There is a joke in astrology: if you put 5 astrologers in a room you end up with 6 sets of orbs. Which is to say, astrologers disagree about how much wiggle room (orbs) to use when interpreting the angular relationships between planets in charts. Some are strict in their orbs, others are loose, but often the big problem is a lack of consitency. Some consider asteroids as important as planets. Some get worked up about bi-quintiles.
My teacher told me to keep it simple, stupid. So for those of you in the know about astrology, this is my approach:
I use Placidus Houses; I use the 10 planets and Chiron; I sometimes use the asteroids Juno, Ceres, Vesta and Pallas. The north and south node of the moon are a significant axis in the chart and any planets aspecting these points are in my opinion very important. I’m very interested in planets that fall on the major chart angles. The progressed moon, any progressed personal planet changing signs, progressed house cusps aspecting natal planets and any change in the progressed Ascendant or Midheaven is likewise an important factor. Often there’s a pattern of reinforcing themes when synthesizing the birth chart, chart of the current transits and the progressed chart and with that I always feel more confident in my predictions. I also use the solar return chart for an annual sense of the different themes my client is facing.
Just as light is both a particle and a wave, my practice of astrology is influenced by Ptolemy and Kepler.