What Rules Fear? Saturn Or Pluto?


Saturn fear vs Pluto fear. I’m trying to define the difference. Saturn may be more crystallized and holding on in nature, while Pluto fear feels like the bottom is dropping out kind of terror. After falling asleep and being jolted awake ten minutes later feeling an uncomfortably anxious, subconscious fear, is that Saturn or Pluto I wonder?


Hi, Curious,

I associate fear with Saturn – period. Pluto can be creepy, like creepy dread. It can be, ooh. This is horribly cool. Look what I just found under this rock. But when you’re actually feeling fear, you’re dealing with Saturn. However, Saturn doesn’t necessarily act alone.

In the example you give, you’re asleep. You’re completely relaxed, dreaming perhaps?

I would look at Saturn in combination with Neptune for insight into that situation. Fear has leaked in or come from nowhere.  Saturn inspecting Neptune, Saturn in the 12th, Saturn in Pisces, Neptune in Capricorn

I don’t associate Pluto with fear at all. Pluto kidnaps Persephone and has his way with her. Where is the fear in that?

Saturn + Pluto will create fear, though. Fear of dying, for example.  Thanks for the question.

What do you know about fear? Where is Saturn in your chart?

34 thoughts on “What Rules Fear? Saturn Or Pluto?”

  1. I have Saturn in Leo in the 10th conjunct Mars which is either in 10th or 11th depending on house system. Accomplishing anything career related has always been a huge fear of mine, a hangup, a challenge, a black cloud hovering over me…lol. I do think that far off in the distance when I am much older, *something* will come into fruition for me. My Venus is conjunct my Midheaven in the 10th also, so, maybe this is the silver lining?

  2. I think Pluto is more about anguish, dark obsessions, morbid thoughts. I have Pluto in my 4th and my household was where I experienced all of this, being “hidden” because adults were ashamed of me, realizing about Death, living in a gloomy, smothering atmosphere and even seeing shadows moving through the house. While my Saturn is in my 6th and I’m plain scared of routine and being exploited on the workplace.

  3. Interesting. I have saturn/pluto conjunct almost exact. I have little fear if you ask me…hmm except fear of intimacy. It takes me a while to completely feel safe with another person, and even after years I still hold a part of myself that is untouchable by anyone. I have moon opp pluto and saturn too, so I can read into someone’s motivation pretty quickly which is why I’ve been in very few deep relationships 🙂

  4. Saturn is Intercepted and Retrograde in the 3rd house trining Sun in 10th. Wide square to Neptune in the 12th.
    Didn’t have a a relationship with my sister growing up. She is almost ten years older and we weren’t raised together. I always felt alone since I’m a kid. Still feel that way as an adult.
    I don’t feel like I am part of a whole. I feel like I’m carrying the whole to keep it moving.

  5. I had a nightmare several nights ago, it felt I was in a disturbing psychological horror movie. I don’t remember all the details, but I do remember in the midst of the panic there was a girl who I didn’t know well but felt drawn to, telling me she loved me. Looking back on it she had a sort of Capricornian energy. I tried to say the same in response but all that came out was “I…I’m afraid to say it.” And then more disturbing horror movie-ish things happened.

    I have natal Saturn in Capricorn in the 8th, a degree away from Neptune, and Saturn has just started transiting my 7th. I definitely think this was a Saturn thing.

  6. Saturn in Leo conjunct my Asc from the 12th house, trine my Venus/ Neptune conjunction in Sagg, square my Scorpio Stellium specifically the Uranus and Mars portion.
    When I was young (11yo+), I used to like to play with fear. I would read Stephen King books all night long until the words would swim and I would become freaked out that something would grab me from under the bed. My favorite movies were the Freddy Kreuger Series. I loved testing myself to see how far I could push that edge. This changed after I had my daughter. I learned this the hard way when I watched a zombie movie after her birth and became haunted by the images, literally shook while watching the movie. It wasn’t fun anymore.
    Saturn is such a big deal to me that I have taught myself to love him. I have found that by embracing and creating functional structures that I author myself, I can ride the emotional waves of fear, anxiety, joy, despair, etc. in safety. I don’t care anymore that I come across as a fuddy duddy wet blanket to the fire and air folks. My humor is based on observations of reality in its dark irony and paradoxes.

