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Astrology Explained: Cazimi and Combustion

What are they? Do you have them? What do they mean? The first of hopefully a few quick guides to elevating your astro knowledge and getting on board with the conversation.

Let’s start with cazimi. It’s origination is found in medieval astrology which began using the term to denote something being “in the heart of the sun.” It’s etymology comes back to the Arabic word kaṣmīmī: “as if in the heart.”

Usually in astrology, if something is approaching the Sun, we consider it to be becoming weakened by it, due to the fact the Sun is so powerful and bright nothing else can sit in its power. The astrological term for this is combustion, or being combust.

However, something very interesting happens when a planet comes within 16 minutes of the Sun: it becomes enhanced with the glowing light of the luminary self. It’s considered a strengthening factor for the planet, which is cazimi.

Going back to when something is cazimi, you won’t be surprised to find out this is something that is debated among astrologers. While most agree on 16-17 minutes (the second set of numbers after the degree, e.g. XX’19), some earlier astrologers use 1 degree as the benchmark.

Of course, though, not every astrologer agrees that cazimi is a noteworthy distinction, or a good thing. Some consider the state of cazimi (or marks there around) to be in the worst aspect of combustion. Combustion is when something is, as mentioned, overshadowed by the Sun.

The astrologer William Lilly explained that a planet is considered combust when a planet is within 8 to 17 degrees of the Sun. However, in a later writing, he edits this to being within 12 degrees. Not surprisingly, the degree of activation is something astrologers debate.

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