A Skald’s Life – Foundational Virtues – INFJ and Love


Happy Moon’s Day. 

Journal Entry:

My personality type is INFJ-A.  If you are familiar with Meyers-Briggs you know that means I am and Introverted, Intuitive, Feelings oriented, Judging type of person with a A on the end for being slightly assertive.  Sometime called the advocate or protector. Now over the years I have changed in my personality indicating to me that events of life can change personality.

I want to look this week at the Higher Virtues and the Nine Noble Virtues in relationship to my personality type to see if I can find any insight into myself. Today I will talk about Love (Romantic Love in particular) and the other Foundational Virtues related to my personality,  I will hit other subjects as the week goes on.

There are lot general things I could see but the thing that sticks out to me about myself when it comes to love, is that when I share with you my inner self, it is because I believe you will never hurt me. I have missed judged this many times and I have paid a price for it. I also am struck with how once I have loved or had a strong friendship with someone I never forget it.  Love is tough for me, because I bear the joys and scars from it for long time.  When someone I trust my inner feelings to betrays or breaks that trust in some other way, it is devastating.  The hurt is long-term and never completely goes away.


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.

This is the second week in a row that I have struggled with honor.  I don’t know why or how to get over it.  I think getting back to lifting helped but I think I need that long walk yet and the weather has sucked. I think my personality might have problems me loving me. Am I actually reaching the point where I am trying to learn to trust myself again after failing myself?  That would be very INFJ.


“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 year. Deadline March 31st

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

Courage as a part of love is difficult.  It is one of the reasons I came back to my wife and continue to struggle with rebuilding the relationship.  In my mind actually we are building something new that is better, because the old was not that great. It’s the right thing to do even though when I was considering reconciling I struggled with what I would have to give up – opportunity for something new – in order to reconcile.  Love require work – courageous work at times.  For me as a INFJ, I perceive how deep that is and why I gravitate toward it.


“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 – To Be Honest and Speak Truth to Myself and Others.  To Be Silent in the presence of Fools.

Goal: To Write a Non-Fiction Book by March 31st, 2020

Bucket List: Learn Latin by March 31st 2020 to the point I can take a test and show my self proficient.

Truth in Love.  In the Bible Love rejoices in the truth and I would say that is a solid statement.  The real problem last year with me and love is that even though I trusted in love both on the friendship side and the romantic side. The truth I couldn’t see, but should have known on my INFJ side, is that it might be true that the other side of those relationships was not feeling the love I felt at the same level. That truth, which I didn’t see, bit me in the ass.

One of the things in my recent taking of the personality test is a significant change in my introverted level.  It indicates that from this year to last year I have moved to be more introverted  75% to 94% which is pretty significant.  Truth is, my trust level of others has been pretty damaged by this whole thing. Something I might take a long time to get over as an INFJ.

Higher Virtue: Love:

People should come up to my wife and give her a big hug and tell her what a great person.  She is because of a lot of love factors. 1) Of all the people I hurt during this crisis, she had the most reason to tell me to fuck off and not come back.  But instead she did two things.  She acknowledge to me her part in the failure of our marriage and she forgave me for mine.  I started loving her anew at that moment. 2) Without her I wouldn’t have any reason to completely trust anyone other than maybe one last friend and that would have meant a lot of really bad things for me. Like dark angry shit. Without love, I think we INFJ types get mean.  Because we expect much, we get disappointed hard when love fails and that leads to some pretty extreme reactions.

My wife’s love is definitely one of only two close relationships right now that I would consider proof of my trust in other people. The rest have all been damaged because it is apparent to me with most of them the statement they claim as Christians – ‘love bears no record of wrongs’ on a practical level is bullshit. They don’t really believe it or practice it. Wish they did.  For me I gave my trust and love to some wrong people and they turned their backs on me.

Morning Routine:

  1. Review Nine Noble Virtues (NNV), Principles, Goals and Bucket List
  2. Meditation – 3 min.
  3. Check Communications and Email.
  4. Paper Journal: Create Daily Log and To Do List.
  5. Breakfast, Medications and Supplements.
  6. Shower and Personal Hygiene
  7. Get Dressed for the Day

Solid, no complaints.

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


Rogue Wizard – The Fire of Fury – Part 7 – Painful Revelations

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

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

I found my clothes on a table just outside the room and a couple of towels.  I was still a little wet from whatever process they had washed me off with, so I dried off. and then started getting dressed. It was then that I felt eyes watching me.  The Lioness of course and two other individuals – Lunette and Raven.

“Now all you ladies have me at a disadvantage.  You have now all seen me in the buff, but other than Lunette in middle school, I have not seen any of you in your natural state. Any takers?  No?  Well, excuse me.”

The three of them seemed a little self-conscious, so they looked away as best they could but I continued to catch glances.  I smiled.  Underwear, t-shirt with workout saying, socks, jeans, hiking boots, necklace with Valknut symbol, wedding band, sweatshirt hoodie with local university on front.

“Mr. Raby, do you use enchantments at all?”

“No, not yet anyway.  Never had he need, always focused my studies on how magic in and of itself could help me.  Enchantments are nice to have but they can be taken from you, if you lose what is enchanted.”

“You could do an enchanted tattoo”, Raven suggested.

“Yes, I could.  Combination of alchemy and enchantment and attached to my skin.  Might be worth considering.  Speaking of alchemy, nice bit of work there Lunette with the lipstick.”

Lunette looked down at her feet.

