54 – My Birthday and My Goals for Healthy Next Year

Happy Sif’s Day and Happy Birthday to Me!

I am Detroit Lions Fan so I in general have a respectful hatred for all things Chicago Bears. That said, when I was picking the number 54 to represent one of the best for the number of my age 54, Brian Urlacher went to the front of the class. Got to give the Devil his due. The man could Ball. Linebacker sized, fast as safety, and skilled. I was happy to see him retire so the Lions wouldn’t have to face him twice a year anymore.

So today I turn 54. I can’t lean into my early fifties anymore with that number, we are definitely middle fifties now. I have tried to turn my birthday back in but no one wants to take it. So I guess I will own it for as long as it gets mileage. My birthday has one redeeming feature, it works far better than New Year for changing my life’s course. This year My goal is to get healthy in a lot of areas.

  1. Physically I want to get back to pre-COVID. Muscled. leaned out with good strength, endurance, and flexibility. I was in the best shape of my life in March 2020 and then we all know what happened to take us all away from the gym which in retrospect was a bad thing overall. I want to look the part of the sexy over-50 man, so this is the year.
  2. Emotionally and Mentally I need to be in a better place. To that end, I want to work on getting back to being a creative educator. This may take some time. I also renewed my relationship with my therapist. I am hoping to be more disciplined and focused going forward in my life.
  3. Financial Health needs to be a focus this year. I need more income than working for the world’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer can provide. This involves creating some income streams outside the norm. As well as looking for better career choices.
  4. Family/Friends: I feel like communication needs to be a focus this year and given that I seem at times to be the source of my family’s anxiety. I want to change that if at all possible. I just tend to be reserved and quiet most of the time.
  5. Love: I would like if at all possible, to be in love by this time next year with a woman who makes me better. I am good being a bachelor, but I mess with having a confident, lover and partner in crime. Not going to force it, but I am looking harder for it.

Well, I have soem work to do. Hopefully tomorrow I will be starting my D&D series and then the rotation for this and a few other projects will be rolling. This year is about learning and implementing things for good personal health in a lot of areas.

I remain.

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


Valentine’s Day – Mixed Feelings

Happy Tyr’s Day!

Now that I am divorced and single, Valentine’s Day gives me a lot of mixed feelings.

Of course, I wish I could celebrate the love I have for someone on this day, but that isn’t going to happen so being the follower of Stoic philosophy that I am I am focusing on the positive.

  1. I don’t have to spend money on gifts and that means saving for me.
  2. I can focus on the possibilities of who I might get to be my new life partner.
  3. I also can smile at how feminine this holiday is.

Going to be blunt this is about romance and so is more of a female holiday. I have long been a supporter of a more masculine holiday in March My favorite is using March 14th as Beer, Steak, and a Blowjob Day. This lines up with more masculine wants. Valentine’s Day is not going to get you beer, or a steak spending your own money and while sexy time might happen on Valentine’s but it’s going to be romantic sex which is OK but sometimes as a man you just want the girl to do the work to show you how much she loves you.

Not to mention this is a Christian holiday, named after a Christian ‘saint’. Freya doesn’t mess too much around with Romance. She once was accused of fucking every god in Asgard. She never denied this, but she did say Loki had bad manners for accusing her in front of everyone. The fact she was sexually active with more than one partner was not considered a shame in that she did it. I tend to take this view about sex as well. It’s just that society frowns on this attitude, and I just don’t want the hassle.

Maybe that is why when I look at holidays that are supposedly secular and know the religious origins, I just have trouble getting into the ones based on Christian holidays. Most of the rest are pagan holidays that Christianity stole so you can convert them back.

Maybe next Valentine’s I will be with someone special and my feeling will be more on par with normal. But today, I am just mixed about the whole thing,

Goals for Today:

  1. Settling up my shelves when they arrive – hopefully. This is two shelves and represents a lot of time so it is my only goal for today

Yesterday’s goals were both achieved. Hoping to start therapy soon and waiting on on landlord.

I remain.

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


Thoughts on 2022

Happy Sif’s Day and Happy New Year!

I look back on 2022 with frustration and some sense of self-discovery. It’s amazing how much those two go hand in hand.

My frustrations stem from a lack of satisfaction with where I am and what I am doing. I dislike Texas for a lot of reasons. I don’t enjoy the politics of it; the sub-tropical climate without any season to speak of; unless you count moving from green to brown of the foliage at times. The people are friendly enough but their viewpoints on life deeply seep into Christianity. The Bible Belt is alive and well. I reminded of a Viking saying about Christians – “Don’t trust them – they talk peace but carry a sword”. Christians are on the defensive so they are apologetic and kind. Just wait if the tables ever turn. I remember the 80s and 90s all too well. Politics, Climate, Religion, and Oh, Yes. Houston is without a doubt one of the worst-designed cities on the planet. One of the costs one expects in a city is that its design would help with is transport costs. But no, Houston is designed in such a way that you have to drive everywhere, even down a couple of blocks because public transport is a joke and sidewalks are non-existent as far as I can tell. Overall, I would say the environment fits me like a size 6 shoe and I have 10 and a half feet.

