who came before him wasn't right 100% of the time either. There is respect for the past and there is unreasonable veneration, and then there is icon busting.

Morin's work is an effort to bring astrology in line with the emerging science of his day. If it didn't exist in nature, it could not exist in astrology. A noble effort.


Quote:
This seems more apparent in the work of Morin, than the earlier work of astrologers like Lilly, or at least Lilly certainly shows less inclination/reason to justify his astrology against the scientific worldview.


Although Morin began work on Astrologia Gallica before Lilly began work on CA, AG wasn't published until 1659.

Quote:
Anyway, I’m not inclined to throw out the established principles of astrological tradition just because of Morin’s opinion, especially since it is so difficult to accept everything he says without having to take huge leaps of faith that he knows better than every other astrologer that has gone before him. Everyone of those questions he raises has been answered in astrological philosophy, but Morin loves an argument as a way to show his own knowledge


I agree that throwing out all established principle because of the opinion of one man is senseless. But I also believe that established principle needs to be sensibly challenged now and again and this is what l I like best about Morin. We may not agree with him, but he makes us think.

I've had problems with the idea of combustion long before this thread began. We seem to wander back and forth between visual astrology (can't see the planet because of the Sun's beams? The planet is weak) and philosophical (sign lines matter although we weren't aware of Lilly's contradiction at that time). It seems that astrologers easily overlook it as the situation requires. And showing off is as natural as breathing to Morin. But in the charts he's delineated in AG, I noticed he ignored combustion long before I read book 16. He does stick to his principles.

The problem of Mercury combust probably needs more attention. Mercury is combust a lot of the time. Like most planets Mercury is not in great dignity most of the time, too. I'm thinking right now of King Charles I chart. He has Mercury combust and in detriment (Sagittarius). Gadbury, in an admitted propaganda piece, sweeps away all problems with rational thought indicated by the combustion and detriment with other astrological indications, but the question remains, are Charles' Mercury related problems due to detriment or combustion? Is Mercury in Sagittarius worse when combust? I don' t know, but the apparent fact that the definition of combustion has been watered down makes me think that Morin has a point and this is a valid area of inquiry.

Tom
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Deb
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Posted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I've had problems with the idea of combustion long before this thread began. We seem to wander back and forth between visual astrology (can't see the planet because of the Sun's beams? The planet is weak) and philosophical (sign lines matter although we weren't aware of Lilly's contradiction at that time).


With respect Tom, I think we might just have to agree to differ on this Smile
It seems to me that there is far more consistency in this thread than your comment suggests, and from the start you were the only one arguing that the ‘sign-lines’ matter – the rest of us were saying that even if Lilly were insistent on this (which I doubted from the start) we still felt that the philosophical principle and visual affect of a planet losing its light was more important. Whatever you think of Morin, and whatever Morin thinks of combustion is a little irrelevant really, since the thread developed out of Sue’s initial comment:

Quote:
I’ve been thinking about the issue of combustion for a while now. Lilly says that for a planet to be combust, it not only has to be within 8° 30' of the Sun, but also within the same sign. This doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.


So we’re not really discussing whether combustion is credible in this thread. This thread exists because we assume it is. (Just like we assume that astrology is credible and doesn’t need to be defended against accusations of being absurd, even though many great intellectuals and philosophers have elegantly argued that it is!)
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Andrew



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Posted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've posted this link before but I'll do so again since it contains some material that might be of help:

http://www.academyofastrology.org/articles/burningquestion.pdf

The first footnote to the article states:

Quote:
Some authors, particularly the Arabs, present slightly different definitions of these concepts: for most of them the planet is combust when it is less than 12° from the Sun; it is said to be coming under the Sun's beams when it is less than 15° and to be cazimi when in the same zodiacal degree as the Sun. Some of these older authorities also seem to use the term under the Sun's beams as equivalent to combustion.


Their website seems to be down at the moment but their own Table of Planetary Attributes favors the list of orbs provided by al-Biruni, even though they illustrate combustion as at 8°30' rather than 7°30'. This may explain the footnote referenced above.

I think the orbs provided by al-Biruni are idealized: if we take Saturn (9°) and the Moon (12°), their orb values differ from each other by a difference of 3°; if we take Jupiter (9°) and Mercury (7°), their orb values differ from each other by a difference of 2°; and if we take Mars (8°) and Venus (7°), their orb values differ from each other by a difference of only 1°. In other words, the difference in orb values between these planets descends from 3 to 1 in an ordered sequence of correlated proportions.

Perhaps the list favored by Gadbury (in which the orb of the Sun is given as 17°) represents an attempt at greater precision (more "scientific," but less idealized).

