I thought this would be an animal story. On his 59th birthday, Roy Horn of Siegfried & Roy was mauled by his seven year old 600 lb. white tiger, Montecore, in front of a sellout crowd at the Mirage where the show has been playing since 1990.

Roy Horn is having his second Saturn Return, which began just a month ago. Roy’s Saturn is in Cancer in the Twelfth House. That’s why this isn’t going to be an animal story, it’s going to be a story about families and it’s going to be a very sad one because what someone with Saturn in Cancer wants more than anything else in the world is to have a family like everyone else’s.

“Happy families are all alike,” wrote Leo Tolstoy, whose Saturn was at 29 Cancer. “Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Because Saturn describes our wound in life, when it is in Cancer, the wound is about family, about feeling wanted, about feeling safe.

During our first Saturn Return, 28-30 years old, we turn to address this wound consciously. We take it on as our own, our badge of courage. We no longer “blame it” on our parents, but decide to make of ourselves what we can.

At the second Saturn Return, 58-60, there is an opportunity to review progress and perhaps approach the issue from a higher perspective. When healing has taken place through personal effort, Saturn bestows an award. You can count on this. Unlike Neptune, Saturn always keeps his promises.

At Tolstoy’s second Saturn Return, the Russian aristocrat tried to will all his property to his serfs and set them free. His family stopped him. The startling part of this story is that thirty years earlier, at his first Saturn Return, he tried to do the same thing. The peasants were suspicious and refused to go along.

Saturn in Cancer poses this question with great longing, “Where are my people?” In Tolstoy’s case, was it his wife and 12 children? Or was it the peasants? Tolstoy even began to dress like a peasant later in life. In many cases where Saturn is in Cancer your people are not the people in your family. This was certainly the case with Roy Horn.

Roy’s childhood was difficult. His step-father became an abusive alcoholic after his career plummeted. Speaking about his past, Roy has said, “If it wasn’t for Hexe, I wouldn’t be sitting here today.”

Hexe was a wolfdog. Roy and Hexe were inseparable. They roamed the woods together. Roy is referring to an incident where he was sucked into a swamp and Hexe ran for help. But looking at this chart, I’d be tempted to interpret the statement at an emotional level as well. It may be that Roy’s emotional bond with Hexe is also the reason he’s still here. This bond must have been a source of comfort and companionship for Roy. It is difficult to understand how abandoned children with Saturn in Cancer can feel, though they may have the physical presence of adults and other children. Hexe was Roy’s lifeline.

Roy’s ability to bond with animals continued throughout his life. This doesn’t mean he liked them a lot or wanted to rescue them. A bond is much more even than that. To understand Saturn in Cancer, we need to understand that children bond because their lives depend on it. Many British children who lived in London during World War Two were separated from their families and taken to outlying areas for safety. Some of them actually died from the trauma of this separation from their families. Disruption of family life occurred across the war torn western world and Roy’s family was no different.

In 1999 "Vanity Fair" magazine ran a story about Siegfried and Roy entitled Married, with Tigers. The couple doesn’t acknowledge being homosexual but according to Linda Rapp in the "Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Culture", it is “widely perceived that they are.”

You’ve probably seen photographs of Roy holding up baby white tiger cubs. “The first voice they hear is mine,” he said in an interview in 2000 for his book Siegfried and Roy’s Gift for the Ages. “The first touch they feel is mine, the first human face they see is mine.” Roy Horn is talking about babies and babies that are his. [Ibid.]

“Siegfried and I have spent every waking moment with our animals,” he continues. “We watch and observe. We talk to them, take walks with them. Day by day, we learn about each other. But you must have patience and respect for Mother Nature. Because when an animal gives you its trust, you feel like you have been given the most beautiful gift in the world.”

But this trust was not trustworthy. Saturn in Cancer poses the question, “Who am I safe with if not my own family?” The betrayal of trust in the bond between Roy Horn and Montecore may actually prove to be a greater wound for Roy than the physical ones. Montecore came into his life when Saturn was on his Moon seven years earlier.

Immediately after the attack, Horn reportedly said, “Don’t harm the cat.” Montecore was quarantined, checked for rabies and then released.

Siegfried Fischbacher says the tiger was trying to save Roy after he fell on stage. Jonathan Kraft, who runs Keepers of the Wild in Arizona, and many other big cat experts disagree. Kraft commented to Adam Goldman of the Associated Press, "The cat wasn't trying to protect him. [It] was going for the jugular. That was a typical killing bite." He added, “I admire the guys, I just think they are sending a wrong message. The message needs to be: These are wild animals.” There are several conflicting stories as to the events which led to Roy’s fall and Montecore’s aggression.

Siegfried once mentioned how amazed he was that Roy was allowed to participate in the birthing process of white tigers at the Secret Garden. “I think this is incredible when you consider an animal like this can kill their own mate over young ones,” he said. “And to think that [the tigress] accepts Roy to be a part of the experience is a miracle.”

A miracle? Or an illusion? Siegfried and Roy bill themselves as magicians, masters of deception. The audience thought the mauling was part of the act but the greater illusion may be the costly and damaging one Roy had about his “family”.

One week later, controversial bear advocate Timothy Treadwell, who has been featured on Leonardo diCaprio’s website, was killed and eaten by a grizzly bear. As I often remind my students, the stars don’t cause these things. They are related on the vertical plane as synchronistic events. Perhaps it is time to look once again at our beliefs about the creatures with whom we share this earth and our ways of relating to them.

Our hearts go out to Roy and Siegfried. For them this is not only a personal but a family tragedy.

Roy’s Saturn Return will complete December 17 through 28, 2003 and May 14 through 22, 2004.

Author's Bio: 

Nnacy R. Fenn has been a professional astrologer in the San Diego area for over 25 years. She's the astrologer who wasn't born yesterday.