"Planets Out of Bounds"
Outside the Tropics

Nick Anthony Fiorenza


Additional parameters to consider in Earthgrid Mapping and other geocosmic studies (astrology), include planetary orbital inclination, rotational inclination, distance, declination, and velocity. This article is about "Planetary Declination," specifically when a planet is north or south of the tropical latitudes of Earth. This is an area that extends 23° 26' north and south of Earth's equator, which is a function of Earth's rotational inclination—the 23° 26' tilt of Earth's rotational axis with respect to Earth's orbital plane (the ecliptic).* This rotational tilt causes Earth's equator, and its projection into the celestial sphere (Earth's celestial equator) to tilt with respect to the ecliptic. This tilt of course, in part, produces the seasons on Earth as Earth's polar axis changes its orientation to the Sun during its annual orbit.

*Earth's rotational inclination changes over time. It is currently decreasing.

Just as ecliptical longitude is fundamental to astrological technique, which reveals planetary aspects in the ecliptic, so too is planetary declination. Here we look at how far north or south a planet is from Earth's celestial equatorial plane. One of the most common uses of declination is to identify when planets are "parallel," which is when they have the same declination, the effect of which is similar to ecliptical conjunctions, despite their ecliptic longitudes (or contra-parallel). Another use of declination is to identify when planets lie outside the bounds of the tropical latitudes. In astrology, this is referred to as a planet being "Out of Bounds."

The declination of Out of Bounds planets.

The following illustration shows the bounds of the tropical latitudes in the celestial sphere. A planet north or south of the equator, but within the topical latitudes is "In Bounds." A planet north or south of the tropical latitudes is "Out of Bounds."

Tropical Boundaries in the Celestial Sphere.

Planets that are out of bounds have a distinctly unique astrological characteristic compared to planets that are in bounds, which astrological research verifies. They produce an exceptional or exaggerated expression of a planet's quality, which can manifest in an extreme or eccentric way, with little concern for fitting into the boundaries of mass consensus or social constructs. They can impart an outside-looking-in perspective. An out of bound Moon can manifest brilliance, extraordinary intuitive perceptual capacities, excessive behavior, an intense need for independence, manic-depressive tendencies and a host of other extreme characteristics. When younger, this can be disconcerting or lead one to become observingly introverted, due to a sense of feeling alone and not fitting in, or impelling one to become a rebel, exhibiting some sort a radical behavior. Later in life, assuming one matures, out of bounds planets can become a significant part of what forms one's uniqueness.

The Lunar Planner? Yes, my natal Moon is out of bounds, at max declination at the time, in an exact conjunction with the galactic equatorial node (Gate of God) of Earth's Precessional Cross.

It is of value to look not only and natal declinations, but also progressed declinations, which can reveal dramatic changes throughout one's life. Transits to out of bounds planets can be extra acute. Out of bounds planets also apply to mundane astrology and events occurring in the world.

I am not intending to delve too deeply into the astrological character of out of bounds planets in this article, but to offer graphic illustrations to help gain a better visual understanding. There are a few excellent articles about out of bounds planets referenced at the end of this web page.

The four areas for planets being out of bounds.

There are four orientations for an out of bounds planet, which can also augment its astrological character.

Out of Bounds Moon

The Moon can be out of bounds only at certain times in the 18.6-year precessional cycle of the Lunar Nodes, which is caused by the precessional wobble of the Moon's orbital plane. This only occurs around the time when the North Lunar Node is near its alignment with the Vernal Point. At this time, the Moon's orbital plane is tilted at its greatest angle to Earth's equator. This means that a small portion of the Moon's orbital path lies out of the tropical boundaries, and this only occurs in two areas of the zodiak as shown in the illustration below.

Fajada Butte, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico

Fajada Butte in Chaco Canyon

A "Major Lunar Standstill" is a term used to describe the Moon's maximum declination occuring in the 18.6 year cycle, at which time its declination stops increasing and begins to decrease. The observance of Major (and minor) Lunar Standstills are common findings in Archeoastronomical research, such as in places like that of the Anasazi Sun Dagger atop Fajada Butte in Chaco Canyon, and Stonehenge. (See the work of Alexander Thom "Megalithic Lunar Observatories" 1971; et. al.)

Another point of significance, regarding Astronomical Earthgrid Mapping and Archeoastronomy, is that the maximum declinations occur near the galactic equatorial axis because they occur near when the Lunar Nodes conjoin the Vernal Axis, which is true only for times when a precessional cross forms in Earth's ~25,000-year cycle (now and circa 12,000 years ago). The ~6000-year midpoints have their own significance as well since the vernal axis conjoins the galactic equatorial axis, the times of the collapsed cross. You can learn more about this in the "Earth's Precessional Cycle" section of this web site. The Lunar Standstills (maximum declinations) are shown in the image and video below.

When the Moon can be out of bounds.

The following video shows the oscillation of the Moon's orbit in and out of the tropical boundaries.

You can pause the video and drag the progress bar to view any section of the video.

The Dwarf Planet Makemake provides a good example of an out of bounds planet. Another important consideration in apprehending Makemake's astrological character is to keep in mind that Makemake was "out of bounds" before and during its discovery, and remains so until 2020, when its declination decreases into the tropical boundaries. Thus we may see it impel more of an aggressive self-focused extremist approach for personal accomplishment with little concern for fitting in to mass consensus or social constructs. Although this can express as destructive tendencies for those with a sole focus for personal accomplishment or attaining positions of power, this can be a good thing for those with higher ethics and quite appropriate for the times. This characteristic of Makemake may start to change in 2020, as it begins to move in bounds.

Makemake's declination Out of Bounds


Makemake: Out of Bounds


Pamela Welch "Those Wild Out-of-Bounds Planets" Mountain Astrologer June/July 2001

Kt Boehrer (1923-2004), Book: "Declination: The Other Dimension" (based on 20 years of research) 1994 (out of print)

Leigh Westin, Book: "Beyond the Solstice by Declination: An Illustrated Introduction to Declination, Planets Out-Of-Bounds at the Solstices with Data Tables, and the Three Mavericks" Gheminee 1999

Steven Forrest, "Out of Bounds Moon"

Samantha Samuels, "Out of Bounds Planets"

Mary Plumb, "Over-the-top, stories from the out-of-bounds" 2015

Danny Pugh, "Out-of-Bounds Planets"

A Remarkable Lunar Paper and Numbers on Major Standstill

Chaco Canyon Sun Dagger