“Revising the Ten Commandments – Part 2 – Positive Replacements” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Sol’s Day

I have decided that the best way to proceed in replacing the existing commands and improving the ones that are left is to follow two principles: 1) Be Positive and 2) Provide a counter in each position of the spirit of the original commandment. In the first what I am trying to do is be more of an encouragement to people to be good human beings rather than a tyrannical dictator. In the second, I am trying to provide a counter to the original commandment negative aspects.  So, here is my revised version:

#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. 

Unlike the original, I am not going to tell you to live in bondage to some authoritative figure just because.  Rather, allow me to tell you that you were born free and others will try to enslave you.  Don’t let them and don’t do it to others.  Live as sovereign over your own life alone and protect that.

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

Make images, music, words, or whatever your heart desires.  Every human being should find some artistic outlet for themselves to remain creative and freethinking. Learning to enjoy doing something artistic and creative, and enjoying when others do it as well, is the spice of life.  Creative activity should be celebrated not forbidden.

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

True, the truth can be difficult at times, but it is far better to be amendable to it than defy it. Speak it or don’t be afraid to say ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I was wrong’.

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

The opposite of the biblical forth command which seems to tell you to live in a totalitarian state even on your day off, I am going to say to do what you want. Do that which helps you to get enjoyment out of life. A day off a week to do what the fuck you want to do is only being fair to yourself.

#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.

I think people have it backward.  Parents owe their kids not the other way around.  You chose to have them, they didn’t choose you to be their parents. It seems like from a standpoint of repsonsiiblity it falls on the parents to be responsible, to earn their kids respect, and teach them to be good human beings by word and deed.  Expecting your children to just be good little servants or else is kind fo training them to be slaves in a dictatorship.

#6 – Don’t Murder

Duh, No shit.  Yeah, self-evident to any human with basic moral capacity.

# 7 – Engage in responsible and consensual sexual activity.

I know there are social and cultural things that inject into the subject of sex but in truth, the only thing I see in truth is being responsible in that you understand there are consequences to sex that need to be mediated and that you shouldn’t be having sex with someone against their will.  It might be helpful if they knew what it was beforehand and had a choice about it.  So forcing an eleven-year-old to marry you is out.

# 8 – Don’t Steal

Duh.  No Shit.

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

Duh. No Shit.

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

There should be no thought crime or even crimes that prevent certain words or language from being used. All tyrannies are bad, but a tyranny over thoughts and ideas is the worst form of tyranny.

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!!!

“Werewolf” – Rogue Wizard: The Fire of Fury – Part 14

Happy Thor’s Day

Rogue Wizard’s Journal September 4th, 2019

A lot has happened this last week, but the events of today prompt me to turn to my journal here for encapsulating the big picture a little better. In summary form, we were attacked today by a werewolf.  Both Amber and I were bitten in the struggle.  No biggie for me as I am immune due to Mrs. W’s magic from a long time ago.  I have antibodies of a magical kind against lycanthropy.

Amber is a different story. I am a little distraught as Amber is starting to be someone who is important to me and some I am starting to love.  The bite for her could end up being full-blown lycanthropy.  If that happens our already complicated situation will get even more complicated.

After the skinny dipping discussion, which I relayed the last time, our lives had settled into a routine. This last week we only broke that to head into town again together.  We stocked up on food again, this time taking all three of our empty backpacks and each of us ended up carrying a couple bags in each hand.  This time we were seen by a couple more people which made me a little nervous.  I mean how many magical types do you think would be attracted to the relative seclusion of the wilderness of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan?  We got home and put everything away.

If one wonders where we get the resources and money, remember Lunette’s family is an old one and that both Amber and I have access to magical means.  I mean technically, Lunette could make blank pieces of paper look like money, but it is really not necessary. In my case, House Venus gave me a lot of money and set up a very secure and secret account.  It’s not the money for us, it is accessing it without the wrong people noticing.

After that, we settled into a very domestic routine.  I am up before the girls so I make breakfast after doing a little meditation, stretching and writing. The smell of food brings them to life and then we spend the morning each doing our own thing. I study, Lunette does some alchemy and Amber does a lot of practicing with the fireplace as far as fine-tuning her fire skills. Lunch is made by Lunette and then we begin the afternoon session of doing things together like reading a book together, playing games (we have Uno, Payday and Monopoly plus a chess, checkers, and backgammon set)  or talking. Amber fixes supper at some point as she is the best cook among us.  Then we begin the evening ritual of heading to the sauna and taking a bath, then doing a little skinny dipping. At the end of the day, we are on the couch in front of the fireplace.

