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Saturn Return in Cancer: What to Expect

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A Saturn return is a momentous event that happens to you every 29.4 years that you are alive. This time, when Saturn returns to the same place in the Zodiac where it was when you are born, brings the major structures of your life up for review.

However, not all Saturn returns are identical. Saturn goes through the same 12 Zodiac signs that the Sun does, but Saturn takes 29.4 years to complete the trip, while the Sun only takes one year. You, therefore, have a Saturn sign that is not necessarily the same as your Sun sign.

If you have Saturn in Cancer, you might embrace the role of nurturing others, but your Saturn returns may push you to look at whether you are receiving the care you need yourself. You might have to work to find a balance between having stability in your life and honoring your emotional truth.

The characteristics of your Saturn return in Cancer may also vary based on the house where Saturn is located in your natal chart. While the first Saturn return that happens in your late twenties is well known, many people also go on to have second and third Saturn returns that revisit similar themes.

First Saturn Return in Cancer

Your first Saturn return takes place when you are in your late twenties. The first Saturn return gets the most attention because so many big life choices seem to come to a head then. You may begin or end a significant relationship. You might begin or end a commitment to a particular career. You could even become a parent.

If your first Saturn return takes place in the sign of Cancer, you may be especially drawn to building a stable home life. If this is something you have spent your twenties working toward, you might achieve a big milestone, like getting married or buying a house, around your Saturn return.

However, if your efforts to reach outward stability have come at the cost of denying your true emotional needs, this tension could erupt at your Saturn return in Cancer. You might finally give up on a relationship that has been a source of ongoing frustration. Learning to nurture yourself can help you find more fulfilling partnerships going forward.

Second Saturn Return in Cancer

Your second Saturn return takes place when you are in your late fifties. While your first Saturn return may have had you establishing yourself in your career, your second Saturn return could have you thinking seriously about retirement. While you may have married or become a parent at your first Saturn return, you could be experiencing an empty nest at your second Saturn return.

The empty nest type of second Saturn return could be especially challenging if you have Saturn in Cancer, as parenthood may have been a big part of your identity to begin with. You might be a little too eager to have grandchildren, as you may not know who you are without someone to dote on. A similar dilemma could arise if you are considering retiring from a longtime career where you have gotten security from your role in nurturing others.

If you do have grandchildren, though, you could spend more time than you expected to take care of them. Alternately, you might find that your own elderly parents require your attention. You may have to acknowledge that you do a better job caring for your loved ones when you also make an effort to meet your own personal needs.

Third Saturn Return in Cancer

While most readers are probably on their first or second Saturn returns, imagining your third Saturn return, when you are in your late eighties, can be a helpful exercise. Where do you want to be toward the end of your life, and what do you have to do now to get there?

If you have Saturn in Cancer, you might get security from being the nurturer of others. By the time you get to your third Saturn return in Cancer, however, you may need to let others nurture you. Accepting this change could be difficult for you, as you might feel like you are losing control over your life.

Another challenge people sometimes face in old age is having to move into a retirement home or a relative’s home because they can no longer maintain their own home. This could be an especially difficult part of a third Saturn return in Cancer. Even if you manage to stay in your own home until you die, you may need to acknowledge that the things that give you security, such as your property and your role in your family, can’t come with you.

Saturn Return in Cancer by House

Many people born within a couple of years of you will have Saturn in the same sign that you do, as Saturn stays in each sign for about two and a half years during its 29.4-year cycle. However, not all Saturn returns in Cancer are identical. Knowing the house in your astrological chart where your Saturn return takes place can help you understand why your experience of a Saturn return in Cancer might differ from that of some of your peers. 

If your time of birth is known, your astrological chart can be divided into twelve houses, each focusing on a different area of life. The house in your birth chart where Saturn is located is also the house where your Saturn return will take place.

Try looking up your astrological chart below to see the house where Saturn is located.

Saturn Return in Cancer, First House

The first house is associated with your physical body and your identity. People who have Saturn in the first house often tend to present themselves in a serious and dignified way.

