“Slaying God” – Odin’s Eye

Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day.    

Discussion:

I love the sentiment of killing gods when it comes to Star Trek’s Lt. Worf and the Klingons, in general. ‘They were more trouble than they were worth.” is one of the best lines in the whole thing. The idea of killing gods seems far fetched until you realize that the battle isn’t against all-powerful beings of various types or a single omnipotent one, but rather these gods only exist in our minds.  It is simply the process of getting rid of those imaginary beings from the way we think and views the universe.

I am still going through this process.  We tend to use the divine to fill the gaps in our knowledge.  As an atheist will tell you though those gaps are getting smaller and smaller. It is also a famous fallacy of logic to say ‘if I don’t know or understand something, therefore god.”

The god of the gaps fallacy is well documented as just because there isn’t an answer yet or something seems mysterious, that doesn’t mean the explanation fo ‘god or gods’ doesn’t have to prove itself as well. God as an explanation for anything still should be subjected to the same scrutiny as everything else that offers up a solution and not just automatically given a nod simply because it seems at the time to offer the only explanation.

Time to Look Through the Eye:

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

Meditation:

My own mind is still dominated at times by theistic thinking.  I find that this is the longest part of the deconversion process, coming to terms with the fact that I cannot assume god after so long assuming his existence.  It begins to permeate your life how many times the ‘god of the gaps’ fallacy is employed to provide a form of lazy answers and lazy morality.  My current state requires that every moral issue and every question now requires investigation rather than the assumption of the divine is a long work in process. My meditation time seems to focus here a lot.

Mystery:

Yes, there are mysteries in life, but no god really can provide a true answer.  To invoke God is not trying to solve mysteries or discover knowledge. rather it closes off inquiry and leaves an empty space in human knowledge that someone will look at later and show that in that empty space is actually knowledge and no god is required.  This probably the reason the belief in the divine and the religions that go with them is more trouble than its worth.  It retards our growth as human beings.  It causes us in our ignorance to fear that which we do not understand and engage in fearful tribalism that leads us to kill one another over what we believe fills the gaps. Mystery accepted as a god rather than an invitation to an honest inquiry will always do this.

Spirituality:

Perhaps we should take from the ficitonal Klingons the call to action to kill these gods which have been, in my opinion, more trouble than their worth.  They were at one time our first and worst attempt as a human race to uncover the knowledge around us. But spirituality is not divine, but rather very human and for that, we can only look to ourselves to uncover the truth about it. Given the amount of plundering, raping and killing done in the name of religion, it is perhaps time to revolt in our minds and kill the gods and discard them as more trouble than their worth.

Conclusion:

I find that the god I once built in my mind is not so difficult to slay as it is so large and touches areas I hadn’t thought of before. It is more ways and methods of think that need to be changed and having the courage to face my life alone and discover the mysteries of life through following after what I need and want while listening to the caws of reason and wisdom.  The mysteries of life are there to be discovered not feared as some ‘god of the gaps’.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Economics and Common Sense” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Economics

Happy Mani’s Day

Discussion

Having a minor in economics apparently puts me above the common man who has an opinion about economic matters. It does, however, add to my frustration level as Rothbard’s quote resonates with my soul quite a bit.  I find a few things frustrating about people’s ignorance of economics.  Mostly how this ignorance is used against them.

Economics is part of my overall philosophy because some of my virtues are connected to business: Self-Reliance, Industriousness, and Hospitality all of more direct economic issues so knowing something about how economics actually works helps me have more for my ravens to say about those decisions involving those virtues.

Because of the law of scarcity, for instance, I know that there are some things in life not available to everyone, so if you want them you have to earn them.  It gets rid of a sense of entitlement which, to be honest, is one of the most detrimental things a person can have as part of their personality makeup.  Economics is often called codified common sense and so it is a valuable tool in my philosophical toolbox.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

“Feed the Wolves, but Listen to the Ravens first.”

Needs (Geri):

I suppose my need for economic knowledge in relation to philosophy surfaced with some of my decisions when I first went back to school and decided on my major. I knew I wanted something that was in demand and marketable but also flexible.  The one thing I had noted over the years, as technology and knowledge change, so does how business is done and those who can adapt thrive.    The need for flexibility and marketability long term was an issue of the Law of Demand.

Wants (Freki):

On the flip side, the kind of job I wanted is an issue of the Law of Supply.  What’s available. was an issue.  The thing was that Political Science opens that up by one simple thing – I could always be in administration and that is everywhere. Not to mention that just having a Bachelor’s degree from a university that is real-world instead the plastic bubble of religion opens up even more.

Reason (Huginn):

So my current struggles beg the question of which law deals with the fact that I am struggling to find a job and the economics of hidden costs and unintended consequences of economic policies might be a factor. the simply truth is that if someone hires me that has a good benefits package my being older is going to cost them more money even if that benefit is simple health insurance, the premium for me will automatically be higher.