This last week has had one noticeable change.  Before Amber and I would often wear t-shirts and underwear as a gesture of modesty toward each other.  Lunette, of course, being pixie had no problem being her nudist self right from the beginning. But now that things are out in the open, nudism for all of us seems more the order of the day from start to finish.  There have been some weather issues where this has been discarded briefly, but for the most part, we eat, work, play, bathe and relax in the buff now.

My relationship with Amber, as mentioned before had gone up a bit in the realm of romance and love. A couple nights ago when skinny dipping I was watching her and then as we were getting ready to walking back, I gave my traditional kiss to Lunette and then without thinking I kissed Amber with the same intensity.  She smiled afterward and then kissed me back again. I have to say walking naked in the woods with your arm around the waist of two women is a wonderful experience.

I haven’t had sex with her yet, but I don’t think that is her being resistant – it is me still coming to terms with this whole relationship situation.  Of course, tonight’s events have changed things significantly for the worse.

Tonight the ritual was interrupted during the skinny dipping stage by a savage growl.  For my part, my shield went up around all three of us but it was a little late and the werewolf got inside. His jaws clamped around my right arm so my flame didn’t get a chance. She was fast.  Yes, the werewolf was a she, I got a good look at her and it only takes basic anatomy to figure it out.  I dropped my shield and using my left hand I used a burning hands on the werewolf and it howled falling back. I fell back into the water and was disoriented.

Amber at this point was full-on fire girl and the werewolf snapped at the flames but then launched itself at Amber and got its jaws on her shoulder and slashed her backward with its claws. Amber fell in heap near the shore.  At this point, Lunette saved the day doing her shrink down and energy pinball thing. She was hitting the werewolf so fast and continuously it finally turned tail and ran. We were not the easy prey it was expecting.  By this time I was back in the game and sent a fireball after it when it struck the howl that filled the forest was defining and then the werewolf collapsed burning.  It was dead in seconds, and then I turned my attention to Amber.

She had slash marks across her belly that looked nasty but hadn’t penetrated her insides. The real danger was the bite mark on her shoulder. Lycanthropy is transmitted this way.  She was also unconscious and wasn’t responding to our attempts to wake her. We picked her up and quickly headed to the house. Lunette and I bandaged her wounds and got her into bed.  Eventually, she came back and smiled at both of us.  She said all the wounds hurt, of course, but no bones seemed broken which was a good thing.  We ordered her to get some rest.

Lunette and I know the stakes here.  We have been here before but Mrs. W died a couple years ago and her cure of lycanthropy was lost with her.  Lunette and I also know werewolves run in packs and are not going to take kindly to one of their own being killed. Without intending to we might have angered a whole pack of werewolves and that is not good. Amber right now is sleeping comfortably, but if she starts having night terrors and sweating a lot and is feverish, those are the first signs of lycanthropy. Lunette I can tell is very worried and I am too.

Right now all we can do is watch Amber and stay vigilant.

Writer’s Notes:

I made the remark about this series that it needs to end soon.  Soon in writer terms, and writing one post a week, means it will probably be late November or early December.

From a social point of view, my views on nudism even as a Christina have always been positive even though at the time I was not a practitioner.  Leaving Christianity and faith in God have kind of changed all that in some ways. I have a very open-minded view these days to nudity being simply nudity and not sinful or evil. I also have become a very private practitioner when I am home alone. I find it relaxing.

As for the developing relationship between Edward, Lunette, and Amber. I can’t really see a problem with it as sin and evil in relationships don’t really exist anymore for me. I think if people can love one another, use some reasonable precautions, avoid jealousy and figure out a way to live in such polyamory style relationships, that is great and it is their business, not mine. Whether it would be something for me is I suppose a question, but a lot would have to change for me right now for it to even be a question that affects my real life. Theoretically, I would be open to it.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Business: Doing it Right” – A Skald’s Life – Business Virtues

 

Happy Wooden’s (Odin’s) Day

Journal Entry:

This group of virtues is called Business using the idea of business in the broadest possible sense of the word.  It is about the relationships I have with others and how I relate to them more than anything. The triangle of the vulknut that represents these to me is the one that is highest up. It has the position then of being the most visible and the most important in relation to dealing with other people.

The three virtues of Self-Reliance, Industriousness, and Hospitality form the virtue of justice.  Justice is a difficult concept to define but it involves treating each person I meet with respect for their freedom and trying to treat them equally and fairly as possible.

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 own and run my own successful business or company by March 2029.

My belief in independence and liberty is an integral part of my views on everything from politics to economics to social issues.  In addition, it is part of my ethics to respect the choices of the freedoms of others. The business of life for me then is predicated on the notion that all my relationships are freewill and for mutual benefit.  They are never to be the product of the use of force, threat or fraud.  This cuts both ways as I won’t tolerate those who try to have a relationship with me using those forces either.

