“Deconverting and My Attitude About Women”- The Pagan Pulpit

Happy Sol’s Day!

Announcements:

We don’t pray here – we figure God, the gods, goddesses, or whatever powers that be (if any) 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 given to the divine powers, they are given to an organization to support it.  Just being honest. God, the gods or whatever never sees a dime, farthing or peso of that money; it all goes to the church, mosque or shrine.

Theme Song: Nordic/Viking Music – ‘Víðbláinn’

Meditation:

Image may contain: possible text that says '"WheRever you know or harm, Regard that harm as youR own; and give youR roes no peace." --Odin, Havamal 127.'

Text: 

Sermon:

When I was a Christian minister I always had the dreaded sermons when going through certain books of the Bible where I had to talk about male and female roles, husband and wife roles and the status of women.  It was so patently obvious that the Bible is patriarchal to the extreme it is ridiculous.  Women have a status of somewhere above cattle but below men, Women are clearly seen as male property either of their father or their husband.   The laws regarding rape and adultery in the Bible are much more about protecting a man’s investment and property than the woman’s right to her body and mind.

When I deconverted, one of the things I had to struggle with at first and deal with often was my own attitude about women.  Not that my views as a Christian weren’t fairly liberal, it is that the environment of the church still tends to put women in their place.  Even my last church which was very open, there was an almost unwritten rule that women could not be ushers for the offering. It actually caused some buzzing when one Sunday we had no choice but to use one of the female members of the church council to do this task because most of the men were gone that Sunday.

When I look at this issue now as a pagan atheist. the respect of the individual regardless of sex, sexual orientation or identity becomes paramount. I have no authority that tells me that women are subservient to men nor tells me that men and women have different roles in society.  We tend certain natural directions if left to our own devices, but it is quite possible for women to be mechanics and men to be hairdressers and there is nothing wrong with that.  It also possible for a woman to be the head of her house because she is the best suited to lead it.

I am very much attracted to the female form and feminity in general as a heterosexual masculine male. Our survival as a species has depended on this attraction for millions of years. I have no problem with the LGBTQ+ community but recognize my own attractions and desires that seem natural to myself are what most of society would classify as ‘normal’.  I love women and I love femininity as a masculine male.  I like pin-up girls (of all types and levels of nudity), the female form still lights my sexual fire and I find the wild pagan tattooed rebel girl attractive as fuck.

At the same time, my deconversion thoughts have taught me to respect women as their own individuals that have the right to be in charge of their own destiny.  Their sexuality is their own and they make the decisions about it. If a woman makes love to you by her own choice, it means she chose it as much as you and that is the best type of making love.  But that is also true of any time men and women work together to accomplish a goal or engage an issue.  I want a partnership with women, not ones that are subservient simply because I have a dick.

I find though that my upbringing and former way of life have a way of intruding from time to time with old attitudes. Old ideas of how men and women are different’ spiritually’ come up from time to time. One by one I have to deal with them.  I guess if something comes up where I notice it, I try to meditate on it and change my brain about it. My goal is to let women be what they want to be and enjoy the ride.

Parting Thought:

 

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Asatru Virtues” – (Asatru – Part 25) – The Pagan Pulpit

Happy Sol’s Day!

Announcements:

We don’t pray here – we figure God, the gods, goddesses, or whatever powers that be (if any) 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 given to the divine powers, they are given to an organization to support it.  Just being honest. God, the gods or whatever never sees a dime, farthing or peso of that money; it all goes to the church, mosque or shrine.

Theme Song: “Pagan Fire” – The Dragon Fire Drummers

Meditation:

 

Image may contain: one or more people, text and outdoor

Text: 

See the source image

If you want more details about Asatru, I can’t recommend this book enough.

Sermon:

If you have followed this blog for any length of time, then you know about the Nine Noble Virtues of Asatru.  Honor, Courage, Truth, Self-Reliance, Industriousness, Hospitality, Discipline, Perseverance and Fidelity are very much a part of this blog and my life as a whole now.  My becoming an atheist did not affect that negatively.  If anything it highlights the need to have some sort of system to think and evaluate each moral decision.  The virtues serve this capacity well.

Living Tru is about following the virtues most of all.  They will be a part of everyday decisions.  Rituals and practices occupy a space of time. but the virtues are at all times. There is no time of not living virtuously.

