Saturday, August 13, 2016


I bought a junk store book while away last week: The Buchwald Stops Here, it's a collection of Art Buchwald's newspaper columns: "...observations about the body politic and impolitic in the Jimmy Carter age - incisive, outrageous and downright hilarious"...the blurb on the cover says. I wouldn't go that far, from the little of it I've sampled, but then I wasn't here in the Jimmy Carter age. Anyway, what the book did was to encourage me to trawl through my posts to discover whether I'd posted about Mr Buchwald in the past. I hadn't featured him exclusively, but I did include him in the following post hauled out from March of 2007. The post was a follow-up on one a few days earlier, which is linked in the first sentence.

I've had a fairly lazy bee in my bonnet about Via Combusta from first reading about it. (Via Combusta includes degrees between 15 Libra and 15 Scorpio - there are, from some sources, variations on the exact degrees). Clicking on "via combusta" in the label cloud in the sidebar will bring up other relevant posts.

The re-airing follows:

Continuing the line of thought from Saturday's post, I've been doing more research regarding planets in the (supposed) Via Combusta degrees, specifically in charts of journalists, commentators and authors who regularly express highly critical views on politics and politicians. I've checked a few more natal charts and come up with the information below. These degrees certainly seem to contain some extra "fire", which could be utilised in many ways, I guess. The journalistic slant presented itself quite by accident.

As in most things astrological, there is no single theory about Via Combusta - where it is/was, why it has/had an unfortunate connotation. Some sources explain that the Via Combusta's reputation stems from the allegedly malefic, or unfortunate, fixed stars in the same area. But...there's the problem of precession. Is Via Combusta still where it used to be? I think that depends on whether the effects observed by the ancients stemmed directly from fixed stars, or from some other "cause". I prefer to think that there is something special about that section of space, and its relation to Earth. In ancient times the area was identified by the fixed stars lying within it - perhaps now it is just space.

In Skyscript's Glossary of Terms we are told that :
Al Biruni wrote of it: "The combust way is the last part of Libra and the first of Scorpio. These two signs are not congenial to the Sun and the Moon on account of the obscurity and ill-luck connected with them and because each of them is the fall of one of the luminaries. They also contain the two malefics, the one by exaltation (Libra, Saturn) the other by house (Scorpio, Mars)." This may be a very ancient aphorism, originating from the period when 15 Libra corresponded with the autumn equinox.

Whatever the reasons for the bad reputation of this stretch of our zodiac, I shall keep an eye on it in future. If the area has special significance for the Sun and Moon in horary astrology, then I'd conclude that there has to be something special about it in general. Could it be simply that these degrees carry a more concentrated version of accepted Scorpio traits ?

I don't see the common thread, observed in the named individuals, and in the three females discussed in Saturday's blog entry, as exactly unfortunate, or malefic. A tendency towards maliciousness, perhaps. An overly passionate desire to get points across, deeply held opinions with a need to express them in exaggerated fashion - yes! Unfortunate only for the objects of their commentary.

For much of 1925 Saturn hung around the Via Combusta degrees of Scorpio, it was a fertile time for the birth of acerbic journalists ! (Assuming that Via Combusta "The Burning Road" stretches from 15* Libra to 15* Scorpio.)

Gore Vidal
Born 3 Oct. 1925. West Point, New York. (SATURN 12*SCORPIO)

Art Buchwald
Born 20 Oct. 1925. Mount Vernon, New York. (SUN 26* LIBRA, MERCURY 5* SCORPIO. SATURN 14* SCORPIO)

Nat Hentoff
Born 10 June 1925, Boston, Mass. (SATURN 8* SCORPIO)

William F. Buckley
Born 24 Nov. 1925. New York City. (MARS 7* SCORPIO)

Pat Buchannan
Born 2 Nov. 1938, Washington DC. (SUN 9* SCORPIO)

Bill O'Reilly
Born 10 Sep 1949 New York City. (VENUS 25*LIBRA)

Rush Limbaugh
Born 12 Jan. 1951, Cape Girardeau MO. (NEPTUNE 19* LIBRA)

Michelle Malkin
Born 20 Oct 1970 Philadelphia PA. (MERCURY 22* AND SUN 26* LIBRA, JUPITER 12* SCORPIO)

Others, who are not journalists:
Martin Gardner (well-known skeptic and author) Born 21 Oct. 1914, Tulsa, Oklahoma (SUN 27* LIBRA, MARS 15* SCORPIO)

Dennis Kucinich (presidential candidate) - 8 Oct 1946, Cleveland, Ohio. SUN, MERCURY, JUPITER AND MARS ALL IN VIA COMBUSTA.

Other presidential candidates -Hillary Clinton has Venus and Mercury there, Barrack Obama has Neptune there, John Edwards has Neptune and Saturn there.
[A 2016 addition: Bernie Sanders has Venus there.]

(The illustration at the top of this post (from a book cover) is a Jack Davis cartoon of Art Buchwald, who died in January 2007.) [Adding that Jack Davis died this year, 2016]


mike said...

