“Heritage, The Grey, and Dried Salt” – The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer – Part 27

Happy Mani’s Day:

I should be happy with my life right now, but I struggle with it.  Things are getting better for my life all the time, but I feel something is missing in my life. Now those of you of faith need to understand this has been going on for a while and it isn’t the result of losing my faith as it precedes this.  Jesus never filled this supposed hole in my heart as much as I preached it was so.  Before I lost my faith in Christianity, it was this thing known as The Grey that was like clouds over who I was that indicated to me that I was missing something.

Heritage:

I have been studying my family history to see if there is anything in it that might indicate why this is so. I mean there are signs you can see in people by where they lived when they got married, the number of children, divorce, and death in a lineage that can tell you if things were rough or smooth for that person.  My continued use of Ancestory has proven to me that stories can be written and my lineage is varied but readable.

Some highlights:

  1. My father’s biological parents were people who eventually abandoned him.  His father because he was a drunk and his mother who knew she couldn’t afford him and his siblings.  The Bauman and Hole families are those legacies. The first family stretches back to Germany; the second is Dutch and Irish. I only know all this now because I discovered my biological grandmother’s (who I did meet while she was alive) maiden name and that opened the door to who she was married to and their parents. My grandfather was a drunk by all accounts and my grandmother found herself alone and on the streets.  She gave up my father for adoption.  She would go on to divorce two husbands and finally find a man who treated her well.
  2. This biological lineage has highlights but is noted most for its many marriages, divorces, and remarriages even at times when divorce was only allowed for infidelity indicating that infidelity was present. But also some of these remarriages are because a woman or man would watch their spouse die of some disease. There is a lot of sorrow on this side of the tree inflicted by the world and by self. I can see it and I don’t even know many details.
  3. My mother’s side of the family is far easier and better documented. It is a story of successful farmers, pioneers, and colonists. Most notably the Ackley’s who came from England to settle in the British Connecticut Colonies in the 1600s.  Many of them originally from Weymouth England and London.  They ended up coming further and further west until they settled in the Kalamazoo and Portage area of Michigan.
  4. Of course, my mother’s mom is even simpler and shorter.  The came from the Netherlands.  Like the whole family just picked up and left the Groningen area of the northern Netherlands.  My great grandparents and their parents all at the same time just got on a boat and came to America in the 1890s. They settled in Michigan and the rest is a short but powerful history of a family of Dutch Reformed people doing well in their new land.

So does heritage being this split have an effect on me? I guess I will wait for the DNA test results, to clear up the few loose ends that remain.  But right now the fact all of this is clearer should be something I am enjoying but other things seem to be pulling me into the Grey.

Depression: 

I believe part of it is where I live.  It has been mostly overcast and dreary this winter and that is never good for anyone with depression. I have been getting more concerned about my finances but it looks like a new job in my current company might help alleviate that short term for a bit anyway. My car and I went into the ditch and it is developing mechanical problems since.  I may need a ‘new’ one.  Life is intruding a lot right now and that triggers depression even if it is good.

Family trigger warning: Reading further might be a little too troubling for family members.  I am simply trying to get some things clearer in my mind and I find writing them and posting them does this, so hang on from here down. 

My marriage has definitely improved, but for me, there is still a lot missing and no matter how I try to fight it, I am becoming more restless every single day. The one thing for sure is whatever is missing, this improvement hasn’t fixed it, at least for me. I feel very much like I am giving up what I want to make my family happy at this point. I know what I want to do but I am fairly sure there will be a lot of pushback. This struggle, of course, causes The Grey.  That and thoughts returning from a lost love.

Dried Salt:

Miss Salty returned to mind due to posting a Facebook memory only to find her reaction to it with her name attached.  I guess feelings about her have solidified to a point.  I miss her; I care about her still, but I still wouldn’t trust her.  I know that sounds stupid probably, but the pain of this is still not gone.  I was looking at some old poems about her on this blog and the feelings are still there when I read them.  Although. I did manage to get through John Legend’s – ‘All of Me’ without crying once or shutting it off to avoid crying. She still haunts me like a ghost.

