The word aspects comes from a Latin word aspectus, which means "look, sight, or appearance." Thus aspects represent a relationship where planets see each other in specific ways.
The modern Western astrological chart is represented as a 360 circle. This circle is divided into 12 equal segments of 30 degrees each (12 x 30 = 360) - one division for each of the 12 signs of the astrological zodiac. The planetary positions are calculated as positions within the 30 degrees of a sign. So when you hear someone say their sun is at 15 degrees Scorpio, it means their Sun placement is in the middle of the astrological sign Scorpio.
The distance between each planet in the chart is also represented in degrees. If the Sun is at 15 degrees Scorpio and the Moon is at 15 degrees Capricorn, they are 60 degrees apart.
- Scorpio is two signs away from Capricorn (30 degrees for Scorpio, 30 degrees for Sagittarius, then 30 degrees for Capricorn)
- To find out the angular relationship between the planet at 15 degrees Scorpio compared to 15 degrees Capricorn, you would count 30 degrees from 15 Scorpio to 15 Sagittarius and another 30 degrees from 15 Sagittarius to 15 degrees Capricorn.
The easiest way to find an aspect between planets is to look for planets close to the same degree. The distance they are from each other tells you what type of aspect they are forming.