A slightly different take on Via Combusta:

I put Via Combusta in the same category as Part of Fortune, Vertex, Black Moon Lilith, etc. Obscure astrological arcana that is brain clutter for me, but wonderful if others find them useful. The asteroids are truly out there, but should we consider the plethora? What about Void of Course Moon? The Moon is probably never VOC, if one considers asteroids.

I do consider Combust and I have 15* Mercury and 11* Venus conjunct my 13* Scorpio Sun, so I'm Combust and Via Combusta...LOL. Add an 18* Neptune in Libra. I would be hard-pressed to say that my life is radically different based on these planetary positions compared to an individual without Combust and Via Combusta. I am fairly lippy and opinionated, though.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Of the bits and pieces of atro-clutter you mentioned I retain respect for Vertex, as a sensitive point in the natal chart, I have a continued curiosity about Via Combusta and Black Moon Lilith...things to keep an eye on occasionally. Asteroids don't do it for me at all, and Void of Course Moon...dunno...I do recall when choosing a date for our wedding that I read that it'd be wise to avoid a date when Moon was v.o.c. - and I did. :-)

Your combustible parts are many and varied then, lol! Perhaps planets in the Via C. area are kind of underlined, or in italics - stand out clearly from the rest. Opinionated is something most of those listed in the post can/could claim too, though I'm sure there are folks without anything in the Via Combusta who are equally opinionated, due to other astro-signatures. Aquarius Suns are know for it too! ;-)

I have only north node of Moon in the Burning Road, at 13 Scorpio. Moon's nodes are another rather nebulous (for me) part of charts, but I definitely respect their rhythm as they return or oppose natal positions - I've noticed that in my own life.

Twilight said...

Typos (tsk) astro.... known....

mike (again) said...

The Daily Beast participated in outing gay athletes in Rio, some from nations with stiff penalties for homosexuality...potentially death penalty for several. What were they thinking???? Via Combusta in the Daily Beast natal chart?

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ UGH!! It's been taken down now, with an apology - but The Slate piece would be better removed also - it'll only spark curiosity and further digging.

Daily Beast is well-named - although, truly, most beasts aren't nearly as abhorrent, so I apologise to them that their two-legged cousins have become so ugly, and have named an ugly website after them!

Anonymous said...

I just read through your earlier Via Combusta columns. I thought I had previously remarked that Willlow of willowsweb astrology has written quite a lot on the subject, but I guess not.

Sort of related, yesterday I was reading about fixed star Antares at Jamie Partridge's site (because the upcoming Mars/Saturn conjunction will occur conjunct Antares) and I found in the comments the following:

'I went to a lecture by Dr Morse in 90/91. Caledonia rd in London, then i went to his house and had a reading.Still have the tape.He had some very interesting ideas about the fall of man. 19• scorpio, the acursed degree of the acursed sign. - Ian'

(Dr. Eric Morse, author of 'The Living Stars' 1988, was someone known to Jamie, apparently, and he had cited him in the notes for another column.)

In a comment to one of your earlier VC pieces, mike had mentioned 'The Gift Box' 4 degrees to 19 degrees Scorpio, which was followed by 'The Cursed Degree' 19 Scorpio Bevan states, 'The 19 Scorpio is called the "Cursed Degree" because it inconjunct [sic] the exaltation degree of the Sun.' I mention this because in your piece about Irma Grese there was discussion in the comments - and a quote from Ed Tamplin - about Jupiter at 19 Scorpio people. Now I'm curious to see if other planets at 19 Scorpio stand out in the charts of other antisocial types. I've often seen Jupiter prominent in time-of-death charts and construe him there as G*d so perhaps Jupiter in Scorpio lends a propensity to 'playing G*d', Pluto/Mars and all that. I note that when next Jupiter is at 19 Scorpio, it will be exactly sextile Pluto.

I've got all three Liliths, Neptune, Ceres, Venus and Saturn along the VC. In my case, I put strong opinions down to Mercury square Mars/NN. I see Christopher Hitchens had Moon at 27 Libra, but as that opposed Lilith, Mars, Venus, Sun, Mercury and NN (phew!) in Aries, I'd have expected him to have strong opinions nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

I see mike has reiterated his link to Bevan.

Of the asteroids, I do think astrologers should privilege Ceres in the chart since the astronomers put her on par with Pluto; which in mythology, she was; and not least because humans obviously haven't yet learnt the lessons she holds. I'm at the point if I hear another ref to Chiron's 'wound' - arghhhhhh.

I lost a good sum of money a couple of years ago registering for a class during a void moon. I'm good to go with using Moons VOC ever since.

For the rest, it all does come off a bit much sometimes - there's even that black hole specialist, Alex Miller, over at Maya del Mar. Cripes, you need a supercomputer just to map all these bodies - and don't forget the imaginary Uranian bodies of the Hamburg School - and as for weighting and interpreting what it all means, gee, it would take a lifetime to figure out anyway!

