Mars Out of Bounds 2020

February 9 – March 2, 2020

A fascinating, and only recently well known or explored topic in astrology, is out-of-bounds planets. We can thank the in depth research of astrologer Tony Howard, for the renaissance of interest in this astrological field. I have attended his lectures on this topic, and his webinars are definitely worth a listen if this captures your interest.

What does Out Of Bounds mean ?

Astrology is the study of planetary movement (and corresponding experience) from the vantage point of earth, where we live as humans. This is known as geo-centric astrology. From the perspective of earth, the sun appears to follow a fixed rotation (rises in the east in the AM, sets in the west in the PM etc). The sun also remains within a set parameter as far as longitude, never dipping below 23’27” degrees south of the equator, or higher than 23’27” degrees north of the equator. We can consider these the “bounds”, or boundaries of the sun. The other planets also TEND to remain within this geographical zone as well. Except when they don’t – then they are Out Of Bounds (OOB). Since the sun is the star that all planets in our solar system depend on, it sets the ‘rules’, and when other planets go ‘out of bounds’ they can be considered to be ‘breaking the rules’, or no longer under the direct authority of the sun.

How does a planet act when it is Out of Bounds ?

In astrology, Uranus is known as the rebel planet. As the first of the outer planets discovered beyond Saturn, it was a revelation to know that there is more to life than the naked eye can see (Uranus rules scientific discovery) and that the ‘traditional rules and regulations based status quo’ (Saturn) can keep us stuck just as much as it can keep us safe.

So there is a natural comparison to be drawn between Uranus and Out of Bounds planets. However, it is vital to understand that there are major differences between them as well. The very nature of the word ‘rebel’ for example implies ‘rebelling AGAINST’ – specifically against Saturns rules, restrictions, traditions. People with a strong Aquarius signature, or a strong Uranus in their natal charts, can relate to this. They can be rebellious, isolationist, contrarian, unique and non-conformist. But again, all of this implies that at least some of the impetus for their choices is based on pushing against something that already exists – “I am not like them”. The higher the frequency of the Aquarius/Uranus person rises, the more they can embody the authentic spirit of individuality and sometimes even genius they are gifted- but at the lower vibrational levels they can merely be stubbornly acting out against the norm.

Out Of Bounds planets, on the other hand, are not bothered by what other people are doing. They do not measure their success, their acceptance, their expression by any yardsticks that are determined by others. Thus, they have no need to rebel and nothing to rebel against. If anything, they are too consumed in their own world to notice much beyond it. Which in its own way may be frustrating to those they are intimately connected to.

People with a natal planet Out Of Bounds have their own special relationship to that planetary energy. They may have an easier time expressing it in its purest essence than others, regardless of what sign the planet is in. In this sense we can compare OOB planets to dignified planets (A planet is considered dignified if it is in the sign of its rulerships or the sign of its exaltation). OOB planets are similar to dignified planets in that both are very STRONG. They have a palpable effect on the person and chart as a whole. The issues related to that planet can take ‘center stage’ in the persons life.

Specifically, Mars OOB in a natal chart can indicate great exceptionalism. In whatever way the native wants to use that ability (art, science, athletics), Mars OOB gives determination, desire, and ability to succeed. The inevitable failures and bumps in the road along the way may be easier for Mars OOB people to shake off. They move forward, with courage, gusto and passion to spare.

How Can I tell if I have Out Of Bounds planets in my birth chart?

  • Astrological chart software allows you to look at “declinations” in the charts, so you can see if any planet is above 23’27” N or below 23’27” S
  • Follow this link to see if your birthday falls within any of these periods
  • (Remember this has nothing to do with what SIGN a planet is in)



Mars is VERY strong throughout 2020. While we have spent a lot of time in 2019 and at the beginning of 2020 discussing the huge impact that Saturn/Pluto/Jupiter are having as they unite in Capricorn- Mars is very much also making its presence known this year.

Mars is the warrior planet. Its fiery energy is connected to sexual attraction, aggression, assertion, success, victory, competitiveness, and haste. It is the ruler of Aries, and the co-ruler of Scorpio. It is exalted in the earthy, practical, achievement oriented sign of Capricorn. It can get its “needs met” easily in all 3 of these signs. In Aries it is the bold single-minded visionary. In Scorpio it is aware of power dynamics and uses them to its advantage. In Capricorn, its tenacity and focus on success at all costs give it the sheer endurance to achieve its aims.

Mars moved into Sagittarius at the very beginning of 2020. It is in this expansive optimistic fire sign when its OOB phase begins on February 9th. On Feburary 16th Mars ingresses in Capricorn. Between February 16th and March 2nd, Mars will be OOB in Capricorn, the sign of its exaltation. This is a TURBO charged Mars. We will return to this in a moment. But moving forward in 2020, Mars comes back within bounds on March 2nd but remains in Capricorn until March 30th.

Between March 30th and June 28th Mars flies through Aquarius and then Pisces.

On June 28th Mars moves into its own sign of Aries where it will stay until early 2021! This is a highly unusual amount of time for Mars to be in any one sign, let alone its OWN sign. This again makes it highly powerful, and we can all expect the area of our life where Aries has rulership to be LIT UP for the 2nd half of 2020 (I will write more about that and link it here closer to the date).

So Mars OOB in Sagittarius and then Capricorn in February/March 2020 may be a bit of a precursor to three things:

  • Our vision getting bigger/bolder/grander. The week that Mars is OOB in Sagittarius (Feb 9-16) could be a peek into life after the nodes move signs into Gemini/Sagittarius in early May 2020. A huge wave of Gemini/Sagittarius energy starts in our lives around that time and gets amplified even more in 2021 after the Grand Conjunction in Aquarius shifts our focus away from earth/water energy and towards air/fire energy. What big visions are popping up in your life this week? Let yourself dream, escape, travel, fantasize- you could be sowing seeds for the next chapter. (*This is especially true since late Sagittarius is the location of the Galactic Center heightening visionary and futuristic thinking)
  • Which practical Capricorn lessons we may be wrapping up soon. Mars is OOB from 0 – 10 degrees of Capricorn, where the South Node is currently transiting (6-7 degrees Capricorn during that 2 week span). The later degrees of Capricorn (specifically 20-29) will be seeing most of the action between Jupiter/Saturn/Pluto, and the issues those bring up may take us longer to negotiate and resolve in our lives. However, these early degrees where the nodes are and where Mars is OOB, show us what is most urgent for us to resolve NOW. We should pay careful attention to what transpires February 25th (one day after the Pisces new moon) when Mars OOB is exactly conjunct the South Node. Mars could be giving us the green light that we are finally ‘past’ certain things we have been working on and can move on (Mars wants to keep going!)
  • What exactly we are championing/crusading for/determined about during the 2nd half of 2020 when Mars is in Aries. We will indeed be “striving for victory” during this time, that is the nature of Mars in Aries. Granted, it will probably not go as we are planning- Mars is after all retrograde between September 9th and November 13th, when we will have to ‘re-tweak’ our approach, if not our goal. But this OOB phase could prove to be telling about WHAT is going to light our fire, WHAT exactly we are no longer willing to tolerate and may even make our mission to change or transform, in our lives or the world at large

So while this OOB may seem like a brief blip on the radar, it could actually prove quite illuminating and foretelling. Since Mars OOB is sheer unbridled passion and the desire to succeed, we should take close note of what is stirring in us now, so that we can use Mars’ power during the 2nd half of the year most effectively.

*Image by @enriqueabed