When people ask me why I didn’t just follow Christian virtues and just be an atheist Christian, my answer is almost always the same- the pagans have better ethics.  Sorry, Christianity has done a lot of evil in the name of its faith and justified it in name of doing it for Christ.  In paganism, the virtues offer no such excuses nor faith in the gods. You follow the virtues or you are not virtuous. No excuses or exceptions.

That said how the virtues can be interpreted has some grey area as life is not black and white. Rather life is a mess and the virtues try to offer some way to sort that out and stay on a stable path. To live Tru is the goal. Waling Tru the mission of The Grey Wayfarer

Parting Thought:

 

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I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Germanic Magic” (Asatru – Part 23) – The Pagan Pulpit

Happy Sol’s Day!

Announcements:

We don’t pray here – we figure God, the gods, goddesses, or whatever powers that be (if any) 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 given to the divine powers, they are given to an organization to support it.  Just being honest. God, the gods or whatever never sees a dime, farthing or peso of that money; it all goes to the church, mosque or shrine.

Theme Song: “Rún – SKÁLD

Meditation:

Image may contain: fire and text

Text: 

See the source image

If you want more details about Asatru, I can’t recommend this book enough.

Sermon:

Magic is a word that conjures up a lot of imagery and there seems to be a definite difference in the understanding of those who practice it in the real world and those who write it in the fantasy literature genre.  In the real world magic is a more earthy and practical day to day stuff. Germanic/Norse magic is probably not as central to the practice of Asatru as it is in Wicca, but it still plays a vital role. In considering Germanic magic there some elements to consider – the magical workers themselves and the terms used most commonly, Runes, Seidh, and Deity Possession.

In Asatru, the magical workers are pretty much a part-time lot.  I suppose if you had the means to pursue magical practice full-time most might consider it but most are part-time in the practice like poets and songwriters. The term for a woman who practices magic is Völva and the term for a man who does the same is Thul.

There are specialized terms for the various practitioners of various types of magic beyond this. This includes terms for those who practice dark magic. Gand is the general term for magic and Galdr is the word for a spell and covers most of the verbal and ceremonial magic.  There are lots of types of magic but in Germanic magic – most, however, deals with the spirits of the dead and the spirits in general. Music is assumed to have a magical quality to it. That’s why skalds are not just bards but magical practitioners as well.

Runes are sometimes invoked in divination but seem to be in Asatru more of the standard offensive and defensive magic. They are old to the point of being ancient and there are currently 24 major ones although other runes are present.  No one really knows what they mean anymore. It probably the fact of Chrisitan persecution that may have destroyed many of the works of magic that the Germanic pagans had that could be helpful but no longer exist. Each rune has its own power and each rune often ahs its own patron deity associated with it.  Although the runes as a whole are associated with Odin the most as he is the one who is said to have brought them to knowledge from his nine-day ordeal on the World Tree – Yggdrasil.

The second division of magic outside the runes is Seidh. Divination or prophetic vision is mostly associated with women.  These days it concerns things involving trances and things similar to shamanism. This could include illusion and shape-shifting as well. Most notably though it is given the term – second sight. The reading of omens as well.  There is so much here that I am barely scratching the surface.

One rare thing to talk about is the idea of a deity manifesting its personality in a ceremony through a worshiper.  It is not mentioned much in the lore or practiced much in Asatru by my source’s own admission.  But it does rarely seem to happen. I’ve seen such things in my Pentecostal faith where people are said to be speaking in tongues or prophecy but this is a little different in that this is said to be Odin speaking through a follower. I must emphasize this is very rare today and debated among the followers of Asatru.

While as an atheist I pretty much dismiss these things, I find it a fascinating thing that religious cultures can have so much in common and yet feel they are so divided. The idea that psychologically both as individuals and groups we can believe things like magic is an interesting phenomenon and one that crops up often in any religion.  Asatru’s is much more complex, subtle, and sublime than most.

Parting Thought:

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Some Special Announcements” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Sol’s Day!