    1. AMarie this is 9.5 years later so it’s crazy of me to reply but I would do the same as you. By the time I was 12 I read all the Stephen King books that had been written at that time. For years after I would be terrified to walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Loved Friday the 13th and Freddy K movies. I would never watch them now, decades later, tho I love the show Evil on Paramount+. It’s a much more manageable exploration of fear for me now.

      1. Hi Ade- I’m curious if this choice we made in our youth is represented by a natal placement or transit we have in common in our charts!
        I am going to check out Evil..

        1. AMarie, you are still here! For me, I have 4th house Scorpio Moon and Jupiter, and 5th house Neptune pretty close to Jupiter, plus 12th house Cancer Venus. And, looking back, I did a lot of that reading during a Jupiter in Scorpio transit! Any crossover for you?
          I liked how you wrote that you would play with fear – that’s how it felt with me, too. Like I was testing myself to see how much I could take.
          Evil is about to drop its 4th and final season. Hope you might like it, cheers!

          1. I have Mercury, north node, Sun, Uranus and Mars in the 4th house in Scorpio.
            When I was 11/12yo and starting to read these books, Pluto was on my stellium.
            And it was during my Jupiter return at 28° Taurus in the 10th house.
            In addition to playing with fear, I was hunting for sexy parts. 😁

  7. I feel like Saturn is what you are not prepared to deal with and it tries to teach you, to push you to learn, lessons over and over if that is necessary. I have Saturn in Pisces, 6H. It is also opposite my AC. So I guess I never really am confident if I am prepared for life. Doubt and more doubt.

    Pluto is more like “Stuff isn’t working, time to let it go, face it, destroy it, rebuild it.”

  8. I think I am always a little fearful unless I feel very secure in the situation, but I think that is do to my cancer asc rather than saturn.

  9. Great question, Curious. And Elsa, thanks for your read on the difference in roles Saturn and Pluto play in a life. I have natal Saturn in close conjunct to Mars, and then Pluto … 8th house and 7th respectively. Saturn rules my chart. Fear and doing the ‘right’ thing is at the foundation of my life. My legacy.
    Saturn in Scorpio (my sun placement) in the 10th brings me to my knees about what public ‘face’ is important at this stage of life. Fear grips my creativity. Pluto in the 12th house transits my moon: the emotions that hide are deep and secrets square that public ‘face.’ It’s a journey of deep digging. Alchemy … fire and water … lava flows.

  10. I have Saturn in natal 12th house placement, Taurus 8 degree, exact opposed by my moon (Scorpio 8 deg). I can’t curse anyone, it comes back to me directly!!

    I feel the transiting Saturn teach me in my each houses… never ending.

    I have Pluto (24 degree) conjunct Sun (22 degree) Virgo, 5th house. I don’t understand the Pluto energy very well. I can understand one energy, I never give up, one after another idea of keep trying keep coming to my head.

    I fear a lot, means , a lot!! I can’t get out from fear.

  11. Scorpio Saturn conjunct Moon in the second house. I have intense fears of losing my security, my stability, my family, my moral principles….just losing everything that I HAVE. I also have deep fears of someone dismissing me from their life because I am of no value anymore so I end up having compulsive control issues to try to prevent that from happening.

    1. This! Even without saturn I deal with these issues. I have this compulsion over possessions with pluto in scorpio being in my 2nd house. When Saturn transited my pluto, fear of someone in power taking my possessions destroyed me for a while. I was afraid of losing my power and therefore my value, my self worth. I definitely tried to control everything and everyone. It illuminated some of my deepest rooted prejudices.

  12. Pluto can be somewhat kind (considering that you don’t have any skeletons in the closet to bring out, and ugly stuff to purge, and you’re on your best behavior).

    I can’t speak for the conjunctions/oppositions, but the squares that I’ve gone through were OK, and transformed me in a very challenging but much appreciated way.

    I fear Saturn. Saturn conjunct sun and mercury, then Saturn in 12th house, 1st house was a collapse of health and then gradual building up, followed by saturn through 2nd-4th all were really, really, really hard, dark times.

    Saturn is like setting a ton of bricks on someone’s back and telling them to run 10 miles, uphill, in the snow, barefoot. With no water. I could go on and on…

  13. “Pluto kidnaps Persephone and has his way with her. Where is the fear in that?”

