Having Saturn in the 8th House of your birth chart can be scary. It can be really scary, in fact. Saturn rules fears, worries, and anxieties, while the 8th House pushes everything in it to extremes. Therefore, unless they have other strong 8th House, Scorpio, or Pluto placements, a person with their Saturn in the 8th will probably spend a significant amount of their lives avoiding this placement altogether. When Saturn’s in the majority of the other houses, the person may get away with avoidance of their responsibility and purpose. But, Saturn in the 8th House is the house where Saturn absolutely cannot be avoided. That is, unless you want to spend the rest of your life, writhing in pain and agony. It’s either that or amazing transformation and self-empowerment. The 8th House is all-or-nothing. So, Saturn in the 8th requires nothing less. The choice is up to you.
We see the true face of 8th House placements in intimacy, sexually and emotionally. A person’s 8th House planets can seem opaque or mysterious or even deceptively simple until we get intimately involved with them. Then, a whole other side of this planet emerges. So, Saturn in the 8th House people might not seem that overwhelmed with worry, at the outset. Sure, they may not always be “happy” but you can consider them fairly free of anxiety. That is, until you become intimate with them. Then, you meet a very different person who worries obsessively over all sorts of things that you’d never even think they worried about, like when they’re going to die and if having sex with you will somehow change their life and if you really actually love them or are just pretending to love them until you inevitably stab them in the back.
So, 8th House Saturn people can become bottomless pits of worry and fear, in this negative state, letting the feelings of doom cycle and cycle until they spin out of control. Yet, this really intense, overwhelming fear of being out of control leads to a deep compulsion to be in control of everything. We discover control issues in the 8th House and they manifest very heavily for those with Saturn in the 8th House. Instead of letting life flow freely, they can feel driven to always be in command of every little thing, particularly in their intimate relations with others. This involves the feelings of the other person and the sex that goes on between the two of them. It’s the kind of thing that can become nastily manipulative, if taken too far, as Saturn in the 8th House people, at their worst, can be sexually withholding and unresponsive, just as a way to control their partner. And at the same time, there may be huge anxieties surrounding sex because they feel their partner somehow uses sexuality to control them, which will paralyze them. Any idea of someone “being in control” will just ruin the sex for those with Saturn in the 8th, because real intimacy isn’t about control.
All of these hang-ups around sex can very often be linked back to a traumatic experience in their life, like being raped or molested, where they felt painfully disempowered on a sexual level. 8th House Saturn people also typically aren’t eased into puberty by the adults around them. Maybe they had a father figure, in particular, who had a repressive or avoidant attitude surrounding the subject. The way parents have “the talk” really does impact their child, for better or worse. So, with Saturn in the 8th, the talk might have been totally avoided, giving the person an equally avoidant or fearful attitude toward their sexuality as an adolescent. On the other hand, maybe the talk was too much, too soon. The opposite extreme is a father figure who exposes the child to sex inappropriately, maybe far before puberty even hits. It then becomes too much to handle and really overwhelms the child, which is an attitude that continues through adulthood until these issues are resolved.
A premature familiarity with death can also settle in at this early age. Saturn in the 8th House people frequently experience the passing of an immediate or close family member or of a friend as children that impacts them very deeply. But, at the same time, we try to run from the things of our Saturn until we’re mature enough and strong enough to handle these issues. So, with Saturn in the 8th, you may try to desperately avoid the reality of death and your mortality. It’s something that haunts you yet that you can attempt to block out with the sunny, happy elements of life. But, this placement’s major lesson is that true joy cannot be experienced without acknowledging true pain and loss.
During your Saturn Return in the 8th, especially the first, how well you can handle and confront these painful losses will be tested. With Saturn in this house, your Saturn Return can rock you to your very core. It can feel really traumatizing, in some way or another. You may experience back-to-back deaths in your life, seeming unable to get out of the grief. In some way, you’ve been living with grief your whole life: over being hurt, betrayed, abused, abandoned, or whatever else. In your Saturn Return, the grief will become so overwhelming that you’ll be forced to find a way out of it. And this is when you end up discovering your power. If you stand up to the challenge, your Saturn Return in the 8th will be a wonderfully, intensely transformative time where you shed all the old skins that have held you back. At the end, you can look back and not even recognize that old self.
Some sort of terrible betrayal or unexpected emotional pain can very well hit you during this time, as well. Someone who you believed was your “friend” can dramatically stab you in the back. You might also see a very close relationship crumble before your eyes or anything else come into your life that feels like a knife’s being jabbed into your heart. But, these situations enter into your life in order for you to not only find your strength but your ability to forgive. Not just to forgive those who wrong you but to forgive the chaos of life that you can’t control. You have no control over who dies, who lives, who betrays you, who loves you, or anything else that happens. You just have control over how you deal with these situations. In knowing that, you’ll be able to not only find an amazing inner strength and resourcefulness but develop the skill of letting go and cultivating forgiveness. Why hold on to grudges? The bad things that happened only made you stronger.