I avoid any sort of news about her, I haven’t even looked at her social media pages since June of 2019. I intentionally try to not think of her at times but she seems to come back in my thoughts more than I would like. WTF?  I should be a lot wiser from this whole situation but I miss that feeling I had and wonder if I can get it back. It is not happening with my marriage, improved though it is.

I guess I cling to this because, for a few months in 2018, I didn’t feel like something was missing.  This bothers me.  What was it that made me feel like I wasn’t missing something, because this relationship with Miss Salty, in the final analysis, was a shitshow?  How did this rollercoaster of an affair make me feel whole for once? For the first time, there was light in The Grey and I want to know what was it about this relationship that did that?  Can I get it back some other way?  All these questions are just made to order triggers for The Grey. I guess I have something to talk about with my therapist.

Walking the Grey:

True to form, Perseverance kicks in and no matter how I feel, I keep walking. I remain The Grey Wayfarer. Ravens of reason and wisdom overhead while following the wolves of what I need and want.  I search for the missing thing that will make me whole once again. Finding this wholeness is a large driving force and motivation in my life right now.  I walk the Grey because this is so worth it to me, I will walk in sadness for the rest of my life to find it.  Succeed or fail, it is worth that much to me.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Before and After” – The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer – Part 24

Happy Woden’s (Odin) Day!

This post is a little later than usual because I am doing a little bit of an experiment with it.  In about a half-hour, my therapist and I will be meeting via Skype and we will be hopefully discussing some of my issues so what you are getting with this installment is The Grey and The Wayfarer ‘before and after’.  So the part marked ‘Before’ is what I was thinking before I went into session and the part marked “After” is my thoughts as I reflected on them after the session.  It has really been up and down these last two weeks so I need to talk about that.

Before:

The issues I want to discuss in this session are the main two of my marriage and identity.  In the issue of my marriage, there are some things I need to discuss with my wife and my therapist is going to help me, according to our last session, as to how to approach this discussion as I am a little apprehensive of talking about the specific issues.  It’s weird because this isn’t about sex or intimacy but more about common goals, vision and what are we going to do now. What are we now with our values shifting in different directions and the objective for our lives shifting.

The second issue of identity is one of trying to figure out what I am now that I am both an atheist and no longer a pastor.  Part of this is career issues that my job coach is helping me with and I will talk on that at a different time.  This is deeper than that.  More of a foundational question.  My hope is there will be some insight as the last two sessions have been more of me talking and her digesting things and coming to understand my situation.  Hopefully, she has some wisdom, because right now I could use some and I am starting to feel confined and trapped by the situation.  That’s before.  See what happens and then I will write an after and then post both.

After:

Things worked as I think she guided my own thoughts into doing what needs to be done.  I need to really think about a direct course of designing my life as far as what I am going to be while having options.  My primary identity is being a writer, but it is going to be my second one which can be multiple things that will define me as far as other people are concerned for a while.

Also, we talked about Christmas and the family mostly.  I just don’t want it to be drama, but I also have the task of telling people I don’t pray anymore over the meals.  It’s more about celebrating the season of Yuletide and being with the kids and grandkids as much as possible. I am just there to enjoy, not be the spiritual master of ceremonies.

Of course, we talked about my marriage and all I will say about that is that a conversation between us needs to take place soon.  No more there, as no one else needs to know yet what is going on. I just now have it very clear that before the new year my wife and I need to talk about some things. ‘Need’ being the keyword.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“An Atheist/Pagan Thanksgiving?” – Odin’s Eye

Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day.    

Discussion:

There is no Norse correlation to the American Thanksgiving Holiday.  There is really no holiday at all from a Norse perspective at the end of November and the next holiday that would qualify would be Yule which is the last twelve days of December.  So what meaning could Thanksgiving have for an atheist/pagan?  Honestly, I think it is a nice celebration but it is the term ‘thanksgiving’ that gets me now – thankful to who? The implication is that there is an Invisible Sky Dad to be thankful to for stuff we have and we pause to give thanks to him. As an atheist, yeah no.

