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 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 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 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.


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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 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 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 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.


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.


A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues – Adding Wisdom

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Journal Entry:

Knowledge might tell you it is raining, wisdom tells you to take out an umbrella or find cover, etc. Wisdom is hard to completely define as well but its actions are clear.  When one finds themselves at a fork in the road of life, wisdom tells you what branch to take that is going to be the best.

Adding Wisdom is to the self Virtues is a natural fit, as wisdom ultimately affects us personally the most.  Discipline is about being wise of looking ahead so greater and greater purposes can be achieved.  Wisdom says to keep going despite failure and defeat because to stop is to die and no longer be truly alive. Fidelity is the wisdom of keeping your relationships strong, and being loyal to those who are loyal to you makes you stronger.

For me, this image of standing a crossroads happens often in life; it is what it means to be The Grey Wayfarer for me.  Wisdom is the process of assessing which path is best.  Wisdom guides the decision and thus becomes a very important higher virtue.


“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.

The real trick right now is to make sure routines are finished each day and that the weeks work has been done.  I find that while I do need to take breaks from time to time, the best way to handle all of it is to of it as early as possible in each day.

I am debating with and evening routine that would basically be me doing an evening quick hygiene thing and laying out my stuff for the next day, so things go faster in the morning.


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

Principle: Keep getting up after every defeat or failure.

I keep going, I don’t know if this pause in between things constitutes failure or defeat so much as waiting for what is next.


“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.

I meditate often on how fidelity is much easier the smaller your circle is. At the same time, more friends is more opportunity.  Something I need to think more about.

Higher Virtue – Wisdom: 

Right now, wisdom is a big thought on my mind because I am changing the direction of my life and I want my new path to be a wise one. Adding the virtue means I have to think about what decisions I have upcoming and what the wisest course of action might be.

Right now I have another semester to do.  My degree is finished except for the internship but I had to take a few classes to maintain full-time status to pay for it. Eventually, I will get some of the grant money from the research project  for the internship to offset that but right now taking a few classes that will both pad my resume and keep the student loan people away for a bit. I continue to search for a new job and hopefully something that fits me and my life better will show itself soon.

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 3

Everything on here is doable.  The issue mostly is weightlifting and walking because I don’t have a place to do them. I need a new gym for that.  The rest I can do right now and have been.


My cheat meal count has dropped to three for this week and next. Eventually when I drop to two a week and two carb sources a day, that is where I want my lifestyle to be after this special diet for my birthday is done. In short, I am getting where I want my regular lifestyle habit to be very soon.

Weekly Recap:

Foundational – By adding Love this week, I feel there is an overall vision to my virtues in the foundational aspects of my life.  If there is a question now about Courage, Honor and Truth I can ask the question – which action is the most loving?

Business – The same could be said with Justice and the three virtues Self-Reliance, Industriousness and Hospitality.  “What is the most just action?” becomes the question here.

Self –  ‘What is the wisest action’ is the question for my self virtues.  This will guide my questions of Discipline, Perseverance and Fidelity. Adding wisdom was a good call

In short when considering any decision I have three questions to ask about it.  What is the most loving action? What is the most just action? What is the wisest action?  Knowing which virtue is being used will be helpful with this to know which question applies the most. I like the change and the Higher Virtues are now fully incorporated.

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


Of Wolves and Ravens – Philosophy in Progress

Happy Tyr’s Day


When I started out Wolves and Ravens it was about applied philosophy.  In particular it is about the idea that the Wolves of Need and Want and the Ravens of Reason and Wisdom need to work together. In large part this is simply a metaphor to describe a new philosophy of life, once I discarded Christian philosophy as a bad and hypocritical end.

It has as at its roots a more humanistic view of life. That there are human forces that simply exist, and that we must understand how they work together and use them to our advantage. rather than just let them run amok.  Like Odin, our familiars of Reason, Wisdom, Need and Want need to be ordered in a way that they serve us, not us serving them.