Morin tried something similar, thus his preference for allowing Venus a larger orb (13°) than the Moon (12°). But in practice, Morin distinguishes between what he calls the extension of the "influential force" of a planet and its intensity of influence. He states that the influential force (strength) of the Sun is 18°, that of the Moon is 15°, that of Saturn and Mars is 12°, that of Jupiter, Venus and Mercury is 8°. Then he adds, "In reality, no mortal can determine the influential force of a planet with precision." Which seems to bring us back to the idealized orbs of al-Biruni!
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Trish



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Posted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I'm not really adding to the discussion here but just wanted to make a comment/question:

What has always been a bit confusing for me is when do you read the Sun as weakening the significator and when should you read it as a good thing? Maybe this is just in modern astrology, but many times the Sun shows a person-in-power who may be assisting or aiding the significator in the matter and thereby giving a positive outcome.

There is of course a clear cut rule for Cazimi. I've seen from my own personal experience that having my ruler Cazimi is a wonderful omen of success in the matter asked about and am truly relieved when I see it in a question where its meaningful to the question.

But if not in Cazimi, what of these other cases where the Sun is conjunct the significator (same sign or not)?

One example is in the marriage questions where the conjunction in a woman's chart with the Sun shows marriage (other confirmations being there of course). To strictly read it as a debilitation would mean the woman was going to be terribly weakened, struck ill, no power to act, etc.!

I've seen it other times show that the quesitor will receive a benefit from a person in power and nothing bad happened at all. But at other times have seen it also to correctly indicate that the significator has no power of his/her own in the matter, or his/her power is greatly weakened.

But I've rarely if ever seen it show anything as bad as some of the old writers suggested it was.

Its my thought that maybe you just have to judge each chart as unique when reading the Sun's conjunction.

Trish
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Deb
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Posted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Trish

I think we always need to bear in mind your last comment. In my experience the principle has been reliable, and I take great notice of it, but then I mainly work in horary and I think there is a valid argument for questioning how rigidly this should take our focus in natal work. After all, we are talking about global principles which affect every chart of that time. Some are going to personalise this principle more than others.

Quote:
One example is in the marriage questions where the conjunction in a woman's chart with the Sun shows marriage (other confirmations being there of course). To strictly read it as a debilitation would mean the woman was going to be terribly weakened, struck ill, no power to act, etc.!


Also, the phrase ‘other confirmations being there’ seems telling. Using an example of the Moon applying to the conjunction of the Sun, this is traditionally a weakness for the Moon. If this is put into the content of a creative and harmonious chart, we wouldn’t see it as necessarily destructive, but the sense of ‘losing identity into another’ would still hold. This could represent the woman who willingly sacrifices her own career as she marries. But if this was occurring in a ‘difficult’ chart, it would definitely add to the sense of the relationship being hard, and it might represent a fear or loss from the woman as she loses the power to ‘express her own light’. The difference in context matters a lot, so I agree with your point. But at the same time I would never view the Moon's conjunction with the Sun as capable of signifying easy harmony in the way that, say, the Moon's trine with the Sun does. Essentially, I think this should always be seen as a very powerful and transformative contact, with an underlying sense of power being surrendered.

Quote:
But I've rarely if ever seen it show anything as bad as some of the old writers suggested it was.


I would only add that I’m not sure the old writers viewed combustion as totally bad. It signifies an act of transformation which is fraught with surrender, loss and difficulty; but the ancients also had a healthy sense of the planet being invigorated and replenished, so the flipside of the event is renewed creativity which - I suppose- tends to get less emphasised in discussions such as this. Thanks for adding your comment, to stop us getting too one-sided!
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Trish



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Posted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb wrote:
Hi Trish

I think we always need to bear in mind your last comment. In my experience the principle has been reliable, and I take great notice of it, but then I mainly work in horary and I think there is a valid argument for questioning how rigidly this should take our focus in natal work. After all, we are talking about global principles which affect every chart of that time. Some are going to personalise this principle more than others.


I'm sorry. I was talking mainly of horary. I guess my comments were really not applicable to this thread.

But speaking of marriage in a woman's chart, this thread drew my attention for the reasons stated above and also I now have a chart I'm looking at of a woman who I recently asked "Will she marry X?" He is just so undesirable in so many ways some of which she has acknowledged but she can't seem to help herself from staying with him. And her chart perfectly describes that condition as her ruler is combust the Sun.

