“Songs About the Wolf Within” – The Skald’s Lyre

Happy Saturn’s Day

Musical Journal:

In the fantasy genre of literature, the wolf and werewolf are very symbolic of the wild untamed side of the human experience. There is a sensual and animalistic point to the image of a wolf or a man/woman transforming into a werewolf.  In the world of music, there are songs about this animalistic side of humanity and they often use the image of the wolf. It’s not coincidental that this is so the image of wolves and men is an old one and a very powerful one.

This Skald’s Lyre is a little different.  It is about a type of song that relates to the human experience coupled with one of my favorite genres of books and film – fantasy.  In particular the world of fantasy horror and the wolf and werewolf image.  The music attempts to capture this essence in both lyrics and setting the tone with the music. It often does a very good job at both.

Personal Significance:

Today I am not going to list my personal significance with each song as that is not really the point.  For me, there are simply some good songs that call to my animal side or remind me that I have one. For me, the image of the wolf is center to my heart and self-identity so that fits too.

I have had two conversations with women about men that reflect this point along the sexual side of things. Hey, whenever I write about sex it always gets attention.

1) “What the world needs are fewer wolves and more gentlemen.” – my response was pretty simple. “My dear, a gentleman is nothing more than a patient wolf.” Sorry, there is no such thing as a man who has an interest in a woman where raw sexuality isn’t present. You can keep it domesticated on civil but that raw energy is what powers all the other aspects of the relationship.  As an author once said – “everything is about sex, except sex which is about something else.”  A gentleman is just a really patient strategically-minded wolf looking for a certain type of woman to bed. He is simply a patient hunter.

2) “Men are all dogs.” – I had two responses to this.  a) So are women, women are just as horny and sexual as men.  They just like men to work at it to get them because they want to feel desired. Nothing wrong with that, but to take the high minded route that women aren’t just as interested as men about getting laid is just hypocritical. b) Men are all canine to be sure, but some of them are more domesticated than others.  Some of us seek to be more true to our ancestors and be the wolf. We are just honest about it.  If being a wolf means I am a truly masculine male, then that is my desire.  As a woman, you are either going to accept that and lose your fear of it or you are going to try to domesticate your man out of fear of his wild side and in my opinion, make him less of a man. You would probably be better off accepting his wild side and work more on embracing your own.

For me, being as wolf-like as possible and staying honest about it is something I strive to both focus and embrace.  This isn’t just about being honest about being masculine or sexual but also about the stronger emotions of anger and rage.  The desire to fight for what you care about and desire. So on my playlist are a few songs about this wolf side of things – the animal within and that animal for me is the wolf.

Playlist:

Bark at the Moon – Ozzy Osborne:

Wolf and Man – Metallica:

Animal I Have Become – Three Days Grace:

Night of the Werewolves – Powerwolf:

Úlfhéðnar – Dervhengrym:

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

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

Happy Tyr’s Day

Discussion:

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

Principle – Act with Courage at the right time

As I was reading the Asatru website Ravenbok on Courage I realized that there is one aspect of courage that even that website admits that most followers of Asatru fail at and that is having courage about what they believe. It is this folding to the prevailing Christian culture or whatever other religious culture exists and not coming out and telling people you are pagan is what they are talking about here.  Courage is lacking in this regard although anyone who wants to know where I stand simply has to read this blog and its The Pagan Pulpit.

Just for the record, I am a diest humanist that has very pagan tendencies when it comes to spirituality.  I don’t really have a problem saying it.  Social acceptance be damned!  Perhaps this is one area of Asatru I do better in.  I don’t proselytize as that is not very pagan but if someone asks, I sure as hell will tell you where I stand.

But I get it.  For literally millennia the Abrahamic religions have hunted down pagans and killed them.  Hell, the Bible has in the book of Joshua that not only justifies this Genocide but clearly paints a picture that the biblical god would not be pleased with his people unless they killed every man woman and child.  Well, except virgin girls so the men could make them their wives. In this atmosphere, it can still be hard to have the courage to say you’re a pagan to people who have demonstrated historically that they will come up with multiple and twisted reasonings to subject and kill those that disagree with them.

For myself, I follow the virtues of Asatru and they remind me Courage is a commitment to do the right thing at the right time, every time. That includes when people ask me what church I go to tell them –  I don’t go to church.  My place of worship is every place that I am and my act of worship is to act at all times according to the virtues of Asatru.

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

To the Wolves and Ravens:

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

Needs (Geri):

Courage is the most needed virtue in the face of Fear.  Courage is a choice and a needed choice if one is going to do anything.  Our world gives us lots of things to fear. Politics and religion encourage us to fear because it makes us easier to manipulate. Courage is the needed choice to be free.

I need a lot more courage in expressing my self verbally. I guess it is my personality.  The few other INFJ types in know all have the same problem.  Being natural empaths we don’t want people to feel bad because then we feel bad ourselves. So we find alternate ways of expressing our feelings.  In my case, I find it far easier to write my feelings than say them.  That way I can’t feel people’s reactions to my written words.  I need to overcome this to a point that I can face those feelings bravely.

