When natal Saturn is residing in Cancer, the emotional Water sign becomes a generally difficult surrounding for the ringed planet to function normally. Saturn in Cancer is considered to be in its detriment, and feels quite troubled to operate in such a delicate and feminine sign, which is all about emotions, tenderness, care and nurturing. This handicap obstructs Saturn’s usual behaviors, which are guided by logic and organization, while at the same moment cools down the sentimental processes which are represented by Cancer in the natal chart. Yet, as it is a generational placement, people born under it develop common social traits, having similar difficulties to balance rough logical thoughts and emotions. The disbalance of this planetary combination may be blunted during the native’s elder years, especially if Saturn does not have malefic aspects with other planets. Still, the generations that have this placement, must work a lot on the concept of emotions and feelings, to be able to perceive them without Saturn blocking their potency.
Additional information about Saturn’s potency in each sign can be read in the article Saturn’s Essential Dignities.
Saturn is considered to be a social planet, along with Jupiter – its archetypal opposite force. While the personal planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars) directly affect the characters of each individual, social planets are giving trends that encircle the whole society. The reason is simple; the personal planets are performing a rather quick passage through the signs, which usually lasts a couple of months maximum. Yet, the social planets will need a year or more to pass through a sign; this way they grant similar characteristics to all the people being born during that period. More particularly, Saturn needs around two and a half years to travel through a sign of the zodiac, while its counterpart Jupiter needs a little more than a year. This blend defines a yearly generation; which is rather visible during the first years of a native’s life. During the childhood years, the placement of Saturn determines discipline delivered to the native, while also how it is perceived. As Saturn makes a full turn around the zodiac in approximately 29 years, it needs 14 years to make an opposition to its natal placement. This is roughly when the teen years strike, bringing the first responsibilities and the need to abolish naivety, slowly entering the world of the grown-ups. The joy of childhood is evaporating, father time is bringing the first signs of wisdom and not just knowledge, yet also the first adult problems, pressure and turbulence. The adolescent native is now feeling demands from the world around him, which is naturally not the most desired thing for a youngster. Of course all these steps are a natural process of evolution, preparing the native for his long path through life.
The placement of Saturn in the signs is important, yet a lot less than his placement in the houses and his aspects to other planets (especially personal ones). Each sign will give him some special flavor, a background on which he will operate and support the native’s life. Of course, he will indeed give some special characteristics connected to the sign he is placed in, and some extra boost to activities and archetypes that the sign represents. Yet, it is wrong to perceive any such placement as of high importance for the native’s individual traits; you should regard it mostly as a social phenomenon that develops certain social trends. Do not forget that generations of 2,5 years difference may have Saturn in the same sign, so even in synastries between charts the Saturn of two individuals of the same generation can easily conjunct (tightly or loosely) one each other.
Roughly, some of the periods when Saturn was transiting Cancer are the following:
- August 1973 – September 1975
- June 2003 – July 2005
- The next passage of the ringed planet through Cancer will be from July 2032 to August 2034
Saturn is generally governing constriction, stability and seriousness – both on a physical and a spiritual level. He is responsible for long-term plans, while also obstacles that may appear on our way until reaching our goals. We tend to call him the grand malefic of the celestial dome, yet the planet itself does not have such a purpose. Indeed, he can bring delays, difficulties and even disappointments; on the other hand all these can be essential steps for reaching wisdom, experience and preparation for further steps on our path that might be more important. On the other hand, any success that we may receive with Saturn’s help, tends to be long-lasting; a stable platform on which we can build even more. It is not a surprise that on a physical level, Saturn is mostly connected with the human bones and teeth – the thickest and toughest parts of our body. Saturn is the natural ruler of the 10th house and Capricorn, which makes him strongly connected with terms such as career, public image, leadership, steady growth inside social pyramids, reign. Saturn as a planet enjoys organization and planning-ahead, keeping up with deadlines, serious approaches and even voluntary sacrifice of small daily things in front of the long-term goals. In case that those prerequisites are delivered, he helps with a good harvest of results. What Saturn does not like is childish and naive behavior, rushed actions, chaotic patterns and laziness. A real tactician, Saturn will always help those who think before acting, and who try to figure out the optimal decisions. He is logic, he is patience, he is clear mind, he is control. In many occasions, Saturnian interventions can be perceived by the individual as “necessary evil”, as his slap might hurt but in the same time prevent us from the real evil which would come in case we would not be shaken up.
