When it comes to astrology, you learn to roll with the harder transits and celebrate the bright moments when they come. Every few months, your favorite astrologer may speak glowingly about a cazimi to come, and how you should go all in on manifesting. A cazimi occurs when a planet aligns totally with the sun, blasting open in its potential in a blaze of solar fire. The term cazimi is derived from the Arabic phrase kaṣmīmi, which means “as if in the heart.” When a planet goes cazimi, it is said to be “in the heart of the sun.” But what do cazimis do, exactly, and how should you work with them?
THE CAZIMI SEQUENCE
Yes, yes, we know that the sun is the center of the solar system. But astrology operates on a geocentric understanding, which frames the universe from our point of view here on Earth. The sun is viewed as constantly moving, along with the other planets. Naturally, the sun represents pure life and vitality, and, as an astrological archetype, the source of our selfhood.
As planets approach the sun, the solar rays can either overcome their individual effects, or further illuminate them. When a planet comes within 17 degrees of the sun, it is referred to as “under the sun’s beams.” In the blast radius of our central star, planets under the sun’s beams are thought to be weakened, losing some of their properties. Within eight degrees of the sun, a planet is referred to as “combust.” They’re simply too close to the inferno, unable to hold onto their power. If, say, you were born with Mercury combust, you may possess promising mental faculties, but lack the refinement to hone or sharpen them. You’d have to work to develop objectivity and a way to think of things outside of the immediate.
When a planet comes within one degree of the sun, we’ve got a cazimi. These often occur when a planet goes retrograde, and for good reason: think of a retrograde journey as some sort of review or reclamation. To be reborn, a retrograde planet must step into the inferno (under the sun’s beams), watch as all accumulated identities and information are consumed in flame (combust) and then make contact with the source of life and consciousness (cazimi), before beginning anew. It’s all very Daenerys Targaryen.
PLANETS IN CAZIMI
Cazimis vary based on the planetary archetype involved, and the speed of its orbit. Most frequent are the moon’s alignments with the sun, which occur on most new moons, for a half hour before and after the new moon. The moon is in a different sign just about every other day; by definition, it is moody. A lunar cazimi brings you out of your feelings and into the moment, as Luna joins the sun and surveys the present scenario. This is a powerful chance to realign your emotional reality with the world around you.
Perhaps the most well-publicized cazimi involves Mercury, as these usually go down during Mercury retrograde periods. Often, Mercury cazimis reveal the point of the preceding retrograde tzurris: all the chaos, missed connections, and exposed flaws of these past few weeks have forced you to pay attention. Now, you have clarity and choice. How do you want to shape your life, down to the day-to-day?
Venus and Mars enter the heart of the sun but once a year, if that. A Venus cazimi, if fully embraced, should feel like a new dawn, or like putting fresh sheets on your bed. All those things worth celebrating in life, perhaps recently relegated to jaded cynicism, feel possible again. A Mars cazimi is said to activate the “Lionheart” of Leo, as the planet of ambition channels the sun’s fire towards action and creativity. Time to make sh*t happen.
As for the outer planets — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto — on an annual cazimi, the fundamental rules apply. The power of these archetypes is activated and enhanced. Jupiter awakens great optimism for the year to come; Saturn and the sun, in conjunction, help you to feel responsible and in command of your destiny; Uranus unleashes genius from out of left field; Neptune taps you into higher vibrations of consciousness and creativity; and Pluto brings a sense of closure to your big-picture journey.
CAZIMIS: HOW TO DEAL
Many of us who follow astrology can feel like ragdolls for the cosmos, cast about by harsh and ambivalent gods. On a cazimi day, you’re given the keys to the Ferrari. As you’ll most commonly be engaging with Mercury and Venus cazimis, you can focus your intention on your immediate surroundings. What in your home life, style, relationships, daily interactions, and work process are ready for a joyful freshening-up? If you were to hurl a lightning bolt at a project, or make a move with a person in your life, could you do it right now, in this moment? On a cazimi day, you’re awarded the power to co-create your own destiny; the reigning ethos of the transit is out with the old. Scrub the floors, put on Emotion: Side B at full volume, and challenge yourself to be foolishly optimistic. It’s not often that the galactic overlords hand us a free pass. Why not take it for all its worth?