“Try Not to Be an Ass” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Wisdom

Happy Tyr’s Day

Discussion:

With this post, I will have gone through the entire rotation fo the Nine Noble Virtues and nine other Philosophical points that underpin my thoughts of personal philosophy. Namely my own personal philosophy.  Next week we will begin again with the Nine Noble Virtues of Asatru and start this rotation again.  Today though we end with the concept of wisdom.

I think the first time I really felt I understood the basics of understanding Wisdom it was actually reading a Dungeons and Dragons explanation of Wisdom.  In contrasting Wisdom from Intelligence, the old basic handbook reads something like this as I recall: “Intelligence tells you it is raining.  Wisdom tells you to put on your raincoat and grab an umbrella.”

Of course, there is the idea in the wisdom of finding better ways to apply knowledge and use it to better face situations.  I have learned there is a great deal of difference between experience/age and wisdom too.  Just because people are older or more experienced at something doesn’t mean they are wiser.  Some people simply have gained knowledge but that knowledge. as the proverb says, simply is books tied to the backside of an ass. They simply haven’t figured out that they are supposed to actually learn something about their knowledge that actually benefits their life so they continue to remain dumb asses.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

Needs (Geri):

I see the need for wisdom because wisdom if it ministers to any need it is the ability to live life fully taking full advantage of every opportunity. That one lives a peaceful and full life is the product of engaging wisdom and enjoying its fruits.  The need for wisdom becomes apparent.

Wants (Freki):

We want wisdom too. Difficulties are far easier dealt with by wise people.  I will venture to say most of us will face difficulties at some point and we want them to be easily dealt with. If we have some level of wisdom, this want will be easily met. Problems will seem a little lesser when wisdom is not only applied but a regular part of our lives.

Reason (Huginn):

Reason is only one Raven.  Those that are reasonable can see the difference between reason and wisdom. You can be knowledgeable and reasonable but that doesn’t make you wise.  It takes wisdom to get the theoretical to become. reality.  I have watched a great many theories in my life come to nothing because no matter how good something looks on paper if you don’t have a practical plan that people will buy into, it fails. Reason embraces wisdom and so completes itself.

Wisdom (Muninn):

Wisdom is a wise pursuit. It completes things and makes them whole.

Conclusion:

I am often accused of being a smart ass.  I counter that its better than being a dumb ass. In contrasting knowledge and wisdom.  I would rather have those books being read and applied than just resting on the ass’ backside. I may be a smart ass at times, but I refuse to be a dumb ass lacking wisdom. I don’t know if I always succeed but it is better to pursue wisdom than to be a contented fool.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues – Life’s Blacksmith

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Journal Entry:

It seems this proverb has a lot of origin stories but I can imagine every blacksmith probably drew this conclusion that each and every person smiths his own life. Life being raw iron that needs to be smithed in order to turn it into something that you want it to be. Who you are and what your life will become results from taking the raw materials of both and forging them into what you want. Being a smith is no easy task and having the life you want is not easy either.

Life tends to be like iron in this regard.  Very little of it can be changed without discipline, perseverance, and fidelity.   Particularly fidelity to one’s self. These are the tools that one forges one’s life from.  This concept dominates my thinking at times as I try to build the life I want and these virtues along with the other six are tools that make this possible.

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.”

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.

To make a good sword, steel has to be folded over and over again.  There is a repetition to most things in smithing that is about making something stronger, better or so it can be done by habit. This requires you to be hard on yourself first and then others around you second when appropriate.  Right now I look at what I am trying to achieve both as far as goals and my bucket list and discipline myself through routines so that relentlessly I am working toward achieving them.

Perseverance:

“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.

Every Smith screws up at some point.  They have to go back and fix something or start over or keep doing something that is tedious to get where you want to be. Failure is never looked at as final defeat but rather a lesson learned and an opportunity to change and grow.  That is the heart of perseverance.

Fidelity: 

“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.

I am struggling with this part – being loyal to myself.  There are things I want in life yet and I need to make the commitment not to compromise on them. I tend to try to make others happy at times and at the expense of myself.  Old habits I guess. These days though, I need to build myself again and recast myself in a different form. To do that I need to stay true to the vision I have for myself.

Higher Virtue – Wisdom: 

Experience can breed wisdom or regret.  The choice is yours. I choose to learn and grow and look for something better. Wisdom is a big help in this and I am learning it every day.

Weekly Routine: 

  1. Weightlifting/Stretching – Minimum 3 days per week.
  2. Walking – Minimum 3 days a week
  3. Job Search – Minimum 3 days a week
  4. Cleaning – 3 days a week.
  5. Writing – 3 times a week
  6. Latin – 3 times per week
  7. Cheat Meal Count: 3 per week.

School is winding down and I will refocus my attention on a shorter list of things. One of those things is getting all my routines to start to forge my life better. This one, in particular, is very key to doing that.

Goals and Bucket List Items Achieved (Since Summer 2018):

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

Bucket List Items Achieved: 0

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

Rogue Wizard – The Fire of Fury – Part 8 – Women Troubles

Rogue Wizard’s Journal January 21st, 2019

It’s been a week since my last journal entry.  At that point, I had asked a question about what I needed to do to disappear? To fake my own death and thus keep my family protected from the Council of Magical Houses. Not a light question to ask but rather one for which I knew the short term consequences would be very grave.  If the Council was ever defeated, even then, I might not be able to come back because of repercussions from people who might want revenge. I am sure many other men and women have been down this road, I just never thought it would be me.

After finding my clothes, the Lioness offered to me a room in the Venus mansion.  It was basically part of the attic with a corner window that looked out over the grounds.  I remember the Venus mansion from when I was teen, but I have never been up here and I was glad for the fact that I was separated from the women that lived here. The House of Venus takes female superiority and feminism to whole new levels.  I have enough women troubles without being around a group of them that is generally hostile and would see me as a threat as well as a piece of meat and a walking dildo.

The attic apartment, because that is what it is, suits my needs. It has a bed, a small kitchen area and a work area in a medium size open space.  A small bathroom is cordoned off with its own room.  When I asked about it, the Lioness simply said it was a place they kept for people who needed privacy and perhaps a safe place to stay. I guess I fit that bill on both counts.

I now had access to some of the reports about me in the files of the Council and it has caused me to realize how I need to truly disappear very soon. They are very alarmed about me and the possibility I might take the side of pixies and tilt the balance at least in this area.  They won’t accept that because the war right now is tightly contested.  Magical creatures and mages are paying heavy prices for even the smallest gain. The Council would see my entry as a full-fledged battle mage as a threat they can ill afford. So the plan was for me to stay low and get ready to ‘die’ and disappear.

Thing is, I am not really taking a side here.  I am joining the resistance but that resistance’s goal is not to make a pixie world or a mage world but rather a free world for all magic. The Council is a threat to that, but so also are certain magical creatures and groups that want chaos to reign.  You might see the council as the extreme end of the order and the creatures that support the genocide of mages as the extreme end of chaos.  The thing the resistance wanted was neither of these two extremes forced on others, but rather letting each creature/mage decided for themselves their own path between order and chaos. An idea that is only really dangerous in the minds of tyrants.

Probably more on my mind was how I was surrounded by women at this point. As a now happy bachelor, I would have enjoyed it except most of them want me dead. The only thing that is stopping that is the Lioness decree and my bodyguard.

Her name is Amber.  She is an absolutely gorgeous redhead.  Tall too, as she is only probably half a head shorter than me. She is young, so the beauty she has is probably actually natural.  I trust her because she is not an illusionist or mentalist type of mage.  She is a straight up evoker specializing in fire magic. Nice curves too.  She often wears a low backed gown usually of red and gold jewelry.  Basically, no one bothers me when she is at my shoulder, and oddly enough she is one of the few House Venus types that doesn’t seem to be assessing my body like a piece of meat and wondering what condom size I wear.  I like her because she is the only woman in the place who my relationship with is not complicated. Her job is to keep me alive. I am cool with that.

The other women in my life are not so simple.

Raven will be my contact with the resistance in the field.  She and her team of the troll and the skinny mage will be my backup if things turn to shit. The dark gothic half-elf, who is probably the same age as myself but looks eighteen, is competent, but there is something about her with me that is pure sexual temptation and trying to maintain professionalism in that mindset is difficult.

The Lioness is professional and probably keeping her looks alive with magic and alchemy.  That said she is also roughly my age.  I can hold my end with her.  I don’t trust her to be honest for a lot of reasons.  If the war goes poorly for the resistance, I can see her disavowing all knowledge to save her own curvy ass. She is the kind of person who supports change until that change causes her personal risk to the point she backs off and plays CYA.

Lunette is sullen these days. I think she wanted to reignite this old flame we had, but based on some things I said she might have come to the conclusion that it is a ‘no’ and maybe that it is out the realm of possibility for me.  Honestly, though, my attitude toward sex is getting more pixie-like every day since leaving the whole Christian faith.  My magic aura to her is like crack cocaine, and for me, pixies represent a recharge and supercharged magical force that I cannot begin to describe.  The relationship would be intensely erotic and be mutually beneficial on a practical magical front.  The only problem is pixies have no concept of sexual fidelity. Not that it represents as big of a problem to me anymore.

The only thing that keeps me from dating and the whole sex issue right now is a promise I made to myself about mourning my wife for six months. I still wear my ring for that reason. January is almost over and that would be three months.  Halfway there.  Once April is over, then I am going to set the ring aside and enter the world of male-female relationships once again and I don’t really have this idea that sex is strictly for marriage anymore. It is just Lunette and me have some baggage of another variety and I don’t know if I want to open up that suitcase of pain.

Then there is the whole ‘spirit’ of Elpis shit. Is it possible that Miss Salty was under the influence of Elpis?  Shit, that would explain a lot but I have no idea what motivates a dryad turned possessor of human females.  What rage or hurt is driving her right now or quite frankly what drove her to destroy the tree and leave the grove in the first place?

Besides all the other preparation to disappear, I had two things I really needed to do as main things. 1) Visit the grove and see for myself what happened and 2) assembly my team for action. The first I resolve to do tomorrow and the second I am still waiting for the first dossiers to arrive.

Its been a while since I have been to the Grove.   Hell, it’s been a while since I even looked at it from a distance. But there are internal real questions as well as practical ones to answer. I have a suspicion this is going to be painful but necessary.

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

Skaal!!!

 

The Book of Rabyd 3:1 – “You Need to Use Your Head for Something Besides a Hat Rack”

Text:

“You Need to Use Your Head for Something Besides a Hat Rack” – The Book of Rabyd 3:1

Sermon:

Chapter three of the Book of Rabyd represents some of the sayings and ‘-isms’ that have dominated the Raby Family for years.  They are not necessarily principles or wisdom but just stuff that is around our family that we just say as part of our particular family collective.  This one is from my father and I have no idea how many times he said it to me.  “You Need to Use Your Head for Something Besides a Hat Rack” was on his lips every single time I did something stupid.  It was a polite way of him telling me I should use my head to think rather than just have it occupy space and hold up my hat.

My father was not an educated man.  He was dyslexic or at least we think so.  He was a blue-collar man who had a gift for manufacturing.  He learned machinery and grinding early in his factory work days and knew math very well.  He just could never read very well.  These days, he might have been diagnosed early and he might have learned to read much better.  He was, however, a math genius in his own way and he believed highly in learning and common sense.

I don’t actually use this expression of his much myself.  I, however, hear it all the time in my head.  I always hear it when I am about to do something stupid or have not thought things through before I am about to act on them.  Most people don’t wear hats these days so I wonder if somebody would get it, but I certainly do.

This expression being 3:1 in the Book of Rabyd is more about my love for my Father than anything else.  I want the expression preserved for my kids and grandkids and all the rest.  I think it is a very polite and creative way to tell someone to start thinking and using your head. I know he was proud of me when I graduated college but he did not live to see me get my master’s, but I could not have made either without this expression rolling around in my head.  Thanks, Dad, I still miss you.

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!!!

Odin’s Eye – Humanism – Morality and Religion

Happy Thor’s Day

Discussion:

Humanists as a general rule, dismiss the need for religion to be moral. Humanists for the most part simply see that anyone can act ethically and morality if they simply tap into their humanity. That is act on their better nature as human beings. I concur with this.

There is some thoughts that to be a humanist you have to be atheist, but I reject that as well. I think in large part those we call founding fathers were also humanists of a deist variety and I am as well.  I don’t dismiss the idea of creator or creators, I just don’t think that, whomever they may be, has any vested interest in policing our morals.  That’s up to us to define as the creators, if they exist, have left questions of morality and ethics to us.

Time to Look Through the Eye:

Faith:

Faith never cured me of being a dick. Not once did my faith in Christ lead to a better morality.  That choice was always my own. I would say also that I have seen the concept of ‘faith’ used for great evil as old ladies send parts of their social security checks to preachers on television who promise prosperity through giving.  All the while the prosperity comes to them at the old ladies’ expense. Greed justified through ‘faith’ is an old story, and one of the great proofs that religion is no guarantee of morality. Far from it.  You can also add people wracked with guilt because they were sick and that was because they didn’t have enough ‘faith’.

Religion:

I have watched in my own ministry as religion has been used to justify unethical and immoral things:

  1. Because of the Christian notion of submission of wives to husbands, I saw sexual, physical, emotional and mental abuse perpetrated by men toward their wives.
  2. Because of the notion of ‘seed faith’ I saw greed justified as people would plant their seed but the preacher would harvest.
  3. I saw harsh religious judgment as people would literally throw off good friends and even family members simply because they did not believe as they did or left the faith. This one I have recently personally experienced.  I used to have 370 or so Facebook friends.  I cut myself off from a mere 80 or so but now I have 205.  That’s 85 people who simply dropped me after I announced I wasn’t a Christian anymore.  Nice.
  4. I have watched people who, believing the end of the world was coming, ran up their credit cards and quit good jobs to be come reclusive only to find themselves in serious trouble afterwards.  This is the best example I can come up with of stupid behavior caused by religion, but I could list so many I might have the content for a book in and of itself.

That’s just my experience, historically speaking Christianity has the one problem every religion has, a creation of an ‘us’ verses ‘them’ mentality that leads to taking actions against them to justify exaltation of us.  It gets worse when you consider some theologies.

Theology:

Historically speaking Christianity has not had a good moral track record.

  1. The Catholics killed, raped, tortured, etc. people who left the faith.  They branded anyone different who did not hold their faith and punished them accordingly.  The repressed any genuine scientific and philosophical pursuit if it contradicted the teachings of the church.  The Spanish Inquisition wasn’t an anomaly, it was normal operating procedure for the Catholic church.
  2. The Protestant Church was no better.  I would say that the Western expansion into Native American territory and the genocide of indigenous population in the United States was largely due to the Calvinist religious belief held highly at the time of manifest destiny encouraged by the notion of Predestination.  You don’t have to treat people as equals or human, if you view them as predestined for hell.
  3. Regardless of stripe, the moral codes of Christianity are probably responsible for more emotional, mental and other forms of abuse.  Shame and guilt due to imaginary problems that force human beings to act against their nature lead to depression and low self-esteem which preachers exploit.  In some cases, people have committed suicide rather than face the fact they can’t live up to the code placed upon them.
  4. Cultist behavior is present in Christianity and all religions.  I love it when Christians try to differentiate themselves from what they perceive to be cults.  Mostly they will say they don’t try to control people’s sexuality or money.  So what then of this sins of sexuality list and the doctrine of tithing?  Religions all have cult behavior. All of them.

Spirituality:

For me I think I live by two notions: 1) I don’t need religion to be spiritual and 2) I don’t need religion to be moral. Spirituality and ethics are found in ourselves, in our humanity. Religions tap into that, but they twist it to their own purpose. They find ways to interpret the rules to slide through a side door into greed, lust and all the other seven deadly ‘sins’.  It’s a game of moral “I am better than you.” – not spirituality.

