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Vol. III: Astro-Rayology
Table of Contents

Tapestry of the Gods
Volume III
by Michael D. Robbins

in progress

Interpretations of Famous People by Ray, Sign and Life Emphasis
With Explanations of All Astrological and Rayological Elements

Michael Robbins Homepage
hosted on MAKARA

Saturn in Cancer

Saturn in Cancer or Saturn in Relation to Cancer

(from Esoteric Astrology)

Saturn in Cancer—Its Detriment and Resultant Struggles:

“The power of Saturn in this sign furthers the ends and purposes of the governing energies or rays of harmony through conflicts (the Moon and Mercury) and of Neptune, for in this sign Saturn is in the home of its detriment and thus produces those difficult conditions and situations which will lead to the needed struggle. This makes Cancer a place of symbolic imprisonment and emphasises the pains and penalties of wrong orientation. It is the conflict of the soul with its environment—consciously or unconsciously carried on—which leads to the penalties of incarnation and which provides those conditions of suffering which the soul has willingly undertaken when—with open eyes and clear vision—the soul chose the path of earth life with all its consequent sacrifices and pains, in order to salvage the lives with which it had an affinity. (EA 342)

Specific Expressions of Saturn in Cancer

1. Saturn (in Cancer) in Relation to the Three Personality Vehicles:
Congestion and insufficient vitalization may occur in relation to the breasts, chest and stomach, and the major and minor centers which correlate with them. There may be digestive complaints, and hardenings and precipitations in relation to the breasts. The psychological state of ‘feeling unnourished’ can contribute to difficulties with the intake of food—its quantity and quality. The principal etheric center involved is the solar plexus center, and secondarily, the two minor centers at the breasts.

Because Cancer, in general, has difficulty specializing prana, and because Saturn is obstructive, thus contributing to devitalization, this detriment position (all things being equal) is not an indicator of abundant good health. The limitation and fallibility of the dense physical nature is painfully experienced. The “body-as-prison” is no mere concept. But the emphasis is on survival, and the body may last a long time.

There will be a need to conserve physical-vital energy, and also a tendency to do so, as this combination comes strongly under the Law of Economy—Saturn distributes the third ray and Cancer is the major distributor of the third ray to the mass of humanity. Mobility will be slowed or restricted (though the third ray tendency to move is reinforced). Perhaps the movement occurs because no settled habitation ever seems comfortable or suitable. Under this combination, there is the realization that one is forced to live on this planet, but one is never “at home”.

Emotionally, this combination can contribute to hard (Saturn) feelings (Cancer)—to crystallization in the feeling nature. Psychologically, Cancer is self-protective and Saturn creates barriers. The tendency to emotional isolation is reinforced, and the feeling of loneliness may grow. Because there is so much difficulty (Saturn) in the feeling nature (Cancer), opportunity is thereby presented—to detach.

The Moon in Capricorn (in its detriment) bears some similarity to the reverse indication, Saturn in Cancer (also a detriment). One learns to have fewer expectations of the instinctual nature (under Cancer), and to detach from the normal desires which keep one bound to close personal ties. This combination indicates difficulty achieving intimacy; finally, through pain and continual dissatisfaction, one learns that one’s best hopes for growth and freedom lie outside the personal, lunar sphere. Once detachment comes (or is forced), this somewhat melancholic position (especially if focal), reorients the desire nature to that which is not so likely to be disappointing — namely soul values and ashramic (Cancer) responsibility (Saturn).

Under the powerful third (and seventh) ray of this combination, the mind is focussed practically upon issues of security (and survival) upon the physical plane. There can be much mental calculation intended to secure safety in the field of matter and form. Saturn in Cancer, makes the mind concrete and traditional. This is not a risk-taking position; what has been tried before, what has worked before, what has been safe before—these determine the lines along which thought proceeds. The problem is the fear which exists in the astral body and the apprehensiveness in the mind. At a later point, and upon the Fixed cross, the mind may be turned towards the manifestation or materialization of the Ashram. Cancer rules the Ashram as a place of haven, and Saturn ever includes a concern for real structures upon the physical plane.

Saturn in Cancer shows that a responsibility (Saturn) to the inner Ashram (Cancer) may be realized. There may come the decision (Saturn) to do everything possible to anchor the Ashram on the physical plane, even under very difficult circumstances. The Ashram almost always has to reckon with the forces of Saturn in Cancer when thinking of externalizing within the inhospitable environment know as the dense physical plane.

2. Saturn (in Cancer) in Relation to the Personality as a Whole:
The personality attitude is defensive—intelligently (Saturn) creating those circumstances (Cancer) which will guarantee the safety of the soul-in-form upon the physical plane. Perhaps, under this combination, the human soul knows that it is cold and alone far from home—that its true “home” is above in the “Father’s House”, and that its present physical circumstances are equivalent to spiritual exile. The attitude is one of survival, and of struggle to “make the best” of inevitable difficulties. At first the approach will be entirely materialistic; later the emphasis turns to making a safe home for the soul in incarnation, and (for the disciple/initiate) for the ashram in the process of externalization.

