The 2023 Eclipses Shown Through A Case Study of Former Couple Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner
Eclipse season is here again, and I can feel the increased energy and anticipation in the air. The eclipses are October 14th at 21 degrees libra and October 28th at 5 degrees taurus. If you have angles, the nodes or planets placed at 16-26 degrees of the cardinal signs and/or 0-10 degrees of the fixed signs these eclipses will have a stronger influence in your life. For everyone these degrees will fall into a house and will influence matters governed by the house. The eclipse October 14th is a solar eclipse, focused on new beginnings and opportunities and the eclipse on October 28th is a lunar eclipse focused on releasing what no longer serves, endings and closure. The October 28th eclipse is the last in the series of seven eclipses on the taurus-scorpio axis, the first being November 21st 2021 at 27 degrees taurus and the rest of them occurring all through 2022 and one in spring 2023. Whichever axis taurus-scorpio falls for you in your chart will receive some type of conclusion this fall/winter. Whichever axis aries-libra falls in your chart will start to come into more focus for the next few years.
Eclipses do not foretell stories by themselves and are neither 'good' nor 'bad'. They simply indicate a major change, whether expected or not, in your life. To understand the nature of these changes we must look at transits, progressions, solar and lunar returns, solar arc directions along with various other pieces of information to tell the story of what is likely to happen in your life.
To illustrate with an example, let's look at the natal chart of Kevin Costner and his wife Christine Baumgartner. Kevin has been in the news lately as his wife filed for divorce on May 1st 2023 after 18 years of marriage. They have two sons and a daughter. Christine's birth time is not available so we are using 12pm; note that the houses for Christine's chart, as well as the composite and davison are not correct because individual, composite and davison charts rely on birth times. Nevertheless it is useful to see how the eclipses affect the planets so I am posting them here. I am including the secondary progressed (SP) and converse secondary progressed (CSP) charts of Kevin so you can see the planets relative to angles and house cusps. Christine's birth time is unavailable so the house cusps are unknown.
This is Kevin's second marriage, and because of this we are examining the 9th house which represents the second marriage. The first marriage is the 7th house. The 7th house will always influence all marriages to some extent, whether it is your 1st, 2nd or 3rd but it is wise to study the 9th house for second marriage and 11th house for third marriage too. There is a lunar eclipse September 17th 2024 at 25 degrees pisces and recall that all eclipses start to have influence about 12 months prior to their occurrence. This is significant because Kevin's descendant is 25 degrees pisces and his divorce was finalized September 19th 2023. I have many times found that when an eclipse falls exact or within a very tight orb on an angle or planet, that there is something that occurs symbolic of that angle or planet about 12 months before the eclipse date and in this case it is almost exactly a year before in the same week.
The hard transiting aspects of uranus tend to bring surprising, sudden and sometimes shocking events, many times these can feel like a sledgehammer giving us something we don't want but feels forced from external circumstances beyond our control. At the time of the filing of divorce, transiting uranus was making an applying conjunction to Kevin's natal 9th house cusp and when their divorce finalized on September 19th it formed an exact conjunction to his 9th house cusp. In the CSP chart for May 1st, you can see uranus is making an exact conjunction to the ascendant, showing that in that year there is a high likelihood for an unpredictable event having global changes of a permanent nature in his life, probably perceived as a shakeup to the person. There is the possibility of a break in his marriage with it being the 1st-7th house axis. Transiting pluto was making a close conjunction to the CSP descendant at the time of the divorce filing, and by September 19th it had become an exact conjunction. This is often tough on marriages because of the power struggles, incredibly intense emotions and blowups. In the SP chart, the two malefics mars and saturn are making close conjunctions to the asc-dsc axis. The asc-dsc axis is conjunct the most malefic star in the zodiac, algol at 26 degrees taurus by one degree, and uranus is making a conjunction to the 9th house cusp. Saturn, mars, venus and pluto are in a fixed grand cross. A grand cross can give a person a great deal of ambition and drive to break barriers and set records. In contrast, emotionally, this is one of the most painful, stubborn configurations and requires one to dig down deep to find the inner resources to endure. There are many dark nights of the soul here and you need faith and hope to get through it.
