astrology cancer



I began this article after reading a very negative blog about Saturn in Cancer and I have probably changed this article about ten times to a much softer, gentler article about the best in Saturn in Cancer. It struck me as I lay in bed after just waking up this morning that Saturn in Cancer was rather like Ceres (the great goddess Demeter) the goddess of plants, food, agriculture and growing cycles. Like Cancer Ceres is a mother and when she lost her daughter Peresphone she was a terrible mother. She created terror on earth because she created droughts and the earth was no longer fertile and green, so the crops died and people went hungry. If it was today there would have been looting. In olden times in ancient China whole tribes moved west into Europe and raped and pillaged because they were starving and furious. So Ceres is a mighty powerful force. Basically Ceres-Demeter  went into a scorched earth policy when her daughter left home because, yes, you are right, she was depressed. She needed the amino acid Taurine to stop her grief and stop her being mean and irritable. Was she menopausal? Its sounds like it, but Persephone had gone off with the inarticulate god Hades and she escaped from her mother’s clutches. I am sure all you mothers know how it feels when your darling daughter leaves home. Well this is a very Saturn in Cancer story. To make a long story short Saturn-Ceres and Saturn/Cancer aspects create a realistic foundation for nurturing at all stages of our life, so we have the depth, stability,  and commitment to have a great relationship with a partner, a friend or a sibling or our child.  That sounds just like Saturn in Cancer too, doesn’t it. What happens if you have a square, opposition, or quincunx or semi square between your Ceres  and Saturn or a bad aspect to your Saturn in Cancer? We might be a smother-mother who overpowers her/his child like Ceres or we withhold love because we are unconsciously copying our mother who was an ice-cold mother with no hugs. Or we might need to nurture our own inner child. We might have Chiron conjunct Ceres or Chiron conjunct Moon. Eeek! But the big deal is how do we change? Well, first we forgive ourself and then we become aware of ancestral patterns of permissive parenting, smothering the children, neglecting the children or abusing the children. Then we say sorry if we have hurt someone and see an expert  to help us stop old patterns. So let’s read about Saturn in Cancer.

Basically I am a teacher and counsellor  and while my articles are descriptions I use them to teach people of all stages in the world of astrology. While this article centers on Saturn in Cancer, Saturn in anyone’s chart is just one part of a whole horoscope and one part in the whole psychological makeup of a person, or a major part in the karmic lessons of a person’s soul journey.  It also could be a part in the medical assessment of a person’s astrological chart. But please remember, for the general public we are for many people , aligned with tea leaf readers and what we say goes straight into the subconscious mind of gullible people, so coat your assessment of Saturn in Cancer in a positive light, with the lessons they need to learn and with some wide ranging suggestions for how to achieve these lessons. If  your client or friend that you are analysing is older and has done a lot of spiritual  and psychological work on themselves  please  do not read their chart as if they were a child, or an uneducated person who has done no evolutionary work and a bad person and never be condescending. I have had this happen  and it is insulting. It gives astrologers a very bad name. Whatever school you come from (Esoteric astrology, Psychological astrology or Evolutionary astrology) be professional in what you say, make sure you are a good, positive and compassionate counsellor and put yourself in your client’s or friend’s shoes, because they have come to you for help, not to be criticised or ripped apart.


If you are a beginner it is good to use key words when we look at archetypes. At times I have a memory like a sieve and I use key words. Saturn rules:

  • limitations,
  • delays,
  • scientific laws,
  • older people,
  • patience,
  • older people,
  • conventional behaviour
  • and productive use of time,
  • form,
  • the structures of boundaries, walls, fences and even marriage rings,
  • the structures of society (schools, marriage, governmentality, churches and that includes cults even through cults are Saturn-Neptune),
  • discipline,
  • responsibility,
  • organisation,
  • ambition,
  • the principle of truth,
  • contraction,
  • solidification
  • and aging.
  • Saturn is in certain astrology karmic lessons,
  • but it psychological astrology and
  • where we focus to learn hard lessons and responsibility.
  • It is where we feel least secure and where we overcompensate.

