If you enjoy watching shows or reading about royalty and nobility like I do, you’ll know that the King or Queen (in some countries, the Emperor/Empress) is the highest ranking noble. Below the sovereign, come Dukes/Duchesses, Marquesses/Marchionesses etc and all of them at some point meet up with the reigning sovereign in his/her throne room to pay their respects, seek approval or beg for mercy.
In astrology, the Sun is the Heavenly King and all the planets revolve around him.
The glare of the Sun projects to about 17 degrees on either side of the Sun and it is this glare that we see at dawn and at dusk. When a planet enters this glare the planet is said to be under the beams of the Sun. A planet in this condition is weakened because the Sun’s light overpowers the planet.
When the planet is within 8 degrees of the Sun it is said to be combust because its light is no longer visible under the Sun’s rays. The planet is debilitated and its expression is weakened. The planet is also believed to go a symbolic death. In a natal chart, a combust planet indicates a degree of inhibition with regard to the qualities associated with that planet.
Mercury, a dry planet used to circling the throne room, is not particularly affected by combustion although Mercury does lose some objectivity. Venus whose character is moist is more affected by combustion because of the Sun’s excessive heat. Saturn is also uncomfortable in the Sun’s presence because of his cold nature.
There is a special case for combustion and that is when the planet is strengthened when it is in exact conjunction with the Sun. This condition is known as cazimi which means “in the heart of the sun”. It’s comparable to a person being knighted or bestowed with some honour by a King because when the planet emerges from this meeting it is stronger and revitalized.