I think we could come up with a thoroughly relational astrological syntax. The semantics shouldn’t be grounded in any primary representations, but be an actual abstract alphabet–purely formal placeholders in an abstract series that only gets meaning within determinate contexts. It would then be scientific (formal, methodological, and abstract) and poetic and creative (completely dependent on content and on free-choice of context and specific processes).
This could accommodate any technique and guide the creation of new techniques, which is what Deleuze was trying to do with giving science a creative metaphysics and Feyerbaned critiquing method not through negation of method but a freeing of it through a grounding in relation and contrast. For Delanda’s interpretation of Deleuze and complexity theory, at the deepest topological layer, all ideas are defined and related through ordinal relationships that undergird any spatial/temporal framework. So just as a first pass, I would say, Aries is connected with the first house because they both can be thought of as principles of initiating a process of actualization. But of course either can be part of other signifying chains that begin elsewhere and alter the meaning. Having Aries as the first house is a more straightforward interpretation of a process of actualization.
Having Cancer on the ascendent—which was the association in ancient tradition for the origins of the world—implies deeper virtual processes at work that may, for instance, trace a sequence through to the beginnings of actualization in Aries only after a sojourn through the steps between. Tradition was much more concerned with the virtual side of processes, (what deleuze calls differentiation) than the actual (differenciation). As Feyerabend says, different methods yield different results, but no one method is supreme.
So as Feyerabend—the only major academic philosopher of science to defend astrology—used to say: “anything goes”, but not everything will give you the results you are looking for; understanding and fleshing this out may yield a better basis for improvisation. Some house systems may yield initially more information but might not be coherent enough for extrapolation without increasing complication. This is essentially my critique of contemporary physics; the standard model yields a lot of information, but it becomes so complicated and incoherent that it cannot connect “distant” fields and concepts. Thinking topologically instead of typologically yields univocal simplicity and unending diversity and creativity: monism=pluralism as Deleuze says. Otherwise one gets no further than analogy and vague relations between contingent representations with no basis for comparison beyond similarity.
So, if you will indulge me a bit further (just throwing this out off the top of my head, if only for my own amusement): how would one differentiate associated astrological signifiers like Chiron, Virgo, Mercury, the 6th house, the 3rd house? I would say that if there are no fundamental essences, but if one doesn’t want to just have empty categories filled by particular determinations (a 6th principle that means literally nothing but the sum of its particular determinations as virgo or 6th house qualities), then as Delanda formalizes the Deleuzian multiplicity as alternative to essence, the only alternative is a historical process. That would mean the abstract assemblage that we see incarnated in Virgo or the 6th house is not simply a heap of associations but an Idea in an ordinal series that manifests differently because of particular historical determinations that link it with other assemblages. Chiron is the wounded healer because it is a unique instantiation, a pattern in time where this 6th principle interacts with specific relations (like the cycles of a certain asteroid) that define a new temporal assemblage, an evolving character as a sign of certain temporal rhythms within infinitely imbricated processes that, for whatever reason, have strong connections with an abstract line of middle-stage processes(6th stage) and human situations involving trauma and healing.