From the moment we enter this world, the course of our lives has been mapped out for us. It is the time, and the place, of our births that are the important factors when divining our future - both immediate and long-term.
From ancient times, people have believed that the relative position of the suns and planets affects us.
The ancient Greeks were the first to realise that study of the heavenly bodies could help us predict what was to come.
Astrology uses a system of classifying the year into 12 parts - though not using the monthly calendar we use in the rest of our lives.
Horoscopes are interpretations of the astrological movements as they affect our lives. They can combine factors such as the positions of the sun, the moon and the planets as well as astrological aspects like the moment of our birth.
Western astrology relies on the belief system that cycles of change that can be seen in the heavens are reflective of other changes in cycle on the earth.
The impact that the moon has on us as humans has long been known, affecting such things as tides on earth. But astrology goes beyond the forces of magnetism and gravity, and studies the correlation of celestial events - like the sun rising, the appearance of two planets in the same place in the sky, or the appearance of a comet.
The 12 signs of the Zodiac are interpreted through horoscopes as having various qualities.
There are six masculine signs - Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius and Aquarius.
The other signs are feminine - Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn and Pisces.
Further divisions of the signs are used, according to their characteristics.
There are four Fixed signs - Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius - which are held to have properties of stability, fixity and earthiness.
The Mutable signs are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces, which in contrast are adaptable and interchangeable. These can mold and modify conditions and circumstances in life.
The third group, the Cardinal signs, are Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. They are signs of dynamic change, great vitality and movement.
Horoscopes make use of these qualities as well as their four fundamental characteristics of fire, earth, air and water.
Fire signs - Aries, Leo and Sagittarius - are regarded as vibrant and dynamic. Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn are the four earth signs which are practical, detail-oriented and calm.
The astrological air signs are Gemini, Libra and Aquarius which have common themes of being intelligent, communicative and very social.
The water signs are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces - typical signs for those with artistic talents - which have qualities of intuitiveness and emotional sensitivity.