“I Think Another Goal is Achieved” – A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day. 

Journal Entry:

I think I have achieved my goal under hospitality.  I am writing about it here because I think we will see the goal of being part of a support group of some kind crossed off. I wanted to make a not of it from a journal point of view.

I heard about the Clergy Project from reading the book Caught in the Pulpit several years ago. I never felt I fit because to be a part of it you have to have two qualifications: 1) You have to be a former minister of some type and 2) You have to have no belief in the supernatural or god.  I wanted to make sure of the second one before I attempted to join.  They have a vetting process.

There is no one that understands the whole issue leaving the pulpit and faith like another person who has done it.  I knew I was in the right place as soon as I started talking about stuff on the forums and looking at the resources.  It may be very possible to get some job help and some counseling at least for a little while through the transition.  Finally a little hope.

It is funny though because some people who are part of it are still in the pulpit and have no faith.  That’s why the secrecy because churches tend to not be very understanding of a minister struggling with faith and their career.  That’s why this will be the last post about it and I will not reveal the process to join.  In any case, it looks like another goal achieved and this is a group that can go with me anywhere I go – a definite plus.

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 be following a full Paleo Diet by March 31, 2020.

Bucket List: Do a rebellious act on April 30th, 2020 – Beltane.

Discipline is lacking these days and it has a negative effect.  I need to spend the weekend doing a couple things to get back on track and stick with it.  I mostly need to understand in my heart the value of discipline.  My brain knows but my heart is the one that needs to understand this to stay motivated with this.

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.

I don’t get it, but I keep going.  Perseverance is rarely an issue.  I just wish I would not have to face so much to keep going.

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 (achieved)

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

I am loyal to my gods – the fact that I have none. If I have an idea I gravitate to that fits being loyal to my ideology at this point, it is ‘no gods, no masters”.

Higher Virtue – Wisdom:

I wrote on wisdom already this week so I will leave it at that.  Other than to say that I feel joining the Clergy Project was a wise move for me.

Rest Day Routine: 

  1. Morning Routine
  2. Wife: Communication / Cuddle Time
  3. Blogging – Organize, revise, write a new post for the next day, 15 min. work on fiction.
  4. Cleaning – varies but one room of the apartment at least.
  5. Reading – half an hour for enjoyment.
  6. Writing – 1 hour

I am a writer.  Theses changes reflect that and are good ones. Now I just need to get back to discipline.

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

Goals Achieved: 4

  1. Graduated College with a BS in Political Science and minors in Economics and International Business – December 2018
  2. Finalize last requirements for my degree – Internship by May 2019 – May 2019
  3. Celebrate my wife and I’s 30th anniversary (June 10th, 2019) with a mini-vacation – June 2019
  4. Maintain a daily blog streak of one post per day for an entire year (365 days).

Bucket List Items Achieved: 0

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Year Ago Retrospect (Part 2) – Church Nonsense” – The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer – Part 17

Happy Moon’s Day

Warning: To my family and friends, this one is going to be as truthful as the old Rabyd Microphone so be advised.  Mostly I feel the need to write this series for therapeutic reasons.  This also a long post so be prepared to give it some time. 

This is part two of a Year Ago Retrospect. These are going to take the place of my normal journal posts this week in a mini-series:

Click Here for Part 1 

In Part 2 of “Year Ago Retrospect,” I am going o deal with my other break up – with my faith and my last church.  The major trouble with the church started the moment I let certain people know I was having an affair with Miss Salty,  Most notably The Dirty Pig.  But I need to do a little background on my relationship with him first so you know why his betrayal was so painful. It is this relationship that is central to the Church Nonsense so bear with me.

When I first came to my last church, the two of us hit it off.  He made the observation that I was going to be myself and that people would just have to deal with that and from then on I considered him a friend.  A lot of people think they know this guy so when I talk about this stuff, they think I am lying about his character and actions.  You need to understand that I knew him a lot longer than any of them.  We were friends, we did the same small group together for over nine years, I did him a lot of favors over the years and while I never asked him for anything he would on occasion give me something or help me out. I know the Dirty Pig from long experience and only after he betrayed me and I looked back did I see the painful truth that I suspected, but could never prove and didn’t want to believe was true.

