MARS out of bounds

If you are new to out of bounds planets and using declination in astrology I recommend first reading this article to get a concisely thorough introduction to the astronomical context and history of this weird little astro-niche. There you can also find instructions on how to see if Mars or any other planets are out of bounds in your chart. If you prefer a webinar-style introduction instead, check out this video here.

Mars out of bounds overview

In her groundbreaking work Declination: The Other Dimension, KT Boehrer explains how the out of bounds Mars (like Mercury-Jupiter) in the natal chart describes a less distinct paradigm in the individual’s life than the out of bounds Moon because of it’s slower movement through zodiacal longitude and equatorial declination. While the Moon activates every point in one’s chart every month, it takes Mars two years to do the same thus,

“…indicating conditions and or characteristics that are basic to the individual and are less susceptible to identification because their influence is so much a part of the native and his life…”1

Declination by KT Boehrer page 23

While the Moon out of bounds tends to coincide with specific and paramount themes to the individuals life such as the mother and upbringing, Mars being a little more “zoomed out” from the core perception of the Sun relates to more general themes such as motivation and assertion as well as the separation of and distinctions from others.

KT Boehrer describes the out of bounds Mars person as,

a fighter – daring, energetic, courageous, venturesome, often attracted to a career that is associated with an element of danger. The negative side may show in furious temper, anger, and/or violence.”2

Declination by KT Boehrer page 21

While an exaggerated sense of anger is one possible manifestation, Mars out of bounds often shows up in the charts of many people who fight for social justice and liberation as presented by Oak in their incredibly valuable work on Out of Bounds Planets and Racial Justice3.

Other astrologers who have looked closely at this rogue… well, rogue… include Tony Howard4,5, Ross O’Brien6, and Camille Michelle Gray7. Because of Mars’ wily and inflammatory nature, this is the most commonly studied out of bounds celestial body after the Moon so it’s easier to find more information about it. My page “Where to learn more about declination in astrology” is updated regularly with more resources as I come across them so be sure to check back there every so often too.

Mars out of bounds Cycle

In Declination: The Other Dimension, KT Boehrer found that Mars usually goes out of bounds once a year for about two to two and a half months at a time8. Leigh Westin, who expanded on Boehrer’s work, also notes how Mars’ out of bounds cycle is tied to its sidereal period: in two years Mars goes out of bounds once in northern declination and once in southern declination each year. Westin found that,

“Like all outer planets, Mars showed a tendency to increase in declination until around the stationary retrograde point, then decrease in declination until around the stationary direct point”9

Beyond the Solstice by Declination page 45
Graphic ephemeris printout showing Mars’ declination from 2020-2025

Westin found another notable pattern to Mars’ out of bounds cycle: Within a 100-year period, Mars can be found out of bounds on average 9-10 times for an exceptionally long 166-200 days at a time. From 1950 to 2050 this happens eight times as seen in the chart and list below. Most recently was between October 2007 to April 2008 when Mars was out of bounds in Cancer, back into Gemini, then Cancer again (similar to what we’re going through at the time of this writing though for less time). The next time we will have a super-long out of bounds Mars will be from April to October 2033 (Capricorn > Sagittarius > Capricorn)10.

Graphic ephemeris printout showing Mars’ declination from 1950 to 2050. Each instance where Mars remained out of bounds longer than 160+ days is circled. Note how Mars reaches its most extreme declination south of the celestial equator.

Super-long Mars out of bounds dates 1950-2050:

April to September 1954
September 1960 to April 1961
October 1975 to May 1976
September 1992 – April 1993
April to October 2001
October 2007 to April 2008
April to October 2033
September 2039 to April 2040

You may have noticed the April-October and October-April pattern here. Leigh Westin found this pattern too, and also described how Mars would often go out of bounds,

“…within minutes of the same degree, almost on the same day, reaching within minutes of the like declination, remaining in the nethers for a near equal span and returning in-bounds close to the degree and day as had been found in previous years.”

Beyond the Solstice by Declination page 4511

Even more patterns exist here. When considering the times Mars went out of bounds in fixed signs (Leo and Aquarius), Westin found it would tend to do so every 32, 8, 6, then 32 years again. This pattern as showed on pages 48-50 of Beyond the Solstice by Declination repeats for seven centuries with only occasional breaks from the sequence12.

The most recent time Mars was out of bounds in a fixed sign was in 2018 in Aquarius. Prior to that was in Leo in 2010 – eight years ago, right on schedule. This 2010 fixed-sign transit was an exceptional instance because it was the first and only time in seven centuries13 that Mars went out of bounds and returned in bounds in Leo instead of the usual crossover to Cancer. The next time Mars goes out of bounds in a fixed sign will be in Leo-Cancer six years later in 2024-5.

Graphic ephemeris printout showing Mars’ declination between 2020 through 2039. In 2033 Mars will reach an extreme declination and remain beyond the maximum ecliptic limit as measured from the celestial equator in 2033.

Mars out of bounds by sign

Mars can be found out of bounds in Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Sagittarius, Capricorn, and Aquarius. Mars cannot be found out of bounds in Aries, Taurus, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio*, or Pisces.

