Leap Year Day Lore and Legends About The Bonus Day

Monday, February 29, 2016

By Dikki-Jo Mullen, Astrologer and Parapsychologist

“Keep time with a leap now and then” was among the humor, art and poetry that celebrated this unique day in another leap year nearly two centuries ago. Originally published in the 1820 (a Leap Year) edition of The Farmer’s Almanac. 2016 is a Leap Year. Monday,  February 29, 2016 is Leap Day, the rarest of days, is tacked on to the end of Valentine’s month. It makes some hearts will rise and others sink, confused and disoriented. Perhaps you have not seen it coming when out and about away from your calendar and date book. Yesterday was February 28 and tomorrow is March 1, but what’s in between? Many electronic calendars and perpetual date books miss it totally. This complicates the issue further.

Some of us might arrive for an appointment a day early. Those who are scrambling to meet a March 1 deadline can suddenly be gifted with an extra day. The 24 hour grace period can be used to tie up loose ends or just to rest and procrastinate before the onset of the new month. Of all the delights and frustrations the 29th of February can bring perhaps the souls born on February 29 can experience the most extreme feelings. This is the most infrequent of birthdays. Perhaps that’s why a mystical, nonconformist kind of life path is often followed. Mother Ann Lee, who founded the Shakers, was a leaper or leapling, as leap year babies are called; but then so was Aileen Wuornos, Florida’s notorious serial killer. Leapers must cherish each birthday, remembering that ‘less is more’, for they can only celebrate once every four years. That why they borrow February 28 or March 1 as a birthday once in a while.

The fixed star Skaat in Pisces is close enough to impact Leap Day astrologically. A 4th magnitude star in the leg of the Water Bearer, its keywords are intuitive, nervous, visionary and illusionary. In the first decanate of Pisces, this shows a double Neptune, a strong water rulership.

The relevant Sabian symbol for Leap Day is “An aviator in the clouds”, the keyword is observation and brings the gift of superior perspective. An exploratory and otherworldly quality is present. In the Tarot The High Priestess is linked to Leap Day, further indicating depth, mysterious wisdom and hidden messages.

To keep the calendar in synch an entire day every four years is just a bit too much, so occasionally Leap Year is skipped. In 1700, 1800 and 1900 there were no Leap Days added to the calendar in order to keep the record straight. However in 2000 the 29th of February appeared again. Leap Day is unique, it just can’t be anything other than an extraordinary day.

In antique shops sometimes vintage postcards greeting Leap Days from the early 20th Century can be found. There was also a Leap Year Waltz written. A popular film “Leap Year”, starring Amy Adams was released in 2010. Set in Ireland, the plot revolved around the longtime custom of celebrating Leap Day as Bachelor’s Day. It was the only time when a lady could rightfully propose marriage to a gentleman. In earlier times it was considered a very fortunate day to agree to a proposal for singles of either gender. However if a bachelor did want to refuse he had to gift the rejected lady with a new silk dress to get off the hook.

Plan to savor and celebrate this Leap Day. An intercalculatory calendar day, it was gifted to the mini month of February. Do you welcome it or tend to trip over it? Either way it’s there if there is hesitation take a leap of faith and accept it as a gift. It is about extra time, the most precious and irreplaceable of all commodities.

With all of this hassle can’t we skip Leap Day? The answer is absolutely not! Except for the Chinese Calendar and a few other alternatives such as the Hebrew Calendar, or Native American Medicine Wheels, the calendar used by most of the world today is solar based. It is oriented toward Earth’s trek around the Sun. There is a glitch. We have a neat and tidy 365 day calendar, but the Earth’s orbital time is actually 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 45.51 seconds. Almost 6 hours over 4 years adds up to nearly a whole day. That’s why we must include an extra day sometimes to stay in synch with the solar system. The road to this realization has been a surprisingly bumpy one. The arrangement of days that make up our familiar and beloved calendars came about after centuries of valiant and off target attempts to keep track of time.

