“Conclusion” – (Asatru – Part 26) – The Pagan Pulpit

Happy Sol’s Day!

Announcements:

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

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

Theme Song: “And Winter Came” – Enya

Meditation:

Image may contain: 1 person, possible text that says '"To me, the main thing about living on this planet is to know who the hell you are and to be real about it. That's the reason I'm still alive." -Keith Richards'

Text: 

See the source image

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

Sermon:

The rest of Diana Paxton’s book is mostly about the current state of Asatru in the world with its various associations. If you are interested in that sort of thing, I recommend getting the book and looking into it for yourself. I want simply to close this series which I will probably put under its own page in the Pagan Pulpit.

Today day I simply want to reflect on a journey through this series which took many months and was interrupted by various events. I basically do the pagan pulpit because I needed a platform to express myself in writing and I am finding this and my Youtube channel makes me feel like that aspect of having a lecture and pulpit is returning.

I have enjoyed this close up look at Asatru, I feel that as a religion it is far superior to most although the only parts I follow personally are the Virtues and some of the Northman ethics.  Whatever I do next will be in reflective contemplation of this.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed this series.

Parting Thought:

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I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“I Think Another Goal is Achieved” – A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day. 

Journal Entry:

I think I have achieved my goal under hospitality.  I am writing about it here because I think we will see the goal of being part of a support group of some kind crossed off. I wanted to make a not of it from a journal point of view.

I heard about the Clergy Project from reading the book Caught in the Pulpit several years ago. I never felt I fit because to be a part of it you have to have two qualifications: 1) You have to be a former minister of some type and 2) You have to have no belief in the supernatural or god.  I wanted to make sure of the second one before I attempted to join.  They have a vetting process.

There is no one that understands the whole issue leaving the pulpit and faith like another person who has done it.  I knew I was in the right place as soon as I started talking about stuff on the forums and looking at the resources.  It may be very possible to get some job help and some counseling at least for a little while through the transition.  Finally a little hope.

It is funny though because some people who are part of it are still in the pulpit and have no faith.  That’s why the secrecy because churches tend to not be very understanding of a minister struggling with faith and their career.  That’s why this will be the last post about it and I will not reveal the process to join.  In any case, it looks like another goal achieved and this is a group that can go with me anywhere I go – a definite plus.

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 be following a full Paleo Diet by March 31, 2020.

Bucket List: Do a rebellious act on April 30th, 2020 – Beltane.

Discipline is lacking these days and it has a negative effect.  I need to spend the weekend doing a couple things to get back on track and stick with it.  I mostly need to understand in my heart the value of discipline.  My brain knows but my heart is the one that needs to understand this to stay motivated with this.

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.

I don’t get it, but I keep going.  Perseverance is rarely an issue.  I just wish I would not have to face so much to keep going.

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 (achieved)

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

I am loyal to my gods – the fact that I have none. If I have an idea I gravitate to that fits being loyal to my ideology at this point, it is ‘no gods, no masters”.

Higher Virtue – Wisdom:

I wrote on wisdom already this week so I will leave it at that.  Other than to say that I feel joining the Clergy Project was a wise move for me.

Rest 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. Cleaning – varies but one room of the apartment at least.
  5. Reading – half an hour for enjoyment.
  6. Writing – 1 hour

I am a writer.  Theses changes reflect that and are good ones. Now I just need to get back to discipline.

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

Goals Achieved: 4

  1. Graduated College with a BS in Political Science and minors in Economics and International Business – December 2018
  2. Finalize last requirements for my degree – Internship by May 2019 – May 2019
  3. Celebrate my wife and I’s 30th anniversary (June 10th, 2019) with a mini-vacation – June 2019
  4. Maintain a daily blog streak of one post per day for an entire year (365 days).

Bucket List Items Achieved: 0

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Tyr – One-Handed Justice” (Asatru – Part 13) – 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: “Wolf Totem” – The Hu

I discovered this group that has more of a Mongolian feel but the song is titled ‘Wolf Totem’ which, given Tyr’s one story involves Fenrir the great Wolf, seems fitting.

Lyric Video:

Meditation:
No photo description available.

 

Text:

See the source image

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

Sermon: 

The god Tyr’s name still lives on every time you say Tuesday.  It is his day and it probably speaks of this god’s importance more than any other than right up there with Odin and Thor. Tyr is much discussion of Tyr’s sphere as it would be simple to say he governs war, truth, and justice but the seems to be a mixing of the three ideas so in truth he may be more the god of trial by combat.  That truth and justice are ultimately played out in martial combat or a trial by combat is what Tyr represents and if there is a god that represents honor, it is Tyr.

Tyr’s appearance in Norse mythology is twofold.  The first is minor in the creation of beer for the gods but it is mentioned that he is the child of giants.  As a spiritual concept, I find this interesting as it seems to be saying that nature’s force has a way of bringing about justice and Tyr is simply a more civilized manifestation of that.

