What Does “Aspect” Even Mean In Astrology?

Photographed by Elizabeth Weinberg.
The first time you see a birth chart, it can look more like something that was made with a spirograph than a legitimate indicator of your true spiritual essence. But, those funky, angular shapes can tell you just as much about your astrological identity as where the moon or any of the planets happen to fall on the wheel of the Zodiac. As a group, these are known as "aspects," meaning the angles made between two planets, and each configuration comes with its own significance.
Luckily, you don't need a protractor to identify which aspects are in your chart. All you need to do is count the number of signs that separate the two planets you're looking at.
According to the Astrotwins, aspects where two planets are an even number of signs apart are known as "soft," while those that describe planets separated by an odd number of signs are "hard." These categories can help us understand which aspects might present more of a challenge to us, as opposed to an opportunity.
The aspect known as "conjunct," where two planets are in the same sign, is considered soft, as well. Conjunct heavenly bodies tend to mix their respective energies together to make a potent cosmic cocktail. For example, Mercury conjunct Venus foretells of easy communication and free expression of your emotions.
In addition to conjunct, there are four other major aspects in astrology. Ahead, we discuss their meanings and how to recognize them if they appear in your chart.