    THAT SENTENCE IS FEAR. Kidnapping!! Having your way with someone!! Keeping someone prisoner!! How is that NOT scary?? The end of the story helps ease the fear though, because it all worked out and Persephone was AWESOME and happy 🙂 So its like the scariest shit happens, but out of the scary stuff comes your true destiny and self.

    I have never had a scary pluto transit so I don’t know if it can be scary to me. I have had plenty of scary Saturn transits though! But by scary I mainly mean worrisome, which I think is a form of scary. I have Saturn in the 8th conjunct Sun and Moon, square Jupiter. The scariest thing in the world to me is teeth and the dentist. Pure Saturn! And astral stuff. I can’t deal with other planes. Sometimes they try to sneak in but I won’t let them.

    I think Pluto would be TERRIFYING to people who are afraid of change.

  14. I was a shy-ish child. I had friends and had fun, but also liked being on my own to read, write, think, dream. Then problems in my parents’ lives forced me to step out and get brave and fearless fast when I was 17/18 to start taking care of them and their issues. Sag moon gives me enough natural curiosity to help me step over fears. Most people who know me can’t believe I was ever shy….maybe my progressed planets kicked in or maybe I just had to remake myself so thoroughly to keep my family going.

    Stuff I have had to deal with over the years, some bad stuff, made me realize “well I worry (Virgo) about things and stepped so carefully — yet, this, this this happened, and yet I am still here.” So now, I don’t know. I am not sure I fear as I used to — do what you can, what will be will be, and somehow you go on. Saturn in 3rd, Pluto in 12th. I also know we have vast inner strength that can sustain and heal us; I have religious faith that operates a little differently than the Catholic way I was raised; I have a sort of sixth sense that works for me (always listen to your gut). In dreadful moments, I sort of rely on my strength and my unseen “angel on my shoulder” and somehow I get through so far. Sometime exhaustion makes me fear one thing though — people yelling at me inappropriately when they are wrong, or have wronged me, then compound it by trying to be loud and blame-y. When I realized I feared that because I knew I was trying to hold in my anger (Saturn 3rd) to be polite (raised to be silent and useful)….it changed everything.

  15. Thank you, I enjoyed everyone’s comments and have been reflecting how most ElsaElsa visitors are evolved and brave enough to have done much deep, Plutonian psychological work to get to where they know what they need to do and make life decisions based on truth and faith. Then, ah unfathomable Neptune, as we go to sleep with our enlightened selves, so unimaginably far off in consciousness, where do we want to go in our dreams tonight to receive divine instruction? It may be amazing for a moment, but then, I suddenly get jolted back to the realization that we are energy beings limited in physical form required to work really, really, really hard to change, and it is SCARY. Saturn the Trickster wins yet again…for now.

  16. Defnitely Pluto! My take on this is that Saturn generates loneliness, depression and limitations. But it has a big advantage over Pluto: it makes sense! Saturn is the carrot or the stick, you’ve done what you should’ve or you didn’t. If you understand that, you know how to play your cards right next time around.
    But Pluto’s lessons usually make no sense whatsoever. They do make you stronger if you survive them, but there’s this awful feeling when you hit rock bottom that it actually can still get a lot worse and that generates a lot of fear as I see it (fortunately I’ve already had the Pluto square my Moon and opposite my Sun so everything is looking pretty cool now :-))

  17. Interesting question – and not easy to untangle.

    I get the impression that Saturn has to do with concrete things – material and social fears. Doing the right thing to be accepted or recognized.

    And Pluto would be the deep dark irrational fears that you can’t always clearly define, gut and unconscious psychological issues, where you practically fear for your life, in an unclear way.

    So Saturn would be like a stern parent that keeps you on your toes, if you do’t behave you get punished, and Pluto like the stuff that hides under the bed and goes bump in the night, frightening and strange. The fact that you don’t know where it’s coming from makes it even worse.

    My Saturn is conjunct Sun in 10th. Fear not living up to expectations, of others (or mine?).

    Pluto opposite Moon. Have the feeling my mother was not very happy to have me, my life was not welcome. I was able to put a name on this uneasy sensation from reading about “shadow mothers” in this blog’s archives!!! Definitely a shadow hanging over me.

    Yet, Pluto is supposed re-create things. But I guess the opposition signifies otherwise.