From time to time I want to go back and meditate on the philosophy I am trying to develop. Seeing I haven’t written one in a while, this seems like a good time to pause and reflect. In the next couple Wolves and Ravens, I want to talk about some overarching philosophies that guide me.  Namely, Libertarianism and its Non-Aggression Principle and Minimalism.  Inside of this is a discussion of virtue and the Nine Noble Virtues of Asatru.

My thoughts are that I need to spend some time developing this philosophy further. Part of the problem with this series is I have had no overall plan as to how to do this. Odin’s Eye by contrast has had a plan right up to the last Thor’s Day of the New Year. What may follow in Of Wolves and Raven’s is basically where I spend some time talking about Each Virtue and the overarching Minimalism and Libertarianism from time to time with the occasional issue to illustrate how it works. I will work on what pattern needs to be here but a regular discussion of all these issues needs to be present in Of Wolves and Ravens. Next Week I will establish that pattern for next year.

But first, the idea of human need, want reason and wisdom must be dealt with directly.

Needs (Geri):

When I speak of human need, we are talking genuine needs, not wants that people think are needs. When I speak of human need then, the list is actually very short.  Individually, we need food, water, shelter from the elements and personal security from harm.  Humanity as a whole has the need for sex for procreative purposes and I would say society bands together for security and mutual support. These needs are natural and drive us as humans.  One of the things in this part of the philosophy I try to maintain is that there is no ‘sin’ or ‘sinfulness’ in having needs. Needs are both normal and necessary.

Wants (Freki):

Anything above and beyond these needs is a want and represents that part of us that strives to make a better life for ourselves beyond the base needs of life. Prosperity is found here when we want something beyond the basic needs and strive for it. I also maintain that these wants are normal and necessary as they are what builds society and civilization. The question is how to achieve both Needs and Wants in a way that is most beneficial to ourselves.  That’s where Reason and Wisdom come in.

Reason (Huginn):

Reason is opposed to prejudice. Prejudices are, as Voltaire observed, what fools use for reason. Everyone has prejudices and I would say everyone lets their needs and wants drive them to objectify others.  Reason steps us away from that and tries to find the best path for all.  it seeks to find a way so all can strive to benefit themselves without harming others.  It is not collectivist as collectivism, tribalism and all the junk that goes with them are not reasonable but full of prejudice. The issue of reason is to find a way that steps away from prejudice and the objectification of others.

Wisdom (Muninn):

Wisdom boils down to experience and memory.  History and learning from it falls in there as well.  At some point you have to check your reason with the reason of others.  There is simply no way as a human being you can know and understand everything. That’s where the rest of humanity come in.  The only issue here is sifting through it all to find that which is reasonable and wise.


In the coming weeks I will be attempting to put a pattern to all this like I have in Odin’s Eye with issues of faith. religion, theology and spirituality.  To discuss issues is now more of an object lesson in the rest of the discussions on the NNV, Libertarianism, Minimalism and any other philosophy I adopt.

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


The Pagan Pulpit – Education Isn’t About Convincing People


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: “Walk” – Pantera Cover by Breaking Benjamin with Disturb’s David as Lead Vocalist:

Found this gem of a cover song while researching another song.  Love it.

Poem: “The Time You Spent” by Joanna Fuchs

Image result for poem about education the key to life

Just a little poem in honor of my graduation.


Image may contain: 1 person, beard, meme and text

Song of Preparation: “Hammer to Fall” – Queen – Live:

Text: Education isn’t About Convincing People – Eben Pagan:

You can’t convince anyone of anything. You can only give them the right information so that they can convince themselves.


A quote from someone named Pagan.

I wish I could say I have convinced people of something different from what they already believed. Belief is unfortunately a powerful force that keeps us from change at times. It is without a doubt easier to give information to people and then let them stew on it and let them learn based on what you have given them.

I don’t if at the heart of it all is education.  Whether formal or informal, we learn and we try to pass it on.  But people have to convince themselves or they will not really change.

I know for me the whole faith question was one of listening to the other side, but it was my own examination of my former education that I discovered holes and flaws.  I began to inform myself and study the critics of my faith and discovered that some criticism was legitimate. Painfully legitimate.

