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    Blog — Out of Bounds

    Mars Out of Bounds in Gemini and Cancer 2017

    Mars Out of Bounds in Gemini and Cancer 2017

    by Tony Howard

    This month the declination of Mars gets so high that it is beyond the limit set by the Sun, so we say that Mars is "out of bounds." During this time, Mars will have more freedom than usual to accomplish Marsy types of endeavors. On the high end, this could be a great time for groundbreaking work, pushing forward an innovative agenda at work or in your creative endeavors.

    At the low end, when a planet is out of bounds in a natal chart, it can relate to the person being seemingly unable or unwilling to question their own desires. Mars is the planet of "I want." So when transiting Mars is out of bounds, it might be that we are less likely to question what we want, and to take actions we might regret later, when Mars comes back into "normal" range.

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    Mars Out of Bounds - More Than Anger

    Mars Out of Bounds - More Than Anger

    by Tony Howard

    Next month I’ll give my first public conference lecture on out of bounds planets at the ISAR conference in Costa Mesa, CA. Since transiting Mars is currently out of bounds (through October 30), I thought I’d share some Mars out of bounds charts with you as well as a calendar of important aspects during this transit (you’ll find that below).

    While doing research for my lecture, several patterns emerged as I pondered the names of well-known people with Mars out of bounds. Perhaps my favorite is that Mars out of bounds is strongly associated with innovation, trendsetting and originality in one’s art or societal contribution. I love it that this positive expression of Mars out of bounds is prominent. Because honestly, I was expecting to mainly see the violence, conflict and aggression side of Mars.

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    Venus Out of Bounds

    Venus Out of Bounds

    When Steven asked me to write this month’s newsletter, the first idea that popped into my head was “Venus Out of Bounds.” I’d spent the last month editing and preparing his Moon Out of Bounds video and audio programs, so the subject was fresh on my mind. I thought, “If the out of bounds Moon is so dramatic in people’s charts, what about the other planets?” How would Mercury, Venus or Mars express when outside the “normal influence” of the sun?

    If the out of bounds concept is new to you, start by reading Steven’s Out of Bounds Moon article, originally published in The Mountain Astrologer, which will lay out both the technical and theoretical framework. After that, if you’re hungry for more, you might revisit the Out of Bounds section in Chapter 3 of The Book of the Moon, or check out the newly released video or audio programs on the subject.

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    The Out of Bounds Moon

    The Out of Bounds Moon

    Originally appeared in The Mountain Astrologer magazine, June 2010. Reprinted with permission.

    The familiar circle of twelve signs is a useful fiction. Like time, space, gender and money, it helps us organize our particular, parochial sense of reality. We watch our transits or progressions as they speed or plod along this imaginary line in the sky that we call the ecliptic, as if it were a narrow highway with hard curbs in the vastness of starry space. In our ephemerides, for example, we see Mercury zipping merrily along, 1° Capricorn, then 2° then 3˜. We see Pluto passing the same mileposts—little knowing that Pluto might actually lie thirty degrees from Mercury, way above or below it in the sky, even though we say they are “in conjunction.” In actuality, the only moving astrological point that sticks exactly to the ecliptic is the Sun. Its path, in fact, is what defines the term. Everything else follows it only approximately.

    Ever wonder why we don’t have a total solar eclipse every month? Sure enough, there on your computer screen you plainly see the transiting Sun and the transiting Moon aligned in 15° 24'—but no total eclipse of the Sun. The reason is that the Moon is usually a little above the Sun or a little below it. They are “conjunct,” but only in the context of our imaginary celestial railroad track, the zodiac. They are lined up in the two-dimensional framework of the ecliptic, but not in the three dimensional framework of the heavens as they actually meet our eyes. (1)

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    Calculating the Out of Bounds Moon

    With so many different kinds of astrological software in use, the simplest suggestion is to just go to the “Help” files in the program you use and look up “Declination.” There you will see how to display it for any chart you calculate. Declination will be given as either North or South, sometimes shown as a + or - . If the value exceeds 23°28', it is Out of Bounds. This will work for both a natal chart or a progressed one.

    Using Solar Fire

    Out of Bounds Moon

    Calculate or open a chart. Click on “Reports” in the top line. Click on “Current Chart.” A window opens titled “Chart Reports & Tabulations.” Under “Chart Points,” you will see a column labeled “Decl.” That is declination. Check to see if the Moon’s value is 23°28' or greater. If so, it is Out of Bounds. Again, this will work for both a natal or progressed charts.

    Progressed Moon Declination Cycle

    To watch for the Moon progressing Out of Bounds over longer time-scales, open the natal chart, then click on “Dynamic” on the top line. Click on “Graphic Ephemeris.” Open “Saved Selections,” scroll down and click on “Declination of Moon (one year).” Under “Period of Report,” click the “Years” button (unless you want to zoom in on a specific period of your life).

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