Leap Day only happens once every four years, so I decided to do a five card reading for the day.
I wanted to relate the question to Leap Day, so I researched some of the lore surrounding Leap Day. Apparently, today is a day for spells with unlikely outcomes, so I decided to ask: How is the unlikely becoming reality, this year? This reading applies to this day, only, as with my astrological readings, not any day someone happens to read it, like my other occasional cards of the day. I drew the cards from my Wonderland Tarot deck, and laid them out in an invoking pentagram, with the first card at the bottom point (note: in this deck, swords are flamingos, wands are peppermills, cups are hats, and pentacles are oysters).
Card One (bottom point): The everyday reality, the mundane, the norm. XI Justice.
“You are old, Father William,” the young man said,
“And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head—
Do you think, at your age, it is right?”
The figure of Old Father William stands on his head for the Justice card, the scales suspended from his feet. I suspect this image was inspired by the third verse of the poem, where Father William says that in his youth he took to the law, and argued each case with his wife. This card serves as a reminder of the cosmic balance that is the universal norm, the kind of balance that overarches any human concept of ethics or morality. People already seem to be waking up to this grander concept of universal justice, realizing that suffering is perpetuated by worry, arguments, and divisions. The Occupy Movement seems to be a sign of this global awakening to the truth that we all share our consciousness.
Card Two (top left hand point): The irrational side of reality. Queen of Hats, Reversed. In this deck, we have the White Queen, This speaks to me of the attitudes of outmoded authority clinging to power: the unconscious ego clinging to unconsciousness out of fear of annihilation. This Queen reversed embodies restlessness, dishonour, jealousy, and a petty mind. How fitting that an archetypal feminine card appears on the side of the pentacle that corresponds to the feminine side of consciousness. The Queen of Cups is at war with her own instincts, and suspicious of other women who may or may not pose a threat. As a collective species, we are jealous of power and fearful of external enemy images. This attitude works to promote solidarity on some level, but we can only survive so long when we begin to isolate ourselves by thinking in a minority mindset. To me this exposes the shadow side of our culture, in terms of our dishonorable acts and the guilt that we collectively bear because of oppressive power structures and attempts to deny the feminine principle.
Card Three: What appears to be real, but isn’t. Two of Flamingos, Reversed. The first statement in the description for this card on Crystal-clear Reflections states that “Things are happening now” so of course the first thing that jumps out at me is that “now” is really illusion, because time is an illusion (one of the many concepts which the ancients have known, that modern science is just now proving). This card also refers to the extremes of either getting caught up in the decision-making process, causing mental gridlock, or your decisions have become hasty and impulsive. In terms of the collective consciousness, I feel as though this card refers to our engagement with policy, our desire to put everything into a box and make all the lines straight and able to comprehend in two dimensions (about which philosopher Alan Watts has interesting conversation points), our obsession with timeliness, and our feeling that events are accelerating, bringing us to a 2012 singularity (again relating to the temporal illusion). We seem to be experiencing an urgency to make decisions in our lives, when really the only pressure is generated from within ourselves.
Card Four: The Invisible Hand of Fate. Three of Oysters, Reversed. Alice stands holding the pig-baby in her arms, under a tree in which three oysters stand on the lowest branch. This card when applied to humanity indicates either obsession with or neglect of work. When applied to the invisible hand of fate, the implication of inexperience stands out to me. We as a species are a relatively new occurrence in the history of the earth; being new, we are young, in the relative scheme of things. We have taken on a corporeal form, an ego, the personality which is also illusion. We are working too hard for the wrong goals, when this card appears reversed. Our challenge is to realize that we are here to cooperate with the rest of existence. To me this speaks of the human condition, that we are constantly trying to ‘fix’ things that exist perfectly well on their own. We are being reminded by natural circumstances that we must let go of ourselves, in order to attune to the Cosmic Justice that is the true reality.
Card Five: The Most Unlikely Outcome that will come to be. Queen of Oysters. This card does not usually represent surprises, but practicality. I feel this is a fitting counterpoint to the Queen of Hats, Reversed, at the beginning of this reading. This card embodies Earth’s consciousness, the creative impulse within every human being to create something beautiful. In this deck, she is portrayed as the Duchess. As the Duchess says to Alice, “Be what you would seem to be — or, if you’d like it put more simply — Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.” It seems in the high maintenance consumer culture that dominates the world, the consciousness of the Earth Herself emerges to send us a message of love and unity, to be as we are, to release worry of anything that we would aspire to become. Nurturing and opulence become our watch words for this year, as we return to honoring the natural order of existence. This to me seems like a very unlikely outcome, when a lot of our collective reality is driven by what we can manufacture. Here, we have a genuine, nurturing, kind mother who guides us gently toward growth and healing.
Sum total of the parts: the numerological correspondence to this reading is 16 The Tower, and 7 The Chariot. This basically means that it is only through self empowerment and direction of the will that we can manage the impact of wide scale disasters. It also indicates that the unlikely outcomes of this year revolve around conscious control of the ego, which is not power-over, but rather maintaining power-from-within. The presence of two Queens in the spread indicates that we are finally reaching a point where our collective femininity is restored to power and balance in itself, that we might overcome our fears of the ability to create, but instead honor the chaotic spontaneous process as divine.