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Combustion Again
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Tom
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Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahh well, prepare to enjoy a unique experience. The man was wrong and the women right. I heard from John and he told me he didn't intend the reader to think he was quoting Culpeper. He was using Drs Reason and Experience to entice readers to go out and read Culpeper (a good idea and one with which we will all agree). So I stand corrected. This must be one of those things Churchill had in mind when he said America is separated from England (and by extension Australia) by a common language.

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Many an astrologer has wanted to use that line


Yes, and none any more successfully than I used it.

Best

Tom
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Deb
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Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dearest Tom,

I can only imagine how painful it was for you to have to announce that. I was always quite certain you were wrong on the Culpeper reference so I was looking forward to you having to admit it Cool

But now I have to report some news that will lift your flagging spirits.
Last night I had a brief exchange of emails with Ben Dykes on an unrelated matter. Quite by coincidence he mentioned that he’d just returned from the ISAR conference where he had heard a lot of interesting things from the Project Hindsight team – such as a reference to a planet being protected from the harming effects of the Sun’s rays when in its own sign. He hasn’t typed up his notes yet but will sort the details out later.

It doesn’t change my views on what I wrote earlier about the effect of this in interpretation, but at least we know that when John mentioned an ancient dispute on this, he is referring to a genuinely ancient dispute, and not an argument that was had in 1996 or something - which is starting to seem ancient because no one resolves it.

One last point about a comment you made in a recent post. You wrote:

Quote:
we all have our favorites and usually with good reason, but that doesn't mean they are correct in all cases. Lilly's explanation of the temperament of the English Merchant is classic fudging of the issue.


I thought we’d covered that in the thread Was Lilly a good natal astrologer?

So many people have accused Lilly of error and have then later discovered that actually we were the ones who didn’t understand the traditional application of the technique properly. Of course Lilly wasn’t perfect and no one expects his book to be free from mistakes or weak areas. But there is a passage in the introduction to Maurice McCann’s ‘Void of Course Moon’ book that says it all as far as I am concerned. In explaining why Christian Astrology is so important he says:

Quote:
“For one thing it is the most complete and influential book on horary today. There is no other book that does not owe a debt of gratitude to it, or can rival it. Besides, there are no other known sources where so many horoscopes can be studied for their use of rules and resolutions to questions. This book is widely used throughout the western astrological world and has a major influence on astrologers. It is generally believed that various technical problems can be solved through a study of Christian Astrology. However, it requires skilful reading between the lines to understand Lilly as he was never a lucid writer.”


Do let’s put aside these niggling doubts that Lilly wrote a remarkable book, but didn’t know what he was talking about when it came to astrology. I’m quite sure he was capable of knowing which planet best described his appearance and temperament. Was it a dignified Venus? We only have to look at his portrait to make a case against that Laughing
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MarkF



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Posted: Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can I widen the topic just a bit to ask another related question about combustion? I was having a discussion with another astrologer here and he said that you don't count a planet as being combust if it is one of the significators. I had a hard believing that because as I have always seen it, combustion is something that is easily seen - the Sun overpowers the planet and it becomes invisible, powerless. I don't see why just because it is the significator this wouldn't work. But this other astrologer said that you can’t count a planet combust if it is one of the significators, because that would mean that you couldn’t get a positive answer if the Sun were involved as a significator. He gave the example of if you asked about your money and the querent was say the Moon and the 2nd house ruler were the Sun and they were applying to being conjunct. Unless you set aside the combustion, this applying situation of them being conjunct would not give you the positive answer that is shown by them being conjunct. He said that you could never get a positive answer if the Sun was a significator. I countered that you could, if you had a trine or sextile aspect. And I cited the example of Lilly wanting to buy Mr. B's house, where Lilly is Venus and the seller is the Sun. I assumed that in that example, Lilly talks about Venus being combust. We had this talk when I was on my cell phone in my car so I didn’t have CA in front of me.

