The Rabyd Skald – Once More into the Breach

Happy Tyr’s Day

I know I am not a warrior in the physical military sense. I guess the closest I have come is playing football which required a certain physicality with violent action.  I can hit someone at full speed and they would feel it, fight off people trying to grab me and keep my balance.  I have an aversion implanted from four years of football drills to being on the ground. When I fall for any reason, my first instinct is to get back to my feet.  At six-foot five inches and a muscled 290 lbs. frame I don’t usually get a lot of people threatening me.  I have a lot of strength and power with good flexibility and I can walk quite a ways without stopping to rest.  While not ever having served in any military, I have a warrior mindset which I have applied to peace time activities. The old Japanese proverb applies:

See the source image

Thanks to my father, I know how to shoot straight.  I know how to engage in stillness when hunting and I have hunted enough that if it became a necessity for me I could pick it up and do it without too much adjustment.  I gave hunting not because I think it is immoral or just hated the activity.  I gave it up because it just isn’t a chief interest of mine and my father died and the only times I enjoyed hunting was when I did it with him.

I still would like some martial arts training  and I don’t think it is too late for that.  The whole viking thing has made me wonder what it would truly be like to fight with sword and shield wearing mail.  Not much good when it comes to a world of firearms but the physical exercise might be beneficial in other ways.  I may be getting older but that doesn’t mean I need to fade away.

Mostly I am a warrior against the forces of life. I take the Nine Noble Virtues of Asatru to heart and apply them to my life where they fit. Right now it is once more into the breach (Henry the Fifth still being my favorite Shakespeare play – the movie version from 1989 staring Kenneth Branagh being my favorite) and I am nearing the end of Fall 2018 at Ferris.  If things are going well by the time this post drops, I will have finished my capstone paper and submitted it and with that my Health Economics class will be finished as well.  I will only have Inferential Stats and that involves putting together three statistical reports and submitting them on exam day tomorrow.  If I am making good progress I might be done today and Wednesday will be an actual rest day or preparation day for my capstone defense.

In any case, the warrior mind is to defeat each project by completing it.  The time for feasting is near.

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


A Skald’s Life – Foundational Virtues – A Viking Soul

Happy Moon’s Day

Journal Entry:

I get asked once in a while if I have Viking ancestry and if that is why I like them so much.  Truth is I don’t know. Part of the mystery of being me is my father’s side of the family in that biologically, I might be. I do know that German blood flows in these veins and the whole Scandinavian – Germanic mythology was pretty much the same, except the names were changed and later the two mythologies merged. I want someday to do a genetics test and maybe hunt down some of dad’s ancestry.  I do hope there is some Scandinavian descent in there somewhere.

Were all human and I work very hard not to think my heritage makes me better or worse for that matter than everyone else. I reject racism of all types including the type done by liberals when they want white people to feel guilty for the past crimes of ancestors. I am only responsible for my own actions, not my father’s or any of my forefather’s

I do think I have a Viking Soul.  I resonate with the warrior philosophy of the Nine Noble Virtues (NNV).  I think what they believed deals far better with reality than many mythologies.  It digs back down into my pagan roots and finds the hand axe wielding tribal warrior standing there.  Grim faced and ready for battle. The man who appreciates home and hearth when he can get it, but also longs to board the ship and set sail at least for a time to fight for something better for himself and his family. To prove his value to himself most of all and to others as a bonus.


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

Principle – Be positive about my future

I think I am just weary at this point.  I am just tired of what I am doing this semester and want it to end to make way for what is next. From an honor standpoint I struggle less with my own sense of self-worth. I struggle more with value in what I am doing and where I am going. I am also starting to address the question of looking for honor in this world I can value.  I know it is there, I just need to find it.  I need some vision of the future and the world I want to live in and then go find it and make it happen.  That is what I mean when I say I need to be positive about my future.


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

Principle – Act with Courage at the right time.

Courage right now takes the form of being disciplined enough to get finished. I have basically a paper to do which counts toward two things and three short projects which constitute a final exam.  The first is due at the end of today and the second at exam time on Wednesday.  I already finished a take home final yesterday so that is done. Courage is facing the rest and getting them done.


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

Principle – Pursue knowledge, wisdom and truth at all times.

If there is one thing I have had to consider about being a scholar at this time of exams and my capstone paper; it is truth.  The decision recently was to make this paper as close to the truth as I can make it. Regardless of whether or not that will get me a good grade. I am being given the opportunity to speak with words and in a defense so I will take it with full truth and nothing but the truth.

Morning Routine:

  1. Review Nine Noble Virtues (NNV) and Principles
  2. Review Goals
  3. Review Bucket List
  4. Full Body Stretch
  5. Meditate on One of the Virtues
  6. Breakfast
  7. Supplements and Medicines
  8. Shower and Personal Hygiene
  9. Get Dressed for the Day

I haven’t had a problem with the Morning Routine.  It’s the most solid part of my life right now. I am going to consider my meditation practices once the semester ends.

Bucket List:

  1. Go Back to Budapest, Hungary for a vacation.
  2. Get My Tattoos.
  3. Actually Get Drunk.
  4. Smoke a Joint.
  5. Hike the Northern Lakeshore Trail along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
  6. Write My Novel.
  7. Learn Latin.
  8. Learn Hungarian.
  9. Weightlifting – Bench 225 lbs, Squat 315 lbs, and Deadlift 405 lbs.
  10. Start my own business

I am looking forward to looking at this list closer during the break. Yeah, I may have to go one semester of full-time online stuff to get financial aid for my internship so Christmas Break might be a good time to take a breath and look at this list again and rewrite and redefine it.


