This column belongs to everyone. Here I will answer Reader Questions about the Sky, your Natal Charts, or Astrology in general. Have a burning question? Curious about the sky? Confused about something in your chart? Write in. Your answers await.
Q: “My natal Venus and Sun are less than a degree apart in Virgo, which I’ve heard conflicting opinions about. I’ve been told that this causes a situation called ‘combust’ which can adversely affect romance or marriage. But I’ve also been told that it could be intensely beneficial. Can you shed some light on this?”
From Marie in North Carolina
A: Well Marie, this is an excellent question and one of the hardest to answer, and here’s why: astrology mirrors life. In life we have something called dichotomy where very good and very bad can exist simultaneously. Think about a day where you might have, say, been promoted at work only to go home that night and find that your lover has moved out: all the time and effort expended toward your work may have caused problems with your relationship. I’m making this up, of course, just to illustrate a point. But such is the up and down condition of a combust Venus (or any combust planet, for that matter).
In any conjunction between two planets (where the planets are like next-door neighbors—very close to one another), the planets exchange energy. So, in this case, Venus bestows its grace, charm, artistic talent, and beauty onto its neighbor the Sun. In return, the Sun gives some of its better qualities to Venus as well. It strengthens the life force for instance, making the overall health and recuperative powers greater. And it can even increase some of the Venusian qualities of charm and artistic talent. However, the Sun is very hot and it will also burn what it touches (hence “combust” because the planet touched by the Sun combusts or burns). So, in addition to enhancing certain traits it can also damage some of what it exchanges with Venus. What results may be difficulties in love and romance, or problems with selecting the right mate/partner. Does this mean that you can’t have a successful marriage or partnership? Not at all. But it does mean that you might have to either work harder at it, or kiss a few more frogs than someone who’s Venus is not afflicted by the Sun.
It is said in astrology that the Sun is meant to purify what it touches. In this case it would purify the intentions of Venus (love, desire, finances) by burning off what is impure. This may at times require some sort of sacrifice in relationships and can be seen through the house that Venus and the Sun occupy. If your Venus/Sun conjunction were in the 4thhouse of the home, for instance, you might need to make sacrifices about your home (where it’s located, what type it is) or within your home (how the space is used or organized) in order to serve your partner’s needs. Once the intentions of Venus have been purified, relationships become easier.
And, last but not least, in Vedic Astrology (practiced in India), Venus conjunct the Sun is actually considered to be quite desirable. It makes one kind, gentle, good-natured, and warmhearted. These individuals will often excel at any of the arts and are said to be protected throughout life by divine grace. It is considered an aspect of good karma and bestows a loving father (who may also have talents in music or art) and protects one from violence or harm. The Renaissance artist Rafael and the English romantic poet Percy Shelley had close Sun/Venus conjunctions, as do the actors Oprah Winfrey and Leonardo DiCaprio. So take heart Marie, you’re in excellent company!