The other part of the Saturn in Cancer equation is Cancer. First we must remember that Cancer is a water sign:

  • feeling,
  • sustaining and
  • receptive,
  • but also emotional,
  • intuitive,
  • sensitive,
  • deep,
  • moody and
  • even prickly,
  • easily influenced and
  • easily hurt.

Cancer is also a cardinal sign and these signs begin the seasons.

  • Therefore cardinal signs are initiatory,
  • active,
  • ardent,
  • ambitious,
  • enthusiastic
  • and independent
  • and their minds are quick
  • and insatiable,
  • but also overhasty,
  • inconsiderate,
  • domineering and
  • they do not always finish what they begin.

We also see Cancer’s general characteristics as

  • tenacious,
  • maternal,
  • domestic,
  • loves cooking,
  • traditional,
  • helpful,
  • sympathetic
  • and empathic,
  • emotional,
  • has a good memory,
  • broody,
  • touchy,
  • too easily hurt,
  • negative,
  • manipulative,
  • too cautious,
  • lazy,
  • selfish and
  • sorry for self.

So I leave it to you to put these together in phrases:

  • my mothering style has limitations;
  • my mother was insecure;
  • when my mother had dementia I felt unsafe with her;
  • my cookery is orthodox and dull;
  • I encouraged my children to tell the truth;
  • my grandma was a perfect cook;
  • I felt safe and secure with my Nana.

No, I don’t have Saturn in Cancer, but I am using some examples of how you can use Cancer and Saturn keywords to create a picture of a Saturn in Cancer person.


As we can generally see Cancer as home and family;  prickly emotions and hypersensitivity,  Saturn in Cancer may indicate that one’s home and family life is not easy or necessarily positive. People with Saturn in Cancer are likely to have had a difficult or dysfunctional upbringing so they become emotionally guarded for the rest of their life until they learn to open their heart and be trusting.  Therefore, as a counselling astrologer we need to look at the person’s attachment style that results from their upbringing. This careful analysis of the Saturn in Cancer is so important because Cancer is such an emotional sign and Saturn causes limitations and walls and fences. So if ever there was a person who suppresses their feelings or walls off their heart it is the Saturn in Cancer person. If you have a parent or grandparent in the 1920-1930s generation who have Pluto in Cancer and they had Saturn in Cancer it would be good to analyse their behaviour with their family.   Health psychology has contributed significantly to understanding the link between psychological factors and health and well-being, so I will analyse attachment styles.

The attachment behavioral system is theorised as a biologically-based system that protects individuals by keeping them close to caregivers in the face of danger (Bowlby, 1969).  Physical and mental closeness  serves the evolutionary goal of helping infants survive and enables individuals of any age who feel threatened to reestablish emotional security through contact and comfort from an attachment figure (a partner, friend, sibling or parent). Threats to an attachment bond, such as illness, pain, or stressors such as divorce, separation or dementia in a parent, will activate attachment behavior, for example, seeking proximity to the caregiver, aimed to reestablish and maintain the bond (see Mikulincer & Shaver, 2007). Copying the process between mother and child, adults who are distressed may seek out an attachment figure (often their spouse or friend) in an attempt to restore emotional well-being, and adult partners might respond by providing care through reassurance, comfort, and tangible support (Collins & Feeney, 2010).

In adults, differences in attachment style are typically seen in attachment anxiety, avoidance and disorganised attachment (see Mikulincer & Shaver, 2007). Anxious attachment refers to a pattern of hyperactivation in the face of threat, including heightened distress and  seeking proximity and reassurance from others, in other words clingy and co-dependent (lunar or Neptunian) behaviours. These people may seek advice without listening to their own intuition and they can be very indecisive. So if your client has Moon in Libra or Pisces and Saturn in Cancer which suggest anxious attachment it would be advisable to refer them to a good psychologist.