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.

Goal: Finalize 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 think I am getting much better at enjoying work for work’s sake and the fact this leads to not being dependent on others for my livelihood is also very satisfying.  As I have said before, however, I think I can do better as far as my job and its nature.

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.

Sharing is not a problem.  I am however very cognizant of the fact that I tend to give far more than I receive as far as emotional investment and that has some real dangers for me. I suppose this virtue needs a closer look as far as specifics and safeguards.

Higher Virtue – Justice:

How I deal with others is an important consideration in life. For me, this is always about letting people be as free as possible and showing my value to them in working hard for myself and not thinking the answers to my problems are to leach off them. But also to be willing to help when help is needed is important. Justice isn’t just about righting of wrongs but also has the element of always doing things right the first time.

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

Solid.  I need to be more consistent.

Still walking,

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

Skaal!!!

“Skadi: Goddess of the Winter” (Asatru – Part 10) – 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: “Wake Skadi” – RavynStar

Meditation:

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True Story.

Text:

See the source image

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

Sermon: 

No.  Not Frigg or Freya yet.  I have to deal first with a goddess that probably personifies the north better than any other god or goddess.  Even in the summer, she dominates thought as summer thoughts are dominated with preparation for her arrival and enduring her embrace.  Skadi (Skadhi) – goddess of winter, mountains, wolves, and skiing. It is also believed that her name is the root word for Scandinavia.

Skadi’s story in the mythology is unique in that she was originally a giantess who shows up at the gates of Asgard, demanding restitution from the gods for her father’s death which was largely the responsibility of Loki. The gods agree to restitution and give her her father’s hall.  They also get her to laugh and then she is given one of the gods to marry which she has to pick by looking at their feet.  She pick the pair that is most beautiful thinking they must belong to Baldur, but it turns out they belong to the god Njord, god of ships and the sea.

Their marriage is not a good one.  She hates the sea and he hates the mountains so they hardly spend any time together and accordingly never have sex. She later hooks up with Odin to produce children mostly sons who all interestingly enough are claimed to be the lines of several of the Norwegian kings of the Viking age. Even with this Skadi spends most of her time alone in her mountains, skiing, and snowshoeing while hunting.  She travels with her companion the winter wolf – Kaldr.  She never really forgives Loki for his role in the death of her father and it is she who personally places the snake that dips venom on his face for his role in Baldur’s death.

The followers of Asatru venerate Skadi because of her deep connection to the culture of Scandinavia. She also seems to resonate with women who do jobs or fill roles that are traditionally done by men as she definitely does many things that in the culture of the time would have been considered masculine activities.

For me, the connection to Skadi is more one of spirit.  I got to love a woman figure that shows up and demands her due in the face of incredible odds. Her closeness to winter and wolves, of course, makes her more appealing to me.  In understanding as someone who lives with all four seasons that “Skaldi is Coming”.  A statement that probably existed long before Game of Thrones’ Winter is Coming’.

Winter is something you cannot take lightly.  Our modern world has mitigated a lot of its effects, but I have lived in the north with many winters now and I can tell you it still has a deadly force that must be respected.  Much like a giantess who hunts with the winter wolf. At the same time, the blanket of snow is a comfort to those who embrace her and a reminder that the waters they will provide are so necessary for Spring to be alive. Surviving every winter is a testimony to perseverance and courage at times.

Hail Skadi!!!

Parting Thought:

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Yeah, I know a quote from a Chrisitan on The Pagan Pulpit.  Most people forget that CS Lewis wrote as a skeptic. But in any case right is right and he is right on this one.  The worst people to put in power are moral busybodies who think we should all live like them.  They force us to follow their morality so they can feel better about themselves, even tough they have engaged in the most despicable forms fo disrespect – disrespect of human freedom. That is the very definition of tyranny. As a pagan – yeah fuck ’em.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“The Topfreedom Movement” – Freya’s Chambers – Equality

 

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Disclaimer:  The topics covered in Freya’s Chambers include serious discussions of sex, sexuality and related issues.  If it isn’t your thing; you can move along, otherwise enjoy and feel free to discuss.  Given this week’s topic be prepared for images of topless females. 

Introduction:

I have to say that since the first time I wrote on the topfreedom movement in the United States, they have made quite a bit of progress.  I originally examined them in my Christian blog many years ago.  Mostly the issue back then was legal.  But the real trick of any social movement is to address all concerns including cultural, social and political.  If you are not aware, the topfreedom movement is basically pressing for equal rights of women to appear topless wherever a man can appear topless.  Basically asserting that the different laws for the treatment of men and women’s chests are sexist and violates equal protection under the law.  The issue for them is equal rights under the law.

