“Centered” – A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues

Happy Sif’s Day. 

Journal Entry:

To be centered and balanced is much of the goal of my Self Virtues.  Fidelity, Discipline, and Perseverance are virtues that draw upon things for strength that come from within.  The principles regarding these virtues reflect that.

This issue is to bring discipline and routine to every area of my life that needs it while at the same time learning and getting up from each and every failure.  I draw strength from the relationships in that I am loyal to those who have shown themselves loyal to me.

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.

I have to say the main challenge here is jsut to have one week where all my routines are done and effective.  It hasn’t happened yet but when it does it will be my standard of discipline.

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.

Perseverance is natural to me except I need to learn from each failure, more so there are fewer of them.  Being stubborn is OK, but it needs to be a strength that builds strength from learning as well.

Fidelity:

“Fidelity is the will to be loyal to one’s moral philosophy, to one’s family, one’s friends, and most important to one’s self, and loyalty to one’s friends is 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.

Perhaps if I was more loyal to myself I could be more loyal to myself. 🙂

Higher Virtue – Wisdom:

The point is to draw new wisdom from life from the self virtues and then apply it.  Learning without applying is almost useless.

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 – 1/7th of a book
  6. Writing – 3000 Words

Good relaxing and yet gets a few things done.  Can’t complain.

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

Goals Achieved: 5

  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).
  5. By March 31st of 2020, to be the leader/participant in a group of some kind.

Bucket List Items Achieved: 0

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“My YouTube Channel – The Rabyd Atheist” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Sif’s Day!

This last week I started a YouTube Channel as sort of a pulpit for my atheist activism.  The Rabyd Atheist will be my platform for talking about my personal journey from faith to reason, my theological problems with faith and my critiques as a skeptic of the Bible.  For you the readers of The Grey Wayfarer, I will be adding a post on Sif’s Day at 10 am with all the videos I posted that week. That way if you jsut want to wait until Sif’s day and watch them all, you can do so.

My main objectives for this Channel are talked about in my first three videos which I will provide the links below.  I am currently still looking for my first subscribers so if you have a YouTube account and want to subscribe to my channel please do so.  The first goal is to get monetized and I need 1000 subscribers to do that and people to watch about 4000 hours of content.  Then I can apply to make some money.

Posting this to my personal accounts also helps keep people in my family and freinds list from being so alarmed as it is more neutral, but I haven’t been secretive about my atheistic paganism for some time.  If you have been reading this blog you know.

The Rabyd Atheist – Introduction (first video) 

Welcome to the Rabyd Atheist

My Deconversion Story

Hope you enjoy it.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Women’s Nipples and the US Supreme Court” – Freya’s Chambers – Equality

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day!

Disclaimer:  The topics covered in Freya’s Chambers include serious discussions of sex, sexuality and related issues.  If it isn’t your thing; you can move along, otherwise enjoy and feel free to discuss.  Given the nature of some subjects be prepared for nude images as there may be some.  I avoid genitalia as a general rule but is not always possible.

See the source image

Discussion:

While not surprising to me, the US Supreme Court decided to refuse to hear the case brought by two women from New Hampshire.  The Court basically decided not to hear the case.  The story from Reuters is below:

Reuters: US Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Topless Case

Why am I not surprised?  Because the court is conservative and there is no way that they want to go on record as having to do something very obvious to most people from a plain reading of the 14th Amendment.  If you have a rule that tells a woman she cannot do something a man can do freely, then it is sexual discrimination.

See the source image

The best thing for a conservative court with many of its members appointed by conservative presidents to do is to avoid the whole issue.  So that is what they did.  And it shows how the court, while in many ways has always been political, is even more political. The issue for most court members is legacy, not justice and it shows particularly when they don’t take cases of obvious implications for the constitution and the bill of rights. Most notably to me, the court could define 2nd amendment rights for the nation as a whole and in this case, would start to allow women to do what men have been allowed to do for years which is take off their shirt and bare the chest on hot summer days or whenever they wish. 

See the source image

This case involved two women who did a normal activity on a hot summer day and were fined 100$ for it each.  The simple question of whether a man would be fined the same way is an obvious ‘no’.  It is clear sexism that was justified by ‘traditional understandings of nudity”.  One thing is clear though that men and women can do the same activity but one of them is fined and the other is not.  That is sexism no matter how hard you try to make it something else.