Wisdom (Muninn):

This leads to the wisdom that I need to be ready to give up some raw salary to compensate for that.  It is something I will give up because I would still come out ahead of where I am now. Economics helps me realize that flexibility is called for.

Conclusion:

Personally, economics being part of my overall philosophy has been something that has had a calming effect.  I don’t get bent out of shape when an employer does certain things but I rather ask what the economic issue might be.  Sometimes I have to ask why they don’t consider economics but people are people so they don’t always have economic knowledge and that includes people in charge.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Taoism: Yin and Yang” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Eastern Philosophy

Happy Tyr’s Day

Discussion

In the rotation, I deal with eastern philosophy directly once, but to be honest there is a lot of Taoism in my philosophical viewpoint.  Particularly the idea of balance or what the Taoist would call yin and yang. The chart below kind fo displays the basic difference.

One might say the whole concept of Wolves and Ravens represents Yin and Yang, but it isn’t that simple because in Taoism some things in my philosophy cross the lines to the other side and some of the things might be considered on both sides depending on how they are applied. For me, you might say the Wolf of Need and the Raven of Reason are Yang, but the Wolf of Want and the Raven of Wisdom (which involves a lot of intuition based on experience) are Yin.

If I take anything from Taoism it is the idea of the balance of life. Of keeping things level instead of overdoing one thing at the expense of the other.  The parallels to this idea are in truth in every philosophical system I can think of as well as a large chunk of the nature of each mythology.

Probably this is found in two other notions: 1) Order (or Law) vs. Chaos (or Liberty) and 2) Good (benevolence) vs. Evil (malevolence).   A Taoist would try to strive for a balance between these and be truly neutral about both of them.  I tend to be more Chaotic but neutral about the question of good and evil.  You might say I boil it down to the issue of law vs. liberty and lean heavy on the side of liberty, but the whole good and evil question might be invalid.  I say ‘might be’ because I am still thinking and meditating about it.  The one thing is that I am deliberately unbalanced right now from a Taoist point of view in regards to law vs. liberty. Mostly because I can see how the law is far easier connected to doing harm in the name of good intentions. Whereas to me liberty brings about a respect for the humanity of the other persons in the world which often benefits all.

I would say at that point the Taoist and I reach a fork in the road and I wish them well and then take the fork in the road that says ‘liberty is better than law’.  That said, balance in other aspects of my life is influenced and reflects an understanding of Taoism.  Balance is a constant consideration of mine.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

“Feed the Wolves, but Listen to the Ravens first.”

Needs (Geri):

The need for balance is illustrated in what happens when the balance is not maintained.  I can speak from painful experience of the consequences of not maintaining the balance between self-love and loving others as an example.  Too far on self-love and you become a narcissist and too far in the love of others makes you a living martyr that eventually leads to self-destruction.  Neither is desirable and the balance keeps you functioning both in the love of self and others without the extremes of either. The need for balance is pretty clear from a preservation standpoint.

Wants (Freki):

A proper balance is also wanted.  It leads to greater success. I have known many men and women who their life was their work and in the end, they never enjoyed once the fruit of their labors.  Because they didn’t know how to relax and enjoy the fruit of their labors, their health suffered.  On the flip side, I have known people who gave themselves over to hedonism without working at all.  Their laziness leads to poverty and quite frankly a lack of honor.  The ultimate expression of this is the thief who lives on the labors of others.  The one who learns to balance work and enjoyment will be the one who is truly successful and that is something I definitely want.

Reason (Huginn):

Reason comes into these things as you have to think about things fairly regularly to observe if balance is being maintained.  Balance doesn’t come easily or without a lot of thought behind it.

Wisdom (Muninn):

I would say Taoism as a philosophy has a lot of wisdom to it, but I would evaluate things ma little differently as far as what needs to be balanced. That said, the principles are very universal and wise at the same time and I have no trouble listening to them and applying those I think leads to wisdom.

Conclusion:

I suppose Of Wolves and Ravens is indeed my own form of Taoism.  Balancing need and want with reason and wisdom.  But there is an imbalance built-in to that – listening to reason and wisdom first. A little asymmetry is good for us actually so that is something else to consider. Next week is western philosophy and I think there is a debate there that is about asymmetry that will be good to look at when considering this.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Try Not to Be an Ass” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Wisdom

Happy Tyr’s Day

Discussion:

With this post, I will have gone through the entire rotation fo the Nine Noble Virtues and nine other Philosophical points that underpin my thoughts of personal philosophy. Namely my own personal philosophy.  Next week we will begin again with the Nine Noble Virtues of Asatru and start this rotation again.  Today though we end with the concept of wisdom.

I think the first time I really felt I understood the basics of understanding Wisdom it was actually reading a Dungeons and Dragons explanation of Wisdom.  In contrasting Wisdom from Intelligence, the old basic handbook reads something like this as I recall: “Intelligence tells you it is raining.  Wisdom tells you to put on your raincoat and grab an umbrella.”

