“51st Birthday” (Plus DNA Stuff) – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Woden’s (Odin) Day!

So I am 51 as of today. I can think of a lot of things to say but I really have no words other than to be very appreciative of life, family, and friends. I enjoy my life as much as possible and I find that having gone around the sun one more time hasn’t made me feel too much different at this point.  Age creeps up on you in a slow relentless bastard way.

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Historically speaking – March 18,1969 was the day Richard Mixon ordered the secret bombing of Cambodia to start.

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Barbra Bates commits suicide at age 43 – she was actress and because her day of death is the same as my day of birth, I won’t forget her. She is hauntingly beautiful.

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The world was a very different place. Led Zepplin has one of their supershows that day.

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For me, I entered the world at lunchtime and so far I have to say it been an interesting bittersweet ride but getting much better each day.

Genetics Test Results:

Recently I did a DNA test to gain a new understanding of my heritage.  It was a nice early birthday present when the results were reported a couple days ago. The results are in and I will do things in order from largest to smallest.

  1. 69% – England, Wales, and Northwestern Europe – Not surprising as this includes the Netherlands.  By studying the family tree, I can more specifically say I am English, Welsh, and Dutch for the most part.  Dutch would be about a third of this.
  2. 24% – Germanic Europe – In particular I have traced this to Bavaria. This is my father’s biological lineage for the most part on his father’s side.
  3. 4% – Ireland and Scotland – My mother back a bit does have an Irish ancestor.
  4. 3% – Norway – Yep, There is some Viking blood in there.  I haven’t been able to track this down but a lot of people who have English heritage can have this as the Vikings did spread over large parts of Europe. It’s actually unusual for anyone not to have this if you are of Northern European descent. The Viking legacy is that there is a little Viking in all of us.

I now have a list of countries to visit: England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Netherlands, Bavaria, and Norway.

Of course, then my religious heritage would be Odin/Woden/Wotan. The All=Father had many names and was worshiped throughout this area.

In a case to get more specifics I still have to keep plugging at the family tree, But now I have a more positive lead toward my actual direction.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Viking Philosophy – Part 3 – Be Prepared” – The Pagan Pulpit

Happy Sol’s Day!

Announcements:

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

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

Theme Song: “Setting out to Attack Paris”

Meditation:

Image may contain: one or more people, possible text that says 'Heathen It's not what BELIEVE It's who IAM'

Text:

Sermon: ‘Viking Philosophy – Part 3 – Be Prepared’

Moving on we see the philosophy of being prepared and it is the kind of being prepared that is constant not in crisis.  Battle was never something one could always predict as to when and where so the Vikings fostered an always ready strategy.

  1. Keep Weapons in good shape – Constant sharpening and maintenance of weapons is a must for a warrior.
  2. Keep in Shape – No flabby Vikings, as one must be ready to move, march and fight at any time. Rowing ships is work.  This perhaps why the Vikings liked contests to keep them motivated to do so.
  3. Find odd Battle Comrades – One can’t fight alone and one must trust the person to the right or left of them. Part of being prepared is to know who you are fighting with and why. Relationships matter.
  4. Agree on Important Points – when the talking or fighting begins knowing the main things all can agree on that are important allows one to act with one’s comrades without unnecessary words. Things are known and then everyone acts accordingly.
  5. Choose One Chief – I cannot state how many organizations failed because they were two-headed or three-headed monsters. There can only be one shot-caller in battle and everyone needs to recognize it

Parting Thought:

Image may contain: possible text that says 'A SHIP IS ALWAYS SAFE AT SHORE, BUT THAT'S NOT WHAT IT'S BUILT FOR! MORSEPAGATHIKH/VALVA'

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Viking Philosophy – Part 2 – Be Brave, Be Aggressive” – The Pagan Pulpit

Happy Sol’s Day!

Announcements:

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

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

Theme Song: Norse Gains ‘Viking Gym Mix”

Meditation:

 

Text:

Sermon: ‘Viking Philosophy – Part 2 – Be Brave, Be Aggressive’

There is nothing that perhaps the Vikings are known for more than their aggressive bravery.  Born of their belief that those who died in battle went to Vahallah they were fearless in battle.  There area few points to remember:

  1. Be Direct – Honor does not allow sneaking around when dealing with others – you are as direct as possible.  You may not always tell your plans, but when you do you are straight to it.
  2. Grab All opportunities – Opportunities are not to be wasted but rather grasped and engaged as much as possible Press your advantage.
  3. Use Varying methods of Attack – Be unpredictable, never do things the same way twice.
  4. Be Versatile and Agile – More important than strength is flexibility. Movement is more important than anything to know where and when to strike.
  5. Attack one target at a time – Never divide your efforts, take out each target in turn and then move to the next.  Keep your mass of force on the single task at hand.
  6. Don’t Plan Everything in Detail – The more complicated a plan the more things can go wrong with it.  Keep it simple, direct and aggressive.
  7. Use Top Quality Weapons – Cheapness has no place in one’s weapons.  Weapons that fail at the moment of truth will get you killed. Buy the best you can and maintain them.