The ancient Egyptians managed with 12 months of 30 days followed by 5 feast days, a vacation, at the end of the year when everyone celebrated. By 238 BC, in the time of Ptolemy III, it became obvious that an extra feast day would have to be added every 4th year. This wasn’t acceptable, since the Egyptians worked according to the seasons of agriculture. If the calendar wasn’t adjusted it could be midsummer and a freeze would arrive. Romulus, the first King of Rome, devised a system of 10 lunar months in the 8th Century BC. Since the Moon’s cycle isn’t consistent, the 10 month calendar would need even more time for feasting allowed to keep up.

Another Roman, Numa Pompilus, shortened some months and used the left over days to create January and February. This year was too short so he added an intercalendary 27 day cycle called Mercedonious. This leap month was supposed to be added in every other year. However, the criminal minds of the officials in charge of things misused it. The bad guys extended terms of political office or changed debt collection dates among other sleazy activities, until eventually Mercedonius just vanished.

When Julius Caesar came to power in 47 BC the calendar said it was January, but Mother Nature indicated autumn harvest season. Caesar did a really bright thing, he called in a top notch astrologer for help. A 90 day fix was added. Ever since 46 BC has been called The Year Of Confusion. It had 445 days. However the calendar was back in tune with the seasons. The next year a nice, neat 365 day calendar with a leap day added every 4th year was implemented. This is the famous Julian Calendar. For a long time this seemed fine. However do you remember that extra 1/4 or so day? By 1582 it added up to 15 days and the seasons were getting askew again. A great Italian astrologer, Aloysius Lilius, came to the rescue. He designed a new calendar, the one we use today. Since this happened when Pope Gregory was in power, it was named the Gregorian calendar. We call it the New Style Calendar and it is the one we use today. The Julian Calendar is The Old Style Calendar. The Julian Calendar was still in used in some places through the early 20th Century.

To keep the calendar accurate every time the year ends in 00 we skip Leap Year. That’s unless the 00 year is divisible by 4 with no remainder. That’s why 2000 was a Leap Year, but 1900 wasn’t. So why is this called Leap Year? That’s another story. In a normal year, the day of the week aligned with a date moves forward one day each year. If your birthday was on Tuesday this year, it will be on Wednesday next year. That is unless it’s Leap Year; then the spare day moves forward or leaps the weekly sequence ahead.

Leap Day is now becoming a popular modern holiday. Don’t let it fall into a chasm, smile at its checkered past and celebrate with good humor. Most February 29 babies do. They can take any time they please for a birthday celebration, except during the rare years when the gift of the extra day rolls around.

After Thoughts

February 29, 2020 will be the next Leap Day.
There are many instances in literature where a person’s claim to be only a quarter of their actual age turns out to be based on counting their leap-year birthdays. A similar device is used in the plot of Gilbert and Sullivan’s 1879 comic opera The Pirates of Penzance: As a child, Frederic was apprenticed to a band of pirates until his 21st birthday. Now, having passed his 21st year, he leaves the pirate band and falls in love. However, since he was born on February 29, that day will not arrive until he is eighty-four. As such, he must leave his fiancée and return to the pirates. It may be worked out from the opera’s dialogue that Frederic’s birthday is February 29, 1852, thus making the opera set in 1873. (This assumes that Frederic is aware that 1900 will not be a leap year. If not, the dates would be later by four years.)

A. Conan Doyle also used in a Sherlock Holmes story where a Baronet who is due to receive his inheritance on the New Year’s Day of the year where his twenty-first birthday will be celebrated, only for the law to deprive him of the money as he was born on February 29. At age 84 the elderly Baronet is distraught at the news that 1900 is not a leap year, Sherlock Holmes helps the Baronet fake his death long enough for his grandson — who is the appropriate age to receive the inheritance — to establish his claim and receive the money himself.

Ghost of Late Winter Images
A Poem by Dikki-Jo Mullen

Late Winter is a state of mind
Regarding the frost grey grass and limp boughs
Cones and pine trees green against the grey sky;

Today it seems it has been cold for a long time
I shiver and walk around the lake silvered grey and almost ice,
The waning Moon chill and aloof creates a distant glitter

Of the thin late January sunlight; there is not much substance.

Words of longing and misery drift in like the sound of the wind,

In the background sound a rattle, it’s the hollow drumbeat of a few stray leaves.

This is the sound of the land
Words to offer in reply to the same wind
It is blowing over the profound emptiness.

Listeners, who hearken to the storms
Still nothing can there be to touch, to behold,
When nothing is really there, nothing that is.

The Planetary Alignment of January – February 2016

A Heavenly String of Pearls

By Dikki-Jo Mullen, Astrologer

“What about the alignment on January 20th ?” , asked some friends and clients in early 2016.

This is a great question. This alignment is especially intriguing because, unlike many astrological patterns, it is one which is very visible in the sky. When a pattern is visible, such as a comet, it heralds significant situations for us earthlings to experience. Very rarely (the last time was in 2005) the visible planets, the ones we can actually see with the naked eye, if the sky is clear, will appear together in an evenly proportioned line up. Like a string of pearls, the planets will form a twinkling chain in either the evening or predawn morning sky.

A String of Pearls! I have decided to emulate my esteemed colleague, Astrologer Rick Nolle, and coin a new term for astrologers and astronomers to use. Some years ago Rick was the first to dream up the term “Supermoon” for the Full Moon which are exceptionally close to the Earth. So I would like to call this rare visible alignment the String of Pearls. Look along the horizon before sunrise and see if you can spot a straight line of bright stars across the sky.

Mercury is retrograde in Capricorn, accenting business and security issues in our words and thoughts. It’s a lead colored star.

Venus, the brightest of all, is in Capricorn too, accenting generation and economic gaps in relationships, also ecology and the value of precious metals and gems.

Mars is the red star. It is in Scorpio, accenting the after life and solving of mysteries as well as nefarious situations, anger, passions and the water supply.

Jupiter is a little less bright than Venus. It’s in Virgo, accenting health care, the food supply and practical spirituality.

Saturn is the star which has a yellow cast. It is in Sagittarius, bringing an emphasis on education, animal welfare, travel, imports and dynamics between foreign countries.

Look at your own birth chart to see which houses and natal planets The String of Pearls is activating for personal insights. Overall, it does not seem to be too positive. In 2005 a similar pattern brought storms and then the real estate bubble burst, among other upsets in the status quo. On January 20, 2016, as the alignment came into play, major storms paralyzed much of the USA. The discovery of a new planet, larger than Earth and far from the Sun, was announced. The discovery of a new celestial body always correlates with new situations. It widens what we have the ability to perceive. Politically there have been some important developments. One terrible one in Florida involves Governor Rick Scott. Despite pleas from ecologists, headed by one of Florida’s most beloved leaders, former Governor and Senator Bob Graham, Scott ignored them all and signed a bill which everyone feels will jeopardize the protection and regulation of our clean water here in the Sunshine State. What similarities do you see between events in 2005 and happenings now in 2016? The String of Pearls is so rare that it is an area with little prior information for astrologers to refer to. This opens the way for original research.

Pearls are beautiful and precious, but they also cost the oyster great pain. A traditional legend relates pearls to tears, but then tears there can be of joy as well as sorrow. What does this suggest about interpreting this String of Pearls sparkling with their message for us all from above? The influence will prevail for a few short weeks before, moving at different rates, the planets drift on in their various ephemeral dances around the Sun and the String of Pearls pattern will be only a memory.


Ok Astrologers, in response to your phone calls and e-mail …because of the orientation and tilt of their orbits, the eight major planets of the Solar System can never come into perfect alignment. The last time they appeared even in the same part of the sky was over 1000 years ago, in the year 949, and they won’t manage it again until 6 May 2492.
About a future String of Pearls …
Fortunately, roughly every half century or so the visible planets (Mercury through Saturn) take up positions in the night sky creating the impression of being in more or less a straight line. There is such an alignment now, visible into mid February, 2016. A similar alignment seems to be taking place almost 30 years from now, on 8 September 2040


Angelic Aid for the year to come and a rare Mercury transit!

The Angel Jeremiel can bring support on many levels as as 2016 unfolds.
Jeremiel’s name means “mercy of God.” In ancient texts, Jeremiel is also known as Ramiel, Remiel and is among the seven archangels.

He’s also associated with guiding Baruch, an author of apocryphal texts in the first century A.D., with prophetic messages. One of these involved touring Baruch around the Biblical heavens.

Call upon him to make positive adjustments. Jeremiel helps you to learn and grow.

Jeremiel says, “A life review today, held at regular intervals, will prove to be of great benefit to you in determining your next station and steps. By reviewing your life along the way, you make your duty that much more enjoyable when you get to the other side. You’ll already have reviewed the major crossroads, and won’t suffer or have regrets when you admit to yourself that you could have done better.”

Take some time to reflect quietly.

Jeremiel assists with!

Intuition, reviews of past action, release of guilt, finding the best future possible.


To cope with concerns about the changes in the world and your own future, call upon Jeremiel for comfort and guidance.

“Archangel Jeremiel,” (mention specific concerns about the future – personal and about the world over all) then say ” please relieve my stress and sadness about the future and erase and forgive my regrets bout past actions and choices. Guide me toward manifesting the highest and best during the times ahead. In gratitude, I give thanks.”

 A Very Rare Mercury Transit!

On May 9, 2016 at  11:12 am EDT Mercury, appearing as a  tiny dot,  will cross the surface of the Sun. This conjunction is very potent, like an eclipse. Expect scrambled communication and travel mix ups. Have a plan B if traveling, be careful to back up files and use caution in making statements which are too controversial or making promises. It’s not the time to sign a contract. Wait and watch, then act. New information changes things!


Retrograde Mars

From April 17 – June 29, 2016 Mars will be retrograde. Avoid initiating any conflicts, the aggressor always loses. Wars begun on retrograde Mars support this historically. Just sit back and allow any enemies to hang themselves. They will!  Avoid challenges, including filing law suits, etc.


2016 – A Universal Nine Year

Astro-Numerology Future Trends

By Dikki-Jo Mullen, Astrologer and Numerologist

Calendars and numbers naturally go together. The numbers of the days, months and years help to orient us. Numbers are essential to sanity and happiness, they help us find our way amid the chaos. There is something so comforting about numbers. Astrology and numerology have gone hand in hand at least since the time of Pythagoras in the 4th Century BC. Number codes are prominent in many spiritual texts, including The Bible.

A wonderful way to begin to understand number patterns is to consider the Universal Year. 2016 is 2+0+1+6 = 9. 2016 is a nine universal year. The 9 is the highest of the single digits, its all about learning from experience, reflecting, old beliefs and situations are winding down. Its time for forgiveness and release, letting go, humanitarian projects, perfecting skills, completing a task to the best of ones abilities. Benevolent understanding, ecology, broad outlook, making the best of the challenges and joys brought during the past 9 years is the path to growth and happiness now.

Olive, smoke, straw, lavender and carmine (deep red) are some favorable colors for wardrobe, home décor and meditation candles this year. Crystals to wear or carry include very dark rubies (banishes grief, draws friends), carnelian (health), jasper (freedom and independence) and blood stone (health and strong vitality). Music associated with 9 to select includes stirring marches and martial music and patriotic songs. Think of the compositions of Wagner and John Philip Souza. Health wise the muscles, reproductive and elimination systems can be a focus for many people this year. Horseradish, peppers, onions, leeks and garlic are favorable foods to include in your diet.

What does this number nine year of 2016 hold for you? To determine your own personal year number add your month and day of birth to nine, then keep adding the numbers together until just one single digit remains.

This is an example for some one born on July 13. 7 (for July) + 13 + 9 (for 2016) = 29 and 2 + 9 = 11. 1 +1=2. So this year of 2016 shows a personal two year, a time of partnerships, focus on history, sentiment, home and family life as well as hunches and memories. The Moon can be a helpful meditation focus. Here is a list of the number meanings for some quick insights, along with the astrological/planetary rulerships. There is some variety in these astrological rulerships, but here are the ones I prefer to use.

One  will, leadership, vitality, independence, beginnings (Sun)

Two  sensitive, partners, emotions, receptive (Moon)

Three  expansion, creative, diplomatic, sociable (Jupiter)

Four  structured, boundaries, limitations, physical, grounded (Saturn)

Five  dual, communicates, restless, adventure, witty, clever (Mercury)

Six  domestic, loyal, concerned, artistic, refined, cultured (Venus)

Seven  intellectual, mysterious, mystical, reserved, occultism (Uranus)

Eight  tenacious, materialist, accomplished, powerful, upward mobility

(Neptune, also Jupiter)

Nine  universal, endings, humane, broad scope, spiritual, reflective

(Mars, also Pluto)

Live in Harmony With Your Numbers

Finish up things in your personal nine year, begin projects afresh in a one year. Marry in a two or six year. Work hard in a four or eight year. Take risks in a three year, try multi-tasking in a five year. Meditate and contemplate, enjoy peace and privacy in your personal seven year.


Planetary Retrogrades and Solar and Lunar Eclipses


Eclipses, close alignments of the Sun, Moon and Earth, will always bring about turning points, shifts and growth with elements of surprise. For those with a birthday within three days of an eclipse a year of breakthroughs and important changes can be expected. There will be 1 total and 4 partial eclipses this year.

March 8, 2016 – New Moon Solar Eclipse in Pisces, South Node – total eclipse.

March 23, 2016 – Full Moon -Lunar Eclipse in Libra, North Node

August 18, 2016 – Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius, South Node

September 1, 2016 – New Moon Solar Eclipse in Virgo, North Node

September 16, 2016 – Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Pisces, South Node

A total eclipse is more influential than a partial. The eclipses conjunct the Moons North Node are thought to be more favorable than those which conjoin with the South Node.

Retrograde Planetary Motion

The illusion of retrograde or apparent backward planetary motion is created by the Earths speed relative to the other planets. Astrologically retrogrades are quite significant, they promise a change of pace and perspective.

Mercury Retrograde

Three or four times yearly, retrograde Mercury impacts technology, travel and communication. Those who have been out of touch return. Complete old projects, revise, review, and tread familiar paths. Gemini and Virgo will be affected.

January 6 – 26, 2016 in Aquarius and Capricorn

April 28, 2016 – May 22, 2016 in Taurus

August 30, 2016 – September 22, 2016 in Virgo

December 19, 2016 – January 8, 2017 in Capricorn and Sagittarius

Venus Retrograde

Venus retrograde influences art, finances, and love. Taurus and Libra will be affected.

(There will be no Venus retrograde during this year of 2016. Its the rarest of the retrograde cycles.)

Mars Retrograde

The military, sports, and heavy industry are impacted. Aries and Scorpio will be affected.

April 17, 2016 – June 29, 2016 in Sagittarius and Scorpio

Jupiter Retrograde

Large animals, speculation, education, and religion are impacted. Sagittarius and Pisces will be affected. January 8, 2016 -May 9, 2016 in Virgo

Saturn Retrograde

Elderly people, the disadvantaged, employment and natural resources are linked to Saturn. Capricorn and Aquarius will be affected.

March 25, 2016 – August 13, 2016 in Sagittarius.

Uranus Retrograde

Inventions, science, electronics, revolutionaries, and extreme weather relate to Uranus retrograde. Aquarius will be affected.

July 29, 2016 – December 29, 2016 in Aries

Neptune Retrograde

Water, aquatic creatures, chemicals, spiritual forces and psychic phenomena are impacted by Neptune retrograde. Pisces will be affected.

June 13, 2016 – November 19, 2016 in Pisces

Pluto Retrograde

Ecology, espionage, birth and death rates, nuclear power, and mysteries relate to Pluto retrograde. Scorpio will be affected.

April 18, 2016 – September 26, 2016 in Capricorn

Moon Cycles – The Way of the Moon

Dates and Signs of the New and Full Moons in 2016

Eastern Standard And Daylight Savings Time

By Dikki-Jo Mullen, Astrologer


New Moons

Jan 9 – Capricorn

Feb 8 – Aquarius

Mar 8 – Pisces

Apr 7 – Aries

May 6 – Taurus

Jun 4 – Gemini

July 4 – Cancer

Aug 2 – Leo

Sept 1 – Virgo

Sept 30- Libra (This is the Black Moon – the rare second New Moon in a calendar month, sacred to the faeries)

Oct 30 – Scorpio

Nov 29 – Sagittarius

Dec 29 – Capricorn

Full Moons

Jan 23 – Leo

Feb 22 – Virgo

Mar 23 – Libra

Apr 22 – Scorpio

May 21 -Sagittarius

Jun 20 – Sagittarius

July 19 – Capricorn

Aug 18 – Aquarius

Sept 16 – Pisces

Oct 16 – Aries

Nov 14 – Taurus

Dec 13 – Gemini


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