Magickal Journal Ideas for February 2018

Magickal Journal Ideas for February 2018

Below I’ve have a list of topics to pack your magickal journal, grimoire, or book of shadows over the course of February. There are both prompts and correspondences below. Happy journaling!

Activities/Prompts

Imbolc Offerings: February 2nd is Imbolc, the pagan festival honoring Brigid that became the Christian holiday Candlemas. Consider making an offering to Brigid or adding information on Imbolc or Brigid to your grimoire. Offerings include candles and milk since Imbolc means “Ewe’s milk” or “of milk” in Gaelic. Journal about your offerings and, if you asked for something from Brigid, reflect on how it manifests.

Groundhog’s Day: February 2nd 2018 is both the pagan holiday Imbolc and the secular holiday Groundhog Day. One of my personal traditions is watching the Bill Murray movie “Groundhog Day” either on the 2nd or the closest day that I’m alone. The tradition of this holiday has pagan origins, and the movie itself addresses karma and reincarnation as much as a popular movie possibly could. If you choose to watch it, reflect on its spiritual meaning in your magickal journal.

Lunar New Year: Often referred to as Chinese New Year (though China is not the only place that celebrates it), the Lunar New Year is the day after the New Moon in Pisces, the last sign of the zodiac. For 2018 the Lunar New Year is on February 16th which is a Year of the Dog. I posted ideas on how pagans can celebrate the Lunar New Year a while back, but some small things that can be done are wearing red, cleaning the house, and reflecting on the previous year. If you follow a lunar calendar, this New Year may feel more ‘natural’ than the solar one on January 1st.

Resolution Reflection: If you set New Year’s Resolutions at the beginning of the year, February is a natural point to reflect on them. Ask yourself what’s working and what isn’t, consider writing a revised list, or breaking larger goals down into monthly goals.

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25 Bullet Journal Ideas for Witches

Bullet Journal Ideas for Witches and Pagans

There’s no shortage of bullet journal guides out there, but what about bullet journaling for witches? We have a specific set of needs, so below are some witchy ways to fill your bullet journal that I hope you will find inspiring.

What is a Bullet Journal (BuJo)?

In short, a bullet journal is an organizational system that favors simplicity above all else. A bullet journal can be created with nothing more than a notebook and a pen; they are a catch-all way to organize life. The bullet journal system was created by Rider Carroll. If you have never heard of bullet journaling before, the basics can be found on the BulletJournal.com website.

BuJo Page Ideas for Witches

Astrology & Moon Magick

1. Monthly Moon Phases
2. Yearly Full & New Moon Phases and/or Dates
3. Yearly or Monthly Planetary Movement (Cosmic Concerns)
4. Your Birth Chart
5. Numerology (monthly or yearly)
6. Mercury Retrogrades
7. Lunar Tracker

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Magickal Journal Ideas for January 2018

Magickal Journal Ideas for January 2018

Happy (almost) Solar New Year, everyone! Can we agree to call the first month of the year Plan-uary? Because I always seem to buy a new journal or planner right before the new year starts. Personally, I’m starting a BuJo this year (yes, I’m years behind on this), and I’m really excited. Below I’ve have a list of topics to pack your magickal journal, grimoire, or book of shadows over the course of January. There are both prompts and correspondences below.

Activities/Prompts

Planning Ahead: January is an excellent time to plan ahead. Even if you celebrate one of the many, many other ‘new year’ times on the calendar, the people around you will likely be observing a solar year in some form. Now is an excellent time to write down Full and New Moon dates, signs, and times; Sabbat days for the Wheel of the Year; or brainstorm a list of topics you would like to add to your magical journal over the course of 2018. This is also a great time to set up a magickal journal if you don’t already have one.

Release List: I enjoy a good gratitude list (aka my cat’s name and then a bunch of food I want to eat) just as much as the next person, but for the new solar year consider writing a list of things to release instead. What no longer serves you? What holds you back? Write them down and (try to) let them go. Burn the release list for an extra boost of GTFO.

