Saturn, planet of responsibility, challenges, limitations, delays, and mastery, in Cancer, sign of the home, the mother, nurturing, love, and family. In its sign of detriment, Saturn learns how to express his emotional nature.
Cancer, similar to Aries, is a very personal sign. And Saturn does not fare well dealing with personal themes. This placement signifies worry, anxiety, caution, doubt, and grief. When a person’s natal Saturn is in Cancer, there is difficult identifying feelings. Because he does not know how he feels, a person with this placement shuts off his emotional nature as a defense mechanism so he does not experience awkwardness with other people.
These natives tend to have stable emotions, are quiet, and have excellent memories. Their reactions are slow and metered. They become determined once they have a project to complete and are goal-oriented – as Cancer is a cardinal, active sign. There may be an attachment to the mother figure or the home, so they may have dependency issues on their parents. It may be that they are afraid of the outside environment and view the home as a safe haven where very little can go wrong.
Natal Saturn in Cancer represents a fear of feeling vulnerable and of emotionally connecting with other people. Emotions are an integral aspect of human experience. Everyone (sans psychopaths) has emotions that trigger at various points in their lives for various reasons. Emotions are what makes intimate relationships meaningful. Emotions frame our memories so we can reminisce about “good” times or be thankful to have escaped “bad” times.
When Saturn lies in Cancer, this deep integral part of the human experience is separated from the individual and becomes another subject of study. But because the person has no first-hand experience with feelings, especially as children, they cannot pass the test of emotional intelligence. For the first few years of life, people with Saturn in Cancer find associating with others to be complicated. More importantly, they cannot discriminate between their own feelings and those imposed upon them by their parents or authority figures.
Emotions fuel our drive to relate to society. Shame or guilt, excitement or happiness, curiosity or doubt, depression or anxiety, lust or attraction; emotions are the primary reason for reaching out and forming bonds with other human beings. Without regular access to our emotional nature, we feel alienated, ostracized, and depressed. Hence, it is not uncommon to see these natives wear a melancholy or gloomy face even among a sea of friends.
One reason for lacking emotional intelligence could rest with the mother figure. She may have been cold and exacting to the native, not allowing him/her a moment to live innocently as a child. She may have thrusted on the child responsibility that he was not mature enough to handle. Mothers are our first teachers of how to express emotions. So with this example of a cold-hearted, strict, tough-loving mother, natives with Saturn in Cancer view emotions as in the way of their “more pertinent” responsibilities. They learn to fear how their emotions randomly control them throughout life, and they ignore their own intuition and gut feelings.
The father figure may have demonstrated emotional control himself, spurring the native to follow suit. He could have been the authority figure in the home who provided strict rules for behavior. Equally so, he could have been emotional and moody himself, embarrassing the native and sparking an interest in dominating his own moods. Either way, the controlling aspect of Saturn is focused mainly on feelings.
Eventually, these people run into a tough spot. As human beings, we cannot ignore our emotions, for they give us more value than just happiness or sadness. Our emotions, if we have learned to manage them maturely, can give invisible insight into situations and events that cannot be rationally explained – known as intuition. Intuition is a powerful force necessary for making some of the most influential decisions in our lives. For people with Saturn in Cancer, that power is missing for a good portion of life, filled instead by the empty accomplishments they thought would satisfy their lack.
For men, this placement could even manifest as a fear of women, as they are the more emotional of the sexes. An inability to deal with or identify one’s own emotions makes dealing with others’ emotions just as frightening. Women tend to shut off their emotions, missing a core character trait that defines them. They give up their caring, nurturing, loving nature for a cold-hearted and stoic disposition that resembles their aloof and unresponsive mothers.
Whereas some people with Saturn in Cancer face gloom, doom, and despair, others try to force emotion in an attempt to make friends and find love. But forcing emotion is unnatural, as emotions are innately haphazard, unexpected, and spontaneous. Those on this path experience pain trying to assimilate with peers, leading to the aforementioned defensive wall being built to protect them from future emotional scars.
Fortunately, Cancer is a cardinal sign, and Saturn loves to work with active forces. Natal Saturn in Cancer indicates a strong creative drive, practical imagination, emotional fidelity and loyalty, emotional control, and realistic idealism. Physical forms of art are more their craft, like sculpting, papier mache, pottery or clay work, canvas painting, body painting, model building, pyrography, carpentry, etc. They work best with mediums that are materially accessible.
This placement could also be taken literally, and these natives can be innovative architects who construct wild conceptions with firm foundations. Foundation-laying, sewage or plumbing and water control systems like dams and water generators are other avenues of potential work.
Or more simply they could be authority figures in their own homes, setting a firm code of discipline. Mothers are likely to be more strict and demanding in the home environment; fathers are likely to be lenient and understanding when enforcing their laws.
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