I was supportive of the topfreedom movement back then even as a Christian because unlike many other Christians I actually realized that the constitution is the law of the land, not the Bible, and even with the Bible, there is no, I repeat no, statement or even indirect reference in the Bible that says a woman exposing her breasts is a sin. From my point of view then, a Christian woman who decided it was too damn hot and took off both bra and shirt and mowed the lawn was not a sinner, she was just being practical.

But what about now without Bible as some sort of appeal to authority and being you basic deistic humanistic pagan, where do I stand on this issue now? Without the whole sin question to consider, then the issue becomes very practical and about equality.      

Discussion:

From a cultural/social point of view, this is going to be a long fight but I stand with these ladies for a lot of reasons.  Most notably to me is a simple fact that socially I feel that these ‘modesty’ constraints are kept mostly to allow the unattractive, the insecure and religious women of the world to have an advantage over those women who are attractive, secure and non-religious.  I see it every time I go to the beach and some attractive woman is wearing a very revealing swimsuit.  All the other women are judging and criticizing because they are not secure in themselves or have a positive body image about themselves. I love it when a woman asks her significant other, who is watching said attractive female, what he thinks and he says: “whatever you think dear.”  This is far more about pecking order among females than anything else. To aid them in this quest for dominance, some women turn to religious moral codes and such to force their way into the law and on other women.

See the source image

My libertarianism kicks in as well to support these women.  If an action is not about force to harm, the threat of force or fraud there is no violation of the Non-Aggression Principle and if there is no victim you can point to and say who was harmed – there is no crime. Can someone tell me who is hurt by a woman walking down the street on a hot day topless?  As far as I can tell the only thing that is harmed is people’s opinions, feelings and sensibilities and none of those things count as far as the NAP violation or a crime.

See the source image

This leads me to the legal issues that how is exposing female nipples a crime and the exposing of male nipples is not a crime?  Note that most laws talk about nipple exposure and not the actual breast itself. I have found this an interesting part of the law as the nipples on men and women are essentially the same.  It is the mammary glands that lead to the mound of the flesh a women’s nipples are on that is the difference between the chests.  However, in most places, if the woman were to put tape over her nipples then she is perfectly legal as she would not actually violate the wording of the law.

See the source image

But I started this post out with the pagan and spiritual side of this and from that standpoint, I would have to say there is something liberating and freeing to the spirit when one frees themselves from the spirit of being a moral busybody and judge of other people.  There can be no greater judgemental attitude that the one where you impose what you think is modest on another because modesty is a spiritual quality of heart and mind, not one of the dress or undress.

See the source image

The other spiritual quality is the appreciation of beauty and in particular the beauty of the human body.  I find a lot of religious believers in God will talk about the beauty of creation and then spend a vast majority of their time trying to cover up one of its most beautiful parts: the human body, both male and female.  In this appreciation of beauty, I have also started to discover something about my attitude about women and their appearance.  I have found a greater understanding that sexual desire and nudity are not always connected. Put simply just because a woman is topless it doesn’t mean she is thinking about or asking for sex anymore than a man who is topless is doing so. Personally, I have learned that real modesty is letting other people be free and if a woman wants to freely walk down the street with her breasts bare, that is her business and I should respect that and not look at it as an invitation for a sexual encounter.

Conclusion:See the source image

When I first was made aware of the topfreedom movement, only one state of our fifty had changed its laws to reflect and equal treatment of men and women regarding toplessness.  Since then there are now 35 states that have followed suit realizing that legally there can be no distinction between a man and a woman’s chest. 

See the source image

The challenge now is in these states many local governments have reacted with their own ordinances and so what the topfreedom movement focuses on there is trying to get the one legal case in that state that will bring the locals government to heel with state law. There is currently one woman bringing legal action against the city of Chicago before the Supreme Court of the United States.  That might be the legal silver bullet that brings about the remaining states and locals to realizing they can either lose money in a lawsuit every time or just let women be topless.

See the source image

The real problem, of course, is that the long term will require society some time to change. Cultural norms change slowly but inevitably.  Like when women were first allowed to show their legs and more cleavage, it takes some time for it to be more normal to everyone in a society. I see change coming for American society regarding this issue and the majority of pushback will come from women and the religious.  In time, even they will have to submit to the inevitable. Sure men will probably at first avert their eyes, but eventually, they won’t think of bare breasts, as usual, any more than bare legs. Time will tell.

Thoughts?