“Can I ask if the alchemy works on everyone, or it was just targeted to me?”

“Targeted. made the formula from a lock of you hair I took back in middle school.  I was surprised the formula hadn’t gone inert, but it was still active.”

“Shit knocked me out fast, figured it was targeted.  That long ago?  What was the occasion?”

“That day when we were freshmen in High School. When you grabbed my arm when I was being a bitch to you.  You basically told me to back down and I was pissed about it.  Wanted a weapon to target you.”

I nodded. I remember that day.  I said something to the effect that I was like crack cocaine to her, so she was vulnerable to me and needed to knock off the snotty bitch thing. Enough reminiscing, need information.

“Well, ladies what happened to the Red Tree Grove? Best theories please.”

Lunette spoke first.

“She must have decided to leave and give up immortality. Only thing that fits.  She didn’t pick a replacement, so her power simply diffused. The protective power was gone about ten years ago, so I went inside. The tree was still alive but barely.  Those three scars you helped heal.  Someone had opened them up again. Given that she was the only one living there at the time, she might have done it herself.”

“Well fuck.  Yeah, trying to break her addiction completely.  No tree, no drug. Where do you think she went?”

This time the Lioness spoke.

“We don’t think she kept her physical form.  We think she went completely spirit form.  It would allow her to possess any female she wanted, and keep a long life possible for her.  She could move from female to female and occupy them. Use them as hosts to live for a long time. Then move on.  Only problem is that every time she would switch she would lose a part of herself.”

“Any leads on that?”

“One, you.”


“Yeah, the woman you had an affair with? She might have been one of them.  Highly likely.”

This stunned me for a minute, then.  Of course it would explain how could she have connected with me so well and so quickly and how I also had changed in my thoughts about her.  I mean up until February she was just another woman in the congregation, then that all changed.

“How much control would she have had? Over her host I mean?”

Raven spoke this time.

“Only when it was truly needed, she would be too weak otherwise.  Indirect influence most likely. The woman had her own choices, but perhaps there was a nudge from Elpis.”

I cringed at the name.

“Oh, sorry.”

“No, it’s OK. I have been running from this too long. I suppose it was inevitable that both Elpis and Miss Salty would be mentioned. Time to quite avoiding and face what they were to me.  Both loves of mine and lost.”

“I guess I would fall in that category too.”, Lunette injected. Sad tone in her voice too.

“Yes, you would and my wife now that she has been killed by the Council. I don’t have any loves that are not lost in some way now. I’m alone.”

Those last two words hung there for a minute.  Like a diagnoses of cancer said aloud. Lunette seemed a little pained by it.

Raven spoke first, “You might find love again.”

“Right now, I don’t want it.  It hurts too much; too risky.  Need to mourn my wife for a bit yet.  Promised myself, if she died I would mourn her for at least six months. It’s only been a couple. I honored our Christian vows when we got back together, would have continued if she had lived. I don’t really have that view anymore so my next love, if there is one, would have different rules.”

I turned to face all of them.

“OK, the only thing left for me is family. They will be in danger as long as I am alive.  What’s the plan?  What do you want me to do?”

Writer’s Notes

I know, I broke my initial rule about mentioning Elpis and Miss Salty. But it is time I faced down my real life actions and dealt with the emotions of this whole thing. 

For a long time when it comes to fiction I have been struggling to find some inspiration and I think it is because I have been avoiding this issue of late.  I need a new motivation, a new muse to write for. Instead I have been dealing with The Grey that results from emotional constipation. I think laying things out there ends the bullshit at least and now things can get flowing again.  Like an enema for my emotions. Gross but accurate.  

I write fiction from emotion.  It is definitely a more heart then through the mind thing.  Non-fiction is the other way around, so it is easier.  This last week has been me struggling to get past this and I think I have some relief at this point.  Still some things to work out, but I feel for the first time I can write at least a little more freely when it comes to fiction.  Hopefully I am right.  If I am, you all should be seeing more fiction from me very soon. 

Practically for this series, it eliminates the past almost completely for my alter ego. His decision to fake his death would mean; at least for a time, he would be walking alone and too busy for a relationship.  Not saying there won’t be something in the future, but for now love is going to be kept at arm’s length.

In real life, my wife (alive and well) and I have made a strong commitment to make our relationship work.  There are some more obstacles because of my change of faith and my attitude about a lot of things in general has changed as well, but we work on them.  It has been hard at times, but for he most part we are a loving couple again. 

I remain,

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


The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer – Part 9 – Avoiding vs. Facing (Plus Some Writing Notes)

Happy Wooden’s (Odin) Day

I haven’t given a family warning for a while, but the rest of this post probably has one.  I am simply going to be very real for a bit with my feeling about what was going on last year and how it affects me now. If you want to know simply what my writing plans are then you can scroll down to that and start reading there. I will give it a headline.

I wouldn’t give you a nickel for how I felt this past weekend..  I knew memories of last year at this same time were going to be rough, but this is downright painful at times.  Like pins under your fingernails painful.  Then to protect myself from said pain, I go Grey. That feeling of nothing being preferable to the pain and sadness. I hate when people say – “Get over it” or “Move on”.  I think to myself when I hear this: “Yes, this is where I want to be.  To have a choice between sorrow and nothing,  Yeah, this is fun.”  People who say such things, don’t have a fucking clue, and they should probably just learn some shit about depression and then shut up and be thankful you don’t fight this particular battle.