Our friendship was good; not best friends but solid and he was a part of my circle. Note that for me, an INFJ personality type to say that is significant.  But also I knew the emotions of the man as an empath and sometimes what he felt was troubling.  It was contradictory to what I felt he should be feeling at times.  Amusement when something was pretty tragic. Over time I would say it was like a cat looking at mice as far as his emotions. Given that he had been a cop all most of his career, somewhat understandable although a little uncomfortable. There was always this element of ‘my viewpoint on life is superior and people better respect that’ with him.  He also was highly competitive and I never saw him happy when he came in second in anything.

We got along fine for a long while but our friendship got strained more and more as time went by. I am very accepting of people’s flaws and other viewpoints and he is not. The first real issue I noticed there was a problem here was when I was trying to get a modern worship team started. It was going OK, but he would make comments like ‘that hippie music’ and such.  He said he didn’t mean much by it, but it had a negative effect. I went away for vacation and when I came back he basically tells me that the worship team is no more.  Funny, as the pastor I was constitutionally in charge of ministry – the spiritual head of the church.

I had dealt with powerful influencers in the church before.  If thy are for the most part benevolent then the best course of action is to make them allies if possible. The problem with the Dirty Pig is I would classify him as a traditional obstructionist. That is the preferred a very traditional view of what a church service and function were. If he didn’t like something along these lines, he would pretty much not support it or even actively block it.

His basic tactic was to control the agenda of the church by using his position as the moderator to channel what was talked about and what was not.  I am now firmly convinced in that church, in particular, the moderator is the most powerful position because of this and should have term limits because of it. He also added the fact he maintained a good relationship with enough people to vote both on the council and in the congregation to get what decision he wanted. If the church grew or added people who did not share his view, something would be said by him that would cause them to either backdown or stop attending.  The church could never really grow too big because that gets harder to control and the people in it were his supporters with only a few people that were detractors.

One thing that really bothered me about his attitude, but I could never do much about, is his belief that by being cop he could also be a good pastor.  I would probably tell him now there is no direct correlation and he has no fucking clue what he is doing when it comes to building a church and ministry.  But it is all irrelevant to me now.

In the summer of 2016, I took a sabbatical of one month. I had two issues at the time 1) my faith was starting to crumble, and 2) the church was not going to be able to support me long term unless changes were made and there was no way effective change was going to be made as long as the Dirty Pig kept interfering in everything new I proposed that he didn’t like.  When I got back I wrote a letter to the church board outlining my problems and what needed to be done. A good chunk of it was directed at the Dirty Pig and his church political control, and he knew it.

There were only two responses: 1) One guy who understood I was right said so privately but also didn’t want to fight any more about it.  He stayed on the council long enough to got something for his departed wife done as a memorial and left the church.  2) A second guy who was not on the council challenged the business dealings of the church and was basically silenced through the Dirty Pig’s moderator power. Everyone else stayed in line and stayed quiet.

After that, I basically said to myself:  “This church is going nowhere as long as the Dirty Pig runs it.”  I am just going to come, preach and help people where I can.  I had a couple years of education to do and then I was out. I could do the job and then walk.

Then, of course, Miss Salty came along and kind of upset all that. One day in April of 2018, at a prayer meeting, she bounces in and announces that the Dirty Pig is no longer her favorite person, but I am.  I could see his face.  That “I don’t like to finish in second’ look all over it. I am not saying there was anything romantic in his intentions toward Miss Salty, but like all people who came into his life with problems he always wanted to be the one that ‘fixed’ them, so he could pat himself on the back. The sides were set at that point.

The following events are as best I can reconstruct them in order and true as I know:

