First of all, establish when the moment was that you either asked the question or received the question from another person and where you were. This is the time and place you will be basing your calculations on. Calculate your chart. Now there are several basic considerations to assess before you can continue with judgement:
Is the Ascendant less than 3º or more than 27º? If the Ascendant is less tha 3º then it may be too early to reach an answer, if the Ascendant is more than 27º than it may be too late. Sometimes issues involving new beginnings may still work with an Ascendant less than 3º. This does not apply if the Ascendant of the querent is less than 3º or more than 27º.
Is the Moon in Via Combusta? The Via Combusta is 15º Libra to 15º Scorpio. A malefic and unpredictable influence.
Is the Moon Void of Course? The Moon is void of course when it will not complete any major aspects before leaving its current sign. Nothing works smoothly when a Moon is void of course. Lilly defines the Moon as being void of course when it will not be in orb of applying to a major aspect before leaving its current sign. Lilly also accepts that a void of course Moon can still perform in Cancer, Taurus, Sagittarius or Pisces.
Is the Moon in late degrees? A chart may be unsafe to judge if the Moon is in the last degrees of a sign, especially Gemini, Scorpio and Capricorn.
Is Saturn in the Seventh House? Your judgement as an astrologer may be compromised or restricted (unless you are the querent as well).
Is Saturn in the First House when the astrologer is the querent? Your judgement as an astrologer may be compromised or restricted.
Next you need to decide which planet(s) rule the querent and the question. The querent is always co-ruled by the Moon as well as by the ruler of the Ascendant, the Almuten(s) of the Ascendant and the rulers of any planets in the first house.
You also need to decide which is the natural ruler for the issue and which houses are important in the matter. You may need to turn the chart, in other words if you are asking about the career of your partner then you will not be looking in the tenth house (your own career) but using the seventh house (your partner) as his or her first house and counting on ten houses from there. So 7th house plus 10 is counted around the chart to the 4th house. Matters involving the partner's career are ruled by the 4th house.
Rulerships of the Planets
Sun - Self-expression, life force, authority, men, employers, power, officials, ego.
Moon - Emotions, intuition, cycles, home, women, the public, lost objects, short trips, changes, mother.
Mercury - Thoughts, speech, communication, business matters, transport, contracts, neighbours, young people, students, office workers.
Venus (The Lesser Benefic) - Love life, creativity, beauty, social life, gifts, money, marriage, young women, mother, wife, pleasures, luxury goods.
Mars (The Lesser Malefic) - Action, energy, accidents, willpower, sex, weapons, accidents, quarrels, injury, assertiveness.
Jupiter (The Greater Benefic) - Luck, expansion, opportunity, excess, gambling, higher education, long journeys, prophecy, foreigners, the wealthy, professionals.
Saturn (The Greater Malefic) - Duties, responsibilities, burdens, lessons, ambitions, old people, debts, delays, poveryt, obstacles, loss father, death, restrictions.
Pars Fortuna (Part of Fortune: not a planet but one of the numerous Arabic Parts) - Income, possessions, treasure, money.
Planets are considered Under the Sunbeams when they are in the same sign as the Sun and within 17º. It is weakened in this position.
A planet is combust when it is in conjunction with the Sun (orb of 8º). It is weakened in this position.
Planets are cazimi when they are within 0º17' of the Sun . In this position, unlike combust, they are strengthened. The exception is the Moon which is malefic in this position, being a New Moon.
The Arabic Parts (also called lots) are calculated by adding and subtracting the position of planets and other features on a chart. They were put to great use by the 8th and 9th century Arab astrologers who inherited the knowledge from Babylonian, Egyptian and Greek astrology. For example, the Pars Fortuna or Part of Fortune (by day) is Ascendant + Moon - Sun and the Part of Fortune (by night) is Ascendant + Sun - Moon. The very ancient astrologers believed the Ascendant and the Part of Fortune were the most important elements of the chart relating to the Sun rising and the Moon rising respectively.
There are many Arabic Parts such as the Part of Death, the Part of Marriage and the Part of Cucumbers & Melons (yes, there really is one!).
Part of Fortune (day birth) = Moon - Sun + Ascendant
Part of Fortune (night birth) = Sun - Moon + Ascendant
How life's fulfilment achieved:
Part of the Sun (day birth) = Moon - Sun - Ascendant
Part of the Sun (night birth) = Sun - Moon - Ascendant
Part of Death = Ascendant + 8th cusp - Moon (using equal houses)
Medieval Part of Death = 8th cusp + Saturn - Moon
Part of Sickness = Ascendant + Mars - Saturn
Part of Marriage = Ascendant + 7th cusp - Venus
Part of Love = Ascendant + Jupiter - Venus
Part of Children (Pars Filiorum) = Ascendant + Jupiter - Mars
Part of Luck = Ascendant + Moon - Jupiter
Part of Commerce = Mercury + Ascendant - Sun
Part of Love (alternative) = Venus + Ascendant - Sun
Part of Passion = Mars + Ascendant - Sun
Part of Increase = Jupiter + Ascendant - Sun
Part of Fatality = Saturn + Ascendant - Sun
Part of Catastrophe = Uranus + Ascendant - Sun
Part of Treachery = Neptune + Ascendant - Sun
Part of Organisation = Pluto + Ascendant - Sun
Seconday Ascendant = Ascendant + Ascendant - Sun
and for the astro-horticulturally curious:
Part of Cucumbers & Melons = Ascendant + Saturn - Mercury
To find out your Arabic Parts without a known Ascendant (that is, the Time of Birth is not known), you have the option of constructing a chart cast with Aries 0° as an Ascendant and then proceed as follows:
Revolve the chart until the Sun's degree is on the Ascendant. Divide the chart into equal Houses of 30° from that degree.