According to news outlets Kevin was 'blindsided' by the divorce and it wasn't something he wanted. The ruler of the 9th house in venus in sagittarius, making the dispositor jupiter. His venus and moon oppose her neptune, showing that while he found her to be glamourous, mysterious and ideal when they met, he also would have a tendency to put her on a pedestal, ignoring her flaws and then feeling disappointed when reality hit. He viewed her through rose coloured glasses. This relationship highlights his natal potential of having a close semisquare between venus and neptune. The same can be said from Christine's perspective because her venus squared his neptune. Her sun forms an exact sesquiquadrate to his neptune and her moon is square his neptune. She thought she found her prince charming who made a fairy tale come true, an ordinary woman marrying a huge celebrity, but at some point realized that he was not who she thought he was. She did however have a close trine from mercury and jupiter to his neptune, and her mars was also closely trine his neptune. His venus squared her sun and her mars, and when venus receives mostly hard aspects in romance, the flow of love and affection is adversely affected. In the composite neptune forms a close square to the mercury-sun conjunction, an opposition to jupiter and an opposition to mars (out of orb but the effects are still there to a lesser extent).
When you have your personal planets in hard aspect to someone's neptune or their neptune forms hard aspects to your 7th house factors, you don't see them as they are, but whom you fantasize them to be in your mind. This is true of hard neptune aspects in the composite and davison charts too. Having easy aspects from neptune can alleviate some of this burden but still an effort has to be made to see the person with their warts and all, and still love them. To set appropriate boundaries with love and compassion. It is a challenge because neptune in synastry and composite tends towards conscious and unconscious deception from one or both people involved.
At the time the divorce was finalized on Sept 19th, transiting neptune in retrograde motion formed an exact conjunction to his descendant and highlighting all of the neptune aspects in synastry and composite. The neptune conjunction to the descendant first came into orb of influence around March 2022. By June 28th 2022 neptune turned retrograde at 25 degrees 26 mins neptune, stationing exact on his descendant by a mere 2 mins! When a planet stations and turns retrograde or direct making an exact hard aspect to your natal angle or planet by degree, it always is highly crucial for the matters of that angle or planet in your life. It is likely he started seeing Christine in a different light at that time and had a feeling something may be wrong. It is like the veil lifted. He did state that he noticed she was behaving unusually, such as buying a car instead of leasing as they both always did, because the PMA allowed her to take the car, or taking cash advances on credit cards issued to the staff. It may have dawned on him that the ideas he had of Christine in his mind all these years were not true. Maybe she did not love him as much as she said she did? Maybe she valued his money more than she did a future with him? He idealized a version of her that was not who she is and reality hit him like a ton of bricks. Neptune would go direct in December 2022 and by the time it went exact over Kevin's descendant in March-April 2023, Christine decided to separate, listing the day of separation as April 11th. Neptune again went retrograde on June 30th 2023 at 27 degrees pisces, the same day Kevin offered Christine $ 75 000 in monthly child support payments, which she later rejected. Neptune will stay retrograde until December 6th when it goes direct at 24 degrees pisces. Christine is not without hard neptune transits herself; transiting neptune during 2022-2023 made exact squares to her nodal axis and to her saturn, and she probably felt the same as Kevin with regards to thinking you knew someone and turns out you didn't really know them at all. On her part, she probably didn't think he would go to the court to force her to leave their family home, or get a court order that prevents her from taking small items such as pots and pans before moving out. She may have thought he would reduce his workload because she told him she wanted more family time, and when he didn't listen, she may have felt he valued his career over their family. Since Christine has not spoken directly to the media, we don't know exactly what led her to the decision to divorce. She did not have another man she was interested in dating, so an assumption can be made she felt she was better off being alone than with Kevin.