  1. Miss Salty and I announced our affair to her aunt and my wife on Sunday evening.  Monday, the Dirty Pig got the news from the aunt and I headed over to his place of business to talk.
  2. I had written my resignation and gave it to him.  He argued four things: 1) That I shouldn’t resign, 2) That I was going to ruin my pastor career, 3) That I was going to not have a future career in anything else. and 4) That I needed to dump is Salty because she was ‘a deranged little girl’ that is never going to amount to much and be an embarrassment to me. My responses: 1) No, I am going to resign. Inside my head, I knew he would use this against me to control me. 2) Didn’t give a shit anymore.  3) Maybe.  But as my one friend would say later, people don’t really care why a pastor leaves the ministry when they switch to something else.  He is right. 4) That’s an interesting opinion of a woman who has a very high opinion of you Mr. Dirty Pig.  I told him I didn’t know where this relationship was going but I knew I loved her and wanted it to be mutual.
  3. One might argue that at this point I should have known the Dirty Pig was dirty, but he told me he would do as I asked and read my resignation and would handle things as my friend. Given all I had done for him over the years pretty much because he was my friend, I was grateful. I trusted him to do the right thing in this regard because of our friendship, and it is what I would have done for him.  I had not seen him be dishonorable in that regard and that was my downfall with him.
  4. On Tuesday, Miss Salty and I broke up the first time.
  5. Wednesday, The Dirty Pig calls me up and asks me to revise my resignation to not have the confession line.  His reasons: not wanting to start gossip in the church and not wanting to drag Miss Salty into this.  I felt the reasons were sound and because I was planning to tell the story myself the next Sunday after, I agreed and told him I would get it to him in the next couple days.
  6. On Friday, I handed him the revised resignation, no confession line in it.
  7. From a conversation I had later in July with Miss Salty, I was made aware that it was also Friday and about the same time that he called her asking her permission to tell the story.
  8. Sunday The Dirty Pig reads my resignation and then tells the story.  This information got back to me as well as the information that the congregation had been whipped into a lynch mob for all practical purposes. I knew then I could not go back and talk to them now as from their perception I was hiding something, which was never my intention.  The Dirty Pig absolute dragged Miss Salty into it and used her, and had every intention of starting gossip in the church to use for his own purposes.
  9. I was also told there was a plan in place to vote for my resignation or to fire me.  They already even had the ballots from one report I got.  That speaks to a lot of intentional planning for a certain result long before the announcement was even made.  Hmmm.
  10. Second Monday, I texted the Dirty Pig as to what was going on?  He never responded and still never has said one thing to me since.
  11. Miss Salty and I began our second dating cycle on Tuesday, In retrospect, my need for someone to talk to given the whole weight of this made me open once again for this relationship.  I was hurting and she was there.

I was fired and then denied any kind fo severance.  They even made it retroactive to May 27th, 2018.  I could probably just walk away from it if it had been fairly treated but I wasn’t.  The deck was stacked against me and I didn’t know it until it was too late.  A person I love was used against me and a congregation I loved turned against me by the Dirty Pig.

Later on August 2nd, as a related in part 1, all this came to the attention of Miss Salty who couldn’t believe The Dirty pig would do that to her..probably.  Through my sources, I learned she called him up when she read my post on August 2nd about this and asked him to refute it.  He wouldn’t talk to her or give her an answer. I guess that was right after she hung up on me for the last time.  After that, she gets high and drunk all the way to the end of the 3rd probably. She found out the hard way what I knew from early June –  I was no longer relevant to the Dirty Pig and now she knew neither was she.

The fact is I now know one thing about him.  If you are no longer of use or you are going to tarnish his precious reputation, he has no problem discarding you. His view of friendship is purely utilitarian.  I would have given him love enough to squash all the rumors and I certainly would have at least have given him time to think about things.  I would have also made sure both sides were represented fairly.  I would take heat for him as a friend too.

There was a ton of rumors at the time and 95% of them were nonsense. Some of them affect my reuniting with my wife so I will deal with them in part three. But I want to set the record straight about my relationship with Miss Salty from May 21st, 2018, to the time of my resignation.

  1. We never had any physical contact beyond holding hands once, hugs and a kiss on the forehead from me to her. There was no sex or sexual conduct.
  2. Our relationship was a lot of ‘I love you’s’ and genuine concern for each other’s happiness and welfare. At least for me, I can’t speak for her.
  3. There were no other women, girls or whatever.  Just Miss Salty.
  4. Miss Salty was a legal and functional adult at the time of this, the entire time. No crime was committed.

