On Gratitude: by Nornoriel Lokason

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This is part of a series by the Staff of Asclepius contributors on gratitude, for this (US) Thanksgiving holiday.During a dark time in my life about a decade prior, I met a man who became the closest thing I've ever had to a father figure this side of the fence.  He has since passed on - I wrote more about him here for those interested.  One of the things that this man, Jay, taught me was the importance of "an attitude of gratitude".  He would challenge me each day to tell him at least five t … [Read more...]

Winter is coming

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While summer tends to be the worst time of the year for me mental health wise, winter isn't much better.  Summer is more obvious in that department, where I am irritable and don't sleep well, and prone to mood swings.  Wintertime for me is just meh.  Compared to the way my brain chemistry works in summer, it's the lesser of the two evils, but it's not fun.At least some of the reason why winter is not a great season for me is the holidays.  The holidays are difficult for me, with inescapable r … [Read more...]

In Remote Uganda a School for the Deaf is Formed

Patrick Otema, 15 was born profoundly deaf. In the remote area of Uganda where he lives there are no schools for deaf children, and he has never had a conversation. Raymond Okkelo, a sign language teacher, hopes to change all this and offer Patrick a way out of the fearful silence he has known his whole life. … [Read more...]

Guest Post by Felix “Da’at” Warren: Chronic Illness and the Spoon Theory

Recently I was talking to a friend and offhand mentioned that I might not have the spoons for an activity later that night. He asked what I and a few others meant by this 'spoon' talk. "Is 'spoons' a west coast thing?" Not everyone has read The Spoon Theory, a personal essay on how people with chronic illnesses and conditions have to budget their energy throughout the day because they have a limited amount of it to spend. I linked him to it. His response: "Normal people don't think like that? … [Read more...]

On being the “good” disabled person

My friend Heather posted a piece on this issue on her blog, and says it better than I can; go check it out. … [Read more...]

Samhain and My Beloved Dead

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Each Samhain I review my life from the year before and ponder my own death. Though the veil is thin and divination is much easier, I don’t do any candle, mirror or tarot readings to discover the time or nature of my death. I don’t want to know so I can live every day to the fullest. I do think about my funeral plans and living will to see if any of my wishes have changed. If they have, I update them. It’s been several years though and so far everything is the same. I want my funeral to be more of … [Read more...]

Death and Rebirth Pt. 2: Rite for the Dying

This is the second of a three-part series written by Staff of Asclepius contributors on death and rebirth, in honor of the Samhain celebration. In his post, Nornoriel discussed the many funeral rituals available to various Pagan groups and traditions, and the contrasting lack of rites for the dying. In college, I had the disastrous impulse to attempt a sociology minor. The only class I did well in was Sociology of Death and Dying. It gave me a perspective on rituals devoted to the dead, the … [Read more...]

Death and rebirth: by Nornoriel Lokason

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This is part of a three-part series by the contributors to Staff of Asclepius, on the theme of death and rebirth, for Samhain.Over the nearly twenty years that I've been a practicing pagan, Samhain has consistently been my least favorite holiday, the one that I am the least enthusiastic about celebrating.  There are a number of reasons for this, among them beingI was Not Allowed to have fun on Halloween as a child, and when I saw other grownups doing whatever they wanted on Halloween … [Read more...]


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