Of course, there is the idea in the wisdom of finding better ways to apply knowledge and use it to better face situations.  I have learned there is a great deal of difference between experience/age and wisdom too.  Just because people are older or more experienced at something doesn’t mean they are wiser.  Some people simply have gained knowledge but that knowledge. as the proverb says, simply is books tied to the backside of an ass. They simply haven’t figured out that they are supposed to actually learn something about their knowledge that actually benefits their life so they continue to remain dumb asses.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

Needs (Geri):

I see the need for wisdom because wisdom if it ministers to any need it is the ability to live life fully taking full advantage of every opportunity. That one lives a peaceful and full life is the product of engaging wisdom and enjoying its fruits.  The need for wisdom becomes apparent.

Wants (Freki):

We want wisdom too. Difficulties are far easier dealt with by wise people.  I will venture to say most of us will face difficulties at some point and we want them to be easily dealt with. If we have some level of wisdom, this want will be easily met. Problems will seem a little lesser when wisdom is not only applied but a regular part of our lives.

Reason (Huginn):

Reason is only one Raven.  Those that are reasonable can see the difference between reason and wisdom. You can be knowledgeable and reasonable but that doesn’t make you wise.  It takes wisdom to get the theoretical to become. reality.  I have watched a great many theories in my life come to nothing because no matter how good something looks on paper if you don’t have a practical plan that people will buy into, it fails. Reason embraces wisdom and so completes itself.

Wisdom (Muninn):

Wisdom is a wise pursuit. It completes things and makes them whole.

Conclusion:

I am often accused of being a smart ass.  I counter that its better than being a dumb ass. In contrasting knowledge and wisdom.  I would rather have those books being read and applied than just resting on the ass’ backside. I may be a smart ass at times, but I refuse to be a dumb ass lacking wisdom. I don’t know if I always succeed but it is better to pursue wisdom than to be a contented fool.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“A Warrior’s Foundation” – A Skald’s Life – Foundational Virtues

Happy Moon’s Day. 

Journal Entry:

Identity is one of the most important things that a person can understand particularly when it regards themselves. How one views one’s own identity has a great bearing on the decisions they make and the level of success they attain. I have spent a great deal of time these last few months meditating on the subject of my own identity.

In the end, three words keep rising to the top: Warrior, Wayfarer, and Wolf.

Today I want to look at the Warrior.  To me, this is foundational to my identity as far as what is a core identity.  I know there is little cause for a man to be an actual warrior these days.  Very few have the true necessity of fighting in a real battle. But the battle of life still requires in my identity a warrior’s philosophy. “Better to be a warrior in a garden, than a gardener in a war.”  A warrior’s foundation allows one to face all things in life with honor, courage, and truth.

Honor:

Honor is the feeling of inner value and worth from which one knows that one is noble of being, and the desire to show respect for this quality when it is found in the world”

Principle – To possess a feeling of inner value about myself and my future with a desire to find the same in others.

Goal: Maintain a daily blog streak of one post per day for an entire year (365 days).

Bucket List: Hike the Northern Lakeshore Trail along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Part of this core is and perhaps the central part of the core is Honor. To be noble of being and to recognize it in others. To be positive about my future.  This week marks a year since things regarding the honor of my past identity came unraveled. My life as a pastor ( my central identity at the time) came to an end just a year ago, and a change from pastor to the warrior as a foundational identity started.  It has been a rocky road to get here, but I am feeling like something is about to happen here that will be a larger leap into a more honorable me. Part of this is to surround myself with honorable people, who are my core friends.

Courage:

“Courage is the bravery to do what is right always.”

Principle – Act with Courage at the right time.

Goal: Cross one thing off bucket list every year. Deadline March 31st

Bucket List: Go Back to Budapest, Hungary for a vacation.

It is not always easy to do what is right.  As I look back at last year at this time because I was a pastor only in name and not in full truth; it was difficult to show courage. These days I face mistakes much better and own up to them when they happen.  The change is simply a matter of understanding my identity of being a warrior that takes responsibility for his actions. Courage is central to that.  To act with courage at the right time has become a core principle.  At the same time, it also takes courage to confront when people are not taking their responsibility and that has its risks but that is a far better course than to sit back and let them continue to avoid their responsibility.

Truth:

“Truth is the willingness to be honest and to say what one knows to be true and right. It is often better to not say anything at all if one cannot be honest.”

Principle – To Be Honest, and Speak Truth to Myself and Others.  To Be Silent in the presence of Fools.

Goal: To Write a Non-Fiction Book by March 31st, 2020

Bucket List: Learn Latin by March 31st, 2020 to the point I can take a test and show my self proficient.

The warrior faces the truth.  Lies do not become true men of action.  I know one man who was a friend of mine who is now an enemy. I would say this is his greatest failing.  He is a good combatant, but he surrounds himself with lies. He is a false front of bravery, but he never seems to have the courage to face the truth. He only bolsters his own previously held opinions, no matter what the cost might be to what is true. I seek to never be like that.  One needs humility to know, understand and apply the truth. If you can’t face a simple truth that it is not possible to be right all the time, the truth will not be your core.

