Crossing Bifrost – Gods and Goddesses – Frigg: Mother Goddess

Happy Saturn’s Day

Frigg is the Norse goddess of weather and clouds.  Also known as Frigga and Frig. She is often depicted in white garments as such with silver and grey trims.  There is an aspect of being the goddess of change as well as she weaves the future as one of the practitioners of seidr, the Norse magic of divination. She is thus the goddess of weaving and fate. Change is also an aspect of weather and clouds so it fits her as well. She has a queenly air to her as well and this fits her role as the queen of the gods.

Just to reiterate what I said under the Goddess Freya, I don’t think Frigg and Freya are the same woman.  They have very different spheres.  Freya might be considered the aspect of femininity that is a single warrior maiden, the archetype of the shield maiden,  who is a party girl  The kind of girl a man wants around when he is single and sowing his wild oats.  Frigg on the other hand is very much that aspect of femininity a man wants to settle down and have children with.  One is the erotic expression of love and sexual desirability, the other is a good and loving  mother and wife. As I pointed out before one is Vanir and the other Aesir.  Each of them has different children and in Frigg’s case her son Balder is central figure along with her love for him on one of the main stories of Norse Mythology.

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Now it should be noted that Frigg has her own flaws. When her husband Odin was away and missing she did sleep with both of his brothers. This may be more of a reflection that the Norse people did not have as strong conviction about sexual fidelity in marriage as other religions and cultures. She has her warrior aspects as well, especially when it comes to defending or avenging her children.

Frigg’s symbols are birds particularly falcons and like her husband – ravens. There is a grass called Frigg’s grass that was used as a sedative for mother’s giving birth. Mistletoe is also sacred to her. A mother looking out for her children and her home is her aspect.

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Frigg’s one failing is that despite her powers of divination she could not prevent or reverse the death of her beloved son Balder.  This I suppose one of the great ironies of her story that she is both a mother and a strong one at that.  A powerful woman who weaves the tapestry of fate and yet despite all this she cannot prevent something terrible from happening to her children.  All her power and love is not enough.

There is definitely a lesson here for the mothers of her time when she was worshiped.  That even if a mother knows the fate of her children and is wise, understanding and powerful, misfortune can still happen to her children. In a world where children died much more frequently and early than today, this is a message designed to comfort mothers. If Frigg herself cannot stop her own son’s death, what makes you think you can?  No matter what, that is truly out of your hands.

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Modern depictions of Frigg are rare.  She of course appears in the Thor comics and the movies.  I can say this that she is definitely cast as a mother sitting at home rather than a warrior goddess like Freya is at times. A strong mother who runs her household well, who cares for her children and loves her husband is what she is an example of to others. A strong archetype and a common one in mythology.  You see much the same with Hera in Greek Mythology.

Personally, being a little pagan in mindset, I can respect the separation of femininity in Frigg as opposed to say the masculinity of Odin and Thor.  The one thing Norse mythology has is a strong set of expectations of what is feminine and what is masculine, without saying one is weaker than the other. Just very different chosen roles. Mother verses Father is definitely a dichotomy with Frigg and Odin and the Roles are very distinct yet strong.  Based on the mythology, the idea of more than two genders or gender neutral is simply not present. Rather it embraces the two genders as the way it is and exults both of their strengths. Frigg being the strong aspects of what it is to be female and Odin the strong aspect of what it means to be male.

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I think when you look at stories, the strong mother and wife is something that literature in general never seems to get tired of as an archetype.  Perhaps it is because all of us look back to some sort of strong mother figure who influenced our lives and so it is very relatable. We are all children, so Frigg appeals to us and our own sense of motherhood as a powerful force in our lives.

In my own writing Frigg knows the future but rarely gives it out because of her past experience. She has learned fighting fate is a bad way to go. Knowing the future does not help change it. She is loving and caring but sad, drawing strength from her husband and children.  Passionate and Powerful, but very much down to earth.