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Stoics and Epicureans” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Western Philosophy

Happy Tyr’s Day

Discussion

In Hellenistic Western philosophy, there is also a form a dualism that is a creation of two schools of thought – Stoicism, and Epicureanism. Breaking them both down:

Stoicism:  Nature is rational; man cannot escape the forces of nature but can uniquely follow its laws; A life lived this way leads to virtue; Wisdom is the core of virtue from which spring the cardinal virtues; Passion is irrational and thus strong feelings should be avoided; pleasure is not good or evil and only acceptable if it does not interfere with one’s quest for rational virtue; Poverty, illness, and death are not evil; Duty is the motivation for pursuit of virtue.

Source: https://www.thoughtco.com/stoics-and-moral-philosophy-4068536

Epicureanism: This is a little more complicated.  One person, I read listed eight epicurean councils: 1) Don’t fear God.2) Don’t worry about death. 3) Don’t fear pain. 4) Live simply. 5) Pursue pleasure wisely. 6) Make friends and be a good friend. 7) Be honest in your business and private life. 8) Avoid fame and political ambition. He also listed ten values of which the first five deal with ourselves and the second five deal; with our relationships to others: Prudence, Self-management, Self-sufficiency, Serenity, Simplicity, Friendliness, Honesty, Generosity, Cheerfulness, Gentle-ness

Source: https://churchofepicurus.wordpress.com/basic-principles-for-the-modern-epicurean/

I suppose the main difference I see is the fact that Stoicism is pretty straightforward, but Epicureanism seems to be a little more freeform – ‘chaotic’ if you will. It would explain while on one site about Epicureanism there was a list of 40 tenents.  The difference between the two basically comes down to the goal of Stoicism being happy through overcoming and enduring hardship, wherein Epicureanism happiness is found in training one’s desires.  I can see one major difference in that Stoics accepted the fate of circumstances and tried to be wise by enduring it where Epicureanism seems more at odds with the idea of fate. Some things can be avoided if one trains one’s desires. Both sides had the basic same goal – wisdom.  To be a person content with themselves.

Source: https://academyofideas.com/2014/03/stoicism-vs-epicureanism/

To the Wolves and Ravens:

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

Needs (Geri):

The fact there is a debate in Western philosophy probably indicates the need for moral philosophy. How one conducts ones’ self toward self and others is has a great bearing on what we need.  Needs are real and both schools acknowledge this. One side, however, seeks to endure while the other side seeks to live in such a way that they are dealt with beforehand.

For myself, it seems that need is more of a looking at life and seeing what is needed for survival.  This breaks down into obvious needs and personal needs.  Food, water and shelter from the elements when needed. Stoics would endure a lack of these needs while Epicureans would seek to avoid the lack in the first place. Other needs are more specific to the individual.  I think what I find is that I mix this whole debate in a blender and come out with something that is a mix between the two when it comes to needs.

Wants (Freki):

Passion and desire resulting from it, Stoics would decry, I would say that without passion there is little motivation to pursue much of anything, including virtue. I balance things, which is more in line with Eastern Philosophy.  We are all self-motivated which stems both from rational need and passionate desire.

Reason (Huginn):

From a rational point of view, it is reasonable to look at any philosophy and eat the meat and spit out the bones.  I can see from the Stoics that virtue is a good thing and agree with that, I, however, reject the notion of fate as it leads to a lot of evil in my opinion.  I can see the Epicurean point of working to avoid evils like poverty and illness, but I can see the Stoic point of sometimes endurance is needed.

Wisdom (Muninn):

I see wisdom in both philosophies, but their means are different in achieving the state of self-contentment or being the sage as they would call it.  I see the best example of my own blending of the two is the fact that the Nine Noble Virtues seems to borrow from both but each virtue might be seen as a blending of both schools of thought.

Courage, Discipline, Perseverance, Indstriousnesss are more Stoic; Truth, Self-Reliance, Hospitality, and Fidelity more Epicurean.  Both in their own way strive for Honor. Some of my other underlying philosophies borrow from both.  Minimalism is Stoic, lIbertarianism more Epicurean but both have elements of both.

Conclusion:

I guess it all reflects that I am kind of eclectic when it comes to philosophy.  That said My philosophy of “Feeding the Wolves but Listening to the Ravens first” has remained constant now for almost a year and I find many philosophies simply get too focused on my way of thinkingto me on a small group of ideas. There is more to life than reason or getting what you want, but together, the many dualisms of my philosophy come together and form something very coherent to me at least.  I borrow from many viewpoints to get a fuller view of the world and how to live life.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Freya’s Chambers: Introduction and Opening Thoughts” – Freya’s Chambers

Happy Mani’s Day

Disclaimer:  The topics covered in Freya’s Chambers include serious discussions of sex, sexuality and related issues.  If it isn’t your thing; you can move along, otherwise enjoy and feel free to discuss.