Conclusion:

“Do no harm” and “Treat others as you would want to be treated” in some form appear in every religion.  The problem is I can say both of these and not be religious.  It is the strongest indicator that Christopher Hitchens was right, that morality comes from simply being human, but religions steal that notion and then add their own so that certain groups of people gain and others lose. There is nothing moral about that and to pretend there is, well, that is just indoctrination talking.  Sorry, spent too much time as a religious person to not know that is true.

Continuing to Walk the Path,

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

Skaal!!!

Of Wolves and Ravens – Love: Mutual Essential Happiness

Happy Tyr’s Day

Discussion:

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.

Conclusion:

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.

Skaal!!!

A Skald’s Life – Foundational Virtues – Epic Struggle (Part 1)

Happy Moon’s Day. 

Journal Entry:

In Norse Mythology Loki has three children with a giantess who, as one would expect are not exactly nice children.  They are Fenrir, Jormungand and Hel.  Fenrir is the wolf that will swallow Odin.  Jormungand is the serpent who will be both defeated by Thor and be Thor’s demise.  Hel is the Ruler of Helheim and the end ruler of all people who die of natural causes. This week I am going to talk about the epic struggle I am having and use all of these as metaphors.

Fenrir is the wolf that will end it all at Ragnarok.  He will swallow both Odin and the Sun according to the mythology and end what was to change it into something new.  He is the wild foundation of nature kept now in invisible chains until he gets loose and destroys that which gives all life (the sun) and destroys all knowledge, reason and strength. (Odin).

My Fenrir is that which would cause me to compromise my inner sense of value, to act in fear or lie to protect myself.  Fenrir represents the forces of my life that would cause me to compromise my foundation.  Something I cannot afford to do.  To keep him in his chains and prevent him, from a long a possible, doing so is my goal with my Foundational Virtues.

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.

I have struggled with Honor the past few days.  I am starting to get frustrated as to how little is happening in my life right now. The fact is this blog and doing the necessary things in life are difficult for me.  I don’t like my mental state right now about myself or my future. Fenrir threatens to engulf me. I cannot let that happen.

The blog continues to be my way of keeping to the path more than anything else.  I have found that there is an honor in creation and the discipline if sitting down to write every day keeps things remotely focused at least.  I want to get back walking and training for that long hike too.  I need more tools in my box to fight The Grey.

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 year. Deadline March 31st

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

Courage is not as great a problem as Honor.  I feel like though Perseverance and Courage are overlapping right now.  I keep getting up, doing what I need to do each day, hoping it will get better. I am not sure sometimes if my getting up every morning is and act of courage, perseverance or both some days. The thing I am determined to do is outlast my own personal Fenrir.  The Valkyries can have me but not him.  I will work very hard to never be afraid of him.

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 – 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.

I find myself silent a lot. Nuff’ Said.

I have written down many ideas for my non-fiction book.  The problem is the one theme that comes up over and over again is to write a book about religion and what a fraud it is. I also find the Nine Noble Virtues as a theme. I don’t know if either one of these is valid.  I am trying to be respectful of people who are religious, but at the same time I the fraud and bullshit of it all should be confronted and boy could I do that job. Particularly with Christianity.

Latin is probably going to have to be reserved for a three times a week thing on the weekly routine.  It takes up a lot of time than I expected but I have enjoyed the opening thoughts behind why I should learn Latin.

Higher Virtue: Love:

I am writing on Love tomorrow for Of Wolves and Ravens.  I will save most of my thoughts until then.  Love though is keeping me going right now at times.

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

This is working well,  I had no problems with it this week.

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

Skaal!!!

Crossing Bifrost – Gods and Goddesses – Odin – The All Father

Happy Saturn’s Day

From this point on I may jump around a bit when to comes to topic on Crossing Bifrost.  Mostly now I just want to write on what topics interest me in Norse mythology.  I am currently reading a book call The Viking Spirit by Daniel McCoy and I want to acknowledge his contributions to my knowledge on this topic.  He is also connected to a website called Norse Mythology for Smart People which I can heartily recommend.