I have to apologize for no The Pagan Pulpit this week,  but I have been wrestling with a question all day and it involves identity. The specifically is: What have I always been?  Today has been a day of thinking on this question and watching the Marvel Superhero Movies. Sometimes with my wife and sometimes alone. I was still wrestling with this question when my Facebook feed had this memory from a year ago today.  I don’t believe in fate or destiny or anything but this a remarkable coincidence and I think I have found my central answer to the question of what I have always been and always will continue to be. It is summed up in the threefold point of this quote above.

  1. To be a person who pays homage to the facts no matter where they lead him.
  2. To be a person of free and clear thinking – no gods, no masters – just reason and free thought.
  3. To be intellectually decent at all times which to me is being comfortable with “I don’t know” while at the same time saying “I am going to try to find out though”.

I have been all these things regardless of form, belief or persuasion all my life.  I strived to be these things and a believer in Christ and now as an atheist. In large part is was these things that lead me to atheism when answers could not be found in my faith.  Or when I painfully concluded that my faith was a glorious fiction or worse completely false.

These three principles have been my core since I first picked up a comic book and saw representations of heroes who despite all the powers they were granted tried above all to be true to the ethics and morals that made them into heroes. Get past the special effects and you get a very human core.

Today I have decided to continue to follow them and remind myself of them more often.  The Virtues remain because they are reflections fo these central tenents of life. But I also have always been a preacher and teacher and this is something I wish to be again.  The pulpit, lectern, and message may change; but to proclaim what I feel is factual, true and right remains a passion.

With this reminder of this continuing commitment I have a few announcements:

  1. The Grey Wayfarer will continue much as it is except I am pretty much breaking it down to be a journal of my progress.  The Pagan Pulpit, Of Wolves and Ravens, Odin’s Eye, Freya’s Chambers, and my three Journal Posts will remain with the occasional The Rabyd Skald thrown in. But this is going to be it here because I want to turn my attention to my writing for publication and another project I will announce shortly.
  2. The rest of this week will however not have journal posts or the normal slate of posts, rather I want to finish out all my ficitonal series on this blog. I am doing this to clear my slate and give myself a little philosophical downtime.
  3. I want my family to know that up till now I have been very passive with my anti-theism and my conviction that belief in God or gods or whatever as a means to base your life is nonsense.  That changes today where my anti-theism, while it will remain compassionate, is going to turn active. Very active. All of you are free to believe as you see fit but understand I will be working hard to show that Christianity is false, that the Bible is just a book and a bad one at that, and that we would be better off without religion in our lives.  I am sure some of you will not like what I am about to do as you are believers, but I feel compelled by reason and intellectual honesty to do this.
  4. By active I mean I will be writing books to this effect, I will be blogging here with the desire at times to show how any person can live without god very well; thank you, and I will be joining organizations that oppose religion in politics and government.  I also am about to start at least one new project devoted to this task.
  5. That project will be to start a YouTube channel as a new more vocal pulpit for my viewpoint.  I don’t any specifics yet, or if it will even work, but I feel compelled to convince anyone who will listen to give up the make-believe and start living in the real world.   I am particularly focused on young people who are considering the ministry as a career and being apologists for the Christian faith.  All religion is poison to me and I want to tell people why using this platform.

If I can convince one young person to not follow my mistake, give up the ministry and embrace doing something truly useful for humanity, then I will consider my mission a success.  Of course, the more I can convince the better.  I also hope to make some money with this to at least justify my time doing it.

My main goal is to get back to being a preacher and proclaimer of what I feel is reasonable, factual, truly free in thought in a spirit of intellectual decency.  That “I don’t know” is a good thing to say when it is true and yet maintain that insatiable curiosity I had since I was old enough to read and look at the word with inquiring eyes. I am simply a pilgrim on this journey we call life, and I don’t think I can enjoy it as much if I don’t take the opportunities presented to warn people of my mistakes and false understandings of the world.  To tell people what are dangerous paths to take and the dead ends seem like a decent thing to do from this traveler of life to others.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Pagan Holidays: Winternights / Halloween / Samhain – Part 3” – Odin’s Eye

Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day.    

Discussion:

No photo description available.

Say hello to the Brothers Grimm.  I don’t know if I can call myself a pumpkin artist yet, but I have to say I enjoyed the artistic moment of creating these two more than I thought i would.  I haven’t carved a pumpkin since my kids were little.  It is an enjoyable experience and next year I want to plan it out better.  The Brother’s Grimm represents fear and joy, two very palatable emotions at Halloween.