Higher Virtue: Love:

What does a warrior love? It is a modified version of the question: which path is the most loving? If the path is honorable, requires courage and embraces the truth, it is the one the warrior would walk.

Morning Routine:

  1. Review Nine Noble Virtues (NNV), Principles, Goals and Bucket List
  2. Meditation – 3 min.
  3. Check Communications and Email.
  4. Paper Journal: Create Daily Log and To Do List.
  5. Stretching / Yoga
  6. Breakfast, Medications, and Supplements.
  7. Shower and Personal Hygiene
  8. Get Dressed for the Day

I decided to make daily stretching a part of this routine again.  I am noticing that without this I have a lot more problems with stiffness and joint soreness. It also is a good continuation of the calm meditative state I am going for in the morning.

I want this next week to be a test of all the disciplines from today to next Sun’s Day. Let’s see if we can have a full and complete week.

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

Skaal!!!

A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues – Life’s Blacksmith

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Journal Entry:

It seems this proverb has a lot of origin stories but I can imagine every blacksmith probably drew this conclusion that each and every person smiths his own life. Life being raw iron that needs to be smithed in order to turn it into something that you want it to be. Who you are and what your life will become results from taking the raw materials of both and forging them into what you want. Being a smith is no easy task and having the life you want is not easy either.

Life tends to be like iron in this regard.  Very little of it can be changed without discipline, perseverance, and fidelity.   Particularly fidelity to one’s self. These are the tools that one forges one’s life from.  This concept dominates my thinking at times as I try to build the life I want and these virtues along with the other six are tools that make this possible.

Discipline:

“Discipline is the willingness to be hard on oneself first and then if needed help with the development with others, so that greater purposes may be achieved.”

Principle: Apply discipline to every aspect of life that it can be applied.

Goal: To follow A FULL Paleo Diet Plan from April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020.

Bucket List: Do a rebellious act on April Fools Day, April 1st, 2020.

To make a good sword, steel has to be folded over and over again.  There is a repetition to most things in smithing that is about making something stronger, better or so it can be done by habit. This requires you to be hard on yourself first and then others around you second when appropriate.  Right now I look at what I am trying to achieve both as far as goals and my bucket list and discipline myself through routines so that relentlessly I am working toward achieving them.

Perseverance:

“Perseverance is the ability to stand up and return from defeat and failure”

Principle: Keep getting up after every defeat or failure.

Goal: To engage in an exercise program that involves weightlifting, hiking/walking, and stretching/ yoga an average of three days a week from April 1st, 2019 to March 31st, 2020

Bucket List: To get at least one tattoo by March 18th, 2020.

Every Smith screws up at some point.  They have to go back and fix something or start over or keep doing something that is tedious to get where you want to be. Failure is never looked at as final defeat but rather a lesson learned and an opportunity to change and grow.  That is the heart of perseverance.

Fidelity: 

“Fidelity is the will to be loyal to one’s Gods and Goddesses, to one’s Folk, to one’s self, and loyalty to one’s friends was as valued as highly as loyalty to one’s family.”

Principle: Be loyal to those who have been loyal to me.

Goal: Celebrate my wife and I’s 30th anniversary (June 10th, 2019) with a mini-vacation

Bucket List: Discover all the countries of origin from my genetics and visit them all by March 18th, 2029.

I am struggling with this part – being loyal to myself.  There are things I want in life yet and I need to make the commitment not to compromise on them. I tend to try to make others happy at times and at the expense of myself.  Old habits I guess. These days though, I need to build myself again and recast myself in a different form. To do that I need to stay true to the vision I have for myself.

Higher Virtue – Wisdom: 

Experience can breed wisdom or regret.  The choice is yours. I choose to learn and grow and look for something better. Wisdom is a big help in this and I am learning it every day.

Weekly Routine: 

  1. Weightlifting/Stretching – Minimum 3 days per week.
  2. Walking – Minimum 3 days a week
  3. Job Search – Minimum 3 days a week
  4. Cleaning – 3 days a week.
  5. Writing – 3 times a week
  6. Latin – 3 times per week
  7. Cheat Meal Count: 3 per week.

School is winding down and I will refocus my attention on a shorter list of things. One of those things is getting all my routines to start to forge my life better. This one, in particular, is very key to doing that.

Goals and Bucket List Items Achieved (Since Summer 2018):

Goals Achieved: 1  Graduated College with a BS in Political Science and minors in Economics and International Business – December 2018.

Bucket List Items Achieved: 0

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

Rogue Wizard – The Fire of Fury – Part 8 – Women Troubles

Rogue Wizard’s Journal January 21st, 2019

It’s been a week since my last journal entry.  At that point, I had asked a question about what I needed to do to disappear? To fake my own death and thus keep my family protected from the Council of Magical Houses. Not a light question to ask but rather one for which I knew the short term consequences would be very grave.  If the Council was ever defeated, even then, I might not be able to come back because of repercussions from people who might want revenge. I am sure many other men and women have been down this road, I just never thought it would be me.