Wants (Freki):

It is this freedom that gives the desire (want) to embrace liberty and self-reliance. Better to live free and die than to bow in chains.  You need and want courage because it is the means to liberty and freedom of choice. Otherwise, your fears will lead you into chains.

I know there is a freedom o open expression.  I have had it a couple times where I and the other person could talk freely about what we felt and ti was very liberating.  I just have to have the courage to take the steps I can on my side to get there.

Reason (Huginn):

That said, there is a great deal of difference between foolhardy and courage.  There is no courage in paying a price or dying for nothing. Courage should cause us to fight for the things that matter.  Part of real courage is reason.  Rational courage is what we are making choices about not being afraid of the things in our way of a better life, not knee jerk martyrdom.

When it comes to expressing myself verbally,  I know what I need to do.  I know it is reasonable and wise.  That is not the problem.  It is, in the end, making the choice to be brave.

Wisdom (Muninn):

Some times the wisest path to walk is the one that involves facing our fears and overcoming them.  It gives us the strength to face later challenges.  Courage has wisdom to it when it is used for a purpose because it leads to the building of character.  And no one has ever built character into their lives without acts of courage.  Fear and cowardice only lead to the things people despise in their more rational and wise moments.

Conclusion:

‘I walk with courage. I follow the old ways. I strive for honor. I know what I stand for.  I am proud of that.  I am heathen.’

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

The Pagan Pulpit – The Book of Rabyd 2:3 – “Whenever You Find Yourself on the Side of the Majority, it is Time to Pause and Reflect.”

 

Happy Sun’s Day

Announcements: 

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.

Opening Song: “No Rest for the Wicked” – Godsmack

No real official video for this song, but here is the lyric one so you can sing along.

Poem: “Salt in My Wounds” by Edward W, Raby, Sr. – Written April 13, 2019

See the source image

 

Once you were the spice of my life,

You kept me from spoiling

You were the flavor I needed

You made life less plain

 

Then you left me

laying in a pool of my own blood.

Leaving a wound

a void from your knife

 

Now memories of you are salty

Burning as they are applied to the scar

Salt in my wound

Preserving the pain.

 

-Ed Raby – April 13, 2019-

 

Without a doubt this was the easiest poem I have ever written.  At least as far as time and feeling are concerned. Took me literally just five minutes.  It’s still rough, but I suspect it will be Grey Wayfarer canonized very soon. 

Miss Salty, as I called her, helped me through a lot.  She is definitely wiser and smarter than her years would say.  But this whole thing in reflection was a doomed voyage like the Titanic. Right now memories of this whole thing are bitter-sweet. Salty like she was.  They hurt and yet I hope they bring about some cleansing like salt removing infection.

Meditation:

 

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Yep, which is why I don’t trust either party. The Wall for the right and Rich Wall Street on the left are not real threat in my opinion.  Mostly fear mongering using a supposed noble cause to seize power.

Song of Preparation:  “Cult of Personality” – Living Colour

I once heard these guys live via radio.  The guy who was announcing made the remark that they were the loudest band he ever heard in concert. Good intro.

Text:

“Whenever You Find Yourself on the Side of the Majority, it is Time to Pause and Reflect.” – The Book Of Rabyd 2:3

Sermon:

This time through The Book of Rabyd, I am trying to quote as many different people as I can.  Mark Twain was pretty much destined to be on this list and it was only a matter of time.  This is my favorite quote from him and is truly a principle of wisdom.

Tribalism is inherent in the human species.  Survival trait. We band together to take on common threats and deal with common problems. The issue is that it can also lead to a mob mentality. It can lead to just bowing down to the culture, group think or what everyone’s opinion is.

This quote is a regular reminder to all of us who prefer reason to mindless pandering.  The issue is to take action on what makes sense and is most reasonable and this quote reminds us there is nothing inherently reasonable about the majority.  The only quality they have is more numbers. The majority is not proof of truth or rightness.

For me there is a reminder here that I am both a free citizen and a responsible citizen. Free because on thing that can enslave is tribalism and cults of personality. Responsible, because from time to time you need to be the thinking one that calls into question the actions of the mob.

There are institutions that thrive on this tribalism but they can, in my humble opinion be boiled down to two things – government and religion.  Both of these tap into people’s passions rather than their reason and thus are manipulative by nature. They tap into people’s inherent tribalism and mob mentality to get actions people think are the right thing but are actually the desires of those who would seek power either through politics or faith.

The lesson then is never let your loyalty to the group outweigh your loyalty to yourself and your principles. Something I hope gets carried on by those who I call my family is the ability to question anything and everything, even if the majority thinks it is the best course.  I would rather have my descendents known for being rebels and original thinkers that people who just went along with the crowd and the mob.  That they would be people of Courage, Self-Reliance and Truth

Closing Song: “Of Wolf and Man” – Metallica

I am thinking of making this my personal theme song. A lesser known work of Metallica but still one of their best.

Parting Thought:

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Stay strong pagans. Keep going.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

Rogue Wizard – The Fire of Fury – Part 6 – Pixie Trouble (2)

Happy Thor’s Day

Rogue Wizard’s Journal January 14th, 2019 (cont.)

