How Common Are Out-of-Bounds Planets?

How often does the Moon go out-of-bounds? How about Mars, Jupiter, or the asteroids?

In Kt Boehrer’s book, Declination: The Other Dimension she lists the frequency of this cyclical condition for the Moon and planets, but the actual data and how she went about this is not included except for one specific case study of 31 natal charts. I was unable to find any similar studies online or in other books on declination – which there are few – so I decided to repeat the experiment on my own.

For this experiment, instead of picking a random assortment of people and events listed in Astrodienst, I used a date generator (https://www.random.org/calendar-dates/) to pick 250 completely random dates between 15 October 1582 (first day of Gregorian calendar) – 1 January 2082. I used AstroGold for Android to calculate the chart data. I intend to repeat this experiment again with a larger date sample once I have access to software that will allow me to compile and sort through all the data quicker. For this research I considered any celestial body at or beyond 23°N/S28′ to be out-of-bounds. I included the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, Pluto, Ceres, Pallas, Vesta, and Juno. I did not include Saturn or Neptune because according to Boehrer’s research they do not go out-of-bounds. Juno does not either, but I wasn’t sure of that at the time of the experiment so I included it just to see.

Out of 250 randomly generated dates between 15 October 1582 and 1 January 2082 this is what I discovered:

Moon out-of-bounds: 44/250 or 17.59%

Mercury out-of-bounds: 25/250 or 10%

Venus out-of-bounds: 31/250 or 12.4%

Mars out-of-bounds: 41/250 or 16.40%

Jupiter out-of-bounds: 2/250 or 0.8%

Uranus out-of-bounds: 30/250 or 12%

Pluto out-of-bounds: 31/250 or 12.4%

Ceres out-of-bounds: 74/250 or 29.59%

Vesta out-of-bounds: 30/250 or 12%

Pallas out-of-bounds: 22/250 or 8.79%

Juno out-of-bounds: 0/250 or 0%

According to this data set, Ceres is out-of-bounds most often at about 30% of the time followed by the Moon at around 18%. This confirms Boehrer’s statement on page 74 of Declination that, “…the Moon is out-of-bounds only about one-fifth of the time.” On page 78 Boehrer states, “… in any random group of charts that pass through my hands I normally find out-of-bounds planets in no more than about 35% of the total number.” In my data set I found that number to be higher. Including the asteroids, 192 of 250 (or 76.8%) dates have at least one celestial body out-of-bounds. Not including the asteroids, 144 of 250 (57.59%) have one or more out-of-bounds.

According to Boehrer on page 20 of her book Declination, “…more than three out-of-bounds planets at any given moment in time would be extremely unusual.” This coincides with my findings as the total number of dates (not including asteroids) that had three or more celestial bodies out-of-bounds was only 13 out of 250 or 5.2%. The number of dates with four or more out-of-bounds (not including asteroids) was only 2 out of 250 or 0.8%.

From this experiment I learned that out-of-bounds bodies are not particularly unusual over a long period of time, but groupings of multiple out-of-bounds planets are. Smaller date selections will show slightly different frequencies as each planet’s out-of-bounds condition happens in a rhythmic cycle. For example, “Uranus goes out-of-bounds approximately every 49 years, remaining outside the ecliptic much of the time for the next four-year period.” (page 14 of Declination). If I were to include random dates from just that particular four-year period the data would be skewed. Pluto’s orbit is very eccentric and because of it’s long orbit period of 248 years, a much greater selection of dates is needed to get an accurate idea of it’s out-of-bounds cycle. As mentioned before, I intend to repeat this experiment with a much larger data set once I have access to better software. Then I will post my results and compare the data to see any differences.

© 2019 M. M. Kelly


Haahr, Mads. “True Random Number Service.” RANDOM.ORG – Calendar Date Generator, https://www.random.org/calendar-dates/.

BOEHRER, KT. DECLINATION: the Other Dimension. AMERICAN FEDERATION OF AS, 2018.

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