So, I found myself with a new conclusion, one I came up with myself. That we ultimately choose our religion and faith based on who we are, not on the truth.  We embrace the faith we want to because we want to embrace it. We simply learn and change ourselves because of what we learn.   Don’t expect others to be any different from you in this regard. Just give the information you know and then let them figure it out, or not themselves.

Closing Song: “Somebody to Love” – Queen:

Because it is Queen.

Parting Thought:

No automatic alt text available.

Nope, you at times have to educate yourself.

I remain,

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


The Rabyd Skald – Once More into the Breach

Happy Tyr’s Day

I know I am not a warrior in the physical military sense. I guess the closest I have come is playing football which required a certain physicality with violent action.  I can hit someone at full speed and they would feel it, fight off people trying to grab me and keep my balance.  I have an aversion implanted from four years of football drills to being on the ground. When I fall for any reason, my first instinct is to get back to my feet.  At six-foot five inches and a muscled 290 lbs. frame I don’t usually get a lot of people threatening me.  I have a lot of strength and power with good flexibility and I can walk quite a ways without stopping to rest.  While not ever having served in any military, I have a warrior mindset which I have applied to peace time activities. The old Japanese proverb applies:

See the source image

Thanks to my father, I know how to shoot straight.  I know how to engage in stillness when hunting and I have hunted enough that if it became a necessity for me I could pick it up and do it without too much adjustment.  I gave hunting not because I think it is immoral or just hated the activity.  I gave it up because it just isn’t a chief interest of mine and my father died and the only times I enjoyed hunting was when I did it with him.

I still would like some martial arts training  and I don’t think it is too late for that.  The whole viking thing has made me wonder what it would truly be like to fight with sword and shield wearing mail.  Not much good when it comes to a world of firearms but the physical exercise might be beneficial in other ways.  I may be getting older but that doesn’t mean I need to fade away.

Mostly I am a warrior against the forces of life. I take the Nine Noble Virtues of Asatru to heart and apply them to my life where they fit. Right now it is once more into the breach (Henry the Fifth still being my favorite Shakespeare play – the movie version from 1989 staring Kenneth Branagh being my favorite) and I am nearing the end of Fall 2018 at Ferris.  If things are going well by the time this post drops, I will have finished my capstone paper and submitted it and with that my Health Economics class will be finished as well.  I will only have Inferential Stats and that involves putting together three statistical reports and submitting them on exam day tomorrow.  If I am making good progress I might be done today and Wednesday will be an actual rest day or preparation day for my capstone defense.

In any case, the warrior mind is to defeat each project by completing it.  The time for feasting is near.

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


The Grey Wayfarer (Fantasy Serial) – Chapter 5 – Evil Intent (Hel)

Happy Saturn’s Day.

Hel sat on her throne brooding over the god standing in front of her.  She was wearing her black robes which hugged every curve of her body which was a shapely.  A body which the right side was simply a beautiful strong Nordic Woman with very pale skin and golden blond hair.  The left side of her body was akin to a freshly dead corpse.  Not the rotting death described in most mythology. Rather deathly pale, Lips on that side were white and her left eye frosted over in death. Hair was white as the grave.  The skin was not broken but had that wrinkled quality of a corpse that had been dead for maybe a few days.  She was a pale looking monster really. Like a living beautiful corpse.

She, however cared little for such things as most of her existence she was the absolute monarch of Helheim, the realm of the dead. Those who died of hunger, thirst, disease and other natural causes found their way to her realm.  The honored dead found their way to Odin’s Valhalla.  The rest of the dead were her’s.  Not that life in Helheim was a terrible one.  It was just life continued only in a world of grey with little pleasure.  She was sure some of its citizens still had sex but it was the dull motions of a temporary relief from boredom.  Mostly people continued to work and exist, but there was no feasting, no mead and very little laughter in Helheim. The only person who seemed to gain any happiness was Hel herself and only when the world of mortals tried to cheat her or make a deal for their souls. She liked such deals and they often actually made her smile.  Something she very rarely did as most of the time she was grim-faced. She was much like her father in her love for such dealings.