As I regained consciousness, I cursed myself for once again falling to the power of a cute face. How often does this have to happen before you realize that some women are fucking with you?  Sorry, that is a rhetorical question. Probably as long as men follow the wrong head’s advice.  I quickly put this aside and tried to remember the last moments before consciousness left me and realized that my wards had not gone off.  No magic was used by Lunette. So that left alchemy.  Shit.  No way to detect that. Lips coated with a alchemical knock out drug.  Bitch.  Something else to guard against.

I quickly switched to assessing my current problem of where I was and what state I was in. My eyes fluttered open but they didn’t help much.  Dark room with no light.  I was naked as I could feel no clothing on my body and chained (I could feel the metal shackles) with my hands over my head. My feet barely touched the floor but I was supporting my own weight.. My arms were definitely aching as well as my feet because of this. I was wet indicating someone had hosed me down or washed me. I was also gagged with one of the those ball gags that you see in BDSM.  Shit, was this to be my final fate as some sex toy for a member of the House of Venus? Worse ways to go, to be honest.

Under normal circumstances with your average mage, all this prevents spell casting and enhancement by worn objects. They removed my clothes, even my underwear in the fear it might be enchanted to augment or give me certain powers. They washed me down to get rid of any alchemical substances I might be wearing.  The gagged me to prevent verbal spell triggers and immobilized me for the same reason with gestures.  Pretty good way to make a spell caster ineffective.

Joke’s on them. Being a hedge wizard, I don’t have the problems associated with normal magical training. The normal process is so conditioned that things are standardized.  I never had any of that, so I learned things that probably other wizards have conditioned out of them. Like the need for words or gestures to focus magic.  No doubt I use them because it is easier to do things with them.  Much harder without them to be sure, but I learned long ago that, they are not really needed.  It just takes a lot more mental focus.

What to do though?. It was a difficult question as I had no information about who Lunette was doing this for or if it was something she was doing herself.  The chains though indicated she was probably on a contract.  Her last words of ‘this is for your own good.’ kind of pissed me off but also alarmed me as things had been for an unknown time out of my hands.  I dislike it when people think they know better than you what is best for you.  Shit most people can’t run themselves and then they think they can run your life?  Fuck them and fuck that.

I was in the dark figuratively and literally and I needed information and answers and it came to me that the best way to handle it was to act like I was still out and see if anyone showed up. It was a nice plan but apparently I was being monitored because the lights came on nearly blinding me and a voice spoke. Feminine but commanding.

“Awake at last I see.”

I was gagged, so conversation was out.

“Mr. Raby, I want you to know it has been very difficult to arrange this meeting between us.  Very expensive.  I would like to have  conversation with you but I need some sort of assurance you won’t level my place to the ground.  You can see my point can’t you?”

I nodded and smiled behind the gag. Damn Skippy, lady if my hands were free a lot of fires would be burning right now.  Not that I couldn’t with a little meditation start some right now. Best keep that little fact to myself until the opportune time.

“Good.  I will remove your gag if you promise me to hear me out.”

I nodded slowly and deliberately keeping my eyes shut to avoid them being blinded.

“Very well. Let’s see if you can be trusted.”

I few seconds later I heard a door open and managed a peek from under my eyelids. the door was actually behind me so I couldn’t see who came in.  The room itself was painted a dull grey and was untrimmed.   The floor was grey as well – concrete. I heard footsteps directly behind me and then they circled to my left an then a woman appeared in front of me.

She was probably a lot older than she looked.  You could tell by the eyes that were grey pools that had that ‘I have seen some shit’ look to them.She wore the emblem of House Venus on her red robes which, while flowing did little to hide her plunging cleavage or her midriff down to her navel. Curvy, sensual and her face was that cute heart shaped thing.  Red lips and perfect makeup.  Her hair was black as night and in a wavy manner flowed over her shoulders like a black waterfall.  She smiled and it was disarming. I had no idea what magic she specialized in so my mental exercise defenses were up.

“Here, let me remove that.”

She removed the ball gag. I flexed my mouth a bit to remove the stiffness.

“You know I have used these many times, but never experienced the ‘pleasure’ of one in my own mouth”

“Maybe we can hook up later and I will let you try it out.  You can bring that one.”

She laughed.  Is it possible to have feminine commanding laugh?  After hearing her – yes.

“Lunette said you were a sarcastic smart ass.”

“Better than being a dumb ass.”

She smiled again.

“Mr. Raby, as much as I appreciate the banter, I have a proposal to run by you and it is in your best interests to accept. Trust me on this. This is truly for your own good.”

“You know, I would really like to determine that for myself. But if it will get me down from here and my clothes returned that would be great.”

She looked down my body.

“Clothes? For a middle aged man I would say you are doing well. You are not shy are you?”

“No, part time nudist actually, It’s just you House of Venus types tend to look at men like they are a side of beef with a flesh dildo attached.  Makes me self-conscious”

She laughed again.  Despite the circumstances I liked it.

“Mr Raby, you do understand our house.  But where our my manners.  Lioness Harper.  Janice Harper.”

So, the Lioness of House Venus herself.  Oh, Lunette what have you dragged me into now?

“Well, I thought House Venus had a price on my head along with all the other houses.  This is an awkward moment for you.  I mean how the fuck do you expect to keep me a secret and alive in a House that has every reason to want me dead?”