I am conflicted at times as to what strategy to employ as far as dealing with memories. There are simply times; I note, there is no way not to be triggered. So avoiding the memory is not an option.  But then how to confront and face them then?  The real problem of course is not all my memories are bad ones.  There was some good things taking place through a certain relationship last year, it is just the relationship that was doing some of those good things was ‘toxic’ or ‘wrong’.  I don’t know how else to express it, but there were some good things happening for me but other people might say it wasn’t good how it was happening.

I wasn’t moping around in April of 2018, I was actually feeling quite confident and good.  My female friend at the time was helping me deal with things that were a bummer and I was loving her for it. She was keeping the Grey at bay for me or maybe my love for her was, I don’t know. I still miss that friendship, and it hurts that it is gone.  Probably always will.

Unfortunately, we both took things too far.  We let our friendship grow into something else. Something far more intimate emotionally than was probably safe for both of us.  But I think given the state of my marriage at the time; I probably didn’t care as much then as I would now.  Our counselor said my affair was actually pretty typical. Marriage sucked, you didn’t feel loved, you hurt.  Someone else expresses love for you in some way and you are drawn to them like a moth to flame. Nothing special, happens all the time.  Sounds common and base; something I dislike, but there it is.

This weekend was rough because I was; as I often do, sifting through my Facebook memories and there was her name.  Something I had tagged her in.  Fuck it but if it didn’t trigger an immediate emotional response.  A mix of sadness, loss, grief and who knows what else. It is the kind of emotions you get when something good has turned bad or died. The whole thing hurt again and I wanted to crawl up inside and die.  But I didn’t, I kept going. I have to.  It’s all I know. I turned on the Grey and went forward choosing to feel nothing and not all that. Weird thing this time I couldn’t keep it on all the time.  I kept alternating between nothing and sadness. It sucked. I actually cried once.

Despite this, I have concluded avoid things is not an option.  I will not do that.  Let Facebook and other memories come. I need to learn to deal with this.  Let it make me stronger. Let it make me handle The Grey better. I just know this is really the small shower before the storm that will be later this spring and then this summer. It is the warm up and if I can’t learn how to handle this now, the time between now and the end of August is going to seriously suck. Well, it’s going to suck regardless, but I need to learn how to face it so I keep going and that it sucks less.  That’s all for now.

Time to talk about writing.

Writing Notes:

I have a struggle with the non-Fiction book that I am trying to resolve.  Here is the thing, I could be one helluva critic of Religion in general and The Bible and Christianity in particular.  I could write books that would seriously challenge both and possibly make a shit ton of money doing it. It would make all the past learning and experiences as a minister not feel like such a waste of time, if I could use them to build a new future with writing books.  The flip side is I still have a lot of friends who are religious and Christians, including my wife. This would seriously put some shit out there between us.  At the same time I feel what they believe is a fraud and their lives would be better without it.  Shit.

My novel is a little easier. But at the same time genre is important. I have written every fiction genre at one time or another.  Even ones I didn’t really care for and by writing them I found out that I didn’t really care for them.  My best bet would probably be to create a fantasy setting and go with that.  The reason is you can do anything with that.  But my passion is modern fantasy.  What to choose?  I also should note I won’t be writing this novel for a children’s or young adult audience – definitely adult stuff.  So yep – adult situations, sex, and violence.

As far as the blog goes, I am going to try to get out two installments of Rogue Wizard.  One for Thursday and one for Friday.  It’s time for them.  The timeline shift is going to cause the character based on me to have a major life change so that nothing in his life will relate to what is going on in my real life. The purpose of this is to change the nature of the story into something that is pure fiction.  Or mostly pure as the kind of decisions my alter ego would make will still be based on what I would really do in that situation.

Walking The Grey,

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


Of Wolves and Ravens – Love: Mutual Essential Happiness

Happy Tyr’s Day


I know I used a Robert Heinlein quote for the Pagan Pulpit this week, but I suppose it is also fitting that he comes up here, as love is the philosophical topic this week. Love for Heinlein was the idea that in order to be happy another person you cared for also had to be happy.  When both sides are concerned at this level with each others happiness, then love is there.

I feel the same trepidation in talking about Love as I do Fidelity.  I have never really grasped or been good at this love thing. Mostly because I am a little bit of a hopeless romantic when it comes to love. I have high ideals about it. I have discovered however that ‘love’ is not thought of as highly by others as myself. People use the word ‘love’ so often and so frequently it loses its meaning.

I find with love I represent the blundering idiot more than the person who understands it on a practical level.  Because of this, when love is lost by any cause, it hurts me – badly. It is in times like those that I find myself wishing my heart could be ripped out of my chest and removed all together.  Every time there has been that early struggle to just shut down all emotions completely and forever.  To go completely cold-blooded bastard, so I don’t have to be concerned with anyone’s happiness but my own.  But in the end the risk of love is far outweighed by the joys of it. At least when I find those joys.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

Needs (Geri):

I need love.  We all do.  As introverted and reclusive as I am, I find the need to feel that someone loves me.  I can face a whole day by myself and be happy with it, if I know someone loves me. I struggle with that though because my definition of love is so very high. My standards and expectations of love I receive is the same as I give to them.  If I am ‘all in’ with a person, I expect that in return and I need that to be true.

I need different kinds of love.  I need friendship, family love and the one I will be using the most in this post – love of the deepest nature with another human being.  In my case as a heterosexual male – love with a woman. It’s the love I need the most.