See the source image

Probably the most disappointing thing is the fact this case came from one of the most libertarian states in the union – Hew Hampshire.  That’s right “Live Free or Die”.  Except, in this case, freedom doesn’t extend to women as much as men and it has been noted. Sorry, a little hypocrisy there as tradition apparently trumps freedom.

See the source image

What needs to happen is that women have full equal rights in this issue.  The issue of toplessness in public should not be made by government, nor men, but each individual woman involved.  This is really a female choice issue.  It also has an interest in the growing trans community because what constitutes male and female is getting blurry and so the best thing to do is have a uniform standard of ‘if a person for ant reason is allowed to go topless here, then all people are allowed to go topless’.

See the source image

From a sexualization point of view, as the idea of men going topless becomes more normal, sexualization of female breasts, much like legs, backsides and other aspects that have been normalized.  We will become as used to it as we have to those others. Not to say that those attracted to the female form such as my heterosexual male self won’t take note and admire, but I already do that with the rest of the female body as it is. I do find women’s breasts attractive and in some regard ‘magical’.

See the source image

Biology has kept us being attracted to each other’s physical bodies regardless of dress.  Ultimately this has led to our survival as a species.  Every picture I have used in this article is women doing some of the same activities a man can do while topless.  Only if they do it in some states – they get fined or jailed. I could have easily substituted men in all of these pictures and no one would bat an eye as this is acceptable culturally for men.  But somehow it becomes morally wrong if a woman does it. Yeah, right.

See the source image

The women of New Hampshire are now left with the arduous task of changing the laws of their home state.   A process that will take time and should be unnecessary given the plain wording of the 14th amendment: A liberty is being denied to women and given only to men. So much for equal protection under the law and the US Supreme Court is too political and thus to cowardly to correct it.

See the source image

My two cents.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Business – Broadly Defined” – A Skald’s Life – Business Virtues

Happy Thor’s Day! 

Journal Entry:

Business for me is much more broadly defined than career or about monetary transactions.  It is about my relationships with others. My business is probably more defined as being humankind and how I deal with it.  In the end, I keep my circle small for this reason.

The principles n business are to be my own master, work hard for that end and then share my prosperity with others as I am able.  Not difficult to conceive but right now a struggle because I want more and some better opportunities to do more.

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

No gods, no masters – It is more than just a slogan to me personally.

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.

I do enjoy working, I just don’t like my current job and want a different one.

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.

Need more abundance to share which means things need to change for the better soon.

Higher Virtue – Justice:

This issue in business overall is to act justly toward others as much as possible.  To be fair to everyone as much as I am able.  Challenging but necessary.

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.

I like this, it works well when I do it.

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!!!

“Principles – Moving Theory to Action” – A Skald’s Life – Foundational Virtues

Happy Tyr’s Day

Journal Entry:

Virtues are good and all but they mean nothing if they are not put into practice.  To help facilitate this I added principles that are designed to take the noble language of each principle and boil it down to a simple statement of active action.  Once every five weeks, I go through them to check myself against the trap of having noble virtues but doing nothing to put them into practice.

The foundational principles are simple but in truth like all simple things harder to master. This is where feelings become more than feelings becoming passions.  Those passions move me from thought to action.

Honor:

Honor is the feeling of inner value and worth from which one knows that one is noble of being, and the desire to show respect for this quality when it is found in the world”

Principle – To possess a feeling of inner value about myself and my future with a desire to find the same in others.

Goal: Maintain a daily blog streak of one post per day for an entire year (365 days).  (achieved)

Bucket List: Hike the Northern Lakeshore Trail along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan by March 2024.

Of all my principles this one keeps me looking to the future to that day when I look in the mirror and see an honorable man. It also causes me to evaluate people in the light of honorable things rather than the superficial looking at jsut what they do for me. What people say and do is not the truth, but the patterns of behavior and life that lead to honor is what I  look for now. I suppose it is one thing about my trust issues that have caused me to grow in a positive direction.

Courage:

“Courage is the bravery to do what is right always.”

Principle – Act with Courage at the right time.

Goal: Cross one thing off bucket list every year. Deadline March 31st.

Bucket List: Go Back to Budapest, Hungary for a vacation by March 2029.