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


Crossing Bifrost – Gods and Goddesses – Freya: Goddess of Love

Happy Saturn’s Day

I know a lot so scholars point out the massive similarities between Frigg and Freya, but as someone who can see why certain things would change.  There are some personality differences in my opinion and I doubt Loki would have challenged the wife of Odin and basically call her a slut without some real proof out of fear the Odin would take it out on him.  Oor is Freya’s listed husband it is said she cries tears over his absence and the similarity to Odin makes people think that maybe Freya and Frigg are the same goddess with different names,

I would point out however that while Freya is a mother, her motherly attributes are subordinated whereas Frigg’s stories seem to have her motherly aspect front and center, particularly for Balder her son.   The fact is that the two goddesses are also said to have different children and their encounters with the other gods and goddess are distinct in the stories. Frigg is Aesir and Freya is Vanir along with her brother Frey.  The only evidence that seems to suggest they are the same goddess is the similarity in their husband’s names and those husband having a tendency to wander.  Sorry in all other aspects they are pretty distinct and different.

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Freya is the goddess of love, fertility, beauty, and fine possessions.  The Greek goddess Aphrodite might be a good comparison except Freya has very Norse qualities. Most notably she will suit up for battle when necessary.  She also presides over the realm of Folkvang, one of the realms of the dead. Freya’s duty is to pick half the slain in battle to dwell here while Odin gets the other half.  There is no criteria it seems for who get to go where, just her choice.  This makes her one of the Valkyrie.

Some scholars call Freya, the party girl of the Norse gods. Loki basically accuses her of sleeping with every god and every elf including her own brother.  Her defense is not denial but that it is not considered a taboo for a woman who is married to not take a lover when she wants to, just like the men. There is really no denial. In short Freya is the kind of girl a guy likes when he is single. Her attachment to the forces of fertility, love and beauty draws her into the realm of passionate sex. The image you can see is a girl who can drink, play and fuck all night long.

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The one other quality she has is that she is the very definition of a person who practices the magical school of Seidr or the magic of fate. She can see the future through prophecy and can pronounce curses or blessings that stick.  It is she, when the Vanir-Aesir War ended, that brought this magic to the gods and taught it to them including Odin. It is probably a significant thing this happened; as from then on, Odin and all the gods are focused on altering the future fate of their realm.  It drives them and their actions and the whole concept of Ragnarök becomes center stage.

In popular culture, Freya does not appear very much.  Except it is she who were probably conceptualize that the Valkyrie the most.  That sexy, scantily clad warrior goddess is something her image probably brings to us. She appears once in Marvel’s Thor the comic book in 1993.  She is merely a supporting character. She is much more than that in the mythology.  She probably has had many appearances in video games as far as image and character than anything else.

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Freya speaks to us of prosperity, knowledge and abundance and all the pleasures thereof.  She is connected to cats and fairies. Her sphere is love, lovemaking and pleasure.  But she also is one of the goddesses that can see the fate of men and chooses the slain of sword for her realm and Odin’s Valhalla.  A prophetess who sees the future and says – “It’s not going to end well; everyone dies, so let’s party while we have the time to party.

In my own series The Grey Wayfarer, it is why I chose to separate her from Frigg.  She will give me a goddess character to counter the more motherly Frigg. She is the woman who will be the good ‘naughty girl’ who tempts my protagonist. But in the end will also see his fate and weep as much over him as her lost husband.

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I find Freya to be a great character and one that is distinct and full of potential. There are two very interesting sides to her; as well as a bunch of nuances, that make her a very fleshed out goddess.  Definitely underused in popular culture by her proper name, but her image inspires a lot of characters of fiction and lore.

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


Crossing Bifrost – Races and Creatures – Giants

Happy Saturn’s Day

I suppose the imagery of a giant is pretty universal but as we will see there is a controversy about it when it comes to Norse Mythology. Giants are the primary antagonists in most of the stories of the gods in Norse mythology.  The frost giants take prominence but there are also other types of giants.  Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition’s Monster Manual lists six types of giants – Cloud, Fire, Frost, Hill, Stone and Storm.  It might be argued that all of these have some  from ideas found in Norse mythology.

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But the question starts pretty early as regards if the Norse people actually conceived these giants as ‘giants’.  The problem is one of translation and when Christians began to translate the word for ‘giant’ they may have bastardized it by adding the Greek mythology concepts and used the word for ‘giant’ that reflected this change.  What you see then is a mutation of the original Norse Idea and the Greek idea of titans.

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The original concept in the Norse may simply have been beings that represented the forces of Chaos. When you look at some of the giants you get that – Storm, Fire, Frost, Hills, Stone and Clouds are forces of nature that are both large and powerful.  Both needed for survival, but also feared because of their destructive nature at times.  The “giants” are simply personification of these forces.  They may or may not have been large humanoids to the Norse people.  It would make more sense if they were not.

