“Blót and Sumble” (Asatru – Part 21) – 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: MANEGARM – ‘Blot’

An absolutely beautiful song. English translation below.

Sacrifice:

At the hills of the kings
The trees of the gods are standing
An ash tree so proud and strong
A link to the land of the gods
A gate to ancient worlds
Made open with life
A sacrifice made with nine hanged
Whose flesh the ravens prey on
The fields that are here, bear the wounds from the years of famine
Seeds are vanishing in their path
Hear our speech
Bring our sacrifice to your table
A sacrifice to honor you, we give life
We give blood
Give us your crops
Let it the starved earth grow
Give life to the barren north
The fields that are here, bear the wounds from the years of famine
Seeds are vanishing in their path
Hear our songs
Help us to suppress the grime of Sweden
Give us wind in our sails
Cure our broken dreams
Let the tree sprout
Give new life to the root of the tree
Let the ravens eat this sacrifice
Let the ravens eat this sacrifice

https://lyricstranslate.com/en/blot-sacrifice.html

Meditation:

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup, text that says '"THE HARDEST THING TO EXPLAIN IS THE GLARINGLY EVIDENT WHICH EVERYBODY HAS DECIDED NOT TO SEE." - AYN RAND'

Text: 

See the source image

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

Sermon:

Probably the two most common things that I understand quite well because religions all have them are 1) Festivals and 2) Services. In Asatru, the words are Blót and Sumble but the concept is the same.

Blóts are festivals that involve sacrifice.  There are lots of these that either focuses on a particular deity or centered around a holiday. Blóts vary in style and elements depending on the worshipers much like any religion but there are a few common elements to all of them. 1) Preparation, 2) Focusing, 3) Invocation, 4) Offering, 5) Blessing, 6) Sharing, 7) Completion.  These elements are commonalities and I have seen them in pretty much any type of religion when it comes to the celebration fo holidays.

A sumble is more of a regular meeting for the purposes of meeting together as a group of worshipers. It is far less formal than a Blót although it can be part of a Blót.  Basically put, the master or mistress of ceremonies fills the horn with ale or mead and then announces the focus of that round of the sumble and then either gives the horn to the one taking the role of the Valkerie or just to the next person. The person drinks and then gives it to the next person or speaks with the focus of that round in mind.  This is the time for toasts, boasts, and oaths.  One tradition has the first round being the focus of praise to the gods, the second round is to remember the honored dead and the third to give oaths as an example.

Oaths are a special case because the sumble has certain responsibilities to the oath-taker.  Most notably to challenge the oath if they think it too large or difficult.  The group is responsible to make sure oaths are reasonable. They are also responsible to praise fulfilled oaths and penalize or fine oaths that fail.

I have to say that there are two things that happened this week that are of note in regard to Asatru and religion in general. In my group of former ministers turned atheist/agnostic, we spoke this week on social values of religion and how it can hold families, cultures, and societies together. part of that was the mention of holidays and services. People need some symbols and practices to note their tribe and culture and religion often fills that role. The substitute for me is Norse paganism.

See the source image

The second thing that happened was during work.  Thanksgiving I had to work and it is Black ‘Friday’s start so I was there helping with setting up and on the second half of the day checking receipts as people left the store.  During that whole time, I was wearing my Wolf Hammer (above) as it was Thor’s Day.  I received about five comments on how cool it was and two of those specifically mentioned how they appreciated other religions being represented at this time of year, one mentioning Yuletide. One guy even showed me his hammer tattoed to the top part of his chest. I never met any of these people before in my life, but the connection was there.

This illustrates the power that blóts ad sumbles undoubtedly have to build community and connection.  Something that has been missing from my life. Something I probably need to recover.  I really don’t connect with Christians that well anymore.

Parting Thought:

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I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Happy Thanksgiving” – A Skald’s Life – Business Virtues

Happy Thor’s Day! Happy Thanksgiving. 

Journal Entry:

I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.  Pictured is Sif, Thor’s wife and the closest goddess to the idea behind this holiday being the goddess of earth and harvest – enjoy. Express Your thanks to those that have helped you.  Today I thank you, my readers.

But no matter what day it is it needs to have some sort of progress.  I continue with my principles and with my changes to the Virtue of Self Reliance, that principle needs to be altered as well.

