The Planets, The Signs, The Houses and The Aspects.
These are the basic building blocks of the Astrological Birth Chart (Natal Horoscope).

The Zodiac is the circle of twelve Signs around the ecliptic. (The path described by the apparent movement of the Sun against the background of the sky - not that you can see this background when you can see the Sun - - - that's one to think about!)

The circle divided into 12 segments. The Sun moves once around the circle each year. The circle turns around the Earth once each day (that's what it looks like from here) and the Houses are derived from dividing that daily revolution into twelve segments.

The Sun at the end of March is in the Sign Aries. Just after sunrise that point (degree - 30 degrees per Sign - 360 degrees around a circle) that point is in the 12th. House, by midday going into the 9th. House and at sunset is moving from the 7th. into the 6th. House. Each of the Planets, at any given time, is in a Sign and a House.

At one time the Planets (astrologically rather than astronomically speaking) were the moving lights in the sky. The Sun, The Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. These were the changes that were seen to influence us.
Allow that we are influenced by changes we do not see signs of, and you can allow Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Chiron (a very small planet that orbits between Saturn and Uranus), numerous asteroids (becoming more numerous every day) and even the Uranian Points (these 'planets' have not actually been discovered yet but some people swear by them) and Arabic Parts.

When I'm interpreting a chart I use the major planets and Chiron, and also consider 4 of the asteroids.

The Aspects between Planets may be thought of as resonance. If you imagine the line around the circle stretched out, a long string, like a guitar string. Fixed at each end, that string can vibrate. Fixed also in the middle, if one side vibrates then the other will resonate with it and a sympathetic vibration happens.
Resonance like this will occur when the string is divided at specific points along its length. Some points produce harmonic resonance and some produce disharmonic resonance. These points correspond to certain angles around the circle (30 degrees, 60, 90, 120, 180 and others).

If the positions in the Zodiac of two planets are 90 degrees apart, for example, then those planets are said to be in Square Aspect. Astrologers will allow a certain amount of give or take with the angles - it doesn't have to be exactly 90 degrees or exactly 150 degrees - the Aspect is still found to be effective.
The amount of leeway allowed (orb) is dependent on the type of chart being considered and the planets and angles involved.

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The Question of Rulership - just wandering around with an idea, trying to make it fit.
(of interest perhaps only to astrologers)