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The reason I say it would make more sense if they were not, is  the simple fact that the gods and goddesses mate with giants and produce offspring. Sex between two individuals of great difference in size becomes problematic, unless the Norse people didn’t really have the concept of giants being large humanoids but rather simple humanoids that personified certain powerful natural forces.  To the Norse people the gods and the giants may simply been the same size just representing on the one hand forces of order and civilization (the gods), and on the other, the raw natural forces of the world (the ‘giants’).

What I am saying is that the whole notion of these ‘giants’ being large humanoid like creatures might be a later addition.  This would explain why later writers had to give some of the gods the ability to shape shift and change size.  But the original myths may not have had this at all. The my simply have been referring to ‘giants’ as those being who represented the great powers of nature.

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To me this makes the parings of some of the gods and giants interesting because it represents symbolically the need for the forces of civilization and humanity, if you will, to sometimes cooperate and draw strength from the chaotic forces of nature.  That sometimes the ‘children’ of these paring represent both sides of that equation such as Loki pairings with the giantess that produced Fenrir, Hel,  and Jormungandr.  All of these Children have their chaotic element but there is also the ability to think and speak beyond the base animal that they represent in the case of Fenrir and Jormungandr. Hel herself is human like but represents that primal force of Death, but also her realm is orderly and well thought out.

It is why in Norse mythology all of the gods and giants are the product of a an original giant.  That out of the primal forces of nature came the forces of order and chaos. Both are necessary and both can be in conflict or in love (lust) for each other.  To me it speaks of how the Norse people could recognize that; in all things, some necessary things were present. Fire is a primal natural force that is dangerous; but without it, civilization and technology is simply not possible. The earth and hills can be wild and dangerous places; but without the earth we mine and the trees we cut down, we would not have tools or shelter. The mythology reflects this idea of necessary harmony, even tough at times those forces are a threat to each other.

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In our world the giants represent much the same.  Large chaotic forces that must be fought and overcome. The show up in a lot of places in fantasy mythology.  But the idea of being primal natural forces is pretty interesting and we see that too.  For me though I prefer if the giants remain as the larger than life humanoids. It just makes the battles more epic. Courage is a necessary thing when facing them. Every movie or book that uses them reflects this.  Or on rare occasions we find a giant that is actually gentle who desires to help but his great power can unintentionally cause harm.  Thus even when we bend such forces to our will, there is still a danger because of their nature.

All important lessons taught to us through the giants.

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


Crossing Bifrost – Gods and Goddesses – Thor: God of Storms

Happy Saturn’s Day

Seeing I talked about him in my post on Odin last week, I figured I would talk about Thor directly this week.  Thor – God of Thunder, God of Storms. Odin is the god of rulers and leaders.  Thor is the god of the warrior and the common man.  Even in Viking times that made him more popular.  This is probably why more stories have survived about him than any other.  People loved Thor, but they feared Odin because he was the judge of the dead, along with the Valkyrie.

Thor is probably the most well known god of the Norse pantheon today becasue of comic books and movies. He is far more likely to go on action packed adventurers in our world and so people see him doing things actively and often violently. Odin is far more subtle and a master strategist.  Thor is neither. A great example of this is when he wakes up to find his wife’s hair missing. He gets up, surmises that Loki had something to do with it and then goes and physically threaten Loki to do something about it.  Odin probably would have found a way to fix the problem himself through magic and then he would have found a way to get Loki back that was far more subtle.

Thor is the god of thunder and storms.  His wife Sif is the goddess of the earth which is a common paring in most myths.  The rain watering the earth and bringing life is a common concept and it often plays itself out in rain/storm gods being paired with earth/nature goddesses. Thor’s exploits are long but the most notable are:  He welds Mjölnir (Lightning), the hammer of the gods. He is noted for his many battles with the Giants and with the world eating snake  Jörmungand, who he will battle at the and of the world Ragnarok.

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Thor had many other powers, including healing,  He is said to be able to drink more mead and down more food than any other god. In mythology, he is not a blond but a red head.  He also possess the stereotypical hot-headed anger of the red head.  He wears a belt that doubles his already considerable strength.  If you are looking for a god that was a man’s man, then Thor is your god.  He was the kind of man you wanted along side you in battle and the kind of man you wanted to drink and party with as well. Not so oddly, he is also associated with fertility and was often evoke a blessing marriages for fertility.  But part of that reputation was earned outside of marriage with the fact he had many children and a lot of them were not Sif’s.

