Basics of Western Astrology Explained
Astrology is defined as "the art or practice of determining the supposed influences of the planets and their motions on human affairs and human disposition." From this practice a horoscope can be produced -- a diagram (or chart) of the relative positions of planets and signs of the Zodiac at a specific time, usually the time of birth. A forecast can then be produced.
Western Astrology originated way back, around 500 B.C., with a concept called the Zodiac being developed. This comprised an imaginary sphere surrounding the earth, which followed the path of the Sun through the constellations during the year. The Zodiac was split into 12 sections, each named after the specific constellation noted in that area.
Many ancient philosophies used a set of classical elements to explain the way nature behaved. Each sign was connected to one of the classical elements (fire, earth, air, or water) and was also related to a region of focus: social, personal or universal.
Water signs are related to growth processes, identification and emotion. In tandem with the other elements, water feels that fire will make it boil, air will evaporate it, but earth will shape and channel it.
Fire signs are related to action, passion, and energy. In tandem with the other elements, fire feels that earth will smother it, water will drown it, but air will fan and enliven it.