Her father was the god standing in front of her throne. Loki, the trickster god. She was his daughter along with her two siblings Fenrir the Great Wolf and Jormungand the world serpent. Fenrir also dwells in Helheim, still bound waiting for the last days and Ragnarok.    The world serpent still surrounded the world, though it was the world of this island realm of Odin’s preservation magic. All Children of Loki and the Giantess Jotunn Andgrboda.  Such an unholy union produced to fierce creatures and only Hel herself even resembled anything human and to most she was a monster as well.

Her father by contrast was a hansom looking god.  His face and body one that women swooned over. His hair long and brown, his face clean-shaven and his grey eyes that would melt the hardest heart.

“Hel, are you even listening daughter?”

“Sorry father, I was thinking of something.”

The voices contrasted.  His masculine and melodic and hers otherworldly and haunting.”

“Damn girl, this is important.  This new human player could ruin everything.”

“I don’t think so father.  I would wager that Odin fears him as much as Fenrir. Frigg seems to think him the one of her dreams.  This Grey Wayfarer.”

“Perhaps, but Ragnarok can be delayed.  How many times delayed now?”

“Too many to count father.  Fenrir grows inpatient.”

“Fenrir is always impatient. Hel, my dear. I have struggled to be the king of the gods now for centuries and with no result.  I have come to see Ragnarok as the only way to have a chance of a new beginning.”

“Or end it all, father. Leave us all with nothing.”

“Better that than the eternal servitude that has been Asgard.  This Grey Wayfarer must be helped along the path toward the end we want, not what Odin wants.”

“Playing with fate father? I thought you would rather set back and see what happens.”

Her tone was sarcastic. She knew full well her father could not help but meddle.”

“So what is your plan father?  Negotiation, tricking him to doing things your way?”

“No daughter, my plan involves throwing you at him.”

“Me, but I would have to leave Helheim.  That has never gone well for me father.”

Truth was her powers were absolute in Helheim, even Odin would think twice about challenging her here.  He after all gave Helheim to her to rule. That changed the moment she stepped beyond is borders. Not powerless to be sure, but far less in power. Vulnerable.

“I know.  But it also necessary for all of us to take risks at this time.  Truth is, I will be taking a few of my own. I want you to befriend him and lead him towards our ends.”

“He will take one look at me and distrust me.  He knows the legends father.  Unlike you, I cannot disguise who I am.”

“Which is why I commissioned the dwarves to make this for you.”

Appearing in his hand was a mask. It was silver and looked the face of the woman.

“What is it?”

I put a little of my shape-shifting power in it.  Hel my dear daughter, this will make your left side look like the other.

“Interesting, but what if I refuse anyway.”

“Worried about the prophecy about you, my girl?”

Hel scoffed looking disgusted.

“What my dear girl.  Is it so impossible that you could fall in love. That the heartless Queen of Helheim might be capable for love after all?”

Hel actually laughed. It was unnerving and the walls of Helheim reverberated with its echo swallowing the mirth of it in absolute sadness.

“If that happens father, the end is truly upon us.”

Loki laughed this time.

“And that is what we want dear daughter.  Fenrir wants to bite Odin, I want the throne of the gods.  The world serpent wants to ultimately feast on the world and you my daughter, what do you want? Yes, the souls of the dead that will die in Ragnarok outside the confines of battle will be legion. Your ranks and power will grow.”

“I already have enough servants.”

“Yes, but how many are like Balder or some of the other warriors you have robbed of Valhalla.  I mean do you ever figure out why he didn’t go to Valhalla?  You have to admit you can appreciate the delicious irony of a great beloved warrior ending up here instead of Odin’s Mead Hall?”