Looks like Beast and Slate both gone now. Thoughtless and cruel. And thanks, Twilight, for mentioning real furry beasts do not share those human characteristics. The MSM drive me to distraction referring to 'animals' committing crimes, and the 'brutal' murder of so-and-so. Words matter. Here in Canada we attempt to balance fair and free speech with our anti-hate legislation. A brief but good bit about it here -

In Turkey only recently a gay man was tortured and beheaded by thugs, despite the fact there are (as yet, thank goodness) no laws against it. I have never approved of 'outing' except for the most particular of cases, say in a court case where it is deemed relevant.

LB said...

Twilight ~ I related to this part of your description: ". . . passionate desire to get points across, deeply held opinions with a need to express them . . ."

My 2H Venus, North Node and Sun (conjunct in Libra and exactly opposite 8H SN, BM Lilith in Aries), as well as my Neptune, Mercury, Jupiter conjunct in Scorpio (2nd/3rd) are all within the Via Combusta range.

Without intending to (and as you're already aware) my strong values and insights often overwhelm and/or alienate people, though *sometimes* it's for the best in that it forces me to turn inward, without relying on others for external validation.

It's been an ongoing process throughout my life. Everything false (illusions, old beliefs and values, relationships, even my attachment to false ideas about *myself*) continue to burn away. The older I get the more aware I've become of my own complicity and of how easy it is to adapt similar behaviors of whatever 'monster' it is I'm battling ~ which is usually (and hopefully) when I pull back, not wishing to cause harm or dehumanize anyone.

My progressed Ascendant is there too, will be for the rest of my life so I've gotten used to the struggle.

Sabina mentioned Willow's take on it (at Willow's Web Astrology, which I like very much.

I also think Via Combusta placements tend to operate unconsciously, a bit like the goddess Kali (Kaali), making it hard to know when to stop, easy to rationalize our own unkind words or actions as being somehow justifiable if in service of the good. I do TRY not to go there.

Maybe I shouldn't have commented here but did it anyway, thinking maybe, just *maybe*, some random reader might someday run across this post and comments and benefit from reading my experience of Via Combusta.

Or maybe not. It's also true many of my words are "ineffectual".

Twilight said...

Sabina ~ I think you (or someone) has mentioned Willow's writings on Via Combusta before - I recall going to read on her site. Willow used to contribute to one or other of the astrology forums I used to frequent before all died due to Facebook's sucking all the air out of 'em.

The reasons for Via C's dark reputation have to be just speculation - those related to the degrees' position in relation to Sun,Moon etc seem to ring most true, but that could also be seen as superstition, I guess. It'd be possible to construct all kinds of good or bad "influences" and degrees, throughout the zodiac, with a bit of imagination, fired by one or two experiences, personal or reported. It's hard to know what to accept and what to ignore.

The Gift Box piece mike mentioned again is interesting, throwing more detail into the fiery mass.

Yes - 19 Scorpio - is it really cursed? - I shall try to keep that question in mind as I look at charts in future.

Thanks for the addition of Christopher Hitchens' name - he would fit in well with the list of characters in the post.

Yes, Chiron does get special billing - thanks mostly I suspect to astrologer Zane Stein's book. He's another who used to contribute to an astrology forum I used to frequent years ago, and was very keen on having Chiron included in our thinking. I haven't studied Ceres yet. One day I'll get around to it! :-)

So many theories, so little time!

I try to keep things astrological simple, minimalistic when I can - "enough is as good as a feast", or so they say. Occasionally, though, it provides an engaging interlude to take a look at something less minimalistic, and to wonder how and why the ideas involved came into being.

Twilight said...

LB ~ Hey LB! Nice to see you! Your experience of Via Combusta's "effect" is well worth adding here - thank you for it.

Yes, I'm sure that, if there IS validity in the Via Combusta effect it will be unconscious, an inbuilt part of one's nature, as I suppose are all astrological traits positive and negative, and we all have some of each in our blueprint.

Goodness, LB - of course you will always be most welcome to comment here - even when you and I disagree, at times, about certain matters.

mike (again) said...

Off - Something to remember for the upcoming winter months: Aleve (Naproxen) is effective against influenza and perhaps for the common cold. I've been taking naproxen daily for the past four years for my arthritis. Haven't had a cold or the flu in that duration, though I've been exposed numerous times. I wasn't sure why I never fell ill, but counted my blessings...LOL.

"Naproxen may have anti-viral activity against influenza. Specifically, it blocks the RNA-binding groove of the nucleoprotein of the virus, preventing formation of the ribonucleoprotein complex—thus taking the viral nucleoproteins out of circulation."

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ I'm a fan of Aleve, it's the only pain relief I use for any muscular aches, usually in shoulder and/or back areas. I don't take it daily, just when needed, then I take two liqui-gels and leave it at that. Usually that fixes things - until next time. I find liqui-gels work best for me in all over-the-counter meds/vitamins/minerals.

I didn't know that there was an added benefit to Naproxen, that's good news- thank you!

Back in the UK (at least when I lived there, until 2004) Naproxen wasn't available over the counter, it was a prescription drug. Perhaps it was a stronger version than Aleve - don't know. My late partner had it prescribed for arthritis, and if ever I needed some extra pain relief and borrowed a couple of his tablets I always found it worked rapidly and very well. I was pleased to find it, even if a weaker variety, o.t.c. here in the USA.