“Because, we no longer desire you dead.  Rather, we wish to offer you a job.”

“Well, this is a hell of a interview. Don’t you have a bounty on the head of Lunette too, and aren’t you and the pixie world at war?  Fuck lady, what are you up to?”

“Trying to end the war and reestablish peace.  Mostly, I think this whole affair is stupid. I should probably tell you that the whole of the events that have befallen you this last few months since your wife’s death, were orchestrated in part by me.”

“Orchestrated?”

“Yes, the attack on you the restaurant. Raven’s little chat with you. The accident that caused the rerouting of the cars past the church.  I knew that those ghosts would resonate with you.  Lunette’s involvement.”

“Well, the church thing helped. The rest of it seems like throwing curves at me. Both politically and the ones attached to the female of the species. It definitely worked.  Here I am, now what?”

“I would like you to join the Revolution. I would like you to participate in faking your own death and joining this fight against the tyranny of the Council.  Once they are defeated, you could return to your family.  But to protect them they need to think you are dead.”

“That would be causing them a lot of grief and sorrow.”

“Yes, but the stakes are high and on your own you know that you will not last the year. The council fears you and they will eventually push to have you killed. If they at least think you are dead for a bit, you can start anew and on the down low.  You could fight with surprise and on your own terms again. Ed, you need friends and I need you to fight the Council.  I believe you are the one that can ultimately defeat them.  You are the one to tip the scales.”

“Seems like the fairy world could do that better than me. I mean you wizard types have always feared them and this war could do that job for you.”

“Except for one thing.  The fairy world is losing.  They are losing because their is imbalance.  The Red Tree Grove is gone.  Because of this, they are weaker than the mages this time have he upper hand in power.”

“Gone…but…how?”

“The dryad that was connected to the tree is gone. Over the last twenty years, it has faded, dying and just last year the power that was sustaining it finally collapsed completely.  The tree is gone and the grove.  That’s why we need mages to turn to revolutionaries. That’s why we need you.  Otherwise the council will enslave or destroy all other magical creatures.”

I stood dumbfounded for a minute. Fuck, she was right.  The Council would either destroy all magical beings that could destroyed or enslave them.  Pixies for instance would be pleasure slaves to feed the magical power of the mages. Dammit.  No choice.

“OK, I’m in.”

“Really, Lunette said you could be persuaded, but I had my doubts.  OK.  Let me get the key to your chains….”

Her voice trailed off at that point, because I cast a spell – no words, no gestures and the manacles sprang open to my knock spell. Lioness Harper looked dumbfounded as I rubbed my wrist a second.  Then I turned on my shield with my left hand and my flame in my right.

“Let’s be clear Lioness Harper.  If you ever chain, cage or otherwise imprison me again, I will be very pissed off.  You don’t want to see me pissed off.”

She nodded.

“Now, where are my clothes?”

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

Skaal!!!

The Pagan Pulpit – The Book of Rabyd 2:2 – “I am Free Because I Know that I Am Morally Responsible for Everything I Do.”

Happy Sun’s Day

Announcements: 

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.

Opening Song: “Heaven Knows” – Pretty Reckless

I don’t know if it is the theme of this song that fits the pagan pulpit so well or the simple line – “Don’t do a goddamn thing they say!”  Maybe both.

Poem: “If You Could Only Feel” – The Ruined Man

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Meditation:

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Song of Preparation:  “Bark at the Moon” – Ozzy Osbourne

I include Ozzy to introduce this weeks sermon for a lot of reasons. Robert Heinlein was probably one of the great fiction writers responsible for inspiring people to believe we could go to the moon.  We went from barking at the moon to actually landing on it surface as human race and a lot of it was due to Heinlein.

Text:

“I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for what I do. I am free no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for what I do.” – The Book Of Rabyd 2:2

Sermon:

I am doing a major rewrite of Part 2 of the Book of Rabyd.  I suppose it was only a matter of time before Robert Heinlein got into the Book of Rabyd and this is one of my favorite quotes by him.

There are all sorts of schools of thought about why people do what they do.  About ethics and morality in general.  The most common I have heard is that we do things out of respect or fear. God, the law or basically some authority in general.  I would now maintain is not a very high sense of ethics or morality that you have if you only do things out of some outward focus or because some outward force compels you to be ethical or moral. It basically is an admission that you are not very ethical or moral and you need someone or something to make you so.

This quote cuts through that bullshit, and drives home the point that the only real thing that is responsible for our choices is us.  We alone bear the moral responsibility for our actions.  Not our fear of the divine (whom ever they may be), respect or fear of the law, or just plain fear.  At the end of the day, it is each one of us that is morally responsible for our actions. We alone bear the responsibility for our choices.

Part of this quote is more truth than choice. We tolerate the rules we find tolerable and we break the rules we find obnoxious.  I saw this all the time in Christianity. I would laugh inside when people would decry people with tattoos because of an old testament passage about it, knowing full well that same passage had rules like no blended fabrics and other such rules.  If those same people were forced to engage those would have become very upset.  No matter how much a person claims to live fully their code, they make exceptions.  Then most of them lie that they don’t. Neither Heinlein or myself will do that any more. Rules either are tolerable to my freedom of choice or they are obnoxious to the point of being worthy of being broken. I simply state and live that reality while others will deny it.