The 8th House is always described as “other people’s money” and I’m not too interested in this perspective. I think it’s not good for 8th House people to think too much about other people’s money because it robs them of their power. If anything, other people’s money just brings more issues. Saturn in the 8th House folks know this better than anyone. You can go out and get a loan. But, then, you’re in deep debt if you can’t pay it. You can open a joint bank account with your spouse. And then, you find yourself financially tight if they can’t spend well. And you can gain an inheritance from your dead father or aunt or grandparent. But, then… Well, they just died. Do you really want to rejoice over the money you received from your loved one who’s no longer living?
The complications of these matters become very clear to you during your Saturn Return in the 8th. There can be quite a few situations where other people’s money only brings more turmoil into your life. I’ve read that this 8th House placement needs to be the least concerned with the financial resources of others. I think that’s true because Saturn is all about self-mastery and you can’t master what doesn’t belong to you. Therefore, you have to learn how to become financially empowered on your own. And when you’re in a strong enough of a place, then maybe you can apply for that loan or combine your resources with others’. This may be a time where a marriage falls apart just because you realized that you’ve been sponging off of your spouse in some way, or vice versa, instead of taking responsibility for your own money.
Yet, you can excel when it comes to paying off any possible debts. Most Saturn in the 8th House people have probably amassed a terrible credit history that they never want you to know about. However, they really don’t have much of a choice but to tell their partner. This is a challenge area for you but one you must rise to. You have to face your debts and I know, in this day and age, confronting debt is an anxiety-inducing thing for most people, no matter where their Saturn is. But, the more you do so, the more financially resourceful you’ll be. Then, when it comes time to merge with other people on a financial level, you’ll have the strength to do so successfully.
Paying off debt and gaining inheritance is not just a financial thing. It becomes a very emotional, psychological thing. The “inheritances” of the 8th are not solely the money that your mother left you in her will. That’s just a small fraction of it. It’s also the issues that have been passed down, from one generation to the next. After all, don’t we “inherit” our parents’ issues and then find ourselves figuring out what to do with them? Saturn in the 8th House people keenly feel the dysfunctional or unhappy element of their family line. So, your responsibility is to learn what to do with this psychological inheritance. You have to learn how to transform these issues, in some way, letting them go and often truly letting them die. With an 8th House Saturn, you cannot go through life being carelessly, willingly screwed-up. You have to confront the emotional debt you’ve racked up throughout life: who you’ve hurt and how you’ve hurt yourself and how to heal from it all.
In doing so, you’ll be diving into some deeper, darker matters. But, you cannot be afraid of what lies in your shadow. Being unwilling to face up to your dark side is like being unwilling to pay off your credit card bills. The interest will just keep piling up and piling up until you’re completely buried in it. So, Saturn in the 8th House have to confront all of it: their rage, their fear, their lust, their obsession, as well as the incredible love and devotion they’re capable of. This will be demanded of you during your Saturn Return in the 8th. Events will happen that may make you consumed with anger and hatred or fall into a severe depression or get totally lost in obsessive-compulsiveness. Through this time, you’ll be faced with your demons and also learn to see them as friends, not things to be feared. As long as you acknowledge and work with them, they’re not so bad.
This inevitably affects your intimate relationships. Any connection in your life that is not a real connection has to fall by the wayside. At the same time, if you’re not willing to truly, deeply connect with others, you’ll see those relationships dying because of you. So, you can no longer be afraid to get real, trusting that the person who really loves you is the one who can witness your shadow side and not leave you because of it. Being abandoned is a huge fear of yours. But, you’re also learning that people who leave you aren’t actually supposed to be there in your life, anyway. The deaths of the 8th House are way more metaphorical, most of the time. A relationship that’s meant to die is just going to die. Accept it, grieve for it, and move on.
Being able to effectively connect to other people means that your attitude toward your sexuality will heal, as well. You can stop feeling shameful or dirty for the intense desires that you possess. Those with Saturn in the 8th can actually become true masters of sex-positive living. At this evolved level, you know how to help your partner air out their sexual frustrations because you’ve had to go through that same process. Sex is something that you learn to take very seriously. The healing that you find through the sexual act brings a lot of purpose into your life. Saturn in the 8th is all about mastering the process of digging up all that’s buried, unhealed, unsolved, or holds great emotional power. So, you can make a career out of that by getting into the arts, the occult, research or investigation, or psychology/anthropology. You have a duty in life to interpret the mysteries around you that others cannot see and the shadows and the secrets that all human beings possess.