Top it off, my dissatisfaction with being a public school teacher has grown to the point that I want to be done at the end of the semester. I will finish out my contract and call it good. I hear most don’t last between 2-5 years so I am in good company. For me it is a little different – this job requires me to care too much – much as I did as a pastor. This is bad for me personally for a number of reasons. I am burnt out from caring about so many. I just can’t do it much longer. I hope that makes sense. It’s not that I don’t care about people, but the direct involvement in a lot of things in everyone’s life – I just can handle based on the simple fact that I get tired of doing it. I am worn out from that, I now understand I am probably too old to get that fire I used to get from helping people like that back. I will send myself to an early grave with the stress of my emotions. I no longer can help at a deep level without it triggering a lot of the Grey for me. My empathy is killing me at this point.

It’s this fact that has triggered The Grey a lot for me. It has led to the self-discovery that when I help others, I fail to take care of myself. This is not about selfishness – it’s about self-preservation. I getting too old for this shit. I have a lot of goals I have yet to achieve and this is not the way. My self-care has suffered and I can’t let that continue.

So in Viking Spirit, I am planning on ending my raid into Texas this summer and heading back home – north – back to Michigan. I can handle one more semester as long as I know it is the last one. But also during this semester, I need to get back to my coping mechanisms that keep the Grey at bay and make my life better overall. I need to once again put myself first. Getting Back to lifting weights, proper diet, writing, reading, meditation, and plan simply being a voice in the world for the NNV and Reason. To live the Viking Life in the modern age.

I suppose the one positive of raids is the plunder is good. I have made more in the last year and a half than four full years of ministry. That said, teaching is a tough job that deserves more. I think I can do better now that I have some measure of what it means to focus on things. Just wish I had a shieldmaiden by my side to help me with the burden of life. That would have made things easier. I haven’t found any shieldmaidens in Texas, maybe they are all northern gals. So I would be headed in the right direction. Tomorrow’s post will have more details on my vision for 2023.

I remain.

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


Happy Yule!!!

Happy Thor’s Day!

Just wishing everyone a happy Yule season!!! I suppose the one good thing about having a pagan outlook on some things is that you can respect nature enough to acknowledge the changing seasons and their importance in people’s lives.

I hope to be writing more regularly after the holidays; but in the meantime, I wish you all the best this holiday season.

I remain.

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


Memorial Day

Happy Mani’s Day!

For those of us who live in the USA, Memorial Day is pretty sacred as far as national consciousness. It’s a day to remember those who have fallen and died in our wars. To honor their sacrifice of life for the freedoms we enjoy today.

For me, it is also a day to remember those who died that served. They didn’t necessarily die in combat but they spent part of their life serving so I still remember them.

My Grandfather, Capt. Edward William Raby was not really my biological grandfather, but he did adopt dad and served as a B-17 pilot in WW2. Not wounded, he did find himself in some very interesting situations that resulted in two distinguished flying crosses. He said it was more of he crashed his plane and the crew survived – twice.

My dad has a less dramatic story to tell. He was a chaffer driver for admirals in Florida and his most memorable moment was the Cuban Missle Crisis of which he was a part. At six-foot, two inches, he must have cut quite a figure in his dress whites with a sidearm. Probably why my mom fell for him.

In any case, I love these two men even though they are gone. To all the honored dead today we lift our mugs and say “Hail, to the honored dead!”

I remain.

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


“April Fools Day Cancelled” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day!

I have noticed that the jokes this April Fools Day seem to be either very subdued or non-existent.  My guess is the current situation is stealing a lot of people’s sense of humor. Practical Jokes are not really funny right now.  The real world intrudes.

See the source image

My real hope for all of you this April 1st is that you are all alive and well and enjoying life as much as you can. No Fooling.

I remain,

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


“Am I Irish?” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Tyr’s Day!

Of course with this COVID-19 thing going on maybe you can just blow that kiss from a distance.  Unless you are an Irish lass with red hair and then I will risk it.