Hel smiled wickedly.  Yes, it had been to her a delicious feast for her soul to see the one greatly loved now wondering her halls with the same lost expression as all the rest.  No feasting, fighting to drinking for Balder. Just the long night of an ordinary life with no end. He father had a point, if she could find the way he missed Valhalla and do it to other great warriors that would be enjoyable.  Robbing Odin and Valkyrie of their champions would bring a smile to her face.  This Grey Wayfarer might be just the one to show her what she needed to do that to a lot more warriors.

“Very well father.  I will do what you ask.  Leave the mask and I will use it.”

“Excellent.  Befriend him and push him our direction.  While you are doing that you will have all the time you need to perhaps uncover the secret to robbing Valhalla of its champions.”

Loki set the mask down next to Hel on the table that held her empty plate and knife. He then smiled that disarming smile at her and then turned and left.  Hel looked at the mask. To have both sides of her look the same.  To just be the beautiful daughter of Loki.  The thought made her feel ‘alive’ like she hadn’t felt in decades. This was a worthy quest. Ragnarok would come and her and her two brothers would know vengeance against Odin and the citizens of Asgard.  The Grey Wayfarer might very well be the key she was looking for.

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


Rogue Wizard – The Fire of Fury – Part 3 – Temptation

Happy Saturn’s Day

Rogue Wizard’s Journal January 5th, 2019

So after last night’s encounter with Lunette and the three stooges, I went home and set up my wards.  Basically there are two types of wards I can do which, while not sophisticated, are effective.  First, there are my protective wards which basically can set magical using beings on fire. I set these up on all four walls of my apartment and in front of the door.  The other type I can do is detection wards which tell me a magical being is getting close to them.  I put this up on the outside of my apartment walls and a couple on the sidewalk leading up to my door.

My day today started at roughly two in the afternoon when one of my detection wards went off.  There is no klaxon or bell or anything like that, you just know something is coming close to them.  I reluctantly gave up the book I was reading in my lab and readied my shield spell in one hand and my fireball in the other. It might be Lunette as she promised or it could be someone else. There was a knock at the door.

I relaxed a little and put on my jeans as I was wandering my apartment in my  underwear, t-shirt and socks thing.  I went to the door.  No peep-hole to look through, so I readied my shield and opened the door.

Standing there was the goth elf chick from the night before.  Her features definitely had that angled elf thing going with a very slight but sensual build.  I noticed that her hair was dyed black, as I could see the roots which were golden.  Her eyes were green, which told me contacts or illusion, as most of the time elves have silver eyes or golden.  If she could do illusion, changing her eye and hair color would be child’s play, so I was guessing not an illusionist. She didn’t throw a fireball at me last night and she didn’t stop my lightning bolts with a shield, so probably not evocation or adjuration either.  That left necromancy, conjuration, transmutation, enchantment and divination.

Well the council snaps up every necromancer they find and necromancy is outlawed.  Note, like all governments, they still keep said power to themselves.  Bastards. Despite the goth look and the skull choker probably not necromancy. Not transmutation either.  Mages who can transmute things get rich or comfortable doing it.  Diviners who are any good don’t do a lot of field work even if they are freelance. While I do divination myself, I don’t use it often, even though I am good at it.  No, this elf woman was probably not a diviner.  That left two possibilities – conjuration or enchantment.   If she was a conjurer, she would have thrown something at me last night.  A poison cloud or a demon from hell – something.  Yeah, my best guess was she was an enchantress. Good thing I am hard to beguile thanks to long hours of meditation under Mrs. W’s teaching years ago.  She was an enchantress too, and taught me defenses against their charms.

The problem was magic aside, this girl had some charms of her own that had nothing to do with magic. She was cute despite, or maybe because of, the black hair, green eyes and black lipstick. She wore her black outfit which consisted of black knee length boots, black stocking which disappeared into her short black skirt. The skirt was short enough that if she bent even slightly over, I would be able to tell the color of her underwear assuming she was wearing any.  A black button up shirt which was unbuttoned about four buttons showing ample cleavage, which was demonstrating a strong C almost D cup.  Over her shoulders was a black jacket that covered her arms. Skull choker with matching skull earrings completed the ensemble.  She was sensual, cute and darkly sexy on top of being an elf. She was temptation with black boots.