Opening Remarks: 

In today’s modern world, sexuality is a difficult topic, to say the least.  The issue of gender and identity ignites more heat than light and I am not sure that today I am going to help with that.  That’s not the point for me in this post anyway, but more to get a grasp on my own thoughts on the subject by introducing a running discussion. I also want to introduce to you a new topic area which, in keeping with the Norse theme of the blog, I have titled simply “Freya’s Chambers”. Freya is the Norse goddess of war, love, sex, and fertility. It will have its own page and will appear periodically whenever the yen strikes me to write on subjects relating to sexuality in pagan thought.

I need also to point out at the beginning that these are my thoughts on the subject and don’t necessarily represent all pagans, deists or humanists.  In fact, that is part of my motivation for writing on these topics is to sort pagan sexuality out a little because viewpoints on these topics are varied.  The main issue though is that for most pagans, sexuality and spirituality are linked because sexuality is a part of life and living and thus part of the universe that is sacred. Sexuality is as much a spiritual reality as a physical and cultural one. Sacred Sex is a part of the spiritual viewpoint of pagans.

I also have to note that my deism and humanism kick in here as well as the fact I don’t dismiss the findings of biology, psychology or science in general when it comes to talking about gender, sex or sexuality.  I try very much to realize that we do have some scientific findings on the subject that presents both facts and truth in these areas.  I also realize that there is much that is not understood, and this dwells in the realm of spirituality and theory and these also factor in for discussion.

One final note, I was very well known as a Chrisitan blogger who wrote extensively on what the Bible says about sex, nudity, sexuality, and gender.  I have to warn you that my departure from Christianity has changed a lot of my viewpoints.  I have no appeal to authority anymore when it regards these topics.  Mostly I rely on my reason and experience on the deist/humanist side and my intuition and wisdom for the pagan side.  Some might comment at this time that it looks like I am trying to archive male-female balance in my viewpoint.  I am not sure about that but one thing is for sure, that you will see a massive viewpoint shift in these topics compared to what I used to write as a Christian.

So what will be some of the topics in Freya’s Chambers?  Well, sex and sexuality are broad topics to be sure, but below is a shortlist and a little discussion of where I am currently on some topics as examples.  This is not an exhaustive list of course, but I think it will give you a good idea of what you might encounter when you see the suffix heading “Freya’s Chambers”.

Sexual Identity: 

See the source image

I am going to say that if I take science into account, this whole discussion of gender identity for me kind of crystalizes into a few indisputable facts: 1) If you have a penis you are male, 2) If you have a vagina you are a female and 3) males and females are different.  Even pagans have ingrained in there viewpoint the idea of feminine and masculine spiritual forces.  It is part of the mythologies, part of the spiritual viewpoint.

For me, it is also a question of acceptance of self.  You don’t find spiritual peace by trying to be something you are not. Part of achieving spiritual peace is embracing who are and part of that is accepting that you are a man or a woman. There are exceptions to this dichotomy, even genetics tells us that, but such exceptions are rare and not the statistical norm.  The vast majority of us are male or female and that is not just physical but also sociological and psychological

Note this is about identity for me, not orientation.  Personally whether or nor someone’s sexual orientation is a choice or ingrained in who they are is irrelevant to me.  It matters little to me as a deistic humanist pagan, and as a libertarian, who someone has sex with as long as it is mutually consensual. Their business, not mine. I trust that each person can make those choices for themselves, and I am not qualified in any way to judge them right or wrong in their choice.

Nudity and Nudism:

See the source image

Leaving Christianity has allowed me to basically discard the whole tightrope walk of trying to look at nudity and where you fall into sin. Sin is gone in my thinking, so nudity is now looked at as purely as rational and pagan issues.  Things are actually quite free and open now for me on this topic.  Most pagans don’t have a view of nudity as wrong, just sometimes culturally unacceptable by others and in certain contexts. The human body is a beautiful thing and the naked human form should not automatically be seen as sexualized.

Don’t get me wrong there is a sexual side to nudity. To say that seeing a naked human being does not arouse sexual attraction at times is simply to deny reality. But just because a man or woman is naked; it does not follow that they are asking for sex.  Some people learn to distinguish between sexual intent and nudity and some people don’t.  For me the two can be together, but not necessarily.  It really comes down to context. Just because a person is naked, it does not mean that I can look past respecting them as a human being.  I should see their humanity first, then other things and only if it is clear those other things are presented to me.