Still looking for a gym but the most likely candidate is the one near where I work.  I can just get off work and go there before I come home. I will probably use the time to develop a four-day split and if I end up at work five days a week for whatever reason then one will get a double.  I may have to use the new gym time for walking at least until the snow clears.  The rails to trails is just a short walk from my apartment so once spring comes I will be grateful to get out and hike again.

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


A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues – New Identity

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Journal Entry:

I am writing this a couple of days early to clear my weekend schedule for both school and I promised that I would give you a double dose of fiction this Saturn’s Day.  I am not sure of the Pagan Pulpit on Sun’s Day. That will greatly depend on how things go this week and the early weekend.  My perception of this week is that it has been a busy one but what I want to talk about at this point is how my identity is changing into something else.

For about two decades I have been a pastor and Christian theologian.  None of that is true anymore, that identity for all practical purposes is a dead one.  I mean my Master’s Degree in Theology is still there as well as my Bachelor’s in Biblical Studies/Ministry, so I could pass myself still as a theologian, but not a believing one.  I suppose from a certain point of view that makes me a dangerous critic of Christian doctrine and theology because I can’t be accused of being ignorant of what Christians believe.  Not that I want to be such a critic; as in truth, I would rather start focusing my time on things that are more personally productive. I would rather focus on developing a new identity.

My problem is I feel very much like I am back in college making that decision for the first time.  There are differences as I know I am probably more experienced than I was thirty years ago, as well as ‘wiser’, whatever that means.  My issue is what am I now?  I know somethings that have not changed – I am still a husband, father and grandfather.  I am still a good friend.  I just don’t know what else I am right now.  Options:

Professor – This would mean a master’s degree in economics probably and then Ph. D work.  The issue I have with this one is continued financial aid and debt. I then would have a long-term career possible, if I made tenure so I could retire when I wanted to retire. I guess this one is on the top of the list because I have been told I am a good teacher and so that is the issue here in that it would fit me well and past experience in public speaking and teaching would not be wasted.

Business – This is an option because the pull of money is on me fairly strong as I need to make a bunch money in order to make sure retirement is even possible.  I could get an MBA at Ferris as the have a completely online one as well.  Corporate ladder or start my own business?  There are options here that are very flexible.  I know people from long experience, so that would be an asset as well.

Lawyer – Like it or not, my Political Science Degree is also preparation for a legal career. There are plenty of law schools in Michigan, so there is that.  I can’t put it off the list because with my own practice I can’t be fired either. I really do need a career path where I am in the driver seat as far as employment.

Writer – I have already had one career that starved me on occasion, so being a writer has purely emotional appeal, not a financial one.  It has risks. I would have to have another job until it could pay for things.  It also has the advantage of being non-ending.  I could do it in retirement for that matter.  Right up until they put me on my viking ship to burn as it sails out to sea. I am the Rabyd Skald after all.

I just don’t know which of these could be my identity or even a combination might be in order. I just don’t know. It has to fit me to be an identity and that is the challenge for me right now – finding what fits. The one thing I know does not fit anymore is ministry.


“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.

Once school is done I will have to do a reassessment of the areas in my life where discipline might be need.  Right now it is just obvious what needs discipline. The real problem right now for me is my old gym is closed and I need a new one and that means I will probably not be able to lift for a bit while I find a new one.


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

Principle: Keep getting up after every defeat or failure.

Defeat and failure are something I try to avoid but my attitude about them is far more positive which is to say – once you have failed you can’t go back and fix it.  You can only move on by getting back up and moving forward.  I think this is something I may need to remember soon as I am struggling very much in one class and I don’t know how it is going to come out.


“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.

I haven’t really thought about fidelity much this week as I have not had much time to be anything but loyal myself.  I guess the only struggle I still have is what to do if I ever cross paths again with certain people.  I simply do not know how I will react.

Weekly Routine: 

  1. Weightlifting – 4 days per week.
  2. Cleaning – 3 days a week.
  3. Walking – 4 days a week

I miss weightlifting this week but I am using the extra time for homework. Cleaning and walking were on target, so that was good.  I do need to find an alternative walk site starting next week.


I need to define a couple of things.  A Cheat Meal for me is basically a period of time (a half hour to an hour) where I can eat pretty much any food and drink any beverage without counting it toward carb count for the day.  A Carb Count is a single serving of carbs outside a cheat meal and during the day,  Right now with five Cheat Meals and a Carb Count of five a day, I have a lot of room.  As the weeks  go by however this is not going to remain the case.  By the last month things will be very tight.  I need to remember those pictures are coming on my 50th birthday.

Weekly Recap:

Foundational – All good here, I guess I am simply just putting my head down and trying to finish the year out as best I can. When 2018 hits the rear view mirror, I will probably let out a cheer.

Business – I am really looking forward to the job search and finding this new identity for myself.  My real issue is surviving it financially until then. Thankfully these virtues are not a problem for me for the most part so I keep doing what I need to do.

Self – Right now staying disciplined is tiring but I know it will be worth it.  Fidelity and Perseverance are now more central so I worry less about them right now anyway.

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