    Comment : I’m not sure Persephone was happy all the time with Hades/Pluto. Lived 1/2 the year in the underworld – but maybe she had a split personality? (Or her own shadow side)
    And yeah (agree with @Nymzie) kidnapping isn’t too cool. Supposed to be a great adventure, but… really? Or maybe she hated her mother!!! Got away from Demeter!!!

  18. …I just notices I have pluto conjunct moon square my natal saturn in my solar return this year.
    I have never in my life been so scared for the death of my loved ones as I have been this year. never ever.
    Thanks for clearing this out for me- too bad I caught on to it just 3 months before the end of the solar year… wasted way too much time on fear
    great post!

  19. “I don’t associate Pluto with fear at all. Pluto kidnaps Persephone and has his way with her. Where is the fear in that?”

    I could say “you’re lucky you don’t know!”,
    I could say “you insensitive psychopath!”…

  20. Not true at all… Pluto is fear. Pluto represents unconscious pattern, (and fear is unconscious). Pluto rules the underworld, what is hidden, horrible, nasty, dirty, extreme, etc Pluto is that energy that forces us to go in our underworld of deep desires, obsessions, nasty behaviours AND fears… The goal is to heal all these subjects I have a lot of phobia emerging since pluto transit my mercury (conjunction). Saturn is just a wall, a energy that forces us to be cautious and take a step back to reflect on our life. Saturn just fear rejection and and going out of his boundaries.

  21. The latest phobia is realizing I hate looking at google earth. Could be the sudden zoom in/out and the fear of endless abyss, emptiness. Abyss sums up my natal saturn square pluto. I don’t wish this aspect on anyone.

  22. I have natal Saturn in Pisces and I think it is also conjunct Chiron. So it was a real challenge for me to feel.accepted by my siblings, by people around me. I have a second Saturn return coming around and there is some fear. Neptune tends to cause confusion for me. Pluto is still transiting my 1st house and it has transformed me. I surrendered my neurotic feelings. I have felt more empowered than ever before.

  23. Avatar
    Kelly Thompson

    Great question and thread. Currently t Pluto square my late 10th Saturn and Saturn in Pisces seems to be the current fear factor. (Bones and teeth related health issues too!)
    A best guess with Saturn 10th is fear of my father from the start.
    With Pluto Moon in 8th ruled by Leo (Sun) that’s doubled.
    I walked thru a cemetery to school my early years. It was across the street from our backyard where I played and Catholic with a majority of tombstones reading KELLY. So that was fun. lol Death seems to be a theme. I had an NDE at 19. I was much more fearless until about 44. Big risk taker. Blind to danger? That changed when I got physically injured skiing and then hit by a car on my bike in early 40s.
    Now Terrified of medical and dental care period. My fear now is of suffering and medical care. (Too many medical traumas and errors)
    I am emotionally strong but physically highly strung and don’t do sick well. (Sun in 6) Saturn with Neptune is a bitch. Terrified of COVID. It’s all mortality and suffering . Lack of autonomy terrifies me. That’s the essential nature of my fear – losing autonomy. (Raised in a cult) My nature is to seek freedom and truth. Hate confinement.

  24. Saturn in is my 4th house. I think this is a major contributor to my anxious disposition. I overthink things at times eg. What if this happens… or this, what will I do?
    So fear based. I’m working on this. When I manage to experience inner peace it is pure bliss. I’ll get there, I value calmness a lot. The effort/work to achieve a serene state is well worth it.

  25. I have Pluto Saturn conjunction in my 4H.. it’s a pairing from hell if you ask me. The fear is about survival and it’s constant but subtle. It makes you find inner strength to endure the blows, the obstacles the constant collapse of your life foundations and push yourself to excel, there is no other way. It helps having a strong sun and ascendant as well otherwise you can end up depressed or addicted

  26. 8th house Saturn here, strong pluto all around

    My experiences with these two is that Saturn is fear, fear of consequences, mostly. It’s a keep-you-in-check mechanism, it allows agency, reasonable agency, with reins. Pluto is more like the pure dread of annihilation, there’s minimal reason, no structure, no holding things back. It feels bigger, deeper, more primal, far less civilised.. perhaps a very simplified way of thinking about them is that Saturn does stand for civilisation, in a way, and the fears it installs, the things it builds to avoid disasters whereas Pluto is animal instinct, it’s the horror of losing something fundamental for existence, it’s compulsive and harder to tame, if taming has anything on Pluto that is!

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