Something New: Think of a new skill you’d like to add to your witchcraft repertoire. Have you always wanted to try a different type of scrying? Make your own oracle deck? Create charm bags? If you’re drawn to something that usually means you have a knack for it. Try out a new witchy skill and add the information to your magical journal.

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Full Moon December 3rd 2017 in Gemini

December 2017 Full Moon in Gemini

December’s Full Moon is on Sunday, December 3rd at 10:47 PM EST; this Full Moon ends the cycle that started on May 25th 2017 with the New Moon in Gemini. The Moon moves into Gemini at 4:21 PM on Saturday December 2nd, and exits Gemini at 2:13 PM on Monday December 4th. This information is also available in list form in my December 2017 Cosmic Concerns post.

Importantly, Mercury, which is Gemini’s ruling planet, goes Retrograde just before the Full Moon at 2:34 AM EST on Sunday the 3rd. Because of that, I recommend doing your Full Moon ritual on the evening of December 2nd after 4:21 PM. You can do your ritual any time on December 3rd if you choose, of course. Regardless, to charge items, they should sit out on the night of the 2nd. December’s Full Moon is also a Supermoon, so enjoy the extra close Moon time.

My guide, Witch’s Guide to Full Moon Magick, can be found on the site here; this post is a companion to that guide. If you’re new to Moon magick that’s a great place to begin.

About December’s Full Moon

There are many names for December’s Full Moon, but the most common is the Cold Moon and Long Nights Moon. Native Americans called it the Cold Moon for obvious reasons; the December Full Moon shines down on some chilly weather. Additionally, some Native American tribes called it the Long Nights Moon because it’s the time of the year when the night is the longest. For modern people, winter can be anywhere between somewhat inconvenient and quite enjoyable, but traditionally winter was a time of extreme danger through which survival was not guaranteed. The message of December’s Full Moon, grounded in this tradition, is that the winter has arrived and it must be endured.

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A Witch’s Guide to Organizing Your Grimoire and/or Book of Shadows

I wrote the first installment in this Witch’s Guide to Your Grimoire and/or Book of Shadows series around this time last year, and it has a lot of views, which I hope means that people are finding it helpful! After choosing a format your Grimoire or Book of Shadows (aka BoS), the next logical step is figure out how you’re going to organize your magickal journal.

For the purpose of simplicity I will talk about three basic types of magickal journals: digital, notebook, and ring bound. A digital BoS or Grimoire is one that is housed online in some form, be it in Pages, WordPress, Tumblr, Evernote, etc. A notebook BoS/Grimoire is one that has the pages bound in some way, so that they cannot be swapped around, such as a spiral notebook, composition book, or Moleskine notebook. Finally, a ring bound BoS/Grimoire is one that has rings and that can be re-organized easily, ie: discbound planners, ring bound planners, or three-ring binders.

Your magickal journal, regardless of the form it takes, will have a lot of sections in common with a ‘real’ book, and so many of the terms I’m going to use here are from book organization itself. A lot of these terms will apply to magickal journals that are exclusively online as well, though not all will. This installment focuses more on organization than content, though that will definitely be a future topic.

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Magickal Journal Ideas for November 2017

Maybe it’s the introspective nature of the Samhain season, but lately I’ve been wanting to redouble my efforts to fill my own grimoire. Below I have a list of topics to pack your magickal journal over the course of November. There are both prompts and correspondences listed below the activities. Hopefully we will all be inspired!

Activities/Prompts

Recipes: Any favorite recipes, Sabbat recipes, recipes only you know, or special family recipes that haven’t been recorded can go in your magickal journal. Not all people keep recipes in their magickal journal, but there’s no reason not to if it resonates with you. If you don’t want to keep food recipes in your journal, think of a home remedy from your grandparents or great-grandparents and record it instead.

Thanksgiving Gratitude List: I usually reserve gratitude lists for Full Moons, but Thanksgiving is a holiday about thankfulness, after all (at least in its modern form). Spend time around Thanksgiving (if you celebrate it) creating a master gratitude page in your magickal journal. Even if ‘gratitude’ it hokey to you, consider it a piece of attracting magick. This can be everything you are thankful for in life, or just in the last year.