This other astrologer said (and he is right) that Lilly does not mention that Venus is combust in this example. He mention something about
Quote:
notwithstanding Venus her many Debilities

While this could include combustion as one of Venus' debilities, it is not explicit. Setting aside the fact that Venus becomes conjunct to the Sun only after both switch signs, this example does show that the two of them made a deal even with Venus being combust.

So how do we handle these situations? Do we set aside the combustion? I find that hard to do. Do we say that if one of the significators is combust the Sun that what is asked about will not happen? If we do that, then how do we account for Lilly buying the house?

In the section where he talks about the four ways that a chart can show perfection, Lilly list conjunction as being the first one.
Quote:
First, by Conjunction; when as therefore you find the Lord of the Ascendant, and Lord of that house which signifies the thing demanded, hastening to a Conjunction, and in the first house, or in any Angle, and the significators meet with no Prohibition or Refrenation, before they come to perfect Conjunction; you may then judge, that the thing sought after, shall be brought to passe without any manner of let or impediment, the sooner, if the Significators be in swift motion, and Essentially or Accidentally strong; but if this Conjunction of the Significators be in a Succedant house, it will be perfected, but not as soon: if in Cadent houses, with infinite losse of time, some difficulty, and much strugling.

He does not mention combustion here as an obstacle, just prohibition or refrenation. But in his definition of combustion Lilly says:
Quote:
Use which you find most verity in: the significator of the Querent Combust, shews him or her in great fear, and over powred by some great person.

So he doesn’t say that you can’t have perfection, just that the significator is overpowered.
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Sue



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Posted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mark,

I started to reply to this post last night but I couldn't quite work out what your friend was saying. Since it was after 1am at the time I figured I was just tired. But I have to say that it still doesn't make much sense. Why on earth would you ignore combustion when it involves a signigicator? This is the very time we should be paying attention to it. I know Yuzuru mentioned awhile back that most horary astrologers disregard combustion when the main significators involved the Sun and a combust planet. I can't say that I have heard this before and I don't really see how this works.

Quote:
He gave the example of if you asked about your money and the querent was say the Moon and the 2nd house ruler were the Sun and they were applying to being conjunct. Unless you set aside the combustion, this applying situation of them being conjunct would not give you the positive answer that is shown by them being conjunct.


This is what I really don't understand. He seems to be saying that the chart would have given a positive answer if it wasn't for the fact that the significator was combust so it is best to ignore the combustion. How can you ignore the combustion? It would be one of the most crucial elements in the chart.

Quote:
He said that you could never get a positive answer if the Sun was a significator.


I have no idea what he means here. Is he saying that whenever the Sun is a significator and the other significator was combust then the answer will always be negative? The Sun isn't combust, the other significator is. If the Sun was a significator and a planet close to the Sun was a significator then it is the other planet that is in trouble. And yes, it is often difficult to get a positive answer when a major significator is combust. But horary isn't about working it so that the answer is positive. It is telling it like it is.

Quote:
Do we say that if one of the significators is combust the Sun that what is asked about will not happen? If we do that, then how do we account for Lilly buying the house?


Lilly bought the house because he found enough positive factors to overcome the combustion. Even though he doesn't clearly say so, I doubt very much whether he would have disregarded the combustion because the planet in combustion was a significator. He does admit to some difficulties with the purchase though and it sounds like more of an emotional decision than one based soley on the factors in the chart.
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MarkF



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Posted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’m sorry I didn’t make this clearer, but it was hard for me to present my friend’s argument and do justice to it, and at the same time express my skepticism with it. I talked to my friend about this, and he told me to post Lilly’s example of “A Horse lost or stolen neer Henley, if recoverable or not?” on page 467 of CA.