The other things that burn me:

  1. That I was never informed at any time of what was happening by any official channel of the church.  I was also fired without once being asked if I could come and defend myself in any way. If it hadn’t been for a few friends, I wouldn’t have known shit.
  2. I currently make more money where I am now and have more benefits than the entire almost decade I served that church.  It seems one mistake costs you a lot of years where I was there for people, held their hands in tragedy and backed and encouraged them. Severance isn’t just about the money.
  3. Very few from the church have come to me to talk to me about this.
  4. They actually sent Miss Salty a voting ballot about my fate. I love the dual accountability. Hammer for me; free pass for her. After all the time they said I was being too soft on her and not treating her like an adult, what they do? Treat her like a child, and actually make her decide something about someone she loved. I applaud her for throwing the thing in the trash.
  5. Because I was fired, I can’t even list anyone from the church a reference because primarily I don’t trust any of them.  But it would be impractical and counterproductive too.
  6. I preached for nine and a half years on grace and forgiveness.  I gave people a lot of grace and we as a church even forgave a couple that actually stole from the church and welcomed them back in. Me – throw me to the wolves.

Some of the rest of the church nonsense comes into play in my marriage discussion, so I will leave it until then.

One last thing, some argue this is the reason for my leaving the faith. Not true, it is more the final crash from a falling faith that started falling back in 2015-2016. My objections to Christianity are theological and philosophical and I will be rewriting them soon in Odin’s Eye for the next month or so.  All this really does is make me thankful I left the world of church politics and hypocritical Christianity behind.  I haven’t been in a church for a service since May 27th, 2018 and I feel so much better for it.  The only justification for a pagan for being hypocritical is making it right or conflict through fire and steel for honor sake.  I will have a message for my church and the Dirty Pig in my last post in this series on Frigg and Freya’s Day.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Basic Pagan Principles: Scope of Consciousness” – The Pagan Pulpit

 

Happy Sun’s Day

Announcements:

We don’t pray here – we figure God, the gods, 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 given to the divine powers, they are given to an organization to support it.  Just being honest. God, the gods or whatever never sees a dime, farthing or peso of that money; it all goes to the church, mosque or shrine.

Theme Song: “Fulga” – SKALD

Translation: https://lyricstranslate.com/en/fl%C3%BAga-fly.html

A fun little song here.

Meditation:

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Text:

Most pagan religions believe that consciousness extends far beyond the restraints of human form and physical existence. All life forms contain some level of consciousness, from the smallest insect to the giant redwood trees growing in the forest. Furthermore, consciousness does not end when we die, rather it survives death and exists simultaneously on multiple levels of reality.

Source: http://exotic-pets.yoexpert.com/exotic-pets-general/what-are-some-of-the-basic-principles-of-paganism-2192.html

Sermon:

Working the idea, pagans simply acknowledge there is something out there that is spiritual in nature beyond our normal five senses and reason to understand. That there is a part of existence that extends beyond biology and chemistry. That our own consciousness goes beyond our physical form.

Some pagans go to the point that saying every living thing has this as well.  Others go even further and extend the idea to everything that exists, that everything has a spiritual side to it and spiritual reality.

This part of pagan belief also extends to the idea of life after death.  There are so many different views here it is difficult to make any general statements and the author of our text wisely noted that pagans say we exist beyond death in a multitude of differnt levels.

I believe in science and reason.  There be no denying that science and reason are powerful tools in learning to live in this world effectively.  To learn how to achieve what we want and need very much requires reason and knowledge.  I, however, do not think that reason or science addresses all reality.   That there is something more to know is one of the tenents of science and perhaps we simply haven’t figured out how to measure the reality of consciousness.

The one thing for sure we can say is that science cannot explain a lot of things yet if they are honest and perhaps these things may be considered spiritual in the sense they remain mysteries. Once discovered the rational scientific people may discover that there is a spiritual side to man after all; they simply didn’t have a way to observe or measure it.

The reason I remain a pagan in this regard is that I hold open to the possibility of a spiritual reality that cannot be understood by normal means.  There is something more to love than biology. Something more to attraction than physics. Something more to the beauty that the eye of the beholder. I still think that without this idea of a spiritual reality, you have a very dead meaning to a life where life’s only purpose is life itself.  So I wander as a seeker looking for it.