Neptune conjunct an angle can be a time of great confusion and loss of direction. When aspecting the descendant, it usually has something to do with a spouse or romantic partner if you are in a relationship. Kevin valued his marriage and it was an important part of his identity that was taken away. With transiting neptune is angular, something you may have had for years and formed a huge part of your identity could suddenly be gone. The effects of any planet are strongest when in a close applying aspect to another planet or angle, but when it passes its exact aspect and starts separating, the energy diminishes. If in the case of an outer planet that retrogrades multiple times, the story will not have a full conclusion until the last separating aspect. In Kevin's case, neptune will be retrograde until December and won't go direct over his descendant until next February. After that, the neptune aspect will fade in intensity and he may gain more clarity on what happened.
Jupiter is closely conjunct uranus showing the natal potential for the second partner to have uranus strong in their personality. The more aspects a planet makes, the more obvious the effects are in the personality and natally Christine has seven aspects from planets and nodes to uranus. The 7th house dispositor being conjunct urauns also can mean that the marriage ends abruptly. With uranus you can always expect the unexpected! Jupiter and uranus are also part of a T-square that is being triggered by the eclipses and transits which I discuss in further detail later on. The eclipse on October 28th at 21 degrees libra makes an exact conjunction to his 2nd house cusp, which relates to a substantial change in his money flow; he stopped working on Yellowstone and anticipates his income may be lower in coming years. Given that he is 68, I would imagine he wants to slow down and enjoy time with his kids. He will also owe Christine over $63 000 in child support each month, and potentially have to give her money in spousal support (though that is yet to be determined).
In their composite and davison charts, venus is at 7 degrees capricorn and 4 degrees cancer. Venus is the planet of love and romance, and uranus aspecting venus in a hard way could cause a sudden desire for freedom, to break free from what feels like it is chaining you down, or what you feel oppressed by, in an intimate relationship or marriage. In Christine's chart, we see uranus squaring both the moon and venus, making a sequiquadrate to the sun, trining mercury, jupiter, saturn, and the south node, all but one of these aspects are within a 3 degree orb which indicates uranus traits are strong in her personality, for example she is highly independent, values being unique, has a high need for freedom in relationships and can feel smothered or restricted easily. In their composite chart, uranus is closely squaring the sun-mercury conjunction at 21-22 degrees aquarius and in the davison uranus squares the sun at 18 degrees leo which can strengthen the tendency to break apart.
On top of that, both of their uranus' were eclipsed on April 20th 2023 (there was a solar eclipse at 29 degrees aries opposing her uranus at 27 degrees libra and squaring his uranus at 24 degrees cancer). The timing makes sense because in her filing she listed April 11th as the separation date citing irreconcilable differences and on May 1st she filed for divorce. Uranus had turned retrograde on May 1st. Days that planets turn retrograde and direct (and the dew days around it) can many times be important for key events in a storyline. Having so many hard uranus transits and the eclipse on uranus was the final straw; it was likely that in her mind she could not stand to be held down any longer and she had to end the marriage right now. She may have not planned what she wanted in the future and all she knew was that being in this marriage would no longer work for her. Not only did Kevin's uranus get eclipsed but it triggered a challenging T-square with his jupiter-uranus conjunction at 24-25 degrees cancer, sun at 28 degrees capricorn and neptune at 27 degrees libra. Similarly, Christine has a T-Square with her uranus at 27 degrees libra, moon around 24 degrees cancer and her venus at 2 degrees aquarius. In 2023 the eclipses at 21 libra and 29 aries activate these cardinal planets which would guarantee upheaval and drama. This piece of their natal potential is being triggered by the eclipses. Moreover, on May 1st, transiting jupiter at 26 degrees aries and transiting mars at 19 degrees capricorn square the T-squares and pluto is stationary (stationary planets are very powerful in their effects) and about to go retrograde hours after the divorce was filed. After his $80 million payout to his first wife Cindy, he probably thought the premarital agreement (PMA) would mean that a misfortune like that wouldn't happen again. Kevin may not have wanted the change but the hard uranus transit meant it was forced upon him in a harsh way that was totally out of the blue. He was shocked that not only was Christine wanting to divorce him, but she wanted $248 000 in monthly child support payments per month and refused to honour the PMA that stated she had to move out of his house in the event they were separating. She chose to challenge the PMA that she was only entitled to $1.5 million if they divorce, stating that she did not understand the terms. Christine refused to move out unless he agreed to submit what she deemed an appropriate child support plan. He was probably not anticipating spending hundreds of thousands to force his wife out of his home or defend the PMA so rigorously. It has been a heated battle covered extensively in celebrity magazines, with the once happy couple now speaking solely through their lawyers, and their lawyers behaving acrimoniously towards the other side.