Wants (Freki):

I want love.  It has a lot of side benefits. For me, I find The Grey has no place in love. It isn’t there or does not affect me at all.  Love is the sunshine I keep in my heart where I smile even if the clouds are over me.  I can smile because the Grey has no power when I can feel that I am loved. When I know I am loved.  It is a want that is very strong, but it also makes me not think about what’s going on as much.

Reason (Huginn):

The wolves of love are easy.  The reason behind it is much harder. I have loved and lost several times both is romance and friendship.  Two times romantically were greatly significant to the point they were personally devastating.  I wrestle with the fact that I was ‘all in’ with these two women but it is clear by their actions, they were not.  It is hard when that other person’s happiness is so essential for your own, but then you come to the devastating realization that their happiness is not conditional on yours.  That takes some time to get over.

There is also trying to rebuild love. Yes, it is a real thing. Where history causes you to doubt love.   So you say it to each other multiple times every day, when you are alone you go through the box of all the notes she has sent you where she has written ‘I love you’.  You cuddle and kiss and make love and that phrase ‘make love’ has a whole new meaning because that is exactly what you are doing.  It isn’t about sex as much as making love.  To build it and surrounded it with wall and protect it.  It’s hard when you look at the damage at times, and see it is you who destroyed that part, and now you have to fix it. It is far easier to destroy than to build and that is especially true for love.

Wisdom (Muninn):

If experience makes one wiser, I can say for me love seems to be an exception to that rule. I find with love reason and wisdom seem to have little place. They probably should, but in truth we all seem to shoo the ravens away to follow our wolves of need and want. I can say that I am wise enough to really guard myself these days.  Despite my desires, I keep myself limited in who I love and why. I just know, if I am hurting I try to grasp love from somewhere and if the pain is high enough wisdom and reason are very hard to find. So, I try to deal with reducing the pain to stay in fidelity.

I suppose that is why when it comes to love I see that honor, courage and standing for truth are good emotional states as well as virtues.  Strong ones. They help with understanding love and keeping on the path despite my pain about it.  At the same time, it is this continued search for love that keeps me wandering and searching.


Love is a funny thing.  It can scar you when you are the one concerned with someone else’s happiness, but they are not as concerned with yours.  But it also can bring joy, healing and strength when it is.  I don’t know if have really said much here.  I know there is a lot of emotion behind my words in this post today, but whether my philosophy behind love as a higher virtue is good I have no clue.  I am still learning.  As I said, I am a blundering idiot at times with love. But I keep walking trying to understand it.  I keep walking hoping to find the sunshine of love to keep my heart free from The Grey.

I remain,

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


A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues – Realigning Fidelity

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Journal Entry:

I have always been a loyal friend.  I have always been a loyal father and grandfather.  Understand if you mess with my kids (including my daughter-in-law and son-in-law by the way) or grand kids, prepare to reap something you will not enjoy. I am loyal to mother who yesterday turned 78.  The memory of my father and grandparents I honor every day. I was loyal to my church and even at the end my thoughts were always on how I could withdraw without hurting them any more than necessary.  I never turned my back on them, until they were misled into thinking I had, and turned their back on me.

No. Fidelity is a struggle in a very specific areas for me.  The rest of it is solid. The areas that need work are obviously my wife and I and my trust issues now with possible new friends. The first is much better.  My wife and I have been counseled and we have reached a place where we trust each other again and are supportive.  We still have some issues of course like any couple but we are working on them together.

What remains for me is that I tend to trust people and give them the same loyalty I expect from them. The problem is that I assume they feel the same and they don’t, and I don’t pick up on that.  It can make me naive at times as to what people, who call themselves my friends’, real intentions are or even their real nature.  It has blindsided me more than once.  In this last year it happened twice with pretty catastrophic results.

Well, at least until recently this was true.  Now, I skeptical of everyone who calls me ‘friend’ with very few exceptions. I have made a commitment to keep my circle very small for this very reason. It also why not much has changed in regards to he virtue or principle I follow because I forged both of these things in the fires of betrayal – my own and of those toward me.

“Fidelity is the will to be loyal to one’s Gods and Goddesses, to one’s Folk, to one’s self, and loyalty to one’s friends was as valued as highly as loyalty to one’s family.”

No changes but perhaps some definitions are in order.

  1. My gods are the virtues I follow and my philosophy of deism, humanism and paganism.  Nothing more or less.
  2. My ‘folk’ are my immediate family and those friends who have earned through their own loyalty the title of friend.  Like the virtue says, my friends are family.  I hope that is understood.  There is only one difference.  If friend betrays me, I have no problem throwing them out of the family.
  3. Myself – yeah, in equal measure to those above I work on being loyal to myself and being truly myself. No more masks, no more lies to cover the real me. I will no longer be ashamed of my true self.

Principle: Be loyal to those who have been loyal to me.

Recent events have the caveat ‘ ‘who have been loyal to me.’  Betrayal is hard when you do it and I now see more than ever the value of fidelity from me toward others.  That said, I get truly pissed off about people who betray me as a result too. Once you do that, my loyalty to you goes right out the window. People screw up, it should be no cause to be disloyal to them. Something me and my wife have learned together which is probably what makes our relationship much tighter in some ways than it has ever been.

