When two planets are in conjunction of one degree or less, they are said to be in a state of "war". There is a clashing of the forces of their respective rays. The planet with the lower degree longitude becomes the winner of this planetary war. For example, if Mars is at 23 35 Sagittarius and Venus at 23 17, then Venus is the winner of the war. Benefics who have lost a planetary war with a malefic may be rendered very weak, whereas benefics who have won a war with a malefic become much stronger. The rules of planetary war do not apply in the case of the Sun (or the Moon). For the Sun the rules of combust apply. Conjunction with the Moon is usually considered to be benefic. Rahu and Ketu, as they possess retrograde action, have a stronger effect in the degree above a particular planet, but are also not regarded according to the rules of planetary war.

If a planet is retrograde and technically loses a planetary war, the damage is considered to be less.

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