Thanksgiving Reflection: Thanksgiving is a stressful holiday for a lot of people (myself included); before Thanksgiving, write a list of everything that you are worried is going to go wrong. Whether you realize it or not, you are giving energy to these fears. Once you have written them down, allow your mind to let them go; they’re in a safe place, no need to remember them anymore. After Thanksgiving is over, review the list. One of two things will happen: all or most of your fears will not have happened, or some/all of them have, and you’ve still survived. Variation: Once you have written your list of fears, burn the list in your cauldron to release them. Add a post-holiday reflection to your magickal journal in its place.

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Full Moon November 4th 2017 in Taurus

November’s Full Moon is on Saturday, November 4th at 1:23 AM EST; this Full Moon ends the cycle that started on April 26th 2017 with the New Moon in Taurus. The Moon moves into Taurus at 5:46 AM on Friday November 3rd, and exits Taurus at 4:49 AM on Sunday November 5th. This information is also available in list form in my November 2017 Cosmic Concerns post.

I recommend doing your Full Moon ritual on November 3rd after 5:46 AM, or any time on November 4th to work with Taurus energy. To charge items, they should sit out on either the night of the 3rd (recommended) or the 4th if you wake up super early.

My guide, Witch’s Guide to Full Moon Magick, can be found on the site here; this post is a companion to that guide. If you’re new to Moon magick that’s a great place to begin.

About November’s Full Moon

There are many names for November’s Full Moon, but the two most common are the Beaver Moon and the Mourning Moon. The Native Americans call it the Beaver Moon either because it was the last chance to put out beaver traps before everything froze or because this was the time beavers were actively preparing for winter; they also called it the Frost or Frosty Moon. The November Full Moon is called the Mourning Moon in the Pagan tradition, which represents the death of the old god (as in elderly, not as in past) and the mourning is of him by the goddess. This can also represent Demeter mourning Persephone as she spends her time in the underworld, since this is the Full Moon after Samhain and the Day of the Dead, or the beginning of winter’s shorter days meaning the loss of precious sunlight. Regardless of what you call it, the meaning of the November Moon is that winter is imminent and we must finish preparing for it.

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Crystal Closeup: Malachite

“MALACHITE.
The sudden spoon is the same in no size. The sudden spoon is the wound in the decision.”

– Gertrude Stein, “Tender Buttons”

I would be remiss to discuss malachite without bringing up Gertrude Stein. Well, perhaps that’s not exactly true, but ever since I read “Tender Buttons” in college malachite has immediately brought the section of the poem above to mind. Malachite has actually been quite inspirational to authors, so, for the first time, there’s a literature section at the bottom of this crystal closeup post.

Malachite contains copper, and historically it was smelted, as well as used to create pigments, glazes, jewelry, and decorative pieces. Its name comes from the Greek word for “mallow” and it is known for its bands of bright green color. Malachite is found in many parts of the world with some of the best coming from the Congo, Morocco, Arizona, France, and South Australia; massive deposits have been found in Russia in the Ural Mountains. Malachite grows in many formations including fibrous aggregates, botryoidal or encrusting masses, and stalactites; it often grows with azurite as well. Unfortunately, cheap, synthetic malachite is being produced; real malachite won’t be nearly as inexpensive.

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Eight More Samhain Season Celebration Ideas

It’s that time in the Wheel of the Year again, Samhain, an easy favorite amongst witches. Last year I posted my list of Eight Samhain Sabbat Celebration Ideas and this year I’m back with eight more. There are ideas for solitaries, pairs, families, and covens, as well as many that would work with multiple configurations. Some require a little preparation or shopping, so I wanted to post them early enough that you can incorporate them into your Samhain preparation. Remember, though, Samhain is a six week long season and not just one day! I must confess that the season gets cut off Thanksgiving week for me, so I start my Samhain celebration a bit early.