After finding my clothes, the Lioness offered to me a room in the Venus mansion.  It was basically part of the attic with a corner window that looked out over the grounds.  I remember the Venus mansion from when I was teen, but I have never been up here and I was glad for the fact that I was separated from the women that lived here. The House of Venus takes female superiority and feminism to whole new levels.  I have enough women troubles without being around a group of them that is generally hostile and would see me as a threat as well as a piece of meat and a walking dildo.

The attic apartment, because that is what it is, suits my needs. It has a bed, a small kitchen area and a work area in a medium size open space.  A small bathroom is cordoned off with its own room.  When I asked about it, the Lioness simply said it was a place they kept for people who needed privacy and perhaps a safe place to stay. I guess I fit that bill on both counts.

I now had access to some of the reports about me in the files of the Council and it has caused me to realize how I need to truly disappear very soon. They are very alarmed about me and the possibility I might take the side of pixies and tilt the balance at least in this area.  They won’t accept that because the war right now is tightly contested.  Magical creatures and mages are paying heavy prices for even the smallest gain. The Council would see my entry as a full-fledged battle mage as a threat they can ill afford. So the plan was for me to stay low and get ready to ‘die’ and disappear.

Thing is, I am not really taking a side here.  I am joining the resistance but that resistance’s goal is not to make a pixie world or a mage world but rather a free world for all magic. The Council is a threat to that, but so also are certain magical creatures and groups that want chaos to reign.  You might see the council as the extreme end of the order and the creatures that support the genocide of mages as the extreme end of chaos.  The thing the resistance wanted was neither of these two extremes forced on others, but rather letting each creature/mage decided for themselves their own path between order and chaos. An idea that is only really dangerous in the minds of tyrants.

Probably more on my mind was how I was surrounded by women at this point. As a now happy bachelor, I would have enjoyed it except most of them want me dead. The only thing that is stopping that is the Lioness decree and my bodyguard.

Her name is Amber.  She is an absolutely gorgeous redhead.  Tall too, as she is only probably half a head shorter than me. She is young, so the beauty she has is probably actually natural.  I trust her because she is not an illusionist or mentalist type of mage.  She is a straight up evoker specializing in fire magic. Nice curves too.  She often wears a low backed gown usually of red and gold jewelry.  Basically, no one bothers me when she is at my shoulder, and oddly enough she is one of the few House Venus types that doesn’t seem to be assessing my body like a piece of meat and wondering what condom size I wear.  I like her because she is the only woman in the place who my relationship with is not complicated. Her job is to keep me alive. I am cool with that.

The other women in my life are not so simple.

Raven will be my contact with the resistance in the field.  She and her team of the troll and the skinny mage will be my backup if things turn to shit. The dark gothic half-elf, who is probably the same age as myself but looks eighteen, is competent, but there is something about her with me that is pure sexual temptation and trying to maintain professionalism in that mindset is difficult.

The Lioness is professional and probably keeping her looks alive with magic and alchemy.  That said she is also roughly my age.  I can hold my end with her.  I don’t trust her to be honest for a lot of reasons.  If the war goes poorly for the resistance, I can see her disavowing all knowledge to save her own curvy ass. She is the kind of person who supports change until that change causes her personal risk to the point she backs off and plays CYA.

Lunette is sullen these days. I think she wanted to reignite this old flame we had, but based on some things I said she might have come to the conclusion that it is a ‘no’ and maybe that it is out the realm of possibility for me.  Honestly, though, my attitude toward sex is getting more pixie-like every day since leaving the whole Christian faith.  My magic aura to her is like crack cocaine, and for me, pixies represent a recharge and supercharged magical force that I cannot begin to describe.  The relationship would be intensely erotic and be mutually beneficial on a practical magical front.  The only problem is pixies have no concept of sexual fidelity. Not that it represents as big of a problem to me anymore.

The only thing that keeps me from dating and the whole sex issue right now is a promise I made to myself about mourning my wife for six months. I still wear my ring for that reason. January is almost over and that would be three months.  Halfway there.  Once April is over, then I am going to set the ring aside and enter the world of male-female relationships once again and I don’t really have this idea that sex is strictly for marriage anymore. It is just Lunette and me have some baggage of another variety and I don’t know if I want to open up that suitcase of pain.

Then there is the whole ‘spirit’ of Elpis shit. Is it possible that Miss Salty was under the influence of Elpis?  Shit, that would explain a lot but I have no idea what motivates a dryad turned possessor of human females.  What rage or hurt is driving her right now or quite frankly what drove her to destroy the tree and leave the grove in the first place?

Besides all the other preparation to disappear, I had two things I really needed to do as main things. 1) Visit the grove and see for myself what happened and 2) assembly my team for action. The first I resolve to do tomorrow and the second I am still waiting for the first dossiers to arrive.