My pagan side centers on The Nine Noble Virtues of Asatru, being connected as possible to my heritage and family roots, and celebration of holidays that are based on the seasonal changes of the year.  Thanksgiving isn’t about any of that.  From my perspective as a harvest festival, it’s a little late in the northern clime where I live. Shit, we have had some snow already and most farmers have put away their shit for winter.

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If I am going to be thankful then, I am going to center on people and things that actually exist.  Notably, other people in my life that have actually done something to help me or make my life better.  Family, freinds and the people that created and founded this country on secular principles. It is after all a national holiday.

One note before we look through the eye – in concerning the former filter I had known as Faith – it is gone and I have decided not to replace it with something else.  Probably this is the best symbolism I can make concerning this issue.  One less cloudy filter to look through.  Live is mysterious enough without religion and faith to further muddy my vision.

Time to Look Through the Eye:

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

Meditation:

Being thankful is probably more a part of the virtue of Hospitality, so it becomes a matter of who would one invite and show hospitality to as an expression of that thankfulness.  This is a matter for meditation but it ends with the people who have made decisions that have actually benefited my life. There is quite a list to lift a mug of mead to in that regard. Not just living today but in the past.  Ancestors both biological and philosophical that in the end revolutionized the world I live in right now.

Mystery:

I don’t think the mystery is so much divine any more to me but the question of who my ancestors actually were and what influence they had on my life.  There is a lot of unknowns that need to be discovered and I anxiously await the means to do so. If there is a legacy to be left to my grandchildren, it is to pull back the veil here and see the truth of who I am.

Spirituality:

The spirituality I can see with Thanksgiving is at some point my family will gather, we will share and meal and drink and talk about old times.  It’s the connections we have that make it a spiritual occasion.  Of course, I have to work that day but that isn’t my employer’s fault.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, text that says 'austin @outsinned Ppl will really b like "omg cant believe I you have to work on thanksgiving, you should be home with you family!" While I'm scanning their shit like??? You're the fucking reason Karen Go home'

Conclusion:

I work in retail so I will be from noon till 9 pm on Thursday at work doing the initial Black “Friday” sales. I always find this an interesting study in human behavior.  People decry that we have to work and should be home like everyone else, while they are shopping on the very day.  If companies didn’t make money because no one showed up on principle, they wouldn’t do it. I suppose this is the best I can say for Thanksgiving – let the Christmas shopping begin.  Salute to all my brothers and sisters working this holiday season in retail – “May the odds be ever in your favor”.

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I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Scattered Grey Showers” -The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer – Part 21

Happy Sif’s Day

Of course in the middle of the triumph of achieving a goal, The Grey would have to make an appearance and the problem is it is not one single thing causing the issue but several scattered showers of shit I would rather not deal with; but there it is.  There have been all kinds of scattered Grey showers this week and I haven’t been able to control them all the time which has led to some sleepless nights and emotions that have been less than happy ones.

It actually started the day after I achieved my one-year blogging goal with the simple thought of – ‘yeah that’s great, but you still don’t have a better job yet.”  I hate moments like that because they seem to take all the joy of succeeding at something away from me in a second. I shell up and just exist. I need a new job it’s true, but blogging every single day without fail is an achievement,  I know and anyone who blogs knows it is. It’s just The Grey has a tendency to crop in after I have a high moment.

If this wasn’t enough, I am working one day and over the speakers, it becomes clear that they have at long last changed the loop of songs to something new.  Cool right?  Except that now twice a day it seems I hear the song I don’t want to hear.  “All of Me” by John Legend.  It’s not that I think it is a bad song, it’s damn skippy good.  It is also connected emotionally to Miss Salty in a very strong way and then the whole memories shit of that relationship comes up and I want to cry.  Yeah, 6’4″ 275 lbs. weightlifter crying at work.  So The Grey kicks in as a protective measure and I try to ignore the song.  But later catch me singing it and thinking about her. What the Fuck?  This is why I avoid this song in the first place, and now I can’t avoid it at times.