1. Pagan Pumpkins: I saw the pumpkin craft idea pictured above (by Terri Foss) about a year ago, and instantly I wanted to make one of my own. You can easily reproduce this craft with a natural or artificial white pumpkin, and a fine-tipped permanent marker. Decoration ideas include sigils, astrological symbols, moons and stars (like above), pentacles, or other Samhain-themed art. Black pumpkins are available at craft stores and can be decorated with a silver marker, which would also look great. If you use an artificial pumpkin this could end up part of your permanent Samhain decoration stash. This would be a really cool way to decorate a LED candle, too.

2. Tarot Reading: I recommended doing divination last year, but I found the tarot spread to the left (click to view larger) that utilizes the theme of ‘as above, so below’. This is especially important on Samhain when the veil between worlds thins. The website, Fox and Feather Tarot, is defunct, but they have an Etsy store. If you’re looking for a more involved tarot reading to do on Samhain this one works well.

A variation of this tarot spread that I would use is: 1. Release, 2. Embrace, 3. Weaknesses, 4. Strengths, 5. Path Forward. You could do this as a general advice reading, or for something more specific.

3. Homemade Treats: There’s nothing quite as special as handmade treats, with candied apples being particularly fun for the sabbat. I’ve seen people make very creepy candied apples with grape Jolly Ranchers or food coloring, but caramel also works. A simple candied apple recipe can be found here. Just be sure to use a candy thermometer since molten sugar will seriously burn you. Making candy is for badasses only! I would not let even the most responsible child near this activity, so involve little goblins at your own rick. For an extra Samhain bump, set one non-candied apple outside as an offering.

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Cosmic Concerns: October 2017

I’m a little late this month, but hopefully it’s better late than never! This list of October 2017’s astrological events is for witches and pagans who are interested in what’s going on in the cosmos. All times listed are in EST (Eastern Standard) and should be adjusted for your own time zone. Please note that this list is not even close to being exhaustive, but compiled by me to list events that are of magickal importance. This information is great to copy into your Book of Shadows if you maintain one; if you are looking for something more extensive my guide to lunar trackers is on the site here. I hope that you find it helpful; blessed be!

Planetary Movement, October 2017

10th: Jupiter enters Scorpio 9:20 AM
14th: Venus enters Libra 6:11 AM
17th: Mercury enters Scorpio 3:59 AM
22nd: Mars enters Libra 2:29 PM
23rd: Sun enters Scorpio 1:27 AM

Moon Cycle, October 2017

3rd: Moon enters Aries 4:40 PM
5th: Full Moon in Aries 2:40 PM
5th: Moon void-of-course 6:38 PM, enters Taurus 7:56 PM
17th: Moon enters Libra 1:35 PM
19th: New Moon in Libra 3:12 PM; Moon void-of-course 3:12 PM; Moon enters Scorpio 9:41 PM

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Full Moon October 5th 2017 in Aries

October’s Full Moon is on Thursday, October 5th at 2:40 PM EST; this Full Moon ends the cycle that started on March 27th 2017 with the New Moon in Aries. The Moon moves into Aries at 4:40 PM on Wednesday October 4th, and exits Aries at 6:38 PM on Friday October 6th. This information is also available in list form in my Cosmic Concerns: October 2017 post.

I recommend doing your Full Moon ritual any time between October 4th at 4:40 PM  and October 6th at 6:38 PM to work with that Aries energy. To charge items, they should sit out on either the night of the 4th or the 5th.

My guide, Witch’s Guide to Full Moon Magick, can be found on the site here; this post is a companion to that guide. If you’re new to Moon magick that’s a great place to begin.

About October’s Full Moon

There are many names for October’s Full Moon, but the most common is the Hunter’s Moon. Other names are the Travel Moon, Blood Moon, and Dying Moon. Hunter’s Moon is the Native American name for this Moon, since it is a time for hunting game in preparation for winter. In the pagan tradition it’s called a Blood Moon because this was the traditional time of year that animals would be slaughtered before the winter comes (specifically Samhain, the third harvest festival). That’s because people used to have to choose which animals would stay inside with them during the winter, and there was no way to bring the whole flock inside. Luckily this is a thing of the past!

The October 2017 Full Moon is also a Harvest Moon; a lot of a great information on the Harvest Moon can be found on the Farmer’s Almanac site. The message of this Full Moon is that it’s time to turn inward and start your preparations for winter.