The Moon's position is the Part of Fortune
Mercury's position is the Caduceus, the Point of Commerce
Venus' position is the Heart, the Point of Love
Mars' position is the Sword, of Point the Passion
Jupiter's position is the Pomegranate, the Point of Increase
Saturn's position is the Hour Glass, the Point of Fatality
Uranus' position is the Lightning Flash, the Point of Catastrophe
Neptune's position is the Trident, the Point of Treachery
Pluto's position is the Gavel, the Point of Organisation
Revolve the chart again until the Moon's degree is on the Ascendant.
The Sun's position is the Point of Spirit
Mercury's position is the Point of Faith
Venus' position is the Point of Female Children
Jupiter's position is the Point of Male Children
(Mars and Saturn have no relation under matters of the Moon)
Revolve the chart until the Point of the Spirit is on the Ascendant.
The Moon's position is the Point of Merchandise
Revolve the chart until the Moon's Dispositor (the Ruler of the Sign in which the Moon is posited) is on the Ascendant.
The Moon's position is the Point of Bondage
Revolve the chart until the Lunation or Full Moon next preceding the day of birth is on the Ascendant.
The Moon's position is the Point of Life
Revolve the chart again until Mercury is on the Ascendant.
The Moon's position is the Point of Servants
Mars' position is the Point of Understanding
Revolve the chart again until Venus is on the Ascendant.
The Moon's position is the Point of the Mother
Saturn's position is the Point of Husbandry
Revolve the chart again until Mars is on the Ascendant.
Venus' position is the Point of Plays
Jupiter's position is the Point of Discord
Revolve the chart again until Saturn is on the Ascendant.
The Sun's position is the Point of the Father
The Moon's position is the Point of Magistery and Possessions as well as the Point of Inheritance
Mars' position is the Point of Sickness
Jupiter's position is the Point of Brothers and Sisters
Cancer 15° is the Point of Journeys by Water
Fixed Stars also can have an influence on the chart if a planet appears in conjunction (with an orb of 1º).
Caput Algol 26º10' Taurus - Failure, difficulties, disaster, death.
Alcyone 00º00' Gemini - Compassion and disappointment.
Aldebaran 9º35' Gemini - Violence and victory.
Regulus 29º50' Leo - Royalty, success and glory.
Vindematrix 9º56' Libra - Misfortune and war, widowhood.
Spica 23º50' Libra - Success and prosperity.
Arcturus 24º14' Libra - Success and prosperity.
Antares 9º38' Sagittarius - Conflict and violence.
Serpentis 19º Scorpio (always) - Disaster.
Vega 15º19' Capricorn - Success in politics and finance.
Fomalhaut 3º52' Pisces - Good or bad depending on its aspects.
Scheat 29º22' Pisces - Failure and difficulties (especially at sea).
The querent. Personal life and appearance, beginnings, accidents, new projects, length of life. East. Angular.
Finances, values, lost or stolen objects, possessions, potential poverty or wealth, resources, material things desired, business transactions, earnings (work). East North-East. Succedent.
Siblings, relatives, neighbours. Short journeys. Schooling, early education. Cars. Personal communication, letters, emails, advice. Gossip, rumours, news. North North-East. Cadent.
Home, parents, father, domestic issues, buried treasure, land, real estate, inheritances from parents, houses, farms, agriculture, old age, mines. The end of any matter. North. Angular.
Children, women, luxury, affairs, gambling, hobbies, stocks, romance, pregnancy, elections, entertainment, feasts, eating, drinking, parties, fun. Personal creativity. Bodies of water, rain. Teaching. North North-west. Succedent.
Health, illness, diseases, injuries, misfortunes. Hygiene, healing. Daily work, daily routines. Pets, small animals. Servants, employees. West North-west. Cadent.
Partner (marriage and business), lover. Divorce, lawsuits, contracts. Quarrels, open rivals, competitors. Thieves, robbers, dishonours. Any unidentified person. The astrologer. West. Angular.
Shared resources, death, birth. Surgery. Transformations, occult. Taxes, debts, mortgages and loans. Legacies, inheritance from other than parents, other people's money or resources, corporate money. Investigations. Poverty, suffering, dangers. Sleep. West South-West. Succedent.
Long-distance travel, religion, philosophy, education, learning, religion. Lawyers, professionals. Dreams, divination. Wisdom. The arts. Public communication, media, publishing. South South-West. Cadent.