Traveling The Via Combusta

Via Combusta

Dear Mystic Medusa

I am so grateful that I found you – only recently; you rock astrology these rocky days!

I came across this in an encyclopedia of astrology under “V”:

“Via Combusta (or “the Burning Way”) Ancient astrologers considered that if the Moon was set at birth against a cluster of fixed stars in the early degrees of Scorpio, it was afflicted. 

In modern astrology, the via combusta is from 15 degrees Libra to 15 degrees Scorpio. If the Moon is within these points, the whole chart is considered void and uninterpretable. It is crucial in Horary Astrology, for it means you cannot do anything about the problem or situation.”

Beware Old School Astrology Textbook Descriptions

Well, how ghastly is that? I have a ton of stuff in those 30 degrees as well as, most specifically, a Balsamic Moon at 24 Libra. And relationships through life with a swag of men with Mars, Pluto, Uranus or Chiron in the early degrees of Scorpio. Now, with decades of life experience behind me, I feel I am past these slings and arrows as personal insults. However, these days I am tending to ritualize the wearing of black and grey with a touch of red somewhere – scarf, or leggings, or underwear. Is the phoenix rising from the ashes?

What about all those historical martyrs burnt at the stake? Do they find simpatico here? And is this where a particular type of Love Zombie takes up residence?

Burning waiting for your answer.


Dear C.P.,

Thank you!  It is such synchronicity as I have wanted to do a post on the Via Combusta for ages. I was waiting till the Sun was there; Halloween, the Day of the Dead, Samhain, of course.

Via Combusta Means Fiery Road Or Burning Way

I did touch upon it briefly in this post about the actor Viggo Mortensen, who has most of his birth chart in the Via Combusta.

So what is the Via Combusta? It is Latin for “burning way” or “fiery way” and refers to the part of the Zodiac between 15 Libra and 15 Scorpio. In the olden days, they said that it was cursed and that having the Sun, Moon or anything there meant you were bad. Or, you know, that you had powers.

But I disagree entirely and not just because I have the Moon and Midheaven there. It was seen as “bad” in the same way that women with strong Mars vibes were packed off to nunneries or that Uranus was once seen as causing “deviancy” and the 8th House was sorcery.

The 8th House Was Sorcery

It was more to do with fear and superstition from a time when to dabble in magic or be accused of it was extremely dangerous.

The theory is that the Sun is exalted in Aries and depleted in Libra. Likewise, the Moon exalted in Taurus but not so in Scorpio. And then the so-called malefics – Saturn and Mars – were potent in Libra and Scorpio.

Even last century, some astrology books said women with strong Venus-Uranus aspects might “not be content with working in the home. Or that they would disrupt the family harmony by seeking to work outside of the home.”  Some referred to “homosexuality” as an aberration.

Astrology is always a product of the culture we live in. For instance, since the release of The Secret, in 2006, a lot of Law of Attraction sensibility has been woven into astrology.

Being Born In The Via Combusta Means You Have Magical Powers

The term Via Combusta, this scary sector of the Zodiac, was coined in a foreboding era. People faced real evils in the form of openly corrupt clerics and rulers. There were inquisitions, crusades, and wars against pagans undertaken by local councils.

The Via Combusta is a super potent time of the year. The alchemists worked with it. Personal planets or points there meant you had a powerful affinity with magical energy. I love the sound of your Phoenix wardrobe.


Image: The Steilneset Memorial by Peter Zumthor and Louise Bourgeois – this is so poignant, haunting and beautiful, the article here tells the story.

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Fascinating! I have moon at 28° Libra and my rising sign is 11° Scorpio and I was just asking myself today why I get so hotheaded and worked up over things. I also clearly had past lives as a witch and decided that in this lifetime I didn’t need to study witchcraft anymore but definitely study astrology and utilize the power of cards and crystals. Anyways this was really cool thank you!

Last edited 8 months ago by RoxyM

I have all of the planets in Scorpio and Libra mainly. They all look to be in the via combusta


Beginning at 15 Libra and ending at 13 Scorpio, I have sun, Saturn, Neptune, Mercury, Vesta, and Venus. When using whole sign houses, all but the last two are in The first house. I’ve named my flat Via Combusta. i’m good with it. It’s who I am


My first *power* house (Jupiter, Pluto, & Saturn) sits in the Via Combusta. My Mom always told me that i had a hard birth, and almost took her life in exchange… as if i did not want to be born.


got my Moon (17 Lib) and Pluto (27 Lib) in the Via Combusta. practicing witch. 😉


The majority of my chart lies in those degrees…. It truly is the best time of year, though.


This is great! My entire 3rd house in Via Combusta – including my POF, Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter and Moon! Convinced I need to write/speak the unthinkable/unspeakable. I’m also Saggo Black Moon in the 4th, Sun cusp of Cap (Dec 20) conj Nept in Saggo/Merc in Cap in 5th house, so my entrepreneurship was the route to total not-giving-a-fuquery, helping others through embracing the inner witch/authenticity, burning through delusions and making money in the proce$$ in my private intuitive advising practice. Love this post!