Image result for the viking spirit

So with acknowledgements out of the way, let’s tackle Odin, The All Father.

Odin is the supreme God of the Norse Pantheon.  He probably isn’t the most popular deity even back in the days of the Vikings.  Thor probably has that honor and one of the observations I can make is that this is probably the notion that the stories related to Thor are very common man/warrior stories whereas Odin’s tales are one of a leader taking responsibility for his sphere of influence and doing what is necessary to get the job done.  I got this feeling just reading them. I guess I can see McCoy’s observation that Odin probably appeals more to the aristocrat while Thor appeals to the soldier is probably dead on.

Odin takes a lot of different forms and take on a lot of different roles to get the job done. He is not just a king sitting on the throne like you see with a lot of pantheons.  Odin gets his hands dirty.  You see this probably most of all with him donning grey robes and wandering the world looking for the knowledge he needs to forestall Ragnarök.  He isn’t afraid to engage in deception to make this happen either. In short, Odin can be the noble warrior god, but he is also a wizard of the first order who uses his brains as much as brawn. He is the smart and clever strategist of the gods and that is why he sits on the throne.

See the source image

Odin’s accomplishments in the mythology are legion and his mentions in the texts are equally massive. I simply don’t have the space here to list them all. The most notable is his creation of the first two humans (Thus All-Father), His hanging on the world tree to gain knowledge of the runes, his sacrifice of his eye to gain even more knowledge. He leads the Wild Hunt and gains from the Valkyries half of those slain in battle. Mostly though you see his constant struggle to forestall the end of the world – Ragnarök.

His personality is a little shifty.  We would probably say that Odin is shady as fuck at times.  He engages in bets with his wife and can be quite deceptive.  But other times, he is the only brave warrior standing between the world and complete destruction, so you have to give him his dues as the creator and protector of mankind. If he has a sphere of power it is war, ruling and knowledge. In all these he excels.

See the source image

Personally, he has always appealed to me more than the other gods in the pantheon.  His image of the Grey Wanderer I have of course borrowed for the main theme of this blog. His companions of the ravens and wolves and his sacrifice are his eye are part of this blog as well. I like the idea of a grey pilgrim walking the world in an endless quest for knowledge, and so I resonate with Odin.

It could also be said that I find creative ways to interpret the virtues. Odin does that too and I find his example far more pragmatic about this than say Thor. For instance, Truth is a part of the Nine Noble Virtues, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t lie to someone who I found had in the past been deceptive to me. In battle, deception is part of the game and strategy of war, so I am not afraid to use it. Odin is dangerous on a much higher level than Thor because Virtue can be interpreted in many different ways and he sees that.  This is very unlike Thor who will just choose to rush in without thought and get his ass kicked, if he wasn’t protected by magical means. Odin is about the glory of victory; Thor is about the glory of battle.  Yes, that is a fine line but it is a significant difference. Thor just wants to fight, Odin wants to win.

See the source image

Popular culture when it comes to Odin seem to me more subtitle. I mean Marvel Kind of finally brought him out in a grand way with Thor, but over the last decades I have not seen many overt references, but rather his imagery is invoked far more than his actual name.  Tolkien used his imagery when we think of Gandalf the Grey. Characters who sacrifice to gain knowledge are in his spirit and there are many of these.  Ben Ken-obi, Yoda,of Star Wars, etc are like this too with their commitment to knowledge.

I suspect that I; the Grey Wayfarer, will walk in his metaphorical footsteps for some time to come.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

A Skald’s Life – Foundational Virtues – Unlocking My Meditation

Happy Moon’s Day. 

Journal Entry:

This week I am looking a tweaking certain things about my routines so I am going to look at each journal post and see what needs to be tweaked.  Under Foundation Virtues is some discussion my Morning Routine and Bucket List and oddly enough they are going to go together.  The way they are going together is through meditation.

One of my only concerns with the Morning Routine has been meditation.  I originally thought what I need to do is formalize things a bit.  Make them more structured.  I think that will happen, but I now feel I shouldn’t look at it that way.   I would rather look at it as making changes to unlock the potential of mediation for myself.