Mars goes out of bounds in a total of two cardinal signs, two fixed, and two mutable signs; a nice balance of modalities. Mars goes out of bounds in four diurnal signs, but only two nocturnal signs, giving Mars less dignity as it is the malefic contrary of sect in diurnal signs. In Capricorn Mars enjoys exaltation status which does not always work in favor of the individual with this placement as seen in the chart examples below. Mars out of bounds in its fall in Cancer correlates with its own struggles. Here, the rapidly fluctuating Lunar influence of Mars’ aggression can turn inward and feel suddenly overwhelming. Because the out of bounds condition is so “out there” it may be much more difficult to recognize the pounding waves of emotion as transitory. Mars never goes out of bounds in either of its domiciles except that one time Leigh Westin found it went out of bounds at 29° Scorpio in 1685 which she admits “may or may not be a computer fluke”14.

Mars out of bounds in Gemini people include: Diana Ross with Mars ruling the ascendant, Samuel P Massie with Mars sextile Saturn, Sue Grafton with Mars ruling the ascendant, Henri Rousseau with Mars trine Neptune rising, Charles Joseph Van Depoele with Venus square Mars, James Stewart with Mars rising (out of sign conjunction), Franklin D Roosevelt with Mars on the midheaven, James Joyce with Mars ruling the midheaven and the exaltation ruler of the ascendant, Beethoven with Mars opposite and answering to out of bounds Mercury, Tiger Woods with Mars on the midheaven and square the ascendant, Dane Rudhyar with Mars conjunct Neptune and Pluto.

Mars out of bounds in Cancer people include: Toni Morrison with Mars sextile the ascendant, Dolly Parton with Mars conjunct Saturn, Lord Byron with Mars rising, Michel Gauquelin with Mars square Uranus, Mozart with Mars in an out of sign trine to Venus, Natassia Kinski with Mars ruling and trine the ascendant, Wayne Gretzky with Mars ruling the midheaven, Kevin McCarthy with Mars in mutual reception with the Moon, Alan Oken with Mars ruling the ascendant/Sun/Mercury, Daryl Hannah with Mars opposite Venus (also out of bounds), Nancy Reagan with Mars ruling the descendant and on the midheaven (etc).

Mars out of bounds in Leo people include: James Dean with Mars ruling the ascendant, Moon, and exaltation ruler of the midheaven; Lemmy with Mars ruling the midheaven and exaltation ruler of the ascendant; Mamie Van Duren with Mars rising and ruling the midheaven; Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza with Sun opposite Mars, José Guadalupe Posada with Mars square Uranus; Kristen Schaal and Volodymyr Zelenskyy with Venus cazimi opposite Mars, Thomas Bernhard with ascendant sextile Mars, Rip Torn with ascendant trine Mars.

Mars out of bounds in Sagittarius people include: bell hooks with the midheaven sextile Mars, Christopher Lee with Mercury opposite Mars, Phillip Emeagwali with Mars trine Pluto, Dweezil Zappa with Mars at the bendings, Judy Garland with Sun opposite Mars, Janis Joplin with Mars square Neptune, Walter Cronkite with Mars ruling the Sun and ascendant.

Mars out of bounds in Capricorn people include: Alan Leo with Mars ruling the Moon and IC, Frida Kahlo with Mars ruling the IC and opposite Sun, Goethe and Groucho Marx with Mars ruling the ascendant, Lizzie Borden with Sun opposite Mars, John Wayne with Mars conjunct Uranus, Paul Sorrento with Mars ruling the Sun and IC.

Mars out of bounds in Aquarius people include: Mae West with Mars on the midheaven; Sid Haig, Judy Chicago, and George Edgar Slusser with Mars in a t-square involving Saturn and Pluto, Mavis Staples with Mars at the bendings, José Emilio Pacheco with Mars-Saturn mutual reception, Milva with Moon opposite Mars, Corin Redgrave with Mars ruling the IC, Karel Gott with Mars ruling the midheaven, Henry Bergh with Venus trine Mars.

Conclusion

Out of bounds Mars is quite a firecracker to say the least. While not as common as the Moon out of bounds, Mars correlates with a similarly exaggerated energy that needs an exceptional outlet for healthy expression. Mars out of bounds people cannot be made to do anything other than what they’re already gonna do. Sometimes this energy is beyond the control of the individual such as the case with Frida Kahlo’s accident. Like the Moon, out of bounds Mars people also tend to hold themselves to standards that are just as “beyond ordinary” as the out of bounds condition itself, thus leading to increased drive and energy spent on achieving those ideals. It can be extremely difficult for these people to give themselves a break unless they recognize it’s strategic importance for their success and well-being.

Do you have an out of bounds Mars in your natal chart or by progression? Click here to book a consultation where we can explore this placement in depth as it relates to your personal experience. To learn more about out of bounds planets and declination in astrology, click here. I especially encourage you to check out the case study for an out of bounds Mars in Capricorn person at the end of this video that I linked at the top of this article.

Sources

1,8Declination: The Other Dimension by KT Boehrer
2,9-14Beyond the Solstice by Declination by Leigh Westin
3Out of Bounds Planets and Racial Justice by Oak Astrology School
4Mars out of bounds by Tony Howard
5Mars out of bounds with Tony Howard and Jessica Lanyadoo
6Mars out of bounds by Ross O’Brien
7Over The Top Virgo Rising? Out of Bounds Planets Featuring Dolly Parton by Camille Michelle Gray


Now on Patreon!

M. M. Kelly 2022

One thought on “MARS out of bounds

Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: