Leap Year For Witches

What is a ‘leap year’?

A leap year is when an extra day is added to the month of February, giving us 366 days instead of the usual 365. This extra day (February 29) is added every four years, and keeps our calendar year synchronised with the astronomical year.

These are astronomical calculations, and pretty cool. Basically, a leap year is every year that is divisible by 4 (except for years that are both divisible by 100 and not divisible by 400). This makes 2024 quite a potent time, in numerology!

Leap Year occurs when the Earth’s orbit around the Sun isn’t exactly 365 days – it’s instead 365.24 days, and slightly longer than a standard year. Although it’s a small change, this extra time does add up. So in order to keep the calendar aligned with the natural seasons, an extra day was added every four years to even things out. This became part of the Julian calendar.

The Roman Emperor, Julias Caesar, introduced February 29 every four years, as part of the Julian calendar.

The concept of Leap Year dates back to Julius Caesar, who introduced the Julian calendar in 45 BCE. This calendar also created the months of July and August (July is from Julius, and August is from Augustus). The Julian calendar ensured that calendar dates still lined up with seasonal changes, as it had economic and agricultural effects. By adding an extra 24hrs to the astronomical cycle, the seasons and calendars could be planned more accurately. 

Leap Year Witchcraft

So what does this mean in a magical sense?

Leap Year certainly holds special, magical significance. The extra day in the year is a unique moment for reflection, or even longer term planning for the next four years.

Leap Year is a chance to ‘freshen up’ or recalibrate your magical practice with nature and the seasons.

It’s also a ‘quirk’ in the typical flow of time. Just like the calendar, it’s a chance for us to recalibrate with the earth’s natural cycles. This calibration can amplify your spellwork, or enhance your divination. 

The big thing about Leap Year is that it’s extra time to what we normally have. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to busily fill up your day, but do think of it as an extra chance.

This is when you can reconnect – and recalibrate – your own magical practice. Think of Leap Year like a bonus magical ingredient!

Leap Year Magic

Decorate the altar with symbols of rebirth, growth, or opportunity. Green candles, crystals like aventurine or clear quartz, and symbols of leap year like frogs or rabbits can be included. 

Is there something new you’d like to try (a new tarot deck? A new modality?)

Revisit some older or earlier grimoire entries. Do they need updating? Are they still in line with your practice?

Have a go at designing your own ritual, in your own way. Trust your intuition, and watch what the natural world is showing you. Is it hot? Cool? Windy? How might that influence how you conduct your ritual? What is nature telling you?

Use this extra day to focus on self-care, or reflection. Trance work, meditation, or journaling are always helpful. Use this extra time to reflect on your personal growth, or set intentions for the year (or four years!) ahead.