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Our concept of Thor in our modern day is largely influenced by Marvel Comics.  Thor is a blond, blue eyed viking type.  The movies and the Comic make him very much the noble hero and try to lessen the fact that he was hot headed, slept around and partied like a boss. He is far more noble in the comics version, than he is in the mythology.

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That said I did like the fact that Chris Hemsworth decided to work out to play the character instead of doing the CGI muscles thing.  I think he was a good choice.  It is just our modern world isn’t ready for Thor as he was in mythology, because quite frankly he is fully masculine and makes no apologies for it.  Marvel’s Thor tends to be a little more pretty boy than masculine warrior.

The Thor of mythology is a little rough around the edges, where Marvel’s Thor is polished and presentable. You would be proud to take Marvel’s Thor home to your parents; if you were dating him, and they would think he was such a nice young man. The Thor of mythology, you might have to explain why the fridge is empty, the alcohol is all gone and perhaps why both you and your sister are knocked up with the same due date.

I guess I like characters though that have a little more of a subtle grey side.  Thor in any context doesn’t really have that.  He leaves that sort of thing to Loki. That’s why while I like Thor, I don’t consider him my favorite. Odin still has the honor of being my favorite Norse god. Thor however still inspires a lot of respect for his courage and loyalty to his friends.

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


Crossing Bifrost – Gods and Goddesses – The Norse Pantheon


Happy Saturn’s Day

The center piece of course of Norse mythology is the characters that play on its stage and that is the Gods and Goddesses of the pantheon.  The interesting thing about the gods and goddesses of Norse mythology is that they are very real.  Some critics of such pantheons say that these gods are all too human, but then again so is the jealous and vengeful god of the Bible. The point of such stories is not to be historically accurate or factual but to be morality plays that people think on.  Religion dwells in the realm of ethics and one has to wonder if the stories are the smart clergyman’s way of illustration of the values people are trying to pass on.

The Norse God’s family tree is complicated.  Like most myths the central characters are not the first generation.  Rather they are often the third and fourth generation.  There is also the complication of the fact that the Norse Pantheon also has two separate races of gods the Aesir and the Vanir.  Plus the Gods often mate with the giants producing offspring.  So most people can relate to such gods as the whole family question seems to be pretty relative. The whole Vanir /Aesir question seems to be the result at least as far as I understand it of two mythologies of different parts of the Scandinavian / Germanic world merging.  The result is a little confusion but it makes for an interesting story in and of itself when Freya, who is Vanir, is sent as an exchange to Asgard which is the home of the Aesir.

The stories of the Norse Gods are quite extensive but they have a couple challenging issues. 1) The goddesses do play prominently very often and so their personalities as far as characters in the story or even a full idea of what their sphere and powers are is sometimes missing. 2) There are gaps in the stories like there are supposed to be more of them but they were not written down. My guess is that there are tons of stories that were told but only a few were preserved.

From my perspective as a writer this is a blessing in some ways because I can fill in the gaps when I use Norse mythology and no one can really bitch about it. I can for instance take what little is known about the goddess Hel for example and then fill in the gaps with my own imagination which is what I did in this post: The Grey Wayfarer (Fantasy Serial) – Chapter 5 – Evil Intent (Hel).  I can also do this with other blank spots in the story and characters.  So Norse mythology becomes a rich backdrop that my imagination as a writer can fill in the blank spots. It is primarily why The Grey Wayfarer will center on female goddesses because I can fill in the gaps and there are a lot of gaps.

In popular culture of course the Norse Pantheon is prevalent from the comics all the way to books and movies and has been so for a long time. The influences of this pantheon are seen in other characters indirectly as well.  JRR Tolkien’s Gandalf the Grey is certainly inspired in part by Odin.  There are simply tons of this kind of thing in fantasy literature and that is kind of my reason for delving into it.  To find my own inspiration for my own characters and writing.

There is also the fact that a religion built around a warrior culture is fascinating.  It is amazing to me how many of this pantheon are gods and goddesses of battle or war. I would say very few of them could not be invoked before a battle by a Viking, and that makes conflict a central aspect of the pantheon.  War and battle are common but also politics and diplomacy. Adventure in these stories is often high and powerful.