I just turned 50, so I am too fucking old now for friends that are disloyal or forming friendships that are not serious.  My pack is small but we fight together and die together if necessary.  This needs to be understood. So yes, you have to demonstrate loyalty now before you get that kind of loyalty from me. Thank you.  Otherwise cue Pantera’s ‘Walk for fake friends.’:

Goal: Celebrate my wife and I’s 30th anniversary (June 10th, 2019) with a mini-vacation

Last year my wife and I were separated for our anniversary.  This year we need to make up for that somehow.  Don’t know the specifics, but a ‘weekend’ getaway type thing might be just what we need the most.

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

I struggled with this one for a while trying to find something that tied in with fidelity. I mean getting a genetics test is easy. finding the means to research it down to actually visiting each country my ancestors came from is going to require some prosperity.  From my mom’s side, that means France, The Netherlands, and Wales for sure.  I could however find some surprises with genetics test. The first step would then be to get a genetics test. I have set as a time limit on this one my 60th birthday as I needed a true long-term bucket list item and didn’t have one yet.


“Discipline is the willingness to be hard on oneself first and then if needed help with the development with others, so that greater purposes may be achieved.”

Principle: Apply discipline to every aspect of life that it can be applied.

Goal: To follow A FULL Paleo Diet Plan from April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020.

Bucket List: Do a rebellious act on April Fools Day, April 1st, 2020.

Time is pressing now on the nutrition element here.  I need to spend time before Monday getting a plan together. The main issue is of course cutting out from my diet the things I cannot eat. Coming up with new things I can eat to cook and so forth.


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

Principle: Keep getting up after every defeat or failure.

Goal: To engage in an exercise program that involves weightlifting, hiking/walking and stretching/ yoga an average of three days a week from April 1st, 2019 to March 31st, 2020

Bucket List: To get at least one tattoo by March 18th, 2020.

I decided to take some of my tax return and get a gym membership near where I work. I will probably stop by after work every day and hit the stretching and weights. The weather is turning nice so walking is about to start next week too. It begins very soon.


“Fidelity is the will to be loyal to one’s Gods and Goddesses, to one’s Folk, to one’s self, and loyalty to one’s friends was as valued as highly as loyalty to one’s family.”

Principle: Be loyal to those who have been loyal to me.

Goal: Celebrate my wife and I’s 30th anniversary (June 10th, 2019) with a mini-vacation

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

Lots of family stuff which is good.  I suspect the goals will be different things that reflect my gratitude for fidelity toward family and friends.

Higher Virtue – Wisdom: 

I learned a lot of humility this last year.  I suppose that this has paved a lot of wisdom for me in the same time frame.  As I relive some of the memories from last year, wisdom and humility kind of beat the hell out of my foolish pride.  It is not an easy time right now and that is for damn sure.  I hope that through Discipline, Perseverance and Fidelity, I can find a gentler way to pave wisdom with humility, but I doubt it. I suspect I might be harder on myself than life is.

Weekly Routine: 

  1. Weightlifting – 4 days per week.
  2. Cleaning – 3 days a week.
  3. Walking – 4 days a week
  4. Writing – 4 times a week
  5. Cheat Meal Count – Currently 2

Tomorrow I will be doing a special The Rabyd Skald post to deal with my routines.  I suspect all of them will change but the main issue is to take each goal and bucket list item and find something to put in the routines that works toward them.

Goals and Bucket List Items Achieved:

Goals Achieved: 1  Graduated College with BS in Political Science and minors in Economics and International Business December 2018.

Bucket List Items Crossed Off: 0

I remain,

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


The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer – Part 8 – “I’m OK” and What that Means

Happy Tyr’s Day

I have a Of Wolves and Ravens post in the incubator but I am so focused on the realignment I am doing that I don’t want to rush it and fuck it up have it not be as good as it could be. I will post it next week but this week I have the time and the emotional state where writing The Grey and the Wayfarer’s latest installment.

“I’m OK.”

If anyone has ever dealt with depression or someone who thy love who is depressed; you know this two-word phrase (when people ask how you or they are) is one of the most challenging to decipher.  Sometimes the person is genuinely OK and they are telling you that.  Other times the non-verbal cues would tell you otherwise and you should listen to them and not the words.  Non-verbal communication rarely lies.  If you’re talking on the phone with someone with depression, you really have to rely on tone of voice, losing the non-verbal by not looking at them leaves you in the dark a lot.

There are probably two people in the world right now that will notice a short pause before I answer them when they ask – “How are you?”  That’s because with them, I have made a commitment to be absolutely honest.  That pause is me giving my soul a quick look and asking what the truth is.  If I say “I’m OK” to them, it true.  Everyone else, it’s not that I don’t trust you it’s…..  Well, I hope you understand.

That said, even when I say ‘I’m OK’ and am truthful about it, what does that mean? Well, I am not great.  I am also not depressed.  It’s really a state of emotional functionality.  I am broken but I can function. I can actually do pretty well, it is just I feel at times I am just marking time from one thing to the next.  Just existing.  I feel emotions, but it is a low-level emotion that is a combination at times of sadness/ joy and pain/triumph.  The best way to describe it is that my emotional lights flicker.  It’s like spring or fall between the seasons. It’s like the electrical system of my emotions has a short in it.

Doesn’t mean there is something wrong, but nothing is right either. ‘I’m OK’ is probably the best way to put it.

The cause of this is not so much I am wired wrong.  Probably the opposite actually.  I am highly wired and hard-wired and so like all things complicated – things go wrong easily and frequently:

1) I am emphatic.  I pick up people’s emotions and I find myself feeling what they feel.  You think that is great?  Try being a pastor for twenty years dealing with everyone shit negative emotional states all the time.  It’s drives you to introversion, trust me.