So, I finally get a day off and I go to bed the night before and I have a dream. Yeah, it’s about The Dirty Pig.  Nothing big or symbolic just him making fun of me and laughing. Him doing his thing of doing things for his own entertainment and throwing me under the bus to that end. I used to be able to control my dreams a little, but as I grow older that ability seems to be lost. I think I still have enough ability to keep the ‘night terrors’ I used to have a bay.  If they come back, that will not be good.

I wake up and then I had to get up for a bit.  Kind of alarmed my wife as it is unusual for me to let my insomnia get me out of bed. The whole extreme anger thing is high with him.  Hard to control.  But then there is my old friend/enemy – the Grey and I head back to bed and fall asleep.

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My personality type makes me emotionally intelligent.  Sometimes called ’empathic’ and it’s pretty high in me.  The curse is that strong emotions in others or in songs or from my past experiences get supercharged because of it.   The Grey has developed in me as a counter to that. When things get too negatively strong, it kicks in to keep me sane. Cool huh?  But the downside is I don’t give a shit about anyone else in those moments.  I have also noted that The Grey occurs more frequently when I am not taking care of myself as far as self-love.  Loving myself keeps the emotional balance better, but I have to really work at that as it is much more natural to help other people than myself.

The other defense is introversion, but that isn’t good for me either.  Part of self-love is receiving love and you can’t do that by yourself.  This what led to the problems of last year.  My wife was penciling me into her busy schedule and I wasn’t a priority.  The church was taking a lot out of me and not giving much back in terms of emotional support and school wasn’t the outlet for my attention like it had been.  Along comes Miss Salty who absolutely understood this and BAM – affair, breakup, getting fired, near divorce, life turned upside down.

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The problem is I am absolutely terrified of letting someone else in right now.  Miss Salty leaving me and The Dirty Pig betraying my trust and leading the other friends I had at the church to fire me have all given me current trust issues off the chart at times. I function all right with people, but let them into my life to love and be loved by them? – yeah, no thanks.  Got my family, a couple close friends and that is it.  My wife helps a lot, but we both have to work and she is extroverted so she has to get away from the apartment or she would go nuts.  That leaves me alone.

The other downside is I get along better with women than men.  Men are comrades in arms but it takes a self-confident guy to be a friend that I trust..  I always feel men are competing with me rather than trying to be a friend. If you are that insecure, yeah, I don’t like you; because I know you’re going to brag about shit in front of me and I don’t do that.  I don’t need to because I am pretty secure in my masculinity.  I don’t have to prove my manhood to anybody.  Only one other guy on the planet gets that right now and that is why we are best friends.  Most men can’t handle that so they shy away for me or our relationship is the joking sarcasm of guys doing the same job and dealing with the same shit.

So women are easier to get along with for me. You can imagine how this is a downside. Today in the western world, 1) showing a woman some attention, 2) understanding her emotions and 3) being self-confident in your own masculinity equals flirting. Like, it comes naturally to me and that has lead to being flirted with back in return more than once.  Pre-affair this was just fun and a way to play around that broke up the monotony of life.  Women made my life more bearable with this flirting with boundaries thing.

Post-affair?  You draw your own conclusions but I have some women now that it is purely professional much like I act with guys.  But my natural tendencies are still there and so subtle I don’t often realize I am doing it.  Getting close to another woman as a friend is just difficult and undesirable given recent events.

So, I am left with my one friend who lives far away who thankfully calls me every few days to check on me and my wife.  My wife and I get along and she now very much understands that you can’t just pencil me in to be my lover/friend.  I have to be much higher on the priority list than that because I am high maintenance when it comes to internal emotions.

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That’s the bitch about being INFJ.  Perfect personality my ass.  Yeah, from an external point of view, we function and don’t appear to need human interaction as much, we navigate emotional situations well outwardly and get along pretty much with anybody.  The price tag of those positives is high internal emotional costs. We pay every part of that cost ourselves for the benefits others enjoy.  No human is strong enough to take that all the time and so the trade-offs are: 1) We disappear for a while, 2) it gets to a point of overload, so we develop coping mechanisms (aka for me The Grey) or 3) Eventually we explode and do something tremendously stupid or risky.  It’s a ticking time bomb that needs to have minutes added to the clock by #1 and 2 or #3 is inevitable.

