In cultures all around the world, people have looked to the stars and planets for answers to their biggest questions. Observation of these bodies in the sky on their courses and changing relationships to the sun and moon, and the arrival of the seasons, led to interpretations of these bodies in synchronicity with developments and changes. The most easily observable being the regular cycle of the moon as it waxes and wanes and moves through the backdrop of the stars over a month. Astrology appears in a similar form in Egypt, Babylon, Indian, and Greco-Roman cultures, as 12 signs along the ecliptic that the sun and all other planets appear to travel through in a year, their distance from Earth and the Sun establishing the relative observed speed they make this movement in, with Mercury, the messenger being the quickest (after the moon), and the farthest away object, Pluto, being the slowest.
In interpreting Astrology, a meaning or symbol is assigned to each planet which is reflective of traits in the individual born under the configuration, and of the general conditions at the time. Other relationships of significance are the aspects between planets, indicating cooperative, or disharmonious and challenging forces. It is not that the positions of stars and planets actually cause change and strife, but that all events which occur at the same time come from a common source, leaving its fingerprint above and below. The 12 sign system is the Western zodiac, which can be viewed tropically or sidereally, (view blog post), now joined by a 13 sign sidereal system. Indian or Vedic astrology also uses a Sidereal zodiac and focuses heavily on the moon's position among 28 lunar mansions.
Chinese astrology is based on the 10 Celestial Stems and 12 Earthly Branches, a set of symbols based on the theory of Yin and Yang, the Five Elements (Wu xing), and a myth of 12 animals. The mansions found in the cardinal directions are composed of the Chinese observations of constellations, represented by 4 animals, each divided into 7 constellations. There is also a lunar mansion system synced up to the western and vedic zodiac.
All Astrology holds elemental systems in common, not chemical elements as known in western science, but causal properties in active representation. The forces are connected and arise simultaneously within the space and in the person.