Sources have suggested Christine was unhappy with Kevin's work schedule and the way in which it kept him away from home for long periods of time. Perhaps she felt she could not pursue her interests as she had to take care of the kids by herself in his absence? Often, people can tolerate difficult or unsatisfactory circumstances for years and then a hard uranus transit influences venus and/or the 7th house factors (ruler, dispositor, planets in the house, ascendant-descendant axis) and suddenly it becomes unbearable to stay any longer. These degrees are sensitive as there is a lunar eclipse March 2024 at 5 degrees libra and there was a full moon on September 29th 2023 at 6 degrees aries. Uranus at 22 degrees taurus form a sesquiquadrate and semisquare to these degrees. I usually give these minor aspects a 3 degree orb, so transiting uranus is aspecting the cardinal signs from 4 degrees to 10 degrees at the moment, with 7 degrees of the cardinal signs being where uranus makes its exact aspect. Their davison moon is around 6 degrees libra as well (the moon degree is approximate as we don't have Christine's birth time but it is still within orb and still impacts them). Kevin's nodal axis at 4 degrees cancer-capricorn is affected, this axis being a point of destiny. The venus-mars-north node conjunction in the davison chart is conjunct his nodal axis, and squares his mars, which has a great impact on his investment in this relationship. The venus-mars-north node conjunction squares her pluto. When planets, angles and nodes from a composite or davison chart make major aspects to your natal chart, it strengthens and intensifies the impact the relationship has on you, whether this is positive or negative. Christine's nodal axis receives a quincunx and semisextile from uranus (quincunx is a minor hard aspect). The nodes take between 18-19 years to transit through the zodiac, and they were married 18 years. In fact, in the year they married, 2004, all four eclipses were at exactly the same degrees as they are in 2023, a potent symbolism of the start and end of their karmic contract together as husband and wife. The timing of their relationship had been predetermined, it is a fixed karma. It appears the finalization of the divorce came shortly before the full moon on the 29th. Full moons symbolize endings, and the month around it can bring endings in your life, which sometimes can mean letting people who were once very close to you go. Sometimes the person can still be in your life but it represents the ending of the intimacy between you, perhaps you are no longer as close, or maybe former spouses become co-parents or friends.
In the end, the child support payments from Kevin to Christine were decided by a judge to be $63 209, an amount Christine asserted would not allow her to keep the children in the lifestyle they are accustomed to. As she discussed in court, the reason for wanting the money is to keep living in the tight knit community they were a part of before and to keep enjoying the memories they once did, such as living within steps of the ocean. She argued in court that her new house was not right on the ocean, not comparable to their family home, and this was unfair to her and the kids. Kevin explained he wanted to help her but didn't want to be forced to accept work he didn't want just to keep paying her support payments. Christine felt that the kids should have the same living standards when they were with her as they do when they are with him and that $248 000 USD is less than the amount she would need to do this. Kevin felt he did not have to provide her with the same living standard indefinitely after they divorced and that their kids would have ample funds to live well. He was concerned the money wouldn't all be spent on the kids and instead was a lot of additional disposable income for her (which she did not dispute). Her lawyers believed that the kids' living standards had to be upheld even if that means that Christine's living standards also benefitted. Christine has relayed through sources that she felt she was on the losing side of the power dynamics. She did not work through their marriage and was not a celebrity before. She felt she had to accept Kevin's terms because the judge was mostly siding with him. Inevitably there are hurt feelings, anger, sadness, betrayal and loss of trust on both sides. The lack of equality between them, both due to a 19 year age gap and a vast difference in socioeconomic status at the start of their relationship (which kept growing due to Kevin's rising star power), seems to have worked against them. Kevin may have won the legal battle but I believe they both severely complicated their karma for their next lifetime together unless they can find healing through forgiveness in the future. He stated when the divorce was over:
“You know, when you have a life that long with somebody, there is no winner...and it’s this big, crazy thing called life and how it unravels so quickly, one minute you feel like you’re on top of the world, and then you realize how, you know, how vulnerable you are. She’s an incredible mom, we will figure it out and we’ll share. We just got to kind of convalesce right now.”