The second and main story that Tyr is known for is the story of Fenrir the Great Wolf.  In that story demonstrates his honor in that he refuses to remove his hand from Fenrir’s mouth and does to get Fenrir to trust the god’s final test of strength with the chain that actually binds Fenrir for Ragnarok.  But before that what strikes me as interesting is he seems to be the only god not afraid of Fenrir.  This actually speaks of the notion some warriors have of honor making one fearless.  Tyr seems to invoke that image in his story rather well.

To the followers of Asatru Tyr, of course, is remembered every Tuesday and his story is one that is repeated to demonstrate courage and honor.  Something that all Asatru followers hold highly given they are two of the Nine Noble Virtues.  I guess I find in the story of Tyr much the same along with the concept of how much are you willing to sacrifice for both victory and honor?  Tyr reminds us all that the price can be very close to home and should not be considered wasted if it leads to a good end.

Tyr is revered by those who seek justice so military and police officers who are Asatru gravitate to him as well as those who seek a balancing of the scales with Christianity.  For myself I find his story inspiring as far as honor and courage.

Hail Tyr, God of Truth, Justice, and War!  God of the Northern Star. Hail! 

Parting Thought:

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I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Dealing with Ghosts” – The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer – Part 20

Happy Thor’s Day

I suppose it is a testimony to the effectiveness of the last four The Grey and The Wayfarer posts that I really have not had The Grey strong in my life for almost a month, until last week.  The trigger is this poem I have been basically dismissing and setting aside for a month until this last week it started crystalizing fully in my mind and then it became a problem.  It was bad enough for the last ten days or so for me to have a few minor moments with The Grey.  Finally, last Sif’s Day I finalized the poem and published it and I do feel better. Below is the link:

“The Ghost of You” – Skald Tales and Poems – Poem

That said, the ghost of Miss Salty isn’t the only ghost I have been struggling with. I suppose when I look at what ghosts symbolize, it is unfinished business. I have a bit of that but also there is the aspect of someone dead to you either literally or figuratively.  People who for whatever reason are no longer part of your life that still haunt you. Sometimes the haunting is good, sometimes bad.

Probably a good example of each is in order.  The first is my father who died on October 5th, 1994.  He was a great man and his funeral was one of the best attended I have ever seen in my life. Not a week goes by that I don’t think of him still.  I have adapted to his absence but I have never gotten completely used to it.  This time of year both mom and I are a little cranky because of it. The three musketeers (I was an only child) are still missing Porthos. His love of life was infectious and both mom and I have struggled with that ever since his death.

The other kind is best represented by the man known to me as The Dirty Pig.  Probably because the real ghost of that is our friendship which, given all that has happened, was ultimately ghost-like the entire time.  It was illusionary and only remained as long as there was some benefit in it for him.  Real friends can’t be lost so what was revealed was a man who was a poser and a fraud. The Dirty Pig he is to me and will remain so until I am dead.

Sometimes things are also ghosts particularly relationships.  My life as a pastor and my marriage before our almost divorce or both there to haunt me.  The first becomes a ghost because I wasted a lot of time that I could have been enjoying life an building one.  Doing something more useful than being a good storyteller, cut-rate counselor, and spiritual guru. I am now playing a colossal game of catchup when it comes to my finances being prepared for retirement.  I counsel everyone who will listen to me to not go into the ministry.  If you want to help people start a non-profit charity and run it yourself or go into counseling or some form of social work. Be a teacher. Do anything but a preacher or pastor.

My ‘former’ marriage and the combo of my wife and I being a pastor and pastor’s wife is also a ghost that haunts me.  Mostly because inside my heart I am longing for something different now when it comes to my marriage and my wife wants to return to the way things were.  If we stay together, neither of us is going to get what we want and that may still bring about our downfall. I don’t want that but I also don’t want to be miserable like before and so the tension between loving her and loving myself is very real.  It is also not the only thing providing tension.

The other thing is this is now a mixed marriage as far as faith/spirituality and that is particularly stressful to both of us because our values are different now.  They are also diverging more and more. I know if we had gotten divorced, my life would be different and the only thing holding me back with some of my desires is I chose to stay. I know what happened the last time I sacrificed my own happiness to make everyone else happy and it was pretty devastating to all involved.  While I have no desire to have that happen again, I know this is kind of an Achilles’ Heal of mine and I don’t think it has been removed from how I function as a person. It is a ghost that hangs over me.

One other thing besides ghosts to talk about in this The Grey and The Wayfarer.  That is the nature of The Grey itself which might be considered a large ghost if you look at it a certain way.  A bit ago I asked myself the question of what exactly is The Grey?  It is not raw depression that is for sure because I can shut off the negative emotions completely and I would still say I am in The Grey.  Depression is a part of it but not the total of it. There is something else, and I am still thinking about it.  I think though I would need counseling to get to the bottom of it completely.  The one thing I am sure of is that the depressive elements are not the only thing going on here.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Year Ago Retrospect (Part 4) – Closure in Walking On” – The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer – Part 19

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Warning: To my family and friends, this one is going to be as truthful as the old Rabyd Microphone so be advised.  Mostly I feel the need to write this series for therapeutic reasons.  This also a long post so be prepared to give it some time. 