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A Witch’s Guide to Lunar Trackers

Bullet journaling seems to be tailor made for witches of all levels who are interested in tracking their practice. A sub-set of bullet journaling is graphic trackers, of which a moon wheel is about as perfect for witchcraft as you can get. Lunar trackers can be used to keep track of the minutiae of the moon’s movement throughout the lunar cycle, thus helping witches move into advanced spell work and get to know themselves (and their craft) better.

Getting into intermediate and advanced witchcraft requires more advanced lunar tracking techniques; whether you choose to use the information or not, it’s good to know where the moon’s at. While waiting until there is a waxing moon in Scorpio to do you body-positivity spell may sound fussy, it can give a much-needed boost to witches moving into a phase of more advanced spellwork. My disclaimer is that, if you’re a baby witch who is just starting out, don’t be bothered too much about moon times or signs. Full moon and new moon are the only dates you need to know, once you’re completely comfortable with that, then move on to more advanced tracking.

I recommend using the lunar tracking wheel (pictured above) made by Cheeky Magpie; I like a plain one, but she also created some with seasonal backgrounds that are very nice. Witches are not, by a big stretch of the imagination, the only people who track the moon. People plant by it, fish by it, breed animals by it, track their cycles by it, even use the moon to monitor their moods; just about anything you can think of people have used these moon charts for. Because they are so non-denominational, I’ll show you how to witch them up for your practice.

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Book Review: The Witch’s Book of Shadows by Jason Mankey

The Witch's Book of Shadows by Jason Mankey Llewellyn’s Witch’s Tools series currently contains six small books, one for each of the major tools in witchcraft (wand, broom, mirror, athame, book of shadows, and cauldron) though I assume more are forthcoming (familiar, I hope, will be on the list). The author varies by the book with no author having more than two books in the series at the moment, similar to the Sabbat Essentials series. The Witch’s Book of Shadows: The Craft, Lore and Magick of the Witch’s Grimoire was written/compiled by Jason Mankey, who also wrote The Witch’s Athame. Unfortunately, I was not thrilled with Mankey’s book, and I think it was largely due to the author’s personal magickal path more than anything else.

Since the book series is presented as a general guide to major tools in witchcraft, I feel that it’s important to not have one particular path emphasized. In this book, the author adds in a lot of Christian information that I feel does not belong, talking about Jesus and angels frequently. Mankey himself started on a Christo-pagan path, but that certainly doesn’t mean it belongs in the book. The book is based heavily around Mankey’s own experiences, perhaps more than it is on research on the Book of Shadows and/or Grimoire tradition, and he uses more examples from his personal life than I feel is appropriate. In that same vein Mankey is Wiccan, and much of the book is influenced by Wicca due to that fact. There are many witches, myself included, who are not Wiccan at all. Since these are general guides, or at least are presented as such, it would be nice if it wasn’t so specific as to a certain path. Additionally, and this is a writing gripe, he breaks the third wall and talks about his editor’s suggestions, letting the reader know that he was forced to add things. It felt out of place, but clearly the editor had no issue with it, since the passages were published. Still, it felt odd.

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January 2017 Dates to Remember

Grimoire Dashboard January 2017

Important Dates: January 2017

8th: Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn Ends
12th: Full Moon in Cancer
20th: Celtic Tree Month of Birch Ends
21st: Celtic Tree Month of Rowan Begins
28th: New Moon in Aquarius
28th: Lunar New Year – Year of the Rooster/Chicken (New Year’s Resolution time if you celebrate the Lunar New Year instead of the Solar one.)

A Witch’s Guide to Starting Your Grimoire and/or Book of Shadows

This little adventure started when I tried to find planner supplies for my Grimoire. There’s almost nothing out there that’s specifically designed for witches, and what is out there is too fussy for my taste. I don’t know about you all, but for me, compiling a good Book of Shadows is very important to the practice of my Craft. Additionally, it’s so personal, it has to be perfect. The New Year (Lunar, Solar, or the Vernal Equinox) is such a wonderful opportunity for things like this, I think, but you can start your Book of Shadows any time. I don’t know about you, but I love a project. As far as witchcraft is concerned, this is the project of all projects.