Attachment avoidance refers to a pattern of deactivation in response to threat, including minimizing distress, turning attention away from the threat, and trying to be overly self-reliant (Saturnian or Uranian),  with independent and often cold and unaffectionate behaviours. They often clam up or stop talking. Simply put, a child who has an avoidant attachment tends to keep away from his parents, because the parents are verbally or physically abusive or neglect the child. This is a safety mechanism.  This attachment avoidant behaviour may mimic Asperger’s Syndrome behaviour. These people may have Moon in Capricorn opposite Saturn in Cancer. Generally you would not get an attachment avoidance person coming to you, as an astrologer for help. They do not ask for help and they pretend nothing is wrong when they are under stress.
With disorganized attachment there is no clear attachment between the child and his caregiver. The parent or caregiver, who is often a step-parent, acts as an apprehensive caregiver and a reassuring one at different times, the child may get confused and this causes a lack of trust. So the child may be screamed at and slapped one day and hugged the next. This child may attract this type of up- and down ( and possibly dangerous, often domestic violence) partner later in life. Again refer this person to a good psychologist, because they need help and fast. They will come to you in desperation because they are being continuously abused. A Transpluto parent or caregiver may be the abusive person and they may attract another Transpluto spouse/partner.  These people are very fearful and Saturn in Cancer people can be fearful with adrenal stress.

Normal or secure attachment security, refers to the combination of low anxiety and low avoidance reflecting feeling comfortable with closeness and trusting that a partner will be available and responsive when needed. All these four attachment styles (including secure attachment style) have been shown to predict whether and how people seek support from close others as well as the ability to provide comfort and reassurance when their partner needs it (i.e., caregiving; Collins & Feeney, 2010) and many other aspects of relationship functioning (see Mikulincer & Shaver, 2007).

If your specialty is astrological relationship counselling you need to know  and understand about attachment styles as each partner in a relationship, including siblings brings specific relationship orientations such as an attachment style and related expectations and beliefs about the relationship to the situation. It is estimated that approximately 55–65% of adults have  secure attachment style; 22–30% of adults have avoidant attachment style and 15–20% of adults have ambivalent attachment style, with some evidence that avoidant styles are more prevalent in older adults (Magai, 2008). Why, because the baby boomers who were born from approximately 1945 to 1960 had parents who were born  and lived through the Great Depression, when many people (including their parents) had little money and WWII when their fathers or mothers  may have fought in the war or had parents who fought in WWI.  So many baby boomers came from families who were still reacting to their parents war time behaviours.

And these negative attachment behaviours are what people refer to when one says, “Oh, I come from a dysfunctional family”.  In Cancer in Saturn negative attachment families there may be too many siblings and no child gets enough attention, or the parents are drug or alcohol addicts and no one gets enough attention, or the parents worked long hours and the child had to fend for themselves. This is an attachment avoidance pattern.

The mother or caregivers may have been clinging, smothering, needy and what we call co-dependent and that includes an ill (including psychiatrically ill) parent that the child has to look after. This may activate anxious attachment and this can happen as a result as the result of the person growing up in a war zone or a high crime area.

People with insufficicient education may not realise how to stop their own unconscious copying of their parents and grandparent’s patterns of attachment behaviour and these unaware people may not see their own reactions to their children. Poverty and illness may cause one’s  ancestors be intergenerationally dysfunctional. I do family history charts  and I have been noting the behaviour of people whose mothers had 10 to 20 children. The children who were bought up in these families were neglected and their behaviour latter in life was often quite strange.

With Saturn in Cancer, like South Node Cancer as well, there may be a chain of past lives that have family enmeshment. There are always past life patterns. Just as South Node Leo people often act like royalty or South Node Aries people will be loners Saturn in Cancer people will have past life family dysfunction. The more they can delete the trauma in past lives from family dysfunction and excess emotion, the clearer and happier they become. Consequently, people with Saturn in Cancer are challenged in this life to see and work at their expression of emotions and their family relations. Cancer can encapsulate mother issues, intuition, nurturing and soul memories, so by cutting the soul cords to Saturn in Cancer dysfunctional karmic situations, with angelic help, the more we may also dispel emotional imbalances.