As we get closer to Halloween I have to say I am enjoying this holiday personally more than in years past.  I like writing about things magical and strange and so the holiday fits me.  My personal history with Halloween also factors in as for many years I was told I couldn’t celebrate it because it was Satanic. I never completely bought it, but it was a constant nagging in my life from Chrisitan culture.

See the source image

More properly now I know this has nothing more to do with Satan than it does with God.  Samhain and the pagans that celebrate it has very little to do with either and is more about welcoming the coming of winter. The Wild Hunt is released and the time for hearth and home is at hand.  The time for appeasing the spirits and honoring the dead is more what this has to do with than anything else and the Abrahamic traditions of Satan and Yahweh have nothing to do with it.

Time to Look Through the Eye:

“To see the truth, change one eye for another”

Faith:

The real issue of faith in the holiday known as Halloween, Samhain or Winternuights, to those of a more Norse persuasion such as myself, is this belief that the veil between our world and the spiritual one becomes thin which allows the two to merge or cross.  While not a believer myself I find this idea fascinating.  It represents something that I cannot get over this idea of multiple worlds that collide sometimes, alternate realities that when they merge they create another alternate reality.

For me, it is the changing of the tide so to speak as one season moves into another as winter and summer collide to create fall is in its own way ‘magical’.  Sure it is a more naturalistic explanation of things but the concept is the same.  The continued faith that Summer will give way to winter and then Winter will give way to Summer in their turn.

See the source image

Meditation:

Halloween causes me to meditate more on the joys fo life and celebrations I have missed out on because of a Christianity I no longer believe in.  If I see anything in it now, it is the desire to enjoy life and celebrate its seasons and moments with a little more fervor. At least as much fervor as an INFJ type can muster.  I find it interesting as I meditate on how religion can rob you, the greatest thing I have lost is the celebration moments and fun times simply because some world view wanted to tell me not to do this or don’t touch that. If my meditations have led my thoughts into any direction it is the freedom from religions’ persuasive power to bind one’s thoughts when such binding is not necessary.

See the source image

Mystery:

I will be honest, this filter of Odin’s Eye has become problematic as an Athiest.  I mean having a theology degree can be helpful down the road as I write books challenging theology, but for a life filter that looks at life’s intangible elements, the artistic and ‘spiritual’ side of it, theology is becoming more and more useless to me.  Its a set of clothes that no longer fits. This relates to Halloween in that it is this time of year that calls me to be different.

So today, in the spirit of Halloween, I announce a change from Theology to Mystery as part of Odin’s Eye.  More in the spirit of the Viking Runes and trying to find their meaning. The mystery is something that might always be there but is something I will no longer use as an excuse, just an identification marker of that which I don’t understand that I am trying to discover its secrets. It fits far better with my concept of myself which is rapidly evolving.

See the source image

Spirituality:

I guess I have a lot of tolerance spiritually speaking for the pagans of this world. I get you guys far more than any other religion and at least I think you are starting with the right place – looking at the world around you and within yourselves. Looking at what both are for yourself and not what some supposed ‘man of god’ tells you.  I respect that level of individuality a lot.  Probably the most spiritual thing a human can do is be themselves.

See the source image

Conclusion:

In the future, I think Halloween will remain my favorite holiday and I plan on celebrating with the same enthusiasm next year as some others celebrate Christmas.  I know now this holiday represents my turning into being an individual instead of a religious robot more than any other.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Hel / Hella – Goddess of Death” (Asatru – Part 16) -The Pagan Pulpit

Happy Sol’s Day

Announcements:

We don’t pray here – we figure God, the gods, 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 given to the divine powers, they are given to an organization to support it.  Just being honest. God, the gods or whatever never sees a dime, farthing or peso of that money; it all goes to the church, mosque or shrine.

Theme Song: “Helvegen – The Way to Hel” Wardruna

Meditation:
Image may contain: one or more people and text
Text:

See the source image

If you want more details about Asatru, I can’t recommend this book enough.