Parting Thought:

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Learn to be wise and you will always be free.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Basic Pagan Principles – Freedom of Choosing Deity” – The Pagan Pulpit

Happy Sun’s Day

Announcements:

We don’t pray here – we figure God, the gods, 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 given to the divine powers, they are given to an organization to support it.  Just being honest. God, the gods or whatever never sees a dime, farthing or peso of that money; it all goes to the church, mosque or shrine.

Theme Song: “Krigsgaldr” – Heilung

Good beat to this one. It’s actually in English so enjoy it.

Meditation:

Image may contain: one or more people, text and outdoor

This idea extends very much to a man’s religion and spirituality.

Text:

In all pagan religions, it is up to the individual to determine what Deity means to them, who or what Deity is right for them and how they ultimately develop their relationship with their chosen Deity. Pagans have many different ideas about what encompasses Deity and how their Deity is represented. It is up to the individual, through study of their religion, meditation and in some cases prayer, to determine what image of Deity is right for them.

Source: http://exotic-pets.yoexpert.com/exotic-pets-general/what-are-some-of-the-basic-principles-of-paganism-2192.html

Sermon:

I am very much interested in Norse Mythology. I love the stories of the gods and goddesses of that pantheon because they resonate with my northern soul and are very cool to put it simply.  The question comes: do I actually believe that the gods and goddesses of Norse Mythology – do they actually exist?  I would say a rational ‘no’ but at the same time, the pagan idea is that we all conceive of the divine in our own way and it is very possible that divine powers like the Norse pantheon exist.

In reality, we all do this to the divine, the pagans are simply honest about it. I spent 40 years as Christian and half that time as a pastor and I can tell you each individual Christian conceives of the god of the Bible in a very unique way.  What happens is each Christian resonates with a different part scripture, usually with a single author or book/passage in particular, more than others and they conceive of their version of the Christian god that way. If you talk to 100 Christians about a certain aspect of the biblical god, you will get 100 distinct answers.

Pagans just honestly say this is normal and that what is really happening with all of us.  They take the honest step and say each person’s view of the divine reality is going to be unique and that is what should be. Let each individual decided for themselves what the divine is like and how to relate to it. Talk about a spirituality form that doesn’t have the religious aspect of control to it.  The ultimate freedom is here where you get to decide what the divine might be like and how to both approach them and worship them if at all.

I don’t think it takes too long for people to see how I do this. I resonate with Odin a lot.  The pilgrim side of Odin in particular.  The wanderer looking for truth and knowledge where ever he can find them for me is a powerful and truthful image that relates to me very well. I don’t pray to him because it is my concept and I recognize that.  Could I go to a pagan blot and offer up a cup in his name? Yeah, sure. But it would be about community and reaffirming my commitment to the ideals I hold dear for my life.

Odin’s myth is the creator of mankind, so I can look at him as a diest would look at the divine.  Thankful for being created, but pretty sure he has more important things to look after than my petty stuff. I need to take care of that shit myself.  Going back to the Responsibility of Action as one of the other principles. Yes, I do conceive of deity in my own way, but as a pagan, I simply can also accept that others do the same and that is OK as well.  We all seek for the divine, if they exist, in our own way and it is not wrong just the reality of what we do as human beings.

If there is any lesson to be learned here is that we should all just relax when people have a different concept of the divine reality.  We shouldn’t force ours on them or accept it when they force theirs on us. We are all just pilgrims looking for the divine in our lives. We shape the understandings we have of that ourselves and that is alright by me as a pagan.

Parting Thought:

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I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“The Last Sermon” – The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and the Wayfarer – Part 11

Happy Moon’s Day

One year ago today (May 27th, 2018), I preached my last sermon as a Christian pastor. When people ask me how I am doing, I am doing as well as can be expected, given the time of year and the memories involved with it. Part of that is leaving the identity behind of ‘pastor’.  This week is dotted with a lot of emotions, but leaving the ministry behind for good was bittersweet and it speaks to me of waste.  The thought that I have wasted 20 years of my life crosses my mind a lot.

My last sermon couldn’t have been more ironic. I was in an affair preaching on adultery from the ten commandments. My basic message was that if Jesus’ words on adultery were the facts, then we have all failed and we just need to cling to grace because that is all we got. No one is going to make it if the standard is not lusting.  No one could meet that standard.