I am planning on giving a full reveal tomorrow of my heritage base on my DNA results for my Birthday post but this week is really going to be a lot of meditation posts on my goals and just some shitposting of things I need to get done this week for my birthday. For today – St. Patrick’s Day – I will reveal there is Irish blood in my veins.  Not a lot mind you but some and I know this is from my maternal grandfather’s side and the Nagle family.  Between this my Scottish ancestry it comes to 4% combined and that means I can sit down with any red-haired lass who is Irish, drink green beer, and get that kiss.

See the source image

At least I would if there was any bar open today or pub.  COVID-19 being an asshole again.  I guess I will have to reserve said kiss until next year when this shit is over. Tomorrow will reveal the rest of my genetic heritage for my Birthday post, until then.

I remain,

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


“Happy Holidays from The Grey Wayfarer” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day!!!

Just a short post wishing you all happy holidays. I spent most of my morning with some of my children and grandchildren for Christmas, so this is a short post to let you all know that you are appreciated.  Thanks for reading and have a great holiday season!

Back tomorrow with another fiction post.

I remain,

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


“Discipline, Atheism, and Asatru” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Discipline

Happy Mani’s Day


Right now discipline is difficult because of two reasons.  Firstly my thoughts right now are a jumbled mess.  Secondly, the holidays are so different than regular life and I am struggling to stay above all that.  I hate the chaos at times because it is a people chaos, not regular life chaos.  I can handle a lot of things but not a jumbled situation where I have to say ‘hi’ to a lot of people which I haven’t seen in a year. This weekend was a prime example of a weekend that is just not me.

I spent Saturday driving somewhere to spend the day shopping with my wife.  Lots of travel in a car and people being everywhere is not my idea of a great time.  The time with my wife was good, but I felt pressured all day and I certainly did not have time to do what I like to do. Then yesterday afternoon was two family Christmases back to back.  Not a fan. It was my wife’s family so I also get half of the family that is cool because they are outcasts like me and the other half that still seems to hold something against me.

From a discipline standpoint, this all combines to make December a difficult month to keep mental focus for me and thus difficult to be disciplined.  The negative effect is a lot of things are slipping and I am going to have to double down as soon as all this shit is over.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

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

Needs (Geri):

Discipline is a needed thing.  It is what is the machine that drives success and I need it so much to do what I want to do.  The issue is my own thoughts being jumbled because of depression, being put in situations that are uncomfortable.  These all just drain me and my discipline suffers as a result.

Wants (Freki):

What I want is a focused life that is getting the results I need.  As an atheist, I am not waiting for some divine white knight to come and help me out.  I need and want to be the warrior that gets it done for myself. Discipline is the key.  That starts with saying “I can do better.”

Reason (Huginn):

I think I am at another crossroads in my life.  They happen quite a bit, but 2020 seems more pivotal if I am going to get anywhere near my goals. There is no achievement without discipline and I am looking forward to a time where discipline brings about results.  But it is also just a rational nod of the head if there is no action that is disciplined behind it.

Wisdom (Muninn):

I need to find a wise way out of all this jumbled mess.  There is a part of me that just wants to wisely withdraw from it all and start somewhere else.  But this is the struggle of burning bridges sometimes – do you have the discipline to keep them burned and lying in ashes.  No regrets.


The only master I want is me. The mastery of my own life is key here and I am starting to feel worn out with all the chaos of thought and life.  Some order needs to be brought to it. In the meantime, I endure the holidays and wait for the storm to subside.

I remain,

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


“Holy Days” (Asatru – Part 22) – The Pagan Pulpit

Happy Sol’s Day!


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

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

Theme Song: “Diese Kalte Nacht” – FAUN

Lyric Video:


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See the source image

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


It was a surprise to me how little I had to change things regarding holidays after I dropped my Christianity in the scrap heap and embraced a more pagan view of holidays.  Much of what was pagan, has been absorbed by Christianity. But mostly the holidays reflect the time of the changing seasons.  The circle of life.

In venerating the gods and goddesses, the followers of Asatru are simply giving their proper nods to the gods of each time of the year. Mostly there is the notion of Winter and Summer with the transition times more popularly known as Fall and Spring.  The issue of holidays is not so much one of noting special events although that does happen for heroes like Leif Ericson but rather about noting the change of the season and the unchanging cycle.

These are the Blóts of note and have their celebrations that are mostly festive although there are some somber occasions particularly in remembrance.  But the feeling I get this is more about the celebration of life, honoring the dead and giving devotion to the friends known as the gods.

For me, this was a logical step as I wanted to step away from Christian holidays as I have no desire to be reminded of them.  However, I did need to have reasons to celebrate with family and freinds and this is important from a community standpoint even as an atheist pagan. So the holidays are the Viking ones to me and so Yuletide comes soon.  They give a time of reflection and reminders of the changing times as well.

Parting Thought:

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I remain,

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