Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Election Time & Via Combusta

Broadly speaking, when the Sun and/or Moon pass through areas of the sky where astrology indicates their energies are weak, it's not the best time for....well, anything of great importance. It's obvious that those who set US election calendars do not take astrology into consideration! I wondered why early November was chosen as the date for major elections in the USA. There's a full explanation at About.com . Key points are that, back in the day holding elections in November made good sense in what was then an agrarian society, as the harvest would have been concluded. And the harshest winter weather would not have arrived yet, which was a consideration for those who had to travel to a polling place. Making the election the first Tuesday after the first Monday also ensured that the election would never be held on November 1, which is All Saints Day, a Catholic holy day of obligation.

On 6 November, the date of the US presidential election this year, the Sun will still be traversing the last degrees of Via Combusta (explanation follows), Moon will be in Leo, which I suspect is preferable to its Capricorn (detriment) placement for the 2008 election. Let's see then - what might this indicate? That whoever wins the presidency this time will have an easier time, a smoother path, than the winner in 2008?

(Hat-tip to entheosweb.com for the illustration.)

Via Combusta extends from 15 degrees of Libra to 15 degrees of Scorpio(there are some variations). Currently, during mid-October Sun traverses between 20 degrees and the final degree of Libra, so is even now wandering along Via Combusta.

Some notes explaining Via Combusta which I first posted back in 2008 at election time:

The area of the zodiac known to the ancients as Via Combusta, translated from the Latin it means Burning Road or Fiery Path, is an area of the zodiac thought to be generally unfortunate. But why was it so named and why the bad reputation in connection with the Moon's passage, once a month through that area of the zodiac, and the Sun's passage along the same area once a year ?

The answer, it appears, has a lot to do with planetary "dignities". Both Sun and Moon are in their "fall" in the area of the zodiac known as Via Combusta. Planets were said to be in their "fall" when they travelled through a sign opposite to that in which their essence was strong, or "in exaltation". The most advantageous sign for any planet is its domicile or rulership, the next most advantageous, (exaltation) is in a sign which complements that planet's energies. The opposite signs to the advantageous ones are described as being in "detriment" (opposite domicile), and "fall" (opposite exaltation).

Why the boundary at 15th degrees in particular though?

Astrologer Deborah Houlding surmises (HERE)
"However, when the tropical zodiac was introduced around the 6th century BC, the point of the Vernal Equinox was not firmly established but variously placed among the early degrees of Aries. Older authorities placed it at the 15th degree, so it is not beyond credibility that a symbolic association attached itself to the region that extended from the 15th degree of Libra, (opposite 15 Aries)as the area of the Sun's seasonal 'death' at the Autumn Equinox. Certainly the name of this traditionally afflicted area suggests some connection with the process of being 'hidden' and certainly, amongst the Egyptians, all things connected with absence from the visible world, (including deceased men and stars disappearing from view, either by falling beneath the western horizon or entering into helical setting), were considered to enter the dark, uncharted region of Duat."
And some more esoteric information from (what might now be a defunct link but I'll include it) Lunarhouse
"Via Combusta is specifically a destructive force that can overrule positive focus. Because of this via combusta has been traditionally used by magicians for banishing, bindings, exorcisms and spells of destruction and decay. Whatever is intended or released in a positive and creative way at this time may well find manifestation through a destructive route. This is NOT a time for experimentation and amateur magick."


mike said...

A.J.Bevan has an interesting take on via combusta: http://www.astronor.com/giftbox.htm

I particularly like his "The Gift Box" from 4 to 19 degrees of Scorpio interpretation (since my Mercury, Venus, and Sun are in that zone!).

Every culture has historically celebrated the via combusta, the mid-point or semi-square between the autumnal equinox and winter solstice, regardless of what they called it or why they revered that point in time. Happy Halloween!

Twilight said...

mike ~~ Hmmm, yes. Thanks for the link. He uses a different calculation, which would put our election day outside of the Fiery Path. :-)

I hadn't come across the other spans he mentions before. Your Gift Box planets, have, I trust, been worthy of that name and brought you many benign gifts. All I have within the Gift Box is North Node of the Moon.

Incidentally, there's still more variation of the true span for Via Combusta via Nicholas DeVore's Encyclopedia of Astrology:

The combust path. As employed by the ancients this doubtless referred to a cluster of fixed stars in the early degrees of the constellation Scorpio. A birth Moon in that arc was considered to be as afflicted as if it was in an eclipse condition - at or near one of the Nodes. If so, the description would have to be revised by 1° every 70 years, to compensate for the Precessional arc. This would probably place the Via Combusta in the region occupied by Antares and opposed by Aldebaran, an arc now centering around 10° Sagittarius. A birth planet or birth Moon in that arc would thus be described "in Via Combusta." Some of the older authorities gave its location as the last half of Libra and the whole of Capricorn; others, from Libra 15° to Scorpio 15°.

Yes....Halloween with its tricking and treating (in the US) is within this span too - oh, and the same to you! :-)

James Higham said...

made good sense in what was then an agrarian society, as the harvest would have been concluded

Think it still is concluded, is it not, Twilight?

Twilight said...

James Higham ~~ I'm no expert on farming and harvests, but I guess so. The need to hold elections at this time of year for that reason would seem to be less important though, because agriculture, nowadays, is only one part of the picture, and travel to voting places is now much easier anyway. I think the weather issue must remain the more important consideration now - to hold elections before the worst snows arrive in northern and high areas.

Chomp said...

Very interesting observations