Emotionally this was my most difficult sermon ever. I just wanted the service to end and go home. Neither my flame at the time or my wife was there and I felt alone and just sick of being a pastor and all of it. I went home, the woman I was having an affair with told her aunt about it.  I told my wife and the rest is a painful history.

I wouldn’t have minded so much but when it came to my last church, the message of grace seemed completely lost, even though I had been preaching it for nine and a half years to them. Lots of wasted words from my point of view. The man I entrusted my resignation to engaged in a plan to basically make things to be much worse than they really were.

For the record once again, I have never actually had sex with the woman I had an affair with, in fact ever.  At the time of my resignation, it had barely graduated beyond “I love you” and holding hands at a prayer meeting that looked normal to everyone else.  People made this to be much more than it was and that hurt too.  Because the man in charge let it happen on purpose. He told me he didn’t want gossip to spread through the church which is very sensible. He also told me he didn’t want to drag the woman into it either to protect her, something that was my concern as well. But once he had my resignation I had revised removing that confession line at his request, he called the woman up within probably minutes of me giving it to him and asked her permission to tell the story.

In the week’s that followed he did everything possible to make sure that gossip and rumor were exactly what happened. He deliberately dragged the woman into it (made possible by the fact we had broken up at the time and we were not talking to each other)  to do this and used her to get to me. I looked like I was hiding something, which I wasn’t. He looked like the hero so he could feed that ego and hero complex of his. He used it in the following weeks to paint a picture of me as a monster, the woman as a victim and him as the white knight that was here to bring the monster down. What a load of bullshit he piled up. All of it. 

In the end, he used the emotional hurt and anger of the congregation to get me fired and no severance given. I was never informed of anything that was going on officially until it was all over. The whole process was done without me being asked to speak on my own behalf one time.  ‘Grace’ and ‘Mercy’ at their finest.  That’s sarcasm if you can’t tell.  Bitter Sarcasm.   

I have forgiven the congregation for this.  They were misinformed and misled by a man who has to be in control of everything because he is personally insecure. People like him are in every church and the real cause of problems and why churches don’t succeed and have the reputations they have.  I have even forgiven the woman’s busybody aunt who did the most to engage in gossip. She was just acting in anger and hurt and I very much understand it.  She actually had good reasons to act the way she did, even if her actions were not very Christian.  Whatever that means. 

But the man himself – if there is any force of justice in the world I hope he has to experience the betrayal, manipulation, lies, theft of honor, and all the rest of it that he visited on me himself.  That karma visits on him the exact same thing he did to me. If nothing else I hope he lives a long and miserable life surrounded by no one at the end of it. That would be an end which he deserves because of his very utilitarian view of friendship. His friends no longer seeing him as useful so they simply don’t show up to help or comfort him. That would be truly fitting. 

As far as me and The Grey, this ‘one year ago thing’ is bothering me but I am moving through it. I refuse to go down to this storm.  I want to walk through it laughing at it. Mostly though, I just want a new sense of identity beyond the pastoral ministry thing.  It’s garbage to me now. An old cloak I have discarded. The white hat, the cross, and white cloak no longer suit me.  I prefer grey vestments and vulknut medallion now.

Mostly, my wife and I are trying to build some new memories. I worry about her as she has to get used to a man who is in many ways, not the same as he was. A man who is damaged in some ways, trying to heal as well.  Who will never completely heal and will no longer be what he was.  I want her to be happy because my own happiness depends on it.  I just don’t know about my side of it a lot.

The last sermon I preached in the church was ironic but also fitting.  The whole thing of pastoral ministry is adultery in my opinion now.  A pastor’s church is a mistress.  One that takes a lot and gives back very little and much like a real mistress drives a wedge between you and those you love as a pastor. A smart man gets out a lot sooner than I did.

I walk The Grey right now.  It is this time of year last year where every day has some significant event and memory that makes it difficult.  It probably won’t stop until the summer is over. I am just trying to live my life and living it in joy as much as possible.  If it wasn’t for the guilt and pain I have associated with these memories of last year, it would be easier.  The thing is I have come to accept that this walk is my path, but I can’t control the weather. I wish I could.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

 

“Basic Pagan Principles – Responsibility of Belief” – The Pagan Pulpit

Happy Sun’s Day

Announcements:

We don’t pray here – we figure God, the gods, 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 sees a dime, farthing or peso of that money; it all goes to the church, mosque or shrine.