I think people play this game of fear and respect because it allows them to look down on someone morally and be in their ivory tower.  To think of themselves as better because they ‘follow’ some moral code and others don’t or do it imperfectly.  The problem with such codes, is when you get right down to it people follow the parts they like or make them feel morally superior, and ignore the parts they don’t and try to hide it so their moral judgment doesn’t come back on their own head.Quite frankly I am sick of this fear/respect dichotomy. In my mind it just leads to more ‘evil’.

Heinlein and the Book of Rabyd offer you an alternative.  Better is to live like this – I am free because I am completely responsible for my own actions. No one else, nothing else compels me to be ethical or moral – only myself. I live free and take full responsibility. Period.  Stop.  Nothing else.

Closing Song: “Inside the Fire” – Disturbed

This closing song has a very serious message. Live your life.  Be free and live. Death comes for us quickly enough.

Parting Thought:

See the source image

Little celebration of getting back into lifting weights this week.  One of my favorite quotes about lifting and why personally I find it an oasis in the middle of all the shit of my life at times.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

Odin’s Eye – My Spiritual Rebuilding

 

Happy Thor’s Day

Discussion:

I am taking a break from the order to think a little bit about some things.  This last week of March has definitely been about making my Realignment of Virtues with their respective principles, goals and bucket list item.   I will be engaged in this until Saturn’s Day and then on March 31st the new stuff kicks off in full.  Not having the time to do some proper research for the Bible Problems post that is supposed to fall this week, I decided to talk about something more spiritual and personal instead.

The people in my life do not understand the change of my beliefs and some of them are the closest to me.  To them this change has been sudden and only now are some of them starting to get used to the idea but they still don’t understand it. Trying to rebuild one’s spirituality in this environment is not difficult, just often misunderstood because to others it was sudden but to me it has been long in coming.  This is a decision I agonized over for a long time. One that has placed me in a position of rebuilding my spirituality after taking a sledgehammer (metaphorically speaking) to what i had built during my time as a Christian.

Time to Look Through the Eye:

Faith:

I consider myself a spiritual person still.  There is part of humanity that one cannot put into a purely rational box no matter how much you try.   The thing I have thrown off is religion.  I have however not thrown off ‘faith’.  Like it or not everyone has faith is something. Something they cannot rationally prove but still live their life by.  Atheists deny this but if they were to go through their philosophy and principles they live by my guess is somewhere they would have to admit they go forward with without any proof – yet. They would contend they believe proof will be found eventually but it just hasn’t been found yet.  That’s faith no matter how much you shake and dance.

I am not going to deny I have faith in stuff I can’t prove.  I recognize my ignorance and ignorance is going to lead to some things you are going to take on faith because you have no choice or the alternative is to simply exist without progress.  I take that there is a part of human beings that is spiritual on faith, because I cannot see a scientific or rational answer for some things – yet.

Religion:

The one thing I have discarded is religion.  I recognize two forces that pass themselves off as good but are in reality evil as fuck. Government and Religion. With government I recognize there is a necessary evil that must be engaged because people are inherently tribal.  Religion I can’t find to many uses for anymore. It is by its nature, controlling and manipulative. It sells you something that you don’t even need to solve a problem you don’t actually have. It has all the morality of the huckster selling snake oil and has the same objective.

It disguises greed, lust and manipulation as industry, love and care.  It calls you to dwell in ignorance so you can preserve your faith. Never question things because if you did you might realize the ‘holy men’ are taking you for a ride. Cleaver, as perhaps if you lose your ignorance you might see that it is harming you far more than helping you. I refuse to engage a system of belief anymore that sees to tell me what THE TRUTH is; as I find, truth is not something that is always easy to find or black and white anymore. I have no use for religion in rebuilding my spirituality, as it is probably is in reality one of the most spiritually destructive forces there is.

Theology:

Whatever the divine might be, I now reserve the right to question its justice, mercy or decisions. I think the Norse attitude toward the gods is probably mine.  The Norse gods are not interested in worship.  They are interested in a life well lived.  Mans approach to them is not to fawn or fall on one’s knees, but to stand bravely.  They don’t want the devotion, but just respect for their power.  Theologically, it seems if the divine is our parent, like a good parent it would want us to grow up and stand on our own and teach our descendants to do the same.

Spirituality:

This last year has been both a cubicle and a flood of challenges. I am starting to put some of the things I did last year at this time in the category of ‘more than a year ago’.  By the time summer is over all of it will be there. This flood and fire I have been going through has cause the storm to rage at times and my scars to burn with pain; but in all of that, I feel like I am being reborn.  I am becoming something greater than I was, something stronger.  I no longer bow, I stand.  I no longer need the crutch that is religion and I am done with its snake oil spirituality.

Conclusion:

 

I used to be a tiger and lion person.  Strong animal images but both perform in the circus. But these days the wolves and ravens are more my speed. Not as strong but wild and free. You can put thme in cages but they will never be tame. I find that both light and darkness are not to be feared but used.  I feed both wolves (Need and Want) and both ravens (Reason and Wisdom). I no longer see myself as sinner or saint – just a man rebuilding and discovering his true self. In that I find my spiritual rebirth and growth.  I am Grey.  An old scared grey wolf if you will.  I have a pack but it is small, but then again I know what I bring to the table, so I am not afraid to fight or eat alone either.

