Saturn is the last planet visible to the naked eye. For millennia, it represented the limits of the solar system and came to symbolize time, structure and order. Saturn takes about 29 years to orbit the Sun, spending about two and a half years in each sign of the zodiac.
Saturn is the planet that says "no" but means "yes." The no comes from Saturn showing us what isn't working, sometimes in the form of frustrating blockages or delays. But these help us see where we need to put in effort to make concrete changes. Saturn says "yes" as the planet of crystallization that brings energy into matter. Saturn's presence in a sign of the zodiac shows us where we are likely to meet limits and how to construct something useful.
Traditionally, Saturn in Cancer has been considered a difficult placement. Saturn rules Cancer's opposite sign, Capricorn, where its practical, earthy nature is very much at home. Saturn's desire for order and structure is challenged in the cardinal water sign of Cancer. Emotions must flow in this sign, but Saturn prefers dry control to wet uncertainty.
The challenge of Saturn in Cancer is to respect emotions without blocking them or allowing them to spill into every area of life. This placement can be defensive, self-protective and highly territorial. Nationalism, tribalism and ethnocentrism may run amok during this transit. The point, however, is to extract the meaning of one's group without confining oneself within its limits. The need to protect hearth and home are evident, but not at the cost of suffocating ourselves in duct-taped rooms.
Ideally, Cancer teaches Saturn to feel, which produces more flexible structures. Healthy growth requires movement of the psyche, the body and the group. An appreciation of the past (Cancer loves history) is purposeful when it is balanced with a view toward the future. Fixing ourselves in old models of reality are likely to bring Saturn's negative qualities to the foreground, while building bridges between yesterday and tomorrow nurtures all of humanity.
Among those born with Saturn in Cancer were leaders like Napoleon, the Duke of Wellington and Queen Elizabeth I. Scientists like Galileo and Jonas Salk were born during Saturn in Cancer periods, as were writers William Shakespeare, Mary Shelley and Jules Verne and astrologer-psychic Michel Nostradamus.
Among the many modern celebrities with Saturn in Cancer we find Bette Midler, Diane Keaton, Cher, Goldie Hawn, Steve Martin, basketball coach Phil Jackson and real estate magnate Donald Trump. A younger generation of Saturn in Cancer stars includes Freddie Prinz Jr., Tobey Maguire, Angelina Jolie, Drew Barrymore, Eminem and Leonardo DiCaprio.