By Walter Cambra, MA (LAMAFA)
According to the ancients "Via Combusta" exerted a malefic influence, particularly for the Moon in one's natal chart. Via Combusta is Latin for "the burning way" and generally refers to the first fifteen degrees of the sign of Scorpio. Other astrologers have extended Via Combusta to include the last fifteen degrees of the sign of Libra and/or the entire sign of Scorpio.
Modern astrologers have speculated that the negative influence of the signs of Libra and Scorpio, specified as Via Combusta, had its origins in antiquity when many of the malefic fixed stars were located in those two signs.
A more insightful explanation used by the ancients considering the influence of Libra and Scorpio as malefic is suggested by Al Biruni: Libra is the Fall of the Sun while Scorpio is the Fall of the Moon. Furthermore, these two signs contain the two malefics. Libra is the Exaltation of Saturn (Greater Malefic); Scorpio (by classical ruler, contains Mars (Lesser Malefic).
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