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Continuing to Walk the Path,

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

Skaal!!!

A Skald’s Life – Foundational Virtues – Realigning Courage

Happy Moon’s Day. 

Journal Entry:

There will be a The Rabyd Skald Birthday post dropped at 12:39 pm today – I have my reasons for that time as I will talk about later. Right now I will doing what needs to be done for the week as I continue my realignment.

I spent the weekend thinking about this realignment a lot. One of the things that is clear to me is that when I discuss a virtues nature and principle. I also need it discuss the goal and bucket list item associated with it as well. Because both my goals and bucket list are in full revision mode, I can do this very easily now by tweaking my journal entries in A Skald’s Life very easily.

What this means on a practical side is in each A Skald’s Life post when i get to the virtues I will now add the Goal associated with that virtue and then the bucket list item so all four things can be discussed at that point.  By keeping them together I can look at the bigger picture of each virtue.

This weeks virtues are Courage, Industriousness and Perseverance.  I have feelings about each of these and in truth, most of it is positive.   For most of this week it is goals becoming SMART and bucket list items becoming aligned. I am trying to get off to a great start to my 51st year of life, so I am trying to make this a complete week.

On to Dealing with Courage’s Realignment

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

I have always admired the brevity of this one and how quickly it sums up what is needed – good stuff

Principle: Act with Courage at the right time.

No problems here.  I like it and I think it does the job.  In moments when courage is needed you need a principle that doesn’t require a lot of meditation or thought and this does that with good results so far.

Goal: Cross one thing off bucket list every six months (Deadlines July 1st, and December 31st of 2019)

I need something that motivates me forward.  This goal is something I wanted to keep on my goal list so the bucket list gets constantly accomplished. So that it has items crossed off on a regular basis.  Courage required to do that.

Bucket ListGo Back to Budapest, Hungary for a vacation.

I find travel requires a little courage, international travel more so because you are facing language and cultural barriers. It definitely takes you out of your comfort zone. I think the complete package for me on this one is to do a Viking River cruise down the Danube River to Budapest.  Stay there a week and then return up the river and back home.  It would be a great adventure and something that is a reward for and an act of courage in and of itself.

Honor:

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 – To possess a feeling of inner value about myself and my future with a desire to find the same in others.

Goal: Maintain a daily blog streak of one post per day for an entire year (365 days).

Bucket List: Hike the Northern Lakeshore Trail along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

When I look at the whole thing right now I see what I am driving at with honor. It is a feeling for me of self-worth and future optimism.  All of this seems to flow much better now that I see it together.

Courage:

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

Principle – Act with Courage at the right time.

Goal: Cross one thing off bucket list every six months (Deadlines July 1st, and December 31st of 2019)

Bucket List: Go Back to Budapest, Hungary for a vacation.

The big stuff is here.  The stuff that will require major amounts of courage.  I like that and it is a good big picture.

Truth:

“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.

I have a feeling the Principle on this one will get rewritten.  Goal might be clear and the bucket list too.

Higher Virtue: Love:

I find it amazing to me that as I look at it how much travel factors into my plans. I love to travel, I just don’t have the means most of the time.  I also think much of love is expressed in what you travel too and who you travel with. It also fits that The Grey Wayfarer’s foundational ideas are travel after all.

Morning Routine:

  1. Review Nine Noble Virtues (NNV) and Principles
  2. Review Goals and Bucket List
  3. Meditation
  4. Full Body Stretch
  5. Shower and Personal Hygiene
  6. Get Dressed for the Day

Doing well here. I said it before – it isn’t broke, so I am not going to fix it.

Bucket List:

  1. Get My Tattoos.
  2. Write My Novel.
  3. Learn Latin.
  4. Learn Hungarian.
  5. Weightlifting – Bench 225 lbs, Squat 315 lbs, and Deadlift 405 lbs.

Yes, it is getting shorter.  As I incorporate these things into the virtues and full bucket list is going to disappear.  I think lists are valuable but I don’t think the bucket list gets properly addressed for me this way.

I know the tattoos one will be modified and connected with Perseverance later this week. Languages will be combined and put with Truth – maybe. Novel – hmm.  Need to think on what is left but perhaps Industriousness.  The weightlifting thing I may drop because I am not a power lifter.  I think something else might be needed, so opening up a slot helps with that.

Weightlifting:

This will be the last time you see this here.  I will be moving it to Self to be with Perseverance and my exercise program will have weightlifting as part of it. I need to find a way to turn this from frustration to success and I think moving it and strongly connecting it to a virtue will help with that.

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

Skaal!!!

Odin’s Eye – The Wayfarer’s Spiritual Side – Adaptation and Balance

Happy Thor’s Day

Discussion:

The Wayfarer’s Spiritual Side.  This post and those titled like it to follow in the future are largely just me looking through the Eye, so to speak at my own spirituality. To gaze into my own spiritual journey and come up with some observations I hope will be helpful to me as I continue to walk my life.