For me, being an at-home nudist, I have discovered freedom I accepting myself to be very powerful.  I have to also admit, that I sometimes feel far more comfortable in my skin than in clothes. There is also the dual call in my heart, my inner wolves of need and want howling if you will, to shed my clothes both outside and with others. If my self-discovery has grown this much simply at home, I wonder what else could be discovered in other contexts. It is something I wrestle with because of past religious indoctrination and current relationships.

Masculine-Feminine Balance:

There is a reason I am not Wiccan and it was my perception very early on, even as a Christian, that Wiccans are imbalanced as far as gender. There is much emphasis on The Goddess and little else that is masculine.  Hell, their male practitioners argue whether they should be called witches or warlocks.  I just find Wicca to be very feminine and strongly so.  It is why Asatru is my choice because it is much more balanced.

Achieving balance for myself mostly involves making sure I embrace the strength of being a man within my self and the strength of the feminine around me. I get most of the later from the women in my life whose influence can not be understated.  I am very masculine with all that goes with it.  To have feminine perspectives in my life to balance that out is appreciated at all times.

Equality: 

See the source image

The whole ‘God the head of man, man the head of woman’ Christian viewpoint I have discarded like the patriarchal trash it is.  Talk about men writing a book to justify their male dominance over women, and you will not get a better example than the Bible.  I am egalitarian in my orientation and that means I will point out equality in both directions.  However, you also better be able to demonstrate the inequality is real with things like research.  That said, the genders have different strengths in and of themselves, but I don’t feel that one gender should have cultural, legal or social advantages over the other because of them.

For instance, on the one hand, women can rightly say that their roles in society are often forced on them.  There have definitely been some issues as far as to pay, opportunity and the like. On the flip side, the fact that men get longer sentences for the same crime and dower laws still exist requiring a man to take care of his ex after they split, but no such condition exists the other way, is also not equality.  In the United States where I live it has only been recently been challenged that men can be drafted for war but not women.

Going back to nudity above, I side with the ladies in saying if a man can take off his shirt and go bare-chested in certain public places, so should a woman.  On the flip side, the laws are less harsh when it comes to sexual misconduct when a woman exposes her genitals than a man in some states.  My point is that the whole social, cultural and legal world has these inequalities and I fight for their removal but it goes both ways.  It might be summed up in the simple example we need to move from saying: “it is not right to hit or rape a woman” to “it is not right to hit or rape another person”.

Gender Roles:

See the source image

Inequalities aside, genetics, science and such tell me that males and females not only are different right from birth, but they also tend to gravitate to different roles in society naturally. Some of these tests have been interesting as girls would dress up the trucks in dresses and boys would turn the dolls they were given to play with into action figures.  I don’t think we can escape the fact that in society women and men embrace certain roles naturally and some roles are just not possible by one gender or the other. We need to be equals as far as legal and societal rights; but in the end, some things just come naturally to one gender or the other.

I take on the feminists on this issue a lot where, for instance, they complain that there are not a lot of women CEOs.  I point out to them there doesn’t seem to be a lot of women coal miners or sewer workers either. It gets comically interesting when it is revealed that what a feminist considers equality doesn’t involve jobs that are dangerous or dirty most of the time. It is pretty clear that men gravitate toward the dangerous and dirty while women like secure and clean.  It is also clear that on dates, the man is still expected to pay for things, etc.  I think feminists reveal a lot of hypocrisy on this one and even women can see it, which is why many women refuse to identify themselves as feminists.

Sex:

See the source image

If you ask me the one thing that keeps me believing in the spiritual side of life above all others – it’s sex. Sorry, there is more to sex, at least to me, than just fucking.  Perhaps my perspective has been limited by the fact I have only made love physically to only one woman in my life, or perhaps it is why I feel that way.  One thing I do know that more is exchanged between us when we make love than bodily fluids.

I will talk about sex from time to time in a spiritual context. In this, you might also see the idea of sexual attraction as well. Under this topic, you might find other things like the effect technology has had on sex, etc.  I have had a few experiences of a sexual nature outside sexual intercourse with more than one woman along these lines, so there are notes that could be made.

Conclusion and Final Word: 

Throughout you will see me make note of changes from what I thought before as a Christian and now what I think that I am using more of a deistic humanist pagan mindset. I probably will never speak this broadly again and will take one topic at a time from now on. Mostly today I was pretty much shooting from the hip.  New posts in this topic suffix will probably be deeper in thought.  Mostly though there is a lot of changing things in my mindset that I am trying to crystallize and the best way for me to do that is to put them on digital paper.