“Well, I don’t see your two friends.  Is this a business or social call?”

“The file said you were a smart ass. Grumn is nursing some burns you gave him last night and Alex is probably brooding somewhere. I am Raven.”

“Suits you.  At least the file doesn’t say dumb ass.  You don’t strike me as Council stooges, so why the attack last night?”

“Pixie was the target. We are bounty hunters and she has a high price on her head – alive or dead.”

“Yeah, probably me too.”

“Yes, actually. But we don’t go after mages as a general rule. Pixies and monsters are our specialty.  Do you mind if I come in?  I promise I will be a good girl and not cast spells at you. I just want to talk.”

It was pretty cold out.  I was pretty confident in my abilities to handle her alone.  I mean she would be in my home giving me an advantage and I was pretty sure she was an enchantress.  I would be an embarrassment to Mrs. W’s memory, if I couldn’t handle her on a magical level.  It was the sensual, cute and darkly sexy part that was bothering me.  I am a man and my wife had been dead for a couple of months now.  There is an old saw about ‘there is really only one way to comfort a widow, you just have to remember the risks’.  I could probably testify that is probably true for widowers as well.

I let her in.

My apartment is affectionately known as “Bag End” or the “Hobbit Hole” by some of the family.  That is because you have to step down six steps to get to it once you are inside the door. Half the apartment is ground level and below, the other half ground level and above. I stepped aside in the door way and let her go ahead of me, telling her to turn to the right and the living room would be in front of her. As she walked down the steps I couldn’t help but watch her move and then, after shutting and locking the door, and then resetting my ward, I followed her to the living room.

The living room had been the most sparsely furnished room when we had moved in and only recently I had received a three-piece sectional from a friend and found a high-backed reading chair.  A couple of end tables made of crates and three lamps were the rest of it. I had purchased a television hung on one wall mostly for guests who visited me after my wife’s death and I had also bought an internet connection at that time.  The TV was mostly off now, as I hardly ever watched it.

Raven looked around the room which was clean and functional and she looked at the reading chair and the sectional but then smiled and took a seat, crossing her legs in one part of the sectional right across from the reading chair.  I smiled and sat down in the reading chair.  In the pale light, I can pull off the old wise wizard in his throne look when I sit in it.  In my black t-shirt, jeans and socks probably not so much. Raven spoke first.


“Yeah, I am a minimalist, so if I don’t use it or it doesn’t give me joy, I don’t usually keep it.”

“I see.  Edward…”

“OK.  Let’s get one thing clear.  There are only certain people who can call me Edward.”

“Oh, sorry. I am not trying to offend you.”

“I know but I want that established.  Only my grandmas, who are both dead, my mother and my former love interests can call me Edward. With my wife dead, that leaves three people – all women and you are not one of them.  Call me Ed.”

“Is one of them Lunette?”


“Then the other would be..”

“Don’t say her name.”

“OK, like I said I am here to negotiate, not offend you.”

“Negotiate? If you are walking around and the Council is not after you, then you are connected to a House or a mystical being like a pixie or elf or other magical creature.  You’re an elf, your grey troll friend is well a troll and then Alex must be…”

“House Saturn.”

“Well Shit.  So why isn’t he coming after my ass?”

“Because we also represent a group of revolutionaries.”


“Yes, we want to abolish the house system and the Council.  Free up the practice of magic to everyone who wants to do so.”

“Singing my song.  That said, let’s say I am a suspicious person and I don’t believe you for a second.  Because I am a suspicious person and I don’t believe you for a second.”

“That would be wise and you don’t have to yet, Ed.  We expect people to be skeptical.  Hopefully you will give us a chance to prove ourselves. The fact is once we recognized you, we realized you could make a powerful addition to our organization. Even Grumn saw the need to forgive you for the burns.  You’re very powerful, that’s why the Council fears you so much.”