We can deduce quite easily that Supportive relationships are health protective so if a person is emotionally prickly they may not keep friends. Research has proven that people who lack social ties or social integration experience higher mortality rates and bad health, thus all the spiritual and emotional work Saturn in Cancer people can do on their people skills the happier their lives become.

But Saturn in Cancer isn’t just emotional and spiritual areas, its also hard core reality. Saturn in Cancer is our home, our boundaries, where we feel we belong, our responsibilities and commitments. And its our security.  There is a lot of fear here though, and all the negative parts of our natal Saturn is is what we fear. We may fear success and unconsciously sabotage ourselves, because in past lives Saturn in Cancer people often have had to support their parents or their whole family rather than doing what they really wanted to do and have fun. I find affirmations said just before I go to sleep helpful. One of mine is, ” Hilary is successful” said three times out aloud. Saying these affirmations for three months   will lodge in our neural pathways and change our neurological habits.  Fear creates negativity and Saturn in Cancer or South Node Cancer can be very negative and stifling and may turn us into a chicken-heart and damage our adrenal glands which ruin our base chakra and our grounding. So learning self-encouragement is so important to a Saturn in Cancer person.  Facing realistic issues is vital too.

Let us look at how men and women face stress. Women also tend to show stronger cardiovascular and neuroendocrine reactions during marital conflict compared to men (Kiecolt-Glaser & Newton, 2001).But  men who engage in dominant behavior as a result of stress show heightened affective and physiological reactions compared to women, suggesting that dominance may be more consequential for men’s health (Smith, Limon, Gallo, & Ngu, 1996).  In other words the higher the stress the more macho men become and the more prickly women become. This relates to Saturn in Cancer because this archetype suggests insecure attachment styles and how they effect people, unless they have been through extensive therapy  and years of yoga or a life affirming lifestyle.


At present I am using the Australian Bush Flower Boab for clearing the karma of past actions, releasing past abuse and prejudice within my immediate family and ancestors, releasing native emotions and thought patterns, releasing negative and dysfunctional emotions and creating personal growth spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. Boab works on the mental, etheric and astral levels so we are helping our light body which will heal genetic patterns as well. I have noticed a huge and positive difference in my attitudes.

Therapy from a psychologist or patient doctor is also helpful if one partner is ill. A secure (attachment style) husband who is comfortable with closeness and intimacy would be hypothesized to respond favourably to an intervention designed to help him be more supportive to facilitate his wife’s adjustment to say breast cancer (which is Saturn in Cancer health problem), but an avoidant husband who is uncomfortable with intimacy is not expected to be receptive to an intervention.

But apart from hopping into bed with a great book one of the best therapies for stress is fun and laughter.


If you have Saturn in Cancer, I wish you well because you will have transiting Saturn opposing your natal Saturn; you will have transiting North Node in Cancer conjuncting your natal Saturn and you will have your natal Saturn in Cancer being opposed by Pluto in Capricorn. Where will you work hard and pay dues? Saturn in the chart reveals our approach to leadership, authority and discipline. It’s the facet of your life that forces you to build character and earn what you reap through hard work and time. Saturn reveals where you’ll be tested, and which struggles can transmute into strengths through hard work and Saturn transits will certainly do this.

What will the transiting Saturn in Capricorn opposite your natal Saturn do? This cycle can bring your growth on all levels, certainly emotional and nurturing to a standstill. Look back to what happened 14 years ago and see what happened. Have you grown, is your career improving? Has it been a period of fulfillment, capability and credit for your efforts? If obstacles occur now, do some forgiving for those you have closed off emotionally and so some soul searching. Deep understanding can occur now that show what modifications are necessary and what truly matters to you, especially those objectives that make for lasting well-being. You can adjust your path or do nothing and wait the obstacles out. Hinderances usually subside when this period ends. They likely will recur, however, every seven years until you make the necessary alterations and align what is out of place. It is a time when circumstances keep you grounded and in touch with what is real and circumstances and people may expose any weaknesses and inadequacies so that they can be tackled.

