Out Of Bounds

Tuesday June 2nd 2015
The ridgeway

The Ridgeway near Grim’s Ditch. Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons, picture by Simplicius

My colleague Jessica Shephard wrote a short piece about Venus Out Of Bounds a few weeks ago which set me thinking.

Out of bounds planets are not something that’s not much discussed by astrologers. We’re all too busy getting our minds around cute new asteroids, imaginary dark points and multiple techniques for progressing a chart, not to mention what house system to use. (I plead guilty, m’lud) However, the idea of “out of bounds” is so simple, so obviously important — and so easy to look up — that I am amazed we don’t check this as a matter of course.

What is “out of bounds”?

Imagine all the planets and friends are tramping along a wide track, like, say, the Ridgeway — an ancient path that slices through southern England.

The path is the ecliptic, carved by the Sun. Sometimes, of course, one of those planets will stand still, or start to backtrack a bit – that is station or turn retrograde – but on the whole, they all keep to the, very wide, track made by the Sun. However, every now and then one of the planets wanders off, bushwhacking her way through the bluebells, making her own path.

I won’t go into a detailed explanation of the astronomy, because Steven Forrest does an excellent job of doing that here, as well as explaining the significance of out-of-bounds Moon.

“When a planet’s declination exceeds 23°28′ North or South, it is described as being Out of Bounds. There are no shades of gray here, nothing gradual or subtle. Right at that point, something clicks.” Steven Forrest

To find out if you have any out of bound planets is simple. Get your chart up at astro.com and click on Additional Tables (PDF) at the top. This will give you a list of the declinations. If any of these are above 23°28′, you have an out of bounds planet.

 At 23°28′, your planet is off the path of the Sun and creating its own path. Now, I don’t know the stats, but it’s quite likely you have an out-of-bounds planet, especially in certain years when straying was in vogue. But not more than that.

However, I was thinking of Fleetwood Mac’s Go Your Own Way as I wrote the above paragraph and I thought I’d just sneak a peak at Stevie Nicks chart: Moon, Mercury, Venus, Uranus and Pluto, all out of bounds. Blimey, no wonder her life has been so extreme.

Lindsey Buckingham? Just Uranus. Peter Green: Moon and Venus. Christine McVie: Mercury and Pluto. Mick Fleetwood: Pluto.

And just while I’m checking on rockstars with drug habits. Here are some out of bounds planets. Kurt Cobain: Moon. Amy Winehouse: Moon. Ozzy Osbourne: Moon and Mars. Janis Joplin: Mars. Bowie: Mercury and Pluto. Jim Morrison: Mercury and Mars. Keith Richards: Mercury and Mars. Iggy Pop: Pluto.

And more recently

Britney Spears: Venus

Nikki Sixx: Venus

Miley Cyrus: Venus

Not sure that proves anything, except that Stevie Nicks wins hands down in the waywardness department.

What does an out of bounds planet mean though, psychologically speaking?

It means just that. You can go your own way. That planet is not going to follow the furrow, go with the crowd or do as expected. I want to look at this more deeply before making too many judgments though.

That creative dynamo Björk, bless her, has Venus, Mercury and Mars out of bounds — and all pulling in the same direction. Out of bounds planets pull either north or south, so you might have Mars going south and Venus going north — could be uncomfortable. The USA has Mars and Venus pulling out of bounds in the same direction, too.

The current Venus out-of-bounds is just coming to an end (April 18-June 1). I think paying attention to the out of bounds transits might turn out to be fruitful. I noticed recently that when a friend’s boyfriend fell off the wagon spectacularly, he was in synch with this Venus out of bounds — indulging the senses is a Venusian thing.

In June, we have Mars, Ceres and Vesta — all out of bounds and off doing their own thing. Interesting to watch. I’ll post some dates and degrees later.

There’s more on the astronomy, here.

And for out of bounds tables, click here.





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  1. Very interesting Christina especially the medical implications…need to check my chart 🙂

    • Christina says:

      Yes. I was thinking about our conversation re Venus when I wrote this.