In the future the Gods and Goddess’ section of Crossing Bifrost will center on a singular god or goddess.  There basically will be dossier of them and then some thoughts about them from my perspective.  My goal is to draw inspiration with Crossing Bifrost and this section will be no different. I will probably start with Odin of course and then work radially out from him.  It seems if there is one thing that binds the whole thing together is the All-Father.

As always I claim no expertise here.  I am still learning and reading but I want to keep a record of my thoughts as I do.  The goal of Crossing Bifrost is to record my journey in understanding this rich mythology, not necessarily to educate.  If while I am doing that you are inspired and learn something then that is a bonus for me.

I hope you continue to enjoy this.

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


Crossing Bifrost – Why Norse Mythology?

Happy Saturn’s Day

I became interested in Norse mythology as a teenager.  It was a combination of two factors.

Firstly, I played Dungeon’s and Dragons – 2nd edition.  One of the realms I created as a Dungeon Master at the time was a Norse like realm with the Norse Pantheon in full power.   My character from that realm was what would now be considered a Tempest Priest of Thor named Thane True-Blade.  He had a brother Karic True-Blade who was a devoted follower of Tyr and a fighter.  There was a female thief named Sylvia who was more or less devoted to Loki. You get the idea.

Secondly, there was the Marvel Comic world with Thor the comic book.  No, I haven’t seen the movies.  Reason? Because while the comics and D&D were instrumental in getting me involved in Norse mythology, I soon fell in far greater love with the actual mythology, than how it has been used or inspired other things.

I start each post on The Grey Wayfarer with “Happy Thor’s Day” or “Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day”  This is an example of one of those inspirations.  Our days of the week have four of them that are direct references to Norse gods and goddesses.  It could be argued that Sunday and Monday are as well, but they are also generic references to the Sun and Moon. So we could be dealing with Apollo as much as Sunna/Sol and Luna as much as Mani, depending on which mythology you want to credit. But Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday all have direct reference to Norse mythology.

It is these references along with many others in the western world that draw me to Norse Mythology,  Christianity didn’t erase them all and in fact sometimes embraced them and made them their own.  Our recent celebration to Christmas; for instance, is full of things that are borrowed and plan out stolen from Norse Yuletide.  Those symbols had other meanings but Christianity has taken them and repackaged them for their own use.  I find it however interesting what has survived and why.

Much of western culture and heritage is Norse and no, I don’t find that anything to be ashamed of. In fact, there is a lot to be said for the lessons that Norse Mythology were teaching to its people. Religion shows what cultures value and try to pass on and so studying Norse mythology can help us see what those values were and how they were taught generation after generation.

Unlike the atheist who does not see any value to religion, I don’t take that course.  Religions develop for reasons and not all of them are about manipulation or control.  Part of paganism for me is that there are ‘universal’ truths and principles that religion guards and promotes which benefit society and often at some point they are turned into religion or become part of a religion mostly in an effort to preserve them. Religion for years was also the place where science at a low-level and philosophy was created and preserved and part of that is mythology.  Stories that illustrate those principles and truths. Stories that teach are the stock in trade of mythology and that is not always a bad thing.

There is also the simple fact the Norse Mythology has had tremendous impact on modern culture particularly pop culture involving fantasy writing and movies.  Elves, dwarves, giants, etc. all owe their inspiration to Norse mythology. Comics, movies, art and many other things draw on Norse Mythology.  My writing is definitely influenced by it and has for a long time.  But I am not alone there – Tolkien, CS Lewis, Robert Jordan, and many others join me in that regard.

There is also the fact that  I simply find the Vikings bad ass warriors and a lot of why they did what they did was their mythology.  It is a mythology formed in the harsh realities of the ice, snow and cold of the North.  I understand how these relate all to well having lived in the North of North America all my life.  So I suppose there is a natural resonance with such mythology for me as that mythology of the Norseman provides a common ground. A spiritual connection based on a commonly understood environment, if you will.

My methods of approaching this are much less systematic as those of say Odin’s Eye or Of Wolves and Ravens.  What I think I will find more beneficial is a topical rather than chronological methodology in Crossing Bifrost.  Topic Headings will include, but are not limited to, the following.

The Norse World – Yggdrasil (The World Tree) and Its Realms – Asgard, Midgard, Hel, etc.

Norse Races and Creatures – Elves, Dwarves, Giants, etc.

Norse Gods and Goddesses – Odin, Freya, Thor, Frigg, Loki, etc. This would also include god monsters like Fenrir the Great Wolf and the World Serpent Jörmungandr.