Deb wrote:
If this is put into the content of a creative and harmonious chart, we wouldn’t see it as necessarily destructive, but the sense of ‘losing identity into another’ would still hold. This could represent the woman who willingly sacrifices her own career as she marries. But if this was occurring in a ‘difficult’ chart, it would definitely add to the sense of the relationship being hard, and it might represent a fear or loss from the woman as she loses the power to ‘express her own light’.


Yes, that would apply in her chart. (I would like to post it in the horary section as I've seen others do. I haven't yet figured out how to do that. But will post it soon. )

But as a woman's chart for a question on marriage, looks for aspects to the Sun as one indicator and one of those aspects being the conjunction, would you say where the confirmation of marriage is the conjunction with the woman's ruler and the sun, could it mean only that she is totally smitten by him? I don't have enough L1/Sun conjunctions to verify this in my own experience in marriage charts.

Trish
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Tom
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Posted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Deb,

I wrote something this morning and thought I posted it but it seems to be missing. I'm doing training this week, I'm pressed for time, and I probably hit the wrong damn key or something. Anyway ...

For clarification when I first posted Morin's views on combustion I was simply providing information. I wasn't attempting to be an advocate. His idea was unusual so I posted it as he does make arguments for it rather than simple assertions.

What follows is more in line with advocacy or opinion more than my original post.


Quote:
It seems to me that there is far more consistency in this thread than your comment suggests, and from the start you were the only one arguing that the ‘sign-lines’ matter – the rest of us were saying that even if Lilly were insistent on this (which I doubted from the start) we still felt that the philosophical principle and visual affect of a planet losing its light was more important. Whatever you think of Morin, and whatever Morin thinks of combustion is a little irrelevant really, since the thread developed out of Sue’s initial comment:


I was only providing information on your most recent post. I did not re-read the entire thread as it is two years old. My views have changed somewhat in that time. I did argue and still believe that the sign lines are important whether for aspects or combustion. Lilly's contradiction wasn't known to me until I read your post. Still my current point is that I don't see the necessity of bowing to visual astrology when it is convenient and when it is convenient it shouldn't trump other opinions on the grounds that it is visual. If Sue were here I'd argue the same point probably differently than I did then. I just came across her e-mail address in my address book and had an awful time removing it. I only did so because I had to remove another e-mail address for the same reason, and I didn't like it.

Morin's views caught my attention because of experiences I've had in the past few years. I've read delineations, and I don't have an example on hand and probably won't look for one, where the author notes the terrible condition of a combust planet, but later in the delineation treats it as though it was not combust at all. I've seen this more than once. If we're going to give combustion all this power, I don't see how we can ignore on a whim either. I don't expect 100% consistency from anyone, particularly since I'm not capable of that either, but if combustion is a seriously debility, then the combust planet is debilitated and cannot be otherwise.

Morin's idea that combustion does not render a planet powerless, and that the planet should be considered conjunct the Sun and delineated that way for good or for ill, hit a nerve because of what I described above. Admittedly Morin is taking a hard line: the idea that combustion renders a planet powerless is absurd, therefore the entire concept of combustion is absurd. He does not allow a middle ground.

Gadbury's explanation of Charles I combust Mercury is enlightening even if we know that Gadbury was simply sucking up" when he wrote it. Gadbury first tells us:


Quote:
The understanding of this native is known from the position of Mercury being in reception with Jupiter and sextile of the Moon, which presaged him to be a person of great prudence and ingenuity, of excellent wit, and that both sharp and active and in a greater measure than ordinary in that Mercury is posited so near the beams of Mars and Venus in Sagittarius'


OK he's ignoring the combust Mercury and the fact that Mercury is in detriment in Sagittarius but later he notes:

Quote:
As Mercury is significator of the understanding, so he is patron of speech also, and by his being combust of the Sun and near many violent fixed stars, might very well denote an impediment or hindrance therein. But he being in an angle and in a sign having voice, viz Sagittarius, and there in sextile of the Moon and reception with Jupiter demonstrates the impediment to be the less.



I know what Gadbury is doing. He is pumping sunshine for Charles trying to erase any sign of defect in his monarch. Charles was said to have been a stutterer, and Gadbury will have none of it. Also Charles, Gadbury tells us has a first rate mind. Mercury debilitated? He explains it all away.

But if we put aside that this is a propaganda piece and look at the his technique, I think this puts combustion in some perspective. Gadbury claims that the effects of combustion can be mitigated by other factors such as placement in an angle, aspect, or reception. If that is correct, then the fact that a combust planet is damaged beyond repair simply because it is obliterated by the Sun, is called into question. And that is the basic argument in favor of combustion: the planet is damaged beyond repair. And this is so because, outdoor astrology notes the combust planet cannot be seen. There is no way to repair that. But if it can be repaired, it tends to weaken the argument that combustion is so all powerful because the planet is obliterated by the Sun. And if it can be repaired, then maybe we can include sign lines because this is a philosophical concept not merely a visual one. Or maybe the simplest way is to ignore it?