In our world, there is still a place for this in how one tackles life. The Brave and Aggressive will always find honor, wealth and prestige.

Parting Thought:

 

Image may contain: possible text that says 'Now, every time I witness a strong person, I want to know: what dark did you conquer in your story? Mountains do not rise without earthquakes.'

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Viking Philosophy – Part 1 – Introduction” – The Pagan Pulpit

Happy Sol’s Day!

Announcements:

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

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

Theme Song: Herknungr- ‘Drengskapr’ (Viking Music)

Meditation:

Image may contain: one or more people and meme, possible text that says 'THE BEST THING I'VE EVER DONE FOR MYSELF WAS DECIDING THAT MoreCrazyStut Stuff COULDN'T GIVE ANY LESS OF A DAMN OF ANOTHER'S OPINION OR MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT ME'

 

Text:

“Be Brave and Aggressive, Be Prepared, Be a Good Merchant, Keep the Camp in Order”

 

Sermon: ‘Viking Philosophy – Part 1 – Introduction’

I have been holding on to this picture of “Viking Laws” now for a little while.  I have thought about it and feel that a more practical series of Viking Philosophy is in order after my long treatment of Asatru.  The practical side of living life according to the philosophy of the Vikings might be in order.

In summary, the philosophy comes down to four items:

  1. Be Brave and Aggressive
  2. Be Prepared
  3. Be a Good Merchant
  4. Keep the Camp in Order

I want to take each of these fora week for four weeks and then consider a conclusion to the whole in this short but I think necessary series. My main issue is practical application of philosophy to life.  Of Wolves and Ravens is dedicated to that but this is a little more ‘spiritual’ as well with a sense of community and connection to the Nine Noble Virtues.

Until next week I can only say this short four phrase sentence will be on my mind a lot in the coming month.  In the meantime, I challenge you to meditate on it as well.  It’s time to pull back a bit from the theology of the Vikings and look at their philosophy of life.

Parting Thought:

Image may contain: 1 person, beard, possible text that says 'Nordic Roots Sometimes you just need an adventure to cleanse the bitter taste of life from your soul.'

 

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“The Viking Mind” – Odin’s Eye

Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day.    

Discussion:

I think the greatest struggle I have with my deconversion and subsequent departure of any belief in the supernatural has been to change the way I think.  The pagan mindset is the closest I think to the naturalist atheist and I know that some atheists are indeed pagans who deal in the spiritual and perhaps view gods and goddesses, not as supreme beings but simply very powerful spiritual ones that are mistaken by others as gods. Atheists reject the idea of a single supreme being that has authority over them as even existing, but that still leaves a lot of room for variation.

I guess in my own small way I embrace my pagan side though pagan philosophy and in this sense perhaps I do have a Viking mind about these things.  As my meme above states, I run on a pagan atheist OS. Thus certain conversations make no sense to me as either an atheist or a pagan so there is at least some camaraderie of thought between the two viewpoints.

Time to Look Through the Eye:

“To see the truth, change one eye for another”

Meditation:

The Viking mind meditates on the practical.  As much as religion tries to give substance to knowledge gaps, the true value of the pagan mindset is practical reality and it meshes very well. There is a philosophy of how to live one’s life without fear of the gods or God, no made-up original sin to manipulate and control others with or cause guilt for actions simply by being human and the afterlife is an open question, not a definitive black and white one.

Mystery:

Whatever mysteries of life their maybe, I  do not face them groveling at the feet of some invisible imaginary power but standing on my own two feet win or lose. Paganism does not place humanity in the center of the will of the gods, nor does it make them subservient, just a part of the greater whole. I no longer spend my thoughts worrying over sin and how I will either condemn me to help if I don’t repent on time or the fact sin is so broadly defined that it is inescapable just being a human being. I embrace my humanity as a good thing and the world around me as something o be understood and necessary for my survival. I certainly don’t dwell on the afterlife preferring rather like a Viking to live this life as fully as I can for as long as I can.

