More than a thousand years ago, scientists began noticing a definite problem in the stars. In a book entitled, The Book of Instruction in the Elements of the Art of Astrology (circa 1029AD) by famed stargazer, Al Biruni, this destructive phenomenon was illustrated:
"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). The peculiarity however which has given the name muhtariq is that the exaltation of Saturn is near the fall of the Sun being on the one hand and that of the Moon on the other, while the adjacent parts of both signs are occupied by terms of Mars."
Most astrologers today agree that the moon is officially in Via Combusta when it is traversing through the space from 15 degrees Libra to 15 degrees Scorpio, or the end of Libra and the Beginning of Scorpio. In fact to be exact, the most challenging period is the area from 25 degrees Libra to 6 degrees Scorpio. During this precise period, the planet Mars exerts an intensely violent and destructive influence with the weight of Saturn bringing out the worst in it. However, since it is far more difficult to determine such a narrow range as 25 degrees Libra to 6 degrees Scorpio, most astrologers have set on the general range of 15 Libra to 15 Scorpio. The period only lasts a few days each month, so it takes only a small amount of care to avoid difficulties during this period.
What negative effects can be seen during this time period?
Since both the moon and the sun are affected by this phenomenon, we have to consider not only the brief time each month when the moon enters Via Combusta, but also the somewhat longer time each year when the sun enters it. Dark magicians once used these time periods to cast evil magick against their enemies and indeed, it is possible to perform banishings, exorcisms or bindings. However, this is not advised without extensive training into the astrological sciences and of course, constructive magick of any kind (healings, prosperity or general success) is not likely to be successful during these periods. In fact, the circumstances are highly likely to be destructive regardless of the caster's training.
It must be further stressed that this period, like the Void of Course period affects both mundane and magickal operations. However, unlike the Void of Course Period that is not necessarily destructive, just perhaps misused and misunderstood, the Via Combusta is destructive and should not be taken lightly for a number of reasons. For example:
Many people assume that if problems don't show up in the mundane world during this period that the there is nothing to worry about. Again the Via Combusta period will affect both the mundane and magickal currents of energy, but while the mundane current is composed of both energy and matter, the magickal current is comprised entirely of energy. Thus, all magickal actions carried out will be more seriously affected by disruptions of the other major energy sources in our universe and thus the degree to which the mundane world is affected is a poor indicator as to how strongly the magickal currents will react.
Problems that arise during this period will usually far exceed the problems you could face with the Void of Course Period. Some people mistakenly assume that if they can manage magick during the Void of Course period (also very difficult) that the Via Combusta can be maneuvered in a similar fashion. In fact, positive and educational boons that scientists and magicians sometimes see during the Void of Course period are not seen during the Via Combusta. The moon Void of Course is a time when the moon's influence enters an unknown region of the universe like a black hole. The moon in Via Combusta, on the other hand, is not an enigma. We know where it is and it's placement is not positive, but rather negative and destructive.
Magick begun on this period can result in immediate loss. Losses and destructive results can also be delayed thus surprising you later with some unexpected reversal. This is similarly seen with the Void of Course period, however, the effects typically have a far greater impact during the Via Combusta.
Decision making during this time can be biased towards over-reaction or unnecessary force. While many witches and magician assume this does not affect them because they do not engage in malefic magick as a matter of principle, everyone should be aware of the strange effects of the Via Combusta. We are all subject to whims of the other heavenly bodies in our universe, and quite unintentionally, a harmless protection binding can easily turn into a hex through the operations of the unconscious mind.
Spells for prosperity or wealth are most likely to seek destructive means to carry out their mission. For example, a spell for wealth is most likely to result in injury or death as a means to acquiring money. Even though this may not be the magician's intent, unless great care is taken, nature will seek this level as the path of least resistance during this destructive period.
In sum, avoid all actions of magick during the time of the sun and moon's Via Combusta periods. To determine the times when the sun and moon are in Via Combusta as well as well as when the moon is in it's Void of Course period, look in any current Farmer's Almanac.