If you have Cancer in the first house, you may be seen as someone who is good at taking care of others. If you have been able to make this work for you, a first house Saturn return in Cancer may be a time when you formalize this role, like by starting a career in the helping professions or becoming a parent.

Being seen as someone who is good at taking care of others might not always be good for you, though. If others have been taking advantage of your kindness, your first house Saturn return in Cancer could be a time when you set boundaries on your nurturing ways.

Saturn Return in Cancer, Second House

The second house focuses on money and possessions. In general, having Saturn, the planet of restriction and limitation, in the second house could show that money does not come to you easily. However, you might have a disciplined attitude toward whatever money you do have.

If you have Cancer in the second house, you might tend to look to money and material possessions for emotional security. Your second house Saturn return in Cancer could be a time when circumstances challenge this habit of yours. You may need to find security in other ways.

However, if you have been able to handle money in an emotionally balanced way, your second house Saturn return in Cancer could bring financial stability. Material security can help you achieve your goals, as long as you keep it in perspective.

Saturn Return in Cancer, Third House

The third house is involved with communication. Having Saturn in your third house, regardless of its sign, can be associated with feeling like it is hard for you to communicate with the people around you and make yourself understood.

With Cancer in the third house, emotions could be a big part of your communication. Combined with the blockages that Saturn in the third house can bring, this could come out in being afraid to say anything because you might hurt someone’s feelings. Alternately, you might be unaware of how you hurt others’ feelings when you communicate. Either of these situations could come to a head at a third house Saturn return in Cancer.

A third house Saturn return in Cancer could be a good time for you to become more conscious about how you use emotions in your communication. This can be very powerful when done well, but it needs the discipline to develop.

Saturn Return in Cancer, Fourth House

Like the sign of Cancer, the fourth house focuses on home and family matters. A fourth house Saturn return in Cancer, therefore, gets a double dose of the same themes.

In general, having Saturn, the planet of restriction and limitation, in the fourth house can reflect that you felt like you did not get the nurturing you need growing up. Saturn in Cancer, in general, has similar vibes. A fourth house Saturn return in Cancer could therefore be a great time to examine your childhood emotional wounds.

A fourth house Saturn return in Cancer might also bring an opportunity to buy a home or otherwise settle down in a stable residence. If you didn’t get the home environment you wanted when you were growing up, you may have a longing to create it now.

Saturn Return in Cancer, Fifth House

The fifth house is associated with children and creativity. Some people become parents at their Saturn returns, and a fifth house Saturn return could be especially likely to go in this direction. You might feel like you have to become a parent in order to be a proper adult.

Cancer is associated with nurturing, which can result in an intense, all-in approach to childrearing. If the possibility of having children is on your mind at your fifth house Saturn return in Cancer, you may wonder whether you are able to pursue that without completely losing yourself in the process. No matter what you decide, you may improve many of your relationships if you make an effort to negotiate boundaries between self-care and caring for others at this time.

The fifth house can also be linked with dating and romance. If you haven’t found the right partner yet, your fifth house Saturn return in Cancer could push you to be more honest about what you really want. You may be more interested – or less interested – in settling down than you let on, but telling your truth can help you find someone compatible.

Saturn Return in Cancer, Sixth House

The sixth house focuses on your routine responsibilities, like the day-to-day part of your work and what you must do to maintain your health. Saturn in the sixth house can be associated with health problems, but it might just show that you are very focused on staying healthy even if you don’t have an illness to be concerned about.

If you have Cancer in the sixth house, you may be drawn to a job that provides security or a nurturing environment even if it has other drawbacks. At your sixth house, Saturn return in Cancer, you might have to look at whether the bargains you have made in this regard have worked out.

A sixth house Saturn return in Cancer could also go in the direction of affecting habits like diet and exercise. If you usually go for the comfort of doing what feels good, your Saturn return might point out things you need to give more attention. However, if you tend to be overly hard on yourself, in terms of something like a restrictive diet, your sixth house Saturn return may encourage you to nurture yourself more kindly.

Saturn Return in Cancer, Seventh House

The seventh house is associated with significant one-on-one relationships including but not limited to a marriage, and having Saturn here natally can suggest that you take such relationships very seriously. Saturn returns can be associated with marriages or divorces, and a seventh house Saturn return might be especially likely to go in this direction of changing your relationship status.

