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


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.


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


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

Hats and a maypole for Beltane. Easy call here.


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


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.


Odin’s Eye – Pagan Holidays – Easter, Walpurgis, and Beltane

Happy Thor’s Day


From a Viking point of view, May Eve or April 30 represents the final day that Odin hung upside down on the World Tree and gained the knowledge of the runes.  It is a festival time that commemorates his sacrifice for humanity.  If you think this is suspiciously familiar with the Christian holiday of Easter, you would be right.

All mythology has within it some story of a god who sacrifices for humanity, this is hardly a unique concept and a very popular one with humans in every myth it is employed.  The End of April is a special time of year for pagans of Northern European heritage known as Walpurgis with its celebration of April 30 Beltane and May Day with its maypole celebrations. First, though, we should look at Easter and the elements of paganism in it.

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Easter.  The very name is stolen from Eostre the fertility goddess.  The pagan holiday revolves around fertility with rabbits being fertility symbols for obvious reasons and the egg as well-being the symbol of the beginning of life. It is funny to watch Christians with candy rabbits in their homes and coloring eggs and spring-like Easter traditions.  Probably harmless, but it shows how much the traditions of paganism can survive and adapt. The whole end of April though is pretty much about fertility to pagans and the actions that bring it about – namely sex and lots of it.

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Walpurgis. This a time of year at the end of April that stretches from April 22 to April 30 representing the nine nights that Odin hung from the World Tree. It is the official end of the Wild Hunt on April 30th. Six months previously it had started and now it ends.  On May 1st – May Day – young couples dance around the maypole and oaths of marriage are taken which lasts one year and a day.  Walpurgis is a time of other oaths as well.

Beltane.  There are other traditions around this festival time.  Most notably Beltane which is the night of April 30th itself. The end of winter is official and Summer begins.  The most notable tradition is spending the night in the woods ‘a-maying’.  Basically having sex and you could pretty much have sex with whoever you wanted.  Even married couples could for that single evening lay their wedding bands aside and have sex with whoever they wished. You could also stay at home if you didn’t want to participate.

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May Day.  May First becomes the maypole festival portion where young couples, who probably had sex the night before, dance around and give their oaths of marriage. These oaths lasted a year and a day.  The idea here that is unspoken is that married couples might split at this point, or retake their vows that would last another year and a day.  Must have made every year an interesting thing for married couples joined this way.  No one and done but a renewing of vows each year.

Time to Look Through the Eye:

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If there is one thing we can all have faith in it is humans like to fuck have sex. This time of year actually celebrates that rather than calling down condemnation. Spring is about the death of winter and the birth of summer.  Fertility has a large part to do with that and is also celebrated along with children.  The one thing I can draw some faith from is looking at nudity, sex, and sexuality as a positive spiritual expression rather than taboo.  It is a welcome change.


It takes religion to destroy the joy of life. One of those joys is making love and religion always tries to set standards, but in truth, there is no rational reason to forgo sex other than not wanting an STD or a child. Outside this, religion is basically a way to control sexual behavior and in my mind, this is the great distinction between religion and paganism.  Paganism isn’t interested in controlling the sexuality of others.  Far more practical, free, and less cult-like.

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As a deist, I no longer have the appeal to authority that once was so necessary to dictate terms to people’s sexual relationships.  I don’t want it and it is a waste of energy in my mind to be judgmental of people’s sexual habits or living arrangements. With this absent, a theology of sex and sexuality is not difficult; it is simply non-judgmental. If you look at the nature of the world of sexual guidance, you will see it all.  From faithful monogamy to harems to interchange of partners whenever the mood strikes – animals literally do it all.

In the end, I leave it to each person’s own moral sovereignty to determine their living arrangement and sexual partners.  Control of sexual expression is just no longer part of my theology. My issue is wisdom in such arrangements and whether or not people are going to try to steal from me to pay for the consequences and results of such unions.  My only other moral concern is that each person is engaged with their full free will consent.


Personally, I have always found sex to be as spiritual as it is physical.  Oneness is the best way I can describe it.  The fact that it is also physically enjoyable is pretty cool too, but its the intimacy often after sex that I enjoy the most.  That moment where you are naked in each other’s arms having spent all to make love. That moment is the best part to me spiritually speaking.