      • If I am getting it right, my Moon and Jupiter are out of bounds and in opposite directions… that might explain why I feel always cut in two parts, heading exactly the opposite way…especially this period.

        • Christina says:

          hmm yes, interesting. Did you read the Steven Forrest piece? He recommends some books and an old, old issue of the Mountain Astrologer.

        • Just checked on the asteroids. Only Pholus (which is quite prominent in my chart) and Nessus are out of bound.

  2. mm says:

    Very interesting Christina. Look forward to anything else you may write on this topic.

    Indeed, I’ve only recently “discovered” out of bounds planets. In my natal chart Ceres is the only object out of bounds. From childhood and throughout my life I’ve had recurring eating issues of one kind or another (anorexia as a child, then compulsive eating etc) . Am now having to be on a gluten, sugar, yeast, low carb regime for health reasons. Ceres has certainly made her presence felt but not at all in a comfortable way.

    • Eleonora says:

      @mm Minor Neptune-Moon aspects could be the source of such problems, rather then Ceres. Some nasty Moon sesquiquadrat Neptune in your chart?

      • mm says:

        Eleonora: Well, not really. Neptune is prominent in my chart in 1st house in Libra – though not conjunct the Ascendant. And yes, my Moon is in Aries in 8th. But there is 12 degrees separating them which I would think is too wide for an opposition.

        Other than that Neptune is trine Venus and Mercury in Gemini. And that’s it really.

        • Eleonora says:

          12° ist too wide. 15° would be a minor aspect, but 3° orb is realy too much…

          That health diat may be due to the neptune transiting your 6th house. Moon-Neptune is actually more about food-allergies, but now I see you wrote about the anorexia in the childhood.

          Psychological issues relating to the food are connected to Vesta, not to Ceres. Manipulating trough cooking, eating (or not eating) and so on. Vesta will show if you was manipulated that way. It’s pure plutonic energy, but connected to food, and it can be very low.

          • mm says:

            Thank you for the input Eleanor and Christina. Very interesting. Will follow up on Vesta (that I haven’t paid much attention too up till now.

            Yes, Neptune (and Chiron) in 6th have marked the period when I’ve really paid attention to health through diet. I’ve had no choice!

            Still think that my out of bounds Ceres is part of the mix as well, though.

          • Christina says:

            I agree with you about Vesta. There is a post on this site about Vesta and anorexia, and Vesta and well-known chefs.
            Here is the post about anorexia
            Contacts between Vesta and Chiron seemed important.

    • Christina says:

      That is fascinating. Is there anything else in your chart that would have highlighted the eating issues?

      I have an out of bounds Moon — which suits me just fine, since I am a bit of an anarchist-alien, and probably kind of a strange mother to have! But also Vesta, which I need to think about.

      • mm says:

        Yes, Virgo Ascendant (26 Virgo). No surprise there.

        Natal Ceres is in Leo in 11th on Saturn/Pluto midpoint – not exactly sweetness and light – and has now progressed into mid Virgo in my 12th and is square my natal RP Mercury.

        As Ceres may be a joint RP of Virgo I would imagine it would only intensify dietary matters. Eating for health rather than for pleasure perhaps. Maybe I’ll eventually be able to eat healthily and with enjoyment!!

        Also I have natal Hygiea in 12th at 6 Virgo and she has now progressed to within 2 degrees of my Ascendant. Natally she is square Chiron in Sag. So all in all eating is an issue. Oh yes, and my natal Moon/Nrth Node is in Aries and quincunx the Ascendant.

        Although I’ve been fascinated by astrology for decades, as with out of bounds planets I’ve only paid attention to the female asteroids in the last couple of years. It’s been a revelation.

        • Christina says:

          Don’t you find that they add so much precision; it’s like a blurry photograph coming into focus.

          I’d definitely give Ceres to Virgo. After all the symbol for Virgo is actually the goddess of the corn sometimes. It would mean your number two RP is out of bounds

          • mm says:

            Re asteroids: absolutely. Just like a blurry photograph coming into focus. And they add a richness too.