This is part four of a Year Ago Retrospect. These are going to take the place of my normal journal posts this week in a mini-series:

Click Here for Part 1 

Click Here for Part 2

Click Here for Part 3

All of what has come before in this series has been about getting to this post. I want final closure on a lot of this and so writing is for me a way of working through all that.  How successful I have been with this will be revealed in time. I don’t want to write on this stuff again.  There are scars and aspects of some of this I will probably carry for the rest of my life, but I want to speak of them as little as possible and only when I have to do so.

This last post will take the form of me having one-sided conversations with some of the various people I have mentioned already.  This is an idea given to me from a book that was suggested to my wife and I called – Words Can Change Your Brain by Newberg and Waldman.  It has a way of bringing closure but also I have another objective.  Some of these people I no longer have contact with and I just want to say my piece to them as if they were there and then walk away.  My life awaits and it is time to start living it more fully.  I can’t do that with these emotional weights on my back. If I carry anything as The Grey Wayfarer, it needs to be only what I need to carry.  This shit isn’t something I need anymore. I am hoping this is a way to put it all down and walk on.

So who am going to talk to?: The Dirty Pig, My Former Congregation, Miss Salty’s Family, Miss Salty, and two conversations with myself – The Old Me and the New Me.  Basically a list of people I need to walk on from and one person that needs to move on. This is going to be painful.  But also completely necessary for ‘Final’ Closure.

To the Dirty Pig:

I have rehearsed what I would say to you if we ever ran into each other again many times, it boils down to the following list.

  1. I trusted you to handle things as my friend, you said you would, but you never really were my friend, just a poser who pretended to be so for his own advantage.
  2. If you even hold your hand out to me know I already have a response that goes something like this:  “Take that hand and shine it up pretty, turn it sideways and shove it up to your ass.” Sorry, that it is as warm and friendly as it is going to get.
  3. I should have known because the trail of bodies that represents former ‘friends’ of yours that lays behind you in a long line and now I am just one of them. Does it ever bother you, that people are so disposable to you?
  4. What hurts the most, if the roles had been reversed, is I would have given you the benefit of the doubt and time to think things over some more because I cared for you as a friend. It hurt even more because you tricked me into not confessing to my congregation so you could play that to your advantage – you were a coward and stabbed me in the back.  You did me personal harm and damage even though I never did any to you.  Had to ‘teach me a lesson”. What a self-righteous and sanctimonious fuck you are.
  5. I really hope that you get over your narcism and pathological tendency to bend the world around you to the lies you tell yourself. You need help.
  6. If you really care for the church, resign as a moderator and don’t be involved for a few years. Better yet, never again.
  7. I wish you a long but miserable life. I hope what goes around comes around is true for you. I have no desire for revenge because it is stupid, but know this – if an opportunity for justice presents itself to me, I will not hesitate to take it.  You have no friend in me anymore, I am your enemy. Your best course of action is to mind your own business, and if you see me, walk the other direction. I will certainly do the same.

To  My Former Congregation:

This has three parts:

  1. To those of you who voted to fire me.  I have forgiven all of you but you as my former flock disappoint me as much as I may have disappointed you. I may have hurt you, but you hurt me back which I don’t think you could classify as ‘Chrisitan’. If you see me and are not prepared in some way or form to say you are sorry, then just keep walking.   I stand by my statement that I feel I was judged, not for the nine and a half years I loved you and cared for you, but for the one bad decision I made at the end.
  2. To those who didn’t vote to me fire – thanks for listening and remembering. I have talked with many of you but I don’t know if I have talked with all of you.  I am glad you listened to me and remembered my teachings over the years.
  3. To those that have asked for forgiveness directly – thanks.  Most of you have left the church with much the same observations of the Dirty Pig as me.  So I am glad I am not alone.  You are always welcome at my door, just call first.  Some of you are friends and will remain so.

To Miss Salty’s Family:

I offer my apologies to you.  I know my reaction if it had been my niece, daughter, etc., would have been much the same as yours. That said, I feel your largest problem was that you couldn’t accept that Miss Salty had grown up.  The one thing for sure is I would have never hurt her or asked her to do anything she didn’t want to do.   You probably won’t believe this but the whole thing was indeed mutual from the very beginning.  Sorry for the feelings caused, but I don’t expect your forgiveness.  You don’t have to.  You can take comfort in the fact that the way she broke up with me was such I will have trust issues with her for a long time, and there isn’t really much of a possibility of a relationship in the future in any case with me being back with my wife. I wish you all health and happiness.

To Miss Salty

Of all the messages I had to write in this post the one to you Miss Salty is the hardest.  I have imagined how this conversation would go many times and it comes out different each time.  I am hoping by writing it this time, it will be more concrete.

