The Pagan Pulpit – Havamal 77 – Thoughts on Mortality

Happy Sun’s Day

Announcements:

We don’t pray here – we figure God, the gods and goddesses, or whatever powers that be either know already, don’t give a fuck, or are busy with more important matters than our petty stuff. We also kind of assume that they expect us to do stuff that we can do for ourselves, and that we will do them ourselves and not be lazy. We also believe in being good friends, so we don’t presume on our friendship with the powers that be by asking them all the time for stuff while giving them nothing in return.

We also don’t take an offering here.  We figure the powers that be probably don’t need it.  Let’s be honest, offerings are not giving to the divine powers, they are given to an organization to support it.  Just being honest. God, the gods or whatever never see a dime, farthing or peso of that money; it all goes to the church, mosque or shrine.

Probably and additional announcement is that the Pagan pulpit will be more and more taking on a more personal touch – mine.  I really am kind of combining a lot of things here from an old blog that I liked.  It will be my musings on things from music to poems and other things.  My thoughts will be front and center and they are about my weekly journey.  If by sharing these things with you, you are helped a little in your own journey than that is bonus and a joy to me.

Opening Song: Metallica – Creeping Death (Live Seattle 1989)

One of my favorite Metallica songs.  The final plague on the Egyptians turned into a metal song.  Awesome.

Poem:

“Awaiting the Valkyrie”

The war of life will someday claim my  soul.

May I live a life worthy of song.

Broken and wounded I may be,

But my heart longs to see the Valkyrie

To take me to a place of the honored dead.

Whose stories forever ring throughout the ages

The soul at last at peace

Celebrated and immortal.

– Ed Raby, Sr.  – October 30, 2018

This poem probably speaks to the occasional long that we all have for things to be over.  When my end comes, I would like to be remembered well.

Meditation:

People ask me all the time why I like stories.  Well because all stories resonate with my own.  It’s what makes our existence common; that we all are a story.

Song of Preparation:

This isn’t my favorite Three Door’s Song, but it definitely hits the heart of all of us in what we want and how we feel about those closest to us that have passed into the unknown.

Text: Havamal 77

“Your cattle shall die; your kindred shall die; you yourself shall
die; one thing I know which never dies: the judgment on each one dead.”

Sermon:

Coming off Halloween there is always that element where one thinks about death.  I mean we have skulls and bones everywhere.  The undead walk from zombies to vampires to mummies.  Our popular mythology is laced with characters that overcome and cheat death. In religion, the afterlife is a common thread.

When I was a Christian, the view I often had been that heaven or some afterlife was necessary to give life meaning and purpose.  Perhaps this is one truth that many religions hit on, as death seems to take away everything.  Ecclesiastes is a great book for pointing this out but the conclusion is a bit of logical leap as the only meaning to life it gives is to fear God and do what he tells you.  I don’t think that works for me anymore or for perhaps a lot of you.

The painful truth is that death might genuinely be the end of it all for each of us or that the afterlife is nothing like we expect. That’s the problem, it really is an unknown.

So how to find purpose and meaning to life with the reality of death ever before you?  There have been many theories and perhaps this is why we are incurably religious as a species.  We don’t like the thought that we will end.  We want to continue and so we hope that something is on the other side of death.  But in the end I think Marcus Aurelius hit it on the head. We should live a good life.  If God, the gods or whatever are just, they will look at the virtues you have lived by not how devoted you were.  If they are not just, then we should not want to serve them anyway.  If there isn’t any gods or afterlife; then well, we have the memories in the hearts of those we loved as our final thoughts.

Image result for marcus aurelius quoteOf course you are left to yourself as to which virtues make up your good life. For me the Nine Noble Virtues of Asatru form a good solid list and one that, regardless of who I meet and what religion they may or may not have, can be respected.  The Havamal reminds us that the one thing that does not die is the judgement of the dead. The best way then to face death is to live life and live it fully.

Parting Song: Zergananda – The Path to Valhalla

Epic and one view of many.  I personally think any view of the afterlife that involves courageously facing ones death is a good one.

Have a Great Week

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

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