If you have Cancer in the seventh house, you may prioritize security in your relationships. However, your seventh house Saturn return in Cancer could push you to look at what you have given in exchange for that.

You may also need to learn to open up emotionally in your relationships at your seventh house Saturn return in Cancer. Though you might feel like revealing your emotions would threaten the stability of your relationships, circumstances may be such that not opening up would cause worse problems.

Saturn Return in Cancer, Eighth House

The eighth house is linked with intense experiences like death and sexual intimacy. Boundaries tend to blur in these extreme situations, so the eighth house also handles situations of sharing finances or property. It can even take in paranormal experiences where the basic structures of the physical world do not perform as expected. Having Saturn here in your birth chart can cause either an inability to get away from such difficult matters or a fear of approaching them.

Cancer in the eighth house might tend to be emotional about the heavy stuff, but Saturn there could block the release of emotions. At your eighth house, Saturn return in Cancer, you may need to feel your feelings about a significant death or sexual trauma in order to move forward.

If you have already been consciously working with the emotional aspects of trauma for some time, your eighth house Saturn return in Cancer could be a time when you realize you are ready to help others who have similar problems.  

Saturn Return in Cancer, Ninth House

The ninth house is associated with the systems of beliefs that make up society, like philosophies, legal codes, and religious doctrines. It is also linked to higher education. A person with Saturn in the ninth house, in general, might be either an especially dogmatic enforcer of such structures or someone who seems to be continually blocked by them.

If you have Cancer in the ninth house, you might be sentimentally attached to a religious or political affiliation that you associate with your family heritage. A ninth house Saturn return in Cancer could push you to confront whether it really works for you personally.

The ninth house can also be associated with travel, especially to places that are far away. A big trip might actually be really good for a ninth house Saturn return in Cancer. While Cancer can tend to get locked into doing things in a comfortable, time-tested way, seeing another culture handle them very differently could be a great excuse to try something new.

Saturn Return in Cancer, Tenth House

The tenth house is involved with matters of career and status. Having Saturn in the tenth house natally could suggest that your public role in the world is a source of concern for you. With hard work, you may achieve prominence in your profession, but it may also be hard to feel like you have ever done enough.

If you have Cancer in the tenth house, you may be drawn to a profession where you help or nurture others. Your tenth house Saturn return in Cancer could be a time when you find your way to such a profession. If you’ve already been there for a while, you might get promoted.

However, the hard part about the helping professions is often knowing when to stop helping. At your tenth house, Saturn return in Cancer, you might learn some important lessons about professional boundaries. 

Saturn Return in Cancer, Eleventh House

The eleventh house is associated with friendships and community groups. In general, having Saturn in the eleventh house could mean that finding a peer group is an important focus of your life. Early on, you may feel shut out of social connections, like they do not come easily to you. Once you hit your stride, though, you may find that your commitments to groups and organizations become overwhelming for you.

If you have Cancer in the eleventh house, you might be very loyal to your friends, as well as any communities or organizations you belong to. At your eleventh house, Saturn return in Cancer, you may find out whether they are as loyal to you as you are to them.

Discovering that a commitment you have made is not a good fit for you could nudge you to admit whether you overlooked any red flags in your hurry to meet your emotional needs. However, if your eleventh house Saturn return in Cancer reveals that you have found a strong group that shares your ideals, you may be able to succeed in taking action toward those ideals together.

Saturn Return in Cancer, Twelfth House

The twelfth house is associated with secrets and things that are out of view. Saturn represents structure, so Saturn in the twelfth house is a hidden structure, a hidden agenda running your life that even you may not be aware of.  

If you have Cancer in the twelfth house, what you might tend to hide is your sensitivity. However, that doesn’t mean no one else ever sees it. Instead, it could tend to pop out at odd moments in ways that you don’t seem to fully control.

Your twelfth house Saturn return in Cancer could be a great time to become aware of your emotional triggers. When you explore what sets you off and why, you may achieve powerful insights.