I ain’t going to lie, I miss you. But I struggle with who exactly I miss. Was it really you or the character you were playing?  Was it MaKala, Miss Salty, Elpis or someone else?  I do know that whoever she was, she came into my life at a very cold, dark time and offered a lot of warmth and light. For that, I thank her, whoever she was.  She was truly the salt in my life that gave it flavor at the time. She will always be Miss Salty to me. There will always be a small piece of my heart that loves her. It is just the way I am.  I don’t know if not being able to get rid of love completely for a woman I have loved is a blessing or curse sometimes.  Please don’t take advantage of it.

I also know that I try very hard to remember the good and to forget the bad but without too much success.  I don’t know what to do about that, I am hoping someday to get some personal counseling on it. I still write poems but they are difficult because you are remembered every damn time. August 2nd, I found myself crying over the remembered emotions from last year and so it is the pain that is hardest to get over. There a hole missing in my life that no person or thing seems to be able to fill now. Maybe with time, it will.  I hope so. There is also a scared over slash in my heart that is still healing but it bleeds still on the inside.

I want you to live life. I want you to find someone that loves you for you.  Be who you really are and find the person who loves you for who you are – all the good, bad, ugly and the beautiful parts of you. You are worth that. Never forget you are worth that.

I applaud you for at least having the courage to do what you did and you did it to my face. Unlike one I have already talked to above, you were far braver.  I am sorry he used you to get to me, but that is his nature.  I said it before and I say it again – The Dirty Pig is not your friend.  Remember that.  Remember you are disposable to him if no longer sees a use for you, I found that out the hard way.  Please don’t be another one of his discarded people. Don’t let yourself be another one of his ‘friendship’ casualties.

I just wish how you did it was different, so I didn’t have so many questions.  That said, trying to contact me with answers would be a bad idea unless you can find a way that doesn’t involve social media (you’re blocked for obvious reasons) or direct contact (I am not sure how I would take that).  I will just have to learn to live with my ignorance.  It wouldn’t be the first time I had to do so.

I hold nothing against you, but one thing.  I think you need to tell people and yourself the truth about your role in all this being mutual and not me manipulating you.  You know that is not true. I think you need to show some courage and face the consequences of that truth. I don’t know if I would ever hear about it, but I think for your own sake, you need to do it. Being truthful with yourself is a hard thing – I know. But it is better that way.

I have said goodbye before to you and yet, despite it all, you are there.  All pictures are deleted or destroyed, the books were thrown away along with the first aid kit. The rock you gave me also gone. I deleted The Hedge completely.  I have tried to be very thorough in getting rid of any reminder of you out of my life, and yet, there you are.  Sometimes in troubling dreams or in thoughts when I see or read something we used to talk about. Songs we talked about come to my ear, and there you are. I have tried to say a permanent goodbye so many times in my heart but can never seem to make it have the effect of healing I want.  This is going to be a slow goodbye for me, I can tell. No getting around it.

It has been a year since I heard those words from your lips – “I can’t do this” and they still echo in my heart like ripples back and forth on a pond.  I am trying to love my wife more and more each day, but your ghost or the ghost of what I thought was you haunt me.  Worse still is the possibility that someday we might very well run into each other, and then I am not sure what my reaction will be.  I guess if that happens, it will speak for itself.

Goodbyes are difficult for me and I am coming to the painful conclusion that they might be impossible regarding you.  I don’t know yet, I have to walk this out and see.  You hurt me and yet, I find it impossible to hate you.  You left me lonely and alone and yet…I don’t feel any malice.  Maybe somebody can help me someday with this. I hope so because it makes things more difficult than they need to be. The Grey gets triggered because of it and it would be nice if that stopped happening.

I would say goodbye, but your ghost still follows me. So its ‘goodbye’ in quotes for now and maybe someday, with enough time, you will haunt me less. I hope so.

To My Old Self – Pastor Ed:

You need to go, buddy.  You sacrifice too much of yourself and then you end up hurting yourself and people you love.  You have long been a liability to yourself.  You need to go. You’re a good guy, but you are also self-destructive.  You need to go. I know some people will miss you and I will too, but you cost me too much over the years to maintain anymore.  You need to go. You are just not a really good friend to me anymore. You need to go. You make yourself vulnerable and people take advantage of us. You need to go.  Goodbye, Pastor Ed.

To My New Self – The Grey Wayfarer:

It’s time to get up and walk again.  You have had your conversations here on the side of the road and now, you need to get up, grab your spear, pull your cloak around you, whistle for the wolves and ravens and walk on.  It’s time to move on and be yourself.

Don’t look back. You’re not going that way.  If some choose to catch up with you and talk to you that is one thing, or people cross your path again that is OK.  Old friends and those you know are always welcome to walk with you for a time. But you know it is dangerous to look back and think of all the would haves and should-haves.  It’s the path behind and there is no changing where your footsteps already are.

