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Astrological Crosses in Relationships

Book Review
by Susan Kelly

Astrological Crosses in Relationships:
Understanding Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable Energies
by Pauline Edward. Published 2002 by Llewellyn Worldwide

The great paradox of Astrology: this cosmic art/science has been around for at least 4,000 years, yet it never seems to get old. There’s always something new to discover, or a neglected element crying out to be viewed in a new light.

This latter point was amply and ably brought home to me in reading Montreal astrologer Pauline Edward’s new book Astrological Crosses in Relationships. (Llewellyn 2002). For just when you thought such basic stuff as the crosses has been adequately covered, it turns out they haven’t.

Beginning students are introduced to the zodiac signs through the elements and crosses. Volumes have been written about the elements, for they form the bases for so many branches of metaphysical studies, such as the tarot.

Not so the crosses, for which no other extensive reference exits. They’re also known as the quadruplicities, qualities or modes if you prefer, and are unique to astrology. There are three crosses, called cardinal, fixed and mutable, each containing four signs. And, as Edward sees it, : “By their basic structure, the crosses represent far more dynamic groups than do the elements.”

A respected astrologer since 1985, Edward has studied the crosses for over 15 years. (She’s also Astrology Montreal’s website designer/master and a founding member who now sits on the executive committee). She traces her fascination back to an awakening during a lecture given by another Montreal astrologer, Marc Bériault: “Ever since that moment, I have continued to study and develop my understanding . . . The crosses were the missing link.”

She goes on to elaborate on their dynamic nature: “Over the years I began to recognize the crosses in people’s speech patterns, in the style of their actions, in their methods of self-expression, in the words they chose to express what was on their minds or in their hearts, in the manner in which they carried themselves into a room, and in how they related to others.” (P.3)

The results of these observations is a very cogent outline of the crosses as accessible for beginners as it is for professional astrologers. Edward presents her material in a very personable style. From page 1, the reader has the sense of being able to sit down with a top-notch astrologer who is also a superb translator of ‘astrolgese’ into clear, straightforward English.

I am impressed with not only the extent, but also the quality of the insights and information in this book. The author certainly nailed my fixed cross issues, such as: “Although for the most part productive, fixed signs can find themselves trapped in the immediately perceived reality, and when this occurs they are unable to be creative and can be inflexible in their attitudes and actions.” (P. 58) The above is just a little too true for this Leo reviewer!

There are a wealth of anecdotes to illustrate the crosses and how they play out in the lives of individuals, without relying too heavily on celebrities, as do so many astrology books. Real people with real lives are included, not just such über-successful over-achievers as Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey or Martha Stewart. In”The Crosses in Life Experience” chapter. I especially liked the analogy of decorating a room, and how each cross would handle and divide tasks. (p. 129)

This book holds a wealth of insight and information for intermediate to advanced students of astrology. But it’s also accessible to those with only Sun-sign knowledge. Edward provides every opportunity for them to benefit from this book, including a table of Sun-signs clearly indicating to which cross each belongs.

Those wishing to go beyond the Sun-sign are able to send away for a free chart. Edward provides pointers on how to determine if one or more of the crosses predominates in your chart on pages 12-13 (of course, you can always ask your astrologer!). Beyond setting the tone, the Introduction chapter also provides a mini astrology course, and lets you know you’re dealing with an authority.

Practicing astrologers will find not only information, but advice directly applicable in counselling situations. Case in point: the chapter entitled “Mending Broken Crosses” deals with lack of or over-abundance of a quality, and provides suggested coping strategies.

I do have one small cavil with this book, and that is with the title, Astrological Crosses in Relationships. Were I to come across it cold on a bookstore shelf, I might assume it was a book about the crosses in synastry. A more apt title might have been The Astrological Crosses in Relationship – for as Edward writes “. . . it is the aspects, or relationship of one sign to another within the same cross that makes up the dynamism.”

Astrological Crosses in Relationships now has a prominent spot on my astrological reference bookshelf. I will return to it often, in mutable dipping and skipping for immediately useful knowledge, in a fixed desire to spur greater mastery and creative approach to my astrology practice, and in a cardinal obsession with needing and wanting to be in on a very good thing.


Astrological Crosses in Relationships by Pauline Edward (Astrology Montreal original founding member and website designer). Llewellyn Worldwide, 2002. 195 pp, paperback. Accessible for beginning students and beyond. Pros will also benefit. Contact Pauline through this website, or check out

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