For me Saturn spells grounded, earthy issues, so at this time I would be taking old clothes you never wear to the nearest opportunity shop; cleaning out your kitchen pantry; looking very carefully at your finances and paying any debts. I pay any debt on my credit card the day I incur a debt. I pay my mortgage as soon as possible. I pay bills immediately. Finance is very Saturnian and  so is food, because Saturn is earthy and your body comes under the auspices of earth and all practical areas. So  make sure your life is organised and the shelves in your cupboards are tidy and your car is neat. So if you have transiting Pluto and Saturn opposite your Saturn in Cancer make sure your finances are perfect or … yes, you can guess. Right now is not a good time to take financial risks.

Transiting Pluto opposition natal Saturn sure is a wonderful opportunity to change your karma and change old agreements from the past that have been blocking your progress. Pluto is mighty in his effects and should never ever be underestimated by an astrologer. Some astrologers have likened Pluto to an underground Mafia or gangster and I have transiting Pluto effecting my Saturn right now and this is an effective analogy. We are being taken, perhaps highjacked, but think of Peresphone when Pluto took her to the underworld. Herr mother Demeter suffered, but Persephone remained grounded. If we are to understand the transits of Pluto, we see what happens now as a change of form and form itself is the result of the rate of vibration of matter. We can change our vibration in many ways: flower essences, psychotherapy, forgiveness, change of environment, being loving, yoga, tai chi, chi gong.

In soul-centered astrology we look at life via the physical, the emotional, and the mental levels. We may end a relationship or change a relationship but whatever happens we will be more realistic. Transformation, transmutation and change is necessary now. When we transmute, we make a conscious choice to change our ways especially if our health is concerned here. It’s a time of “let go, trust and let God.” Its hard and part of our life will be lost. It’s a time of minimalization and letting go of old habits, but Grace occurs if we let go.


astrology cancer stiching

If we see women with Cancer in Saturn as blessed with the guidance of Saturn; learning the rules of life and love and also the limitations of reality we can enjoy transiting Saturn effecting and affecting our natal Saturn in Cancer. It really is only in the last 110 years that women have no longer stayed home with the children. Women have taken on a different role in this time. But I taught home economics or cookery and sewing to high school students and college students and this is an ideal  image for the Saturn in Cancer archetype. I don’t have  Saturn in Cancer but I do have my Capricorn Sun opposite two of my Cancer planets. I love sewing and cooking. I  create queen size patchwork quilts as presents.  They are a labour (Saturn) of love. My father and grandfather could both sew and make leather goods and they could cook perfectly because they had been drovers, so we see the Saturn in Cancer archetype as an organized professional, affectionate partner, and loving maternal type and this can so for a man whose wife is ill. Men are just as able to be a house-husband and male teachers who teach children from age 5 to 13  are able to serve as an effective disciplinarian because they set a good example.

So rather than seeing the transits of Pluto and Saturn over Saturn in Cancer as hard work and stress we could go and do a cookery course for adults,  or a sewing, knitting, fashion design, bring up children or restaurant work class on weekends. They are fun. We can also go to groups in any of those areas.



I found these people have Saturn in Cancer: Michael Douglas, General George Patton, the Marquis de Sade, Elizabeth I of England, Eric Clapton, Nicholas Tesla, Angelina Jolie, Donald Trump, Napoleon, John F. Kennedy who was assassinated, the evil Earl of Cardigan who led hundreds of men to their death and slaughter in the Charge of the Light Brigade, Jock Bowes-Lyon a short lived uncle of the Queen of England who had two mentally defective children, Ingrid Bergman, Leonardo de Caprio, Liza Minnelli, Frank Sinatra, Cher, and Peter Sutcliffe a psychopathic serial killer.  In another article I will analyse some of these people’s charts and how they coped with being a Saturn in Cancer person.

Good luck and bright blessings if you have Saturn in Cancer and these transits.

~ Hilary~