Time to walk into the future.  Time to face the unknown with courage, honor, and truth.  Time to live your life, be self-reliant, work hard and give generously as you can.  Time to maintain disciplined steps, keep getting up when you fail and stay loyal to those who have shown themselves loyal to you. Keep walking.  The ghosts of the past are going to haunt you from time to time, but find a way to be at peace with them and keep walking. The Grey Storm is going to come from time to time. Learn to walk through it and be better for it.

Time to truly become,

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

Skaal!!!

“Year Ago Retrospect (Part 2) – Church Nonsense” – The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer – Part 17

Happy Moon’s Day

Warning: To my family and friends, this one is going to be as truthful as the old Rabyd Microphone so be advised.  Mostly I feel the need to write this series for therapeutic reasons.  This also a long post so be prepared to give it some time. 

This is part two of a Year Ago Retrospect. These are going to take the place of my normal journal posts this week in a mini-series:

Click Here for Part 1 

In Part 2 of “Year Ago Retrospect,” I am going o deal with my other break up – with my faith and my last church.  The major trouble with the church started the moment I let certain people know I was having an affair with Miss Salty,  Most notably The Dirty Pig.  But I need to do a little background on my relationship with him first so you know why his betrayal was so painful. It is this relationship that is central to the Church Nonsense so bear with me.

When I first came to my last church, the two of us hit it off.  He made the observation that I was going to be myself and that people would just have to deal with that and from then on I considered him a friend.  A lot of people think they know this guy so when I talk about this stuff, they think I am lying about his character and actions.  You need to understand that I knew him a lot longer than any of them.  We were friends, we did the same small group together for over nine years, I did him a lot of favors over the years and while I never asked him for anything he would on occasion give me something or help me out. I know the Dirty Pig from long experience and only after he betrayed me and I looked back did I see the painful truth that I suspected, but could never prove and didn’t want to believe was true.

Our friendship was good; not best friends but solid and he was a part of my circle. Note that for me, an INFJ personality type to say that is significant.  But also I knew the emotions of the man as an empath and sometimes what he felt was troubling.  It was contradictory to what I felt he should be feeling at times.  Amusement when something was pretty tragic. Over time I would say it was like a cat looking at mice as far as his emotions. Given that he had been a cop all most of his career, somewhat understandable although a little uncomfortable. There was always this element of ‘my viewpoint on life is superior and people better respect that’ with him.  He also was highly competitive and I never saw him happy when he came in second in anything.

We got along fine for a long while but our friendship got strained more and more as time went by. I am very accepting of people’s flaws and other viewpoints and he is not. The first real issue I noticed there was a problem here was when I was trying to get a modern worship team started. It was going OK, but he would make comments like ‘that hippie music’ and such.  He said he didn’t mean much by it, but it had a negative effect. I went away for vacation and when I came back he basically tells me that the worship team is no more.  Funny, as the pastor I was constitutionally in charge of ministry – the spiritual head of the church.

I had dealt with powerful influencers in the church before.  If thy are for the most part benevolent then the best course of action is to make them allies if possible. The problem with the Dirty Pig is I would classify him as a traditional obstructionist. That is the preferred a very traditional view of what a church service and function were. If he didn’t like something along these lines, he would pretty much not support it or even actively block it.

His basic tactic was to control the agenda of the church by using his position as the moderator to channel what was talked about and what was not.  I am now firmly convinced in that church, in particular, the moderator is the most powerful position because of this and should have term limits because of it. He also added the fact he maintained a good relationship with enough people to vote both on the council and in the congregation to get what decision he wanted. If the church grew or added people who did not share his view, something would be said by him that would cause them to either backdown or stop attending.  The church could never really grow too big because that gets harder to control and the people in it were his supporters with only a few people that were detractors.

One thing that really bothered me about his attitude, but I could never do much about, is his belief that by being cop he could also be a good pastor.  I would probably tell him now there is no direct correlation and he has no fucking clue what he is doing when it comes to building a church and ministry.  But it is all irrelevant to me now.

In the summer of 2016, I took a sabbatical of one month. I had two issues at the time 1) my faith was starting to crumble, and 2) the church was not going to be able to support me long term unless changes were made and there was no way effective change was going to be made as long as the Dirty Pig kept interfering in everything new I proposed that he didn’t like.  When I got back I wrote a letter to the church board outlining my problems and what needed to be done. A good chunk of it was directed at the Dirty Pig and his church political control, and he knew it.

There were only two responses: 1) One guy who understood I was right said so privately but also didn’t want to fight any more about it.  He stayed on the council long enough to got something for his departed wife done as a memorial and left the church.  2) A second guy who was not on the council challenged the business dealings of the church and was basically silenced through the Dirty Pig’s moderator power. Everyone else stayed in line and stayed quiet.

After that, I basically said to myself:  “This church is going nowhere as long as the Dirty Pig runs it.”  I am just going to come, preach and help people where I can.  I had a couple years of education to do and then I was out. I could do the job and then walk.