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On top of it all, today (October 5th, 2019) is the 25th anniversary of my father’s death. Yeah, that always is a grey shower no matter what I do.  I still miss him.

But I keep walking. Ravens on my shoulder and wolves at my feet. My coat and cloak pulled tight against the storm.  No rest for the weary or the wicked.  The showers will eventually end and I will be that much stronger for walking through them.

Still Walking,

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

Skaal!!!

“Polyamory” – Freya’s Chambers – Sexual Orientation

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Disclaimer:  The topics covered in Freya’s Chambers include serious discussions of sex, sexuality and related issues.  If it isn’t your thing; you can move along, otherwise enjoy and feel free to discuss.  Given the nature of some subjects be prepared for nude images as there may be some.  I avoid genitalia as a general rule but is not always possible.  

Discussion:

Polyamory is an interesting topic because it calls into question the need for societal mores in relationship to romance and sex. I have looked at the subjects of polygamy in the Bible and other related issues and came to the conclusion that from a Biblical point of view as long as everyone was in a marriage relationship and there was no homosexual activity, the Bible allowed for it. But now that I would say the Bible is out and I am looking for a more rational viewpoint of romance and relationships in sexual content.  Along these lines there are only three considerations: 1) Is is consensual, 2) have reasonable precautions been implemented, 3) Are the people involved emotionally and mentally mature enough to handle the relationship.  See the source image

Polyamory is pretty much about the consensual sex and romance with multiple partners.  Unlike many relationships that are multi individual in nature, this is out in the open and everyone agrees to it.  There is no ignorance and no one is being forced to be a part of it and no one is being placed in a position where they have to hide anything. It is really the way freedom should be in that there are no restrictions and no secrets. Polyamory passes the first test as that is the point of it – multiple consensual relationships without secrets.

The second issue is that of reasonable precautions being taken.  The two main issues are STDs and pregnancy.  In reading a majority of practitioners of polyamorous relationships the STD question is part of the reason they desire openness as far as no secrets and this means everyone gets to talk about it and when someone new is brought in they have a lot of questions and those in such relationship tend to stay in a prescribed circle because it is more than just them they are protecting.  In any case, the whole point is to establish a boundary and stay within it even though the relationship is polyamorous.  Letting someone in that boundary is a group decision and that’s a pretty effective protection against STDs.

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In the case of pregnancy what you read is pretty much either the whole group takes responsibility for the children if they happen or everyone agrees it is group decision as well to open up the possibility if one of the girls wants to get pregnant.  Until then the girl needs to be responsible for her own reproductive system and quite frankly in the modern western world, there is really no excuse for an unwanted pregnancy anymore.  There really isn’t and that means the statement “My body; my choice” comes with the counter – “Your choice, your responsibility.”  In any case, from the standpoint of polyamory, this is another group discussion.

If you are starting to get the idea that communication has to be very high in these kinds o relaitonships I would say ‘correct’.  It shows people in such relationships have to meet the final criteria of being emotionally mature enough to handle the fact that you are loved by many and love many.  Jealousy, control, and envy can’t really be present. You have to be happy when you are being loved by someone and when they love someone else. You have to love the love you receive and get and are also loving enough to let others love each other.

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More directly, you have to be Ok with the fact that the guy or gall you had sex with that night could be having sex with someone else in the relationship that morning.  While you could make love to another person that same morning. The sexual options are one of the main reasons that people get in these relationships and most of the polyamorous writers I have read don’t believe that humans are naturally monogamous.  That reality accepted they simply are being honest in the relationship they have entered.

I put this under sexual orientation for the simple reason that is it possible that some people are sexually oriented to be open lovers?  To be people who can love many people and make love to many people without being possessive or close-minded or even manipulative?  Is it possible that one sexual orientation is a ‘natural lover’?  I have to think it is possible and I can’t see any reason to think evil of such people because of it.

