If the declination of the moon in a chart is greater than 23 degrees and 27 minutes north or south, this is considered a moon out of bounds.
But, as I'm often asked, what does that mean?
If you or someone you know has a moon out of bounds--found predominantly in the signs of Gemini, Cancer, Sagittarius, and Capricorn--they are likely to exist emotionally in a realm outside of traditional expectations. The emotional outlaw, one with a moon out of bounds tends to make their own rules concerning how to feel about/react to a given stimulus. If living within the bounds of societal constructs, they often tire of dominant trends and experience a pull to escape to a new or remote place. In a city setting--where most humans dwell these days--these are the people who live on the fringes in some way or another.
A beautiful trait of the out of bounds moon is a wide awareness and vision of what the hell is going on with these humans. Having a moon out of bounds lends to active witnessing and questioning of norms, and ultimately acting outside of them. The further above the declination of 23'27" the moon is, the further along the starting point for this questioning. A person with a moon declination of 28 N or S might simply be unable to understand why people are like this. At 24 N or S, the OOB moon native has a closer understanding of and easier relation to society. They exist on the fringe, but can cross this boundary both ways with comfort. A further distant moon, however, may experience extreme discomfort at a traditional event such as a normative straight wedding or a corporate promotional mixer. If forced into these situations, a distant OOB moon may take drastic measures, perhaps drowning their awareness in alcohol/substances, or becoming known for repeated Irish exits.
Of course, unpredictable as the out of bounds moon can be, these people can also transform into the star of the party. Viewership/witnessing is often a back-and-forth trade between out-of-bounds-mooners and society, which can develop fascinations with out of bounds personalities. People enjoy watching the wildcard: he or she says or does things that others find questionable and unpermitted, yet also entertaining and sometimes genius. Famous examples of these characters (charts linked) are Ozzy Osbourne, Amy Winehouse, Tracy Morgan, Cher, Albert Einstein, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Kurt Cobain.
The specific shades of a moon out of bounds are shown in the condition of the moon in the context of the chart. How does it relate to other planets energetically/in aspect? Does it reside near the IC, MC, DC, or ascendant? Is it accompanied by any other planets dwelling out of bounds? A reading from a professional astrologer (hi!) would help you understand and synthesize these factors.
If you're curious about your moon or the moon of another, you can check your declination measurements with a simple tool on astro.com. Go to your natal chart and click "Additional tables (PDF)" above your birth data, and look for declinations higher than 23'27" north or south in the Planet Positions table.
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