In this example Lilly uses the Lord of the 12th house, Mercury for the horse. The Sun is the Lord of the 2nd house, the man’s property. The Moon is the querent, as it’s the ASC ruler and it’s in the 2nd house. Mercury is retrograde and is less than one degree away from the Sun. Here’s what Lilly said,
Quote:
forasmuch as Mercury did by his Retrograde motion apply to the Lord of the Querent’s house of Substance, and that the Moon was locally in the 2nd and both Jupiter and Mars Retrograde, neer the cusp of the 2nd, I judged the Querent should have his Goods or Horse quickly and unexpectedly, within a day to two from the time of the Question asked.


I know that Lilly never explicitly says that in cases like this you disregard the Sun’s combustion of the significator, but how else can you explain this chart? I would have said that the horse wanted to come back, but was prevented by the Sun’s combustion. Lilly clearly ignores the combustion. At the end of Book I, where Lilly gives the four ways where you get a positive answer, he lists conjunction as the first one. But he does not explicitly say that you get perfection unless the significator is combust. He does say that the only things that prevent perfection happening through conjunction are prohibition and refrenation. So maybe this is the case and my friend is right, though I doubted it at first.

But then again, I wouldn’t have known to use the 2nd house ruler in the way that Lilly did. I would have concentrated on the Moon as ASC ruler. But I think this is why Lilly gives these examples, to show how it’s not just a matter of following the rules by rote, it’s a matter of creatively and artfully using them. The 2nd house is quite strongly emphasized here, as the Moon. Jupiter and Mars are all in it, or almost in it. So maybe that’s why he concentrates on the 2nd house ruler.

When my friend showed me this example, I countered with yes the horse may come back but he’ll be afraid of his owner, or maybe sunburned from being outside (just kidding), trying to include the combustion into the reading. He said that no matter what, the answer was still a yes. Lilly makes no mention of the horse being afraid, overpowered, sunburned or anything else relating to combustion.
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Deb
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Posted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HI Mark,

I was going to refer to the ‘Master B’ horary earlier in the thread, in the discussion of Lilly’s LOG, because it is interesting to see how the question he asked in reference to a personal matter shows Lilly signified by a combust Venus. But at the same time he qualifies the radicality of the chart by the fact that the degree rising matches the degree of his natal Jupiter at 13.45 Libra.

I don’t agree with your friend. Having the querent’s significator combust is one of the considerations before judgement (there is no such thing as a stricture against judgement). It often shows the querent unable to influence the matter effectively or blinded to the reality of the situation and therefore unlikely to listen to the astrologer’s rational advice - “neither question propounded will take, or Querent be regulated” (CA. p.121). We’ve had examples in the forum where someone has asked a horary and has been signified by a combust significator. They ignore the responses and ask the same question over and over. Thus, one of the meanings of having the querent’s sig combust is that the chart might be meaningful, but the querent is not open to what it has to say.

The Master B chart has been used as an example of this. Lilly admits that he got a hard bargain and lost out financially on the deal. I remember an article in the AA Journal years ago by Archie Dunlop where he proposed that Lilly had a secret crush on the seller’s daughter ( the “very good friend in this”), because of his signification by the combust Venus, as only that could explain why he went ahead and bought the houses even though, as he admitted, he did himself an injury. oops Of course that is unsubstantiated gossip, more suited to the gutter press, but the chart is often presented as a very interesting chart because of the combustion.

As for the ‘horse recovered’ chart. The combust Mercury was signifying the horse. The combustion was applying. Two days later the horse was caught. Combustion signifies the loss of power and freedom, which is why it is used to signify imprisonment or feeling as trapped as a slave. This is exactly what happened to the horse, so the combustion was entirely descriptive of events.

Of course, not every chart should be avoided because of the combust significator, and the answer is never automatcially 'no', but one way or another it has a meaning, and it is often a negative influence on the chart or whoever is being signified by it.
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Tom
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Posted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My dear Deb,

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Dearest Tom,

I can only imagine how painful it was for you to have to announce that. I was always quite certain you were wrong on the Culpeper reference so I was looking forward to you having to admit it.


It took far fewer glasses of bourbon than you might think.