What I picture is meditation on the Nine Noble Virtues, picking one principle from one of them to meditate on, then meditating on one of my goals, and one bucket list item. This would involve a nine-day rotation.  It would then end with emptying my mind and doing a basic relaxation technique. I have nine virtues, nine goals and nine principles.  The only problem is I have ten bucket list items so it would involve removing one of them.

I have been debating the use of aids on this.  Most notably a candle and a symbol focus. The symbol focus I have used and it would probably be the Valknut. I am thinking a medallion that after meditation I can wear around my neck as a constant reminder.  The candle is also a focus I have used in the past and it a powerful one where I have gotten so lost in meditation that I lose track of time.  I am going to try a candle with a timer from my smart phone to offset this potential ‘problem’. Position has always been an issue and  I am going to go lotus for a while.  It usually hurts my knees but mostly I think that is because I am not used to it.

So far there are several things I do that are going to stay.  1) Nine Noble Virtues – Meditation on a virtue or virtues really works.  It definitely is a much higher thing to meditate, on than what I want to do that day. I may however add meditation on the higher virtues as well. 2)  Nudity – I have to say there is something very beneficial about literally throwing off all encumbrance, including clothing, to meditate.  No clothes and the only jewelry I wear is my wedding band. There is something very liberating, free and open about this state when meditating.

The main goal now is to unlock the potential of this part of my morning routine so that I gain insight, enlightenment, a positive mental state and motivation from it.  The ultimate goal is to have a highly effective ten minutes of meditation that accomplishes all of this regularly.

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 – Be positive about my future

Meditation has also been very instrumental in getting me back into a more positive attitude and mental state about my future and giving me that much-needed self-examination that leads to a sense of self-worth. A sense of honor is something I have gained while meditating.

Courage:

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

Principle – Act with Courage at the right time.

Sometimes the right thing to do and when to do it is not clear.  I have found mediation to be the key at times in discovering both.  Then all that remains is to actually act and meditation can steel my heart to do that.  Meditation helps with courage.

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 cannot underestimate the number of times clarity, enlightenment, insight and other things like this have been part of my mediation results. Truth has been unlocked at certain times, and for that I am very grateful.

Higher Virtue: Love:

A feeling of well-being and a feeling of being loved and loving are sometimes very present in my meditation times. I guess in many ways it is how I have learned to love my wife more and more each day.  It has at least been a tool for unlocking my understanding of my love for her and I would say some of the same mental state of openness and freedom has slipped over into the times we make love as well.  Love of life and the world around me is a very present feeling when I meditate as well and I want to unlock that further.

Morning Routine:

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

I have made the line for meditation just that.  The process inside of this simple word will be written down in my paper journal until it becomes more automatic. Much of what happens in routines is that I have to follow what I want by looking at a list at first.  This can be clumsy and awkward at first but the more I do it, the more natural it becomes. Meditation changes will be like that too but I think it will be worth it.

As a side note my meditation time spills over into my full body stretch and I am thinking of doing some more yoga type stretches with this.

Bucket List:

  1. Go Back to Budapest, Hungary for a vacation.
  2. Get My Tattoos.
  3. Actually Get Drunk.
  4. Smoke a Joint.
  5. Hike the Northern Lakeshore Trail along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
  6. Write My Novel.
  7. Learn Latin.
  8. Learn Hungarian.
  9. Weightlifting – Bench 225 lbs, Squat 315 lbs, and Deadlift 405 lbs.

Removed starting my own business. As I look to the future this bucket list item will be a goal under something involving my career eventually.  It will make its way to my goal list eventually so it isn’t really gone, just shifted in timing and placement.

Weightlifting:

This is one activity that meditation is a big part of when I do it.  Every set is preceded by a mental focusing and as the set is being done, mental focus is very important. It is this meditational aspect that I miss just as much as the challenge of the iron.  I will hopefully get back to this soon. I have the money now to get a gym membership going at least.

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

Skaal!!!