Saturn in Cancer

And I have felt

A presence that disturbs me with the joy

Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime

Of something far more deeply interfused,

Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,

And the round ocean and the living air,

And the blue sky, and in the mind of man;

A motion and a spirit, that impels

All thinking things, all objects of all thought,

And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still

A lover of the meadows and the woods,

And mountains; and of all that we behold

From this green earth; of all the mighty world

Of eye, and ear,–both what they half create,

And what perceive; well pleased to recognise

In nature and the language of the sense,

The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse,

The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul

Of all my moral being.

William Wordsworth

The degrees known as Tropical Cancer are the least essentially dignified degrees of longitude for Saturn in the Zodiac where he is described as “in detriment”. He possesses terms in nothing more than the last three degrees, which do little to alleviate his essential debility. The elemental difference here is only of moisture, for like the water element Saturn is cold.

With the Moon as lord of Saturn, the problem arises because primarily, Saturn requires stability and an unchanging, steady, fixed set of goals and achievements, while Moon has other ideas, being ruled by each and every swaying emotion and whimsical thought. This is not to say that the Moon is not capable of greatness, she is, just that Saturn has a very hard time adapting and showing emotions which for him are “difficult to come by”.

The emotion of Melancholy is natural to Saturn, it is one of sobriety and an easy serious and hushed respectful tone. His favourite and most suitable emotion is that which is mountainous sublime and requires neither expression nor words, because it is there, like an immense and perfect mountain. Unmoving, nonthreatening, mute, calm, without words.

For the most part, Saturn in Cancer is not aware that he is in emotional terrain. His natural reaction to such instability and changeable waters, is similar to that of Scorpio Saturn: “build defence”. In Scorpio Saturn says “build a mote”. The emotional state is one of intense fear, which is fine by Saturn, because he likes consistency, the fear is constant, and so his castle and mote serve and last him. But in Cancer he is confronted with every emotion that the Moon can throw at him, all to be experienced in the space of her 28 day orbit.

The result is often that Saturn will ignore Moon´s emotional stuff and become completely insulated against it. He will carry on as normal with his worldly goals and ambition. But unfortunately when this happens and Saturn attains positions of responsibility thus fulfilling his innate desire, he is still placed in Cancer and is unable to defend himself. For inevitably Moon will cause difficulty for Saturn which will concern his family, his roots, and his home. So when Saturn achieves his place in power, he is likely to spoil his image through ruling and acting out of emotional insecurity rather than calm planning. This is the Saturn who will put up protectionist tariffs and stop anyone coming into his home thus completely damaging his own country and home.

Saturn does have great potential here, just like all planets in terrain which is foreign to them. In this placement some of the greatest writers and poets have been found. Saturn naturally builds things that are great, sublime, immense and majestic, and so while in Cancer his greatness when he becomes master of Moon rather than slave, is pure unadulterated emotional power. Cancer is one of the signs which is most closely associated with Nature. The cycles of nature of reproduction, of growth and of movement of life within the water element is one of fertility and abundance. It is up to Saturn to cultivate this nature while in this sign, to not only cultivate it but to treat it respectfully and with care because of its fragility.

Some people with Cancer Saturn: William Wordsworth, William Shakespeare, Mary Shelley, Angelina Jolie, Leonardo Di Caprio, George W Bush, Napoleon Bonnaparte, JFK, Jules Verne, David Beckham, Nostradamus, Marquis De Sade, Elizabeth I, Neil Young, DH Lawrence, Elgar, Dylan Thomas, Joseph Conrad

15 responses

21 10 2009

Hi there
my natal saturn is in cancer square natal pluto in libra, what you wrote about pure unadulterated emotion moved me to tears.I struggle to make peace with my saturn , it is hard to let go of mistakes I have made in the past,
rgds Andrew

3 11 2009

I can attest to the fact of the part about “pure unedulterated emotion” also. I have Saturn in Cancer and what you wrote resonates with me. It can be a bitch to deal with sometimes. I’m in agreement with the previous poster in that it makes letting go of past mistakes difficult, and i’ve made many. But there is a very powerful positive side to this configuration also.
Peace and Love,

4 01 2010

i also have natal Saturn in Cancer (7th house) square Pluto in Libra (9th) and can understand the feeling about past mistakes, some of mine used to get me down. Then I think, do I want to let myself feel bad and live in the past, or do I want to give myself a break and look to want I want to change in the future. I feel its good to keep and understand the past mistakes and how they made me feel, and when presented with similar situations in the future, the most rewarding feeling is when you can see for yourself that you have learned from them.

6 01 2010

I have Saturn in Cancer, in my 1st house (I think, mom not too sure of my birth time). It may also be possibly in my 12th house. Either way, fairly certain it’s conjunct my ascendant. I am a very emotional person which, quite honestly, gets on my nerves. I have Sun, Moon, Merc and Mars all in Sag.

Also, I have a question, how accurate are the birth charts of Shakespeare, Nostradamus?

I just recently came across your blog. I just recently started learning about astrology during the last 3 1/2 years. Your posts are very illuminating. (Plus, I noted your sun sign: Scorpio. I seem to gravitate towards Scorpio energy.)

24 06 2010

My natal chart has saturn stationed 11 degrees cancer and is squared to my Moon in Aries as well as squared to Pluto in Libra. With the big planets in cardinal signs and the eclipses coming, what should I expect?

24 06 2010
Night Sky

The house positions, and state of planets is also important, such as direct, swift, oriental (for Saturn). However, your natal Moon is in a hard place pretty much despite the reception of Saturn. The Solar Eclipse of July 2010 will not be important, it’s those Solar Eclipses of 2011 which will be breaking eggs.