Quote:
It doesn’t change my views on what I wrote earlier about the effect of this in interpretation, but at least we know that when John mentioned an ancient dispute on this,


I see, so I may have lost the battle, but could still win the war. I'm not surprised. Wink

On a more serious note. I do not think that Lilly was in any way an inferior natal astrologer. On the contrary he was as good as anyone past or present that I've come across. I think his natal work doesn't get the recognition it deserves becasue his horary work is so exceptional. I'm not sure if I wrote this here or some other place, but I often compare Lilly's horary work in CA to Orson Wells Citizen Kane. Wells never did anything as good after that and took heat for it, but no one else ever did anything as good as Citizen Kane either. It all depends on what it is that you're being compared to.

I only brought up Lilly because I thought he was such a good natal astrologer, and pointed out that like all humans, from time to time he erred.

I'm not leaving the fold Deb. If I could only keep one astrology text, I wouldn't think twice before selecting CA. horary and natal.

Tom
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MarkF



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Posted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've swapped e-mails all day with the other astrologer (who doesn't want to post here) and he summed up his position as follows,
Quote:
When two significators are applying to a conjunction which would otherwise signify perfection of the question and one significator is the Sun, the fact of the other significator being combust is not necessarily an affliction, in fact it may even aid in signifying perfection of the question"

Quote:

I think in the situation where you have two significators conjoining which would otherwise signify perfection of the question, and one is the Sun, that this situation is similar to one planet being retrograde in a lost item question, in other words combustion can be a good thing in this circumstance! Thus combustion signified capture for the horse, but this was not an affliction for the querent, in fact, it aided perfection of the question.

So I can accept what Deb said above, that the horse in Lilly's example was powerless to control his fate, as befits a significator that is combust, but at the same time, it does not deny the querant the return of the horse. So this view seems to acheive a nice resolution of the dispute - Mercury is still combust, it is still powerless, but this does not deny the positive outcome. So far so good.

My interpretation of this would be that combustion would not deny perfection, but only when free will is not a part of the perfection. In the case of the horse, he has no free will as long as he's either captured by the thief, or in the possession of his owner. Along this line of thought I asked my friend how he would read a chart if it were the horse that were represented by the Sun, and the owner's property by Mercury? He balked at first and said that he can't interpret a hypothetical chart, but when I called him on that he said that he didn't know the exact meaning of it, but still claimed that the querant would get a positive outcome, i.e., the horse would be returned.

I have trouble with that. If in the first scenario, the one that Lilly gave, the combustion does not matter because the combustion means that the horse is under the sway of it's owner, then the reverse much be true if the owner were Mercury and the Sun the horse. My friend disagrees. He says that his is his own idea, but it does seem to be born out by two of Lilly's own examples, the stolen horse and Master B's house. In neither example does Lilly even mention the word combustion. So on a theoretical level I don't believe this idea, but on a practical level I see two examples where combustion of a significator by the other significator doesn't seem to mean a simple "no" answer.

Does anyone else have any charts that would clear this up, from either point of view?
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Deb
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Posted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom:
Quote:
I see, so I may have lost the battle, but could still win the war.


Oh deary me. You know you have an attitude problem, don't you? (Must remember not to argue with people who have Regulus rising on the ascendant.)


Mark,
I don’t understand your argument – why do you feel that the horse’s significator being combust, (showing the horse being captured), ought to deny the querent the return of the horse.?

Quote:
Thus combustion signified capture for the horse, but this was not an affliction for the querent, in fact, it aided perfection of the question.


Why should it be affliction for the querent? Who would even suggest it? The querent’s significator wasn’t combust.

Quote:
In neither example does Lilly even mention the word combustion.


If I explain a chart, and omit to mention that the Moon is square Saturn, no one would ever suggest that you can’t count it because I didn’t mention it.