For me, figuring out the format for my Book of Shadows was a near-identity crisis. Counting some missteps and corrections it took a year and a half for me to figure out what I really wanted. Here’s some advice from my try/fail/do it the hard way experience that I hope you’ll find helpful.

Part two of this series is now available: A Witch’s Guide to Organizing Your Grimoire and/or Book of Shadows.

Monthly writing prompts for your Grimoire/Book of Shadows are being posted, so check out the “writing prompts” tag for more inspiration!

Grimoire or Book of Shadows?

I tend to use the two terms almost interchangeably, but they do have different meanings. In short, a Grimoire is impersonal and a Book of Shadows is personal. A Grimoire wouldn’t feature your personal dreams, tarot readings, crystal grids, etc., but a Book of Shadows would. Grimoires would be comparable to Commonplace Books which are/were collections of interesting facts, puzzles, and quotations that people used to maintain. It wasn’t a personal diary, but it was personal in an impersonal way. A Grimoire would be similar; it’s not a magickal diary, but it does contain magickal information. In short: You can put Grimoire information in a Book of Shadows, but you cannot put Book of Shadows (personal) information in a Grimoire and still have it considered a Grimoire. Some people suggest keeping two books (Flying the Hedge has a good article), and my partner suggested this very thing to me as well. The dashboards I made for my coven and myself (shown below) are designed for a Book of Shadows, because they’re about the here and now, containing specific a month, year, and dates. It’s not ‘evergreen’ material, which is what goes in a Grimoire. Eventually, I would like it maintain both a Book of Shadows and a Grimoire.

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December 2016 Dates to Remember

December 2016 Dashboard

Hello, fellow witches and pagans! It’s December already and I thought it would be nice to list some important dates that are coming up this month. As I write posts for them they will be linked here, so feel free to bookmark this page if my blog isn’t on your feed reader (or add me to it!). You can also get new posts emailed to you my using the signup box on the toolbar.

Important Dates: December 2016

13th: Full Moon in Gemini – Final gratitude list of the Solar year.
19th: Mercury Retrograde Begins – in Capricorn; ends January 8, 2017.
21st: Yule/Winter Solstice and Sun Enters Capricorn
22nd: Celtic Month of Elder Ends
24th: Celtic Month of Birch Begins
29th: New Moon in Capricorn – Make your New Year’s resolutions/intentions on this date, unless you celebrate the Lunar New Year (as I do).

My Thoughts on Mercury Retrograde 8/30/16 – 9/22/16

 

Mercury Retrograde Street Sign

Another Mercury Retrograde season has come and gone, this one spanning (more or less) the first three weeks of September. With Mercury going retrograde in Virgo, I expected things to be a real mess, since the sign rules over organization. I will admit that my files got a touch disorganized, but, on the whole, this retrograde wasn’t too bad for me.

Some greatest hits include the brakes on my car suddenly making a horrifying noise, but I immediately pulled over and got them fixed. Another was that my S.O. and I made an offer on a house, which had been on the market for six days with no offers, only to get immediately outbid. Finally, I spilled a full glass of water on my new Macbook … but it was fine. Though I did totally freak out, to be honest.

Those are the three that I can remember because, as you know, I do not keep a running tally during the retrograde. I really do believe that list making is a form of minor magick, and, as we all know, like attracts like.

Maybe being a Scorpio helped me out this time, but who knows. Our next Mercury Retrograde is December 19th 2016 through January 8th 2017 in Capricorn. A Mercury Retrograde in that sign would likely effect traits like respect, responsibility, support, and authority. Remember it can go either way though, you would be totally unsupportive, or be so supportive that it borders on codependency. My theory is that the retrograde has a stronger impact depending on your sign, so we’ll see what happens. (Holidays are always crazy though, so this isn’t exactly a welcome retrograde period).

What was your experience with the September 2016 Mercury Retrograde? Was it damage control all month long, or did you escape relatively unscathed?