Self-Reliance:

“Self-Reliance is the spirit of independence, which is achieved when each person is their own master and no one else’s’ .”

Principle: To walk in the spirit of independence by being my own master and no one else’s

Goal:  Find a new, better paying job by March 2020.

Bucket List: To be a published author of at least five books by March 2029

The principle now completely reflects the virtue so it is much better and shorter too which helps during meditation.

Industriousness:

“Industriousness is the willingness to work hard, always striving for efficiency, as a joyous activity in itself”

Principle: Work with the enjoyment of work itself.

Goal: Finalize last requirements for my degree – Internship by May 2019 – May 2019 (achieved)

Bucket List: Write A Novel and Get it Published by March 2022.

Still good no problems with this principle. Still, want a better job though.

Hospitality:

“Hospitality is the willingness to share what one has with one’s fellows, especially when they are far from home.”

Principle: To share out of my abundance to help people where I can with their life’s journey.

Goal: By March 31st of 2020, to be the leader/participant in a group of some kind.  (Goal Achieved

Bucket List: To own my own home by March 2024.

Thanksgiving is most definitely connected to hospitality.  The idea of sharing abundance is definitely something I want to keep in my life.

Higher Virtue – Justice:

My definition or idea of justice has shifted with the idea of letting people be free to be who they are as long as they respect my own freedom. Justice is much more about my own behavior then and the behavior of others toward me.

Work Day Routine:

  1. Morning Routine
  2. Wife: Communication / Cuddle Time
  3. Blogging – Organize, revise, write a new post for the next day, templates
  4. Weightlifting: Gym time – 1 hour after work.
  5. Writing: 1000 words/day.
  6. Reading – 1/7 of a book a day
  7. Personal Business: record financial transactions, savings plan actions, budgeting, appointments, job search, other actions, etc.
  8. Check Communications and Email after 2 pm but before 4 pm.
  9. Nutrition: Daily Carb Count – 2

I need to do this more consistently.  I still get halfway through and have problems later in the day.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“An Atheist/Pagan Thanksgiving?” – Odin’s Eye

Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day.    

Discussion:

There is no Norse correlation to the American Thanksgiving Holiday.  There is really no holiday at all from a Norse perspective at the end of November and the next holiday that would qualify would be Yule which is the last twelve days of December.  So what meaning could Thanksgiving have for an atheist/pagan?  Honestly, I think it is a nice celebration but it is the term ‘thanksgiving’ that gets me now – thankful to who? The implication is that there is an Invisible Sky Dad to be thankful to for stuff we have and we pause to give thanks to him. As an atheist, yeah no.

My pagan side centers on The Nine Noble Virtues of Asatru, being connected as possible to my heritage and family roots, and celebration of holidays that are based on the seasonal changes of the year.  Thanksgiving isn’t about any of that.  From my perspective as a harvest festival, it’s a little late in the northern clime where I live. Shit, we have had some snow already and most farmers have put away their shit for winter.

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If I am going to be thankful then, I am going to center on people and things that actually exist.  Notably, other people in my life that have actually done something to help me or make my life better.  Family, freinds and the people that created and founded this country on secular principles. It is after all a national holiday.

One note before we look through the eye – in concerning the former filter I had known as Faith – it is gone and I have decided not to replace it with something else.  Probably this is the best symbolism I can make concerning this issue.  One less cloudy filter to look through.  Live is mysterious enough without religion and faith to further muddy my vision.

Time to Look Through the Eye:

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

Meditation:

Being thankful is probably more a part of the virtue of Hospitality, so it becomes a matter of who would one invite and show hospitality to as an expression of that thankfulness.  This is a matter for meditation but it ends with the people who have made decisions that have actually benefited my life. There is quite a list to lift a mug of mead to in that regard. Not just living today but in the past.  Ancestors both biological and philosophical that in the end revolutionized the world I live in right now.

Mystery:

I don’t think the mystery is so much divine any more to me but the question of who my ancestors actually were and what influence they had on my life.  There is a lot of unknowns that need to be discovered and I anxiously await the means to do so. If there is a legacy to be left to my grandchildren, it is to pull back the veil here and see the truth of who I am.

