With Saturn in the 8th house, you want very deep contact with others on an honest and real level. You require authentic, straight, and unvarnished emotional exchange. No hypocrisy, manipulation, lying, or superficiality. The naked truth you can deal with better than most, but you can be wounded by cover-ups or by anyone denying what is really going on at a deeper level. In your family background, it may show a lack of this realness. So you’ll defend yourself from being hurt in the area where you feel most at risk of pain, especially in the parts of your life where you were let down. Early betrayals have left you on guard ensuring that no one ever humiliates you again. Even intimate partners are barred entry or put through incredible trust-worthy tests over a long period of time. A partner who sticks around long enough is rewarded with your emotional loyalty and the sharing of your hidden feelings. Still, you could be frightened by the vulnerability inherent within intimate relationships, fearing emotional rejection, and the dread of being let down on an inner level when support is most needed.
The idea of letting go of your control on a very intimate level is frightening, and there could be a fear of merging with others, leading to emotional or sexual hang-ups. The realm of sex and all unconscious and simmering feelings hidden below the surface of life, eventually reach a ‘crisis’ point and seek release. The emotions liberated within are the ones you have tried to keep under tight reign – rage, jealousy, resentment, and hate. Ultimately, you will often feel challenged or tested in the arena of your close relationships, and this is where your defensive behavior arises when feeling anxious.
According to The Contemporary Astrologer’s Handbook:
There can be a fear of intimacy and crises with this placement, you will do anything to avoid the pain of various types of trauma, and even the daily hurly-burly of being with someone can create anxiety. The fear may be of being controlled either in, or through, the sexual act. You will probably have inherited residual baggage from your parents in this respect. But through time, you may become an authority on intimate relationship and at home with crisis of all kinds. In the bedroom, you will often feel much better if you can be in control. There is a need for you to define your deepest feelings with Saturn here. Fear of death may go with the territory too, with you potentially, through time and experience, becoming expert on that also…On the financial front, there will often be responsibilities for joint resources, although you may will feel trapped and imprisoned by your responsibility for another’s money. A feeling of obligation and vague guilt will have prompted you to take on this burden in the first place.
According to Liz Greene, this placement may signify the death of the father, or he is emotionally cold and rejecting. Furthermore, the environment in which you have lived may have shown sexual problems between your parents. Or, in the worst case, beatings and assaults occurred which left behind deep emotional scars. Your father could have been possessive and domineering or emotionally suppressed, suffering from deep depression. With Saturn in the 8th house, you’ll try to escape the exposure of vulnerability by avoiding situations or people who might threaten it. You might choose partners who themselves have some kind of emotional or sexual block or difficulty so that your own never gets noticed.
With this placement, you may find yourself struggling with money troubles, a difficult divorce, or the frustrating demands of an unresponsive partner. Saturn here easily finds itself under a financial or even sexual obligation of some sort, and when shared resources are tightly bound together in the house of insurance, tax, legacies, mortgages, and bank loans, it often creates power struggles of all kinds. According to Stephen Arroyo, Astrology, Karma & Transformation: The Inner Dimensions of the Birth Chart, this realm contains lessons to do with sexuality and the values attached to human relationships. Moreover, it can signify the responsibilities involved when using any kind of power over others. Vulnerable areas are matters pertaining to sex, the life cycle, and any kind of emotional crisis.