Since the ancient times, the second bigger planet of our solar system took the name of the Cronus, the legendary Titan-God who was father to 6 other Gods of the Greek Pantheon (Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Hera, Demeter and Hestia). According to the Greek Mythology, he is afraid of his children becoming stronger than him and overthrowing him, the same way he did to his own father, Uranus. Thus, he decided to devour them – yet his wife Rhea hid the last child (Zeus/Jupiter) in a cave and gave him a rock to devour instead. Zeus managed to overthrow him when he became an adult, releasing his five siblings from Cronus’ stomach too. Eventually, Cronus and the rest of the Titans were defeated in a legendary battle, called Titanomachia, and the young gods became the rulers of the Greek Pantheon. The Latin equivalent of Cronus was Saturn, and it prevailed as the name of the ringed planet both in astronomy and astrology. Saturn’s opposite counterpart in astrology is naturally Jupiter, and they form the Jupiter/Saturn axis as another archetypal Yin/Yang. The one expands, the other constricts – and the balance between those opposite forces is giving a healthy stability.
In the sign of Cancer, Saturn indeed does not have a clue about how to behave. The unstable, watery surroundings of the sign, which are ruled by the Moon, are by no means stable ground for him to function. The planet needs a hard point to start building on it, yet the sign fails to provide him a spot that can have some sort of guarantee for no change. Thus, this prompts the planet either to alienate from whatever has Cancerian flavours, or to get into some sort of battle between these two opposite forces, which in the ends makes both traits torture each other. If we dare to use a metaphor, you could imagine this internal battle as a dispute of a passive-aggressive, emotional and revengeful person with a narrow-minded, control freak individual. In case that none of those traits prevails from the beginning, the battle itself will evolve into some type of “Cold War”, where the first side would use emotional weapons and have the element of unpredictability, while the other side would eventually turn towards strategic torturing and other forms of cold-blooded reactions. And all this, happening inside one body and mind. Yet, is this planetary placement so destructive? Of course not.
With the above metaphor we were simply trying to show the two radically opposite natures that have to find some consensus, in order to be able to function without creating problems. When Saturn is not adversely aspected, it is a common phenomenon to perceive this opposition in a rather blur way; it will mostly obstruct the ability to express emotions, or give mild problems connected with one’s family, roots and home. Many people with this natal placement are born in families that are disfunctional, and Saturn’s role is mostly connected with obstruction of flows of sentiments. In addition, it can also indicate parents that are of rather old age when giving birth to the individual, which creates a bigger generational gap between parent and child than the average of the population. In some cases, grandparents are the ones that raise the child, or alternatively Saturn may signify a conservative and old fashioned approach that they may have considering emotions. In any case, the emotional world of the young individual does not flourish so easily, or blooms later in life. Saturn in Cancer does not imply misery in this field though; it just states that emotional openness and joy that comes through this life area will need more effort to be achieved, or that will come later in life. A positive trait that Saturn in Cancer gives, is stability considering one’s emotions, from the moment that he has reached a conscious level of knowing them. The Lunar and Cancerian unpredictability considering changes is diminished, and this placement can actually indicate that the native will have a stable emotional life in his latter years, which is naturally desired by all people that are of an older age.
Saturn is considered a cold and dry planet, and when placed in Cancer he blends awkwardly with the wet and fertile characteristics of the sign. This placement is considered great for people who work in businesses connected with preparing food and nurturing, as they will be able to invest a lot of physical effort, and in the same time be patient for results, and always able to overcome physical difficulties and obstacles. In addition, it also empowers any occupation connected with the sea or water in general. Yet, in the case of difficult aspects to Saturn by malefic planets, one should be very careful when working in surroundings that have a lot of the element of water.
