When planets are close to each other in your birth chart (or in the Heavens) what does this mean?

Michael Conneely
Michael Conneely


When planets are close to each other in your birth chart (or in the Heavens) what does this mean? Vedic astrology has a very sure and detailed declaration on this point, and so it is Vedic Astrology techniques that I draw on here.

You can ask me for one of my worldwide Astrology Reading combining your western astrology with your Vedic Astrology, see: www.starwheelastrology.com.
Or: remember – It is such a worthwhile project studying Vedic Astrology, and you can enrol at any point on my worldwide Vedic Astrology course. See: www.mastervedicastrology.com.
Or my worldwide Western Astrology Course, See: www.enlightenedastrologycourse.com

When planets are close to each other in your Vedic birth chart, you need to analyse whether they are in conjunction, combustion or planetary war.

  1. Conjunction

Any planet in the same sign/House as another planet must be treated as ‘conjunct’ that planet. Though obviously the wider the orb the less power that conjunction has.

N.B.1:  Nodal axis: If the Moon is eclipsed around the time of birth, the conjunction of the Moon to Rahu (North Node) and Ketu (South Node) will be treated as a conjunction even if the Moon and the Node are actually in different signs (and this will be a case of close to the edge in each sign), because of the Eclipse nature and the Eclipse’ impact on the life.

N.B.2:  Mercury is very coloured by the company he keeps in a chart.

N.B.3:  Retrograde Planets:  if one or more of the planets are Retrograde (i.e. having apparent backwards motion in the Heavens,  they are interpreted as ‘strong’, and their normal exaltations and debilitations are reversed so that a planet in its sign of debilitation is exalted if retrograde and one in its sign of exaltation is debilitated if retrograde. However, one of the fundamental principles of Vedic Astrology is that ‘strong’ does not necessarily mean ‘good’. It is very definitely the case that a strong planet can be strong for ill, and pose a great challenge in our life. I have seen strong Mercury manifest as dyslexia.

Let’s look at these three possibilities in more detail: 

  1. Combustion

There are special rules for close conjunctions of a planet with the Sun. Planets which are very close to the Sun are generally in combustion. This means that they cannot function properly being so close to the Sun. We can say that they have been burned by the sunrays, burned up by the power of the person’s ego!

Combustion occurs when the Moon is less than 15° from the Sun.

Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are in combustion with the Sun when they are closer than 8°30′, for Venus the distance is 4° and for Mercury 2°.

It is usually the external functions of a planet that are disturbed.

The confrontation with the planet representing the soul (the Sun) can however, results in a planet functioning very well internally.

For example: Let us assume that Venus is in combustion, this can have negative consequences for relationships (an external manifestation of Venus), but the person involved will have a strong conception of justice and beauty (internal manifestations of Venus).

HOWEVER, please do note that Vedic Astrology is utterly vast, and it is coloured by the many regions in India where it evolved.

For example the Vedic astrology program Shri Jyoti Star takes a much wider definition of Combust than did the course I referred to above, and Shri Jyoti Star does list my Mercury as ‘combust’, though the orb between my Sun and Mercury is five degrees.

  1. Planetary War/Yuddha

Planetary War occurs when two planets (not the luminaries or the nodes) are within one degree of each other. But assessment for Planetary War does not only take account the close longitudes of the planets involved, you also have to take into account the relative brightness and position.

The planet to the North (above) is considered the winner unless it was competing with Venus that is so bright it generally overshadows the opposition.

It is worth checking the declinations and brightness before declaring your verdict.

Even if the planet to the North is competing with the bright planet Venus, it still gets some extra power.

As I said, Planetary War only occurs when two planets are within one degree of each other, either in the same sign or in adjacent signs. Only five planets can participate: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.

Depending on various factors, the vanquished planet (especially as Ascendant lord) can bring drastic results, losing its power as house lord and as karaka (significator) over matters it rules.

This condition can also be observed with transiting planets (i.e. don’t just look for Planetary War in birth charts. Especially take this into account if they mirror a Graha Yuddha in your birth chart, or especially if the Ascendant lord is involved.

So when you see a very close conjunction always look for Planetary War occurring. Mars as loser brings exceptional results. The most pivotal is the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn.

So, when two planets are within the orb of mutual influence, see if planetary war applies.

If the faster planet is behind, it will overtake the slower planet this is ‘ullekha’ and it will create conjunction so analyse whether Planetary War will be created.

If the conjunction is separating, however, this is called ‘Bheda’ meaning breaking, splitting, tearing or, piercing.

Bheda leads to Yuddha (war) where the rays of the defeated (vijita) are obliterated while those of the victor (jayin) are enhanced.

But sometimes both planets will be strong. If both planets have sufficient strength (Bala) and are brilliant, then it is a strong situation like a brilliant debate.

But if both are struck down, very small (perigee) then they are ‘kūṭa’ (technically victorious) and ‘vigraha’ (technically defeated) look for spiritual victory leading to freedom from Rāhu.

‘Kūṭa’ means false, untrue, and deceitful and shows how victory can be won however in addition to freedom and independence.
‘Vigraha’ connotes discord, quarrel, contest, strife, war, and in these cases some would say that renunciation is best option.

North latitude and declination adds to strength. Symbolically, North brings health (Vāyu), wealth (Kubera) and wisdom (Iśāna)

South latitude and declination brings defeat. South brings vices (Agni), punishment (Nirṛti) and death (Yama)

However note that Venus is generally victorious in view of his brightness.

Helpfully, Shri Jyoti Star does include a Planetary War statement in one of its tables, but to work it out by hand (which I would never seek to do), first we check if the two planets are within one degree of each other. Thenwe have to calculate the total Sthana Bala value + Dig Bala + Kala Bala till Hora Bala of the two fighting planets.  Then we must calculate the difference between these two values.  This difference must be divided by the difference between the apparent diameters of the two planets as seen in the sky.  The result of this calculation is the Yuddha Bala.  This must be added to the Kala Bala total of the winning planet and subtracted from the Kala Bala of the losing planet.  Maybe you experience this to be a difficult concept.  However, you can also look at it simply from the point of view that a planet which wins a war gets some bonus Shashtiamsas (strength points), while the planet which loses the war loses some Shashtiamsas.  Or if you don’t fancy doing this, use Shri Jyoti Star.

A classic ‘Planetary War case’ is Adolph Hitler. You can see from his chart that Mars and Venus are at war in his Aries 7th House. Indeed where Vensu is his Ascnedant (Lagna) ruler.

Adolph Hitler's Birth Chart
Adolph Hitler’s Birth Chart

In his youth Hitler  wanted to be an artist, mirroring the fact that he was in Venus Dasa (predictive period) from birth until he was eighteen and a half.  but he chose war, instead.

Yet nevertheless, his buildings and uniforms ware of striking design with their emblematic Swastika and jackboots and this was the Martial expression of this Venus (artistic) nature.

But, of course,  his Sun is Exalted in Aries- and so: Venus lost Yuddha (Planetary War) to Mars.

I do also have a local astrology readings website for those living in West yorkshire, see: www.starwheelastrology.co.uk