For people who don’t understand how the position of your planets at your birth can affect your personality, tendencies, and actions, I say your astrological signs are like the wave you caught when you were born. It is the environmental influence; the tide of the universe’s various energetic influences. The universe over time is locally in motion. Planets are moving through space (some with us on them!), other planets are coasting around us, all large objects (and small) are bending the energetic fields around them. The moment you were born you were in, and on, one of these time-dependent waves of energy.
Astrologers could have pinpointed any time during your existence to read the alignment of the stars, but time of birth is the easiest and most practical for gathering data.
I think we are so blessed to have the advantage of hundreds of generations worth of data for this science of energy.