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I guess the honesty of this type of relationship is a step up by quite a bit from the sneaking around and cheating that is also polyamorous but no one but the cheater is aware of it. That is far more dangerous and disastrous than a group of people who say ‘let’s just set all the secrecy aside and be open about the fact all of us love more than one person here’.  It is the consent and agreement to the simple idea that some people are romantically and sexually capable of loving more than one person at once, and that is entirely OK and you don’t have to stop doing it.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Frigg: Mother of Foresight”(Asatru – Part 12) – 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: “Prayer of Frigg” – Tjamtjala

Meditation:

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Text:

See the source image

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

Sermon: 

Finally, we hit Frigg.  Goddess of Love, Marriage, Fertility, Prosperity, Family, Civilization, Weavers, and Prophecy.  Wife to Odin and mother of Baldur.  Her appearances in the mythology are interesting in that she is an active player many times but her personality is never really developed leaving her with an air of mystery almost as mysterious as her husband. Frigg, however, is a powerful queen who acts when needed. Her loyalty and concern for her children – particularly Baldur is never questioned.

Of course, her lament for Baldur is more tragic because she foresaw his death but couldn’t stop it and then when the whole world wept for Baldur save, one so he remains in Helheim, becomes even sadder.  Her ability to see the fates of each person does not help her and the tragedy of losing a child. It must have been a story to remind mere human mothers that even Frigg despite all her powers, lost a son and grieved for him.

To the followers of Asatru, Frigg is queen as much as Odin is king. She is venerated for many reasons but if one wants to understand Odin better one needs to understand Frigg and Frigg seems to be Odin’s center.  His point zero, zero, zero if you will.,  It all starts and ends with her to him.  They actually seem to love each other deeply although sexual fidelity is not required it seems, as both of them were known to have sex with others.

One of the cool things is that one ritual is mentioned, whether it is new or old I found it interesting. Of placing a large single candle central and then twelve candles in a circle around it.  This is done to reflect Frigg’s twelve handmaidens or in some cases, as believed – her twelve different aspects. Either way, it demonstrates the complexity of a very mysterious and powerful goddess.

I find Frigg to be a puzzle that it is fun defining the edges of.  I have used her in a story and made her a kind-hearted but powerful mother/wife figure. I find this female representation both appealing and powerful.  The Nordic pantheon has a father figure in Odin that travels far and wide to protect what he cares for and a mother figure who protects hearth and home while he is away. They are never questioned when they sit together in their home. Definitely both strong feminine and masculine as a couple. She also has a strong story that emphasizes parental love.

Parting Thought:

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I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Heimdall – Guardian of Bifrost Bridge” (Asatru – Part 11) – 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: ‘Heimdall” – Nordic Folk Music:

Meditation:

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Never, ever stop learning.

Text:

See the source image

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

Sermon: 

I remember that my introduction to Norse mythology as a child actually started with Heimdall and actually the book above also when it starts looking at the Norse gods of Asatru also starts with Heimdall. Heimdall is the god that guards the way to Asgard – The Bifrost Bridge. The rainbow bridge that connects Asgard to Midgard.

Heimdall is the god of light, guardians, the coast as he is the product of Odin and the nine waves of the sea.  He lives in his fortress above the entrance to Asgard.  He has a sword and a horse.  Most notably he is the god which is considered the most benevolent to mankind as he is involved with them.

The image one might get of Heimdall is a man who sits and guards the bridge day after day but in fact, he seems to travel a bit and be very involved in mankind’s plights.  It is also believed by scholars that he was once more important that he seems to be today.  The Norse people held him in high regard as he was said to be the father of many human children so it was said he was an ancestor to many.  I remember when I watched Vikings the TV show it was this idea that was invoked when a man and woman were having a dispute about her child because it seemed the child was not the product of their marriage but the visist of a stranger. The ruling woman made the judgment the child was the child fo Heimdall and thus the family was blessed.

The followers of Asatru do have high regard for Heimdall despite the fact his role with the gods is slight.  Basically waiting to blow his horn to signal the attack of the giants during Ragnorak on Asgard and then to guard Bifrost with his life. This vigilance and connection with mankind in the rainbow, the coast and the ridges above the seas is however ever-present.  Something that is to be admired.