I would say that the two great struggles I have had since leaving my religion and my ministry have firstly been to adapt to the change and secondly try to find some way to achieve balance spiritually speaking.

I suppose part of the problem is defining my spirituality:

  1. I want my spirituality to be my own journey of discovery. That is why religion and I have a problem.  That is, I see all of them as being someone else’s journey of discovery that other people follow.
  2. I want my spirituality to embrace all that I am in balance.  Reason, Emotion, Relationships, Health (Both mental and physical) and that aspect we call Spirit must all be involved equally. Most of my spirituality is about achieving balance between all these things.

Back to the two struggles, adaptation is a struggle because I am very conscious of the fact that I was engaged in a lot of spiritual activities as a Christian that I would consider irrational now.

  1. I went to church, but I now understand what that was.  It was the reinforcement of belief by repetition, not necessarily by coming to understanding the truth, but group think and emotional experience are powerful ways to teach you how to deny what is true.
  2. I prayed, but I have realized that I was probably talking to myself most of the time.  Even if there is a god, the way I was conceiving him as I prayed him took on the aspects of my earthly father.  it was my concept of god I was praying to, not necessarily the divine power that actually exists.
  3. I worshiped, but that conception of god was my own creation, so I was worshiping my own ability to conceive god. I don’t do a lot of this anymore.  I honestly can’t say I miss it much.
  4. I studied the Bible.  But this was about repeating something over and over again and when you do that you are just training your mind to think a certain way. Doesn’t mean that way is true or right.

In my adaptation, I don’t want spiritual practices that don’t also leave me open to see possibilities I may not have considered or get me to be dogmatically telling others what “The Truth” is at the expense of their own freedom to figure it out themselves.  it leaves very little other than practicing meditation on the virtues I want evident in my life and living life with a spiritual eye.

The other struggle is balance. Keeping one thing from dominating so much that the others are neglected.

Time to Look Through the Eye:

Faith:

I have faith in myself. Like it or not it is all I really have. People say that might be a poor thing to have faith in and they may be right.  However, my self is all I really know I must have faith in, because it is the best thing I have to place my faith in that I know is real. Other things I will list that I have faith in I know based on my experience and reason that this is so, but I still must say I have a little less faith in these things than myself for obvious reasons. My wife, my small circle of friends, humanity all are worthy of various measures of my faith because they are real and proven through their actions.  That said at the end of the day the only one who can keep my spiritual life in balance is me.  The only one I can ultimately trust is me.

Religion:

I really try to avoid being religious, the problem is religion is very prevalent in spirituality, and eliminating it can be quite a challenge. The issue religion brings to the table is how much of other people’s spiritual experiences can be used to help my own and which ones are just controlling or fear mongering.  I find that if a spiritual notion leads me to being afraid or is trying to ‘force’ me to certain activities then it is a religious element to be rejected.  I just have time for notions that basically without proof try to tell me what ‘the truth’ is.  I think there may be many truths, but one single monolithic truth?  No.  I don’t think the universe is that small. If there is any force that can take me off my notion of balance it is religion.

Theology:

The most elementary shift in my thinking theologically speaking it is realizing that sin is a made up concept.  The writers of the Bible or any other holy book that talk about sin, just straight up called what behaviors they didn’t like ‘sin’.  Therefore, they took it upon themselves to speak for the divine as to what offends the divine. They offer no direct proof for this.  They claim it, but never prove it

Theologically speaking then, is humanity then inherently evil because they have picked up a sinful nature then?  No.  I have not proof one way or the other about that either. It is just asserted.  So when it comes to my spirituality it is not so much avoiding or overcoming sin anymore. My spirituality has shifted more to the notion of making myself better by strengthening what is positive or turning something negative into a positive. I don’t believe that part of my humanity needs to be destroyed or redeemed anymore.  I just think all elements of my humanity (needs, wants, reasoning, wisdom, etc.) need to be focused and work together to help me grow with balance.

Spirituality:

All of life then becomes just as much spiritual as it is anything else.  From taking a shower, to going to work, to making love to even me sitting right now and writing on this blog. All of it has the potential to strengthen me spiritually.  I simply have to find the element of each activity that helps me become a better person.  What is it that leads to long life, prosperity and balance.

Conclusion:

The issue I find is still the issue of balance and adapting to being an X=Christian.  Sometimes I find myself thinking about an issue and asking “Is that the former Christian talking or is it the real me?” It is the current state of my Spirituality as I walk the path of life. It is a question that comes up often.

Continuing to Walk the Path,

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

Skaal!!!

The Pagan Pulpit – The Book of Rabyd 1:1 -“If There is a Divine Center to the Universe, It is NOT You.”

 

Happy Sun’s Day

Announcements:

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.

Opening Song: “Walk” Pantera Cover by Breaking Benjamin with Disturbed’s David Draiman as lead singer. 

Another unique moment in time when you have members of two bands do a cover of another band.  The real problem with music fans is that they tend to be so competitive and in truth musicians might have their rivalries, but they do get along better probably than the fans.  Metal fans can be the worst.  For me if it sounds good I will listen to it. And what sounds good really is a matter of pure opinion. I like this one.

