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, with 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 denying what is really going on at a deeper level. The family background may show a lack of this realness, and so you defend yourself from being hurt in the area where you feel most at risk to pain or being let down. According to astrologer Liz Greene in Saturn: A New Look at an Old Devil, this placement may signify the death of the father, or he is emotionally cold and rejecting. Furthermore, the environment in which you lived may have shown sexual problems between your parents. In the worst case, beatings and assaults occurred which left deep emotional scars. Your father may also be possessive and domineering or emotionally suppressed, suffering from deep depression.
Early betrayals have left you on guard and ensuring that no one ever humiliates you again. Even intimate partners could be barred entry or you put them through incredible tests over a long period of time. A partner who sticks around long enough is rewarded with emotional loyalty and the sharing of some 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 on this very intimate level can be 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 which hide below the surface of life, eventually reach a ‘crisis’ point and seek release with you. The emotions liberated are the ones Saturn has tried to keep under tight control – rage, jealousy, resentment, and hate. Overall, you will often feel challenged-tested-in the area of your intimate relationships, and this is where your defensive behavior rises when feeling anxious.
There can be a fear of intimacy and crises with this placement, some 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. The individual will probably have inherited residual baggage from their parents in this respect. But through time, the individual may become an authority on intimate relationship and at home with crisis of all kinds. In the bedroom, the person with this placement will often feel much better if they can be in control. There is a need for this person to define their deepest feelings with Saturn here. Fear of death may go with the territory too, with the individual potentially, through time and experience, becoming expert on that also…On the financial front, there will often be responsibilities for joint resources, although some individuals will feel trapped and imprisoned by their responsibility for another’s money. A feeling of obligation and vague guilt will have prompted them to take on the this burden in the first place. The Contemporary Astrologer’s Handbook
Saturn in the 8th house will 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 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.