This is easier for Kevin to say than Christine because all the terms went in his favour. So far, Christine has not commented upon the divorce directly to the public because she is dealing with painful emotions and does not feel the playing field is equal (which it is not). The hard mars-pluto aspect theme in their synastry and composite (his mars opposes her pluto, her mars squares his pluto and in the composite mars is sesquiquadrate pluto) show struggles for power, domination and control. The venus- north node- mars conjunction in the composite is square Kevin's mars and square Christine's pluto. Kevin's mars conjunct the descendant shows that he is likely to engage in above average conflict with his wife because mars is the god of war. I've noticed that people who have mars conjunct the descendant can be the ones who provoke their spouses first but who interestingly tend to view their spouses as antagonistic or the ones who provoke the argument. Their tendency to be too direct and not diplomatic enough can cause problems in one on one relationships. A planet being conjunct the 7th house cusp will tend to be seen by the person as a quality in the 'other', rather than a quality they fully own. A planet conjunct any angle will almost always intensify that planet's characteristics in the personality. According to California law, because of his income and wealth, she should have gotten double what she did for child support, which she probably perceives to be an injustice. On the other hand, the amount she got per month is about what the average Canadian earns in a year! Her 8th house is definitely well fortified and that comes from her past life credit with regards to money. Christine has a grand trine with jupiter-mercury being at 28-29 degrees aquarius, saturn at 27 degrees gemini and uranus at 27 degrees libra. Grand trines are very lucky areas of the chart where good things flow with little effort. Her jupiter-mercury conjunction is closely opposing the benefic fixed star regulus which can bring wealth and high social standing. A strong neptune in the 2nd house is found in many of the world's richest people. Kevin activates this grand trine with his neptune at 28 degrees libra in his second house of income. Christine has the karma to at some point be extremely wealthy and Kevin's activation her grand trine gives her what she is karmically due. Fairness here seems relative to the observer. I believe that whether the judgement is fair or not is to be determined by the divine intelligence enforcing the law of karma and is not for other people to decide.
As you can see, the eclipse shows a change but it is the transits and progressions that give more insight into the nature of the feelings involved. You may ask, does this planetary picture mean there must be a divorce or separation? The answer is not necessarily because it could also mean that a highly challenging event happened to one or both of them, putting significant strain on the marriage but they choose to stay together due to their love for each other and/or beliefs and values about family. In addition, it depends on the culture, context and time. For instance, millennials are far more likely to divorce than their boomer parents because divorce is now more socially acceptable. Economically, in many areas of the world, women are more likely than earlier generations to have thriving careers and be independent, having the resources to support herself and her kids in the event of divorce. On the other hand, if one person is financially dependent on the other, or would face backlash/ stigma from their family and culture, they may stay in a marriage even if it is unsatisfactory or even abusive. Others may stay in the marriage for various other personal reasons even if they are unhappy because there are other values important to them, such as stability/ happiness for their children, avoiding a broken home, citizenship, financial or social status, one partner is ill or disabled and requires caretaking, etc. I think that we make karmic contracts as souls before we come to earth that include who we will marry, the types of karmic issues we will face as a couple and how and when our relationship will end. If the karma does not get worked out this time, we may switch roles and be given a similar context to try next time until the karma is worked out. Whatever the outcome, it is vital to have self-compassion and compassion for all involved. This is how you successfully balance the karma, no matter what happened, forgiveness is the key.
How are you feeling about the eclipses this year? What are your thoughts about Kevin and Christine's marriage and divorce? Let me know in the comments below