Norse Symbols and Objects – Thor’s Hammer Mjolnir, The Valknut Symbol ,etc.

Norse Culture and History – Probably a little more difficult to define  but topics here might involve how the Norse Mythology influence Viking Culture and History.

Basically I will probably have a sub page under Crossing Bifrost for each of these where appropriate and them probably follow an alphabetical listing on each sub page itself.   The one requirement basically is that it has to relate in some way to Norse Mythology to be posted here.

Hope you enjoy my journey of discover on this subject. If you learn something along the way – well that is good too.

I remain,

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


The Pagan Pulpit – Stan Lee – Being a Writer

Happy Sun’s Day:


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

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Seems like every time I turn around here some great icon I love has died and this week its a man who probably inspired my imagination more than any other during his life. Mostly because he has been around from the beginning.  Spider-Man was to be my favorite comic character for his human struggles, snappy sarcastic wit and he was just plain cool.  But I also found myself reading Stan’s editorial comments in his comic books and discovered a man who was inspiring in his imagination and advice to writers and aspiring comic book artists.  This session of the Pagan Pulpit salutes Marvel Comics’ heart and soul – Stan Lee (1922-2018) – RIP.

Opening Song: Spider Man Theme Song 1960s

A song from my childhood and one that celebrates probably the best comic character of all time. It may be a cheesy song from the 1960s but that was normal back then.  In any case, my Saturday morning cartoons were dotted with comic book super heroes and Spidey was one of them.  Stan’s ultimate genius was a character that was real as a person but super as a hero.


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This poem went viral when Stan wrote it. He released it about two years ago.  It speaks for itself.  Stan was a pretty standard poet.  His words however were anything but normal or standard.


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Song of Preparation: X-Men Opening Theme

More cartoon stuff but from my teen age to early twenties (yes, I read comics and watched super hero cartoons well into adulthood).  The X-Men were favorites of mine with the underlying tone of them being a call against racism. Stan Lee had a way of letting his characters not only be real, but also they addressed tough issues and the X-Men and its mutants were one of those groups that addressed a hard social issue. Particularly what society does with those that are perceived to be monsters or outcasts.


“The only advice anyone can give is, if you want to be a writer. keep writing.  And read all you can, read everything.”


Writing is one of my passions of course.  People who talk about writing get my attention.  In truth one of my early instructors was Stan Lee.  Not just through reading his comics but he would have an editorial at the beginning of every comic I read specifically to that group or character.  I loved every moment of reading those.  I mean my friends would read comics but I think I was the only one in my group of friends reading the editorial notes and thinking about how the comics were produced.  The one message that came through is that everything started with a great story.

This is still true.  We have digitized just about everything, but the imagination that casts the original story is still in the writer. It wasn’t the super powers that caught my attention, it was the characters and the story they were in and Stan Lee recognized this.  That’s why his characters and stories survived while many other comics died and disappeared. No matter how cool your graphics, if the story sucks or the people can’t relate to the characters, people will not read it.

You have to be real when you write.  Stan had this thing for the real.  His most famous quote about this is that when it came to comic books he felt they were like boobs. They might look great on a computer, but he would rather have them in his hand.  I concur with this observation and I still feel the same way bout books and other things I read.  I like to sit in a chair and read them and I feel they should sit in my hand as real objects that books, comic books or magazines.  I also feel the same about boobs as well.  Some things have more reality than others.  The more senses you use the more real things seem.

The advice Stan gives to writers is two-fold – 1) Never stop writing.  Keep doing it.  2) Read everything you can.  Not unique perhaps but when you hear enough successful writers say this you begin to realize it is probably true.   As I am now considering writing as a career path, the advice seems more applicable.   It’s advice I will take to heart for the rest of my life.

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Closing Song: Avengers – Earth’s Mightiest Heroes – Theme Song:

If the X-Men took on racism, just about every issue along with that one, the Avengers addressed.  One of my favorite groups because the cast of characters was constantly revolving and changing,  It introduced me to a lot of characters and character development and as a writer I love that.

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Stan Lee, you cannot know how many of us loved your work.  You were more than a comic book artist or entertainer.  You were a person who inspired many of us to believe that a better humanity was possible.  That no matter how dark the evil might be, heroes would rise up from the human race and fight it. It was this notion that kept many of us from going off the deep end.  Your work inspired my imagination and for that I will always be grateful.

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