Astrology is an ancient science studied and practised by scientists of the Western Civilisations until only very recently. The concept behind it, is that The Cosmos/Nature is alive and Whole, and that it's parts can affect each other. These Forces were looked upon in ancient times as 'Gods' manipulating human lives. Today, physics says that we are part of a Whole that was once One at the Big Bang, and that although now it is in separate material forms, these forms on a subatomic level can affect each other in subtle ways.
Western Astrology divides up the starry sky in 12 portions which are known as Zodiac signs. Our Solar system has planets (the number discovered is growing) and where they are in the Zodiac signs affect us. It is as though a play was being performed on a stage. The Zodiac Signs are the play, the planets are the actors, the 12 houses (areas of influence as given in a chart) are the scenery and the transits ( one planet passing another at an angle) is the action.
Our birth chart needs date, time and place of birth to be accurate. It tells the story of You. It describes your character, karma and probable destiny. Probable - because it is HOW we use what we were born with that matters. Looking at your birth chart helps to make conscious for you what choices you have with what you were born with. It is not just where the Sun was when you were born that matters (your Sun Sign) but ALL the planets. Your Ascendant (shown by the time of birth) is equally important as is where the Moon was.
Charts calculated at specific points in your life can help you with decisions at those times to get the best out of your life. It describes the 'weather' at any given point and you can choose what to do about that weather forecast.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR WESTERN ASTROLOGY CHART
The Chart is divided into 12 sections called Houses.
You can compare this to a Play on a Stage.
Each of these deals with a specific area of your life situation or if you like the different scenery in the play.
They are numbered 1 - 12 starting in the East (on left of chart) where the horizon was at the minute/hour of your birth and marks which Zodiac Sign * was coming over the horizon at that time. This will be 'ruled' by certain planets which are important to your Life. These are called the Ruling Planets of your Chart.
This first house marker is called your *Ascendant (Rising Sign) and is very important for your Life. It should be looked at in Horoscopes as well as your Sun Sign . It shows how you view Life and your Personality.
Your Sun Sign is where the Sun was at the time you were born. This is the one that we commonly call our 'Birth Sign . This is where our Ego likes to shine.
Each House is occupied by various Zodiac Signs which describe the 'scenery' in your Life Areas. Where the Moon was at birth is also very important and shows how you are emotionally, and where your emotional interests lie.
The Planets which are placed in various Signs (and therefore Houses) are the 'Actors' in the Play. They do the actions and create the activity in your Life. They form angles to each other which IS the activity. These have various names eg conjunction, opposition, trine, square etc. These are very important.
Planets move (word planet means 'wanderer') and they form angles to where they and other planets were on the day you were born. This is how Horoscopes work . On any given date, the astrologer calculates these angles and interprets their actions into meaningful activities which will be currently happening in your Life. These are possibilities and you may not notice their effect in your Life as they can be very subtle and act subconsciously, particularly the 'Outer Planets'.
Each Zodiac Sign is 'ruled' by various planets and 'Elements' which are Fire, Earth, Water and Air. These effect the action within the Sign . Also the Elements can be said to be either 'Cardinal' ie assertive/pushy, or 'Fixed' ie stubborn/inflexible, or 'Mutuable' ie flowing/changeable. The Elements have the qualities that their names suggest. Those Signs that the Planets are in are effected by these conditions.
Therefore, Astrology is an Art as well as a Science and it takes many years to learn how these conditions and angles will cause effects in any Life.
The Birth Chart shows potentials not certainties, as we may decide to concentrate on one potential more than any others. It is our choices which way to handle these potentials which are 'free-will'.