What is an “Aspect”?

“Aspect” is another rather obscure and outmoded English word. If you look it up in a normal dictionary, you will learn that the word refers to the position of one thing in relation to another; the way things face each other; the way things look at other things. You can “study something from every aspect” if you turn it around and look at it from different directions. By looking at things from many different angles you can learn about them in all their aspects. So, the word aspect is all about the angle from which you look at things.

Aspect is a word of Latin origin. It is based on the word spec which means “to look.” Eyeglasses, for example, were originally called spectacles. Putting an “a” in front of “spec” makes a verb of it. Aspect really means “the act of looking.”

The Sanskrit word for astrological aspects is drishti, the meaning of which is identical to the meaning of aspect. They both mean “the act of looking.”

Aspects / drishti are not ordinary, casual glances. They are special, careful, willful glances which reveal new facets of things, and which even influence the things they look at. For example, a businessperson in a board meeting says, “This data is going to significantly aspect the way we do business in the coming year.” The data and the business plan “look at” each other in a profound way that influences both of them.

Sometimes a girl will look at a boy in a way that turns his legs to jelly and makes butterflies take flight in his heart. That sort of willful, powerful, influential glance is exactly what an aspect really is.

How Aspects Work

Right now I am sitting at my desk writing these words. There is a window in front of me, just to the right. Looking out that window I can see the driving school two blocks away from me, and all the people walking on the sidewalk in front of it. I am not on that sidewalk, but it is almost as if I was – because I have a clear line of sight to it. If I wanted to affect something going on there, it would be pretty easy. I could wait till someone walked by and then shout something or whistle – and the person would be shocked and affected by my energy. That is me “casting my aspect.”

I could not really do this very well to some spot I could not see with a direct line of sight, even if that spot was closer to me physically.

Also, if I stand up from the desk and walk just a little bit to the right the view I get our of my window changes dramatically. Now I see rooftops. Moving still more to the right I will see my neighborhood street. This illustrates that aspects are all about the position of two bodies in relation to one another. When there is just the right angle between me, my window, and the driving school sidewalk – I can see it perfectly and influence it dramatically. If the angle is not right, the line of sight is obscured or changes to some other focal point.

Believe it or not, you now know more about what aspects are than maybe 90% of people who have been practicing astrology for years. Each planet has certain “windows” through which they can look at things. When a house cusp or another planet moves into an opportune angle to those windows, the planet can see it and can therefore influence it.

Now you have to learn about what those angles are and what windows the various planets have.

– Vic DiCara
© 2010 Vic DiCara, All Rights Reserved


  1. aspicco says:

    Nicely put… I used to describe aspects as how planets are “wired together” and the “circuits” they made… but now I might steal your words…


    1. vicdicara says:

      Thanks! Ever since I met you with your handle “Aspicco” I always thought of aspects whenever we talk.


      1. Praveen says:

        How can aspects be understood in the context of your classical explanation of Planets as persons, Signs as Resources and House as area of impact.
        For E.g. A Planet aspects the 7th house by default, so does it mean that it has resources of the sign in the 7th house and will impact both the houses(current and 7th/opposite)


        1. vicdicara says:

          The aspect is the planet GLANCING, and “keeping its eye on” the affairs of the planet, sign, house it is glancing at.


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