What followed this was a ten minute conversation.  What I gleaned was that dissatisfaction with the Houses and the Council had been growing for a few decades. I of course am still skeptical of overthrow because I know they have survived for a couple of millennia.  I also gleaned that I was indeed behind the pixie lines which made me a little safer from the Council but not completely.  The Pixies were having trouble holding the line because the local grove was not supportive.  They might have to retreat.

“In any case Ed, the Council would think quite a bit before they came after you.  You scare the hell out of them. It’s bad enough you can do two schools of magic with expertise but throw in a third one at good level and they wet their pants.  Top it all off with the fact those first two are abjuration and evocation.  Shit, that makes you a Battle Mage.  There hasn’t been a genuine Battle Mage in any of the houses for well over two hundred years.  Add in Divination and they think you have eyes on the back of your head. In short, they don’t want to lose a bunch of mages to take you out. They know what you did to House Mars and House Venus and you did that as a teenager; so they bide their time and wait.”

“Well, fuck ’em. Listen, I get all that. Which is why me openly backing your revolution might be just the motivation to spend those mages’ lives to kill me.  The Death Angels failed and now my wards include protection against necromancy, so they are not going to be have an easy target.  If I join a group and give up my solitary introverted life, they might think it is time to take me out.”

“You have a point, but with the group you would have resources and allies. Something you don’t have right now.”

“I have Lunette.”

Raven sighed.

“Do you?  She is an outcast with the pixies and the mages don’t trust her either. Hell they want her dead. I have the wanted poster hanging on my board back at the office and it’s fairly clear the money is the same dead or alive. It’s also a lot of money. You might ask what she is up to and consider she might need you more than you need her.”

I frowned, but remained silent. She stood up and told me she had to get back to the office.  She wanted me to think about what she said.

“You know Raven, I want to violate a rule I have about asking women their weight and age but…”

“115 pounds and 54 years old. Elves live on average five times as long as humans.  I am half-elven so probably three times as long.  Physically I am roughly eighteen human years old.”

“Oh, well that explains it.  So it’s easier to pass yourself off as a teenager with the goth thing?”

“No, I just like black and being goth allows me to wear a lot of black.”

I laughed, she smiled at me and I showed her to the door. I locked it behind her.  She had been true to her word and not cast a spell.  Well except the one her hips made as she walked up the stairs anyway.  She had given me a lot to think about and a few questions to ask Lunette the next time I saw her.  Hopefully, I will see her soon. Definitely an interesting day.

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


The Rabyd Skald – No, I Don’t Want a Man Cave – I Want a Study

Happy Tyr’s Day

This is another week where doing a proper Of Wolves and Ravens is going to be too difficult so you get a Rabyd Skald instead. Mostly I just want to touch base a little about things without a real format or order and I want to talk about one thing I definitely want as far as where I live someday.

I would say The Grey and I have our moments.  I just have the defense of having school work to do to combat it.  I keep busy and that is the main thing.  I have a couple of days off from work but they will be filled with writing a paper. I don’t know if it will be my last one, but I suspect it might be the best one I have done for school.

School may be an issue as far as financing.  I don’t think my internship is going to be a paid one although I think I can do it online so I won’t have to travel to campus.  The issue becomes financial aid will not cover something part-time like that as it is only four credits.  I would have to basically attend full-time for another semester in order to pay for the internship.  Full time requires at least 12 credits so I would have to pick up about three classes.  I would need them all to be online and probably 100 or 200 level so I can finish with some extra skills.

My wife and I finished our last counseling session with our counselor as he is heading to Guam.  We are kind of discussing whether or not we need further counseling as a couple. The last session was a good one and the counselor thinks we have made progress and that we could go forward without it being a necessity.  I still would like some counseling for me but I don’t know if we can afford it right now. Maybe if I get a better job with some decent insurance I can consider it.

One thing my future vision of my life must contain is a study.  I don’t want a man cave although my study might have man cave elements like a wet bar and maybe a classic pin-up on the wall.  For me this is more about having a place for intellectual and creative pursuit with a masculine feel to it. I need a place like that to retreat to when the world gets too much. A place to read, study, write, relax and meditate.

Well, need to get to work on school stuff so I remain,

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