From page 40 of my astrology course workbook:
To interpret a chart in an integrated manner, one has to know “what to explore,” or rather, which parts of the chart relate to which facets of personality or life promise. Particular houses and planets symbolize particular needs or traits in an individual. Aspects show the potential of these needs or traits being actualized or frustrated. For example, if an individual has a “stressed” Venus, (that is, a Venus receiving mainly challenging aspects of squares and oppositions), then the person’s needs that Venus symbolizes concerning values and/or relationships would be frustrated somewhat until the person meets the challenge of changing whatever in himself is causing the frustration. However, Venus is not the only thing in the chart that symbolizes values and relationships, and it is here that we must do a little “exploring.”
We have to also look to the second house, planets posited there, their aspects, the ruler of the second, its position and aspects, planets in the seventh house, its ruler and aspects, and other sources listed below. Suddenly, values and relationships become complicated and VERY personal!!
Here is a list of basic factors to consider in “exploring” facets of an individual’s character. In each case, look to the rulers of the houses--- their dispositors (rulers of the signs they occupy), their house positions and the aspects they hold to refine the indications of the traditional planets concerning the faculties in question. [It is assumed here that you have a basic education in astrological interpretation of planets and signs. Also keep in mind that planets in houses take on the traits of the natural rulers of those houses---i.e. first house takes on Aries traits, second takes on Taurus traits, etc. This is fully explained in the work of Zip Dobyns and her “alphabet” theory.]
This is by no means all that an astrologer can delineate in a chart, but it is a good starting point. This is only meant to be a tool to aid the student in developing good habits and an integrated pattern of interpretation. It takes hard work and practice to interpret a chart smoothly and accurately. Don’t use this list as a crutch or a substitute for logical, sensitive reasoning. i.e. it isn’t helpful to just bluntly tell someone what might be an unconscious trait (8th house) without somehow making it relevant to them.
1. Basic Temperament: ---Ascendant, ruler of the ascendant’s sign and house position, first house planets (if any), Sun and Moon
2. Ego Need for Fulfillment: ---Sun and Fifth house
3. Emotional Needs and Motivation: ---Venus, Moon, fourth and seventh houses.
4. Mental Faculties: ---Mercury, third house (reasoning, conscious mind, communication style or methods), Moon, fourth and twelfth houses (subconscious mind, common sense), Jupiter, ninth house (judgment), Pluto, eighth house (unconscious mind), Uranus (intuition), and Neptune (imagination, inspiration, delusion, psychic sense)
5. Self-Image: ---Moon, fourth and second houses (self-worth)
6. Projected Image: ---Mars, first and third houses
7. Relationships: ---Venus, seventh, eleventh and third houses
8. Values: ---Venus (personal preferences), Jupiter (highest ideal), second and eighth houses
9. Health: ---Sun, Saturn, ascendant, first and sixth houses
10. Parents: ---Sun and Saturn (father), Moon (mother), tenth and fourth houses (either)
11. Areas of Conflict, Pain and Doubt: ---Saturn, twelfth and eighth houses, Moon and houses with Virgo and Capricorn on the cusps or intercepted
12. Career: ---Tenth, sixth, and second houses, Saturn
13. Spiritual and Philosophical Attitudes: ---Ninth and twelfth houses, Jupiter and Neptune.