Spirituality:

My spirituality now centers on my own well being and the well being of others, something I could not say as a Christian.  All the Christian message requires making people feel like shit so God can lift them up. My mentality now is that people are generally good with a few exceptions and that anyone can lift themselves up when needed.

Conclusion:

Of course, the Vikings did rape, murder, and pillage, but name me a people group at some time in history that hasn’t.  The issue now is that being a Viking in mind is more metaphorical and can be turned to good.  I don’t think the same can be said of most religious mindsets outside of Paganism and Agnostic/Atheists.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Deconverting and My Attitude About Women”- The Pagan Pulpit

Happy Sol’s Day!

Announcements:

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

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

Theme Song: Nordic/Viking Music – ‘Víðbláinn’

Meditation:

Image may contain: possible text that says '"WheRever you know or harm, Regard that harm as youR own; and give youR roes no peace." --Odin, Havamal 127.'

Text: 

Sermon:

When I was a Christian minister I always had the dreaded sermons when going through certain books of the Bible where I had to talk about male and female roles, husband and wife roles and the status of women.  It was so patently obvious that the Bible is patriarchal to the extreme it is ridiculous.  Women have a status of somewhere above cattle but below men, Women are clearly seen as male property either of their father or their husband.   The laws regarding rape and adultery in the Bible are much more about protecting a man’s investment and property than the woman’s right to her body and mind.

When I deconverted, one of the things I had to struggle with at first and deal with often was my own attitude about women.  Not that my views as a Christian weren’t fairly liberal, it is that the environment of the church still tends to put women in their place.  Even my last church which was very open, there was an almost unwritten rule that women could not be ushers for the offering. It actually caused some buzzing when one Sunday we had no choice but to use one of the female members of the church council to do this task because most of the men were gone that Sunday.

When I look at this issue now as a pagan atheist. the respect of the individual regardless of sex, sexual orientation or identity becomes paramount. I have no authority that tells me that women are subservient to men nor tells me that men and women have different roles in society.  We tend certain natural directions if left to our own devices, but it is quite possible for women to be mechanics and men to be hairdressers and there is nothing wrong with that.  It also possible for a woman to be the head of her house because she is the best suited to lead it.

I am very much attracted to the female form and feminity in general as a heterosexual masculine male. Our survival as a species has depended on this attraction for millions of years. I have no problem with the LGBTQ+ community but recognize my own attractions and desires that seem natural to myself are what most of society would classify as ‘normal’.  I love women and I love femininity as a masculine male.  I like pin-up girls (of all types and levels of nudity), the female form still lights my sexual fire and I find the wild pagan tattooed rebel girl attractive as fuck.

At the same time, my deconversion thoughts have taught me to respect women as their own individuals that have the right to be in charge of their own destiny.  Their sexuality is their own and they make the decisions about it. If a woman makes love to you by her own choice, it means she chose it as much as you and that is the best type of making love.  But that is also true of any time men and women work together to accomplish a goal or engage an issue.  I want a partnership with women, not ones that are subservient simply because I have a dick.

I find though that my upbringing and former way of life have a way of intruding from time to time with old attitudes. Old ideas of how men and women are different’ spiritually’ come up from time to time. One by one I have to deal with them.  I guess if something comes up where I notice it, I try to meditate on it and change my brain about it. My goal is to let women be what they want to be and enjoy the ride.

Parting Thought:

 

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Conclusion” – (Asatru – Part 26) – The Pagan Pulpit

Happy Sol’s Day!

Announcements:

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

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

Theme Song: “And Winter Came” – Enya

Meditation:

Image may contain: 1 person, possible text that says '"To me, the main thing about living on this planet is to know who the hell you are and to be real about it. That's the reason I'm still alive." -Keith Richards'

Text: 

See the source image

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

Sermon:

The rest of Diana Paxton’s book is mostly about the current state of Asatru in the world with its various associations. If you are interested in that sort of thing, I recommend getting the book and looking into it for yourself. I want simply to close this series which I will probably put under its own page in the Pagan Pulpit.

Today day I simply want to reflect on a journey through this series which took many months and was interrupted by various events. I basically do the pagan pulpit because I needed a platform to express myself in writing and I am finding this and my Youtube channel makes me feel like that aspect of having a lecture and pulpit is returning.

I have enjoyed this close up look at Asatru, I feel that as a religion it is far superior to most although the only parts I follow personally are the Virtues and some of the Northman ethics.  Whatever I do next will be in reflective contemplation of this.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed this series.