2) I don’t stop thinking.  From the moment I wake up until I go to bed, my mind is working. It’s fine when I have a problem to solve or something to think about.  It’s when I am bored or there is nothing to do that this really begins to lead you down some dark lines of thinking.

3) I have a near photographic memory for verbal conversations.  It’s contextual thankfully. I have to be in the place or similar place the conversation took place most of the time, but if I concentrate hard enough I can still pull it off.  It’s why I am glad I don’t live where I used to live or have to go to the church I used pastor.  Far too painful from the memory flood.  I have a hard enough time meeting people I used to know.  Yeah, that is enough of a trigger.  It’s why I really need a fresh start somewhere else still.

The cause of all this is of course wounds received at my own hand and the hand of others.  This time of year last year, I was forming a very tight relationship with someone.  My fault and hers that we ended up being closer than we should have been. I don’t really blame her or me anymore.  It happened, and assigning blame only really helps those who want to lie to themselves, so they can look themselves in the mirror. Or to look at me or the girl in the face again and still love us. Comforting lies don’t really help though. Just saying. We would all be better off facing the painful truth.

In one sense I look at my scars as the cause of this flickering emotion. Not so much the scars, as I wrote in my poem “The Scar”, but the seeping poison of a bleeding wound behind the scar – internal pain.  But I also know some of the deepest and still internally bleeding wounds were self-inflicted.  The ‘you’ in that poem has a lot of candidates, including myself.

I’m OK and I’m Broken at the same time. I wish there was some magical way to ‘get over it’ like people say at times.  But there isn’t.  I’m OK and I have to be OK with that.  I have to function despite the flicker lights and I do.  I have to for the sake of people I love and care for.  I have to love them when I don’t feel love and I have to love myself as well even when I don’t feel it.  I have to be OK, because sometimes its the best I have.

OK in The Grey,

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


Skald Tales and Poem – Poem – ‘The Scar’

Happy Saturn’s Day

“The Scar” by Edward W. Raby, Sr.  

“Time heals all wounds”

“Bullshit” I say

I have been down this road before

I have scars that still bleed inside


Internal bleeding of the soul

Seepage of pain within

Toxic soul-blood poisoning

Hidden behind my scars


The scar you left on me

Is like all the others

A covered scab

Hiding a slow bleeding wound


Another scar

Another badge of survival

The poison blood inside – fuel

The pain inside – motivation

Written by Edward W. Raby, Sr.  on March 15th, 2019.  Edited March 22, 2019

Author’s Commentary:

There are a lot of recent candidates for the ‘you’ in this poem.  Including the one who taught me how to appreciate and ‘enjoy’ writing poems.  In this case the quotes around ‘enjoy’ are probably stronger.  Normally a poem causes me to remember this person with a little twinge of joy and pain. This poem was one I needed to write but didn’t necessarily want to write. Mostly because it was like literally pushing on the scar in question this person had left on me, making it hurt just a little more than just a normal poem. She definitely fits the bill for ‘you’

That said, I think the ‘you’ could be several other candidates over the course of my life.  In any case the poem reflects my understanding that: 1) Scars are an illusion of healing. The wounds they hide never fully heal and often remain toxic and painful.  2) You just have to learn how to turn that toxic and hurtful nature of a wound received into fuel and motivation as you go forward. 3) Lovers and friends who betray or leave give us the most toxic and traumatic scars.  So underneath, no matter how much it looks outwardly you have moved on, they still remain a part of who you are. Even when you would wish it was not so.

Poetically, this was my first attempt in shortening my poetry.  Make the word choice more selective. Learning how to do this is a work in progress for me. As always constructive feedback on my poems is always appreciated.

Thanks for reading them,

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


The Pagan Pulpit – The Book of Rabyd 1:6 – “People Do Not Have The Right to Take Away The Rights of Others”

Happy Sun’s Day


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

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

Opening Song: “Stricken” – Disturbed

Poem: “The Scar” by Edward W. Raby, Sr. (Rough Draft) 

See the source image

Time heals all wounds

“Bullshit” I say

I have been down this road before

I have scars that still bleed inside

Internal bleeding of the soul

Seepage of pain within

Toxic soul-blood poisoning

Hidden behind my scars

The scar you left on me

Is like all the others

A covered scab

Hiding a slow bleeding wound

Another scar

A badge of survival

The poison blood inside fuel

The pain inside motivation 

I know this is the second poem I have written for the Pulpit in rough draft form without polishing them later in a Skald’s Tales and Poems but that is coming this week probably.


Image may contain: 1 person, eyeglasses, text that says '"I don't believe the majority always knows what's best for everyone.... Democracy without respect for individual rights sucks. It's just ganging up against the weird kid, and I'm always the weird kid. - -Penn Jillette'

Me too Penn, Me too.

Song of Preparation: “Anthem’ – Rush:


“People Do Not Have The Right to Take Away The Rights of Others” – The Book of Rabyd 1:6


The real key here to understanding rights that inalienable is that it means that everyone has them.  Truly understand rights then requires that while we all may have the right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and property; it does not mean that we can exercises those rights at the expense of someone else’s rights.  You must respect the rights of others to truly understand what rights entail.  If you don’t, you have an improper understanding of rights.

