Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Wednesday "Why?" - Via Combusta

I'm going to try a weekly rumage into some of the more obscure mysteries of astrology - items which cause me to wonder "Why?" My Aquarian Sun wonders "Why?" frequently!

First up: we are now travelling through the area of the zodiac known to the ancients as Via Combusta, translated from the Latin it means Burning Road or Fiery Path - an area of the zodiac thought to be generally unfortunate. But why was it so named and why the bad reputation?

Via Combusta extends from 15 degrees of Libra to 15 degrees of Scorpio - (there are some variations on this). The Sun today is at 29 degrees Libra, by the way.
Via Combusta's unfortunate connotations are referred to nowadays mainly in horary astrology. It seems logical though that whatever factors caused this area of the zodiac to be so named, must apply to astrology generally.

Why did the second half of Libra and the first half of Scorpio gather a negative reputation, particularly 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 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."

Broadly speaking then, when the Sun and/or Moon pass through the areas of the sky where astrology indicates their energies are weak, it's not the best time for....well, anything of great importance. On 4 November, the date of the US presidential election, the Sun will still be traversing Via Combusta - I guess the authorities could have chosen a more fortunate date. The Moon will be in Capricorn. Whilst not part of Via Combusta, Capricorn happens to be the opposite sign to the Moon's domicile, Cancer. So with Moon in its "detriment", and Sun on the Via Combusta......Cue some gloomy background music....


Wisewebwoman said...

No, I will think positive. In spite of the gathering military mandarins which could be fiery in themselves.
Oh T!
We are so lacking in the feminine in this sad old world. Obama is the closest to emanating it.

Nathan said...

Wouldn't this area of the sky be aproximately thirty degrees or inconjunct the Galactic Center at twenty-seven degrees Sagittarius? Considering all the discussion over the past few years regarding the signifigance of Pluto's transit of the GC, it suggests to me Via Combusta would always be a difficult angle for the sun and the moon. I've generally understood inconjuncts are troubling at the very least and causing stalemates at their worst.

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ Mmmm, yes, after my comment at yours today that we ought to think positive thoughts, I find my own piece ends on a bit of a downer too !

I agree that Obama seems to offer the best "feminine side" this election...we'd better emulate those Obots and chant O-Ba-Ma....O-Ba-Ma, like a mantra, until 21 January when he'll (with a lot of luck) be safely ensconced in the WH. :-)

R J Adams said...

Sheeesh! It's being so cheerful keeps you going.

Personally, I think it's all those 'small town' dwellers spooking you.


Twilight said...

Hi Nathan - thanks for the visit and comment.

I don't think that any part of Via Combusta is at a 30 degree angle to the Galactic Center, because the Via ends at 15 Scorpio, and to be in aspect, wouldn't it have to be in the mid to late 20 degrees of Scorpio ? At 27-ish degrees of Libra though the Via is in sextile to the Galactic Center at 27-ish Sagittarius. I'm not sure how that might be interpreted, but it's mildly harmonious, for good or ill!

Twilight said...

RJ ~~~ Trust you to lower the tone ;-)

Who was it used to say that ?("It's being so cheerful that keeps me going") - Bet you don't remember Mona Lott from "Itma" on the wireless (radio)?

Nathan said...

You are correct, Twilight, I am grasping at straw with my conclusion. Still, as the quote from Deborah Houlding points out, exact degrees are something of a modern innovation. I doubt progression has made much change in the sky since the 6th century BC, but considering it would allow using a wide orb when bringing these ideas into the modern era.

Twilight said...

Yes, that's a good point. When i try to take in precession and what was where many centuries ago my head hurts! I'm not sure what Vedic astrologers have to say about the Via Combusta either.

I've just found something else, which may or may not have any basis in fact (again the idea that 19 Scorpio can be pinpointed at that stage in the ancient past is a little fanciful I think)

About ten to twelve thousand years ago a disaster of a major proportion occurred on Earth, which Christianity portrays as the great flood. Ancient texts speak of a Golden Age where man suffered no disease and lived for up to a thousand years. Some believe that our present solar system at one time existed of a binary pair instead of our single star, that gave illumination to our Earth twenty-four hours a day. This theory is justified by the fact that the word ‘disaster’ actually means ‘no star’, and the word ‘catastrophe’ means ‘fall of a star’. This great celestial explosion is said to have taken place at 19 degrees Scorpio, hence the reason that this constellation was been named Via Combusta, or ‘The Burning Way’.

anthonynorth said...

Well, it certainly seems to be causing enough doom and gloom at the moment.

Twilight said...

Hi AN ~~~ Yes, indeed! It's a good thing it's a fairly short road then! ;-)

S said...

hi, I am Scorpio. I have had a very rough year. I just purchased a puppy that was on sale for Valenatines. He was born 10/10/09.
My birthday is 10/27/69. He is a fiery playful lil thing and he comes to me at a moment when i need love and companionship. he is a cuddly lil pup as well and sleeps beside me. I am naming him Eros via combusta given his birthday, my birthday, and my circimstances and his fiery playfulness yet his fiery cupid lovely cuddly side that makes everyone fall in love with him. (He also will not be an 'it' pup. I will use him for stud services when he is older. He is the best Lassa oppsa I have seen with the charcoal and white coloring.
Just thought I'd share and see what you all thought of the name :)

Twilight said...

S ~~~ Hi there! Oh I envy you your lovely puppy! I can imagine how gorgeous he is, and am glad he's such a comfort to you.

Thet's a creative name you've given him - I like it. You both have quite a bit of Libra in your astro makeups - a charming pair !

Sorry to hear you've been having a difficult time lately and I hope things improve gradually. Nothing stays the same for very long in the sky, so if there happens to be some difficult transit involved, it's not forever - a few months perhaps, and the worst will be over.

Give Eros an extra cuddle from me. ;-)

via combusta Scorpio said...

when vc time is coming we shouldnt do new things even if we intent to do good