Saturn in Cancer

Cancer is the sign particularly significant of domesticity and of repose. It is indolent to a degree, and saps the morality of Saturn. His persistence degenerates into laziness, and his austere concentration into mere inertia. Notwithstanding the galaxy of great names whose nativities show Saturn in this sign, which might lead the careless student to assume the position a fortunate one, the exceptions to this rule will be found few, and a careful study of the cases cited will prove that the successes were not because of, but in spite of Saturn's detriment in Cancer. {413} 

We have as examples of this position a trio of amazing geniuses in literature and art – Shakespeare, Balzac, and, in a lesser degree, Rossetti. But Saturn's influence, so far from contributing anything 

to the greatness of these men, was not by all their good aspects prevented from achieving on each an effect that may not unfairly be described as debauching. Their conscience was manifest only in the sphere of their work; the famous epigram of Catullus may be reversed for them. In their lives they were extravagant and idle; pleasure made them slaves. No sooner was the work of the moment over than they plunged into dissipation. 

The Saturn of Shakespeare was in conjunction with Jupiter, squared by the conjunction of the Sun and Moon. Neptune, too, is within six degrees of the sextile of the former pair, and he is in conjunction with Venus and in opposition to Uranus. The astrologer will be in little doubt as to the significance of the much-debated sonnets, or disposed to whitewash the carousals at the “Mermaid.” He will not be surprised at the accurate drawing of the Falstaff scenes, or be bewildered by the exquisite ambiguity of Rosalind and Viola. 

The Saturn of Balzac afflicted by the conjunction of Venus and Mars, has no assistance but the sextile of Mercury. While free of perversions, it is evident how these positions led him into excess and careless extravagances. 

Rossetti's Saturn has the opposition of Mars and Neptune conjoined. From this we see how, in spite of his great genius, anger and whimsy interfered with his proper concentration, how idleness and folly ate up his soul, demoralizing the good of a trine of the Sun to both Mars and Neptune, and found their culmination in madness. 

For yet another example we may take Queen Elizabeth, whose policy was much marred by her pursuit of pleasure. Here Saturn, in conjunction with Uranus, is squared by Mercury, making her temper eccentric and unreliable, in spite of a sextile from the Sun, which could only save her from going to too great extremes. It was not strong enough to counteract the danger of sensuality of Saturn in Cancer, and the title of “England's Virgin Queen” requires quotation marks. 

In the case of Napoleon, Saturn is far stronger, not only because he is culminating, but also because Libra, the Ascendant, is the sign of his exaltation. The opposition of the Moon is not therefore so {414} powerfully unfavorable. His moral character was developed well enough for self-restraint against his propensities, although of course he was in some ways as sensual as those already considered. But he never allowed pleasure to interfere with his ambition. Note well, however, that Saturn took his revenge upon the body, since his loss of the battles of Leipzig and of Waterloo came largely through his illness, by reason of indigestion, and he died from a cancer of the stomach, and organ that is ruled by this sign. 

The case of William III is interesting. Saturn has no help but the sextile of Mars. His wisdom was practical but not deep. Saturn, being in the twelfth house, is peculiarly inert in his map. The causes of his good fortune are elsewhere indicated. 

In the case of Nostradamus, we have Saturn dominating the nativity in the fullest sense. He is in the third house in conjunction with Jupiter and trined by the Moon, which dignities easily overcome all the lax tendencies of the Cancer position. We have here a fine picture of the famous astrologer, sinister, severe, pious, noble, commanding austerity dominant in his manner, and vision in his eyes. Neptune elevated in the tenth house, opposing Saturn and Jupiter, completes the sketch, adding a certain aloofness to the character, and causing incredible stories to gather around his name like demons about the circle of an enchanter. Of very similar character was the great Copernicus. Saturn is trined by Uranus and by the Sun and hence comes the illumination of his wisdom. There is an opposition of Jupiter and the Moon, and a square of Mercury. The latter prevents any tinge of unreality from contaminating the intelligence, while the oppositions prevent that indulgence in pleasure which Saturn in Cancer, alone, might have predicted. 

The following well known persons were born with Saturn in the sign Cancer: 


H. Rider Haggard 


William H. Taft 

Woodrow Wilson 

Michael Angelo 

David Bispham {415} 

Charlie Chaplin 

Jackie Coogan 

Emile Coue 

Clarence Darrow 


For the benefit of those who are not in possession of Raphael's Ephemeris, or who are not able to interpret the symbols contained therein, the years when Saturn is in the sign Cancer are as follows: 

From October 5th through October 20th 1855 

May 28th 1856 “ July 9th 1858 

July 6th 1885 ” August 18th 1887 

March 10th “ April 20th 1888 

August 25th ” December 6th 1914 

May 12th 1915 “ October 16th 1916 

December 8th 1916 ” June 23rd 1917

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