We couldn’t live without the Sun. The bright burning star at the center of our Solar System is the energetic force that sustains life on our planet. In Vedic astrology, the Sun is considered one of the nine planets, and is the largest, brightest and most dominant planet of all. When the other planets maintain sufficient distance from the Sun, they can benefit from its divine energy and even have their positive qualities enhanced. But what happens when they get too close?

From our line of sight from the Earth, each planet goes through a stage where it is hidden behind the Sun, which is known as ‘Ast’ in Sanskrit, meaning ‘to set.’ In English this process is known as ‘combustion.’ Though ‘combust’ usually means to burn, in a physical sense the planet does not actually burn or combust, but rather is dominated by the Sun which obstructs the planet from our view.

Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn all experience combustion. Mercury combusts six times per year, and every other planet combusts once a year, unless it is moving in retrograde motion. A planet’s combustion can be seen as a rebirth, where it moves towards the central energy source, the Sun, and comes out purified and energized by its rays.

Though the combust planet is present and still functioning, it is invisible. Its qualities are hidden from view, and its influence and significance decrease. We may not fully understand the planet at that time as its energy is completely taken over by that of the Sun, and, the closer the planet is to the Sun, the greater the impact.

The combustion of planets is an important area in Vedic astrology and can be studied in two ways – by birth chart and by transit. If you have a combust planet in your birth chart then the effect of it gets triggered when that planet combusts in transit. Each planet rules particular areas of life, and during combustion a shadow is created on those aspects. Extra effort may be required in these areas of life to maintain harmony.

Upcoming Planetary Combustions

Mercury: July 4 – July 29,  Oct 18 – Dec 4 2022
Venus: Sept 14 – Dec 1 2022
Saturn: Jan 30 2023 – March 5 2023
Jupiter: March 27 2023 – April 26 2023

Venus Combustion

Venus undergoes combustion between 8 and 10 degrees of the Sun. As the planet of love and relationships, a combust Venus can bring relationship challenges. The Sun’s proximity gives rise to enhanced heat and passion, but can also bring anger and difficulties. Jealousy may come to the surface. Instead of getting into heated arguments or frustration, it is best to channel your energies into creative pursuits.

Jupiter Combustion

Jupiter combusts within 11 degrees of the Sun, and can cause disturbances to the areas ruled by Jupiter, such as children, wealth and husband. Jupiter is the planet of optimism and expansion, and when it is too close to the Sun you may feel overly optimistic, so ensure you keep a check on reality. As Jupiter is also the planet of judgment it may be wise to observe how judgmental you are being of others. Jupiter combustion is also a time to take extra care of your health.

Mars Combustion

Mars undergoes combustion within 17 degrees of the Sun. Since Mars is already a fiery planet, when it comes close to the heat of the Sun it isn’t impacted as much as the other planets and can bring strength and energy. However, there is potential for volatility, and in some cases burnout, if Mars’ energy is overpowered.

Saturn Combustion

The combustion of Saturn takes place within 15 degrees of the Sun.

Saturn is feared as the planet of restriction, and its combustion can bring out the especially challenging qualities of the ringed planet. It could be felt in the workplace through intense or strained relationships with bosses and colleagues. Mentally, there may be a sense of melancholy or depression. Saturn is the only planet which causes difficulty for the Sun when it combusts. Each of the two planets affect each other, and when they are together in the same sign it can bring challenges in one’s relationship with a father figure.

It is best to be disciplined about the practices which can help you combat Saturn’s heavy energy during this time, such as meditation, yoga and proper eating and exercise habits. As Saturn is the planet of karma it is beneficial to give back to society by donating time or money to a good cause.

Mercury Combustion

Mercury combusts within 12 to 14 degrees of the Sun. If Mercury is combust it can bring overthinking and agitation in the mind, which could be very tiring. It is possible that the ego may overshadow the intellect. If Mercury combusts while retrograde it is a good time for meditation and contemplation.

Remedies for all Planetary Combustions

  1. Abhishekam with water is one of the best remedies for planetary combustion. You can do this ritual by offering water to a Shiva Lingam, which is an abstracted form of Lord Shiva (the all pervading divine consciousness).  Before you begin the Abhishekam, you can light a lamp or candle and offer it to Lord Shiva.
  2. If possible, visit the temple according to which planet is combust:
    Mercury Combust – Vishnu Temple
    Jupiter Combust – Guru Temple
    Saturn Combust – Hanuman Temple or a Kali Temple
    Mars Combust – Kartikeya Temple
    Venus Combust – Lakshmi Temple
  3. Listen to or meditate on the following chant if this planet is combust:
    Mercury Combust – Vishnu Sahasranama, the powerful chant that lists all thousand names of Vishnu (The Preserver).
    Jupiter Combustion – Shiva Sahasranama, which lists the thousand names of Lord Shiva (The Rejuvenator).
    Venus Combust – Lalitha Sahasranama, which lists the thousand names of Sri Lalitha, who is considered to be a manifestation of Shakti, the Divine Mother and feminine aspect of creation.
  4. Honor Lord Shiva, who can protect us from combustion, by chanting any of your favorite Shiva mantras. The simplest yet most powerful mantra, ‘Aum Namah Shivaya,’ can be very helpful during this time. You can also listen to Sri Rudram, the Vedic chant that honors Lord Rudra, a form of Lord Shiva. You will find it on the Sattva Meditations & Mantras app.
  5. Donation is one of the best remedies in Vedic Astrology. You can donate any amount you can to your favorite cause, or to temples or spiritual organizations.
  6. Chant the Savitur Gayatri Mantra, ‘Tat savitur varenyam; Bhargo devasya dheemahi; Dhiyo yonah prachodayaat.’  This mantra has the power to invoke the healing energy of the Sun. If you are initiated you can chant the full Savitur Gayatri Mantra and perform your Sandhyavandanam every day.
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