Charles chart is probably not the best example. Being in detriment and conjunct a group of violent fixed stars is usually enough to make for a troublesome Mercury with or without combustion.

You mentioned horary and I've seen combustion play an important role in horary charts. Morin didn't do horary. This may account for his views on combustion, if combustion plays out differently in a nativity. I'm just a little more careful with it in nativities than I used to be.

Tom
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Papretis



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Posted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A combust planet might signify someone who works hard, ambitiously and efficiently but does so under a pressure. The concept is especially relevant in our modern Western society defined by Protestant work ethics, business and competition. The planet may give an immaculate performance and get praised (promoted, a salary increase, etc.) by that, but the mission it’s aiming for is defined by someone else. In that sense the planet is invisible. In the end it may burn out.

The opposite for combustion is retrogradation. A retrograde planet does not do what others expect from it. It’s a maverick and goes its own way. No burnout but no social rewards either.

Sari
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Posted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Papretis wrote:
A combust planet might signify someone who works hard, ambitiously and efficiently but does so under a pressure. The concept is especially relevant in our modern Western society defined by Protestant work ethics, business and competition.


But what about Catholics? Smile

Quote:
The planet may give an immaculate performance and get praised (promoted, a salary increase, etc.) by that, but the mission it’s aiming for is defined by someone else. In that sense the planet is invisible. In the end it may burn out.


Anyway, different phases of the planet were a clear point in traditional astrology.
A combust planet is one of the worst condition for a planet, together with the retrogradation.

For example if we consider the marriage for a woman, planets oriental to the Sun shows the husband's face but just when they are visible.

And in a horary a planet could not perform till it does not come out from the sunbeams.

Hellenistic astrology is full of mentions to heliacal phases, not just combustion but the whole cycle of the planet to the Sun, combustion is a phase of it.

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Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Papretis wrote:
The opposite for combustion is retrogradation. A retrograde planet does not do what others expect from it. It’s a maverick and goes its own way. No burnout but no social rewards either.


What if both - combustion AND retrogradation - happens to a planet at the same time? This is often true for Mercury and Venus, which are never apart from the Sun more than one or two zodiacal signs.

However, combustion is often said to make the combust planet dependent on the Sun, with less ability to act freely and from some point of view it also makes the combust planet invisible/nonsignificant (if you look up in the sky, a planet near the Sun gets outshined by the Sun's rays - and so can't be seen!)
A combust planet is often weakened significantly, but it can still have some power by being in its own major dignities, and it has the possibility of acting through a powerful dispositor, if it is connected with the dispositor through either tight aspect or mutual reception.

My experience is that combustion in Aries or Leo appears to be a little different in practice. In Aries and Leo, the Sun is placed in exaltation/domicile and day triplicity. Therefore, the Sun is very powerful and able to show from its best side - the King shows his nobleness, integrity and magnanimity. If a planet is combust in the Sun's dignities, it loves the Sun: this means something good, though the planet is still combust.

Combustion in Aries or Leo can be described as living in a gilded cage. Though, often this is much more pleasant and secure than wandering as a peregrine in the wilds. For example, Venus combust in Aries or Leo can be likened to a concubine in the King's harem. She gets to enjoy a luxurious lifestyle, but she is not allowed to leave the palace on her own so the King can use her whenever he likes to.
Mercury combust in Aries or Leo can be likened to the King's Personal Astrologer. The Royal Astrologer is allowed to live nearby the King, but he has to cast charts for each trivial purpose. If his prediction proves to be true, the astrologer gets a rich present, but if the prediction fails, he gets his head chopped off.
Mars combust in Aries can be likened to the King's bodyguard or the King's best warrior. As Mars in Aries is in its domicile and therefore very strong, the elite warrior receives many honours, horses, weapons, gold, dukedomes and plenty of other riches, he is furthermore able to command those warriors below him. But he also swore his loyalty to the King, that he must stay by the King's side and guard him with his own life.

The contrary - and the worst affliction that can happen to a planet - is being combust in Libra or Aquarius. Here, the Sun is debilitated, so the King shows from his worst side: He's snobbish, selfish and perfidious. A planet combust in Libra or Aquarius can be likened to a man under the reign of a tyrant. Unless the combust planet is Venus or Saturn, which are strongly placed in Libra and Aquarius, the planet has to suffer from the combustion and there is not much it can do without the help of a powerful dispositor.
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