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I continue to find pagan holidays and customs to be more practical and more realistic than religious ones.  There are more freedoms here and as such less unnecessary guilt and no shame.  If a relationship goes forward, it does so by constant yearly assessment rather than one and done. Sex is and it is not evil or dirty. Rather it is a natural thing to make love and the only concerns are children (which in paganism are celebrated), STDs and consent. Our modern world has actually made the STD and Children questions a matter much more manageable. Rape, of course, is universally condemned or at least it should be.

I find this holiday the most liberating from my past.  Even though I will be at home with my wife on Beltane because of my vows are ’til death do us part’, I find the notion of releasing religious judgment makes things less stressful and opens the door to a lot more friendships. Enjoy Beltane with your lover. Peace.

Continuing to Walk the Path,

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


The Rabyd Skald – Weekend Musings and Writing Plans

Happy Saturn’s Day

By way of announcements:

  1. There will be no Crossing Bifrost today as I am very much near the end of the semester and I am trying to complete some extra work for school plus get my Routines back on track.  Possible finish off another class’ work today.  For the same reason and as a gesture of respect to the Christians out there doing their Easter celebrations, there will be no Pagan Pulpit this Sun’s Day either.  I have said my piece on Thor’s Day about the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth in my post on the subject.
  2. What will happen is this post on some writing plans today as well as some other wandering thoughts.  Tomorrow on Sun’s Day I will post the next installment of Rogue Wizard.  I also plan on canonizing a poem I wrote last week sometime this weekend as well.

Well, time for a few musings and wandering thoughts.

This is the first Easter season where I honestly can say I haven’t been stressed out.  I am no longer a minister so I am not preparing a message or getting a service ready.  I have to work at my job, probably because all the Christians asked for the day off, but I am good with that. I actually have more peace about it than anything else.  I just wonder if I will be working alone.

I am hopefully going to get my first walk in of the season today.  I have been waiting for a sunny day that is above 50 degrees and so today may be the first hike of the wandering skald. Hiking is a real spiritual thing for me and I am looking forward to the walk.  After that as long as it is above 45 degrees walking will take place.

The Grey has been thankfully very light right now. It is more of a dull boring sensation than depression.  More of an annoyance than anything else. I guess part of that is I have come to look at my memories of this time last year as more of a challenge o picking out the good and discarding the bad.  That will be far more difficult this summer, but right now it isn’t that hard.

Writing plans:

Part of getting back on track with all my routines is setting my writing goals.  Most notably my goals for my novel and my non-fiction book. I think I have narrowed things down a bit.

For my non-fiction book I am going to do something involving the Bible and Skepticism.  My former Christian friends might not like it but I am thinking of doing a harmony of the gospels from a skeptics point of view.  I guess announcing this at Easter is fitting in some ways as it marks a turn of thought for me.  The book will be more designed for the popular press written in something that anyone with a basic education can understand but I may do another version that is scholarly first then rewrite it for publication.

For my novel, I am going to go pure fantasy.  I had an idea a long time ago of five friends who after growing up together in a small medieval fantasy city decide to take up adventuring together in an old blog that is now deleted.  I am thinking though it might make a good novel.  It is the kind of story I would like to read so it should be fun to write.

Here on this blog I am moving slowly forward with Rogue Wizard.  I must say that The Grey Wayfarer series is not so much halted as it is me taking some time to continue my research into Norse mythology before I continue with it.  That series is more about quality than quantity. I am therefore taking a lot more time with it. Rogue Wizard on the other hand is placing myself into situations as the main character is basically me on a divergent timeline. This makes it easier to write.  I have noted since I decided to engage my memories instead of avoid them, I have found it easier to write in general.  Sill need a new muse, but I will find her somewhere I am sure.

Enjoy your weekend, there should be a Poem and A Story somewhere for you.  This week coming up I will be talking about the Pagan Holiday Walpurgis on Odin’s Eye.  This is the May Eve celebrations.  So for you pagan’s out there do not fear, we will get past this to our own stuff.

As a final announcement, on Thursday I passed 200 days straight blogging.  With this post today it will be 202.  So I have 163 days to go for a whole year.

I remain,

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