Sermon: 

Somewhere along the way the depictions of Hel or Hella, to differentiate her from the realm she rules, became a half beautiful woman and half corpse.  But the original description of her in mythology simply has her half black and half white. The one thing is for sure a lot of elements Christianity crept in as time passed as regards her realm more properly known as Helheim.  She is the goddess of those who die of natural causes and not in battle. Her realm is mainly described as a continuation of this one but forever.  Forever, of course, being defined as until Ragnarok when everything basically hits the reset button.

Hella is in a couple stories of significance.  First, her origin story which has her as the child of Loki and a giantess. It is in this story that she is placed in charge of Helheim by Odin himself.  Her spheres are not pleasant ones – sickness, famine, old age.  Her artifacts reflect all of this.

The other story is, of course, the story of Baldar who ends up, somehow even though he died in battle,  in her realm.  The gods attempt to appeal to her for his release.  Her condition is that every person must weep for his death.  Loki, of course, has a hand in making sure one person does not and  Balbar remains with Hella. She also is in charge of keeping Fenrir the great wolf bound until his release at Ragnarok. It is interesting how much she figures into the story when it comes to the end of things and perhaps that is her real sphere – the end.

To the followers of Asatru, Hella is venerated not as someone to be feared.  She is simply one of the options one might find oneself in when you reach the afterlife.  Her real job is to offer comfort to those who have died and give them rest from the toils of this world.  The people who live in Helheim admire and respect her.

For me, she offers an interesting paradox of a character.  Of dubious origin being the child of Loki, she fills the role fo bastard daughter who finds herself in a position \of power and thus both loved and feared.  Her personality might be a little brooding and gloomy, but given her job who can blame her.

In my writing when I have depicted death allegorically or as a traveling companion to the hero, I find she always takes the form of a woman and I have to say this is due ot Hella’s influence. I see her as not only gloomy and foreboding but with a dark sense of humor who occasionally can find laughter in the ironic particular as regards death.

Parting Thought:

Image may contain: 1 person, text

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Pagan Holidays: Winternights / Halloween/Samhain – Part 2” – Odin’s Eye

Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day.    

Discussion:

I am going to talk about modern Halloween and why it is now my favorite holiday.  Mostly it is because for a long time I was told as a Christian that it was satanic or full of witchcraft.  It is a Wiccan holiday in its original form but also pretty basically pagan as well.  Much fo what we see is hold over symbols from a bygone age that survive in large part because it is a fun holiday.

In the United States, the retail business has realized something – it is the second most money grossing holiday of the year.  Literally, second only to Christmas now.  Easter has fallen to third and Valentine’s fourth. It has become more than a holiday for kids trick or treating.   Adults here have very adult Halloween parties without the kids.  I mean you are dressed up as something else and often people cannot tell who you are if you do it right.  Add alcohol, candy, and sensuality and you get the modern American US Halloween.

Most 0f the pagan roots of this holiday are lost and that is probably, on the one hand, Ok and on the other hand. something for those of us that like to dig deeper is missing.

Oh, yeah I am using the pin-up girls again for this one. This time though vintage classic ones that I love.  It’s not very politically correct, but 1) it’s Halloween and 2) I don’t give a fuck what the language-thought nazis say.

See the source image

Time to Look Through the Eye:

“To see the truth, change one eye for another”

Faith:

I am going to deal with the more Wiccan holiday of Samhain in this one that is now modern Halloween.  This is actually the biggest festival of the Wiccan calendar and thus most celebrated.  It’s opposite number and Spring festival is Beltane.  You might say these two festivals bookend Summer and Winter.  A festival of the dead, spirits and thus full of the familiar phrase – trick or treat. This reflects their appeasement of those prankster spirits and thus have them pass over your place.  The Jack-o-Lanterns and many other customs reflect this.

I don’t believe in the supernatural but I find the whole holiday interesting because it is such a quilt work of different pagan traditions that it is fun to guess where which tradition came from and how it came to be.  I have faith this is a fun and interesting holiday.

Meditation:

Like  Beltaine, I feel that this holiday reflects the very human need to blow off steam.  We can’t be good all the time and sometimes you just need to go and be a little naughty and mischevious.  Beltane is perfect for this and Halloween even more so. My meditations on human nature simply lead me to think that people need to stop being so good for a couple days a year and Halloween is one of those days.