I am reminded that not all virtue is glamorous. There is nothing more boring and yet so necessary as guard duty.  Heimdall for his part takes on his task of guarding Asgard and the Bifrost bridge with a sense of fidelity and discipline that few can match. His story definitely also has the connection to humanity that is truly personal as he is the ancestor of many.  I find it interesting that the Norse people had no problem with the fact that he seems to have no wife yet fathers human children and they considered themselves blessed for it.  Despite what we do know there is still a lot of mystery to Heimdall which I find intriguing. Mostly his personality seems interesting but he so quiet he reveals little and his name’s meaning is unknown.  I connect with him however as his job as the guardian of Asgard connects to my first name Edward very well – ‘The guardian of prosperity’ seems to fit us both.

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!!!

“Taking A Few Deep Breaths” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Sif’s Day

These last two weeks have been interesting and challenging. I was in the doctor’s office on Thursday and as always a little anxious. I was there for my routine checkup and consultation. But as I waited I did some thinking.  I have had the following experiences this last couple of weeks.

  1. I have had more denials from potential employers in the last ten days than in a couple months previously.  It’s like all the applications I filed came back with nulls.
  2. At my current employer, I was passed over for a job and it was given to someone with no experience whatsoever.
  3. I have had another bout with The Grey and while it was not severe. The cause was known, however.
  4. I have had a doctor’s appointment and while a lot of the news was good, there was some news that reminded me I am getting older.   And that sucks by the way.
  5. The End of August marks one year that my wife and I have been back together after our separation last summer and that has lead to some very reflective moments about my marriage.

This post is about taking a few deep breaths and looking at each of these a little reflectively and spiritually.

Deep Breath. 

I guess I have to say the whole job situation has caused me to look at the basic fact that I have not really discovered what my new identity is. It is in-process both practically and spiritually and so there is that.  Mostly though the practical concerns will start to become forefront issues in the next couple of months I don’t find something better. For now, though my meditations center on who am I?

Deep Breath.

The decision at work at first angered me and then I just felt disrespected. It was like really, could have slapped all of us from the department any harder, especially those of us that work hard over here and have management experience?  Then I took a breath, realized that this is not my place, I am in my heart looking to move on to something better, so I might as well get about it.

Deep Breath.

My bought with The Grey recently was brought about by a song played on the radio at work. It was my song to Miss Salty and it triggered the whole mess of feelings involved in that.  One thing they never seem to mention about being empathic is that emotions experienced in certain situations stay and lay dormant until something triggers them and then there you are all over again. Which triggers a whole lot of meditation on the problem.  My most recent meditations have led me to a question: What exactly is The Grey?

Depression?  It involves depression but there is that switch that goes off to protect me from the sadness so I feel nothing. In that state, am I depressed or something else entirely?  I think I might have had an introspective moment because of this that might lead to an awakening.   I hope so.

Deep Breath.

I took a lot of those deep breaths before I met my new doctor. I just passed 50 so the protocol becomes: ‘You need this test done, you need to start this medication as a diabetic.’  I am like – what is this malevolent magic that took place where all this was unnecessary at age 49 and 364 days but one day later, a whole list of evil fairies have comes and makes you vulnerable to a whole new crops of shit. I hope my new doctor is a good salesman and explains things well, because if you don’t sell me – Yeah, fuck that shit.

The problem is that all my health indicators indicate I am healthier than I was last year, but somehow my medicines need to be increased and new treatments engaged for possible problems down the road. I hate American medicine, they either engage in damage control after the fact or their definition of preventative medicine is purely put more pills in your body. Not my thoughts on how to approach my health.

Deep Breath.

I don’t take too much for granted when it regards my marriage.  Our reconciliation is in truth a work in progress. I simply acknowledge here that It still might not work, something I started when we first decided to go down this path to my family and something I remind myself of right now. I want it very much to work, don’t get me wrong. But I also acknowledge the struggle in my heart between how much do I have to give up as far as my personal happiness to stay married? I shouldn’t be looking at it that way should I, but I am, and that is very troubling to me.