Spirituality:

The spirituality I can see with Thanksgiving is at some point my family will gather, we will share and meal and drink and talk about old times.  It’s the connections we have that make it a spiritual occasion.  Of course, I have to work that day but that isn’t my employer’s fault.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, text that says 'austin @outsinned Ppl will really b like "omg cant believe I you have to work on thanksgiving, you should be home with you family!" While I'm scanning their shit like??? You're the fucking reason Karen Go home'

Conclusion:

I work in retail so I will be from noon till 9 pm on Thursday at work doing the initial Black “Friday” sales. I always find this an interesting study in human behavior.  People decry that we have to work and should be home like everyone else, while they are shopping on the very day.  If companies didn’t make money because no one showed up on principle, they wouldn’t do it. I suppose this is the best I can say for Thanksgiving – let the Christmas shopping begin.  Salute to all my brothers and sisters working this holiday season in retail – “May the odds be ever in your favor”.

See the source image

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues – Black Friday

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Journal Entry:

When this post drops I will be at work in the middle of Black Friday.  I work retail and since my company changed its dress code to be more relaxed I wear black t-shirts.  All the time, every day.  Like Wednesday Adams I will stop wearing it when they make a darker color. I look at my wardrobe and mostly it is black t-shirts.  Some are plain for work but most are dotted with sayings of one form or another.  I like Black.  Except when it precedes the word Friday.

I have worked retail for more Black Fridays than I care to remember.  I have seen people do some incredibly desperate and stupid shit to get the gift they want for Christmas.  The irony is that the same gift will still be available later and probably at a discounted price from Black Friday. I have seen people hurt or almost crushed.  I have witnessed two fights.  I have also seen retail not really understand technology.  I worked a cue line on year of something that sold big time the year before, but that year the line was done in fifteen minutes. But we had 120 of the things left.  Meanwhile in some other place in the store, something got mauled in five minutes and we were handing out rain checks.

My goal every time I work Black Friday is to survive.  That usually involves staying away from crowds as much as possible and huddling with my fellow workers in groups. If I don’t post on Saturday, you know what happened. To all of us this retail season – may the odds be ever in your favor.

See the source imageDiscipline:

“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.

Well from the time I get off work on Friday until the end of the month, it’s all about school work with small dots of work.  Graduation is December 15th and that is three weeks away.  Two weeks of class left after break and then exams.  Discipline needs to be tightened this week to get all the last projects done by November 30th. Once more into the breach dear friends.

Perseverance:

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

Principle: Keep getting up after every defeat or failure.

As the year comes to an end, I look back and I am amazed at what I have come through.  It seems to have been one trial right after the other. There was some bright spots and some good times to be sure, but there were a lot of crisis moments. I fell down a lot.  I however got up one more time than I fell down.

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.

Fidelity has been a struggle this year with one person in particular.  We have come through that and I am happy for that.  I don’t know if this area is so much of a struggle for me anymore at times. When it comes to the divine, I simply know I can be loyal to respecting what may be, respecting my fellow human travelers and honoring the people who deserve it.

Weekly Routine: 

  1. Weightlifting – 4 days per week.
  2. Cleaning – 3 days a week.
  3. Walking – 4 days a week

Cleaning and weightlifting is not a problem it’s the walking as the cold hits and the snow starts flying. Once school is over I will need an alternative walking spot.

Nutrition:

Now that phase one of the holiday season is over with its feasting for Thanksgiving. I will be intermittent fasting every other week which I have decided the weeks whose Sundays start with an odd number will be the weeks of intermittent fasting.  Then on February 17th forward to my Birthday will be a solid month of it. Paleo Diet when I do eat as tight as possible.  Cheats on holidays and birthdays and probably a diminishing schedule each week. It’s when and what I am eating that matters not how much.

What I may do is find a way to do a negative weekly schedule thing with the number of cheats I can use each week and cross them off as I do them.  Each couple of weeks reduce the number I can have.

Weekly Recap:

Foundational – I think this week was one of the better ones I have had in terms of Honor, Courage and Truth.  It has been a hard look in the mirror this week.

Business – Not too subtle reminder that the goal is something better this week.  I want something better than I have and I work hard each day to get one step closer. It can be a struggle at times to be in the moment.  To be Industrious, Self-reliant and Hospitable.