From Kimmy the brilliant and timely Astro pal of Mystic:


I have Sun and Uranus in Libra there but I have fixed stars Spica and Arcturus at their exact degrees too. I read somewhere once that these particular fixed stars are supposed to protect these planets from the Via Combusta, does anyone have any other info or opinion about fixed stars’ role in the VC? All I know is I had an impromptu chart reading at a party once, the guy obviously knew his onions, but I was a bit worse for wear on the gin and cannot remember his name and I have never seen him again. But I… Read more »


I have my moon in scorpio at 7 degrees; i’m so tired of hearing about the crappyness of a Scorpio Moon; this is fantastic in supporting my hunch about my powerful moon


I have Jupiter, Mars, Neptune, Sun, Mercury and North Node in the via combusta, and all in the sixth house. Not an easy bundle of life there. I like this perspective. And I adore Viggo…

Star inspired

Btw: I Love that Blog Post title ‘Travelling the Via Combusta’. I may have to put it to good use as a book title. It has a lovely echo of Gloria Steinem’s ‘My Life On The Road’ about it. Only more fitting for my Life in the Fiery Way?

Star inspired

Yes, absolutely LOVED the Viggo post!!! My whole life has been a experiential workshop within the Via Combusta. My Sun, Lilith, Uranus, Mercury & Venus are in it! My MC & Pluto made a narrow escape, but as my Pluto is conjunct my Libra MC & in mutual reception to my Venus is Scorp, it’s not much of an escape from the burning intensity really ; ) In fact the High Priest in Bali called my life “A Life Of Deadly Moments’ & that pretty well sums it up. Love, Love, Love hearing about life in the Via Combusta. Always… Read more »


Sounds magically mysterious and badass to me, my chart ruler(s) are there: Jupiter at 6 Scorpio and Venus at 14 Scorpio, as well as Vesta and POF at 16 Libra, and Hekate at 22 Libra. I love the idea of adding one red thing to your outfit every day! I’m gonna have to try that. 🙂


Oooh, yay, I have a stellium in the ‘repository of seething evil.’

And a Uranus rising at 7 Scorp. Bwahahaha! Rays of evil coming atcha!


I would be curious to know what this means for my career. My Midheaven begins at 12 Libra, with Pluto retro at 28 Libra and Saturn retro at 1 Scorpio in the 10th house. I am currently between jobs, but am wishing to embrace a career and have yet to really pin point it.


The most dominant planet in my chart is…….l’ve said too much already.


24Libra is actually a blessing for your Moon – that’s conjunct Arcturus, a refuge of the Via Combusta along with fortunate Spica @ 23Libra. Anything within a few degrees of either effectively gets a flame-retardant suit against the blaze. Both stars are especially alchemical being Behenian Stars. Consideration of the Via Combusta is really only applied in electional & horary astrology these days – you’ll rarely find it interpreted in a natal context, so don’t expect to find a lot of reference material on this subject. I don’t know that I buy into the idea of this being a particularly… Read more »


I will add that, from experience, it absolutely does bear out as a rough patch of the zodiac for electional purposes, though.


Hi, I was researching VC and was wondering about surgery when Moon is 20 Libra, Sun in Sag. Do you think it would be deterimental as you suggest?


Sorry I meant Sun in Scorpio, but at 23

Star inspired

Oh contrare, I see you as the perfect research candidate & I don’t see the data as being contaminated by complicating factors, such as a good hit of Pluto, but rather feel these as additional fractals, containing & accentuating the most fundamental resonances (holographic truth of you) of your chart, repetitively, over & over again, wherever you look.

Wholeness is a continuum!


great thanks…i was born mid nov ?


So sweet of you to comment, SI! <3 I understand your POV as this is typically my own interpretive approach – I am always looking for repeating themes in a chart as they speak loudest. But that said, I’m also very analytical in my research and like to remove possible mitigating factors from interpretation to try and extract the raw, unbiased Truth about a topic when I am studying it. Not enough people do this in astrology, IMHO. What we sometimes wind up with as a result are really just theories about this or that presented as fact that simply… Read more »


Thank you LV! My NN is 22 Libra and my Mercury is 25 Libra. Moon 29 Libra so hope it benefits too. Early in life Pluto crossed that whole stellium in the VC- Saturn seems friendly after that. My VC stars adore high end Libran arts- papers, clothes, sculpture. Museums cure me of the blues as do stationery stores, Parisian couture. I don’t need to possess, but appreciate the effort and attainment. Astro/magic/alchemy/herbal lore also sustain. Late in my Astro reading I learned of the VC. Oddly comforted me as I charted car accidents we witnessed, near misses, deaths, being… Read more »

Calli G

My natal sun is smack dab in the middle of the Via Combusta, at 2 degrees Libra. Maybe that explains my witchy ways.

Calli G

25 degrees, that is.


just my mercury @ 13 scorp, 7th hse phew…


Hmm the exact degrees Neptune sits in my 12th house conjunct my ascendant. .


How do you find out if you have any planets in the Via Combusta? Through Astrodienst?