Then, of course, Miss Salty came along and kind of upset all that. One day in April of 2018, at a prayer meeting, she bounces in and announces that the Dirty Pig is no longer her favorite person, but I am.  I could see his face.  That “I don’t like to finish in second’ look all over it. I am not saying there was anything romantic in his intentions toward Miss Salty, but like all people who came into his life with problems he always wanted to be the one that ‘fixed’ them, so he could pat himself on the back. The sides were set at that point.

The following events are as best I can reconstruct them in order and true as I know:

  1. Miss Salty and I announced our affair to her aunt and my wife on Sunday evening.  Monday, the Dirty Pig got the news from the aunt and I headed over to his place of business to talk.
  2. I had written my resignation and gave it to him.  He argued four things: 1) That I shouldn’t resign, 2) That I was going to ruin my pastor career, 3) That I was going to not have a future career in anything else. and 4) That I needed to dump is Salty because she was ‘a deranged little girl’ that is never going to amount to much and be an embarrassment to me. My responses: 1) No, I am going to resign. Inside my head, I knew he would use this against me to control me. 2) Didn’t give a shit anymore.  3) Maybe.  But as my one friend would say later, people don’t really care why a pastor leaves the ministry when they switch to something else.  He is right. 4) That’s an interesting opinion of a woman who has a very high opinion of you Mr. Dirty Pig.  I told him I didn’t know where this relationship was going but I knew I loved her and wanted it to be mutual.
  3. One might argue that at this point I should have known the Dirty Pig was dirty, but he told me he would do as I asked and read my resignation and would handle things as my friend. Given all I had done for him over the years pretty much because he was my friend, I was grateful. I trusted him to do the right thing in this regard because of our friendship, and it is what I would have done for him.  I had not seen him be dishonorable in that regard and that was my downfall with him.
  4. On Tuesday, Miss Salty and I broke up the first time.
  5. Wednesday, The Dirty Pig calls me up and asks me to revise my resignation to not have the confession line.  His reasons: not wanting to start gossip in the church and not wanting to drag Miss Salty into this.  I felt the reasons were sound and because I was planning to tell the story myself the next Sunday after, I agreed and told him I would get it to him in the next couple days.
  6. On Friday, I handed him the revised resignation, no confession line in it.
  7. From a conversation I had later in July with Miss Salty, I was made aware that it was also Friday and about the same time that he called her asking her permission to tell the story.
  8. Sunday The Dirty Pig reads my resignation and then tells the story.  This information got back to me as well as the information that the congregation had been whipped into a lynch mob for all practical purposes. I knew then I could not go back and talk to them now as from their perception I was hiding something, which was never my intention.  The Dirty Pig absolute dragged Miss Salty into it and used her, and had every intention of starting gossip in the church to use for his own purposes.
  9. I was also told there was a plan in place to vote for my resignation or to fire me.  They already even had the ballots from one report I got.  That speaks to a lot of intentional planning for a certain result long before the announcement was even made.  Hmmm.
  10. Second Monday, I texted the Dirty Pig as to what was going on?  He never responded and still never has said one thing to me since.
  11. Miss Salty and I began our second dating cycle on Tuesday, In retrospect, my need for someone to talk to given the whole weight of this made me open once again for this relationship.  I was hurting and she was there.

I was fired and then denied any kind fo severance.  They even made it retroactive to May 27th, 2018.  I could probably just walk away from it if it had been fairly treated but I wasn’t.  The deck was stacked against me and I didn’t know it until it was too late.  A person I love was used against me and a congregation I loved turned against me by the Dirty Pig.

Later on August 2nd, as a related in part 1, all this came to the attention of Miss Salty who couldn’t believe The Dirty pig would do that to her..probably.  Through my sources, I learned she called him up when she read my post on August 2nd about this and asked him to refute it.  He wouldn’t talk to her or give her an answer. I guess that was right after she hung up on me for the last time.  After that, she gets high and drunk all the way to the end of the 3rd probably. She found out the hard way what I knew from early June –  I was no longer relevant to the Dirty Pig and now she knew neither was she.

The fact is I now know one thing about him.  If you are no longer of use or you are going to tarnish his precious reputation, he has no problem discarding you. His view of friendship is purely utilitarian.  I would have given him love enough to squash all the rumors and I certainly would have at least have given him time to think about things.  I would have also made sure both sides were represented fairly.  I would take heat for him as a friend too.

There was a ton of rumors at the time and 95% of them were nonsense. Some of them affect my reuniting with my wife so I will deal with them in part three. But I want to set the record straight about my relationship with Miss Salty from May 21st, 2018, to the time of my resignation.

  1. We never had any physical contact beyond holding hands once, hugs and a kiss on the forehead from me to her. There was no sex or sexual conduct.
  2. Our relationship was a lot of ‘I love you’s’ and genuine concern for each other’s happiness and welfare. At least for me, I can’t speak for her.
  3. There were no other women, girls or whatever.  Just Miss Salty.
  4. Miss Salty was a legal and functional adult at the time of this, the entire time. No crime was committed.

