Yay for Recess: Pediatricians Say It’s as Important as Math or Reading

Originally posted on Health & Family:

Playtime can be as important as class time for helping students perform their best.

Recess is most children’s favorite period, and parents and teachers should encourage that trend, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Recess can be a critical time for development and social interaction, and in a new policy statement published in the journal Pediatrics, pediatricians from the AAP support the importance of having a scheduled break in the school day. “Children need to have downtime between complex cognitive challenges,” says Dr. Robert Murray, a pediatrician and professor of human nutrition at the Ohio State University who is a co-author of the statement. “They tend to be less able to process information the longer they are held to a task. It’s not enough to just switch from math to English. You actually have to take a break.”

The AAP committee that developed the statement began its…

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A New Pomonalia

To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under the sun.
A time to be born and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill and a time to heal …
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance …
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to lose and a time to seek;
a time to rend and a time to sew;
a time to keep silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.

ecclesiastes 3:1-8

I don’t like Mabon.

Don’t get me wrong–I love this time of year.  I love the autumnal equinox.  I love the cool crispness that starts to seep into the air in the very early morning (even when you know that summer might rally a time or two or three before Samhain, and maybe even once or twice afterwards).  I love the promise of the land’s slumber, fruits still ripening, acorns ready to drop, the first hints of migration for a multitude of bird species.  I love celebrating the feast of apples just waiting to be plucked from the trees, and gathering the last summer herbs of the season.  I love the last weekends at the beach as the warm water currents receed a bit southward and the dolphins make way for their solitary porpise cousins and the crabs retreat upstream, ready to settle into the mud once it get cold enough.

But I don’t particularly like Mabon.

I’m not alone in questioning its use (or the day itself):

The Triumph of Mabon
Mabon, Mabon Not
Mabon–The Myth of Progress

The problem, for me, comes down to the fact that Mabon (the name, and the mythology of it) doesn’t really mean anything to me.  I don’t live in a part of America with a Northern Europe climate.  We are what is called “humid subtropical” here (according to the the Köppen Climate Classification System, the southeastern US climate is what is classified as Cfa–a trait shared with northern Argentina, Uruguay, southern Brazil, southern Japan, and southern China.  We just aren’t at fall yet.  Its not the year’s bed time yet…more that pre-bedtime, when you think about getting your jammies on and have one last snack before brushing your teeth, and rush around trying to get all the stuff done for the next day.

We have celebrated Mabon as the Apple Harvest–sort of mini-Pomonalia in the past (never mind that Pomona’s feast day is November 1, not being a Mediterranean climate, that (also the Descent of Persephone) doesn’t quite work here either).  I like Pomona.  She probably fits here, though its not as obvious in a costal urban environment as it was when we lived in the midwest, on the edge of a cornfield and down the road from an orchard.  But Mabon still, to me, feels like a manufactured holiday.  If I weren’t Pagan, I doubt I’d even realize that today was the Autumnal Equinox amidst the many things I should be doing right now.

Today is the autumnal equinox, when the hours of sunlight balance the hours of night. For most of human history the equinox — connected as it was to the harvest — was celebrated with elaborate festivals, rites and rituals. The equinox was a compass point. It was a mile marker for the lived year. Life was experienced through sky and season rather than through the construct of the clock. The equinox bound human communities together in a shared time that was both personal and cosmic.

Today hardly anyone notices the equinox. Today we rarely give the sky more than a passing glance. We live by precisely metered clocks and appointment blocks on our electronic calendars, feeling little personal or communal connection to the kind of time the equinox once offered us. Within that simple fact lays a tectonic shift in human life and culture.

Your time — almost entirely divorced from natural cycles — is a new time. Your time, delivered through digital devices that move to nanosecond cadences, has never existed before in human history. As we rush through our overheated days we can barely recognize this new time for what it really is: an invention.