See the source image

Theology:

Growing up this was Satan’s holiday. We didn’t participate or were told not to.  my father this was bullshit, Chrisitan though he was.  He was the one that told me that there is a great deal of difference between what something was and what it is.  He felt what Halloween is now was more about having a good time and in some respect connecting with your neighbors.

Of course, the average Wiccan doesn’t believe in or worship Satan any more than they do the Chrisitan god.  But people have a way of trying to make you inferior for a stupid reason like they don’t do holidays like this while you do; so you are morally less than them.  Got sick of this shitty theology long before I left Christianity.

See the source image

Spirituality:

I do find the idea of appeasing the spirits to be an interesting spiritual concept in paganism. The one area of Norse mythology that is rich but extremely complicated so I don’t address it is the whole issue of earth spirits, elves, and dark elves.  It would be a fascinating study and probably relates to Winternights and Halloween a lot. I just look at it with awe as to how complicated it seems.

For myself, the connection with the past, the spending time with people as a community celebrating something is enough.  It is these connections and having fun with them that denote my ‘spirituality’.

See the source image

 

Conclusion:

Why do I like this holiday so much?  Because of all the holidays in the US calendar, it has nothing to do with God, Christianity, Patriotism, or anything like them.  It remains truly pagan despite Christianity making November 1st All Saints Day.  Halloween gives November 1st the middle finger and that just makes me smile.

I also like the grey side to Halloween – the naughty side to it.  It gives new meaning to the words – ‘trick or treats?’ and that is very Ok with me. Just remember sometimes the answer to that question is – yes.

See the source image

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Borrowing Perseverance” – A Skald’s Life – Business Virtues

Happy Wooden’s (Odin’s) Day

Journal Entry:

Perseverance is a Self Virtue in my system but I need to borrow it for business for a bit.  Mostly there have been new rounds of rejections for jobs and I need to take a deep breath and go at it again.  My issue is that this is a little discouraging and I am trying not to let it bring on The Grey right now and that means getting up and continuing to go forward.

I am thinking of another angle as well.  I am very much upset about the amount of time I wasted on something that was very false and phony as a career now.  I see Christianity for what it really is – one of the most colossal frauds ever.  It wouldn’t; bothe me so much but I wasted probably my most energetic and productive years doing ministry as a Christian pastor and now have to find a new way forward.  I decided given my atheism to join The Clergy Project, a support group for ministers who have no belief in god anymore.  I am hoping to find the connections I need to move forward a little better.

My Business Virtues are about being independent, hard-working and hospitable with the excess of my prosperity. The job I need has a  few requirements but most notably that it has to allow me to write and to be active in things as well as making me a little more money than I am now.

Self-Reliance:

“Self-Reliance is the spirit of independence, which is achieved not only for the individual but also for the family, clan, tribe, and nation.”

Principle: To achieve and maintain personal independence and advocate for independence in my family, state and nation.

Goal:  Find a new, better paying job by March 2019.

Bucket List: To be a published author of at least five books by March 2029

I believe in liberty and freedom not just for myself but for anyone.  I believe in freethought being the way to liberty.  If I could find something that allows me to advocate for this, that would be awesome.

Industriousness:

“Industriousness is the willingness to work hard, always striving for efficiency, as a joyous activity in itself”

Principle: Work with the enjoyment of work itself.

GoalFinalize last requirements for my degree – Internship by May 2019 – May 2019 (achieved)

Bucket List: Write A Novel and Get it Published by March 2022.

I always enjoy working.  I enjoy coming home afterward too but the work causes me to appreciate the downtime more.  I like to be efficient and some of the things that bother me at work are when I can see things are not efficient and there is no way to fix it.

Hospitality:

“Hospitality is the willingness to share what one has with one’s fellows, especially when they are far from home.”

Principle: To share out of my abundance to help people where I can with their life’s journey.

Goal: By March 31st of 2020, to be the leader/participant in a group of some kind.

Bucket List: To own my own home by March 2024.

I have no aversion to helping others, I just lack the means to do so and the cause that would be something that would help me focus on what I want to do in this regard.

Higher Virtue – Justice:

It’s all about being just in every relationship I have. At least, just on my side of things.  My part fo the relationship needs to be me acting as fairly and justly as possible depending on what happens in each one.  A simple goal but difficult to achieve.

