Under the Beams
Whenever a planet is within 15° of the Sun, it is said to be “under the beams” of the Sun. You can’t see it. The planet is obscured by the powerful light of the Sun. My mentor once gave the example of walking on the sidewalk with supermodel Heidi Klum. Nobody would notice my mentor as all eyes would be riveted on Shining Superstar Klum. Although I disagreed—I would notice my mentor!—I thought it was a good analogy. Visibility is a big deal in astrology. When a planet’s visibility is obscured, its significations are debilitated, hidden or internalized. We’ll return to this at the end.
As the planet approaches within 8° of the Sun, we have another condition: combustion. A planet is “combust” when it is within 8° of the Sun on either side. This considerably lessons the efficacy of the planet. When we have combust planets in our chart, they’re often our blindspots. For instance, Venus combust the Sun can manifest as someone who doesn’t see the red flags in a relationship and stays in it despite multiple warnings from friends who clearly see the person for what they are.
Finally, there’s Cazimi. This occurs when a planet enters the very heart of the Sun, at 17 minutes or less from conjoining the Sun. A planet joining the Sun goes through a purification process where the planet is reborn. A Cazimi planet is said to have the Sun’s ear, allotting the planet with a sort of super power genius. Oprah Winfrey’s Venus Cazimi is a clear example of a superior ability to connect with people and draw audiences to her.
Image from astrogrammar.com
I mentioned above that as a planet nears the sun, its significations are debilitated, hidden or internalized. On the one hand, a combust planet may have a “blind spot” or lack of awareness on how it’s behaving. Another possibility is that the planet fuses with the Sun, becoming part of the person’s self expression. The planet’s power doesn’t decrease; rather it is internalized. Another way of saying this is that the archetype of the planet fuses with the Solar presence so that the very being of the person is Mercurial or Venusian or Martial, etc. We would look to the rest of the chart and aspects this planet makes to other planets to determine how its close proximity to the Sun plays out in real life.
If you’re interested in learning more about this and other topics pertaining to the concept of light in astrology, I highly recommend The Astrology Podcast Episode: Light, Darkness, and Polarities in Astrology with Chris Brennan and Israeli astrologer Michael Ofek.
Image by Seamless