3. Saturn (in Cancer) and the Presentation of Opportunity on the Path of Discipleship:
Opportunity is difficulty. In surmounting the difficulty comes the building of faculty. The presented difficulty is how to make the physical plane safe for the incarnating life/consciousness; how to establish an outpost for the fifth kingdom in the midst of the lower kingdoms (and the lower worlds in which they live). Nothing is easy, and one has to overcome an existential ‘home-sickness’ and melancholy. Endurance is requires—the endurance of many lives of struggle to “be at home” in a “foreign land”.

The story of the “prodigal son” comes to mind, but under Saturn in Cancer, the prodigal son cannot yet go home to the “Father’s House”; instead he must establish a home in this “far country” this strange land, and, following the analogy, invite the Father to visit him. Yes, one day, under Pisces, there will be a return (after the mission of salvation is concluded), but temporarily he must build a lighted house in the outer world, and “therein dwell”. The task of Saturn in Cancer is to make the “lighted house” sturdy, safe and secure.

4. Saturn and Choices to be Made and Destruction to be Endured in order to Promote a Freer Expression of the Soul:
At a certain point of evolution, when soul values begin to influence the consciousness somewhat, there is an obvious choice concerning the matter of security. What makes one secure? There is material security, pursued upon the Mutable Cross, and there is and there is spiritual security understood upon the Fixed Cross? (Just as the question for Saturn in Taurus, relates to the choice between “treasures on earth” and “treasures in heaven”.) There comes a point when the blatant materialism of this combination must become materialism for a higher purpose.

Probably in the early evolutionary days, Saturn in Cancer will indicate that one will be separated many times from home and family, which may be destroyed as well. Probably many attempts at security upon the physical plane will be crushed, thus increasing the fear of physical circumstance, but also the determination to build more wisely The third ray (which is so prominent in this combination) is the “Builder of the Foundation” (EP I 68). Once the foundation is wisely built, and cannot be broken-up by the testing power of Saturn, the question comes, “What is the foundation really for?” From that time forth, the tested-builder on the outer plane, becomes a representative of the externalizing Ashram.

5. As “the sacred planets endeavour to fuse the personality and make it the instrument of the soul and the non-sacred planets influence more specifically the form nature”, how does Saturn, a sacred planet, fuse the personality and make it a responsible instrument of the soul in this particular sign? How does it enforce the law(s) of the soul, and assist in the fulfillment of the Purpose, Plan and Dharma conceived by the soul?:
Under this combination, one is not only a builder of external forms; one becomes a builder of the personality and the watchful guardian of its safety. Saturn in Cancer defends the personality through intelligent thought leading to practical, providential measures. The body, mind and feelings are guarded from intrusion, and thus, their integrity is preserved; they are fused into a durable, elementally-resistant unit on the three worlds. The first integration guarantees their safety, but is not a soul inspired integration with the environment. That comes later. Once the personality is safe in the world of natural law, it must become a secure representative of the Kingdom of the Soul.

Under this combination, what is known ‘above’, must definitely be manifested ‘below’. Through the attempt to manifest, concretize, ground and anchor soul purpose and soul values, the fusing of the higher and lower pair of opposites occurs. Purpose, Plan and Dharma are not merely subjects for contemplation; they are energies for concrete actualization. The attempt at actualization brings the world of the soul more and more into physical incarnation—which is the deeper purpose of this combination.

6. Miscellaneous Meanings of Saturn in Cancer:

a. a powerful third ray combination
b. “Rotary Motion”
c. the urge toward incarnation of the fifth unmanifested Creative Hierarchy.
d. the “Foundation”; material foundation for all efforts in consciousness
e. the preservation of the form
f. the processes of reincarnation; the “vessel” of incarnation
g. paying the penalties of incarnation; karma exacted through the hereditary conditions of the physical body and the limitations of local environment
h. the limitations of mass consciousness
i. imprisonment by the lunar lords
j. controlling the lunar lords
k. defending the personality
l. the traditional, nuclear family; the insular family
m. home as a place of difficulties
n. economic management; security consciousness
o. utilitarianism and functionalism in architecture
p. economic difficulties; belt-tightening
q. seeking protection of the family
r. “my home is my fortress”
s. slave of tradition
t. parental difficulties
u. hereditary limitations
v. indigenous peoples
w. the limitations of the instinctual nature
x. tribalism; distrust of the new, of strangers;
y. instinctual conservatism; refusal to grow
z. stinginess, miserliness; fear of expenditure
aa. difficulty in assimilating and ingesting the new
bb. security complex; building strong; defensiveness; fortress complex; ‘edifice complex’
cc. nationalism as a source of limitation; isolationism; insularity
dd. seeking security in materialism
ee. scant opportunity in one’s home of origin
ff. fear of intimacy
gg. survivalism and fear for survival
hh. stomach and breast problems

Individuals with Saturn in Cancer

Marcus Aurelius
Karl Barth
Niels Bohr
Gaetano Donizetti
Elizabeth I
Galileo Galilei
Elbert Hubbard
David Hume
Dr. Samuel Johnson
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Joseph Lister
Christopher Marlowe
Yehudi Menuhin
Bonaparte Napoleon
George Patton
Jonas Salk
William Shakespeare
Nikola Tesla
Jules Verne
William Wordsworth

Astrological Interpretations
by Michael D. Robbins

commentary and projects
by Michael D. Robbins

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updated February 2008