Self –  Discipline is the thing I need the most right now.  I am staying loyal and I keep going forward despite the setbacks.

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

Skaal!!!

Odin’s Eye – A Pagan Thanksgiving

 

Happy Thor’s Day – Happy Thanksgiving!!!

If someone were to ask me if I could still celebrate Thanksgiving as a non-Christian, I would probably respond – “You still think Thanksgiving is a Christian holiday?  That’s cute.”  The thing is that when you study holidays in general you see a couple of things.  Nearly all cultures and religions have a celebration of thanksgiving to whatever powers are worshiped at the harvest time.  All of them.  The other thing you see is when a country or culture accepts Christianity,  Christians basically repackage the pagan holidays and re-symbolize them for themselves.  In short, Christians have stolen or blended with holidays from all different traditions since Christianity was founded as the early Jewish Christians still celebrated Jewish holidays.  Mostly what you see today is Christians have stolen various holiday traditions from paganism and blended them with their own. It’s why some pagans get mad about the whole thing.

See the source image

Personally, I am taking a different tack this Thanksgiving. I am a deist and I will probably whisper a prayer (something I rarely do anymore) of pure thanksgiving to whatever powers are really out there, if any. But to be honest there are thanks that could be given to many people for that celebration and for the prosperity I receive. So my list of thanks goes to people this year.

  1. I thank my wife for being a forgiving soul who loves me despite all the things that have happened between us.  I haven’t been a very good husband this year, but she deserves wife of the year honors.  Thank you baby. I love you more than ever before.
  2. I thank my Mother for being so generous to us in the past decades for housing us an sheltering us.  She has put up with a lot and still loves us.
  3. I thank my kids for being good kids. You have all followed your hearts and have learned to love with power.  All of you have expressed your love for me this last year and I can’t tell you how much that means to me. Thank you.
  4. I thank my grand kids for being kids.  For showing how there can be pure joy in the world for the simple things of life.  For showing me that no matter what the news says, I can see hope in your eyes.
  5. I thank my fellow students at school and my professors.  The learning environment over the years has been awesome.  That is mostly due to you.
  6. I thank my coworkers.  You have given me comradeship that I do value.  It’s nice to work with you, laugh with you and just share this working experience with you.  You make the burdens of it lighter.
  7. As I look at my feast, I thank the farmers, ranchers and all the people who make it possible. To the people who plant, grow, raise, harvest, process and transport all of it – Thank you.
  8. For everyone who keeps the heat and lights on, provides the basics of life and the luxuries.  Thank you.
  9. I thank the watchers of the wall. While I think many of the so-called threats to the nation are the politicians made up are garbage done for political ploys, I know there are real threats out there that you guard against. Thank you.
  10. To my friends, to the ones I have left anyway.  Thanks for sticking with me.  I haven’t made it easy this year I know.  I appreciate the real friends who didn’t bolt at the first sign of trouble.

Yeah, I am going to thank people this year.  Thank you all.

In Thanksgiving,

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

Skaal!!!

A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues – Holiday Nutrition

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Journal Entry:

My friend recently posted the above meme and generated a very interesting discussion between his wife, himself and the few other friends he tagged.

Whenever I have lost weight I always get the comment: “Holidays are coming, what you going to do then?” Well, for one I am not going to annoy people about my dietary accomplishments.  It undercuts the whole spirit of celebration that is supposed to be around the holidays.

Secondly, I am going to live with the understanding that one day here and there off diet is not going to destroy my plans.  I can participate with my family in whatever they are eating.  If its meat laden I will probably grab more of it along with veggies and fruit where available. I will have things I am not supposed to eat with my diet.  It will be a scheduled cheat day and I will cheat because it is good for the soul to just enjoy life and all the food that is available.

Finally, the rest of the time during the holidays, I will be very strictly Paleo with my intermittent fasting every other week.  This will be at least 6 out of seven days and will more than make up for the one day here and there that is bad. More details do follow.

As for the rest of this journal entry, I am feeling better although this week has been very frustrating as my car has been out of commission, so my wife and I have had to juggle things and borrow.  Our other car has had two flat tires this week.  Yeah, not feeling really friendly toward cars these days.

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.