Welcome to Freya’s Chambers.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“A Libertarian (and Pin Up) 4th of July” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Thor’s Day

In the interest of keeping this short but still get a post in for today, I am letting the pin-ups do most of the…commmunicating.

I wish you a happy 4th of July for those of us celebrating our revolution freeing us from the British Empire and granting us our freedom from tyranny.  As a libertarian, I can applaud such actions as the fact that government, in general, is a necessary evil with a heavy emphasis on the word evil. But as countries go we still have a lot of individual freedoms and liberties still.  Whenever I see the UK ban something stupid and restrict the free speech of their citizens, I am thankful for our early exit from the Empire to form our own country based on the classical liberal libertarian ideals.

See the source image

So set off some fireworks, enjoy that BBQ and make love to life. Remember we could be watching people getting arrested for posting memes and Twitter posts.  Enjoy a safe but fun 4th.

See the source image

Still free to wander,

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

Skaal!!!

“Asatru and Self-Reliance” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Self-Reliance

Happy Tyr’s Day

Discussion:

“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.

This virtue is much more complicated than it first appears.  We also need to remember that as we move from the Foundational Virtues to the Business Virtues that this is my distinction but in other views, this virtue is handled in a different place.  What all of us acknowledge is that the Nine Noble Virtues weave together to form different concepts and at Self-Reliance, we see a lot of that.

Mostly though there is one word that guides my thinking on this virtue – ‘independence”.  It is that line ‘the spirit of independence’.  I would say that one cannot be dependent on others and self-reliant and as such one is not truly free if one is dependent on others.  Your dependence means that the people you are dependent on can take it away and thus can dictate terms in some way in other areas with the threat of taking what they give you away.

This idea of self-reliance meshes well with the libertarian concept of the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP) as to be self-reliant it can be seen that attempts to force or defraud others are not self-reliant but rather the actions of the thief and extortionist. No thief or extortionist is self-reliant.

In Asatru, the person who is valued is the one who goes and, using industriousness, makes their own life.  The person who finds ways to leach on the lifeblood of the industriousness of others is not. Hospitality is the guard against those who find themselves in trouble due to no fault of their own as in Hospitality (which we will discuss in a couple weeks) you find each person having the requirement in that virtue of helping those in need if it is in their power to do so.

Website: Ravenbok – The particular page is: The Values of Asatru

To the Wolves and Ravens:

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

Needs (Geri):

The need for self-reliance is obvious for personal development.  No one grows stronger or better by being in a dependent state in relationship to others.  It is liberty and independence that have as their responsible core the need to grow and be better to live a better life. We need self-reliance to maintain our freedom by working for it. As much as I believe it is true that liberty requires a sacrifice of blood from those who would try to take from time to time.  The constant maintenance of liberty is done by people working hard every day to maintain their self-reliance.

Wants (Freki):

We want self-reliance as well.  I suppose in Asatru this is best reflected in how the Norse people looked at the gods.  They certainly didn’t look to them for help all the time.  The gods were mostly invoked; if at all, through a good relationship where a person maintained a friendship with the gods but never presumed too much on it.  They only turned to the gods for help when needed like a friend would with a friend.  This creates respect that is both wanted and needed when carried over to human relationships as well.

Reason (Huginn):

Rationally this guards us against two things.  One the one hand we seek to be prosperous enough so that no one can control us.  Having prosperity allows one to look an employer in the eye and remind them you can live without them or have enough to live through hard times. On the other hand, the followers of Asatru recognize the dangers of materialism as not all one acquires leads to the utility of being valuable practically.  Simple prosperity is more desirable that opulent displays of wealth because opulence is a drain on one’s prosperity and actually threatens self-reliance and thus freedom.

Wisdom (Muninn):

Wisdom plays its part and I will let my source document speak on this issue because I can’t think of a way to put it better:

Being self-reliant also means taking responsibility for one’s life. It’s not just about refusing a welfare check or not lobbying for a tax exemption, but also refusing to blame one’s failures on religious intolerance, the patriarchy, or an unfair system. The system may, in fact, be unfair, but it’s our own responsibility to deal with it.

– The Values of Asatru

Wise words. My ultimate advocacy for self-reliance is reflected in my own success, despite the obstacles, to be self-reliant.

Conclusion:

I would say people become much too reliant on others and it robs them of what they could have.  They look too much to others, like the government, and thus borrow from the future of prosperity of others to feed their own in the now.  The national debt of the United States is one great symptom that shows the harmful results of this overreliance on others. This is not to say you can’t when truly needed, get help from others, but we often do so to the point it is harmful to others and this robs both them and us.  Life would indeed be better for all if people found as many solutions to their own problems on their own first; only relying on others when absolutely necessary.

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

Skaal!!!