The Venus Fly

All I have is Pluto in Libra 16” (5th) and Uranus in Scorpio (18″) in the 8th. All I know is my creativity either sets folks aflame or terrifies the beetlejuice out of them. It’s all cool. I know I’m in sync and on my true path when it comes to my creativity and vocation, ain’t nobody trippin’ ’round here just prepared for the moment when one must STRIKE. Or dive. Slither. Smooch. Whatever’s required ;P Off-topic, I am bored with cooking so I decided to try a new cuisine and I got all these signs to go the Irish… Read more »

The Venus Fly

TYPO – Uranus in the 6th not 8th!


South node conjunct spica? juno & ceres early scorpio (currently having return of juno & ceres in scorpio with lillith about to hit there too). There is a strong “fire” theme to me; my sun is conjunct vesta 6th. I have been burnt by fire as a child, irreparably scarred – but actually it makes me who I am. Fortunately I think I learnt from this. I’m also having an amazing chiron return (conjunct my pisces mars) – its now, in exact trine to my natal scorpio neptune which transiting retrograde scorpio mars is conjunct to now… Postgrad studies looking… Read more »

em price

Love this question and answer. I have Jupiter-Pluto, Mercury, and Asc in the via combusta (and too funny because when I clicked over the nunnery blog, I have two of those aspects mentioned as well (lol) — strong Venus-Uranus and Mars in Leo). I have to say, I think it’s true about the magical karma! I actually hope to meet an amazing future lover with some key planets in that zone, too.


How do you guys know this stuff? I’m a Virgo born Aug 26- I am married to a Scorpio born nov 13th– I have felt that I have a curse that follows me. I have put awesome ideas out there, but never a good response!! Lots of secrets on his part for 33 years– always!! This is the year for me to file but… Is that why none of my submissions have taken flight?


C.P. – The first time I heard of the Via Combusta was when Mystic posted about Viggo. I’ve thought of it as a really cool aspect of myself ever since. I think every powerful thing in the Cosmos is a double edged sword. It’s all just energy in potentia – where you drive it is up to you.

Mystic – I opened the Steilneset Memorial link and uncharacteristically teared up. What a powerful thing. Thanks for posting.


Yes. Precisely how I felt also. The horror of human actions and glory of human achievement collapsed into the same set of symbols.


My Libra/Scorp stellium is in the Via Combusta zone- as is my god daughters Libra Moon/Uranus– And Scorp Sun. We have a deep soul affinity- neither of us has patience in this life for zee faux. I wear thin in small talk as my Scorp vibe shines through. Have had oodles of sitting at bedside, death beds, magic, alchemy, etc. stick now to Astro, yoga and MMA. Odd side effect of eventful life- I have little affinity for suspense and drama. Read the ending first. Thanks Uncle Pluto and Aunt Saturn! Cleaning up after elephants, disaster, parties-for 2nd Saturn. Three… Read more »


I have a stellium in Libra/Scorp too and what you said about the move from magic/death beds to yoga/MMA makes total sense to me, but as I was reading it I could imagine this would be a bit quizzical to others. I have SN in Aries and NN in Libra and I think my diminishing taste for drama is a part of that. A disinterest for pushing forward and creating an ambition-fuelled life and just a desire to be happy. This is a very long arc though, as in several lifetimes long. Still have a fair amount of ambition.


Wasn’t there a Latin funk hit Livin the combusta loca, if there isn’t there should be. As Mystic said if you live in a world where all you see is darkness corruption and evil then who are you going to blame ? Librans and scorpios of course. Now, we are a little more advanced, more open to the idea that we can’t blame everything on them. Most things but not everything, so don’t worry be happy and feel relieved that you don’t belong to that evil bunch with Uranus in the 8th. Oh ok not evil.. Just not nice like… Read more »


Everything is a positive. ‘Fatalist’ astro is 19thC.

Kids at HS say to me, “Sir, you have a big nose!”
Retort? “Air’s free, get it while you can”


Really interesting. I would love to hear more on this as I have my moon in the via combusta zone. People with Scorpio moons are often given grief, and I’ve been no exception. It would be great to get a better perspective on the phenomena.


same here….scorpio moon/neptune (7 deg/8deg) conj in 4th squaring my leo moon in 12th. Scorpio moons are intense, passionate, all or nothing ..not so much drama now and I feel my moon as overly compassionate/sensitive to all the terrible things & ppl in the world…I get overwhelmed with the daily news (i think I am more empathic now than when I was younger…I just sense/feel so much more)


*oops….squaring my leo sun


Yes! I have ascendant at 29 libra and moon a 9 degrees Scorpio, conjunct Pluto just a couple degrees away …. So I always attributed my emotional intensity and sensitivity to that but I’ll take any other justification because man so I need reminders to love my power and stay away from people until I learn how to protect myself. I’m only 25 and have had a couple years of intense psychic skills and premonitions and mystic is the greatest blessing to help me realize this is allllll good though I feel so alone at times. Blessings to these other… Read more »

The Venus Fly

All I know is that I LOVE Moon Scopio folks. 12th house Taurus stellium with a Pisces moon – the deeper (and more passionate) we can go the happier I am 🙂 <3 <3 <3

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