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.