  1. My wife and I have very different values now.  That is basically because I ‘fuck it’ to my former faith and she has not.  What is important to me is very different than what is important to her.  And it is growing more divided.
  2. Our goals are very different and trying to find common ground either involves a lot of compromises or straight up, from my perspective, me giving up a lot of my goals entirely.  I am growing weary of having to give up what I desire simply to make my family and friends happy, and that is exactly the state of mind I was in that caused me to walk away a year ago. Not good.
  3. I now know what aspects of a relationship with a woman I am missing and still desire. It creates a longing in my heart that I cannot seem to shake.

Deep Breath.

I think it is time to look within.  Discover who I am again and out of that might flow a lot of answers.  It is time to awaken and to take that first breath of who I am now.  It is time to find that person and become them.

Deep Breath.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

The Family ‘Pagan’? – Odin’s Eye – Paganism

Happy Thor’s Day.    

Discussion:

Them: “So you’re a pagan?”

Me: “Sort of, I have pagan tendencies”

Them: “Pagan tendencies?”

Me: “Yeah, I believe the pagan spiritual concepts are pretty interesting, but I am not much into religion anymore, so I am not into that part of it.”

I know this conversation because I have had it a couple times.  To say you are spiritual but think all religion is made up is a hard thing for people to grasp. I mean I have my rituals of meditation on the Nine Noble Virtues and my ritual of putting on my pendant for the day but that is pretty much it. Mostly I look at paganism spiritual concepts as a way to address the possibility of spiritual reality.  In truth, I lean toward the deist side of things with an unknowable divine creator(s). The paganism simply allows me to reach out with my own sense of love and spirituality and address the question of what that divine creator or creators might be.

The issue of course for my family is that they are mostly Christian with a few exceptions.  Mostly though I think they have trouble dealing with their long-time husband, father, and grandfather, who used to be a devout Chrisitan, who now doesn’t even go to church or even pray anymore. n short I have a far easier time adjusting to them than they do to me.

Time to Look Through the Eye:

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

Faith:

My faith these days is more about lining up my spiritual philosophy of the Nine Noble Virtues with real life.  Living virtuously means more to me than the whole mythology of choice thing. I like the Norse myths but the idea that any of those gods actually exist is the real of fantasy and no better or worse than any other mythology out there.  For me, Norse mythology is closer to my ancestral roots and resonates with me more. But I ain’t praying to Odin or Thor. If there is any concept I like it is that we don’t pray to them.  If there is a divine power of some sort, I would rather have this attitude of standing with them rather than bowing before them.

The reality of my faith is that if there is a god or not is irrelevant to it.  If there is my pursuit of virtue should be honored. If there isn’t living by virtue in this world has its own rewards.  Either way, this is the reality f choice when it comes to faith.

Religion:

My pagan religious aspects are few:

  1. I meditate on the Nine Noble Virtues every morning along with my goals.
  2. I put my pendant around my neck for the day after taking my shower.  Mostly this marks the end of my morning routine.
  3. I try to view all of life as a large spiritual lesson.
  4. I celebrate holidays with my family and do it more with a pagan mindset, which is very easy as Christians have stolen most of the symbols for their holidays from the pagans.

I suppose you could add that I study pagan spirituality and religious practice as like reading about the Norse myths. I suppose if I were to ever join a Brethren it would be more for companionship and common interest. Not really all that different than most people in the church.

Theology:

Human beings are emotional, physical and rational.  My theology simply adds spiritual to the mix as a way of tying that all together.  There is a unified cohesion to things when you add the spiritual to me. That’s pretty much it.

Spirituality:

That spirituality is what gives me my pagan tendencies as I follow the basics of looking at life through a spiritual eye from time to time. Paganism is very much a matter of individual spiritual taste and I embrace that.  mY pagan tendencies fit me and who I am and that is pretty much Ok with every pagan I know.

Conclusion:

I guess i am content to be the family ‘pagan’ for now.  I don’t have too many problems with it. So far things are simply awkward when people want to talk about church and Jesus and I don’t really live in that context anymore.  Nor do I wish to ever again.

 

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!