A common pattern that can appear in people born under this natal aspect, is that material stability which Saturn can grant fills some possible emotional holes. Thus, they may have a family that is providing them a lot on the material things but fail on other, thinner levels. Such individuals may experience the feeling of having grown up too early; yet there is a rather interesting paradox which usually follows. As the ruler of Cancer, the Moon, which archetypically means the “young”, “fast”, “lively” (the exact opposite of the traits of Saturn), the years passed by the natural process of ageing (brought by Saturn) are delayed. Cancerian energy keeps him vivid, and even has the tendency to make the individual feel and act younger while he gets older. If the Ascendant is somehow connected, he may even look younger! In addition, when he creates his own family, the individual will take extra care to not recreate the same traumas in which he grew up.
When no personal planets make important aspects to Saturn, we should look at the forest and not at the tree. We are witnessing here generational currents of behaviors – we should not forget that Saturn is staying in a sign for 2 and a half years roughly! This means that all the people of the Cancer Saturn generation, are more or less experiencing similar difficulties considering the expression of their emotions. This would be strongly connected to the way they perceive their parents and grandparents, and even to the difficulties that their parents were having during the birth of the individuals. Indeed, if we search better concerning mundane events and trends, we would probably find some global reasons for this pattern, that were apparent in the first stage of the lives of young individuals born those years. In addition, the whole generation will experience transits of planets to their natal Saturn in synchronous ways.
Thus, especially slow-moving planets will impose similar effects on the generation, which will of course differ for every individual depending on the house where Saturn resides, and other natal aspects to it.
Generalizing is the only way that we can describe a natal placement of slow-moving planet, and it gets even more difficult as we move further from the Sun towards the outer planets. Pluto, for example, can even define a whole generation of 25 years, so it would be even absurd to try to fit one third of the world’s population into some stereotype. At the same time, as Cancer is the natural ruler of the 4th house in Astrology, Saturn in Cancer could for many individuals give similar characteristics as would give Saturn in the 4th house. Still, it is mostly the flavor of this aspect that would have similarities, and not events or predispositions themselves.
Some general traits which Saturn in Cancer gives to a generation, are: slow emotional growth, difficulties connected to eating patterns, disappointment connected to one’s roots, traditions, homeland. In addition, such people perceive most relations with other people as an area of possible emotional pain, which might complicate the perspective of creating a family without firstly being totally sure.
On the other hand, positive traits of this placement are those connected with loyalty and responsibility considering being a shelter for their beloved ones. This placement can create a person that can endure more emotional pain than others, having already inscribed antidotes towards its possibility of appearance. Emotional self-discipline is one of their strongest traits, they can literally program themselves to be untouched when these life area matters fail to develop as they would want. The Cancer Saturn individuals may develop great abilities in hospitality, especially during the latter part of his life, and can dedicate a lot of hours to serving others as if they were family.
Cancer as a sign is ruling our stomach and breasts, so any possible difficult aspects to Saturn could have digestion problems as a direct effect. Especially when the individual is a woman, she should pay extra attention to her breasts. If you have this placement, watch out for recurring troubles that might appear in those body areas, as Saturn tends to give chronic issues of a certain type.
When a Cancer Saturn is well aspected in a natal chart, the native will be, in the long-term, successful in the life area that the sign of Cancer rules, and any possible obstacles will just empower his march to his goal. On the contrary, bad aspects to Saturn can bring complications, and may be even connected to karmic debts that the native has to pay, as Saturn is considered a planet who connects cosmic energies from the past and the future, and even from previous and future lifetimes. In any case, Saturnian difficulties should be perceived as lessons, and the more open someone is to understand those lessons, the less they might hurt.
Each planets have a different effect on you, depending on which house and sign they reside in. In order to find out where they are located in your natal chart, you can use our free birth chart generator. Also, examine the aspects that they form with other planets in your chart. You will understand a lot more about the detailed role that they have in your horoscope.