Poem: “I am a Wolf” by Unknown

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Meditation:

Image may contain: one or more people, text that says '"Fear is not real. Fear is simply the product of thoughts that you create. Danger is very real, but fear is choice."'

Song of Preparation: Humility – Carl Sagan:

Not a song, but a cold dose of reality, as we look at the first verse of the Book of Rabid.

Text: 

“If There is a Divine Center to the Universe, It is NOT You.” – The Book of Rabyd 1:1

Sermon:

I of course ran into my first problem with The Book of Rabyd rewrite right out the gate with verses one and two of the old version: ‘There is a God’ and ‘You are Not God’.  The first verse I would consider a little dogmatic now. The second really is a result of understanding one simple truth; that you are not the center of the universe.  After much debate with myself I came up with: “If There is a Divine Center to the Universe, It is NOT You”to replace them both.

The first part of verse one is a propositional phrase.  The idea is possibility without being sure of it to the point of arrogance. I think there are two dangers I am confronting with this phrase. 1) That given the vastness of the universe it is highly likely that any notion of the divine that any religion creates; if it exists, is probably wrong in some way and 2) To dismiss the notion of the divine altogether is also equally arrogant given the vastness of the universe and how little we know about it.

The second phrase is one of humility.  The real kind, not the fake kind of humility that religion produces, which I find to be attention seeking. “Look how humble I am and how much faith I have.”  Or the kind that life knocking you down achieves, which is actually a low sense of personal honor.  No, real humility is the basis for all the virtues of life Humility leads to love, justice and wisdom because one can acknowledge that you are but one being in a vast universe. But also there are other beings trying to do the best they can on this same planet with you.  Real humility leads to respect of self and others which is the foundation of all the rest.

All the virtues, no matter what you name them, should flow from this humble understanding of self and respect for both yourself and others. For me the Nine Noble Virtues are my way of expression of this, but each person could choose their own. It is where; despite the fact that I am not the center of the universe, I will act with my better and stronger self.

This change of course leads to questions about what legacy I want to pass on here. One simple one really – You don’t have to be the center of the universe to have a great life and great relationships.  Just genuine humility about yourself and respect for others.  This should lead to a Honor, Liberty and Solid Relationships.  Real humility has those results.

Closing Song: George Thorogood – One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer (Live) 1984:

One last Skaal before we go.  Blues. It’s always good. Enjoy Your Week.

Parting Thought:

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Given the vastness of our universe and our humility as we stand before it, we really have one choice before us – to make our own way as best we can and respect that others are doing the same.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

Crossing Bifrost – Norse Culture and History – Belief in Valhalla

Happy Saturn’s Day

I will probably do a closer look at Valhalla in the future when I consider things of the Norse World but right now I want to deal with the issue of the afterlife, because it probably had one of the greater effects on the Norse mind than many other things. The notion that any culture has about the afterlife often affects how that culture interacts with others and how the people act in the face of death.

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It is a pretty simple notion really, if a Viking faced his death bravely and died in battle, then the Valkyrie would come and take his soul to Valhalla.  Valhalla was a place of Viking pleasure.  Read into that, a place where one would know the glory of battle each day and at the end of it, one would sit down to mead, a feast with Odin, and beautiful women to bed as night fell. Although Valhalla is not limited to the men as brave women found their way too.

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The question of what effect this would have on a society’s mindset is something to consider. The Vikings were certainly innovators in technology in the longship and navigation at sea.  They could have turned those innovations to peaceful trade exclusively, if they had wished.  They didn’t do that.  Instead they would often raid a country first to demonstrate power and have Vikings who needed land take it. Then they would negotiate trade deals that had the force of negotiating from a position of strength.  Part of that is the notion of Valhalla that the warriors would take into battle. They were either gong to gain great glory in death, or a very comfortable life after victory. Pretty good motivation for Viking  leaders and ship captains to get new crew members.

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I would probably submit this belief in Valhalla was the main motivation for Viking expansion right along side a growing population that need to emigrate.  The second sons and following that were not going to inherit anything from their fathers. So they boarded a viking ship to seek their fortune; but as a back up plan if the died in battle, the earned Valhalla. That said, there were probably some who were seeking Valhalla and its pleasures more than a better life in this world.

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As a person who has studied religion and faith and the affects of the same on the human psyche, I can tell you what a person believes about the afterlife greatly affects not only how they face their death, but how they live their life. The Vikings seem to have this two-fold nature.  One is to live bravely and virtuously as possible so no matter what death they might face, they will be welcomed to Valhalla, but at the same time they seek a glorious end to guarantee Valhalla. It isn’t enough to die in battle, you also have to be deemed worth by the life you lived up to your death and how you died in battle.

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For myself, I am not too sure about Valhalla.  As a Deist most religions, including the Norse religion are subject to skepticism. That said, I cannot deny that belief in the afterlife in general is a powerful motivator.  It has a way of giving meaning to life and depending on how one achieves the best in the afterlife, it will affect how one lives.  For the Viking Warrior, it would have driven him to courage. When you board a ship and go to an unknown land to fight a battle, you need a lot of courage. In this culture a brave man was far more valued than any other kind. The beliefs surrounding Valhalla demonstrate this probably better than any other part of their culture.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!