Out of Bounds Planets

Filed under Advanced Topics Astrology on February 4, 2015

Have you ever used longitude and latitude to locate a point on a map? If you were to place a similar grid over the nighttime sky, you would be able to plot a point in a similar fashion. As we watch the Sun move from east to west, it follows the longitudinal pathway across the sky. You may also have noticed that the Sun is sometimes higher or lower in the sky, depending on the season. This is called its latitude and we call the deviation from its average, the declination of latitude.


Image from http://www.forrestastrology.com/General-Astrology/the-out-of-bounds-moon

If you were to map the Sun’s variation of latitude over the year from winter to summer, you would notice that it creates a bit of a wavy line, or a sinusoid pattern. In the winter, the Sun’s declination is greater and in the summer, the declination is far less since the Sun is nearly directly overhead. The geometrical measurement of the Sun’s maximum latitudinal declination is 23˚28′.

Interestingly enough, all of the other planets remain within this same bandwidth of declination through the year. In a sense, the Sun sets the boundary for the rest of the planets. If we expand upon that metaphor, most of the time the planets fall within the boundaries of the Sun and are subjects in the Sun’s kingdom. The Sun is, after all, the center and ruler of our Solar System.

However, every once in a while, due to the unique orbit of each planet, a planet will sneak out of bounds. When a planet has a declination of greater than 23˚28′, it is considered out of bounds and acts as its own ruler and king. Some describe the qualities of an out of bounds (OOB) planet as if the planet were on steroids.

Mars OOB is one of the most vivid examples. Mars, by itself, is an aggressive planet that wants to dominate and win in all situations. Mars values confrontation, direct communication, and facing fears. Mars personalities are already intimidating and respect only those with the courage to stand up to their powerful energy. An OOB Mars puts their passions and needs far above those of others. Not to say they are inconsiderate, they can actually be very respectful of others. However, at the end of the day, an OOB planet says, “Okay, what do I really need?” And they will fulfill that need, whether or not it’s in conflict with the needs of someone else. In many circumstances, they can’t help but be aggressive; it’s how they respond to confrontation. What’s interesting is that they aren’t necessarily angry when they respond this way, but they will always appear aggressive. In history, OOB Mars personalities can be found as Military Generals and any role that requires total focus, dedication, and fearlessness.

For the Moon, there are particular years where the Moon is far more likely to fall OOB bounds. The peak years in the past century or so are 1913, 1931-32, 1950, 1969, 1987-88, 2006, and 2024-25. You can clearly see the social upheaval that occurred during each of these periods that could be readily associated with a period of a frequently OOB Moon. As a 1988 baby, I have my Moon OOB. Remember that the Moon represents emotionality, motherhood, memory, and a difficult-to-understand paradox of desperately needing change while grasping for stability. Coincidentally, these people have extreme emotions. They feel anger, love, fear, joy all in an exaggerated way often leading to somewhat anxious personalities. Additionally, OOB Moon personalities are widely known to walk away from ‘success’ as popular culture would define it. As soon as it is within reach, it becomes uninteresting. These people are also known for walking away from relationships as soon as a they display promise of longevity. They are not afraid of committing; they just can see an experience’s emotional trajectory from afar and sometimes opt out of actually experiencing it. In history, OOB Moon personalities can be found in geniuses and those who transcend social constructs. These people are wildly affected by the states of the Moon (full, new, etc) and all of her aspects to other planets. If you have Moon OOB, always note your mood shifts and learn to predict and expect them based on the Moon’s current pathway. Meditate.

As for Mercury OOB, these people cannot be quiet. They have loads to say and find it rather uncomfortable not to speak their minds. Luckily, what they have to say is often very relevant and important to hear. These people are found in roles as spokespeople. They speak their minds and know how to assemble words in the most effective way possible.

Venus is the other planet that can go OOB. Venus is fully invested in relationships and being lovey-dovey. If you have Venus OOB in your natal, you are likely to be all chocolates and roses when it comes to love. You will see these types walking down the street with their lovers, fingers interlocked, arms interlocked, faces interlocked… it’s surprising they can still walk straight. “Love is all the matters,” is definitely their slogan. As an OOB Moon person, I find this adorable, but many others would find it way over the top. But that’s what OOB is… over the top.