It is morally wrong to force another to give up their rights so that you can have yours.  It morally bankrupt; in my opinion, to use any kind of force and power to exalt your rights over another.  This is something that has to be remembered because as much as we say – “I have my rights”,  we also need to say – “they have their rights” in the same breath.   It is this respect of rights as a concept that is just as important as respect of my own rights.  When we do this we are learning to see others as human beings.  It is this issue that if implemented would solve a ton of problems.  As much as I feel I have the right to stand on my rights, I must also allow others to stand on theirs.

This why I find the use of government today so repugnant.  Much of it is one side or the others trying to take power to use on others.  The Republicans try to seize power so they can use it against the Democrats and visa versa.  No one is trying to take government so they can genuinely defend the rights of all.  Libertarianism for me is simply a wonderful philosophy that seeks to actually see  the rights of all protected.  The goal of our politics then would be to stop the government from violating the rights of all individuals.

I have been using the issue of abortion to illustrate the problem when rights collide.  The right to life movement say the right of the child to live is not being respected, the pro-choice folks say the right of the woman to privacy which is connected to her rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness is being violated if she does not have the choice of an abortion.  The problem is we simply cannot play a game of two against one to decided who is right.  A single violated right by force is wrong.  The argument really centers on whether or not the child/fetus is genuinely a human being and thus has rights.  Pro-life folks say yes / pro-choice folks say no.  This is not going to be resolved because the arguments on both sides have problems.  I am not going to get into that because the arguments for both sides are legion as well.  My point is if a single right is being violated on an individual then the action is wrong and should not be allowed.

The problem with abortion is asking a question of personhood and at that point you are getting far more into metaphysics and theology than philosophy.  My personal position is to say I am pro-choice on one hand because I do not feel it is my right to force my viewpoint of when life begins on another, and it is a debatable point.  But I am also pro-life on the other hand, because I would hope that we would recognize our ignorance on when life truly and genuinely begins, and thus choose to err on the side of life because of that ignorance.

My point in all this is the debate is not what our rights are for those that follow the Book of Rabyd. Those are clearly understood.  The debate for me and for my family is to understand and know when rights are being brought into conflict either intentionally or unintentionally and coming up with solutions that both allow one to exercise their rights but not interfere with the rights of others.  This is the challenge of those who follow the Book of Rabyd.

Closing Song: ‘Hurt’ – Johnny Cash:

I include this song at the end because I talked about it with some friends this week.  I suppose it is a simple reminded that all things, including our lives, end.  What legacy we leave is important. Johnny Cash speaks for a lot of people in this song when they near the end.  The regrets you have probably have more to do with hurts received and hurts given.

Parting Thought:

Image may contain: text

I remain,

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


The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and the Wayfarer – Part 7 – Writing and Walking Through It

Happy Saturn’s Day

I know people are probably expecting a Crossing Bifrost post today but I have a couple pressing matters that I need to attend to and I am currently reading some books on Norse mythology that I want to get a little further in before I write my next post on it.

I also have been fighting The Grey pretty much all week. Part of the reason I am throwing myself into realigning my virtues with my goals and principles is that it really helps with this. I feel there is a key or keys in this process to dealing with The Grey; to a point where I can not only function with it, but actually feel some things without shutting down.

I have been asking a lot of motivation questions because what The Grey threatens and destroys the most often is my motivation.  The odd thing is that my motivation to write is the one that is often the least affected. The trigger this week is the time of year and it will be so until probably the end of summer.  Last year at this time, my ministry as a pastor and my marriage were both unraveling and there are a lot of painful memories associated with that right now.  I can confidently assert that the old notion of time healing all wounds is bullshit.  It can scar them over, but they still remain under the surface.

Writing has always helped with these times in that it gets me through them.  It is often the process of taking the next step in writing the blog article or project that is me taking the next step.  I write for me and I write to overcome my depression.

If a friend were to ask me what issues rise to the top, i would first say that it is not easy to talk about but then I would offer the following four things.

  1. I still deal with my change of faith. Or rather the discarding of Christianity and ministry for good. It is more than just a career change, it is a lifestyle and life course change, and it has been quite challenging emotionally and mentally.
  2. I deal with betrayal and loss.  Both of specific friendships and of the fact there is a group of people I lead as a shepherd for almost ten years than I still don’t feel comfortable in dealing with. Based on the letter I was sent, I feel judged and discarded still.
  3. I deal with memories of loving someone who I don’t know if they loved me at all in return.  It’s debatable if they were as they said “Just acting’, or if that statement was made to make the breakup easier for me and them.  Epic fail on the last one, it hurt like nothing I have felt in a long time.  I have a poem I am working on about this I think I NEED to write; but it is painful to write, so I don’t want to write it at the same time. I mean they seem to have moved on like nothing happened.  The memories for me are making that quite difficult, despite my best efforts to not think about all this by contrast.
  4. Then of course this whole thing brings up emotions regarding my treatment of my wife during this time which I now feel very guilty and ashamed about.

It’s why back in August of last year I wrote something that basically said I wished someone would rip my heart out and kill it.  These feelings are intense and difficult and I wish they would go away.  It makes my depression kick in as a defense mechanism so I don’t feel things. Feeling nothing being more preferred than these emotional memories.

I also deal with the fact that on March 18th I will be 50 years old. Half a century and I am fairly certain its these birthdays with zeros in the second digit that seem to challenge me the most. Another decade down, how many do I have left?  Where am I going now? What am I going to do? Who am I? How do I get where I want to be? When are these memories going to fade to the point where I don’t have to deal with them as much?