Work Day Routine:

  1. Morning Routine
  2. Wife: Communication / Cuddle Time
  3. Blogging – Organize, revise, write a new post for the next day, 15 min. work on fiction.
  4. Weightlifting: Gym time – 1 hour after work.
  5. Writing: Half-Hour on top of the blogging routine each day. Alternate between Non-Fiction Book and Novel.
  6. Reading – 1 chapter min.
  7. Personal Business: record financial transactions, savings plan actions, budgeting, appointments, job search, other actions, etc.
  8. Check Communications and Email after 2 pm but before 4 pm.
  9. Nutrition: Daily Carb Count – 2

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Revising the Ten Commandments – Part 3 – Additions and Final Copy” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Mani’s Day

Now for the part of this where I ask the question about ‘is there something else that could be added?’ What stands outside the commandments as edited by myself that should also be on par with the other ten.  In this regard, most people don’t realize the original ten commandments does the same thing. In one place after the ten, more are listed and it has a lot to do with additions or other ideas that need to be addressed. I think that there is a call for me to do this as well.  Some other things should be emphasized.

Additions:

#11 – Until a child can make decisions for themselves, they should not have parts of their body removed, be abused or otherwise manipulated to further the agenda of adults. 

Sorry, I think children should be protected and make such decisions about circumcision, sexuality, and other religious and political matters when they are old enough themselves.  Adults should respect it is their body and their choices and until they can make informed decisions they should be protected until they can do so themselves.

#12 – In case it wasn’t already clear, the following activities should not be done as they are morally bankrupt: rape, genocide, and slavery.

I don’t really need to say anything here do I.  Other than I have just contradicted many of the commands of the Law of Moses and the ‘history’ of the Biblical Story of god’s people to say so.  Christopher Hitchens is right.  The reason these are not in the original ten is that God’s people will be asked to commit genocide and will later both enslave and rape the survivors.

#13 – Don’t do to others, what you would not want to be done to you.

Kind of a catch-all and a negative version of the golden rule.  This is because the negative so it actually prevents bad behavior in this case.

Final Copy: The Grey Wayfarer’s 13 Commandments:

#1 – You were born free.  People will try to enslave you through many means; Don’t let them. Respect the freedom of others; Don’t enslave them. 

#2 – Be an artistic human.  Express yourself and enjoy the expression of others.

#3 – Uphold the truth and be truthful with your words.  When you’re wrong – admit it. 

#4 – Take one day a week off and do what you want to do.  Life is too short not to enjoy it.

#5 – If you have children, remember that was your decision, not theirs; so be responsible parents, earn their respect, and teach them to be good human beings.

#6 – Don’t Murder

# 7 – Engage in responsible and consensual sexual activity.

# 8 – Don’t Steal

# 9 – Don’t lie to convict or harm the innocent.

#10 – Think Freely.  Never accept any tyranny, especially that of the mind.

#11 – Until a child can make decisions for themselves, they should not have parts of their body removed, be abused or otherwise manipulated to further the agenda of adults. 

#12 – In case it wasn’t already clear, the following activities should not be done as they are morally bankrupt: rape, genocide, and slavery.

#13 – Don’t do to others, what you would not want to be done to you.

They still need refining, but a definite improvement.  In the end, I think I have demonstrated that it does not require religion to come up with a solid moral code.  Rather, it seems that one simply being human can actually come up with something better than the supposed ten commandments of God through Moses.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Revising the Ten Commandments – Part 1 – What Needs to Go” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Sif’s Day

Well, we are coming to the end of the first year of The Grey Wayfarer and I thought I would do some things that are special for the final few days.  One thing I have been doing in my spare time is looking at videos of people revising the ten commandments from George Carlin to Atheists like Christopher Hitchens.  I have been thinking as my last public hurrah with being critical of Christianity (I am writing a book for publication on this, so from now on when I am a critic of my former faith, I expect to get paid for it), I should do the same. This will be in three parts:

Part 1 – What Needs to Go

Part 2 –  Positive Replacements

Part 3 –  Further Additions and Final Copy

The Ten Commandments are found in several places.  But I like Deuteronomy 5 the best:

# 1 – ‘I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. ‘You shall have no other gods before Me.

Well except this would have been a perfect time to abolish slavery in the whole of Israel as a testimony to its evil. It would have been symbolic of deliverance for the whole nation to be entirely free with no slavery at all. That does not happen as later commandments basically reaffirm slavery as legit and God’s people over and over to be slaves and bondslaves.  Bondslavery being condoned as a form of slavery where a person has Stockholm Syndrome so bad they wilfully become a lifelong slave.