Its been a while since I have been to the Grove.   Hell, it’s been a while since I even looked at it from a distance. But there are internal real questions as well as practical ones to answer. I have a suspicion this is going to be painful but necessary.

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

Skaal!!!

 

The Book of Rabyd 3:1 – “You Need to Use Your Head for Something Besides a Hat Rack”

Text:

“You Need to Use Your Head for Something Besides a Hat Rack” – The Book of Rabyd 3:1

Sermon:

Chapter three of the Book of Rabyd represents some of the sayings and ‘-isms’ that have dominated the Raby Family for years.  They are not necessarily principles or wisdom but just stuff that is around our family that we just say as part of our particular family collective.  This one is from my father and I have no idea how many times he said it to me.  “You Need to Use Your Head for Something Besides a Hat Rack” was on his lips every single time I did something stupid.  It was a polite way of him telling me I should use my head to think rather than just have it occupy space and hold up my hat.

My father was not an educated man.  He was dyslexic or at least we think so.  He was a blue-collar man who had a gift for manufacturing.  He learned machinery and grinding early in his factory work days and knew math very well.  He just could never read very well.  These days, he might have been diagnosed early and he might have learned to read much better.  He was, however, a math genius in his own way and he believed highly in learning and common sense.

I don’t actually use this expression of his much myself.  I, however, hear it all the time in my head.  I always hear it when I am about to do something stupid or have not thought things through before I am about to act on them.  Most people don’t wear hats these days so I wonder if somebody would get it, but I certainly do.

This expression being 3:1 in the Book of Rabyd is more about my love for my Father than anything else.  I want the expression preserved for my kids and grandkids and all the rest.  I think it is a very polite and creative way to tell someone to start thinking and using your head. I know he was proud of me when I graduated college but he did not live to see me get my master’s, but I could not have made either without this expression rolling around in my head.  Thanks, Dad, I still miss you.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

Rogue Wizard – The Fire of Fury – Part 6 – Pixie Trouble (2)

Happy Thor’s Day

Rogue Wizard’s Journal January 14th, 2019 (cont.)

As I regained consciousness, I cursed myself for once again falling to the power of a cute face. How often does this have to happen before you realize that some women are fucking with you?  Sorry, that is a rhetorical question. Probably as long as men follow the wrong head’s advice.  I quickly put this aside and tried to remember the last moments before consciousness left me and realized that my wards had not gone off.  No magic was used by Lunette. So that left alchemy.  Shit.  No way to detect that. Lips coated with a alchemical knock out drug.  Bitch.  Something else to guard against.

I quickly switched to assessing my current problem of where I was and what state I was in. My eyes fluttered open but they didn’t help much.  Dark room with no light.  I was naked as I could feel no clothing on my body and chained (I could feel the metal shackles) with my hands over my head. My feet barely touched the floor but I was supporting my own weight.. My arms were definitely aching as well as my feet because of this. I was wet indicating someone had hosed me down or washed me. I was also gagged with one of the those ball gags that you see in BDSM.  Shit, was this to be my final fate as some sex toy for a member of the House of Venus? Worse ways to go, to be honest.

Under normal circumstances with your average mage, all this prevents spell casting and enhancement by worn objects. They removed my clothes, even my underwear in the fear it might be enchanted to augment or give me certain powers. They washed me down to get rid of any alchemical substances I might be wearing.  The gagged me to prevent verbal spell triggers and immobilized me for the same reason with gestures.  Pretty good way to make a spell caster ineffective.

Joke’s on them. Being a hedge wizard, I don’t have the problems associated with normal magical training. The normal process is so conditioned that things are standardized.  I never had any of that, so I learned things that probably other wizards have conditioned out of them. Like the need for words or gestures to focus magic.  No doubt I use them because it is easier to do things with them.  Much harder without them to be sure, but I learned long ago that, they are not really needed.  It just takes a lot more mental focus.

What to do though?. It was a difficult question as I had no information about who Lunette was doing this for or if it was something she was doing herself.  The chains though indicated she was probably on a contract.  Her last words of ‘this is for your own good.’ kind of pissed me off but also alarmed me as things had been for an unknown time out of my hands.  I dislike it when people think they know better than you what is best for you.  Shit most people can’t run themselves and then they think they can run your life?  Fuck them and fuck that.

I was in the dark figuratively and literally and I needed information and answers and it came to me that the best way to handle it was to act like I was still out and see if anyone showed up. It was a nice plan but apparently I was being monitored because the lights came on nearly blinding me and a voice spoke. Feminine but commanding.

“Awake at last I see.”

I was gagged, so conversation was out.

“Mr. Raby, I want you to know it has been very difficult to arrange this meeting between us.  Very expensive.  I would like to have  conversation with you but I need some sort of assurance you won’t level my place to the ground.  You can see my point can’t you?”