Quote:
this other astrologer said that you can’t count a planet combust if it is one of the significators


One of the clearest charts I ever worked on was used to tell a mother that her missing son was dead. That involved a combust significator for the son which was what made the judgement so clear. But really, I feel I should balk at the idea of discussing this with hypothetical astrologers....
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MarkF



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Posted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb,

I guess I had a simplistic view of combustion that lead me to think that it always meant a no answer it it was involving any of the significators.

So if combustion doesn't mean an automatic no, but means just that the combust planet loses all or most of its power to act, then it only means a no if the significator needs its power in order for the question to get a yes? Is that right? In the example of the mother who's son was dead that would be the case.

How would you deal with a money question, where I am the Sun and the money I am looking for is combust? Up to now I would say that I wouldn't get it.

About my friend who told me this, I asked him if he wanted to get involved in this discussion and he said he was too busy. Sorry, I would have prefered to have him join it too. He's real, I'm not making this up.
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Tom
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Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Oh deary me. You know you have an attitude problem, don't you?


It's not a problem. I am living proof that the proper ASC for America's chart is Sagittarius! Always optimistic.

Best

Tom
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stephast



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Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 11:34 am    Post subject: venus combust Reply with quote

Dear Deb,

You mentioned that Ben Dykes had acquired some information from Project Hindsight about a combust planet being placed in its own sign. As I have Venus in Taurus, conjunct Sun in Taurus, combust, in the 7th, Venus also ruling the Ascendant and having the most amount of Essential Dignity in my chart, I would be really interested in, and grateful for, any further information that Ben gives you on this subject.

Many thanks, Stephanie
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Deb
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Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Stephanie,

Ben is a forum member but I know he has been very busy of late. I'll write and ask if he can find this in his notes.

I also noted a couple of references from CA last week which might have some bearing on this discussion:

“The Lord of the Ascendant and of the Figure Combust, doe undoubtedly declare death, unlesse there is some reception between the Sun and them, such a chance happening, and the Moon proving Fortunate, after all hopes of escape, a little hopes remaines.” – p.256
[This is, of course, in situations where you are looking for signs of death!]

"Every Planet that is Retrograde, sheweth slownesse: If the Lord of the ascendant be Combust, he shall never come out; or if he be not then received of the Sun, he shall dye in prison." – p.462

I know that I noted another reference from a classical work last week so that I could return to it later, but for the life of me I can't find it right now or even remember which text it was in. Hopefully I'll find it when I crawl out of this pile of papers on my desk Smile

(Its merit to the discussion were, I believe, arguable or I would have posted it right away).
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Tom
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Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Deb,

You seem to be able to pull up relevant citations from CA effortlessly. I have an index, but I've never been able to find all the good stuff you have at your disposal. Is there a more complete index to CA available (I have Carol Wiggers' index) or is your memory that good, in which case I will be forced to muddle along.
Secondly,


Quote:
If the Lord of the ascendant be Combust, he shall never come out;or if he be not then received of the Sun, he shall dye in prison." –


Are there circumstances where this is possible? If we limit combustion to planets in the same sign, I think Mars in Aries combust "be received of the Sun" but that's about it. The only other way would be if the planet combust is in rulership, and acts like a mutual reception. This is a stretch, because if he wanted to say that, he would have. I'm not real clear on the phrase "received of the Sun" in this context. Any help would be appreciated.

Tom
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Deb
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Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Tom,

I am constantly adding to my own index whenever I note something interesting. Of course it’s very often not until something comes up for discussion like this that you realise what relevance some of the comments might have!

But I’m not really that clever Smile Truth is I did a lot of research last week on another matter and in the course of it I jotted down some extra bits that I realised were coming up for discussion. What really frustrates me is when I make all these notes on paper and then lose my bits of paper – leaving me knowing that there is an important reference out there, but realising I’ll probably have to do another weeks’ work to find it again!

Quote:
If the Lord of the ascendant be Combust, he shall never come out;or if he be not then received of the Sun, he shall dye in prison." –

Are there circumstances where this is possible?


Yes, if for example the combustion occurs in Leo or Aries, the afflicted planet would be received by the Sun by sign or exaltation.
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