The other things that burn me:

  1. That I was never informed at any time of what was happening by any official channel of the church.  I was also fired without once being asked if I could come and defend myself in any way. If it hadn’t been for a few friends, I wouldn’t have known shit.
  2. I currently make more money where I am now and have more benefits than the entire almost decade I served that church.  It seems one mistake costs you a lot of years where I was there for people, held their hands in tragedy and backed and encouraged them. Severance isn’t just about the money.
  3. Very few from the church have come to me to talk to me about this.
  4. They actually sent Miss Salty a voting ballot about my fate. I love the dual accountability. Hammer for me; free pass for her. After all the time they said I was being too soft on her and not treating her like an adult, what they do? Treat her like a child, and actually make her decide something about someone she loved. I applaud her for throwing the thing in the trash.
  5. Because I was fired, I can’t even list anyone from the church a reference because primarily I don’t trust any of them.  But it would be impractical and counterproductive too.
  6. I preached for nine and a half years on grace and forgiveness.  I gave people a lot of grace and we as a church even forgave a couple that actually stole from the church and welcomed them back in. Me – throw me to the wolves.

Some of the rest of the church nonsense comes into play in my marriage discussion, so I will leave it until then.

One last thing, some argue this is the reason for my leaving the faith. Not true, it is more the final crash from a falling faith that started falling back in 2015-2016. My objections to Christianity are theological and philosophical and I will be rewriting them soon in Odin’s Eye for the next month or so.  All this really does is make me thankful I left the world of church politics and hypocritical Christianity behind.  I haven’t been in a church for a service since May 27th, 2018 and I feel so much better for it.  The only justification for a pagan for being hypocritical is making it right or conflict through fire and steel for honor sake.  I will have a message for my church and the Dirty Pig in my last post in this series on Frigg and Freya’s Day.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Viking/Germanic Paganism – Asatru (Part 3)” – The Pagan Pulpit

Happy Sun’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: “Song of Odin (A Cappella)” by Alchemical Poetry 

Damn son, this kid can sing and all the parts too.  Salute.

Meditation:

Image may contain: text that says 'THE LION AND THE TIGER MAY BE MORE POWERFUL, BUT THE WOLF DOES NOT PERFORM IN THE CIRCUS #5 fivereason.com'

It depends very much on what you value: power at the cost of freedom or freedom which has a power all its own.

Text:

See the source image

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

Sermon:

My purpose for going through the history of paganism in regards to Asatru is to assess whether it is possible that the current practitioners of Asatru have as a genuine foundation the beliefs fo old.  It is also to point out that once we hit the Christian invasion that for the most part religion was not a cause for people to fight so much as needs and wants  That would change with Christianity’s arrival.

It can be simply stated that as the area entered the Viking era, religion had become far more sophisticated. The pantheon much more developed and regional differences smoothed over.  To the area’s credit, it seems that any religious differences were actually swallowed up by the mythology itself where the Vanir and Aesir both made peace and one pantheon formed.  Rituals evolve and the priesthood of the pagans established.

With the fall of the Roman Empire, the areas did gain some distinction as the Scandinavians pretty much became separated and developed their own lines of religious thought while the Germanic peoples on the continent continued to be influenced by the Empire’s final gasps.

What the Viking people became was a culture based on the old gods, fishing, herding, and some farming.  They became very adept at either trading for the other things they needed and raiding for the rest. Their gods evolved to reflect their culture and became integral parts of it with festivals, rituals, and calendar.  The population grew and the Viking leaders began to adopt the style of government on the continent known as feudalism.  This caused migration and that lead to the Vikings doing their raiding more and more frequently not just for loot but for land.

The one thing religion did id create a ‘professional’ clergy for the gods.  The hof was a place where the gods were worshiped and the idea of being a friend of the gods or a particular god is born.  Being  ‘Thorsman’ of “Maiden of Freya” is reflected in this time and some Scandinavian names still reflect this. The idea of worship in one place – the hof while the rulers were in their ‘hall’ was in some respects the first ideas of religion and state being separate but integrated.

For my part, I like this part of history because everything is unspoiled by Christianity. If I had lived then, I would be an Odin’s Man and perhaps a teller of tales –  A Skald. It would have been my desired profession to keep the stories alive. It makes me wonder if one of my ancestors was a skald or bard.

This, of course, would all change as the pagans and Christians would begin to clash.  But it should be noted that modern practitioners of Asatru look a lot to this time for their inspiration. More on these things in the coming weeks.

Parting Thought:

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There will always be someone better than you at something. The quest we should be on is self-improvement. The only competition we should have is what we were yesterday.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Different Values” – The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and the Wayfarer – Part 15

Happy Tyr’s Day:

Yeah, I know.  It’s another week without “Of Wolves and Ravens”.  I need to get back to it for my own sake but right now the Grey is a ‘normal’ thing.  I knew July, in particular, would be difficult because of all that happened during this month last year and the reason is the memories are not necessarily bad ones.  It’s kind of like reading a story that has a lot of good things in it and happy times but you know a tragedy is going to hit at the end. Like following your favorite character in a story only to have them die suddenly.  It is that kind of emotion when you look at the story arc in retrospect.