This probably the most constant principle I deal with every single day.  The constant evaluation of what is the bravest thing to do and when to do it. It is the principle that motivates most of the others.

Truth:

“Truth is the willingness, to be honest, and to say what one knows to be true and right. It is often better to not say anything at all if one cannot be honest.”

Principle – To Honestly Pursue, Accept and Speak Truth to All who will Listen.

Goal: To Write a Non-Fiction Book by March 31st, 2020

Bucket List: Read 52 books (one per week) in the year 2020.

I guess the shift in principle is to move from admiring truth and seeking it to its proclamation.  To this end, I have started a Youtube channel.  I guess I miss having a pulpit and so I made one.  You can check it out at – The Rabyd Atheist

Higher Virtue: Love:

Love of self and others is an active thing.  Love has a lot of parts of speech but my principles take it from being a noun that I talk about to being a verb that I act on.

Morning Routine:

  1. Stretching / Yoga
  2. Shower, Personal Hygiene, Breakfast, Morning Meds.
  3. Review Nine Noble Virtues (NNV), Principles, Goals and Bucket List
  4. Meditation – 5 min.
  5. Check Communications and Email.
  6. Paper Journal: Update To-Do List.
  7. Get Dressed for the Day

This actually can be done very quickly and has stabilized my mornings and gets my head into a better frame of mind.

I remain.

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

Skaal!!!

“Fidelity, Atheism, and Asatru” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Fidelity

Happy Mani’s Day

Discussion:

I always have a little twinge of guilt when I write about fidelity or loyalty.  I have had an affair.  I am not proud of it but it happened. I can’t say that all of it was bad either as the reasons I did it were real and in some ways could be justified as I felt at the time loyalty was harmful to me in a lot of ways.   My loyalty to my wife was harmful because it seemed to benefit her far more than it did me.  It led to a passive-aggressive relationship.  My sarcasm is usually playful but at the time with her, it could be biting and it was the same the other way.

As an atheist, fidelity has a give and take to it.  For a long time, I felt love was to sacrifice even to the point of being loyal to a fault.  If anything has changed it has the realization that the person I need to love the most and be loyal to the most is myself. I am all I really have no matter what others may do.  The blind loyalty expected of Christians I now see for what it is – the groundwork to use people for your own ends by playing on their loyalty.  Pride is removed in Christian loyalty which means you can make people do anything because they have no honor and no shame.

Fidelity under Asatru, however, is different.  It has honor as its foundation so no amount of loyalty should robe you of your pride.  If anything fidelity should either build your pride and thus lead to greater honor or it should cause you shame when you fail so you work to make it right and truly a two-way street. Above all, there is no demand to sacrifice your loyalty to yourself – ever.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

“Feed the Wolves, but Listen to the Ravens first.”

Needs (Geri):

The need here for me was to change my expectations of loyalty to myself.  If there has been one struggle that is affecting all my relationships it is the fact that sometimes I have walked away because I still have my pride and I will not deal with people who do not respect it. I will not tolerate disloyalty, even from myself, and the challenge is to know when that is happening.

Wants (Freki):

What I want is to restore my sense of honor and loyalty to myself. I do not want compromise to the point where I am in any relationship that has all the benefits or even most of them are going one way – away from myself to the other person.  Mutually beneficial is what I am after here; where loyalty is the strength of those relationships.

Reason (Huginn):

The problem is I can usually rationally see what needs to be done in each relationship.  I have done the infamous INFJ door slam to several people but it takes a lot for me to get there. Mostly though I don’t want to cause pain to others because I get a feedback loop emotionally.  It’s kind fo bitch to know how far you can go before the negative emotions of others start to affect you emotionally.  Reasonably, I can see each relationship and know what to do or should do. It is the emotional lines in the sand I don’t want to cross that can get in the way.

Wisdom (Muninn):

The wisdom is never let loyalty to be slavery to the other person.  Someone who cares about you and is loyal to you will want you to be free and not want you to be their slave. If they cross that line too many times it might be time to let go – self-respect, honor, and fidelity to self are far more important than any relationship.

Conclusion:

Fidelity is important to me and mostly the shift caused by the crisis and becoming an atheist has been to be a person who is loyal first to himself and then everyone else.  My moral philosophy and my loyalty to it and myself are the central things in my life. Every other relationship needs to build that loyalty to myself or respect it, or I am going to have a problem with it.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!