My discipline is being stretched right now as the end of the semester is upon me for the last time ( for this degree anyway).  I am really struggling to get things done but it is not as bad as it was.  I am now in the mode where I realize each day a lot of writing needs to get done.  This blog becomes my break from all that academic writing, so I look forward to it every morning.  I am starting to get hard on myself though with the studies. It will pay off.

Perseverance:

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

Principle: Keep getting up after every defeat or failure.

I haven’t been defeated yet, I haven’t failed in a while.  That said, I prepare myself for the inevitable reality of it.  This is why I spend time meditating and trying to find ways to heal up a little better.  I also prepare my mind for this reality. I know I will fail to get defeated at some point, the preparation is so I get up quickly and get going again as fast as possible.

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.

The issue of thanksgiving comes up as a loyalty concern to God for some.  I am not sure that is what this holiday is about.  It’s probably more about being thankful that there is a good meal on the table, family, friends and football.  If there is a family holiday it is this one.  I will write a little more on this in next weeks Odin’s Eye, but for now I can say my feelings about this holiday are still the same, but I find that perhaps it was always more about family than faith.

The subject of friendship comes up a lot.  I have lost quite a few and I have cut off more than my share.  I tend to be very loyal to my friends.  Almost to a fault. At the same time my circle is small because I don’t trust at that level with just anyone.  Recent events have made me even more cautious about who I say is my friend.  I am already introverted so most of my friends are extroverts who adopted me or long time friends who are more like family.  I probably could use a few more close friends but because I give much, I expect much in return.

I guess having been so disappointed recently in many of my ‘friends’, I am a little gun-shy about friendship in general. Seems like people only want your friendship because they gain something out of it and the moment you become a problem for them, they dump you. I don’t think I could take that right now, my heart is bruised enough already.

Weekly Routine: 

  1. Weightlifting – 4 days per week.
  2. Cleaning – 3 days a week.
  3. Walking – 4 days a week

Solid this week, I only missed a day of walking because a class was cancelled. It still brings up the fact I need to find some alternative when I don’t have school and that will be very soon.

Nutrition:

OK.  The details of this nutritional plan are all about my 50th birthday which is Monday, March 18th, 2019.  MY goal here is to be in the best shape I have been in a long time in terms of fat loss, my muscles lean and strong and the whole thing flexible.  I want to look really good.  My main struggle for years was nutrition, but I think I have found a formula that works for me as evidenced by recent gains.

It’s just not as tight as it could be. I am not strictly Paleo as carbs do find their way into my diet probably every day and I want to handle that.  Mostly it is bread because sandwiches are cheap.  I also would have to say cereal is like that too. I need a bread substitute and something like cereal with the same affordability and quickness of preparation.  Something to research this week.

I haven’t always been strict of have a pattern about the intermittent fasting either.  I want to do this every week. I eat breakfast so I can take my pills and after that I should go on a no food lock down until 2 pm.  My eating window should be breakfast and from 2 pm to 8 pm.  If I get a different job that is more normal than the 4 am to 1 pm I usually work then this would probably shift to noon to 8 pm and I would take my pills at noon. I actually would probably like that a lot.

I am going to run this diet from November 23rd (Day after Thanksgiving) until my birthday and probably to the end of March.  Cheat meals will be the holiday gatherings and birthdays.  I will also give myself three cheats a week during this time which I might add as a part of the weekly routine to count it. In the meantime I need to do some research for Paleo alternatives to certain things.

Weekly Recap:

Foundational – I don’t know about things here still.  I feel good about some of it and feel other parts of it still need work.  I have discovered that not giving a shit what people think can lead to sense of self value and thus honor.  That said, honor is still a struggle. Courage is much better and so is Truth.  If anything Truth has been off the chain for me lately and I have to exercise a lot more tongue biting than normal.

Business – The basic struggle here is still the same.  My wife and I need to get to a place of financial security that has enough extra prosperity to start working our plans.  Right now things are tight because we need to really increase our income.  Once that happens, Self-reliance and Hospitality will be much easier.  Both of us are definitely hard-working so that’s not a problem.

Self – The friendship fidelity questions remain but the Discipline and Perseverance questions are less and less each week.  I am starting to feel a little more relaxed about things because of those two.

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

Skaal!!!