Parting Thought:

Image may contain: 1 person, text

 

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Asatru Virtues” – (Asatru – Part 25) – The Pagan Pulpit

Happy Sol’s Day!

Announcements:

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

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

Theme Song: “Pagan Fire” – The Dragon Fire Drummers

Meditation:

 

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

Text: 

See the source image

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

Sermon:

If you have followed this blog for any length of time, then you know about the Nine Noble Virtues of Asatru.  Honor, Courage, Truth, Self-Reliance, Industriousness, Hospitality, Discipline, Perseverance and Fidelity are very much a part of this blog and my life as a whole now.  My becoming an atheist did not affect that negatively.  If anything it highlights the need to have some sort of system to think and evaluate each moral decision.  The virtues serve this capacity well.

Living Tru is about following the virtues most of all.  They will be a part of everyday decisions.  Rituals and practices occupy a space of time. but the virtues are at all times. There is no time of not living virtuously.

When people ask me why I didn’t just follow Christian virtues and just be an atheist Christian, my answer is almost always the same- the pagans have better ethics.  Sorry, Christianity has done a lot of evil in the name of its faith and justified it in name of doing it for Christ.  In paganism, the virtues offer no such excuses nor faith in the gods. You follow the virtues or you are not virtuous. No excuses or exceptions.

That said how the virtues can be interpreted has some grey area as life is not black and white. Rather life is a mess and the virtues try to offer some way to sort that out and stay on a stable path. To live Tru is the goal. Waling Tru the mission of The Grey Wayfarer

Parting Thought:

 

Image may contain: text

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“My Medallions” – Odin’s Eye

Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day.    

Discussion:

I was never one for any kind of jewelry when I was a Christian, but since my deconversion, I have had a small taste for a medallion necklace around my neck.  My Medallions alternate depending on the day.  Most of them have some meaning or significance for me.

Sol’s Day – Valknut with Rune Circle – it represents my new philosophy of life with the nine sides of the triangles being representative of the Nine Noble Virtues.  The three triangles being representative of Love, Justice, and Wisdom.  The rune circle being representative of the mysteries of life. The overall idea being the following of virtue allows me to engage the mysteries of life effectively. Also, the Valknut is associated with death so there is a constant reminder of my mortality.

Mani’s Day – Wolf Yin-Yang Symbol with Rune Circle – A reminder to stay balanced while engaging the mysteries of life.

Tyr’s Day – Small Thor’s Hammer.  I am looking for something like a Viking shield with axes or something similar.  More of a martial reminded of courage.

Woden’s Day – I wear a Viking compass with a rune circle that reads – ‘Not all who wander are lost” originally it was representative of my desire to wander and search for truth but it is also a medallion I probably will wear hiking as well.

Thor’s Day – Wolf Thor’s Hammer – Its a much larger thor’s hammer with a wolf’s head as the handle.  The need for savage courage at times is represented and the not so subtle reminder to men and women that with this person is an alpha wolf.

Frigg and Freya’s Day – Two Wolves Facing Each Other Howling – One wolf soul calling to another.

Sif’s Day – Wolf Head (Fenrir) – I reminder that my end, my final battle will come.  My own personal Ragnarok.  Live life fully and savagely.

Time to Look Through the Eye:

“To see the truth, change one eye for another”

Meditation:

My medallions have become part of my meditation.  Mostly they mark the end of it as I reach for the one for the day and then place it around my neck to end the meditation time.  Each of them represents something heart oriented and thus are good closing thoughts.

Mystery:

There is much mystery to life and the medallions call me to engage it with a certain attitude – with virtue (most notably courage and honor), remaining balanced, and a savage heart.  To be a searcher for Truth that doesn’t take shit from anyone. To live for a savage love of life.  My own mortality coming motivating me to act today whenever possible.

Spirituality:

I guess this is one small part of a ritualistic spirituality of mine.  I don’t believe any of these medallions have and spiritual power of their own.  They, however, do remind me of the quality of heart I wish to possess and stand to others that I am not ‘safe’.  I am a pagan atheist.  If the word ‘pagan’ causes someone to fear me, so be it. I am not out to be loved anymore.  Fear, respect, and honor, yes.  Loved is a bonus I will accept but you have to take me as I am and my medallions tell you a little about that.

Conclusion:

I will continue to wear my medallions whenever I can.  I find they become great discussion starters at times. Mostly they remind me of things that are important to me at a core level – the level of passion and strength inside myself.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!