I wish I had more answers, but writing seems to help me keep going.  I write for me and I write to overcome.

Walking the Grey,

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


A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues – Realigning Discipline

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Journal Entry:

Discipline is a very interesting word as it defines a lot of different things. Mostly in this context it is doing the things that need to be done every day to achieve the goals you want to achieve. When coupled with perseverance, it is an unstoppable force to getting where you want to go.  I was recently browsing through Barnes and Noble in the business section and found that there were at least ten books on discipline and many others where discipline is a key element among a very few.

For me discipline expresses itself in routines and doing things when they need to be done. The issues for me; most of the time, are procrastination and The Grey.  In any case though the one thing that keeps me moving forward the most is discipline and both those opposing problems are overcome by discipline.

“Discipline is the willingness to be hard on oneself first and then if needed help with the development with others, so that greater purposes may be achieved.”

I don’t really have a problem with this virtue as it is written. In fact, it is one of the best definitions of discipline I know.

Principle: Apply discipline to every aspect of life that it can be applied.

Don’t really have a problem with the principle either. It has kept me thinking on the issue of connecting my life to discipline.  No the real issue is the goal and bucket list item. Both have to be self oriented and connected with discipline. I originally thought my weightlifting would be a good fit, but in truth while this can be hard at times, it is not the self-discipline I struggle with the most.  No, that belongs to Nutrition.  At the same item as I looked at the other goals and bucket list items, weightlifting does not fit anywhere else all that well. I realize the whole issue of health fits here as it is the most easily seen thing where discipline leads to results but at the same time.  The weightlifting, nutrition and walking all are part of this taking charge of my body and living healthy as possible. So which to choose.

This is the point in the realignment that I realized that a complete rewrite of some goals and bucket list items might be needed to make this realignment a reality. I also looked at my goals and bucket list items and realized some just straight up don’t work anywhere.  This is particularly true for the bucket list.  So what goal to set and what bucket list item to pursue? It also becomes clear at this point that may goals I have currently are not that SMART. Goals should also have a singular point not be multifaceted.  Simplicity here is key.

Goal: To follow A FULL Paleo Diet Plan from April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020.

Nutrition is by far the most challenging thing for me and it is time I take in on full speed.  This gives me the rest of March to prepare.  I also can start to look at what items I can eat and drink.  Mostly, what I see is eliminating dairy and the other items in my diet that I need to purge. Coming up with Paleo alternatives is going to be the real challenge and I hope a fun one.

Bucket List: Do a rebellious act on April Fools Day, April 1st, 2020.

Smoke a Joint, Get Drunk, Visit a Nudist Resort. I haven’t decided yet. Something along those lines.  My tattoos are not on this list because they will be connected with Perseverance. The idea is to plan an act of rebellion and execute it. Live life a little as a reward for successful discipline.  Something undisciplined to counter all the discipline.

One other thing.  This realignment thing has pointed out that I can streamline the A Skald’s Life posts. I can do this by including the specific goal and bucket list item under each Virtue as well as the principle.  This would allow me to consider them together.  I will start this process next week.


“Discipline is the willingness to be hard on oneself first and then if needed help with the development with others, so that greater purposes may be achieved.”

Principle: Apply discipline to every aspect of life that it can be applied.

I think I have spoken enough on this today, but there will be changes to the routines that reflect all this.


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

Principle: Keep getting up after every defeat or failure.

As I said my tattoos will probably be here as the Bucket List Item. The goal might have to involve exercise.  I do two things for this Walking and Weightlifting. How to couple these into one exercise program. Stretching fits in here too. Something that involves a complete exercise program is what I am thinking.


“Fidelity is the will to be loyal to one’s Gods and Goddesses, to one’s Folk, to one’s self, and loyalty to one’s friends was as valued as highly as loyalty to one’s family.”

Principle: Be loyal to those who have been loyal to me.

Still thinking on this one but it involves relationships so my marriage. family and friends come to mind.  Mostly though I think both the goal and bucket list will be about my wife and I.  It may involve family and friends but it is going to focus on the two of us. I have some ideas but I will keep them to myself for now.

Higher Virtue – Wisdom: 

The wisdom of all this realignment is centered on two principles – minimalism and simplicity. The goal is a more streamlined system of working the virtues out in my life that is simple.  So the effort required is much less. I want o achieve my goals as efficiently as possible and that involves making the pursuit less time-consuming and yet remaining effective.

Weekly Routine: 

  1. Weightlifting – 4 days per week.
  2. Cleaning – 3 days a week.
  3. Walking – 4 days a week
  4. Writing – 4 times a week
  5. Cheat Meal Count – Currently 2

The decision to go full Paleo Diet and next weeks exercise changes will involve some rewriting of the routine here.  I am hoping it will make these things more likely to get done.

Evening Routine:

  1. Take supplements and medications.
  2. Brush and Floss Teeth
  3. Out the Door Preparation
  4. Reading – 15 min.
  5. Go to Bed

Still need an effective trigger here. But also look at the idea of beating diabetes so the first one just says supplements.


Full Paleo by April 1st.  Means doing some homework and dumping some things from my diet. I still think a cheat meal once a week is a good idea. Keeps you from going completely bonkers with cravings.

Weekly Recap:

The weekly recap is going to change because I think I can divide what I normally do here among the three A Skald’s Life posts as well. But a weekly recap is still needed on Friday but it might be where I keep my Goal and Bucket list Counts as well as have a more general feelings about the week and what needs work.

I remain,

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