Theme Song: ‘Úlfhéðnar’ – Norse Viking Music

If you want to get the most out of the Pagan Pulpit.  Put the theme song on a loop and then read the rest of it. The Ulfhedmar were the wolf warriors of Odin.

Meditation:

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It is important to know the difference.  One requires sleep and the other requires action.

Text:

The most basic tenant of paganism is that it is your own responsibility, not the responsibility of any government, institution, church or other people, to choose what you believe in regards to spirituality, values, ethics, the nature of Divinity, etc.

Source: http://exotic-pets.yoexpert.com/exotic-pets-general/what-are-some-of-the-basic-principles-of-paganism-2192.html

Sermon:

In Paganism there is no appeal to authority to justify your actions. This would violate the first of the basic tenets which is that each person is responsible for their own beliefs. This is called the Responsibility of Belief.

The first point of this is to accept your responsibility for what you believe. It is yours and no one else to decide what you believe and how you practice your spirituality.  It is yours alone and there is no one to blame or praise for where your spirituality is or your conduct regarding it. No blaming God.  No “God told me to do this.”  You act on your spirituality and take full responsibility for the results – good or bad.

The second point is to emphasize what cannot be used as a scapegoat.  The government is not responsible for your spiritual state, nor a religion, institution or community of people. None of these things can be responsible for where you are in regards to the spiritual part of your life.  Just you and only you.  Your spirituality is the product of your own choices and journey.  They should not be dictated to by anything else nor should you blame anything else for them.

The third point is the scope of what we mean when we say ‘spirituality’.  It involves all things that touch spiritual life, ethics, morals, values, the nature of Divinity, etc. These are all yours and no one else to take responsibility for.  If it can be considered spiritual in some way, then you are responsible for it. This is why I find most things have a spiritual side to them because they involve ethics, morals and simply a spiritual sense to them. There is more to this than pagan rituals and feelings.

There is no “Be patient, God isn’t finished with me yet” in paganism. No “I am waiting on God to make me more patient, loving, etc.”  If you feel you lack spirituality, a moral compass or ethical understanding; it is on you and you alone to fix that. That is the essence of Responsibility of Belief.

Parting Thought:

Image may contain: 1 person, text that says '"Now, every time I witness a strong person, I want to know: What darkness did you conquer in your story? Mountains do not rise without earthquakes" -Katherine MacKenett ITheMindsJournal THE HEMINDSJOURNAL'

The great face down the struggles of life and use them to become stronger.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

The Pagan Pulpit – The Book of Rabyd 3:2 – “There is Never Time to Do It Right, but There is Always Time to Do It Over.”

Happy Sun’s Day

Announcements:

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

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

Opening Song: “Hammer to Fall” – Queen

I consider this one of the lesser known but better songs of Queen.  It also deals with today’s subject – time.

Poem: ‘Priceless Words’ by LK Pilgrim

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LK Pilgrim has some good stuff for poems and seeing I am not inspired for my own poetry right now, enjoy.

Meditation:

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Definitely yours for wasting time on them. Time to find someone better.

Song of Preparation: “Wasted Years” – Iron Maiden

I think we could all sing this song about someone or something. The point is to learn and head a different direction.

Text:

“There is Never Time to Do It Right, but There is Always Time to Do It Over.” – The Book of Rabyd 3:2

Sermon:

I don’t know actually where this expression originated in our family but I do know it was a favorite with my Father.  He was a big one for doing things right the first time.  He hated coming back to do something again if it could have been avoided by simply doing things right the first time. He also felt by doing it right the first time and taking a little extra time to do it that way saved time in the long run.  He was most definitely right.

It is when we get sloppy that we find ourselves doing things again and wasting time.  It is interesting that the one thing humans take so seriously is time, but that we waste so much of it doing a sloppy job is also true.  Sure the sand of time is ticking, but does doing things quickly really save time?  Doing the same thing over and over and expecting things to get better with each repeat or doing things right the first time and have time to reach other goals?  I prefer the later and have to conclude that my dad, wherever he got the saying, was right.