In addition, this seems to be god trying to make people worship him instead of showing he is the only god and worthy of respect. It seems egotistical on god’s part and it is. More likely was written by a man who wanted his reign not to be questioned so he basically creates a God that is unassailable then says his reign it divinely appointed.  Yeah. goodbye.

#2 – You shall not make for yourself an idol or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

  1. This pretty much the most ignored command in all of the ten.  I mean go to any Catholic church.  But it goes much further than that – no creativity is allowed here which pretty much gets rid of creative thinkers.  Great way to keep people dumb and compliant.
  2. God is jealous but later calls jealousy a sin. No contradiction there.  Yeah, right.
  3. How is it just to punish children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren for crimes their parents committed. Talk about being a bully.  No standard of justice that is just would do this.  There is also no reverse promise that if one generation is faithful, then the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren would be blessed.

Goodbye.

#3 – ‘You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not [j]leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

I have literally heard hundreds of interpretations of what this means. and none of them makes sense.  Of the commandments, it is the most nonsensical and controversial as far as meaning. Goodbye.

#4 – ‘Observe the sabbath day to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey or any of your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you, so that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day.

Sounds good on the surface until you read the whole of all the sabbath laws and realize this is more about draconian totalitarian control than rest. One guy is literally killed for gathering sticks on the Sabbath. How is that eye for an eye? More like a scratch being punished by a stick to the eye. Interestingly enough Jesus does contradict this command and it is the only one the disciples and Jesus break even though he tells everyone that not one jot or tittle will pass from the law. Due to conflicting observation and overkill in punishment – Goodbye

#5 – ‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the Lord your God gives you.

You have to ask yourself if the man who wrote this had an ironic tone as the punishment, for being a rebellious kid, was death, and it would be your parents that killed you  ‘Days might be prolonged’ indeed. Talk about training for someone to be an abject slave to their rulers, you don’t get better than this.  The potential for abuse is strong in this one as I have seen it firsthand.

If a parent wants honor they should earn it by being a good parent and quite frankly not demand it because of position but earn it by their character. You chose to have children so you are responsible for them.  You shouldn’t have them simply to have servants.  Goodbye.

#6 – ‘You shall not murder. 

Finally, one we can keep. But every law code has this idea and quite frankly it seems to be what we would call – ‘Duh’. I am glad it doesn’t stop all killing as perhaps someday a just war will be fought and self-defense should have killing allowed.

#7 – ‘You shall not commit adultery.

I am going to say what a lot of other commentators say on this one.  There wasn’t something you could have put here that was a more significant issue?  Like, say you should not have a slave or another bigger issue.

The punishment is pretty severe here too – death.  From painful experience, I can say adultery has its own consequences that are quite sufficient. Another case of “How is this eye for an eye?”  Goodbye.

# 8 – ‘You shall not steal.

Another one that is quite frankly – Duh and no real revelation. Law codes older than this one has this in it.  Plagiarism at its finest.

# 9 – You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Somewhat ahead of its time but not completely as it seems we have another ‘duh’ command here.  Lying to get an innocent person in trouble seems to be self evidently wrong.  Funny how the three I have kept either don’t require a divine entity to tell you them because it is obvious they are good, or that they seem to be in other law codes before this one already.

#10 – ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field or his male servant or his female servant, his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.’

What could be more Orwellian and totalitarian than thought crimes?  The second commandment makes you give up creative thought and this one makes you give up thoughts of any kind of desire.  Making you content with your lot in life even though it sucks.

It is also misogynist as fuck.  ‘Wives as possessions’ is so hot in the bible and the Law of Moses in particular. Property, not people – women equal to cattle is implied.  Goodbye.

We have THREE Survivors:

‘You shall not murder.

‘You shall not steal.

‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

So the ones with the moral equivalent of ” Duh, No Shit.” made it.

Hmm.  Need to replace seven of these bad boys. In Part Two we will do that.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!