            It’s always been my sense that Ceres does indeed rule Virgo.

      • Christina says:

        I’ve just checked and my partner also has Ceres OOB in Cancer. He is an exceptional cook. It’s his most straighforward natural talent.

        • Christina says:

          …and my Mum, who is now a very old lady but still an excellent cook also has this placement in Sagittarius. I phoned her the other day & she asked me to hang on a minute while she finished straining the pomegranate juice for a Circassian chicken recipe she was trying out.

          • My partner too has Ceres out of bounds and she IS a good cook and loves doing it even modifying the recipe, due to my health requirements, with excellent results.

  3. mimi says:

    Moon, JUranus, Pluto, Osiris and Orcus OOB here.

    Somehow I’ve always felt different from other people and I know Osiris is very important in my horosocope. He is like a conductor of a play in the theatre of my life.


  4. mimi says:

    Osiris is always present whenever something happens in my life, what he actually does is start the whole event somehow. It is like he sets things up by talking to Pallas or Juno or another planet and the other planets work out later whatever has to happen.

    He was there when I met my husband and he was also there when he died.
    My husband had Osiris on his Ascendant – I guess I fell for him, same when my parents died.


  5. Gilly says:

    Ooh, something new to be excited about! I have Mercury Mars and Ceres – I’m really looking forward to seeing more about this.

  6. Jem says:

    Very interesting subject. I have mercury (Gemini ascendant), ceres and Lilith out of bounds (in my first house and WILDLY out of bounds at 28 degrees!) Yes, this is very evident in my life for both good and bad. I’d love to know more about this, especailly as I’m always trying to use to the prominent Lilith in my life for good. My mercury also brings me into controversial territory
    Thanks for the time taken to write this Christina.

  7. Iris says:

    Nessus and Pholus, in opposite directions. Nessus is at 30, & conjunct IC, I ponder him a lot and this is more fascinating info to add to the mix. But then centaurs by nature are wild and lawless; what can it mean when a centaur is wildly out of bounds? Much to ponder. Thanks Christina.

  8. Ana says:

    The Sun cannot be OOB, but you have Mick Fleetwood listed as ‘Sun and Pluto’. This must have been an oversight but it made me a bit confused, Lol. Great article and I much enjoy your website. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. 🙂

  9. sabrina says:

    Wow. so I checked of course my chart: nada…My husband’s Ceres is OOB in Cap righ on his Asc. Food is important (plus he has some good taurus influence). What do you think about the progressed OOB planets?

    • Christina says:

      Now that I’m onto this, I think you have to take them into account. There’s no way it could be irrelevant when they go in and out of bounds. I am going to check my OOB Moon and Vesta and see when they went in.
      Also with the pr Moon, could you get it wobbling in and out in some years I wonder.

  10. […] those of you who read the Out of Bounds piece here, they are at the same declination as well as conjunct by […]

  11. Vesta says:

    Thanks for tweeting this from the archives. I just looked it up, and I have Venus and Mars out of bounds, both pulling south. Venus and Mars are conjunct in Sag in my chart, (part of a t-square, squaring u/plu conjunct, and saturn). My South Node is in Sag, I’m very comfortable with Sag energy, having a Sag stellium too. And Persephone and Aphrodite are out of bounds in Sag too also pulling South. I forget what they mean now but it’s funny it’s all happening in Sag, the big picture sign.
    Out of bounds seems like finding an exit, to me. A way to escape. A get out clause. Or just daring to look beyond the narrow parameters of what’s socially acceptable. Maybe it’s blue sky thinking, outside the box, creative, inspired, that sort of thing?

  12. […] “That planet is not going to follow the furrow, go with the crowd or do as expected.” Source: https://www.oxfordastrologer.com/2015/06/out-of-bounds.html […]

  13. Erin says:

    I have my 9H Cancer Lilith out of bounds and trine my ascendant – how can my lilith be a positive?