Still, having said this, you must watch the transits to the exact degrees where your natal planets are. Pluto is “out of orb” at 4 degrees as far as I’m concerned. I would state that it’s effects are felt at about 20% at an orb of 3 degrees. Think of it as a pressure cooker. 20% pressure is not going to cause problems. Get to 100% pressure and the lid is ready to come off the pan.

2011 will be extraordinary in terms of the eclipses at those 9-11 degrees of Cardinal. 2010 is a very important year for people with zero degrees Cardinal, as we can already see, because as we speak the third “Grand Cross” of the year is already in formation, despite the wide orb between Saturn and Pluto, it’s still powerful stuff.

My advice, for one with Saturn in Cancer, concentrate on strengths rather than weaknesses. Think about where you are strong… look to essentially dignified planets, and work on those.

10 07 2010

I have saturn in cancer in 4th and in a way bless withit trining my pisces sun in 12th. However with regard to not showing feelings easily, I concurr but it comes form a fear of rejection andif we can overcome that fear and learn to be the kind loving responsible homemakers we can be, then our confidence growns and becomes a rock for other to shelter in times on need.

11 10 2010

This is a fantastic article! I have been so interested in Saturn in Cancer for so long, particularly since I have it in my 12th house. I was happy to learn from you that my Saturn in Cancer is essentially cancelled out by my Moon in Capricorn. Talk about great news! That being the case, I am still an emotional person having Sun and Mercury in Cancer, but I’m happy to know that the 12th house Saturn in Cancer isn’t the curse I thought it was. All this and a Leo Ascendant…? I love being such an enigma (at least today)!

Blessings to you!

3 02 2011

This article made me laugh.

My 7 year old daughter have Saturn in Cancer at 2 degree 42 minutes conjuncting her Cancer Sun at 2 degree 56 minutes. Pretty tight conjunction, isn’t it?

In this article I can clearly see the dynamics of the relationship between my daughter and her father. She is, despite being only seven, is the ruler of the house/relationship, and Saturn-her father, who is a Libra with ascendant in 1st degree Libra with Sun conjunct Saturn and Naptune in the 1st house and Venus and Mars in 12 house, acts pretty much the way you have stated Saturn does when he is under Moon’s rulership!! I don’t know how it feels for the people who have this planetary position, but your article gave me a deeper understanding about the dynamics of relationship between my daughter and her father.

You truely are an amazing writer!! Thanks a lot for sharing your valuable insights.

3 02 2011
Night Sky

I’d forgotten completely about this! Yes, it is good isn’t it, I can’t believe that I’d written it. But shhh, don’t tell anyone else.

31 05 2011
Craig (saturn in cancer)

I am having a challenging time, saturn is currently square my natal saturn and conjunct my natal pluto. I am feeling under pressure and extremely emotional. I am nearing the end of my Bachelor of Nursing and at times I feel that Nursing is a cold hard, uncaring profession. Some of the nurses are just too worried about getting the job done.

I am looking forward to the end of these challenges to saturn and have a rest.

22 05 2013
Jah-Afiya's Blog

I have this placement…i am hopeful :-) i also have my cappy sun in the 4th house which is beneficial for this Saturn placement which happens to be in the 10th house…Cap sun in the 4th gives me the inclination to honor moon and mood which is the oportunity and evolution available in the Saturn in Cancer placement.

20 09 2013

Saturn conjunct mercury 11 deg in my ascendant. Pluto transiting opposite in Capricorn at present, Uranus squaring and in Jan 2014 new moon opposite natal mercury and saturn and mars transiting square, I feel its all too much, and direction appreicated.


27 09 2013
Night Sky

Dear Bob,

There is nothing that is “too much” in this life. God gives us these transits to test us. My Dad just survived a cancer, and had Pluto square his natal Sun Saturn conjunction. Really, you need to work out what it is that God wants you to do in your life, and start adjusting your life to fit that.

I hope that this gives you some direction. All the best.

15 10 2013

Thanks for this. My ex boyfriend has saturn in cancer in the 12th, opposing his mars and squared by Pluto. Saturns ruler, moon, is in sag conjunct his nn, vertex and Neptune in the fifth – he is a musician.

His saturn is the apex of a yod formed by his moon complex in the fifth, and his sun in Aquarius in the eight. Currently he is experiencing tr Jupiter hovering over his saturn, tr Chiron and Neptune trining from the ninth, and tr Pluto opposing from the 6th (sitting right on top of his natal mars in cap).

He suffers from what appears on the outside to be an extreme paucity of emotion – if you need something done and he cares for you he is right there, but he is deathly afraid to show any kind of empathy for anyone. In true sag style, whenever someone needs emotional caring, he runs away.

He is highly emotional, yet when confronted with his emotions, he becomes physically ill and withdraws. In the past, he has been very much into punishing me for exhibiting any kind of strong emotions. He cannot even reciprocate an “I love you” – when I would tell him, his response was “thank you”.

It is ironic that he is so afraid of emotional expression, as I am a sun moon merc pisce and extremely emotional and perhaps histrionic at times.

I have left him many times due to his paucity of emotion, thinking at times that perhaps he had a narcissistic personality disorder, because I couldn’t understand how he could care so little about my emotions, and seemed to even derive some sense of power from trampling on them and attempting to control and dampen them.

Your piece brings me a deeper understanding of him, and a renewed sense of compassion. I hope that the heavy transits he is currently under help him make a change for the better, and discover the emotional power within himself.

Any feedback from yourself regarding his transits is appreciated.

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