Posted by Wroskopos on June 30, 2009
The “burnt pathway”, the “burned road”. Doesn’t sound too good, does it?
Via Combusta is an important celestial area for astrology. It extends on the zodiac area between 15 degrees Libra and 15 degrees Scorpio. Is considered a gloomy, baleful area, often prognosticating bad luck and overall destruction to the question asked if a significator planet happens to be within those degrees in a Horary chart.
The two malefics are controlling its tolls, Saturn being in Exaltation in Libra and Mars is both Domicile and ruling the Triplicity in Scorpio. Additionally, the two luminaries suffer afflictions, as Sun is in Fall in Libra and Moon Falls in Scorpio, adding to an overall ominous combination.
An example to get the picture: Suppose you are under aged and your parents go on a short journey. A great opportunity for a party arises so you call friends in. Alas, two very mean guys show up too, both older and stronger than you and both the worst type of persons one can find. You are too weak to get rid of them or just hope nothing too bad will happen. So, the Malefics are having a party time at your expense and the two major forces, your parents (the luminaries), are away on a trip, unable to protect the house. Chances are, some very nasty things will happen.
In classical astrology, any planet on this part of the sky was supposed to be badly influenced and a barer of bad luck. Horary astrologers take great notice of whether the ascendant of the question or -worse- Moon herself lies in Via Combusta as it makes the chart difficult to interpret (positively at least).
As the moon is the most essential celestial body in Horary, is always considered a bad omen for the outcome or the interpretation of any question to find it on Via Combusta. Moon can’t perform properly here, is unlucky, distressed and unpredictable. We are warned by Lilly, Al Biruni and Bonatius to defer judgment when Moon is in Via Combusta as Moon is afflicted. Culpeper writes “beware of the end of Libra and the beginning of Scorpio” and Gadbury elaborates that “things go unluckily on and the astrologer should understand the question perfectly avoiding a poor judgment”.
So far, every time I have seen a Moon in Via Combusta, with the exception of being right on Spica (an oasis of good luck in the burned road, posited on about 25th degrees of Libra), proves to give a negative outcome for the question.
Caution here: not a negative “answer” necessarily, a negative “outcome”.
Concerning Horary charts, the ascendant on Via Combusta renders the Querent on unlucky terms. May just be scared and expecting a disaster or can pretty much already experiencing that disaster, especially if his Significator planet also treads the burnt way. The rest of the planets are not that important, unless they are significators able to perform in the particular question.
In certain questions, such as pregnancy ones, Moon on Via Combusta can give a detrimental outcome. Remember here that when moon enters Scorpio it also enters its own fall. Finding for example a child’s significator or the moon in Via Combusta and Scorpio, assuming that we have no -extremely- strong positive indications pointing to a different outcome, it can show us an abortion or literally a fall of the child, a miscarriage. Please, do not jump in conclusions by merely seeing a single significator on Via Combusta. You should consider the overall testimonies of the chart, given by the receptions, houses and aspects.
What could add more jinx-factor to a chart apart a significator or the moon herself on Via Combusta? Well, we still have the Nodes of the Moon. Either North or South, they both will bring an unlucky or downright disastrous incident. Even more so, if the are in conjunction bodily, by parallel or antiscia with our Moon or our Significators. Nodes however have this jinxy influence on their own and they deserve their own article in the future.
A legitimate question is whether Via Combusta still lies in the same degrees it did in ancient and medieval times. Precession of the equinoxes has moved the signs forward on the ecliptic and so today’s Via appears in different degrees than it did in Ptolemy’s or Lilly’s times. Using sidereal charts in comparison to tropical ones, we can see that the ‘burned way’ today lies between Scorpio and Sagittarius. As a result, using sidereal charts for Horary will give us completely different Via Combusta degrees and therefore different interpretations. Which is the correct approach?
Having in mind precession, I study whether the ill influence of the Via is based upon its position on the ecliptic or somewhere beyond, and I believe that it still is in relatively the same position in relation to earth that it used to occupy two thousand years ago and therefore, still giving the same results it used to give in medieval times by using tropical geocentric charts.