I nodded and smiled behind the gag. Damn Skippy, lady if my hands were free a lot of fires would be burning right now.  Not that I couldn’t with a little meditation start some right now. Best keep that little fact to myself until the opportune time.

“Good.  I will remove your gag if you promise me to hear me out.”

I nodded slowly and deliberately keeping my eyes shut to avoid them being blinded.

“Very well. Let’s see if you can be trusted.”

I few seconds later I heard a door open and managed a peek from under my eyelids. the door was actually behind me so I couldn’t see who came in.  The room itself was painted a dull grey and was untrimmed.   The floor was grey as well – concrete. I heard footsteps directly behind me and then they circled to my left an then a woman appeared in front of me.

She was probably a lot older than she looked.  You could tell by the eyes that were grey pools that had that ‘I have seen some shit’ look to them.She wore the emblem of House Venus on her red robes which, while flowing did little to hide her plunging cleavage or her midriff down to her navel. Curvy, sensual and her face was that cute heart shaped thing.  Red lips and perfect makeup.  Her hair was black as night and in a wavy manner flowed over her shoulders like a black waterfall.  She smiled and it was disarming. I had no idea what magic she specialized in so my mental exercise defenses were up.

“Here, let me remove that.”

She removed the ball gag. I flexed my mouth a bit to remove the stiffness.

“You know I have used these many times, but never experienced the ‘pleasure’ of one in my own mouth”

“Maybe we can hook up later and I will let you try it out.  You can bring that one.”

She laughed.  Is it possible to have feminine commanding laugh?  After hearing her – yes.

“Lunette said you were a sarcastic smart ass.”

“Better than being a dumb ass.”

She smiled again.

“Mr. Raby, as much as I appreciate the banter, I have a proposal to run by you and it is in your best interests to accept. Trust me on this. This is truly for your own good.”

“You know, I would really like to determine that for myself. But if it will get me down from here and my clothes returned that would be great.”

She looked down my body.

“Clothes? For a middle aged man I would say you are doing well. You are not shy are you?”

“No, part time nudist actually, It’s just you House of Venus types tend to look at men like they are a side of beef with a flesh dildo attached.  Makes me self-conscious”

She laughed again.  Despite the circumstances I liked it.

“Mr Raby, you do understand our house.  But where our my manners.  Lioness Harper.  Janice Harper.”

So, the Lioness of House Venus herself.  Oh, Lunette what have you dragged me into now?

“Well, I thought House Venus had a price on my head along with all the other houses.  This is an awkward moment for you.  I mean how the fuck do you expect to keep me a secret and alive in a House that has every reason to want me dead?”

“Because, we no longer desire you dead.  Rather, we wish to offer you a job.”

“Well, this is a hell of a interview. Don’t you have a bounty on the head of Lunette too, and aren’t you and the pixie world at war?  Fuck lady, what are you up to?”

“Trying to end the war and reestablish peace.  Mostly, I think this whole affair is stupid. I should probably tell you that the whole of the events that have befallen you this last few months since your wife’s death, were orchestrated in part by me.”

“Orchestrated?”

“Yes, the attack on you the restaurant. Raven’s little chat with you. The accident that caused the rerouting of the cars past the church.  I knew that those ghosts would resonate with you.  Lunette’s involvement.”

“Well, the church thing helped. The rest of it seems like throwing curves at me. Both politically and the ones attached to the female of the species. It definitely worked.  Here I am, now what?”

“I would like you to join the Revolution. I would like you to participate in faking your own death and joining this fight against the tyranny of the Council.  Once they are defeated, you could return to your family.  But to protect them they need to think you are dead.”

“That would be causing them a lot of grief and sorrow.”

“Yes, but the stakes are high and on your own you know that you will not last the year. The council fears you and they will eventually push to have you killed. If they at least think you are dead for a bit, you can start anew and on the down low.  You could fight with surprise and on your own terms again. Ed, you need friends and I need you to fight the Council.  I believe you are the one that can ultimately defeat them.  You are the one to tip the scales.”

“Seems like the fairy world could do that better than me. I mean you wizard types have always feared them and this war could do that job for you.”

“Except for one thing.  The fairy world is losing.  They are losing because their is imbalance.  The Red Tree Grove is gone.  Because of this, they are weaker than the mages this time have he upper hand in power.”

“Gone…but…how?”

“The dryad that was connected to the tree is gone. Over the last twenty years, it has faded, dying and just last year the power that was sustaining it finally collapsed completely.  The tree is gone and the grove.  That’s why we need mages to turn to revolutionaries. That’s why we need you.  Otherwise the council will enslave or destroy all other magical creatures.”

I stood dumbfounded for a minute. Fuck, she was right.  The Council would either destroy all magical beings that could destroyed or enslave them.  Pixies for instance would be pleasure slaves to feed the magical power of the mages. Dammit.  No choice.

“OK, I’m in.”

“Really, Lunette said you could be persuaded, but I had my doubts.  OK.  Let me get the key to your chains….”