The difference, of course, is the story is mine and I am the character so it is all too real and personal.

Another thing is I keep running into people from my past life as a pastor.  People I haven’t, in some cases, seen in over a year keep finding their way into my life. I play it cool but inside I would rather be far away. That journey is over and I want to leave the pain of it behind along with the people in the story as well.  They turned out to be characters that are not dynamic at all, just who reveal their true nature when someone doesn’t measure up to their expectations.

Of course, this leads to my real problem which is coming to terms in all aspects of my life with a different set of values I now possess.  What is important to me has changed and not in small ways but large ones. A loss of faith and a reevaluation of life will do that to you.  The questions that trouble my mind are ones that would make the writers of Babylon 5 proud: Who are you?  What do you want? Why are you here?

My oldest son recently observed I seem to be searching for something.  Something I haven’t found yet.  The young man has good insight.  I don’t call myself the Grey Wayfarer because it is just a fun persona. It is in many ways the philosophy of my life and one identity that seems to fit me with the expression as the motto of my life: “Not all who wander are lost”. It seems that my values involve a lot of searching and becoming something, but the one thing they do not involve is stagnancy or being unchanging.  For me change, and the chaos and joys that go with it, is becoming more of a desire than a fear.

The Grey is the thing that causes me to be stagnant at times, unchanging and that is the devil of it. The demon I understand.  It is why it is so important to force myself to change when I am depressed.  To keep doing something and keep walking through it is my therapy.

Perhaps that is why I write every single day.  Writing is a lot of things but I would never describe it as stagnant.  It is flowing and changing constantly. The creative process is like that. It is when I can’t write that I worry about me.

The point is also that the Nine Noble Virtues call one to improve and get better.  You can’t be a follower of the Nine without changing.  Every single one of them calls for change and so change is an essential part of my foundational philosophy.  The problem may be that some people in my life are too attached to where we are relationally, and to be in a relationship with me requires you to walk with me from time to time, and where I am is never the same.

I am sure there will be another The Grey and The Wayfarer post very soon.  Hopefully, it won’t fall on Tyr’s Day again.  But this week was some good insight into what makes me keep going because, as I will probably write next time, there are a lot of forces trying to compel me to quit and give up. The Grey is strong, but my desire for change is stronger so I keep walking and seeking what I am looking for.  I will know when I find it what it was.

I remain.

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

Skaal!!!

“Asatru and Hospitality” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Hospitality

Happy Tyr’s Day

Discussion:

“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.

Hospitality is a virtue that is represented to Asatru as the glue that holds society and civilization together. The particular focus of Hospitality in the Norse context is one of being kind to strangers and travelers. If there is a virtue that relates personally to me as a wayfarer of life, it is this one. I have always appreciated the kindness people have shown me when I was far from home. Having a place where I knew I was safe while traveling is something that always warmed my heart.

It is this virtue of hospitality in the modern world that gets translated as being respectful to all human beings and giving people the things they need when they need them out of respect for their humanity. Need not want through here.  People can be treacherous and the virtue acknowledges that, and one part of this is once a person has acted treacherously toward you; you don’t have to lift a finger to help them again.

This is the ‘give and take’ of Hospitality.  It is not just enough to properly give it, but also to be thankful to receive it and not do it to take advantage of people.  What makes it work is the two-sided nature of Hospitality, both knowing how to properly give it and receive it.

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):

I think society needs this understanding of hospitality again  I need it.  I think it is more practical than the Christian notion of ‘give expect nothing in return’ that no one actually follows.  This is ‘give and receive graciously’ both ways, but always keep your eye on how people receive your hospitality and in what motivation that gives it to you.   This is not a license to manipulate or take advantage of people because at that point it ceases to be a virtue.

Wants (Freki):

We want hospitality to be present in our society as it is the one virtue that allows us to put aside our differences and work for the common good. That is all differences – political, religious and cultural.  Some things are bigger than the individual and only a team can take them on.

Reason (Huginn):

For myself as a person who has been on the receiving side of hospitality from time to time, I can see how broad you can make this.  It has the rational quality of being able to apply it to many different situations and in many different forms.  It is a good solid virtue that can be personalized to a great degree and that is a good quality to have as well.

Wisdom (Muninn):

Hospitality to be done properly requires the wisdom of experience and a good eye for judging the situation.  Laziness is not to be coddled only genuine need.  At the same time compassion needs to be exercised. It is wisdom that is the tool that is needed to know the difference.

Conclusion:

I personally only struggle with the concept of hospitality; in that, recent events of this last year have me with my own form of TNO (Trust No One) at a high level. I try to help when I can but I am always a suspicious fuck these days. The virtue right now at least forces me to try to consider it every time I read and meditate on it.

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

Skaal!!!