Time is the most important commodity anyone has.  You don’t even really know how much you have so it is important to get things right the first time so you don’t waste time doing things over and over again. That goes for relationships too.

At this point, we will leave the Book of Rabyd for a bit.  I will come back to it whenever I add another verse or modify an existing verse. Next up is a series on universal religious concepts. I also may from time to time go truly pagan on the Pagan Pulpit.

Closing Song: “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights” – Freddie Fender

I honor of my father who has provided two verses of The Book of Rabyd, I leave you with a country song and this was one of his favorites.  It also has a message I need to remember for myself.

Parting Thought:

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Ain’t that the truth.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and the Wayfarer – Part 10 – Storm’s Edge

Happy Saturn’s Day

No Crossin Bifrost this week. I just don’t have the time for proper research.  There however might be another Rogue Wizard this weekend.

If you ever had that moment where you are standing outside and you can see the edge of a storm coming in toward you, then you might have an idea of what I am feeling.  It’s the storm known as The Grey and what is causing it is memories of the past, particularly from this time last year. I know it is coming and I know it is going to be tough.  I also know it is probably unavoidable. The list of problems is already forming in my head.

  1. My last sermon was May 27th, 2018 and I haven’t been in a church since May 28th, 2018.  It a kind of bittersweet milestone. I miss my people at times but they also fired me after years of preaching love, grace, and forgiveness.  Seems like my words were wasted. Twenty years of ministry is over and I am sure that some small amount of Grey will try to creep into my life over it because I feel largely it accomplished very little.
  2. Last year my wife and I were separated from May 27th until August 19th. We called off our divorce pretty much with days to spare. This last year has been a time of counseling and work to get our relationship back on track.  It has been good but we are both going to hit our 30th anniversary this year and remember that last year we were separated for it.  We hopefully will use our mini-vacation to make some better memories for next year.  One thing I am glad of is I won’t have to deal with an annual church even which caused us to miss our anniversary to stay and work at the church for many years on that day.
  3. A good friend betrayed me last year and is no longer a friend. I suspected he wasn’t the most loyal of a person based on his track record with others; but still, I trusted him and he took advantage of that so he could come off the white knight riding to the rescue.  Yeah, still burns me and I patiently wait for karma to bite his ass. That knife in my back through left a scar and I am sure it will flare up as we head through May and June.
  4. Lost love.  I deal with the pain of loss here as much as I wish I didn’t. Forgiveness has been easy on this one except for the one thing I have previously mentioned. It is just my nature to forgive those I have loved unless betrayal is involved. I don’t feel that way about this one, she had the decency to at least stab in the chest and look me in the face when she did it. I just feel I took a chance, rolled the dice and lost. Unfortunately, it was my heart the dice were being rolled for and it got hurt because of that loss.  My new love for my wife is helping; but like all things, it takes time and I am sure it will never fully heal.  It never does.

So what to do when you know you have a storm to walk through? Well, knowing it is coming helps so you can prepare.  Resolving to walk on regardless is the simple act of a survivor. I know what the memories involved; know the emotions involved.  I have dealt with them before.  Knowing is half the battle as GI Joe used to say. The rest of the battle is actually having the courage to keep walking and to act when necessary.

Well, time to pull the collar up around my neck and my hat down.  Time to make sure my robes and cloak are pulled tight around me. Have the wolves and ravens go ahead and scout the path. A storm is coming and I need to keep walking.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

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

Happy Sun’s Day

Announcements:

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

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

Opening Song: ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ – The Neptunes Remix

I suppose it wouldn’t be a playlist for the pagan pulpit without some reference to something controversial – like having sympathy for the devil.

Poem:

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This is hard for me. The truth of this little poem; as much as it hurts, is still the truth.

Meditation:

Song of Preparation: “Safety Dance” – Men Without Hats

Hats and a maypole for Beltane. Easy call here.

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.

Closing Song: “Walpurgisnacht” – FAUN

English lyrics version:

In honor of this past week being Beltane, I include this song.  The song is definitely a Celtic flavor I love.  Included the English translation version second if you are interested in the words.   Truly pagan for the pagan pulpit on this one.

Parting Thought:

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I remain,

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

Skaal!!!