Her voice trailed off at that point, because I cast a spell – no words, no gestures and the manacles sprang open to my knock spell. Lioness Harper looked dumbfounded as I rubbed my wrist a second.  Then I turned on my shield with my left hand and my flame in my right.

“Let’s be clear Lioness Harper.  If you ever chain, cage or otherwise imprison me again, I will be very pissed off.  You don’t want to see me pissed off.”

She nodded.

“Now, where are my clothes?”

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

Skaal!!!

Odin’s Eye – Humanism – Morality and Religion

Happy Thor’s Day

Discussion:

Humanists as a general rule, dismiss the need for religion to be moral. Humanists for the most part simply see that anyone can act ethically and morality if they simply tap into their humanity. That is act on their better nature as human beings. I concur with this.

There is some thoughts that to be a humanist you have to be atheist, but I reject that as well. I think in large part those we call founding fathers were also humanists of a deist variety and I am as well.  I don’t dismiss the idea of creator or creators, I just don’t think that, whomever they may be, has any vested interest in policing our morals.  That’s up to us to define as the creators, if they exist, have left questions of morality and ethics to us.

Time to Look Through the Eye:

Faith:

Faith never cured me of being a dick. Not once did my faith in Christ lead to a better morality.  That choice was always my own. I would say also that I have seen the concept of ‘faith’ used for great evil as old ladies send parts of their social security checks to preachers on television who promise prosperity through giving.  All the while the prosperity comes to them at the old ladies’ expense. Greed justified through ‘faith’ is an old story, and one of the great proofs that religion is no guarantee of morality. Far from it.  You can also add people wracked with guilt because they were sick and that was because they didn’t have enough ‘faith’.

Religion:

I have watched in my own ministry as religion has been used to justify unethical and immoral things:

  1. Because of the Christian notion of submission of wives to husbands, I saw sexual, physical, emotional and mental abuse perpetrated by men toward their wives.
  2. Because of the notion of ‘seed faith’ I saw greed justified as people would plant their seed but the preacher would harvest.
  3. I saw harsh religious judgment as people would literally throw off good friends and even family members simply because they did not believe as they did or left the faith. This one I have recently personally experienced.  I used to have 370 or so Facebook friends.  I cut myself off from a mere 80 or so but now I have 205.  That’s 85 people who simply dropped me after I announced I wasn’t a Christian anymore.  Nice.
  4. I have watched people who, believing the end of the world was coming, ran up their credit cards and quit good jobs to be come reclusive only to find themselves in serious trouble afterwards.  This is the best example I can come up with of stupid behavior caused by religion, but I could list so many I might have the content for a book in and of itself.

That’s just my experience, historically speaking Christianity has the one problem every religion has, a creation of an ‘us’ verses ‘them’ mentality that leads to taking actions against them to justify exaltation of us.  It gets worse when you consider some theologies.

Theology:

Historically speaking Christianity has not had a good moral track record.

  1. The Catholics killed, raped, tortured, etc. people who left the faith.  They branded anyone different who did not hold their faith and punished them accordingly.  The repressed any genuine scientific and philosophical pursuit if it contradicted the teachings of the church.  The Spanish Inquisition wasn’t an anomaly, it was normal operating procedure for the Catholic church.
  2. The Protestant Church was no better.  I would say that the Western expansion into Native American territory and the genocide of indigenous population in the United States was largely due to the Calvinist religious belief held highly at the time of manifest destiny encouraged by the notion of Predestination.  You don’t have to treat people as equals or human, if you view them as predestined for hell.
  3. Regardless of stripe, the moral codes of Christianity are probably responsible for more emotional, mental and other forms of abuse.  Shame and guilt due to imaginary problems that force human beings to act against their nature lead to depression and low self-esteem which preachers exploit.  In some cases, people have committed suicide rather than face the fact they can’t live up to the code placed upon them.
  4. Cultist behavior is present in Christianity and all religions.  I love it when Christians try to differentiate themselves from what they perceive to be cults.  Mostly they will say they don’t try to control people’s sexuality or money.  So what then of this sins of sexuality list and the doctrine of tithing?  Religions all have cult behavior. All of them.

Spirituality:

For me I think I live by two notions: 1) I don’t need religion to be spiritual and 2) I don’t need religion to be moral. Spirituality and ethics are found in ourselves, in our humanity. Religions tap into that, but they twist it to their own purpose. They find ways to interpret the rules to slide through a side door into greed, lust and all the other seven deadly ‘sins’.  It’s a game of moral “I am better than you.” – not spirituality.

Conclusion:

“Do no harm” and “Treat others as you would want to be treated” in some form appear in every religion.  The problem is I can say both of these and not be religious.  It is the strongest indicator that Christopher Hitchens was right, that morality comes from simply being human, but religions steal that notion and then add their own so that certain groups of people gain and others lose. There is nothing moral about that and to pretend there is, well, that is just indoctrination talking.  Sorry, spent too much time as a religious person to not know that is true.

Continuing to Walk the Path,

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

Skaal!!!