The forces at play

First Impressions - Marina Abramovic

A series in which I look at the chart of a great individual or couple/duo in history and describe for you the stand out elements of their natal or synastry chart that jump out at me, almost as an initial sketch - which is exactly how I begin when working with a client's chart. My focus here is on explaining what I see and how the energy has potentially played out. This is a way to show you how a chart works and to highlight how everyone expresses their chart in a completely individual way. We are much, much more than our sun sign.


Marina Abramovic

30th November 1946, 7:16pm


 Belgrade, Serbia



Saggittarian Sun, Aquarian Moon, Cancer Ascendant

Image taken from Rhythm 0, 1974

Each of us has those moments where we touch the ephemeral or transport beyond the flesh and feel our ever present connection to the universe's main frame, often fleeting but entirely nourishing. There is something about the work of this great woman, in the total simplicity of her art, that cuts to the core of the human experience and the expanse beyond with laser precision. Her work reflects back to us so much about the collective shadow (particularly her early Rhythm pieces) and so much about the collective light and talks to us of this connection, usually with herself as the primary medium or conduit.

As such, its no great surprise that Marina is a Sagittarius or that she she has four planets in Scorpio and five in the fifth house. You can see her natal chart here. Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter and a lot of its archetypal journey is about building meaning for and belief in existence and it does this through experiential learning. Sagittarian's have a natural proclivity towards experiencing travel, other cultures, religions and philosophies - there is an innate curiosity towards understanding how humans have created and applied meaning to existence. They search for meaning, they search for the holy grail and then through their own personal investigations, they build a grail of their own. Anyone with a strong 9th house or prominent Jupiter in their chart will have a strong Sag flavour as well. Dogma is the lower octave of Sag, the higher octave is freedom of thought that comes through a higher understanding and big picture perspective on existence that is earnt through feeling out a lot of different ways of seeing and being. Both the lower and higher octave's deal with belief. If we have a lived experience in something, its easy to believe; you don't really need to preach it so much because you have felt it as a truth. If you're wrapped up in dogma though, odds are that you haven't had a lived experience and so you are clinging to all that preaching which is really just a lot of words. Its the difference between, 'The truth shall set you free' and 'It's my way or the highway', both of these are Sag statements - one is coming from a place of knowing and one is coming from a place of control, one is expansion and one is contraction.

Anyway, back to Marina! Marina is a 5th House Sag, meaning that her experiential learning and her exploration of truth and meaning and higher learning is played out in the realm of creativity. The 5th house represents everything we create and its where we have fun; its sex, our creativity, our self expression, our creations (including children) and the area where we want to shine and be celebrated. With both the Sun and Mars here in Sag 5th House, Marina's life force (Sun) and propulsion (Mars) is geared towards experiential creativity. Not only does she find meaning through her creative experiences but she expresses the truths that she finds in her creative output.

Crystal Cinema I, 1991.jpg

The function of the artist in a disturbed society is to give awareness of the universe, to ask the right questions, and to elevate the mind.

- Marina Abramovic (Image: Crystal Cinema I, 1991)

As you can see in her chart, three of the five planets in the 5th House are in Scorpio. Again, for anyone familiar with her Rhythm series and her more performative pieces, this wont come as any great surprise, simply because a lot of her work really goes in to the underbelly or shows the audience their own shadow. A prime example being Rhythm O from 1974 where she laid out 72 objects for the audience to use on her as they wished over a six hour period. She remained standing and silent for the entire duration and while at first the audience was respectful and didn't really engage, by the end she was partially naked with cuts over her body, tears running down her face. It got to the point where one of the men in the audience picked up the loaded gun from the table and aimed it at her, it took another audience member to intervene to stop her from being killed.

What I learned was that... if you leave it up to the audience, they can kill you.” ... “I felt really violated: they cut up my clothes, stuck rose thorns in my stomach, one person aimed the gun at my head, and another took it away. It created an aggressive atmosphere. After exactly 6 hours, as planned, I stood up and started walking toward the audience. Everyone ran away, to escape an actual confrontation.
— Marina Abvramovic

Someone even cut her and then sucked on her blood!? These were art lovers at an exhibition opening, not a selected group of degenerates but presumably educated folk and yet dark (af) all the same. There are a lot of great articles online about this performance, including some great Freudian analysis if you want to nerd out.

There is a deeply shamanic aspect within much of her work and this really speaks to the higher quality of Scorpio. When I say shamanic, i mean that Marina is willing to put her own physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self on the line and to go in to a state that is sustained over very long periods (often taking months of preparation on all levels) through which she becomes a receptacle for others reflections or for deeper truths that she achieves in these spaces. We could also view her collaborative work with her former partner, Ullay, through the Scorpio lens; Scorpio energy has a lot to do with the desire for deep merging and intimacy with another person. A piece like The Other: Rest Energy (below) is a perfect example of extreme trust. 

Again, this chart is one that I could talk about for many more pages but I think just looking at how she has expressed this fifth house energy is a clear way to show that while our Sun sign is the CEO of our personality, there are many different flavours and expressions of each Sun sign that have a lot to do with the house placement and aspects. We are so much more than the pop astrology of our Sun sign horoscopes, we inhabit the entire zodiac within us and while each natal chart is a highly specific concentration of energies, we are also all of the twelve signs.

I highly recommend reading Abramovic's memoir, she has shown up as an archetype in some of my more profound dreams and I think she's an interstellar queen.


Marina Abramovic, (2016), Walk through walls, a Memoir

Marina Abramovic, natal chart