Adam Frank, NPR Blogs (source) 

I think its time to for my celebration of the equinoxes to be a signifier of equal time, balanced time.  A time to think about time.  To think about balance and moderation.  To think about one’s place in cosmic time, and to measure it against the reality of the modern time that we live in.  To celebrate a modern cosmology of the unfolding of the universe.

Yes, we will still eat apples.  Yes, we will still celebrate the harvest that hasn’t come home yet.  Yes, we even will still probably call it Mabon.

But maybe we can do something deeper.

I’m not sure yet what that might look like.

But I’ve got some time to figure it out.

(also, please forgive typos, etc…this post was written from my phone)

On Spiritual Emergency, Shamanism, Mental Illness, Therapy, and Anti-Psychiatry Sentiment in the General Pagan/Polytheist Community


this…1000 times over.
Gods, I don’t know how many times I hear/read complete and utter BS about the fact that my child has ADHD (because, you know, its apparently some made up disease…that’s only been described in medical literature for about a century) and worse, that we are The Evil parents that use medication as one of the tools to help him learn to live more effectively with it (because, you know, medicine is some Big Pharma conspiracy). Or that maybe if we were better parents (because its obviously a problem with our dicipline philosophy and methodology (never mind that we have one, to borrow a term usually used in conjunction with autism, neurotypical child, without the same challenges)…and hey, why don’t you just change their diet (like we didn’t try that first) or focus on herbal remedies (nevermind that herbs are drugs too with their own contraindications and side-effects and are often not quality controlled or standardized) or do __________ therapy-of-the-week with him (totally ignoring that study after study after study shows the best results with a combination of behavioral therapy *and* medication.
The problem is that too many people don’t know what they are talking about, but feel free to pass uninformed and uneducated judgement on situations they aren’t living in.

Originally posted on Foxglove & Firmitas:

Alternative Title: I’m Gonna Keep Talking About This Until It’s a Generally Accepted Thing…

It happened again. Someone posted another article on mental illness being a sign of a healer being born on the Local Pagan Facebook Group with the general overarching but not direct message being that all native and ancient cultures saw it as this. Now I don’t deny that mental illness can be the birth of a healer. I’ve known too many people who have struggled with a history of it, myself included, that haven’t found themselves called to help others dealing with similar problems.

However, these articles tend to stress how society is actually the sick one, and how we need to stop shoving pills at people to fix all their problems.

Anyone who has ever been on psychiatric medication will probably tell you that pills don’t solve all the problems and most professionals are pretty…

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Front Doors are for Warding


This month’s Random Post, reposted:

Originally posted on musings of a kitchen witch:

Come along for the party and check out the rest of the posts!!

I’ve written a little bit about greener cleaning from time to time, and I’ve talked about blessing and cleansing the home as well, and creating magical surroundings (I especially love the evolution of my favorite all-purpose cleaner that I can follow in my blog posts). But for today’s blog party theme, I thought I’d talk about the correspondences of our homes themselves, and how that carries over into a home-based magical practice.

Now, not every home will have all of these specific locations as rooms, or maybe even at all….or perhaps your family calls it something else, or you don’t use what the room was designed for as its actual purpose.  That is perfectly acceptable, instead of getting hung up on the name of the space or the item, consider the purpose of that place…

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I’m working on making some changes around the house (its back to school time–time for post-summer vacay cleaning frenzy) and personal-life wise (nothing bad, just some post-summer slump recovery), which should hopefully leave me with more blogging time (I have about three dozen half-written posts in my drafts to finish up and start moving out, lol).


In the meantime, I leave you with some good reading:

In Defense of Ecclectic Paganism @ The Allergic Pagan

Hospitality and the Witch @ A Word to the Witch

In praise of the Wheel of the Year @ Under the Ancient Oaks


Stand-by for some new content, some blog redecorating, and maybe even a name change!!

And have a blessed day!


Edited to add:  If you had problems with links, I apologize…I neglected to check to make sure that they worked before I posted and I cut and pasted wrong (I always forget that wordpress includes an http:// already, lol…)


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